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Mike Dow

Mike Dow

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Wednesday, 04 November 2020 12:14

Comedian Jesus Trejo is a standup son

Comedian Jesus Trejo says he spent more than two years fine-tuning material for his first hour-long standup special, “Stay at Home Son,” which debuted earlier this year on Showtime, and is now available on demand.

A native of Long Beach, California, Trejo, 33, is a veteran of “The Late Late Show with James Corden,” “Adam DeVine’s House Party” on Comedy Central, Nuvo TV’s “Stand-up and Deliver” and the TBS sitcom “Sullivan & Son.” He was voted one of Variety Magazine’s “Top 10 Comics to Watch in 2017.”

Family looms large in Trejo’s life, and that includes his time onstage. Much of the material he wrote for “Stay at Home Son” deals with family issues, incidents and observations relating to his parents, a rich source for his comedy as you will discover during the following interview.

A first-generation Mexican-American, Trejo is an only child, and has devoted much of the last few years to caring for his aging parents. Trejo’s journey of juggling standup with caregiving has been chronicled in “Care to Laugh,” a documentary from AARP Studios. The film scored the Best Feature award at the Chicago Film Festival in addition to the Audience Award at the Austin Film Festival, both in 2018. It is also available on demand.

In the summer of 1981, The Outlaws brought their triple guitar attack and three-part harmonies to Lorelei, Germany for an outdoor concert filmed for the music television program Rockpalast, the country’s most enduring rock music program.

Fronted by guitar-slingers Freddie Salem, Hughie Thomasson and Billy Jones, accompanied by the rhythm section of drummer David Dix and bassist Rick Cua, The Outlaws performed a one-hour set that has just seen official release on DVD, CD and digital on-demand.

Each of the early Outlaws classic hits are represented in live versions, including “There Goes Another Love Song,” “Hurry Sundown,” “(Ghost) Riders in the Sky” and a 20-minute set-closing “Green Grass and High Tides.”

Guitarist Freddie Salem, a member of The Outlaws from 1977 to 1983, checked in with The Maine Edge to share his memories of that show and to talk a little Outlaws history. Salem penned the liner notes for the new CD and DVD.

The Mavericks are a band that have always followed their hearts, and that credence has earned them both Grammy Awards and CMAs, but it’s also led frontman Raúl Malo to ask “Do you want to be an artist or do you want to be famous?”

Three decades after issuing their self-titled debut, The Mavericks have managed to check off a bucket list item this year by releasing “En Español,” the group’s first Spanish language/Latin music album.

The record’s five original songs accompany seven Latin tunes – a mix of standards and rarities that Malo says have always been close to his heart. On “En Español,” The Mavericks literally reconnect with their roots on a record the band has wanted to record since reforming in 2011 after seven years apart.

Cuban songs reside comfortably next to songs from Mexico, Columbia and Argentina and blend seamlessly with the new tunes penned or co-written by Malo.

Guest vocalist Lissette Diaz of Cuban band The Sweet Lizzy Project performs with the band on “En Español” and co-wrote some of the new material with Malo.

Malo’s bandmates in The Mavericks include drummer Paul Deakin, guitarist Eddie Perez, and keyboardist Jerry Dale McFadden.

A bounty of previously unheard gems from some of the biggest names in music are seeing the light of day this fall in a variety of archival box set career retrospectives, rarities collections and expanded reissues.

In this unprecedented year without concerts, many artists are looking for ways to continue connecting with fans. A box set covering their career, or an expanded version of a classic album, can be mightily satisfying for the music lover seeking more than just the greatest hits.

35 years after Bob Dylan’s “Biograph” box triggered an industry trend toward multi-disc artist retrospectives, the box set continues to be a sought-after collectible for the music fan who prefers a tangible listening experience in the digital age.

Of course, the audio content included in most box sets is also available in digital form, usually at a considerable savings compared to the price of the physical set. For example the super deluxe version of Prince’s “Sign of the Times” will set you back about $160 as a CD/DVD box. The digital version retails for less than half that.

The website www.Pauseandplay.com has been a leading worldwide source for new music release dates and related information since 1997, offering weekly release schedules for vinyl, CD, digital downloads and reissues, including box sets.

Pauseandplay.com founder and webmaster Gerry Galipault says he believes the Covid-19 pandemic, and its effect on the concert industry, may lead to more record labels, artists and bands giving a closer look at what unreleased goodies could be collecting dust in their archives.

“I would hope so,” Galipault responded during an interview conducted via email. “Look at the success of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumours.’ Some random guy makes a TikTok video of himself longboarding while drinking Ocean Spray cranberry juice and lip-syncing to ‘Dreams.’ It goes viral, and even Stevie Nicks and Mick Fleetwood do videos in response, then ‘Rumours’ climbs back onto the chart and goes top 10 for the first time in 43 years. That shows the power of a classic song and a classic album.”

BANGOR - During a time when many traditional events have been postponed or cancelled by the pandemic, UCP of Maine has confirmed that the 18th edition of Pumpkins in the Park, its annual Halloween-themed fundraiser will take place in digital form for one week, beginning Friday, October 23, according to Andrew Lohman, marketing and communications manager for the social services organization.

The 2020 digital version of Pumpkins in the Park is scheduled to include a scavenger hunt, a costume contest and opportunities to show off art and pumpkin carving skills, all utilizing UCP of Maine’s Facebook page, facebook.com/ucpofmaine, and the Pumpkins in the Park event page, also on Facebook.

Six-time Emmy award and Golden Globe award winning actor Alan Alda knows a thing or two about effective communication. For the past two years, he’s hosted “Clear & Vivid with Alan Alda,” a weekly podcast about how we can become better communicators with one another, featuring Alda’s conversations with icons of popular culture, including Paul McCartney, Tom Hanks, some of his former M*A*S*H castmates and more than a hundred others.

Next month, Alda will introduce a spin-off series called “Science Clear & Vivid” that brings clarity to the groundbreaking work of some of the planet’s top scientists.

In December, Alda will launch “Soldiers of Science,” a series he co-wrote for Audible about doctors during the Vietnam War era who changed the face of medical research forever.

I recently had the opportunity to interview Alan Alda about his podcast work, and once I heard his unmistakable voice on the other end of the phone, I envisioned him calling from Crabapple Cove, Maine – birthplace of Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce – with a very dry martini in hand.

When guitar great Eddie Van Halen died last week, after the musician’s two-decade cancer battle, the world lost a tireless ‘mad genius,’ according to photographer and filmmaker Andrew Bennett, who lived with the guitarist in 2006 and 2007.

Bennett’s self-published coffee table book of photographs and text chronicling many of his adventures in and out of the studio with Van Halen, “Eruption in the Canyon: 212 Days and Nights with the Genius of Eddie Van Halen,” was released earlier this year.

The interview with Bennett for this story aired on BIG 104 FM in April of this year.

One of the people responsible for helping launch Van Halen’s career says he is crushed that we will never again see a Van Halen live concert, following the death, at 65, of the band’s legendary guitarist, Eddie Van Halen.

In March 1978, 22-year-old Detroit-born Fred Meyers began a new position for Warner Bros. Records promoting the label’s artists to rock radio after four years of toughing it out as a lowly record company warehouse guy.

“They gave me the job,” he says, “because they were tired of seeing me interview for it.”

Meyers says it was a life-altering dream job, especially when he considers his very first assignment of promoting the now-classic debut album from Van Halen.

When I spoke with Meyers the day after the death of Eddie Van Halen, he was nearly in tears as he spoke about the virtuosic guitarist known for his outrageous and groundbreaking fiery fretwork, and remembered by Meyers as a shy and sensitive figure who often skipped aftershow parties to practice guitar in his hotel room.

The latest book from Maine author Earl Brechlin, “Wild! Weird! Wonderful! Maine,” (Islandport Press, $16.95) is an endlessly entertaining and resourceful read, especially for us local folk.

With its coverage of more than 300 subjects and equal space assigned to virtually every region of the state, Brechlin’s book reaches beyond the conspicuous entries we’d expect to find in a Maine-related tome to encompass most everything that makes Maine the historic, magical and mythical place we call home.

Brechlin’s fascination with Maine started, he says, when he arrived in Bar Harbor to work one summer 40 years ago, adding “I fell in love with the place and never left.”

A longtime Maine journalist, Brechlin was editor of the Bar Harbor Times for nearly two decades and later became founding editor of the Mount Desert Islander in 2001.

A registered Maine Guide, Brechlin is now communications director for the conservation group Friends of Acadia.

“Wild! Weird! Wonderful! Maine” is Brechlin’s ninth book related to the state.

The playing field for new music titles has become pretty crowded this fall as many artists elected to postpone albums that were expected in the spring and summer. Here’s a sampling of what’s out, what’s coming, what’s hot and what’s not in new music.

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