Mike Dow

Mike Dow

edge staff writer

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The genre-busting musical Maine institution known as Rustic Overtones has just released their most heartfelt and meaningful record. The LP represents the first new music from the band since the sudden passing of band leader and trombonist Dave Noyes last March at age 45.

A beloved figure on the New England music scene, Noyes joined Rustic Overtones in the mid-1990s. He was also a husband and a father to two boys, one of whom was born after his death.

The 14-track “Self Titled” is different to anything we’ve heard from Rustic Overtones to date, thanks to Noyes’s original vision for the record, and the commitment of his band mates to see the project through.

Sunday, 01 December 2019 13:46

Tom Rush to perform at One Longfellow Square

Legendary folk singer and guitarist Tom Rush is scheduled to take the stage at Portland’s One Longfellow Square with multi-instrumentalist Matt Nakoa on Wednesday, Dec. 4, at 8:00 pm. The artist says he’s looking forward to connecting with fans in the smallest room that he plays.

“It’s fun to be in a room where you can really see the people you’re playing for,” Rush told The Maine Edge. “It feels like you’re carrying on a conversation.”

Some of the finest of all psychedelic rock originated not in the hippie-trippy 1960s, and not in San Francisco or London, but in the 1980s era of big hair and bright neon, in the town of Swindon, England, when the band XTC, with producer John Leckie, metamorphosed into The Dukes of Stratosphear for two outrageously fun albums.

The entire output by XTC as The Dukes of Stratosphear has just been released as “Psurroundabout Ride” - the latest installment of XTC’s ongoing series of reissues, remixed and produced by Steven Wilson.

The two-disc set includes a CD with a 2019 stereo mix and a Blu-ray disc containing Wilson’s wild new surround-sound mix in 5.1 audio, as well as the bonus equivalent of a boxed set’s worth of alternate listening options.

Maine musician Riff Johnson has called upon the services of more than a dozen likeminded friends to come together in aid of Sarah’s House of Maine, in a special concert scheduled for Wednesday, December 11, at the Gracie Theatre, at Husson University in Bangor.

The concert, dubbed “Your Riff Johnson Christmas Experience” is sponsored by Mark Braveman of Mark’s Music, The Burning Moose vape shop and Braveman Audio.

Some of the best musical moments of my life have been experienced within the ornate surroundings of the historic State Theatre on Congress St. in Portland. The iconic venue celebrates its 90th anniversary this month.

When the State Theatre debuted on November 8, 1929 (literally days after the stock market crash that launched the Great Depression), its bronze doors opened for a screening of “The Trespasser” - the first “talkie” for silent film star Gloria Swanson.

In the intervening decades, the State Theatre stage has served numerous functions, including a first-run movie house, a venue for vaudeville shows and plays, cartoons, radio quiz shows, and until 1990, an adult film theater.

In 2010, after lying dormant for several years, the State Theatre was restored to its former glory with a $1.5 million investment and has become one of Maine’s busiest concert venues. With 1,900 seats, it’s large enough to draw legends and small enough to offer great views from every vantage point.

I remember catching Bob Dylan at the State when he was in the mood to play songs by the Grateful Dead in 1996 and watching Ray Davies of The Kinks deliver an unforgettable “Storytellers” show from the first row in 2001. I somehow managed to be up front again for the Trey Anastasio Band in 2011 and was also present earlier this year when the Phish guitarist purposely chose the State Theatre to launch his stunning Ghosts of the Forest project.

One of my first stories for The Maine Edge was a review of a State Theatre solo show by Jeff Tweedy of Wilco.

Tweedy brought Wilco to the State Theatre in 2018 when the band could have filled a much larger venue. Why? Because the State is gorgeous, the acoustics are excellent and it’s operated by people like Lauren Wayne, the venue’s general manager and talent buyer, who are dedicated to providing the greatest of concert experiences for fans and artists alike.

A rare opportunity to catch the leader of influential genre-defying band SeepeopleS in an intimate acoustic setting is scheduled for Friday, November 29, when Will Bradford performs a free show at Black Bear Brewery, 191 Exchange St. in Bangor.

Bradford says he loves performing in Bangor, where he grew up from the mid-1980s to the early ‘90s.

“I like to think that I lived in Bangor long enough to qualify as a local,” Bradford said with a laugh while his band took a break during the Boston recording sessions for its next record, “Field Guide For Survival in This Dying World,” due in 2020. It will be the first new SeepeopleS’ music since 2015’s 25-track double album “Dead Souls Sessions”

In what promises to be an evening full of hits, Pink Houses will perform the music of John Mellencamp live at Seasons Downunder Club, Main. St. in Bangor, on Saturday, Nov. 30, at 9 p.m.

A four-piece band from southern Maine, Pink Houses formed earlier this year after guitarist and singer Doug Hoyt gave some thought to an idea posed by his wife and some of their friends.

Hoyt has led a number of bands over the last 30 years, and many of them have performed a mix of his original music and some well-chosen cover songs. A committed lifelong fan of British and American rock and roll, Hoyt says The Who will always be his favorite band of all, but that the music of John Mellencamp has always resonated with him.

It’s been 25 years since Kenny Wayne Shepherd stepped into a recording studio, giddy with anticipation over the sessions that would become his platinum-selling debut record “Ledbetter Heights.” Barely 17 years old at the time, the Shreveport, Louisiana guitar-slinger had been labeled heir apparent to the blues-rock throne, or alternately, simply “The Kid,” for years. Keenly aware that an army of brow-furrowing blues purists were prepared to pounce upon anything they perceived as inauthentic, Shepherd opted to let his fingers do the talking.

After nine albums (including seven #1 blues records), many hundreds of performances, world tours, five Grammy nominations, Blues Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards and stages and studios shared with his heroes, Shepherd long ago ceased the need to prove his worth to others, but he says he’ll never stop trying to create the best music he’s ever made.

Santa’s gonna need a bigger sack. Fans of classic rock have a wealth of new material to wade through with this season’s explosion of exhaustive vault clearing box sets, either in stores now or on the docket for release over the next several weeks.

Among the sets already out: Sweeping multidisc collections from the Steve Miller Band (“Welcome to the Vault”), The Doors (“The Soft Parade 50th”), The Kinks (“Arthur”) and the latest edition of Bob Dylan’s ongoing “Bootleg Series,” with more to come through mid-December.

The gatecrashing escapades of former Los Angeles Times reporter Adrian Maher should earn props from the most tenacious of paparazzi. Pulling from 25 years of personal experience, interviews and anecdotes, Maher’s new book “Uninvited: Confessions of a Hollywood Party Crasher” is a hilarious chronicle of the reporter’s various adrenaline-fueled capers as part of a select group of dauntless Tinseltown interlopers.

A freelance journalist for UPI, Newsweek, Time and the L.A. Weekly, Maher has also written, directed and produced dozens of programs for Discovery, History, National Geographic, and others. I interviewed him from his home in Santa Monica, California for this Maine Edge profile of ‘Uninvited.’

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