Mike Dow

Mike Dow

edge staff writer

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If you’re not watching season three of IFC’s “Brockmire,” you’re missing one of TV’s funniest (and darkest) comedies of all time. New episodes air Wednesdays at 10 p.m. through May 22.

Richard Kind (“Spin City,” “Mad About You,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm”) joins the show this season as Gus Barton, the new broadcast producer for Hank Azaria’s Jim Brockmire, a severely damaged old-school whisky-voiced major-league baseball play-by-play announcer.

I should get this out of the way up front. I have a deep love for this show. Any attempt at writing a purely impartial story about it would be a waste of my time and yours.

The season two finale of the hit fantasy drama “American Gods” is set for this Sunday at 8 p.m. on Starz. Orlando Jones stars as Mr. Nancy, a spellbinding trickster spider-man whom Jones says he was born to play.

Based on the bestselling 2001 novel by Neil Gaiman, “American Gods” takes place in a world ruled by two types of gods. The old gods are still cranky after all these years and man do they hate change. The new gods rule with technology, media and money, and use it in their mission to dominate the globe while attempting to send the old gods packing.

Once in a blue moon (in this case, a pink moon) a new blues-based band or artist arrives on the scene with an undeniable piece of music that makes me want to hear more. Stevie Ray Vaughan did it in 1983 with “Texas Flood.” Robert Cray accomplished the same thing in 1986 with “Smoking Gun.” The Black Crowes did it in 1990 with “Jealous Again,” as did Susan Tedeschi in 1998 with “It Hurt So Bad” and The Raconteurs in 2006 with “Steady, As She Goes.”

The new Los Angeles-based band Shadow & The Thrill sent me on a search for more after hearing “Misery,” the first taste of their debut album “Sugarbowl.” It’s a gargantuan-sounding slice of soulfully sinuous groove-based blues rock. I hoped the track was a bellwether and not the exception. After checking out more of the band’s great new songs, including “Just Enough,” “Shake the Devil” and a wild cover of Tommy Bolin’s “The Grind,” my interest was piqued.

Come to find out, Shadow & The Thrill is brand new project from some familiar names. Guitarist and lead vocalist Tony Cardenas-Montana (Great White, Slash, Asia) and in-demand New Orleans-based session and touring drummer Brentt Arcement are joined on “Sugarbowl” by a band of heavy hitters. The album’s massive sound comes courtesy of master mixer Syliva Massy (Tool, Johnny Cash, Tom Petty, Red Hot Chili Peppers).

I reached out to Tony Cardenas-Montana in the hope that he would peel back a few layers of mystery surrounding the music of this great new band.

A teenaged con artist determined to exact revenge on the family she believes did her wrong is at the heart of “No Good Nick,” a new Netflix family mystery dramedy starring Melissa Joan Hart and Sean Astin as Liz and Ed Thompson, parents of two high school-aged children, played by Kalama Epstein (“Jeremy”) and Lauren Lindsey Donzis (“Molly”).

On the heels of several special reunion concerts featuring both the classic and current lineups of Foreigner, the band has released a never before seen concert from the former, filmed at the historic Rainbow Theatre in London on April 27, 1978, during the final night of their first global trek. “Foreigner: Live at the Rainbow ‘78” was directed by Derek Burbidge and is out now on Blu-ray and DVD from Eagle Rock.

With startling clarity, “Foreigner: Live at the Rainbow ‘78” captures the raw energy and stop-on-a-dime musical chops of a band that had spent most of the previous 12 months touring almost nonstop in support of their 1977 self-titled debut record. According to guitarist and founding member Mick Jones, the discovery of the film was a great surprise.

“It captures that sort of slight bit of madness and fun we were having,” Jones told me during an interview. “It’s amazing that it all came out so well.”

She even punctuates her interviews with perfect comedy timing. Jill-Michele Meleán (formerly of “Mad TV” and “Reno 911!”) has returned in ‘White Latina,’ a one-hour standup special chronicling 15 years of hilarious real-life stories and spot-on celebrity impressions. The special is available now on demand from iTunes, Amazon Prime, Spectrum, Google Play and other digital delivery platforms.

The voice on one of the most enduring pop-rock anthems of all time has returned with a powerful solo album recorded with a little help from his friends. Dave Bickler – former lead singer for Grammy-winning band Survivor – says he is deeply proud of “Darklight,” a collection of 11 new tracks all written or co-written by Bickler.

This is how you commemorate 50 years of visionary groundbreaking music. Trail blazing guitarist, composer and bandleader Uli Jon Roth is doing just that right now on extensive tour of the U.S. and Canada that will bring the former Scorpions guitarist to Tupelo Music Hall in Derry, New Hampshire, on April 20.

Uli Jon Roth is a guitarist’s guitarist. Globally recognized as one of the instrument’s great innovators, Roth forged a singular style that honors his influences (from Handel to Hendrix) while pioneering new techniques that bridge multiple musical genres and configurations.

By the time Eddie Van Halen and Yngwie Malmsteen began spinning heads with their fiery fret work, Roth had lain the ground work by blending technical mastery with melody and emotion.

Roth built his reputation in the 1970s with the Scorpions through hundreds of concerts, four studio records and a live double set recorded in Tokyo that marked his final appearances as a full-time member.

Eager to reinvent himself and move beyond the restrictions of mainstream rock, Roth left the Scorpions in 1978 to create “Electric Sun” – a new band and project that combined his love of classical music with the style of Jimi Hendrix.

Initially launched as a power trio, Electric Sun ultimately released three albums before Roth moved into a new era of composition for symphonies and concertos. For the first time in many years, Roth is revisiting his Electric Sun period on his current tour.

In 2003, Roth teamed with Sky Orchestra to record and tour “Metamorphosis of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons,” a breathtaking interpretation fusing classical and rock that he has rearranged for his current tour as a VIP pre-show event.

For his 50th anniversary tour, Roth has decided to spotlight what he feels are the touchstones of his career to date while also paying tribute to his rock and classical heroes.

One day before departing his home in Wales for tour rehearsals in Germany, Roth checked in with The Maine Edge to discuss his life and career.

Wednesday, 10 April 2019 12:22

Mainers making musical magic

Chalk it up to Maine’s long winters, or the fact that much of our state is rural in nature, but there seems to be an unusually high percentage of extraordinarily talented musicians in our state.

You’ll find them literally everywhere - from Stockholm to South Portland – populating each town, city and village in between. Some are doctors, bankers and lawyers; some work on the farm, teach in our schools or work at the supermarket; some rely solely on music to pay all of the bills.

They each possess a distinct set of skills usually honed from a young age that were sometimes (but not always) inspired by a family member, a friend or simply a passion to learn.

I reached out to six acclaimed Maine-based musicians all over the state to discover who they are, what they do, why they do it, and how it makes them feel. I asked them all the same questions (more or less) but got a wide array of responses.

The members of up and coming UK indie pop-rock band Her’s, and their tour manager, were tragically killed outside of Phoenix, Arizona last week, while in transit to the group’s next show in Santa Ana, California.

According to the band’s label Heist or Hit, guitarist and vocalist Stephen Fitzpatrick, 24, and bassist and vocalist Audun Laadig, 25, were killed along with their tour manager, 37-year-old Trevor Englebrekston of Minneapolis, when their van was struck by a wrong-way driver on westbound I-10 in La Paz County, Arizona, shortly after 1:00 a.m. March 27.

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