Berkshires Week and The Shires of Vermont

MANCHESTER -- On Sat ur day, March 15, Billsville House Concerts will bring Rayland Baxter to the Inn at Willow Pond.

Baxter comes from Nashville, Tenn., and his hometown has shaped him musically.

"There is an incredible group of young artists, songwriters, painters and filmmakers here, just a huge community of really rad people. It's been vital to have a great creative group of people I can feed off of all the time," he said.

His songs are a calming force for anyone looking for change, for love, or wanting to walk in a different direction -- because it was his own quest for all those things that motivated the music.

"I had nothing to write about until I was 25. I had to live through a lot," he said, "and I when I sing I don't hold back. I'll cry on stage if I came to it. It's an emotional release for me, and there's no makeup on it. It puts me at ease, and that's what I hope it will do for those who listen."

Baxter has appeared on stage at the Newport Folk Festival and has toured with Vermont favor ites Grace Potter and the Nocturnals along with other notable acts such as Hound mouth and Amos Lee.

Billsville House Concerts has been bringing national touring acts to Southern Vermont and the Berkshires for the last three years. Billsville shows are crafted as intimate listening environments at alternate venues for people who love music and appreciate song craft and pure talent.

The Inn at Willow Pond is an original post and beam farmhouse that played a significant part in pre-Civil War history as one of the stops along the Underground Railroad.

Runaway slaves were kept in the farmhouse's basement during the day and then transported under cover of night across the border to Canada and freedom. This secret basement is still intact open to all to see.

Tickets to the show are $10 and children 12 and under are free. Doors open at 7 p.m. with performances scheduled for 8 p.m.

For more information and tickets, visit billsvillehouseconcerts.com.