About Rumble Strip


On Rumble Strip, you’ll hear from artists and criminals, taxidermists and soccer moms, lawyers and waitresses. Erica Heilman invites herself into people’s homes to find out what they know, what they hate, who they love, what they’re afraid of, and what makes them more like you than you’d realized. These are vivid stories of the everyday.

Erica’s independent radio work has aired on NPR’s Day to Day, Hearing Voices, SOUNDPRINT, KCRW’s UnFictional, and on major public radio affiliates across the country. Prior to her work in audio, Erica worked in documentary television in New York City. She produced programming for WNET, HBO and ABC News.

To learn how to LISTEN to this show away from your computer, and subscribe to the free podcast, go to the Subscribe Page.

An awesome picture of Gary, a listener in Minneapolis:


Shameless Self Promotion Department

Two placements in The Atlantic, Best of Podcasts 2015

WIRED: Five Podcasts You Need to Get Through The Week

Best Podcasts, Audible Feast, Oct. 29-Nov 4, 2016, for Special Olympics are Awesome

Notable podcast, AV Club, June 13, 2016, for Last Chapter:

There is this somewhat divisive notion that podcasts are meant to be “snackable” content. Which is to say, bite-sized pieces of interesting, humorous, easily digestible audio, which continually keep their audience returning for more. By that measure, listeners most likely aren’t drawn to a podcast to have their ideas of the world tested, to feel the spiritual crush of the finite, or to have that experience reveal its true, breathtaking beauty. Those people aren’t listening to Rumble Strip Vermont, Erica Heilman’s preternaturally excellent podcast exploration of life in all its fluid states. This week’s story is one of raw emotional power, and one which benefits from the organic discovery of its events. It is, briefly, a tale of two adult male friends—Rob Mermin and Bill Morancy—and how their friendship helps guide them through the most difficult decision a person is ever likely to face. The production is spare but effective, adding to the experience through subtraction. The plainspoken openness with which the episode’s tale is told is superbly engaging, ultimately making the tale that much more affecting. With this, and every other expertly crafted episode, Rumble Strip Vermont is quietly making its case as one of the most excellent podcasts recording today. 

—Ben Cannon, AV Club, June 13, 2016

Your podcast is the best reason to have Internet access. I find myself amused, informed, deeply touched, comforted, jerked out of complacency, and moved to tears by the people you bring to your listeners. Their stories, their abilities, insights, and experience delight me as well as remind me again and again that the world is full of blessings. I live in Lincoln, Nebraska, am about to retire from a career as a staff member in the state’s great unicameral legislature, and have never been to Vermont — or even the east coast, except a brief stay in Washington, D.C. Yet my Midwestern perspective is irrelevant, because your podcasts have meaning for anyone, in my opinion, regardless of one’s geographic location. If I had to pick one attribute that makes your podcast great, I’d say it’s that you let your subjects talk. Thank you for this marvelous gift.

Jon on the slopes. I don’t know which slopes.

—Claudia, listener in Lincoln, Nebraska

Click here for an interview with Erica in The Third Coast Spotlight

Click here for an interview about Rumble Strip Vermont with Seven Days

Click here for an interview about Rumble Strip Vermont with The Timbre

Click here for article written about the show, by writer Marialisa Calta

Click here for an interview with Dan Lizette on Podcast Digest

A radio interview with WGDR’s Tonio Epstein..The Magical Mystery Tour

Best in Show, The Timbre, week of Jan 31, 2016, for Inside DCF

AV Club’s Podmass, best for week of Jan 31, 2016. for Inside DCF

Best in Show, Timbre, Oct/Nov 2015, for ‘I’m In Here’

Listed in AV Club’s ‘best of’ for week of August 31, 2015. Sweet. Here’s the nice write-up.

Listed as a top podcast in The Timbre for week of April 13-19. Nice little write-up.

Listed as a top podcast in The Timbre for week May 4-10. Thank you Timbre Folks!

Listed in The Medium as a top podcast episode of 2014.

Listed as a top podcast in The Timbre for week of June 22-28. Thanks Timbre…

Listed as top podcast in The A.V. Club’s Podmass, June 29. Thank you…

Listed as a top podcast in The Timbre for week of July 13-19, 2015

The Audio Signal, May 23, 2016, for Six Parents. Six DCF Stories

Audible Feast Best Of, May 27, 2016, for Six Parents. six DCF Stories

“Rumble Strip Vermont by Erica Heilman is an aural window into a real rural life that is distinct from the imitative longings of bearded urbanites with antique wooden tables.”Eye on Design

Kudos from 7 on 7 for 5/28/2016

Kudos on the Fred Webster show from from Sarah McMahon-Sperber on June 3, 2016

Top podcast in The A.V. Club’s Podmass, October 2016








Mother of Whiskey Tit, a publishing company restoring degeneracy to the literary arts.

Larry Massett

The source of all good ideas. And he plays the piano.

Scott Carrier

He's a professional. I'm never really sure where he is.

The Heard

Rumble Strip is a proud member of The Heard, an awesome group of independent podcasters from all around North America.

Colin McCaffrey

A composer, producer and recording engineer in the wilds of East Montpelier, VT. Specializes in audio production, mixing, editing, mastering, hunting, fishing and foraging. (Renaissance Man)

Kindred Spirits

The Dooryard

The Dooryard. How nice.

Hearing Voices

Some of the best stories. Anywhere.


Combination incubator and petri dish for new public radio.

The Wake up to Dying Project

Encouraging people to think and talk about death and dying.


  1. Ruth
    Ruth November 22, 2013 at 9:55 am | | Reply

    It’s great. I love the interviews. I heard about your deer stories on Front Porch Forum. I saved the site to play it for my son when he came in from hunting. Thank you. I keep going back to listen to more interviews. I love those voices. It’s good the way you let people loose to tell you what they want to tell you.

  2. Charlene
    Charlene May 5, 2014 at 1:42 pm | | Reply

    I love the shows. They give me an entirely new perspective on Vermont and the people who live there.

  3. Cynthia
    Cynthia April 16, 2015 at 1:46 pm | | Reply

    Rumble Strip Vermont sounds like home to me. I like VPR for news but it doesn’t get at the subtler currents running through Vermont culture and living. This show does. I grew up in Vermont and married out of state so now I’m only there in the summers. I listen to Rumble Strip Vermont while I cook and it reminds me of home. Thank you so much. Keep going!

  4. Carol Rousseau
    Carol Rousseau June 14, 2015 at 1:40 pm | | Reply

    So happy to have found this! It took me back to the early 90’s when Greg Sharrow hired me to transcribe his interviews just like these, in people’s homes, listening for must be hundreds of hours to the wonderful people in Vermont. Please give Greg a big hug for me, I thank him for giving me the best job ever that enabled me to stay home with the kids.

  5. Fiona
    Fiona July 29, 2015 at 2:57 pm | | Reply

    I am a literature student based in Dublin, Ireland. I came across your podcast through Scott Carrier’s Home of the Brave. I wanted to write to you to express how much I love it. I appreciate the range of people that you interview and your insightful, thought-provoking questions. I always look forward to listening to Rumble Strip Vermont. So much of life is about stories. I feel that you are exceptionally capable at teasing them out of the people you meet. You have made me realise just how varied and complex the human race is. Thank you and I hope that you continue to have the opportunity to keep up the brilliant work that you are doing!


  6. Heidi Schmidt
    Heidi Schmidt September 23, 2015 at 2:57 pm | | Reply

    Hi Erica,

    Great article about Fred. When I was out in Vermont last Fall I had the good fortune to meet him. I love the people who live in the Northeast Kingdom. Everybody I’ve met is so creative and so active and really enjoy their lives.

    Thought you might be interested in my blog post about Fred.

    I’ve posted about quite a few people and places in Vermont.

    Again, great article and I’ll be following you.


  7. Will
    Will October 16, 2015 at 10:09 am | | Reply

    My name is Will, I live in London, England. I love your show. I’ve never been to Vermont but your show has painted it as this beautiful, friendly, homely place. So much so that often when I am listening to your interviews I wish I could visit myself – particularly during the frequent moments when the bustle of London gets too much for me.

    Your shows are a bit of an escape for me. An escape that makes me feel warm, and that there are good people in the world.

    Please keep up the great work you are doing.

    Kind Regards,

  8. Mark
    Mark April 25, 2016 at 10:58 am | | Reply

    I have been in love with Vermont since I came here in 1965. When you love something you have to love the good and the bad. And I love all things Vermont unconditionally.

    In that vein let me thank you so much for Jesse and Muskrat Trapper. I wish Jesse the life she deserves. And may there always be a place in the world for a Muskrat Trapper.

    All the Best,


  9. Representative Barbara Rachelson
    Representative Barbara Rachelson January 14, 2017 at 6:25 pm | | Reply

    Just discovered Rumble Strip this past week and am excited to go back on listen to Erica’s other shows. Ironically, this week’s Rumble Strip kept being talked about by my colleagues at the state house throughout the day. How lucky we are to have Erica’s talent right here in Vermont. In looking at the Rumble Strip website, there are so many of the former shows that I am eager to hear. Thanks for helping me to look forward to my commute now!

  10. Thalia
    Thalia January 14, 2017 at 10:24 pm | | Reply

    A friend passed on the URL to the Vaughn Hood piece. I listened twice as it was about as perfect a podcast as I’ve heard in a long time. I was particularly struck by your choice to dispense with the audio “embroidery” and just let the man speak. It was stark, naked, and moving without all the usual little bits of establishing sound and music cues telegraphing what emotions we were supposed to feel. Your self-effacing editing where we didn’t have an interviewer asking questions was also notable. Thank you for presenting his voice alone and trusting us to go with it.

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Extras, chatter, and other observations (and show notices, of course):


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