Mike Dow

Mike Dow

edge staff writer

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According to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame president and CEO, Greg Harris, the 35th class to be inducted into the hall could be its most diverse yet.

The 2020 class of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was announced on January 15 and includes a classic California band, a hip-hop artist, an industrial rock band, a British synth-pop group, a glam-rock band and a vocal icon.

The new artists who will be inducted into the rock hall during ceremonies scheduled to take place in Cleveland on May 2 are The Doobie Brothers, Depeche Mode, Whitney Houston, Nine Inch Nails, The Notorious B.I.G. and T-Rex.

Jon Landau, the music journalist who passionately opined in a 1974 concert review: “I saw rock and roll future, and its name is Bruce Springsteen,” and who later became Springsteen’s manager and producer, will be a recipient of the hall’s Ahmet Ertegun Award, named after the legendary late cofounder and president of Atlantic Records. Entertainment executive Irving Azoff will also be inducted this year as an Ahmet Ertegun Award winner.

Just after The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its 2020 class of inductees, I spoke with rock hall CEO Greg Harris to gauge his reaction to the list of inductees, one that came as a surprise to many fans of Dave Matthews and Pat Benatar, the top two artists from the hall’s online fan vote, both of whom were shut out this year. Harris says the rock hall values the fan vote component but that the final vote is weighted more toward an election by the artists’ peers.

Maine radio listeners have a wide variety of options on Saturday night, but for a significant number of them, there is only one show and one voice - “The Original Country Gold” with Rowdy Yates.

The syndicated classic country hits request show airs on WQCB Q-106.5 from 7:00 p.m. to midnight each Saturday and has become a destination program for countless listeners in the car, those sitting around a campfire with friends and listeners at home who like to get a little Rowdy every weekend.

So how is it that a radio program that originates in the Lone Star State, and airs on 120 radio stations around the nation, has become so closely linked to the lifestyles of listeners in Maine? Q-106.5 program director Scott Miller has a few theories.

Miller’s radio career began in Canada and has taken him from town to town, up and down the dial, to markets small and large, including stations in Toronto, Chicago and Detroit. He believes “The Original Country Gold” with Rowdy Yates connects so well to Maine listeners because Rowdy is practically one of us.

“Even though Rowdy is a Texan, he lives the lifestyle of a Mainer,” said Miller. “All of his personal appearances here have been huge. He’s a very likable guy in person and on the radio. It’s the state of Maine – Saturday night, fire pits and Rowdy Yates.”

And that is very much a both-directions affection, as he made crystal clear during an in-depth interview, Maine and its people are very dear to Rowdy and his wife, Kim.

Comedian, writer and TV host Michelle Wolf dissects gender differences, claims that women are way grosser than men, and suggests society become ‘a little less woke’ in her new Netflix comedy special, “Michelle Wolf: Joke Show.”

Perhaps best known as the controversial host of the 2018 White House Correspondent’s Dinner, in which she skewered both the president and the media, Wolf has been a writing supervisor on NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” a contributing writer to Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” and later host of the Netflix talk show “The Break with Michelle Wolf.”

Wolf checked in with The Maine Edge to discuss “Joke Show” and some of its buzzworthy moments.

The purity of singer Emilia Dahlin’s voice, combined with the poetry of her lyricism, draws you in to fully appreciate everything happening around them on her sextet’s new CD, titled “…Green Things to Grow,” the Portland-based musician’s first release in more than a decade. The ambitious project was recorded live during a one-night only community event held on Portland’s Fore River in October 2018.

Dahlin and her sextet plan to celebrate the release of the album with two live performances on Saturday, January 18, at Portland’s Space Gallery.

Actress Andrea Barber says shooting the final episodes of Netflix’s “Full House” revival “Fuller House” was bittersweet but that she will cherish her years on both incarnations of the family sitcom. Nine episodes from the show’s fifth and final season are streaming now on Netflix with the remaining shows due later this year.

Barber writes candidly about her time on both series and goes deep into her private life too in the new memoir “Full Circle: From Hollywood to Real Life and Back” (Citadel Books), in which she reveals her deeply personal struggle with postpartum depression and anxiety, her subsequent journey back to health and re-entry into show business.

In an interview with The Maine Edge, Barber says that one of the most enjoyable periods of her life arrived after the original “Full House” wrapped in 1995, when she was able to live a “non-celebrity life for about 20 years,” saying “It fit my personality very well.”

Iconic Canadian hard rock power trio Triumph shocked hundreds of the band’s biggest fans a few weeks ago when they took the stage for a surprise three-song set during an invitation-only fan event in Toronto which was filmed for a band documentary due later this year. It was the group’s first live performance in more than a decade.

Known for virtuosic musicianship which produced a unique hybrid of progressive rock, hard rock, pop and classical music, Triumph formed in Toronto in 1975 and first saw success at home before breaking through in America in the late ‘70s.

The band’s hits – including “Hold On,” “Somebody’s Out There,” “Lay It On The Line” and “Magic Power” – and their albums, including “Just a Game,” “Allied Forces” and “Never Surrender,” have collectively earned 19 gold and platinum record awards in the U.S. and Canada for Triumph.

The beginning of the year is traditionally a quiet period for new music but 2020’s first quarter release list features some eagerly awaited titles in pop, rock, blues and country.

Monday, 06 January 2020 14:01

James Montgomery Blues Band to hit Portland

Blues legend James Montgomery is set for a return to one of his favorite venues, when the James Montgomery Blues Band performs at One Longfellow Square in Portland on Friday, January 10.

“It’s a great listening room,” Montgomery told The Maine Edge during an interview. “They do a lot of dancing there too, but you won’t find a better venue for listening than One Longfellow Square.”

We know Cedric the Entertainer from his current CBS sitcom “The Neighborhood” and from movies like “Barbershop,” “Johnson Family Vacation” and “The Original Kings of Comedy” but until now, most of us didn’t know he could really sing.

Cedric makes his singing debut in a duet with British singing sensation Sonna on “Walking in a Winter Wonderland,” the lead track from his new album “Cedric the Entertainer & Silas White Present a Powerhouse Christmas.”

The album features a number of special guests, including Grammy-nominated MAJOR., jazz’s Dave Koz, country trio Auburn Road and Rascal Flatts lead singer Gary LeVox. It’s available now in music stores and all digital platforms.

Sonna’s 2015 hit “Strong” from the soundtrack to Disney’s “Cinderella” sold in the millions, and she is readying her next release, due on Valentine’s Day 2020.

Cedric and Sonna checked in with The Maine Edge for a dual interview about their careers and their Christmas collaboration.

It’s Hanukkah time, and with it comes the lighting of the candles, the abundant food, the fun gatherings and the celebratory music.

Funny thing about those Hanukkah songs: Christmas has had a corner on the holiday music market for decades. Where are the fun, rocking Hanukkah songs? The members of The LeeVees asked that question a few years back and decided to do something about it.

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