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Twiddle: The Art of Acrobatics

Dean Budnick | November 08, 2017

Twiddle certainly knows how to Tumble Down in style. In July 2016, the Vermont-based quartet launched a two-day festival at Waterfront Park in Burlington.

The group’s fourth and final set of their inaugural Tumble Down event began with a guest appearance by Holly Bowling on electric piano for the Twiddle original “Hattie’s jam,” which then led, as it typically does, into a version of “When It Rains, It Poors.” Bowling remained onstage for this tune and then three minutes into the song, Phish keyboardist Page McConnell walked out and joined the five musicians.

It was quite a moment, in particular, for Twiddle keyboardist Ryan Dempsey, who grew up in Burlington and idolized McConnell. In fact, Dempsey and Twiddle co-founding guitarist Mihali Savoulidis first bonded over their mutual enthusiasm for Phish’s “Stash” when they met as recent high-school graduates at an orientation for Castleton State College (now Castleton University) in 2004.

“I was ecstatic that Page came out to see us,” Dempsey acknowledges. “He was there watching the first set with his wife and we briefly talked. I realized I would beat myself up if didn’t ask him to come up and play. When he did, it was one of the greatest moments of my life.”

But wait, there’s more.

Tumble Down returned to Waterfront Park this past July and the version of “When It Rains, It Poors” that Twiddle performed during their second set on opening night featured another guest musician, none other than Grateful Dead bass player Phil Lesh.