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Dispatch, the long-serving multi-genre indie roots jam band, is set to play their only New England headlining show of the year this Saturday, July 20, at Thompson’s Point in Portland, with special guests Moon Taxi.

Dispatch is performing a limited number of Summer Stops 2019 concerts in support of the new live album “Live 18” and their 2018 studio album “Location 13.” The band is currently working on material for its eighth studio album.

“We’re no strangers to Maine and we’re wicked psyched to be returning for this show,” says Dispatch front man and multi-instrumentalist Chad Stokes.

BANGOR - Pop punk band blink-182 brought their unique sound to the Waterfront Concerts stage on July 13, along with hip-hop icon Lil Wayne.

Our Kevin Bennett was there - take a look at some of the best and brightest images pulled from a big, loud night.

 

ROCKLAND - Blues lovers from around the world are fixing to pitch a wang dang doodle at this year’s 26th edition of the North Atlantic Blues Festival, set for Saturday and Sunday, July 13 and 14 at Harbor Park in Rockland.

“There’s something at this festival for every blues fan,” says Paul Benjamin, founder of the North Atlantic Blues Festival and a member of the Blues Foundation in Memphis, Tennessee.

“If you like female vocalists, Texas blues, Mississippi blues, Chicago blues, piano-based blues – you’ll find a lot to like at this year’s festival,” he said. “We try to represent as many different styles of blues as possible with our festival lineup.”

Benjamin says this year’s edition of the North Atlantic Blues Festival will feature seven acts making their first festival appearance with four others that last appeared years ago.

“There’s so much great talent out there, we try to keep the lineup fresh each time,” Benjamin explained of his methodology used to determine the festival’s artist lineup each year.

“We have a five-year rule that if you play the festival, it will be at least that long before you can play it again,” he added.

As a musician, composer and producer, Robert Berry has been part of an elite musical sector for decades. Perhaps best known for his work with Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer as songwriter, vocalist and bassist for 3 (an offshoot of prog-rock legends Emerson, Lake & Palmer), the trio released one album for Geffen Records – 1988’s “To the Power of Three.”

A planned follow-up record was never finished, and the trio disbanded as friends after one successful tour. Emerson subsequently reunited with Greg Lake and Carl Palmer while Berry busied himself with a dizzying succession of musical projects including GTR (with Steve Howe of Yes), Alliance, and the Greg Kihn Band.

Fast forward to 2015 and the release of an archival live recording titled “Live Boston ’88.”

Berry and Emerson were thrilled not only because the album was so well received but that 3’s brief existence had been given new life.

The musicians began calling each other, and soon plans were hatched for 3.2, with a new label (Frontiers Records) and a deal for a full-length album. New songs were being written and recordings were underway when the unthinkable happened.

Just days before Emerson was due to arrive in Japan to fulfill a promise for a concert promoter, “The Jimi Hendrix of the keyboard” (in Berry’s words) took his own life at home in Santa Monica.

Emerson had been grappling with a series of escalating health issues, including a pending heart problem, impacting his ability to play at the level he felt his fans expected.

“That, combined with Keith’s love/hate relationship with live performance made him feel powerless,” Berry told me during an interview.

Tuesday, 09 July 2019 20:07

Coming soon in reissues and archival music

Written by Mike Dow

Have you picked up a whiff of 50th anniversary nostalgia? It seems to have permeated most pop culture corners this year. Poor 2019 can’t catch a break while that pesky summer of ’69 keeps coming back in the form of lunar commemorations, Woodstock box sets and Chappaquiddick documentaries.

Expect another round of 50th anniversary music box sets to be announced for this year’s fourth quarter as labels canvass the vaults for previously unreleased content. Until then, a number of intriguing archival releases and reissues are anticipated.

Tuesday, 02 July 2019 22:50

Phish gives Bangor twin top-drawer performances

Written by Mike Dow

BANGOR – Anticipation was high when Phish performed two distinctly different shows back to back at Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion in Bangor on July 25 and 26.

John Lodge has no interest in slowing down. The legendary bassist, composer and vocalist for the 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2018 inductees the Moody Blues is back out with his 10,000 Light Years Band this summer as part of the 28-date “The Royal Affair Tour” with headliners Yes.

Rounding out the bill are bands Asia and Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy, with special guest vocalist Arthur Brown.

“It’s a long show – about four hours,” Lodge said during an interview from the hotel of his Toronto tour stop. “Sometimes the show starts as early as six p.m. (laughs).”

Tuesday, 25 June 2019 16:54

New Raconteurs LP headlines new music offerings

Written by Mike Dow

Leading the pack of new releases this week is the first LP from Jack White and Brendan Benson’s The Raconteurs since 2008’s “Consolers of the Lonely.” The 12 new songs that make up “Help Us Stranger” (Third Man Records; June 21) signal a return to the riff-rich joy that made the band’s first two releases so much fun. Heavy on guitars, the album’s warm analog sound (White’s preferred method of recording) lends an air of timelessness while also allowing the music to breathe. Welcome back, fellows.

BANGOR – The inaugural concert for the 2019 Outlaw Music Festival drew thousands of fans to Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion in Bangor last Friday night to hear headliners Willie Nelson & Family, Phil Lesh & Friends, Alison Krauss, The Revivalists, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real and Particle Kid.

We’ve all heard the adage “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” While it might not be true in all cases, it is certainly true in the case of “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” the latest offering from animation stalwart Illumination.

And you know? That’s OK.

Sure, one can look at “The Secret Life of Pets 2” as a tossed-off and somewhat cynical attempt to cash in on the surprisingly significant success of the first film (seriously – the first “TSLOP” did over $875 million at the global box office). You wouldn’t even necessarily be wrong to do so. But if there’s one thing that Illumination knows how to do, it’s to make you feel all right about handing over your cash.

This isn’t a great movie by any stretch – what story it has feels stitched together from a handful of discarded ideas and deemed good enough, all of it serving as a framework on which to hang the same kid-friendly pet-themed jokes and sight gags that we saw in the first film. However, that can often be enough – the kids in my screening certainly enjoyed it well enough.

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