Admin
Mike Dow

Mike Dow

edge staff writer

Website URL:

Since the release of “Here I Go,” the 2015 debut album by Joel Thetford, the Portland-based Texas native has become a leading voice in New England’s alt-country/Americana scene with his songs that are deeply personal yet widely relatable.

Thetford was in the midst of recording a fourth record with his band last fall when they were called upon to open a show for Sarah Shook and the Disarmers at one of Thetford’s favorite venues. The set they performed that night is now available in its entirety on “Joel Thetford Band: Live at Port City Music Hall,” and its release will benefit local musicians currently unable to perform due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Half of the proceeds from the sale of Thetford’s live album will go to Creative Portland’s Artists Relief Fund, a charity organized by the city’s official nonprofit art agency. The fund will make available $500 stipends for local artists to help them make ends meet until they are able to perform again.

“It’s scary for a lot of people right now,” Thetford said during an interview with The Maine Edge. “Many of them are waking up today to no money and no food.”

Recorded on November 17, 2019, “Joel Thetford Band: Live at Port City Music Hall” documents the band’s complete set with new versions of songs from Thetford’s previous albums, plus an opening cover of “If You Don’t Mind,” a song by Alec Gross that Thetford says he has long wanted to perform with his band.

Jeff Beam had big plans for the month of April. The Portland-based musician, referred to by Rolling Stone magazine as a “psychedelic trailblazer,” had an important new record ready to drop mid-month, (his first on vinyl) accompanied by a tour of the U.S. and Canada and an extensive PR campaign to help spread the word. For obvious reasons the tour has been scuttled, but Beam’s record arrived on schedule last week, and it landed in a much different world than its creator envisioned.

Jeff Beam was interviewed for this story on March 11, shortly before life changed for all of us. Since that day, Beam says he’s left his house only two or three times. In a press release accompanying his new record, Beam says “It is unquestionably the best batch of songs I’ve ever released…It’s about transmuting negativity in positivity, being on the outside looking in, death, despair and desperation, but also truly seeing the light through the fear and chaos. I really believe it’s an album for the times we’re living through.”

The 40th edition of the Golden Raspberry Awards (or “Razzies”) was halted last Saturday night in Los Angeles due to city wide COVID-19 restrictions. The annual event, designed to jeer Hollywood’s biggest misfires, was due to take place at the Barnsdall Theatre but has either been postponed or cancelled, according to a statement issued by event co-founder John Wilson.

During an interview with The Maine Edge conducted a few days before the postponement/cancellation of this year’s ceremony, Wilson was in rare form as he discussed some of the nominees in line for a good-natured skewering this year, including “Cats,” “A Madea Family Funeral,” and “Rambo: Last Blood,” all tied for the most nominations with eight each.

It’s been 30 years since James “Murr” Murray, Joe Gatto, Brian Quinn and Salvatore Vulcano came together as high school friends. They went from making each other laugh in an endless series of practical jokes to TruTV’s top-rated series “Impractical Jokers” in 2011.

After more than 200 episodes, the foursome has taken their hidden camera reality show to the cinema with “Impractical Jokers: The Movie” where they compete in a series of challenges for the opportunity for three of them to redeem themselves for a horrifying incident from their high school days. The movie is currently screening in 1,775 theaters, including Orono’s Spotlight Cinemas.

I had the opportunity to speak with “Murr” and Joe Gatto about how they adapted their TV show for the big screen, and to find out how they managed to pull off some of their most outlandish pranks yet. In true “Impractical Jokers” fashion, the joke is always on them.

Wednesday, 11 March 2020 13:09

Out now (and coming soon) in music

Don’t let anyone try to convince you that good music is a thing of the past. Some of these new titles in soul, rock, blues and alt-country are destined to put a little spring in your step, out now and coming soon.

Southern rock legends The Outlaws have just released “Dixie Highway,” the band’s first album of new material since 2012, and the good news for fans is that it’s a corker.

Led by co-founding members Henry Paul on guitar and vocals and Monte Yoho on drums, the band has conjured 11 new tracks that Paul says were crafted the way they’ve always done it: together as a band of brothers.

“Dixie Highway” was released through SPV/Steamhammer on CD, double-LP, digital download, and digital stream.

For nearly five decades, The Outlaws have been one of southern rock’s few standard bearers. Their triple-guitar attack, combined with intricately arranged three part vocal harmonies, and an ability to write and record enduring songs that have spanned generations, has secured the band’s position in the pantheon of greats that includes peers The Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Marshall Tucker Band and the Charlie Daniels Band.

Grammy-nominated country artist Martina McBride says she is excited to bring her “Livin’ Life Up” tour to Collins Center for the Arts in Orono on Saturday, March 14, at 7 p.m.

The singer tells The Maine Edge that the name of her tour reflects her vision for 2020 of spreading positivity and bringing light into the world.

With more than 18 million albums sold to date, McBride has placed 20 songs in the top 10 – and six at the No. 1 spot – on the Billboard charts. She has been honored with 15 major music awards, including four wins from the Country Music Association and three Academy of Country Music awards for female vocalist of the year.

With nearly 40 hit singles to her credit, including “Independence Day,” “My Baby Loves Me,” “This One’s For the Girls,” “Wild Angels” and “A Broken Wing,” McBride says it’s a challenge to design a setlist, which she was working on when she called for the following interview. She joked that it’s a good problem to have when you have so many hits that fans want to hear.

McBride personally selects all of the opening artists for her tour; that includes singer-songwriter Hannah Ellis, who will open the Orono show. Rolling Stone has named Ellis an “artist to watch” while CMT named her one of the “Next Women of Country.”

TV comedy writer Bill Oakley knows a thing or two about fast food. Best known for his work on The Simpsons during the show’s 1990s golden era, Oakley’s classic “steamed hams” sequence, involving show characters Principal Skinner and Superintendent Chalmers, was a highlight of the 1996 envelope-pushing episode “22 Short Films About Springfield” and has been the subject of countless internet memes in recent years.

Oakley says his favorite hobby is reviewing new fast food and snack items for his Instagram feed and has just announced his picks for the best and worst fast food items of the past year in his latest edition of the Steamie Awards.

National Geographic Channel’s hit series “Wicked Tuna” returned this week, with new episodes airing Sundays at 9 p.m. The show’s ninth season features faces familiar to regular viewers, along with some new competitors, including two Maine fishermen from Saco.

Filmed on location in and around Gloucester, Massachusetts, “Wicked Tuna” follows groups of fishermen in pursuit of elusive and lucrative Atlantic bluefin tuna. The competition and drama can become fierce as teams attempt to out-fish each other in hopes of hooking the ultimate payday.

Wednesday, 26 February 2020 13:04

Nik Wallenda set for volcano tightrope walk

High-wire artist Nik Wallenda says he may not be able to top his next feat: An 1,800-foot tightrope walk over Masaya Volcano - an active lava and sulfur-spewing volcano in Nicaragua. On March 4 at 8 p.m., ABC plans to air “Volcano Live! With Nik Wallenda,” a two-hour event culminating in Wallenda’s longest, highest and most challenging tightrope walk to date.

The seventh generation of The Great Wallendas (and Flying Wallendas) family aerial troupe of high-wire artists, Nik Wallenda holds 11 Guinness World Records, and is the first person to walk a tightrope across Niagara Falls and the first to cross a Grand Canyon gorge. Last June, Wallenda became the first person to cross New York City’s Times Square on a tightrope strung 25 stories above the streets, during a performance with his sister Lijana.

During a 2011 joint tightrope walk with his mother Delilah, Wallenda successfully navigated a wire strung between the twin towers of the Condado Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico – a 121-foot high walk that took the life of his great-grandfather Karl Wallenda during an attempt in March of 1978.

As Nik revealed during the following interview with The Maine Edge, he lives each day by the words of his great-grandfather: “Life is on the wire, and everything else is just waiting.”

Wallenda’s training regimen for his upcoming walk across the Masaya Volcano has been fraught with new challenges being discovered on a daily basis, he says, while apologizing if he sounds tired during the interview. A newly discovered challenge kept him awake for most of the night before, as he explains.

<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>
Page 1 of 63

Advertisements

The Maine Edge. All rights reserved. Privacy policy. Terms & Conditions.

Website CMS and Development by Links Online Marketing, LLC, Bangor Maine