SOUTH POMFRET, Vt. (WCAX) On a recent evening the South Pomfret art and music venue ArtisTree came alive.
Eighty-four year-old Mary Lutton arrived early to rehearse with her daughter, Sage. It's a bedtime duet written for Sage when she was a little girl. Both mother and daughter are professional singers. "I never get rid of the nervousness. "I'm on pins and needless at least three or four songs if I do a concert," Lutton said.
At first it looks like just a family gathering with husband Bill and other daughter Jennifer there for support. Soon, others trickle in.
Lutton's taste in music is varied. From the Beatles to 1980s pop. Music came naturally for her. "But I also had some teachers who squelched my love of it by smacking my hand on the piano when I made mistakes or telling me I had no talent because I was pathetically shy," she said.
After high school it was a different tune. Lutton was determined to make a living with music. Folk music was the rage in New York City. "Greenwich Village. I show up, they called me 'the village square.' I didn't smoke pot and I wore J. Crew clothing," Lutton said.
But her trio, the All Night Singers was good enough to get a record deal. "We were on our way for a live performance at CBS Radio and the world stopped," Lutton recalled.
President Kennedy had been fatally shot in Dallas. The radio gig never happened. Plus, the stress of being on the road took a toll on Lutton. She quit the band and went into teaching music.
Full disclosure -- Lutton is a resident of New Jersey. She came to Vermont 30 years ago on a bicycle tour. In a sense, she has been on a journey to discover Vermont ever since. "What's not to love about Vermont, just being here. It's just a place, the songs say it all," Lutton said.
She loves Vermont so much that she composed a CD called "To Vermont With Love." Health issues have put the breaks on the biking days but not her annual pilgrimage to Vermont. Perhaps her most poignant song is "Coming Home."
Music and Vermont in harmony.