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Mike Dow

Mike Dow

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Wednesday, 03 February 2016 15:50

Why Ringo rules

With the welcome news that Ringo Starr & His All Star Band are set to play Cross Insurance Center in Bangor on June 8, it’s a good time to assess some of Starr’s greatness. The Beatles would not have been the group we know today without him. 

For starters, he completed the group. They truly became The Beatles when Ringo officially joined the band in August 1962, four years after John, Paul and George began playing together. When Ringo accepted the job, the chemical reaction synthesized by the coming together of those precise personalities created a form of divine magic that can never be duplicated.

Ringo: “Every time he (Pete Best, previous Beatles drummer) was sick, they would ask me to sit in.”

Tuesday, 12 January 2016 21:44

Farewell to The Man Who Fell To Earth

“Come on, it can’t be real,” I thought to myself at 2:30 am on Monday.  I saw the headline but it didn’t make any sense.   And then I found the official post on his Facebook page.   The thoughts were coming all at once and none of them made sense.  “David Bowie died?  That isn’t possible.  He just released a new album on his birthday.   There must be a mistake.” 

Way back when, I really thought there was a chance that Bowie came to Earth from another planet.  Maybe he just went home.

 

Tuesday, 29 December 2015 19:55

Impressions of Maine

Sure, we’re kind of partial to it but I’ve always been curious to find out how non-Mainers – you know, “people from away” – feel about our state.  

Over the past few years, it’s probably been the most frequently asked question of my interview subjects. Their responses have been universally positive, which doesn’t surprise me. For starters, Maine is particularly awesome. Secondly, these people know that the interview will either appear on radio, in print, or both, and they’re not about to throw us under the bus.   

Tuesday, 22 December 2015 19:16

2015 in music (my faves)

“What? No Adele?” I imagine an uber-fan of the wildly popular British vocalist and songwriter saying while scanning the list below for her latest, “25.” I pretty much love everything about Adele, but I honestly haven’t heard the new album yet. “He should be beaten in the kidney with a tree branch,” the uber-fan is now saying.  

I have plenty of catching up to do, but that’s one of the great things about music – there is no expiration date. If it’s good, I’ll find it. Now that I’ve unloaded that caveat, I’m excited to share with you the 2015 titles that are still in heavy rotation at my house.

It’s a great time to be Nils Lofgren. One year after issuing a  10-disc career-spanning retrospective (“Face The Music” – copies of which are personally autographed), the multi-instrumentalist and member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band since 1984 has just released “UK2015 Face The Music Tour,” featuring 15 carefully chosen live solo tracks recorded at various UK venues last winter.  

To support the new disc, Lofgren scheduled a series of dates across the US for first part of 2016 that are now being rescheduled as a result of Springsteen’s sudden decision to hit the road in support of “The Ties That Bind: The River Collection,” a 4-CD/3 DVD (or 2 Blu-ray) set rounding up the music recorded by Bruce and the E Street Band for 1980’s “The River.” including a wealth of previously unreleased audio and video.   

Sometimes, the tastiest grooves are home-cooked. That is certainly the case for Bangor-based Union House Band on their second album, “The Rise of Bent Bowler.”  

The band, composed of Rick Bruns (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Greg Lunn (vocals, guitar) and Chas Bruns (vocals, bass, drums), navigates a variety of styles ranging from rock and folk to pop, blues and even a modern day sea chantey among the album’s 12 original songs.  

Tuesday, 17 November 2015 18:46

An Overnight Low rise with ‘Piccadilly’

For their sophomore release, “Piccadilly,” Portland-based band An Overnight Low continue a musical love letter begun early last year with their debut record, “Euston.” 

Led by songwriter and bassist Chad Walls, An Overnight Low pulls musical inspiration from a variety of shared loves but it’s Walls’ story that forms the basis of the band’s planned trilogy of albums.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015 19:34

Steve Hackett of Genesis and GTR

If progressive rock had a Mount Rushmore, we would surely see Steve Hackett’s face carved there.  

As lead guitarist for Genesis (1970-1977) and cofounder (with Steve Howe of Yes and Asia) of short-lived mid-80s ‘super group’ GTR, Steve Hackett’s influence is vast.  From Phish, Van Halen, Queen and Rush to Kate Bush, Trans-Siberian Orchestra , Porcupine Tree and Spock’s Beard – Hackett’s impact ripples through them all.  

As far as their public was concerned, Tony Banks was the congenial, soft-spoken, “quiet” member of Genesis, content to let Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford (and, previously, Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett) absorb most of the spotlight glare.  

Within the band, it was a starkly different situation. From their early, blazingly theatrical progressive-rock epics to their latter days as MTV darlings, Banks was, more often than not, the primary creative instrumental engine of Genesis.  

Do you remember where you were and how you felt in October 1995 when the verdict came down in the trial of O.J. Simpson?  

According to polls then and now, the majority of Americans believe that Simpson was guilty of murdering of his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman in June 1994. The jury disagreed. Simpson’s celebrity and the shocking specifics of the case kept viewers riveted to the televised trial for 11 months.  

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