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Van Burens set to explore America

Posted by Johanna Seltz  August 20, 2010 10:12 AM

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They met in as middle schoolers at Thayer Academy, reunited as a rock band after college two years ago -- and now the “Van Burens” are taking a week-long road trip from New Hampshire to Pennsylvania as part of the “Exploring my America” campaign sponsored by Sears.

The group was chosen to be one of 20 teams traveling on iconic US highways throughout the summer.

Braintree residents Jeffrey King, Gregory and Matt Spitz, along with Emmett Knox of Canton, Gregory Smith of Scituate, and Rajarki Majunder of Brookline, will start their journey in Braintree on Friday, headed to Gorham, N.H.

They plan to follow the Appalachian Trail for a week and nearly 600 miles, ending up in Gettysburg, Pa.

Along the way, they’ll shoot videos of the people they meet and the places they see, and post them on the Sears website.

“We’ve done other road trips, but this will be different because we’ll get to stop and explore, and not just drive from gig to gig,” Knox said. “We’re talking about setting up and playing on the side of the road.”

Another pleasantly different aspect of this road trip, he added, is that Sears paid to service Ruby Pearl’s, the band’s van, which is named both for its color and for a “song we all like.”

Sears also is paying for expenses -- a plus for struggling musicians who supplement their income by giving music lessons -- and provided a video camera.

“We hope we come out of this with some pretty cool videos," Knox said.

Johanna Seltz can be reached at seelenfam@verizon.net.

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