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The Mallett Brothers Band returns for back-to-back Bangor shows this weekend

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The Mallett Brothers Band returns for back-to-back Bangor shows this weekend (photo by Dennis Welsh)

The long wait is nearly over for fans of The Mallett Brothers Band cooling their heels until the 6-piece multi-genre group plays again. “Thanks for your patience,” Will Mallett said in a message for the band’s followers during an interview with The Maine Edge. “This has been one of the longest stretches we’ve gone without shows. We’re real fired up to get back onstage and to kick things off in Bangor this weekend.”

The band is scheduled to perform back-to-back shows at Bangor Arts Exchange on February 25 and 26, marking the group’s first live performances in nearly three months. The group’s Bangor shows will launch a tour that currently extends through June. The Mallett’s managed to play outdoor shows, drive-in shows and backyard parties during the pandemic, but this outing will mark the band’s first full tour in two years.

When The Mallett Brothers Band played the State Theatre in Portland in December for the first time since 2019, it was to signal the band’s return to the road and a hoped-for return to normal. January Omicron numbers pushed the tour back a few weeks, but Will Mallett says the band is ready to hit the road to take their music to fans in six states over the few months.

Formed in 2010, the Mallett Brothers Band consists of songwriting brothers Luke and Will Mallett on vocals and guitars, Wally Wenzel on vocals, guitar and dobro, bassist Nick Leen, Andrew Martelle on vocals, guitar, fiddle and mandolin, and Brian Higgins on drums.

Luke and Will are the sons of singer and songwriter David Mallett of Sebec, whose songs, including the folk standard “The Garden Song,” have been recorded by more than 150 artists.

The music created by the Mallett Brothers Band can’t be typecast into one category. They prefer to work with a broad palette encompassing rock and roll, alternative country, Americana, folk and jam-band, or as Will Mallett described it: A melting pot of each member’s most significant influences.

The Mallett Brothers Band has released seven studio albums, most recently the exemplary “Gold Light” released last July, and two live albums, including “Live at the State Theatre” released in 2020.

Will Mallett says the group is currently sitting on a significant stash of new songs, but they haven’t yet settled on a vibe for their next album which is already underway. He says the band took news of their last tour delay in stride and made the most of their imposed downtime by returning to the studio to work on the follow-up to “Gold Light.”

“We don’t have our next record finished yet, but things went pretty well,” Mallett said of the recording sessions. “We have a lot of new songs and we’ve spent some time strategizing about how we can make this next one special.”

Mallett says the band also spent some time talking about their live shows and things they’d like to do on their next tour.

When The Mallett Brothers Band play back-to-back shows at the same venue, as they are scheduled to do at Bangor Arts Exchange this weekend, they like to mix it up from night to night according to Will Mallett.

“We try to write the setlist so that if people come to both shows, they’re going to have a unique, enjoyable experience,” he said. “Sometimes we’ll decide to be more acoustic one night and more rock the other, or we’ll do a night of older material followed by a night of newer material.”

Following the Bangor shows, the Mallett Brothers Band will head to Washington D.C., New York City, Exeter, New Hampshire and more than a dozen other locations through June.

When the band is packed tightly together on those long road trips, which member of the group tends to keep everybody laughing, I asked Will Mallett?

“Absolutely Nick Leen,” he responded without dropping a beat. Mallett cited an example of the bass player’s comedy prowess.

When the Mallett Brothers Band played Bangor’s KahBang Festival in 2012, they were pumped to appear on the same bill as the alternative-metal band the Deftones.

“We’re all Deftones fans and we ended up hanging out with those guys after the show in the parking lot,” Mallett remembers.

Mallett explained that in addition to being the group’s beloved bassist, Nick Leen has had a number of interesting occupations over the years, including parking lot striping attendant and crack-filler extraordinaire.

“It was after midnight, and we were having a little puff and some laughs with the Deftones as Nick gave us a crack-filling demonstration – kind of like a mime with an interpretive dance of the crack-filling process (laughing). Everyone was in hysterics.”

The Mallett Brothers Band will be “Livin’ on Rock and Roll” (and post-show pizza) for the foreseeable future. The vast majority of dates on their current schedule will feature the full band with a couple of notable exceptions. At least two shows on the Mallett’s touring docket have been set aside for Luke and Will Mallett to share the stage with their father for what Will calls “a songwriter’s circle,” an evening of acoustic music and storytelling.

“Those shows, where we tell a story then play a song, are a real informal forum and a lot of fun for us,” Mallett said.

The acoustic trio shows with Luke, Will and David Mallett, are scheduled for April 8 at Stone Mountain Arts Center in Brownville and on April 23 at Central Hall Commons in Dover Foxcroft.

“We’re really ready to do some traveling,” Will Mallett enthused. “It looks like spring might be around the corner and we can’t wait to get to it.”

(For tour dates and tickets, visit www.MallettBrothersBand.com . Tickets for The Mallett Brothers Band live at Bangor Arts Exchange on February 25 and February 26, are available at www.BangorArtsExchange.org.)

Last modified on Wednesday, 23 February 2022 08:20

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