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The genre-busting musical Maine institution known as Rustic Overtones has just released their most heartfelt and meaningful record. The LP represents the first new music from the band since the sudden passing of band leader and trombonist Dave Noyes last March at age 45.

A beloved figure on the New England music scene, Noyes joined Rustic Overtones in the mid-1990s. He was also a husband and a father to two boys, one of whom was born after his death.

The 14-track “Self Titled” is different to anything we’ve heard from Rustic Overtones to date, thanks to Noyes’s original vision for the record, and the commitment of his band mates to see the project through.

Sunday, 01 December 2019 13:46

Tom Rush to perform at One Longfellow Square

Written by Mike Dow

Legendary folk singer and guitarist Tom Rush is scheduled to take the stage at Portland’s One Longfellow Square with multi-instrumentalist Matt Nakoa on Wednesday, Dec. 4, at 8:00 pm. The artist says he’s looking forward to connecting with fans in the smallest room that he plays.

“It’s fun to be in a room where you can really see the people you’re playing for,” Rush told The Maine Edge. “It feels like you’re carrying on a conversation.”

Wednesday, 27 November 2019 11:48

When XTC went psychedelic as The Dukes of Stratosphear

Written by Mike Dow

Some of the finest of all psychedelic rock originated not in the hippie-trippy 1960s, and not in San Francisco or London, but in the 1980s era of big hair and bright neon, in the town of Swindon, England, when the band XTC, with producer John Leckie, metamorphosed into The Dukes of Stratosphear for two outrageously fun albums.

The entire output by XTC as The Dukes of Stratosphear has just been released as “Psurroundabout Ride” - the latest installment of XTC’s ongoing series of reissues, remixed and produced by Steven Wilson.

The two-disc set includes a CD with a 2019 stereo mix and a Blu-ray disc containing Wilson’s wild new surround-sound mix in 5.1 audio, as well as the bonus equivalent of a boxed set’s worth of alternate listening options.

A rare opportunity to catch the leader of influential genre-defying band SeepeopleS in an intimate acoustic setting is scheduled for Friday, November 29, when Will Bradford performs a free show at Black Bear Brewery, 191 Exchange St. in Bangor.

Bradford says he loves performing in Bangor, where he grew up from the mid-1980s to the early ‘90s.

“I like to think that I lived in Bangor long enough to qualify as a local,” Bradford said with a laugh while his band took a break during the Boston recording sessions for its next record, “Field Guide For Survival in This Dying World,” due in 2020. It will be the first new SeepeopleS’ music since 2015’s 25-track double album “Dead Souls Sessions”

In what promises to be an evening full of hits, Pink Houses will perform the music of John Mellencamp live at Seasons Downunder Club, Main. St. in Bangor, on Saturday, Nov. 30, at 9 p.m.

A four-piece band from southern Maine, Pink Houses formed earlier this year after guitarist and singer Doug Hoyt gave some thought to an idea posed by his wife and some of their friends.

Hoyt has led a number of bands over the last 30 years, and many of them have performed a mix of his original music and some well-chosen cover songs. A committed lifelong fan of British and American rock and roll, Hoyt says The Who will always be his favorite band of all, but that the music of John Mellencamp has always resonated with him.

Santa’s gonna need a bigger sack. Fans of classic rock have a wealth of new material to wade through with this season’s explosion of exhaustive vault clearing box sets, either in stores now or on the docket for release over the next several weeks.

Among the sets already out: Sweeping multidisc collections from the Steve Miller Band (“Welcome to the Vault”), The Doors (“The Soft Parade 50th”), The Kinks (“Arthur”) and the latest edition of Bob Dylan’s ongoing “Bootleg Series,” with more to come through mid-December.

Tuesday, 08 October 2019 14:19

Remembering Ginger Baker

Written by Mike Dow

He loved his dogs, his horses, and his drums – not necessarily in that order. Peter Edward “Ginger” Baker, the gifted, beloved, feared and fiery-haired mercurial drummer for rock supergroups Cream and Blind Faith died Sunday at age 80 following a brief hospitalization.

Along with Ringo Starr, Charlie Watts, Keith Moon and John Bonham, Baker became one of the most influential and emulated drummers in rock history, his custom double bass drum providing more than ammo to compete with his two virtuosic band mates.

Tuesday, 08 October 2019 14:18

What’s new (and coming soon) in music

Written by Mike Dow

Fall might be my favorite time of year. Not so much for the pumpkin spice that seems omnipresent at the moment, but for the newly arrived music titles, and those on the way, to warm your frosty ears.

Tuesday, 01 October 2019 16:05

More ‘White Album’ talk from CCA-bound superstars

Written by Mike Dow

Last week’s feature cover story in The Maine Edge focused on the upcoming all-star 50th anniversary tribute to The Beatles’ “White Album,” scheduled for Monday, October 7, at the Collins Center for the Arts at the University of Maine in Orono.

The “It Was 50 Years Ago Today” tour began nearly two weeks ago and includes musicians Todd Rundgren, Micky Dolenz of The Monkees, Christopher Cross, former Chicago bassist and singer Jason Scheff, and Badfinger’s Joey Molland,performing songs from the “White Album” in addition to their own hits in a night of music that is drawing rave reviews from both concertgoers and critics.

I had the great pleasure of interviewing four of the show’s five superstar musicians (Dolenz, Scheff, Molland and Rundgren) for the story. When I discovered I could incorporate only a fraction of the wonderful interview material they provided due to space, I was faced with a bit of a conundrum. Thanks to Maine Edge super genius assignment editor Allen Adams, I can now share with you more highlights from those interviews.

The interviews with Micky Dolenz, Joey Molland and Jason Scheff were conducted via telephone. Because Rundgren was in Hawaii at the time (a six-hour time difference), he responded to my questions via email.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019 09:01

Rick Wakeman of YES on his ‘Grumpy Old Rock Star tour

Written by Mike Dow

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.

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