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Music (253)

Wednesday, 21 March 2012 11:55

The Zambonis

Written by Mike Dow
Hockey Rock masters score hat trick on new LP

What started as a fun 'what if?' proposition has evolved into a joyous and celebrated institution. More than 20 years after forming, The Zambonis, the world's foremost purveyors of Hockey Rock, have returned with their best album to date, 'Five Minute Major (in D Minor).'

Hockey fans are as passionate about the sport as rock fans are about the music, and The Zambonis have offered the best of both worlds over seven hockey-themed albums.

'Five Minute Major' faces off with 'Brass Bonanza' the theme for the band's beloved Hartford Whalers for more than 20 years. The Zambonis' version combines surf guitar and drums, horns and even an electric sitar to form the definitive rendition of the happy, catchy tune which continues to be played during games in the band's home state of Connecticut.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012 14:07

Mellow endeavor - acoustic jam trio makes bold moves

Written by Mike Dow

When Jason Howe of Houlton heard the news that he was going to be a father of twins, he took care of the necessary preparations and formed a band with a childhood friend at the same time. This 'rock dad' likes to keep busy.

Howe, of popular acoustic jam-rock band Mellow Endeavor, spoke with me last week after putting his boys down for a nap. In addition to the babies, age 11 months, Howe and his girlfriend Danielle also have a 5-year old. Jason told me that he loves being a stay-at-home dad while continuing to work on Mellow Endeavor business. 'It's a full time job with twins and a five year old,' he said 'But I still manage to put about 30 hours a week into the band making contacts, answering email and booking shows.'

Since forming in 2010, Mellow Endeavor has become one of the hardest working bands in Maine. 'Originally, we were thinking we would be doing one show a month. We had no idea how quickly things were going to take off,' Howe said. In finest jam-band tradition, word of mouth has been their best advertising.

Monday, 12 March 2012 08:33

Zac Brown Band to play Bangor Waterfront

Written by Wire Reports

BANGOR - After an eventful year on the charts, the Grammy-Award winning Zac Brown Band is hitting the road once again this summer. They will visit the Bangor Waterfront Pavilion on Saturday June 2. 

Zac Brown Band's second major label studio album 'You Get What You Give' (Atlantic/Southern Ground Artists, Inc.) was released on September 21, 2010 and debuted at Number 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. The album features guest appearances by Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett.

"It's a defining record...Every step of it's done the right way and I expect people are really going to love this record and see the depth of our musicianship, we're always growing,' said Brown to the Associated Press. 'Not that we've arrived at any grand finale or anything, but the progress from this last record to this one, it's tremendous and I'm proud of it."


Wednesday, 07 March 2012 19:52

Why The Monkees were a big deal

Written by Mike Dow

When news broke last week that Davy Jones of The Monkees had died suddenly of a heart attack at age 66, tributes began pouring in on social networking sites. Some comments on Davy's passing from a few of my Facebook friends

'I feel like a piece of my childhood has just died.'

'Remembering Saturday mornings with Davy Jones. Those were the days my friend.'

'So simple, so true. Going to miss him most of all.'

'No drugs, nothing to sensationalize. Just a wholesome kid from the 60s. What a loss. Another big piece of my life has changed forever.'

Wednesday, 29 February 2012 12:46

New Bruce - Boring in the U.S.A.

Written by Mike Dow
The marriage of music and politics is tricky. For each instance where it works, (Neil Young's 'Rocking in the Free World' - as good as it gets), you could cite 10 where it doesn't (including Neil Young's 'Living With War' - ugh). On Tuesday, March 6, Bruce Springsteen will issue his 17th studio album, 'Wrecking Ball' - a collection of mostly angry songs with Springsteen assuming the role of various characters who feel betrayed by the promise of the American Dream. After I listened to 'Wrecking Ball,' I felt betrayed by the promise of a good Springsteen album. It hurts to admit that - I'm a fan and I sometimes wonder if I'm the only one who feels let down by most everything Bruce has issued over the past 20 years.

Over the last 40 years, Bruce Springsteen has delivered some of the most vital, joyous, engaging and thoughtful songs in rock. Now that I think of it, most of those songs appeared during his first 20 years of recording.

Thursday, 16 February 2012 15:12

Young Musicians invited to 'Sound Off'

Written by Jodi Hersey
BANGOR - Maine's credit unions are looking for some home grown musical talent. Musicians 18-25 years of age are invited to enter into Young & Free, Maine's first-ever Sound-Off music competition.

'This competition provides a new way for Maine's Credit Unions to connect with the state's young adults, while giving young musicians a unique platform to share their talent,' said John Murphy, president and CEO of the Maine Credit Union League.

Wednesday, 09 November 2011 11:41

Remastered, reissued, reimagined

Written by Mike Dow

The music industry is cranking out archival releases in shelf-busting numbers during the fourth quarter of 2011. There seems to be a sense of 'now or never' for some of this material, as labels continue to tighten their belts while spiffing up old tapes and raiding the vaults for previously unreleased recordings.

These releases are largely designed for the music consumer who prefers a 'tangible' product: boxes, booklets, shiny discs, vinyl, posters, notes and trinkets that some might call excessive ephemera. The idea is to take a previously released title that sold well, improve it with (hopefully) superior mastering, add some relevant previously unheard material with new notes and put it out as the 'ultimate' version.

Wednesday, 09 November 2011 11:33

Vibing out with Coffin

Written by

Grammy award winning saxophone player and Maine native Jeff Coffin will be bringing his amazing talents and vast musical knowledge to Main Street Music Studios in Bangor this weekend. Main Street Music Studios will play host to one of Coffin's world-renowned music clinics, which will take place Sunday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m. for free.

Coffin has performed with - and joined the ranks of - some of the most incredible musicians in the world. He's most known for his work with Bela Fleck and the Mu'tet, and is currently working with Dave Matthews Band. Coffin, originally from Dexter, Maine, started playing music at a young age and eventually wound up attending the University of New Hampshire. From there he went on to study at the University of North Texas, and graduated with a B.A. in music education. In 1997 he became a member of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, and from here his musical career would take off. He has since won a Grammy played with some amazing musicians, has his own band known as the Mu'tet and is a full-time touring member of the Dave Matthews Band.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011 14:08

Dude, you saw Zeppelin!

Written by Mike Dow

A few days ago, I was asked the following question: 'What's the best concert you've ever seen?'

My gut response was, 'Paul McCartney, Boston 2002 and again in 2005.' Those were absolutely incredible concerts. When he first appears on stage, it hits you: There he is. He's real. It's the actual guy. He's not a video or a hologram - it's Paul. For two hours and 45 minutes, you get the show of your life with each song played and sung as if his life depended on it.

Add to that the man who wrote or co-wrote those amazing songs is standing there in front of you and it's kind of hard to beat.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011 05:38

3 Doors Down gets introspective

Written by Caitlin R. King (AP)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Multi-platinum rock band 3 Doors Down is moving forward by looking back.

"The title of this album really kind of hits it on the head, 'Time of My Life.' It talks about a lot of things that went on in the past," lead singer Brad Arnold said in a recent interview. "But it talks about a lot of more lighthearted things as well, and (there's) a lot of fun songs on this record, too."

The band had a long history to pull from for this effort. Most of them have known each other for more than 20 years, having grown up together in Mississippi and officially forming in 1995. Their debut album, 2000's "The Better Life", featured the song "Kryptonite" and sold six million copies.

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