Our 20th


The Ripton Community Coffee House is a non-profit concert series held the first Saturday of each month throughout the year (except for August). Concerts are held in The Ripton Community House  located at 1305 Vermont Route 125, Ripton, Vermont, a block up from the Ripton General Store, just next to the town office.


click on name for website

Join us December 5th for a concert with

Eli West and Ben Winship

Eli West is a Seattle-based multi-instrumental musician and interactive graphic designer. With an interest in angular phrasing and non-tradional improvisation within the historic precedents of bluegrass and old-time music, his playing both grounds and pushes the ensembles he is involved with.

He has released three records as half of the new/old-time duo Cahalen Morrison & Eli West, which tours regularly throughout the US and Europe. Eli is an active ingredient playing guitar, banjo, and bouzouki with both Jayme Stone’s Lomax Project and John Reischman and the Pine Siskens.  

He is currently pursuing a solo record, collaborating with some favorite musicians, such as Ben Winship, Moira Smiley, Bill Frisell, and others. 

Tim O’Brien says, “Music like this doesn’t come along very often. This stuff just reassures me.”

Ben Winship’s version of string band music is an exploration of crossroads; where raw meets refined, original meets traditional, weird meets familiar, organized meets free ranging. 

Performance-wise, Ben can most often be found on stage with Brother Mule (the acoustic power trio with Brian Wicklund and Eric Thorin) and the Growling Old Men (duo with John Lowell). Over the past 25 years, gigs have taken him everywhere from Hawaii to Shetland, Anchorage to Equator, with appearances along the way at places like the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Strawberry Music Festival, A Prairie Home Companion and the Vancouver Folk Festival.

The Boston Globe calls his sound “A further leap from traditional hill country music.”  while Tim O’Brien refers to him as “One of the acoustic music scene’s best writers.”

                                                                         Eli West with Ben Winship

                                                       Eli West with Cahalen Morrison                          

                                      Doors open at 7:00                                    


The Ripton Community Coffee House

Since we started the Ripton Community Coffee House in May 1995, we have been very fortunate to have a consistent, enthusiastic, and attentive audience at each performance.

The coffeehouse is held in the historic Ripton Community House, a beautiful wood frame meeting hall with a small balcony. It seats about 120 people.

Our concerts start at 7:30 with a 45-50 minute open mic set (generally very interesting).There are 4-12 minute slots available. Call 802-388-972 to sign up no more than 2 weeks before the next coffee house. This is followed by an intermission during which beverages and baked goods are available. The money generated by the refreshment sales benefit a different local non-profit organization each month. The featured performer(s) then do a single set that begins between 8:30 and 9:00. The set lasts an hour to an hour and a quarter.

There are no advance ticket sales. Admission at the door

 $10.00 regular admission~ $15 generous admission

$3 for children 12 and under.

Our concerts are publicized in area newspapers and radio stations. In addition, the concerts are announced by posters at area locations.

There is no alcohol or smoking allowed at the Ripton Community House.   

Thank you to all of the wonderful performers who contributed to our 20th Anniversary CD! All tracks recored LIVE at The Ripton Community Coffee House. Special thanks to Richard Ruane who listened, selected, mastered and produced this collection of music. Thank you to Win Colwell for his beautiful design work! This is a limited edition and was only available at our 20th Anniversary Concert- Thank you all! Click on names for links to the artists websites: Louise Taylor, Red Tail RingRachel Bissex, Laura Cortese, Jay Mankita, Bluegrass Gospel Project, Sheesham and Lotus, Vida,  Devon Sproule, Patti Casey, Crowfoot, Mike & Ruthy, Phil Henry Trio, Mark Erelli, Louise Mosrie, Anais Mitchell, Steve Gillette and Cindy Mangsen, Rani Arbo and daisy mayhem, Darryl Purpose, The Stray Birds, Joanna Colwell, Win Colwell, and Richard Ruane.

The Ripton Community Coffee House is extremely fortunate to have our coffee donated by the Vermont Coffee Company. In addition to being passionate about roasting delicious organic coffee, the Vermont Coffee Company is also dedicated to fair trade: buying their coffee at a price that provides a living wage and covers production costs for the farmers. They are also good local citizens. Please support them. 

NEAT-TV (Northeast Addison Television) is a community television station located in Bristol, Vermont, serving Bristol, New Haven, Starksboro, Lincoln, Monkton, and Huntington. They often record our coffeehouses for broadcast on Comcast Channel 16 in that area. You can also watch the videos of our coffeehouse performances online via NEAT's Video on Demand. Just click here and then choose "Music". You'll see a selection of recent coffeehouses listed.


Farm Fresh Radio 102.9 has been very supportive of our efforts. They have played music from our artists on their radio station, and also kept everyone involved with the coffeehouse happily tuned into their wonderful eclectic mix of music. If you are in the Champlain Valley, give these guys a listen. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, community-supported radio. 

We have received generous support from the Vermont Arts Council, the New England Foundation for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. The continued health and growth of arts in our communities are greatly helped by their efforts. We are very grateful for their assistance. If you also support the work of these important organizations, please be sure to let your elected representatives know how you feel. 

The Ripton Community Coffee House is a member organization of the North American Folk Music and Dance Alliance (the Folk Alliance for short), an organization that brings together musicians, dancers, presenters, radio stations, record companies and others. They work year-round as advocates for the folk music and dance industry. They also host an annual conference every February -- four days of non-stop workshops, music and fun. Some serious work gets done there as well.

Our local regional chapter of the Folk Alliance is the Northeast Regional (NERFA) NERFA hosts an annual conference every November that is smaller and easier to deal with than the full Folk Alliance one, but certainly no less productive or fun. These organizations have been very helpful to us. We appreciate the incredible efforts the people from both organizations have made in support of folk music. 

Open Mic Performers can sign up for one of the five slots starting two weeks before the next concert by calling Andrea Chesman or Richard Ruane at 802-388-9782. It is a ten-minute slot. Please don't use email to sign up for the open mike.

To arrange to have your non-profit organization provide refreshments at a concert or for more information about the Ripton Community Coffee House, contact Andrea Chesman or Richard Ruane at 802-388-9782 or via email at rcchfolks@gmail.com.

Performers interested in being a featured performer should read the Booking Guidlines page.


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