Seeing all-stars at Dibden jamboree


Kayla Friedrich

All-Star Band Jamboree

It didn’t take long for the seats to fill and then empty as loads of people crowded the dance floor in Dibden. At most rock shows, it takes a few songs for people to really get up the nerve to dance. This was not the case with Dibden’s March 28 All-Star Jamboree.

This Creative Audience event was packed when the band took the stage around 7:15, and before the first few licks were played dancers had already taken the floor. The All-Star Jamboree was an interesting mix of local musicians, including JSC instructor Greg Matses on guitar, Ray Paczkowski on organ/keys, Rob Morse on Bass, and Russ Lawton on Drums.

“I’ve been teaching at JSC for 11 years,” said Matses. “Musically, more recently I’ve focused on my own trio, the Greg Matses Group, but over the past 25 years I’ve played with Tammy Fletcher & the Disciples, No Glue, the Dude of Life, Grace Potter, Channel 2 Dub Band, the Shed Band, Vorcza and many others.”

Paczkowski is well-known from playing with the Trey Anastasio Band, Dave Matthews and Friends and Soule Monde.

Morse has played bass with Vorcza, Anais Mitchell and Viperhouse.

Russ Lawton has been the drummer for the Trey Anastasio Band, Soule Monde and Strangefolk.

The highly-danceable set was peppered with both originals and covers. Even the less well-known songs kept the dance floor packed.

The instrumental covers varied from Sun Ra’s “A Call for All Demons,” to Radiohead’s “Knives Out” to the Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and “A Day in the Life.”

Many of the originals were written by Paczkowski, including “Wassat,” “Lasisi,” and “Tango.” Paczkowsi and Lawton collaborated on two of the tunes, “The Story” and “Bernard.”

The group delivered the goods with an enthusiastic rendition of “Elsie’s River” by Abdullah Ibrahim, a South African pianist and composer.

Their instrumental arrangements had audiences on their feet until the last note was played, and the crowd was extremely enthusiastic about Bob Marley’s “Them Belly Full” and the reggae-style “Congo Man.”

“We’re all friends and have played with each other in different Vermont based bands,” said Matses. “I thought it would be fun to get a group of musicians together to play some funky, danceable originals and some instrumental arrangements of cover tunes. We only rehearsed once for the gig that afternoon, but were emailing ideas around in the weeks leading up to it. I’d like to make it an annual event with a rotating cast of area musicians, keep it loose, fun and danceable. The crowd was great, even better than I had hoped for.”

If you missed the event, it is still available on Dibden’s Ustream channel,