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Home is where you hang your high-hat

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Somebody much wiser than me once said, 'Necessity is the mother of invention.'

If this is the case, then musically speaking, Steve Peer is invention's baby daddy.

A long time musician, Peer began promoting music locally along the 'Bar Harbor-Bangor corridor' after returning from a long stint drumming in Halifax. Finding himself paying out more than seemed feasible for hall rentals and generously feeding and housing traveling bands, he looked for a more cost effective venue. It was then that Peer decided to strip his home and convert the first floor into 'America's favorite house concert.'

What started predominately as a vehicle to showcase Gaelic performers, 430 Bayside in Ellsworth has offered a stage to acts almost as diverse as Peer's own musical tastes and genres in which he is a proficient drummer.

'This year I have been booking more jazz, pop, blue grass bands. Essentially, I am no longer genre specific. The emphasis is on the Celtic stuff, but I am open to anything that will fill the house. One of my personal favorites was a night of comedy with Zach Robbins and his Dad, Steve Robbins. They were cutting edge outrageous and excellent, and it was great to fill the room with laughter'

A true showman himself, Peer always has an eye towards the details and the enjoyment of his bands and their audience. He creates a comfortable, homey and relaxed atmosphere and even goes so far as to offer house wine with custom labels emblazoned with the band's logos or photos for the occasion.

I spoke with singer/songwriter Chris Ross, who will be playing at 430 again on May 31.

'Maybe it's the acoustics, maybe it's the free wine, but 430 Bayside is the most intimate room I've ever played. It's a show I look forward to more than any other, because it allows me to feel like an artist and teller of stories, not just a guy making noise in a bar. The patrons are always full of joy, very respectful and make me feel like a necessary piece of this earth. If every town had a 430 Bayside, the world would be a better place.'

Steve Peer has singlehandedly simultaneously created the perfect venue for regular club goers and fans of live music to have a totally different experience and the perfect outlet for people who love music but aren't big fans of the club or bar scene to enjoy a wide variety of talent.

In addition to opening his home for concerts, Steve Peer welcomes Danny Cashman and his crew to 430 Bayside for a live taping of the Nite Show on Wednesday, April 25.

For more information on shows at 430 Bayside, like them on the Facebook that the kids are doing or call (207)667-4298.

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