Monthly Archives: September 2017

Catie Curtis

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Marion T. Morse Park, Lisbon Falls, Maine

I hadn’t seen singer-songwriter Catie Curtis live in six and half years. She lives in Maine, so it had really been too long. I wrote a detailed post about her back in 2011 when Catie performed at a benefit concert for Safe Passage at Bowdoin College. Her song “Magnolia Street” is always going to be one of my most favorite of all time. I was pretty excited to learn of Lisbon’s Concerts in the Park series, especially since it’s a 15 minute drive from my house. They are working on bringing their community together with music, and I’m a big fan of that idea.

Ross, the series organizer, also happens to be Catie Curtis’ cousin, which we learned during her introduction. She played every song folks requested, and it was clear she had some long time fans in the small but appreciative crowd. I loved sitting in my comfy beach chair soaking up a sunny summer afternoon listening to her sing her heartfelt, often autobiographical songs for us.

I learned that her hit song “Kiss That Counted” was written mournfully, pondering what could have been, but she picked up the tempo in the final version and it ends up sounding quite hopeful. Catie toured over the summer to celebrate the release of her newest album, While We’re Here, which marks close to thirty years she’s been a songwriter and performer.

img_4532I asked her to play my favorite song, and she graciously obliged. She admitted that she’d lived on Magnolia Avenue in Cambridge, Mass, but that Magnolia Street worked better in the song. Her dad was in the audience and she told him that she’d gone to the place where he sells antiques in Saco, but bought something from someone else’s booth. She played “My Dad’s Yard” for him and told us that he’d salvaged some gym floor from the high school at the Saco town dump and made it his bathroom flooring.

Catie’s show happened the same day the horrific events in Charlottesville, Virginia unfolded, so she ended her set by saying that “everyone who lives in this country has a right to be here because that’s how our country was founded.” She played Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land” and we sang together. It felt good, too.

So nice to see you again, Catie. Check her out and visit Lisbon’s Concerts in the Park series. They’re doing a good thing there.

xo,

bree

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Guster with The Ghost of Paul Revere and the Maine Youth Rock Orchestra

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Thompson’s Point, Portland, Maine

Guster on the Ocean was a great time. I think I’m in the sweet spot age-wise of people who have known Guster since early on in their career as a band, so attending their 25th anniversary show with thousands of fans at Thompson’s Point was a treat.

I’d had a busy week helping my best friend’s dad after back surgery, and I spent the afternoon with him at Maine Med before leaving to meet Rachel and Ian to Uber to the show. We set up a blanket in the front of the blanket area just behind the barricade, but were told to move (of course that area was littered with blankets later in the evening, which seems to happen every time I go to Thompson’s Point). We arrived early to enjoy dinner (I had an awesome grilled cheese with lobster from the SaltBox Cafe) and to explore the Reverb Eco Village (which earned us free Ben and Jerry’s ice cream). I also scored an awesome Guster on the Ocean Nalgene water bottle, which was apparently in short supply.

I ran into so many people from all corners of my life during Spencer Albee’s opening set that I honestly didn’t hear a single one of his songs. I got to catch up with my friend Ben Cosgrove before he joined the Ghost of Paul Revere on stage on keys and accordion. Ben played a few songs on 98.9 WCLZ a few weeks later, and you should definitely check out the session. Ben is incredibly talented.

I loved seeing Portland’s the Ghost of Paul Revere play in front of such a big crowd. They had nearly a dozen musicians with them on stage, including Ben, Kevin Oates from the Maine Youth Rock Orchestra on cello, and a handful of other musicians that beautifully rounded out their sound. They had a blast up there, and I made my way to the stage to see them up close and easily enjoyed their set from the second row with some strangers who became fast friends. Good music is good for that.

I was sporting my “The Way Rock Should Be” t-shirt from the Maine Youth Rock Orchestra, and I ran into Kevin’s whole family and got to chat with them in between sets, too. I guess I was technically wearing the shirt of the band to see the band, but I don’t care. So was Matty Oates! I have been listening to Ghost’s new song, “Montreal,” on repeat. It’s fantastic. I am pumped to hear their new album soon. It’s always a pleasure to see GPR live. They also just announced back-to-back shows on December 30 and 31 at Port City Music Hall, which is the next time they’ll play in town because they’re off touring basically every minute until almost 2018. I’m so happy to see this band getting some of the notice they richly deserve.

img_4457

Me and Matty Oates showing our MYRO support!

Guster took the stage and we partied for the rest of the night. It was great fun. I loved hearing most of my Guster favorites–“What You Wish For,” “Barrel of a Gun,” “Parachute,” “Either Way,” and “Happier”–live. Guster isn’t playing live much these days, but my alma mater hosted them for a private gig two years ago for Homecoming, and I got to be front and center for that show. I decided to enjoy this show from further away this time, and take it everything Thompson’s Point has to offer.

The phenomenal Maine Youth Rock Orchestra joined Guster for nearly half of the show, and they enriched the sound and elevated the show to another level. Guster was pleased as punch to host this party, and were chatty and grateful all night long. Ryan asked Kevin who the youngest member of MYRO was, and we all chanted “Luke, Luke, Luke” while he accepted a standing ovation. Ryan even freestyled a song for Luke in that moment and the huge cheered along. It was incredible. What a way to make those kids understand they are already rock stars. I loved everything about this night. Let’s do it again next summer!

xo,

bree

img_4474img_4507

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Darlingside with Lula Wiles

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Prescott Park, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

I took a two month hiatus to enjoy the summer, but am back and excited for great music this fall!

I’m watching the Hand In Hand telethon to support hurricane victims right now. They’re putting on a great show! Music can be such a healing force. I’m counting my blessings, too. My dad in Florida is unharmed. There’s heartbreak, though, and a lot of work to do. You can donate $25 right now by texting GIVE to 80077.

Back to blogging. . .

I almost didn’t make the trip to Portsmouth for this show back in July, but I’m so glad I did! I thought I was too busy that day to swing it, but then I remembered that I was a teacher on summer vacation, so I got my act together! Colin told me he was going and we could carpool, so that was the right nudge. Thanks, Colin!

I picked up Colin in Portland and we found parking near Prescott Park. Colin staked out a perfect spot up front in the second row and put a blanket down for us to use later. We grabbed yummy burritos at Dos Amigos and got to the show early to enjoy pretty Prescott Park. I’d never been to a show there, but they’ve got a good system, a lovely space, and the price ($10) is right! We met some wonderful blanket neighbors who shared their desserts with us, and Bobbi (who I’d met years ago at a Lone Bellow show and is a superfan of some bands that I also love) noticed me and came over to catch up.

What a pretty sunset on the Piscataqua River!

We also observed some concert real estate drama. An older gentleman and his wife came up to the front and pushed a couple of blankets aside to set up their high backed chairs in the blanket section. Someone from the Prescott Park Arts Festival saw the chairs when the couple was grabbing food and moved them. The man who’d put the chair down was annoyed. He didn’t seem to understand that it was A. unacceptable to show up late and move other people’s things, and 2. rude to set up high backed chairs in the blanket section. Concert etiquette woes abound lately, it seems. Later in the evening, a gaggle of women sitting near me talked at full voice for half an hour during an acoustic performance. Why buy a ticket to a show and sit up front if you don’t want to listen to the band? Super annoying.

Let the fine folks from Newport Folk Festival show you what kind of chair to bring to a show!

It was nice to see Boston’s Lula Wiles again. I’d seen them play last fall opening for Mipso and really enjoyed them live. They’ve got pretty voices and great harmonies. I love stringed instruments, so hearing an upright bass with guitar and violin is right up my alley. They were obviously happy to be on stage and were warm and chatty with the audience.

I’ve been a Darlingside fan for years, and they were voted by Prescott Park crowds at the end of last season as the band people most wanted to invite back to play this season. That didn’t surprise me at all. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Darlingside at least a handful of times, and they are the real deal. Don, Dave, Auyon, and Harris are talented multi-instrumentalists who share one microphone and serenade the audience with their smooth harmonies and friendly banter. It’s always a treat to see Darlingside live, and you should definitely check them out when they come to town. Check out “Go Back” and “Clay and Cast Iron”–both beautifully recorded by OurVinyl in Nashville.

Prescott Park is a great place to see a summer show! I’ll be back!

xo,

bree

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized