Meet the Peepers!
Matthew Witten is a musician, storyteller and educator, who started performing folk music on the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater singing to school groups and performing on stage with Pete Seeger and other folk musicians. Using guitar, accordion, banjo and percussion, Matthew has been performing for family audiences in Vermont, New York, and elsewhere in New England since 1988.
Matthew offers a variety of programs that he conducts at libraries, summer camps, dance halls, festivals and schools. Matthew’s bag of tricks includes: performing songs and stories about the ecology and history of the Champlain Valley as the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s Champlain Troubadour; playing percussion, guitar and piano in accompaniment to traditional fiddle, accordion, and banjo tune-players; involving audiences in kinesthetic songs and stories; telling improvisational stories with audience participation; and leading songwriting workshops in schools as a member of the Swing Peepers. Aside from Peeping with John Hadden, Matthew also plays rhythm instruments in the Hip Replacements, a neo-folk djam band, and with Toss the Feathers (featuring Rick Ceballos and Billy Drislane), both groups based in Addison County, Vermont. You can visit Matthew's website here.
The Swing Peepers, a vocal-harmony and multi-instrument duo, perform inventive, earth-friendly and interactive songs and stories. The Swing Peepers are lively, improvisational, and endearingly goofy. Instruments strummed, swung, and tapped include: guitar, mandolin, violin, harmonica, banjo, ukulele and accordion. Most songs and stories are participatory, and body movement is part of the action!
The Swing Peepers draw out the creativity of audiences by having them participate in creating impromptu songs and stories. The Peeps take ideas from the audience and weave them into highly dramatic tall tales. These made-up-on-the-spot rollicking stories are The Swing Peepers’ trademark – watch out for colorful surprises!
As a singer/songwriter and multi-intrumentalist, John has performed in a wide variety of musical groups ranging from classical choral, madrigal, barbershop, and stage groups, to folk, rock & roll, and contemporary a cappella bands.
John plays several instruments including guitar, mandolin, violin, and harmonica. He has appeared on a variety of stages throughout his career including "A Prairie Home Companion", the Champlain Valley Folk Festival, Burlington & Montpelier Vermont First Nights, the Boston Regional Harmony Sweepstakes, and coffeehouses and festivals in New England.
John owns and operates Resting Lion Studio, a digital recording and graphic design studio located in Huntington, Vermont. The graphic design side of the Studio specializes in services for small businesses, and the recording side specializes in small acoustic ensembles and a cappella groups. John is also a photographer and publishes the daily East Street Weather Blog. Check it out!