On December 13, 2023

Silas Hamilton releases his first album, ‘All The Ways’


By Carrie Phillips 

Silas Hamilton , local Shrewsbury singer/songwriter, has just released his first album, “All The Ways,” in which he plays every instrument on the album and sings all the lyrics. 


Local Shrewsbury singer/songwriter Silas Hamilton just released his first album, “All The Ways”. I had the pleasure of interviewing Silas to hear about the album and to see what he has going on, plus I got to preview it as well. I thoroughly enjoyed all nine tracks but do have a few favorites. Silas plays every instrument on the album and sings all the lyrics. He produced it as well. More on that in the article below.  I would call this a folky, easy-listening album and by that I mean it has a chill vibe. You can kick back on a summer day, lying in a field listening to this album or chill on the couch and unwind with this album.

The album kicks off with a bluesy, cool vibe song, “Gotta (Find a Li’l Something Out).” It has strong vocals with a good mix of instruments. Track 3, “Mr. Liddy”, starts with a Richard Nixon speech and the song grooves on Watergate in a cool way. This song is Silas’ favorite to play live. Track 4 is “Feeling one In by the News.” What a great title with all that’s going on in the world today. This song is strong on fiddle and has Silas harmonizing with himself, which I find to be really cool. That happens frequently since this album is 100% Silas. It’s like you’re supposed to be depressed by what the song talks about but you can’t be with this song, nor the album. I really dig Track eight, “Patient Intake Forms”. It’s another with those great harmonies. This song has Silas asking questions and answering them too. The album ends with “Ramen Song,” an upbeat song with groovin’ bass licks. It’s a great title too.

Silas has been working on this album since last February but some of the tracks have been a long time coming. He said, “Songwriting goes in waves so some of it came pretty quick but my songwriting is pretty sporadic.If I have time and I’m nice and relaxed, I’ll start playing and if something comes up that I want to explore more, I’ll follow it to wherever it leads.”

Silas said the album has a story to tell but it’s really just a collection of  all of his musical influences from the past few years. Silas has a folk background, playing bass with Gypsy Reel the past few years and that Irish traditional music. He also lived in Colorado where he played a lot of bluegrass. He said, “I have some nods to that but the rest of it is just my take on what I find interesting musically and how my songwriting has evolved.”

Gypsy Reel was Silas’ first band which he joined right after he got his driver’s license. He said, “They showed me the ins and outs. I’m 24 now so I’ve played with them a third of my life.” He replaced Mark Harding, who is a great musician, so he had some big shoes to fill and by the sounds of it, he filled them quite well. Silas did a rock ‘n’ roll camp with Mark about 12 years ago. 

Silas moved out to Colorado in 2021 to join a band with Alex Graf (guitar, vocals) and Tony Holmquist (mandolin, vocals). Silas’ dad lived out there too so he had some family ties. Silas said, “Both Alex and Tony are great musicians. We really enjoyed playing with each other. We were playing a mix of old-time bluegrass and jazz because Alex is a big jazz guy.” The band is called Tone Dog. They played some festivals and released a couple singles. Silas added, “We still play now and then but they both have jobs, and I live in Vermont [laughing].” He also played with a band in the Durango area called, Birds of Play who were more of an Americana band than traditional bluegrass. Silas said, “It was the summer of 2022. I got to go all around Colorado and Montana with them, up to Washington state and Idaho.” They did the infamous Telluride Bluegrass Festival and placed second. He also got to play fiddle with High Country Hustle, a high energy bluegrass group out of Durango as well. He played many major festivals with them. Silas said he gigs most with the bass but plays the fiddle too.

He moved back to Vermont to be closer to family plus he really likes Vermont. Silas grew up in Shrewsbury so he has a lot of family and friends in the area. There’s a lot of music in his family since his mother is a music teacher and his dad plays the fiddle. They both used to play in the Salt Ash Serenaders. His musical influences include Chris Norman, a Nova Scotia flautist, on his traditional side and then later on he got into Crosy, Still, Nash and Young and The Grateful Dead. Silas is a full-time musician so you might see him solo, or duo, or with the trio Spintuition he formed in 2017, with Gypsy Reel or in a four-five piece bluegrass band. However you see him play, you won’t be disappointed. 

Spintuition is Silas (Guitar, Piano, Fiddle, guitar, piano, fiddle, vocals, feet), …(fiddle, vocals, feet), … (accordion, piano, vocals). They started as a contra band playing contra dances, which they still do, but have also crafted sweet arrangements of traditional songs into their repertoire for concerts. They have released an album, “7 Year Flood”, won the Young Tradition Vermont contest in Burlington and got to play at the New World Festival. They recorded the album at Mount Hollywood Studios which is owned by Claudine Langille from Gypsy Reel.

Silas has had quite the variety in his musical journey. In 2019 he toured with Northern Harmony, a renowned polyphonic choir. He went to England, France and Spain on a two-month tour with 14 other singers. He said, “It was a really great experience. Staying with hosts showed me you can do music, grassroots, and make it work.”

For Silas’ solo album, he recorded it all at his home. He said, “My goal was to spend as little money as possible. I did the best with what I had. I mixed it and mastered it myself. I played all the instruments on it, pretty much completely home grown.” On the album, Silas plays Acoustic, electric and 12-string guitar, keyboard, fiddle, mandolin, bass and percussion.

The album is available on Spotify, Apple Music and on his website www.silashamilton.com. 

You can find him on Facebook at Silas Hamilton Music and Instagram @silasplays. He’ll be playing solo at the Blue Cat Bistro in Castleton next Friday, Dec. 22 from 6-9 p.m. and he’ll have CDs available to purchase. 

Silas likes what he does and said, “It’s one of the few occupations you can really bring smiles to people’s faces. The excited babble of chatter before and in-between sets in the show, like if it’s a packed house and people are excited to be there, that excites me.”

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