Willard Street Inn is backdrop for wine, music, photos with Rick Norcross

Update: This post was updated to correct that this is a solo performance by Rick Norcross.

Vermont Western Swing artist Rick Norcross will set up at the Willard Street Inn in Burlington’s Hill Section for a special solo performance, exhibit, and wine tasting Saturday, Feb. 24.

The event kicks off Norcross’s 55th anniversary year as a performer and recording artist. The band will perform a selection of Norcross’s award-winning, often humorous, Vermont songs from his seven albums, including tunes from his early years on the 1960s folk circuit.

The inn’s solarium is the intimate venue for the event that starts off with a wine tasting of Shelburne Vineyard wines along with Vermont cheeses, sweets, coffee and tea. Norcross also promises door prizes.

Before the show and at intermission, Norcross will share two digital presentations. One is a photographic retrospective of his music career. The other is his personal collection of photos he shot from 1969 to 1974 when he worked as a music writer, reviewer and photographer at The Tampa Times newspaper in Florida. Norcross covered the central Florida and southern Georgia music scene in clubs, concert halls, stadiums and rock festivals capturing front-row and backstage images of now-iconic performers such as Elvis Presley, Janis Joplin, Chuck Berry, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Crosby Stills, Nash & Young, and more. Shot nearly 50 years ago, the photos have been exhibited only twice before.

In a 2015 feature story, Rutland Herald writer Jim Sabataso said the images a rare opportunity to see legendary rock artists both at work and at rest. “The collection features shots both tranquil and kinetic. Some offer a glimpse of these iconic artists in quiet, unguarded moments of backstage repose. Others capture the raw action of the performance,” Sebastaso wrote. “In stark black and white, these photographs are no less colorful as they crackle with the energy of their subjects.”
Norcross next month heads to Fort Worth, Texas, for the 22nd Annual Academy of Western Artists Will Rogers Awards ceremony where he and the Ramblers are finalists in group and record award categories. Their release last summer of the 13-track recording, “Welcome to OUR Vermont/2,” captured the nominations.

Seating for the Feb. 24 concert at the inn is limited to 40. Tickets: $25 in advance from the Willard Street Inn. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Guests who book a room at the inn for that night receive two complimentary tickets.
The Willard Street Inn is at 349 South Willard St., Burlington; 651-8710.

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