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Mike Dow

Mike Dow

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Legendary keyboardist, composer, comedian, TV and radio host, and author Rick Wakeman has never done anything half-baked.

His five tenures with the band Yes helped elevate the progressive rock torchbearers into the pantheon of greats beginning with the album “Fragile” in 1971. Wakeman’s contributions to the music of other artists has had a similar impact, including David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” and “Hunky Dory” LP, and songs by Cat Stevens, T-Rex, Elton John, Lou Reed and Al Stewart.

The solo career of Rick Wakeman is deep with scores of titles and liberally peppered with high-water marks, including concept albums about the wives of Henry VIII, King Arthur and Jules Verne’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth” that sold in the millions on both sides of the Atlantic. He’s still doing it today with his piano-based theme albums – all of which vaulted into the U.K. top 10 upon release, with his just-completed “Christmas Portraits” due to follow suit in late November.

Wakeman is set to bring his first solo trek of America in 13 years to New England this week when his “Grumpy Old Rock Star” tour arrives at Tupelo Music Hall in Derry, New Hampshire, on Sunday, September 22, to be followed by a show at Boston’s The Wilbur on Monday, September 23. Before heading to the west coast, Wakeman will include a show at the Ridgefield Playhouse in Ridgefield, Connecticut on October 13.

Joel Thetford Band and special guest Caroline Cotter to play BAE ballroom Sept. 21

BANGOR - Two distinctly original voices in Americana, alt-country and folk will perform Saturday, September 21, in the ballroom of Bangor Arts Exchange at 193 Exchange St. in Bangor. The Joel Thetford Band with special guest Caroline Cotter will take the stage at 8:00 p.m. as part of the New Nashville North Concert Series.

BANGOR - One of the most fun (and furriest) annual events in the area is coming up on Saturday, September 28. The Bangor Humane Society hosts the 26th edition of “Paws on Parade,” the animal rescue organization’s biggest fundraiser of the year, on the Bangor waterfront.

The theme for this year’s edition of “Paws on Parade” is “Bark to the Future,” which celebrates how far Bangor Humane Society has come in their 150-year history of rescuing homeless animals and placing them in loving homes, according to Stacey Coventry, BHS director of development and public relations.

One of Maine’s longest-serving bands is scheduled to perform at Connolly’s Irish pub and restaurant in New York City’s Time Square on Saturday, September 14, when Bangor’s Dakota performs as part of a 1980’s-themed show, according to the band’s lead vocalist, Vinny Cormier.

Grammy-winning rocker Rick Springfield brought his band to Maine last Friday for a show at Savage Oakes Vineyard and Winery – a 200-year-old solar-powered family farm and winery in Union that has become a choice concert destination for a variety of national touring acts.

Not long before Springfield was due to take the stage, he checked in with my morning show on BIG 104 FM (104.7, 104.3, 107.7) to discuss a variety of subjects, including his life in music, his newly released 17th studio album (“Orchestrating My Life”) which features some of his best known songs re-recorded with both a band and orchestra, his role as Noah Drake on TV’s General Hospital, living with the depression he’s battled for most of his life, and people with “good hearts” like the kind he finds in Maine.

Fifty years after their debut on Columbia Records, the current incarnation of NRBQ (the original uncategorizable band) has prepared an astonishingly tasty live album compiled from two recent radio performances.

On Sept. 6, Omnivore Recordings will release “Turn On, Tune In” – a 21-song collection comprised of a 2015 live session for Sirius/XM’s The Loft and a 2017 concert from WFMU-FM’s Monty Hall performance space in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Domino’s Pizza delivery driver Joey Grundl says a lot of people have called him a hero in the wake of an incident nearly a year ago that the Kiel, Wisconsin man says he’ll never forget. The story has recently popped up again in a series of viral social media posts.

Grundl, 25, says he was making what he thought would be a routine pizza delivery to a residence in Waldo, Wisconsin when the incident occurred last fall.

When the Paramount Network gave the green light to its first scripted series “Yellowstone” in 2017, the show scored impressive numbers and a devoted fanbase beginning with the first episode.

Actor Luke Grimes, who plays Kayce Dutton on the series, attributes much of Yellowstone’s success among fans and critics to its writing. The show’s second season cliffhanger (“Sins of the Father”) aired on Aug. 28 at 10 p.m.

“There’s so much going on, and it’s so intense and with so much drama, you can’t help but be sucked in,” Grimes said during a phone interview.

You wouldn’t think anyone would try to disrupt comedian Alonzo Bodden while he’s working but he says it does happen on occasion, and he’s always prepared. At 6’ 4”, the winner of the third season of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” is a formidable physical presence, but Bodden says he doesn’t need to go there.

“I simply remind them that they’re just drunk on a Friday night, but I do this every day. So the odds are pretty good that I’m gonna win,” Bodden said with a deep laugh.

Bodden’s new comedy special “Heavy Lightweight” premiered last week on Amazon Prime Video, and finds the funny man doing what he does best. I caught up with the regular panelist of NPR’s “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!” to talk comedy, cars and podcasts.

As tipped in these pages last spring, The Beatles plan to issue a variety of remixed and remastered editions of “Abbey Road” this fall to mark the 50th anniversary of the album many fans consider the group’s magnum opus.

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