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Vermont Joy Parade’s Genre Bending ‘Suspender Fusion’

Vermont Joy Parade exudes a playfulness and level of goofy self-awareness that one would expect from a group whose music has been called “suspender fusion.”

“[It's] anything people in suspenders might play,” trumpeter and vocal lead Ben Aleshire told Radio Boston’s Anthony Brooks Tuesday. “It’s also a mockery of all the endless band-slash genre that’s going on.”

The Burlington, Vt., based band has been described as an exuberant mix of old-world jazz, country blues, Dixieland and klezmer with overtones of vaudeville, but it listens like the background music of a hipster circus sideshow. The band, made up of a banjo, accordion, bass fiddle, drums, electric guitar and sometimes guttural vocals, performed “Ain’t It the Pits” live in our studio.

The band is slated to being recording their fourth album in September.

“We are really excited about a lot of the new material we’ve been working on,” said Anna Pardenik, who sings and plays accordion. Pardenik maintained that being the only woman on a (vegetable oil-fueled) tour bus full of men is “great,” as her band mates snickered in the background.

Vermont Joy Parade outside the WBUR studios Tuesday. (Amory Sivertson/WBUR)

Vermont Joy Parade outside the WBUR studios Tuesday. (Amory Sivertson/WBUR)

Interview Highlights

Aleshire on the band’s humble beginnings:

“[Burlington] is a tiny city but there’s this incredibly hopping music scene and art scene. We all met through that. A bunch of us have been playing music for years, and we decided to take it on the road.”

Aleshire on encounter with musician Jared Leto:

“He saw us busking outside in the street in Mauerpark, Berlin. He liked us so much he decided to take us on tour in these giant stadiums, which was very surreal. Played for 15,000 14-year-olds. It was phenomenal. It’s kind of the classic story, it’s wonderful. Just another day in the office.”

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