Mike Dow

Mike Dow

edge staff writer

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It’s never too late to see a dream realized. Grammy-nominated musician Steve Gaspár is living the dream he’s held in his heart for decades and he’s sharing it with a large band of world-class musicians bestowed with an appropriately grand moniker.

The Hollywood Allstars is a 13-piece rock and soul supergroup spearheaded by Gaspár that features the legendary Uptown Horns (Rolling Stones, James Brown, Joe Cocker) along with members from Blood, Sweat & Tears, Tower of Power and the Blues Brothers Band, among others.

The band’s debut EP “Field of Grace” showcases four original songs and a timely cover of a James Brown classic.

In a live setting, The Hollywood Allstars put their own spin on a wide-ranging set of classics featuring the original musicians.

Steve Gaspár has been playing music since he was a toddler. A former Epic/CBS recording artist, the keyboardist and producer has recorded and/or performed with James Brown, B.B. King, and members of KISS and The Rascals but says he’s always gravitated toward the sound of a big band.

“I’ve always loved the sound of a live horn section with a Hammond organ; a big-sounding band like Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Chicago or Tower of Power,” Gaspár enthused during an interview with The Maine Edge.

When it comes to pop songwriting, Colin Hay has been one of the art form’s most consistent deliverers of quality for more than 40 years. Hay’s hits with the Australian formed band Men at Work (including back-to-back U.S. chart-toppers “Who Can It Be Now?” and “Down Under”) were just the beginning of a career that has now extended to 15 solo albums, including his latest, “Now and the Evermore,” reviewed in these pages last spring.

As mentioned in that review, Hay has a gift for turning out memorable and meaningful songs with staying power and melody to spare that work on multiple levels.

“Now and the Evermore” offers further evidence that Hay’s gifts remain in abundance. From the affirming and optimistic “Love is Everywhere” to the Cajun-jump of “A Man Without a Name,” the contemporary shanty “All I See Is You,” and the mysterious “When Does the End Begin?” it’s clear that he is creating some of his finest work now.

Hay was on tour with Men at Work in mid-August when he checked in with The Maine Edge for the following interview which aired on the stations of BIG 104 FM. As you read this, Hay is on the road for his fifth stint as a member of Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band.

Hay’s friendship with Ringo led to an invitation for the former Beatle to appear on “Now and the Evermore,” which Hay says is deeply meaningful for him.

During the interview, Hay shared his love for the state of Maine, citing previous visits to Rockland, Boothbay Harbor and Portland and stating that he always enjoys the opportunity to perform here.

Hay’s newest release is the follow-up to last year’s “I Just Don’t Know What to do With Myself,” an album of cover songs that he associates with pivotal moments from his life.

The Rolling Stones have been the focal point for a number of documentaries dating back to the 1960s, but none have centered on the lives of the band’s individual members quite like Oliver Murray’s four-part docuseries “My Life As a Rolling Stone.”

Commissioned by the BBC and Universal, Murray’s mission was to tell the story of the Stones through four hour-long portraits devoted to the lives of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ron Wood and the late Charlie Watts.

With full access to the band’s archive, Murray juxtaposes newly shot interviews and previously unseen footage with scenes familiar to hardcore fans to highlight the personalities, passions and peculiarities that have kept The Rolling Stones together for 60 years.

Episodes drop Sundays at 9:00 p.m. on Epix and are also available to view through Amazon Prime.

An engaging interview is a highlight of the premiere episode devoted to Mick Jagger’s life. The takeaway: Mick still likes to be in control of virtually every aspect of the Stones’ affairs. He clears up a few misconceptions including the origin of the band’s legendary lips and tongue logo (spoiler alert: It wasn’t based on Jagger’s famous lips) but stops short of accepting any responsibility for the carnage that marred the Stones’ doomed free concert at Altamont speedway in 1969.

The challenge of summarizing 60 years in one hour is evident in what we don’t see and hear in the Jagger episode. As Murray explains in the following interview, time constraints were a constant issue during production.

Murray’s entrance into the world of The Rolling Stones was as director of “The Quiet One,” a 2019 film about Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman. He directed “Ronnie’s,” a 2020 documentary on musician Ronnie Scott and his world-famous London jazz club. Murray is currently working on a feature film about photographer Terry O’Neill.

The following interview aired on the radio stations of BIG 104 FM.

Everyone knows that certain person who can’t help but be funny; that friend who lives to make you laugh. Comedian Annick Adelle says she’s always loved being that person, so much so she turned her life upside down to follow her dream.

Adelle’s stand-up comedy debut “Between Two Worlds” (Blonde Medicine) is just out. It’s a brave, bold and wildly funny in-the-moment set that could never be repeated in quite the same way. She’s a gifted comic with a penchant for improv and audience interaction.

Local production coincides with national rollout of 988 suicide and crisis lifeline

BANGOR – A play dealing with a subject relatable to many people that has been described as uplifting and joyously life-affirming is currently in rehearsals in preparation for its run August 25-28 at Some Theatre Company located inside the Bangor Mall.

Duncan Macmillan’s “Every Brilliant Thing” is an interactive show that speaks openly about depression, mental illness and suicide, the effects it has on those closest to us and the different methods we have for coping, including humor, avoidance, or finding the many small but brilliant things we have to hold onto.

Anniversaries can be a kick in the pants, especially when you do the math.

Can you believe it’s been 41 years since MTV cleared the launchpad? The world’s first 24-hour music video channel flipped the switch on August 1, 1981, initiating a sea change for both music and television.

Nina Blackwood, one of the five original MTV VJs - the personalities we saw introducing the videos and interacting with the artists – says it doesn’t seem possible that it was more than four decades ago.

“For those of us who were actually on the channel and also for people who watched it at the time, it’s incomprehensible to think that it was 41 years ago - it really is,” Blackwood said to The Maine Edge during an interview that aired on BIG 104 FM.

PORTLAND – Music, food, fun and surprises await thousands of Guster fans during the band’s fourth annual “On the Ocean” festival, set for August 12 to August 14 in Portland and Fayette. The destination weekend is scheduled to include two unique concerts in Portland, as well as an intimate day-camp experience hosted by the band.

Guster formed in 1991 after the band members met at Tufts University. They celebrated their 30th anniversary last year with a sold-out concert backed by the Colorado Symphony. The members of Guster include lead singer Ryan Miller, guitarist Adam Gardner, drummer Brian Rosenworcel and bassist and guitarist Luke Reynolds. 

The 2022 edition of Guster’s “On the Ocean” festival will mark the first such event since 2019 due to the pandemic. Previous editions have included a pop-up concert on an island, a set performed on a party boat, comedy, bike trips, a “Guster Storytellers” event and an afternoon of baseball with the Portland Sea Dogs.

Guitarist (and Portland resident) Adam Gardner says his band’s “On the Ocean” festival is as much about Maine as it is the band and its fans.

“On the Ocean is about celebrating everything Maine has to offer in the prime of summer which I think is the best time to be in one of the best places there is,” he said.

I consider it a privilege that part of my job is to seek out new music worthy of your attention. The process is a bit like a treasure hunt that involves a lot of wading through the flotsam but when an undeniable gem surfaces, like Connor Garvey’s “Another End of a Year,” it makes it all worthwhile.

Garvey grew up in South Berwick and calls Portland home these days. Following periods where he lived in Portland, Oregon, Montana and Arizona, Garvey returned to Maine in 2010 and says he feels far more connected to where he lives now than ever.  

Garvey’s voice is an expressive instrument with remarkable range that draws you in with a friendly tone but in turn also sounds like maybe he’s been through some stuff.

During an interview with The Maine Edge, Garvey says “Another End of a Year” was five years in the making but he says the extra time invested ultimately benefited the finished record.

BANGOR – Bangor’s first proper Fourth of July celebration in three years included a concert at the newly renovated Maine Savings Amphitheater where celebrators and musicians alike got what they wanted by helping Maine children fighting cancer get what they need.

“Chords for Cure XXV” was a three-part benefit concert spearheaded by The Stone Doctors, a band of medical professionals that specialize in performing the music of The Rolling Stones. The band only performs for charity and has been performing concerts in aid of Maine children fighting cancer, and for the Montreal Children’s Hospital, since 2007.

“Chords for Cure XXV” was sponsored by Kiwanis International with generous support from Bangor Savings Bank, Darling’s Auto Group and Waterfront Concerts.

From the beginning, blues music has been about feeling, about emotion, about transcending oppression, about righting wrongs and healing hurt through music. For most musicians that closely identify with the blues, it’s an indelible part of their makeup that can’t be denied.

Blues lovers and performers Deborah Bonham and Peter Bullick personify that notion on their self-titled LP, “Bonham-Bullick,” a multi-faceted blues album containing lesser known or obscure titles composed by a number of blues greats and some contemporary artists, including one from Maine.

Bonham and Bullick have been bringing the blues to fans in the U.K. and beyond with their band for more than 25 years. They knew they were destined to be together from the day they met in 1990 at the wedding of mutual friends. Peter supplied his band as a wedding gift and when Deborah got up to sing a song, he says “That was it, really, ever since that night.”

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