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Mike Dow

Mike Dow

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BANGOR – Pumpkins in the Park, a fun Halloween-themed fundraiser for UCP of Maine, will return with a 19th edition, beginning October 22, and will include an extra day, according to the social services organization.

The 2021 edition of Pumpkins in the Park will be a virtual edition, like last year, according to Andrew Lohman, marketing and communications manager for UCP of Maine. Citing continuing uncertainty connected to the pandemic, Lohman said the event will be conducted online with participants being encouraged to share photos each day on their social media pages while tagging UCP of Maine.

“We’re asking folks to use the hashtag #PumpkinsInThePark and #UCPofMaine when they post photos connected to the events going on each day,” Lohman said.

One of the best power pop albums of the year has just been released by a rock and roll MVP you’ve heard many times, although you might not have known it.

“Kasim 2021” is the fourth solo album from Kasim Sulton, longtime Todd Rundgren collaborator, bassist and singer for Utopia, and on projects for Hall & Oates, Scandal, Joan Jett, Blue Oyster Cult, and over 50 more. Sulton’s musicianship and vocals were an integral part of Meat Loaf’s 50 million-selling “Bat Out of Hell” and its chart-topping sequel.

“Kasim 2021” could be one of the most uplifting records you hear this year, with its buoyant melodies, positive message and musical hooks that lend it an instant likability. The strong song craftsmanship comes from Sulton and collaborator Phil Thornalley (The Cure, Natalie Imbruglia, Bryan Adams), whom the artist credits with giving him the kick he needed to start a solo record.

The heart of Texas guitar legend Jimmie Vaughan has never strayed far from the blues that first grabbed him as a teenager in the 1960s. He jumped in headfirst without a backup plan starting in Dallas before moving onto Austin where he cofounded The Fabulous Thunderbirds and helped initiate a national blues revival that endured through the 1980s. With his solo career, now in its fourth decade, Vaughan took charge on a series of acclaimed albums where his signature attack, tone, and less is more approach to soloing is as instantly identifiable as his lead vocals.

U.K. label The Last Music Company has distilled the best of Jimmie Vaughan’s recorded legacy into “The Jimmie Vaughan Story,” a 5-CD anthology filled with highlights from every era of his career, including collaborations with his late brother, Stevie Ray, and a who’s who in rock and blues. Included are a number of unreleased recordings from Vaughan’s personal archive, as well as a 240-page fully illustrated hardcover book containing his self-penned story.

When two-time Grammy-nominated musician Tim Reynolds received a call from a Maine record label about possibly issuing a benefit single, he didn’t hesitate to offer up a tune to aid folks in his adopted hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia. According to Will Bradford, co-founder of Portland-based CommunityZ RecordZ, proceeds from Reynolds’ song will help underprivileged people in the town where the Dave Matthews Band was formed.

The label has released Reynolds’ song “Guardian Angels,” a percolating acoustic instrumental featuring drums and percussion by Nikki Glaspie (Beyonce, Maceo Parker), available exclusively for the time being at www.CommunityZRecordZ.com

The multi-instrumentalist and guitarist for the Dave Matthews Band saw this opportunity as a chance to make a difference for non-profit group PHAR (Charlottesville Public Housing Association of Residents). The association advocates for and with public housing residents, according to their website.

Throughout the Covid pandemic, small venues specializing in live music have been hit especially hard. Many of these venues are where up and coming artists first find an audience, but tragically too many of them around the country are holding on by a shoestring if they haven’t already been shuttered. The nonprofit philanthropic organization Live Music Society has announced a third round of grants to be awarded this fall to small music venues (maximum capacity of 300) across the U.S. to help them hold on and hopefully regain their footing.

Since it came into existence in 2020, Live Music Society (LMS) has been committed to preventing the demise of the small music venue sector by issuing a series of grants. $1.2 Million has been distributed to date to 36 grantees according to LMS Executive Director, Cat Henry, who says the impact of losing small music venues would have a knock-on effect to the industry as a whole.

Rocker Steven Van Zandt has led a rich and multi-faceted career over the last five decades. The longtime guitarist and singer for Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band tells The Maine Edge his life has been so broad and varied in scope that when he sat down to write his new memoir “Unrequited Infatuations” (Hachette Books), he was surprised to discover more than a few things about himself.

How do you deliver a story about a kid obsessed with rock and roll, first as a fan and observer, and then as an active participant in some of its greatest moments? It had to include his life as an anti-apartheid activist, starting in the mid-1980s, and his surprise turn as an actor, beginning with his role as the tough, funny and cool-headed Silvio Dante on 78 episodes of “The Sopranos.”

Van Zandt struck upon the obvious solution when he told his publisher that he would write the book in his voice. If you’ve heard his colorful rock-noir delivery on the radio, you know the voice. The story he tells in that voice is spellbinding, and throughout the book’s voluminous twists and turns, Van Zandt lays it out in often revelatory detail.

BANGOR – The 28th annual edition of Paws on Parade, Bangor Humane Society’s largest annual fundraiser, promises to be extra groovy this year in both theme and venue. The fun dog walk, which traditionally draws hundreds of supporters and their beloved pets, will be held at a new location, Husson University, 1 College Circle in Bangor, on Saturday, October 2, beginning at 9:00 a.m.

Paws on Parade’s primary sponsors are Cross Insurance, Darling’s VW and Veazie Veterinary Clinic.

This year’s event will be the first in-person edition of Paws on Parade since 2019. Because of the pandemic, a virtual version was held last year. To represent the community coming together once again under a common cause, Bangor Humane Society has selected “Woofstock” as a theme, a reference to the iconic Woodstock music festival.

It’s almost impossible to predict the next move by progressive rock legend Rick Wakeman. The keyboardist, songwriter, radio and TV host, producer, author and actor has become almost as well known in his native U.K. for his comedic exploits, and that trademark wit was at full throttle during an interview with The Maine Edge. 

Wakeman’s virtuosic keyboard skills graced classic albums by the band YES, along with iconic songs by David Bowie, Elton John, Cat Stevens, T. Rex, and Al Stewart, among others. His solo output is astonishing in breadth and volume, comprising dozens of entries. Wakeman’s gold-selling concept albums include “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” and “The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.”

His sold-out 2019 “The Grumpy Old Rock Star Tour,” a mix of solo piano performance and humorous stories, provided a spellbinding evening for anyone lucky enough to score a ticket. Wakeman says he’s keen to return to America next month to take that concept to the next level with the “Even Grumpier Old Rock Star Tour,” telling The Maine Edge, “I’m calling it that because it was postponed four times. By the time you see me next month, it will be called “The Unbelievably Grumpier Old Rock Star Tour.”

That tour is scheduled to begin October 13 in Natick, MA, followed by dates in Derry, NH, Northampton, MA, New London, CT, and Fall River, MA. You can find the complete schedule at www.RWCC.com.

One of the stars of “The Office” says she accepted an invitation to be part of season 30 of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” in the hope viewers might come to know the real Melora Hardin. Hardin is best known as Jan Levinson, the boss both loved and feared by Steve Carell’s Michael Scott, and for her roles on “Monk,” “Transparent” and “The Bold Type.”

Hardin tells The Maine Edge she’s ready to go for the mirror ball trophy on the dance competition series. The show’s 30th season premiered live Monday, September 20, and is scheduled to air new episodes each Monday at 8 p.m.

When the band Tesla took the stage in Roanoke, Virginia, last week, it was a moment that guitarist and founding member Frank Hannon says he won’t forget. August was supposed to be go-time for Tesla’s “Let’s Get Real!” tour when Covid struck each member of the band, setting the trek back more than a month. Now healthy, and with an attitude of gratitude, Hannon says Tesla is recharged and ready to rock.

Hannon, along with bassist and band co-founder Brian Wheat, lead singer Jeff Keith, drummer Troy Luccketta and guitarist Dave Rude, plan to do just that on September 23 when the “Let’s Get Real” tour arrives at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, Massachusetts, with southern rock legends Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Four decades after the earliest incarnation of Tesla first got together in Sacramento, California, Hannon says he’s most proud that Tesla’s songs that have withstood the test of time. “To see people respond to our songs 35 years later, because the music makes them feel good, that is a feat,” Hannon said, adding “Songwriting is the most important part of what we do.”

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