Q&A with The Smokey Newfield Project

The Smokey Newfield Project performs at the Colchester Farmers’ Market on July 9. | ELSIE LYNN

The Smokey Newfield Project performs at the Colchester Farmers’ Market on July 9. | ELSIE LYNN

The Smokey Newfield Project entertained the Colchester Farmers’ Market last week with their mix of folk rock, classic rock, pop and country music. The five-member band decided that forming SNP was “a cheaper way to deal with our mid-life crises than therapy or buying convertibles,” explains their Facebook page.

The group of five brings a lively and relaxed energy to their music, but what you notice most is that it just looks like fun.

Denise Puisto, of Essex, is an engineering manager at IBM. She plays keyboard, sings and has written at least one song the band plays.

Tom Chadwick, of Essex, is an electrical engineer with a start up in Williston. He plays an electronic drum set and sings. Tom’s wife, Laura Chadwick, is also in the band and an engineer at IBM. She plays violin, bass, mandolin, guitar and sings.

Cathy Cameron-Muscente, of St. Albans, is the only “professional musician” of the bunch, as a music teacher at St. Albans City School (K-8). She plays guitar, bass, trumpet and percussion. She also holds a music degree from Oklahoma State University.

Bill Valliere, of St. Albans, also known as Smokey Newfield (we’ll get to explaining that in a little bit) works at the UVM Rubinstein School as a research tech, where he studies national parks. He plays guitar and sings.

The band recently elaborated on their group just before performing at the July 9 Colchester Farmers’ Market. Catch the Smokey Newfield Project’s next performance at the Essex Junction Five Corners Farmers’ Market on Aug. 1 from 5-7:30 p.m.

Q: How did you form the band?

A: We came together through our church during a “U2charist” service in 2011. Cathy, Bill and Denise were the original members. Now we look for any opportunity to play together.

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Q: What’s with the name Smokey Newfield Project?

A: The name of the band comes from Bill’s nickname, Smokey Newfield. The nickname comes from the “Stripper Name” game where you take you favorite pet when you were a kid, and the street name you grew up on … and that is your “stripper name.” Mine sounded more like a blues singer than a stripper, so we decided to name the band after the nickname. It was a fun way to come up with a band name. Seems to work for us.

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Q: What’s the best thing about the band?

A: Making music together with our friends. At first we didn’t know each other, now were very good friends; that’s definitely the best thing about it.

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Q: Where else can folks catch your show?

A: We also play at the Milton and Westford farmers’ markets, the maple festival in St. Albans and for some private parties.

— Elsie Lynn

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Editor’s Note: Visit www.facebook.com/smokeynewfield for more info on where Smokey Newfield Project.

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