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From Castleton to Red Rocks

By Evan Antal
On April 17, 2017

The band Twiddle was formed at the former Castleton State College and is now touring nationally. Photo from Huffington Post

Sometimes, with a little luck and a whole lot of hard work, dreams do come true.

What started out as a collaboration between two college freshmen in a Castleton State College dorm has blossomed into a national phenomenon.

When Mihali Savoulidis met Ryan Dempsey in September of 2004 as incoming Castleton freshman, they shared a common dream of starting a band and taking the show on the road.

With the additions of Brook Jordan and later Zdenek Gubb, they formed the psychedelic rock band Twiddle and never looked back.

Following similar footsteps of the legendary Vermont-based band Phish, which played Huden Dining Hall in the late 1980s, Twiddle spent many formative years playing shows all over Vermont. Slowly but steadily, the crowds and venues got bigger and the shows started to get farther away from home.

Now, over a decade since their inception, the cat is out of the bag in force. Fresh out of the studio from recording their third album titled “Plump,” Twiddle is selling out theaters all over the country and gracing the stages of historic venues like Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheater and The Fillmore in San Francisco.

This past summer, things came full circle back to Vermont with their two-night festival-style concert on the Waterfront Park in Burlington called “Tumble Down.”

Over 4,000 fans were in attendance.

Professors at Castleton never doubted the band’s ability to become successful one day.

“I always knew they had the talent. If they can stay together and catch a break they’ve got a shot at something. It’s always a crap shoot, but it’s been a delight to see they’ve won the crapshoot,” said communication professor Robert Gershon, who had Ryan Dempsey as a student and has fond memories of him and Twiddle in their earlier years.

The career momentum the band has built over the last couple of years has taken them from playing in Huden Dining Hall to touring the country multiple times a year and they are showing no signs of slowing down.

Starting this week, their new studio album can be preordered on iTunes and comes with three songs already available for download. The much-anticipated second half of the double album “Plump” officially releases on April 28 and can purchased directly from their official website twiddlemusic.com.

Beyond the shows, the music of Twiddle has also been a catalyst for social action. In 2015, a group of dedicated fans created the White Light Foundation, the charitable arm of the Twiddle organization.

“In the spirit of the music, fueled by the fans, the White Light Foundation has donated over $30,000 to local charities including crisis centers, animal shelters and food pantries in the cities where they have stopped to play,” said White Light Foundation president Steve Perlah.

According to the band, dedicated fans like Periah and the friends surrounding them have led them to a place of success.

“We’ve learned through so many to trust, work hard, be ourselves, and that fearlessness leads all of us into glory,” said Zdeneck, the bands bassist.

Drummer Brook Jordan wanted to thank the fans.

“More than anyone, our fans have inspired all of us, both the band and crew, to push on and grow in every aspect,” Jordan said.

Twiddle will be returning to Vermont this summer for their second annual Tumble Down festival on the Waterfront Park in Burlington on July 28-29. Tickets are available now.

 

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