Tag Archives: Gardiner

Rose Cousins and Mark Erelli

Friday, June 8, 2018

Stone Mountain Arts Center, Brownfield, Maine

This is a really long post. Sometimes I love an artist and go overboard.

Rose Cousins is one of those tremendously talented singer-songwriters who is far less known that she should be. I was introduced to her by Mike Miclon, who is the Executive Artist Director of Johnson Hall Performing Arts Center in Gardiner, Maine, for which I serve on the Board of Directors. Mike put together a compilation CD a couple of years ago of all of the upcoming acts at Johnson Hall, and Rose was on it. Her song “Go First” stole my heart in the first 15 seconds, and so I went to her show with Carol Noonan, Duke Levine, and Kevin Barryin March of 2016. Her songs are stunningly heart-wrenching, but she raises your spirit with witty, self-deprecating banter between songs. Her live show is definitely an emotional roller coaster ride.

Colin texted me two days before the show to ask me to join him to see Rose Cousins and Mark Erelli. I’d somehow never been to Stone Mountain Arts Centerin Brownfield, because it’s a solid couple of hours away from my house and felt very far out of the way. I jumped at the invitation, knowing that this was the perfect show to be my first there, and Colin offered to drive, which was a bonus. I hate to write this next sentence, but it’s burned into my memory. Colin and I were five cars behind a fatal accident on Route 113 in Brownfield on our way to Stone Mountain. I looked for information after the show online to see if what we saw was what we thought we’d seen (it sadly was), and found out that particular stretch of road near SMAC has been home to many fatal accidents, which gave me pause. My heart is still heavy for that person and their family.

Colin and I arrived a little bit after doors opened, a bit shaken from the accident, but hopeful everyone was going to be okay. For those of you who have also not been to Stone Mountain, you pick up a number in order of your arrival, which is the number you wait to hear before you get seated for dinner and the show. Colin and I were maybe number 21, and we were seated four or five rows away from the stage. We had a delicious but very expensive dinner (our shrimp pizza alone was $33!), and you need to be prepared with cash, because SMAC doesn’t accept credit cards. I think we split dinner and each paid $51, which is quite pricey to me, but was part of an elevated show experience. Anyhow, be prepared with that information before you go, if you haven’t visited SMAC yet. I really appreciate how much effort Carol Noonan (she played with Rose at Johnson Hall and spoke so much about how important live music is to a thriving community) has put into creating a venue that artists will want to play and show goers will want to frequent. It is a LISTENING ROOM. Period. I loved it. Photography and talking during the show was clearly prohibited, and it was amazing to see such a big crowd all intently focused on the show for a change. (Also, I did take one photo, but just so readers can see what a gorgeous venue SMAC is. I took it in 5 seconds from the bathroom door in the rear of the room and literally no one could see me and I obstructed no one’s view–promise promise!)

img_3226img_3248Rose Cousins and Mark Erelli took the stage and played in the round all night. I hadn’t seen Mark since 2012 playing with the incredible Lori McKenna, but he is warm in person and puts on a great show. Rose joked in between all of her depressing songs, and started the show by saying that she likes playing in Maine because Mainers have a deeper appreciation for Canadians because we’re literally attached. She told us that she quit her job in 2005 and the first thing she did was open for Mark Erelli at Club Passim. She opened the night with “Freedom.” A couple of songs later, she quipped “here’s a devastating little number called ‘White Flag.’” I absolutely LOVE it when artists tell us what inspired their songs, and Rose and Mark introduced every single song with thoughtful details all night. I was totally blissed out by that, the exceptional audience concert going etiquette, and the heartbreakingly beautiful songs.

Mark introduced “Look Up” (a song he said was one of those “don’t blink songs”) by telling us that he and Rose had realized “there were short but clearly definable stretches of the program where we were going to be unable to save you from double or even triple devastation.” Rose told us that Mark is so good at writing story songs, but she usually goes straight into an emotion that’s extremely uncomfortable and talks about that in her song instead. She told us both her mom and sister are married to farmers, and that she has a deep respect for how much work that is for them, which she fleshes out in “Farmer’s Wife.” Rose also mentioned that “Lock and Key” is about those people in your life who you are drawn to who are disruptive to your life who “you don’t want around but also do really want around.”  

Mark played “The Hitter” for his son, who’s team was just eliminated in his Little League playoffs. He said he’d searching for cell service around SMAC (there isn’t any) to get text updates about the game. Mark and Rose have been playing an annual cover song show together for 13 or 14 years (they couldn’t remember) and recorded an album called Mixtape of the songs they’ve played at those shows. Mark joked that making his fans a mix tape was his way of “asking my audience to go steady” to introduce their cover of “Ophelia” by The Band.

Mark and Rose had just arrived at SMAC after an annual songwriting retreat on an island in New Hampshire. Mark and Rose both talked about how important that week is to them at length. Mark said, “there were maybe 18 of us this year and I think we wrote 63 songs together in five days.” He said that he collects scraps of lyrics and tells himself he’ll turn them into songs at the retreat. Mark and Rose played a song he wrote on the island a couple of days earlier inspired by just three lines on an otherwise blank notebook page called “Handmade.” It was gorgeous.

Rose also raved about the retreat. She said, it’s a “privilege to be with these nutritious friend. All year long, I empty my tank and this retreat is the best part of my year when I refill my tank.” They rough it on the island–there’s poor cell signal, no wifi, and no showers–but everyone comes together and is excited to be there to create with a creative community. Rose turned a conversation on the island with a friend who is a mother of two into a GORGEOUS, heartbreaking song about the perception others have of you compared to how you really feel you’re doing. She explained that “as a mom, you want to make everything so great and fix your kids’ emotions when they’re sad. As my dad would say, ‘they’re just emotions.’” The lyrics of her new, untitled song are stunning–“I wish my heart was a hammer, I’d put you back together, but it’s just a heart, like yours. If my hands were a pedal, I’d pull you through this struggle, but they’re just hands, like yours. Here’s what these hands can do. Be here to hold you. And when you lose your way, here’s what my heart would say–love comes back around.” I felt like the whole audience held our breath from start to finish to not interrupt a single second of that incredible song. What a treasure Rose is. I hope she appreciates how impressive her skill to express feelings so beautifully in song really is.

A few years ago, Rose told us that she arrived at the retreat feeling like a “garbage person” and wanted to write an anthemic song called “Grace.” She said she was “thinking about how it’s such a great way to walk in the world but sometimes it’s hard to apply grace in the moment.” “Freedom” rolled out of her at the retreat first, but then “Grace” came, with help from Mark Erelli. “Grace” won Song of the Year at the East Coast Music Awards, and she said it is a testament to how important that week of songwriting on the island is. Mark agreed and told us that everyone brings little pieces of ideas to the island and they work together to form songs and everyone is changed in the process. It inspired “For a Song.”

Rose told us that she wrote “Tender Is the Man” with the intention of “relieving men of the shame of having emotions.” She said “society makes it hard for that to be a normal human thing. Men are taught to compact and push aside their feelings, and that discomfort is emotion and if you want to talk about it, you can. I recorded it and realized that I have shame about having emotions, too.”

I was sad not to hear “Go First” in person again, but Rose closed with another of my favorite of her songs,“Chosen.” Rose will be back at SMAC on August 5 opening for the incredible Patty Griffin. Tickets are $100 each to support Brownfield’s Public Library. Before she sang, she told us that “Chosen” is “about the disparity between how we present ourselves in the world and how we feel about each other and the quest to bring those two things closer together.” She asked us to sing the “ooohs” together and fostered a beautiful feeling of unity in the room while she sang lyrics that bravely express self doubt and vulnerability. It felt like just the right note on which to end this beautiful evening. Rose is such a sharp lyricist, and “Chosen” is no exception–“take these arms, these legs, they are broken. This love is too much, I am frozen. And I don’t know if I have what it takes to be chosen. I arose with wings, and I am flightless. Someone’s carving a statue in my likeness and I will never live up to this portrait. I’m just posing. And I don’t know if I have what it takes to be chosen.” To hear these lyrics sung in person make them even better. Please see Rose Cousins when she comes to your town.

The crowd erupted with the first noise we’d made all night (thanks, fellow show-goers, for being so wonderfully attentive!), and Mark and Rose came back to the stage and played a lovely cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “If I Should Fall Behind.” I felt lucky to be in the room that night. Thank you, Rose and Mark, for the gift of your vulnerability and honesty in your songwriting and your bravery in sharing your heart with your fans.

xo,

bree

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Tricky Britches at the Gardiner Fire Relief Benefit Concert

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Gardiner Waterfront, Gardiner, Maine

Gardiner, Maine—the sweet little town I proudly call home—suffered a major fire on July 16, 2015. Four historical buildings on Water Street (our main drag downtown) were destroyed along with a few businesses and all the possessions of a dozen tenants. The Gardiner Fire Department responded swiftly and decisively, and with the help of many neighboring fire departments, was able to contain the fire.

Aerial views of the fire from Jason Daughtery via WMTW's Facebook page

Aerial views of the fire from Jason Daughtery via WMTW’s Facebook page

Gardiner's Water Street

Gardiner’s Water Street

IMG_2162

IMG_4798 IMG_4800

IMG_2160 IMG_2161

Although there was, amazingly, no loss of human life, a cat was reported lost in the fire. As a proud cat lady, my heart was heavy in the days that followed, not just because so many people had lost all of their cherished possessions, but also because Jolene’s cat, Carol Ann, was gone. I cried some tears over it. To my amazement, a few weeks later, I saw this post on Facebook:

Jolene and Carol Ann--reunited! Courtesy of Gardiner Police Department's Facebook Page

Jolene and Carol Ann–reunited! Courtesy of Gardiner Police Department’s Facebook Page

A kind soul in downtown Gardiner spotted a cat wandering around the rubble of the gutted buildings lost in the fire in the weeks that followed. The cat was taken to Kennebec Valley Humane Society, and Carol Ann, hereby dubbed “The Miracle Kitty!,” was found and reunited with her overjoyed mom, Jolene. My heart grew three sizes. I called At Home Veterinary Hospital and covered the cost of Carol Ann’s vet bill so she could be cleared and go home to her mom.

So many people and businesses have graciously supported the Gardiner fire relief fund after this devastating fire. Clare Marron at Monkitree hosted a silent auction that raised over $5,000 in one weekend alone. The Boys & Girls Club of Gardiner hosted a spaghetti dinner fundraiser. There were many others too. It’s still not too late to donate to the fire relief fund hosted by the United Way of Kennebec Valley. I noticed just last week that Gardiner’s Hannaford was collecting donations for the fund, too.

IMG_2163

Gardiner Main Street, with help from generous local sponsors, threw a “Thank You” party for the firefighters who responded to the fire. The Gardiner Rotary Club grilled dinner for all of the firefighters and their guests and then opened up the remains for the rest of us and raised an additional $1,500. Johnson Hall hosted Portland bluegrass band, Tricky Britches, as part of their free summer Waterfront Concert Series that night, and the band provided great entertainment at this wonderful community event. WMTW Channel 8 was on hand to cover the event.

Gardiner Main Street Director Patrick Wright alongside Tricky Britches

Gardiner Main Street Director Patrick Wright alongside Tricky Britches

Mayor Thom Harnett thanking local fire fighters

Mayor Thom Harnett thanking local fire fighters

Johnson Hall Director Mike Miclon with Tricky Britches

Johnson Hall Director Mike Miclon with Tricky Britches

IMG_2173 IMG_2176

I was among a handful of people honored during intermission by Thom Harnett, Gardiner’s extraordinary mayor, with a Gardiner Heart & Soul Award for efforts related to the fire relief. My small contribution to helping Gardiner’s “Miracle Kitty” being recognized publicly, and totally unnecessarily, just goes to show what a dear community Gardiner is. I was genuinely overjoyed that night to be cheered as a local supporter of my sweet town. If you are looking for a community that will welcome, nurture, support, and celebrate you, too, Gardiner’s the place! More photos below!

xo,

bree

IMG_2178 IMG_2180 IMG_2183 IMG_5233

A beautiful night on the Gardiner Waterfront

A beautiful night on the Gardiner Waterfront

IMG_5242 IMG_5249

A wholly undeserved, but very welcome recognition from my sweet town!

A wholly undeserved, but very welcome recognition from my sweet town!

Surely one of Gardiner's cutest little ones

Surely one of Gardiner’s cutest little ones

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Johnson Hall Season Reveal

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Johnson Hall, Gardiner, Maine

I love my sweet little town, and I’m over the moon about the caliber of shows coming this season to Johnson Hall, our beautiful local theater. Celebrating its 150th year, Johnson Hall Director Mike Miclon has outdone himself with the talent he’s booked to come play 40 shows in teeny Gardiner. Johnson Hall hosted a “season reveal” party early in July, and Mike gave me a shout out because (per my suggestion) one of my favorite live bands is coming on Friday, September 25. Boston’s The Ballroom Thieves* is the real deal, and the fact that they’re coming to Gardiner is a big deal, folks. The Thieves just impressed at The Newport Folk Festival, and getting to see them in an intimate venue like Johnson Hall will soon be a thing of the past. Don’t miss it! You can buy tickets for any (and all!) of the upcoming shows at Johnson Hall here.

Screen Shot 2015-07-05 at 1.52.25 PM

Johnson Hall Executive Director, Mike Miclon

Johnson Hall Executive Director, Mike Miclon

Mike also sent all of us home with a sampler CD of all of the musical groups coming this season, which was a brilliant idea and a generous gift. After a few listens, I had a strong sense of each musical group and confidently built my concert calendar—being sure to save the dates for acts like Don Campbell (November 7), David Wilcox (December 4), and Rose Cousins (March 18).

  
Johnson Hall is a major part of Gardiner’s downtown revival, and I hope you’ll come visit us for dinner and a show soon. Gardiner is a mere 45 minutes from Portland, and absolutely worth the drive.

Great job Mike—I’m thrilled about this season!

xo,

bree

*In case you need some convincing, check out one of my most effusive posts about The Ballroom Thieves.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Gardiner, Maine’s 5th Annual Swine and Stein Oktoberfest

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Gardiner, Maine

Dedicated people in my sweet little town have been working hard for years to revitalize the downtown and attract people to Gardiner. My sense is that this work is starting to pay off. Surely the biggest event hosted by Gardiner Maine Street is our annual Swine and Stein Oktoberfest. This was the fifth annual Swine and Stein, and I’d say it was the best one yet! I had such a fun day and there were smiling people everywhere. Thanks so much to everyone who came, and to Gardiner Maine Street, the vendors, the musicians, and the more than sixty (60!) volunteers who made such a wonderful event possible! Patrick Wright—director of Gardiner Main Street—you deserve a special shout out for a job incredibly well done! Thanks, Patrick! What I saw on Saturday makes me proud to live in Gardiner.

I showed up a few minutes before the gates opened at 11:30AM to grab a donut at Frosty’s and check out the layout since improvements are made each year to strengthen the event. I got to pet baby goats and sleeping piglets on my short walk along Water Street, which only heightened my excitement for Swine and Stein. If you’ve never been to Swine and Stein, we shut down auto traffic on our picturesque main street (Water Street), and host live animals, food vendors (featuring A LOT of local pork), a local beer tent, fun activities for all ages, and live local bands all day. It’s a great day, and this year, the weather cooperated beautifully, too.

IMG_8971

All of the photos in this post were taken by me. If you’d like to share, please give me (Bree Candland of whatbreesees.com) photo credit. Thanks!

IMG_8974

I overheard a couple wondering how Swine and Stein works, so I stopped to welcome them and explain the event and show them to the gate. I could hear superstar volunteer Derek Zardus of Zardus Art of Massage & Wellness Spa welcoming people to Gardiner and to Swine and Stein at the gate long before I could see him. We moved quickly through the line, got our three drink tickets (included with admission) cleverly attached to our wristband, and the first 1,000 through the line also got a souvenir 5 oz. tasting glass. Later in the day I saw how many people didn’t have one of those little glasses, so I am guessing a lot more than 1,000 people showed up!

IMG_8975

Derek Zardus

Derek Zardus

I LOVED the addition of a professional stage with a sound engineer this year! I could hear Sorcha and Monique Barrett playing as I said my hellos and wandered through the food area to scope out what I might want to get for lunch later. Sorcha is a friend in music—she’s played Swine and Stein before and I’m always happy to get to see her live. She and Monique harmonize beautifully, and their covers of “Jolene” and “Crazy” were flawless. I wasn’t taking notes because I wanted to enjoy the day, but I liked the song Sorcha wrote for a friend’s wedding (the name of which I’d normally have jotted down), and one of Monique’s that might be called “Make It Better.” Later in the day, I introduced them to Johnson Hall director Michael Miclon. We talked about having a singer-songwriter circle show at Johnson Hall sometime this season. I took Sorcha and Monique into Johnson Hall to show them the beautifully renovated performance space downstairs and to show off the cleaned up third floor, which is beautiful and totally ready for renovation. Built in 1864, Johnson Hall has been a ballroom, a movie house, and a theatre. Johnson Hall hopes to renovate the upper floors to use for performances and other events. The potential in that space is unreal. Monique and Sorcha talked about how cool it would be to record an album together (since they often play together, but don’t have one) in that space. The acoustics are amazing. When I took them to the top floor, they were so wowed by the beauty of the space that they broke out in song! I have high hopes for the capital campaign and would LOVE to see Johnson Hall restored.

Sorcha and Monique Barrett

Sorcha and Monique Barrett

IMG_8988IMG_8990

Mike Miclon and Logan Johnston

Mike Miclon and Logan Johnston in front of Johnson Hall

The amazing space on the top floor of Johnson Hall

The amazing space on the top floor of Johnson Hall

IMG_9126 IMG_9128

I loved the fun competitions and events that were planned for the day in between bands. The event that stole my heart, however, was the first-ever Swine and Stein Beard and Mustache Competition. Danielle Rodrigue, local beauty expert from Concepts Hair Design and and the MAYOR of Gardiner, Thom Harnett, were the other two judges, and I was thrilled to be asked to join them. I couldn’t believe my eyes when Patrick called contestants to the stage and a wave of beautifully bearded and mustachioed men approached the stage. Did you know there’s a Maine Facial Hair Club? What a great group of guys. We judged in six categories—beards more or less than six inches, partial mustache, freestyle, and a couple of others that I can’t recall since I was on cloud nine the whole time. Clare Marron, Gardiner Maine Street board member and owner of Monkitree, Gardiner’s fine art and craft gallery, organized the event. She worked with The Potter’s House to create amazing mugs (in honor of American Craft Week) for the winners of each category. The winners were thrilled with their surprise award.

IMG_8997 IMG_8999

That's me, Danielle, and Gardiner mayor Thom Harnett

That’s me, Danielle, and Gardiner mayor Thom Harnett

IMG_9022

I think you tell I was a BIG fan of the beard and mustache competition!

IMG_9011 IMG_9021 IMG_9026 IMG_9030 IMG_9033 IMG_9035 IMG_9044 IMG_9046 IMG_9049 IMG_9052 IMG_9054 IMG_9092

Clare Marron of Monkitree gave out awesome prizes to the winners

Clare Marron of Monkitree gave out awesome prizes to the winners

IMG_9095 IMG_9098 IMG_9100photo 3

The German Oktoberfest Band always sets the perfect mood, and they had people swaying and toasting along. My dear friend Rachel came in her dirndl and valiantly competed in the frozen t-shirt contest, but lost in a very close race to the finish.

The German Oktoberfest Band

The German Oktoberfest Band

IMG_9081 IMG_9082 IMG_9087

Rachel and Ian appropriately dressed for Oktoberfest

Rachel and Ian appropriately dressed for Oktoberfest

The frozen t-shirt content was HILARIOUS

The frozen t-shirt content was HILARIOUS

IMG_9105

Photo finish! That was CLOSE!

Photo finish! That was CLOSE!

IMG_9107IMG_9070 IMG_9071 IMG_9072 IMG_9073

Vintage Wine Bar had a wine tent this year!

Vintage Wine Bar had a wine tent this year!

Thumbs up!

Thumbs up!

BBQ!

BBQ!

My delicious lunch

My delicious lunch

Cute dogs!

Cute dogs!

IMG_9145

Dublin the golden retriever

Dublin the golden retriever

Bo surrounded by admirers at Monkitree

Bo surrounded by admirers at Monkitree. Photo courtesy of Clare Marron.

I’d never seen Gunther Brown live, even though lead singer Pete Dubuc sent me their music early on in whatbreesees.com and I liked it a lot. Senator Susan Collins and her team were at Swine and Stein, and she stopped to give a wave to the band early in their set. I was especially glad to hear “(Don’t Forget To) Don’t Go” and “Hello Tonight” live.

IMG_9084IMG_9111 IMG_9112

Senator Susan Collins saying hello to Gunther Brown

Senator Susan Collins saying hello to Gunther Brown

IMG_9117 IMG_9120 IMG_9122 IMG_9124

The rock-paper-scissors competition run by Mike Miclon of Johnson Hall was awesome. He held preliminary rounds earlier in the day that I watched and then the semi finalists joined him at the stage to compete in front of all of the Swine and Stein attendees. It was an absolute hoot to watch, and the winner won two free tickets to any upcoming Johnson Hall event. Patrick Wright called up local bearded men to compete in a scaled down version of the earlier event, and a handful of kids who’d made their own mustaches at the craft table competed as well.

The rock-paper-scissor competition preliminary rounds

The rock-paper-scissors competition preliminary rounds

IMG_9135 IMG_9137 IMG_9138

The rock-paper-scissor finals were a BLAST!

The rock-paper-scissors final rounds were a BLAST!

IMG_9154 IMG_9157 IMG_9167 IMG_9174 IMG_9176 IMG_9178 IMG_9188 IMG_9191 IMG_9200

I was glad to see The Jason Spooner Band again. It had been quite a while and they sound great. As the day wound down, The Spare Parts Band, featuring Oakland Farms owner and Gardiner city councilor Logan Johnston took the stage to close the event.

The Jason Spooner Band

The Jason Spooner Band

IMG_9205 IMG_9212

I nearly forgot about this adorable competition!

I nearly forgot about this adorable competition!

IMG_9216 IMG_9221

The Spare Parts Band

The Spare Parts Band

Logan Johnston

Logan Johnston

IMG_9233 IMG_9238 IMG_9240 IMG_9241 IMG_9245 IMG_9248

Swine and Stein was a blast this year! I went right home and drank some tea to warm and up promptly ended up taking a nap! Thank you so much to everyone who helped make it a success and we’ll see you next year!

xo,

bree

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Ellis Paul

Friday, May 16, 2014

Johnson Hall, Gardiner, Maine

I’d submitted my National Board for Professional Teaching Standards recertification portfolio earlier in the day after months of work and decided to treat myself to my 42nd Ellis Paul show not even half a mile from my house at Johnson Hall in downtown Gardiner. Johnson Hall has had quite a successful year led by new director Mike Miclon.  My dear friend Megan joined me, and since I’d just seen Ellis two months earlier, she agreed to write the show recap. Megan is also a fourth year PsyD graduate student and the incredibly creative mastermind behind Pencil Events (and this is wedding season), so I suspect her post will come in time (update on 1/14/15–or never, apparently!). My sweetie called just before the show to tell me he’d gone home sick and he sounded terrible, so I was worried and distracted. I offered to leave right then to go take care of him, but he insisted I stay and come later (which I did, laden with Gatorade, chicken soup, and crackers). Ellis chatted with us a lot that night. He’d just had his beautiful guitar, Guinness, severely damaged by an airline and was working on a commencement speech and alma mater song for the University of Maine at Presque Isle that he’d be debuting the next day. You can read his speech here. Ellis wowed the audience, as always, and even graciously came over to say hello after the show. Always looking forward to my next Ellis show.

xo,

bree

Ellis Paul

Ellis Paul

IMG_7422 IMG_7442

An unplugged encore

An unplugged encore

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Come see Lucy Wainwright Roche and her mom, Suzzy, at Johnson Hall July 28!

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Lucy Wainwright Roche three times live. The first time was in 2009 at One Longfellow Square in Portland, Maine opening for Lucy Kaplansky. She is a fantastic storyteller—both in story and in song. I remember vividly how much I laughed during that first show. Lucy’s stories were personal and often embarrassing, but she didn’t hesitate to share her life and the origins of her songs with us. I was an instant fan. A young girl in the crowd must have said hello to her at some point that night, because Lucy invited her up to sing a song with her on stage. It made that little girl light up, and it was a lovely display of Lucy’s kindness. I got to see Lucy twice more in 2009–once opening for Neko Case and another time solo. I so look forward to my fourth Lucy show next weekend!

Fans of good storytelling—Lucy is coming to Gardiner’s Johnson Hall on Sunday, July 28! She’ll be joined by her incredibly talented mom, Suzzy Roche of The Roches. I should probably mention that Lucy comes from a very gifted family. Her dad is Loudon Wainwright III, and her half siblings are Rufus and Martha Wainwright.

Lucy Wainwright Roche

Lucy Wainwright Roche (both photos from Lucy’s website)

LWRpics

I’ll be front row center at the show. Come join me. You can get your tickets here. I’ve exchanged some emails with Lucy recently, and wanted to share with you some of the things we chatted about to get you excited for the show, too.

B: Your family is incredibly musically gifted and well known. How did that affect your path towards becoming a working musician?

LWR: Well, initially it probably made me really NOT want to be a musician and so I rebelled by going to college and grad school and becoming an elementary school teacher. Eventually though, I gave in and returned to the family business!

B: I’m a high school social studies teacher and just finished my 12th year at the same school (yikes—I’m aging!). You were an elementary school teacher for a while and a nanny for a bit, too? Any funny stories or insight about why you left that type of career behind?

LWR: I loved teaching – and I miss it still sometimes. It was great to be a part of people’s every day lives – nowadays in my job I really change location most days and so I’m living a much more transient life. At the same time, teaching and performing are somewhat similar – they are both really just about communicating to groups of people! The only difference is the age of the people! Oh, and you usually can’t SING math lessons – although – that might be a good idea.

B: You got arrested on Christmas in 2011 in your grandmother’s driveway?! Is it too soon to ask you what happened?

LWR: Oh yes. Very exciting Christmas! Unfortunately the underlying story isn’t as exciting as it might sound. It turned out to be because of a clerical error in the DMV database which was cleared up very quickly…BUT it makes for a great one- liner – “Lucy got arrested on Christmas!” Most people are very surprised to hear that!

B: I LOVED your piece on Rookie Magazine online “Literally the Best Thing Ever: Hoarders.” That’s not a question, I realize.

LWR: Thanks!!! I LOVE hoarders!

B: I don’t have cable, but the interwebs told me that you played a part on The Science Channel’s “Stuff You Should Know.” Can you describe the show and tell us how you got involved? Do you have a favorite episode?

LWR: I loved doing the show. Unfortunately we aren’t going to get to do another season – but I’d guess my favorite episode was called “Bacteriopolis.” It had Ric Flair playing a doctor. It was so fun!

B: It looks like you just toured with your dad in England, Scotland, and Ireland in May. Any highlights?

LWR: Touring with my dad is great. It’s a perfect way to take a family vacation because everyone has a common goal and it’s all very organized! Plus you get to see lots of the world. My dad and I had a great time in May overseas. We especially loved Glasgow.

B: You have your second full-length album—There’s a Last Time for Everythingcoming out soon and just released Fairytale and Myth with your mom Suzzy. You’ve been busy! What can your fans expect from these new projects? What was it like to write and record music with your mom?

LWR: Yes! My mom and I made an album in the winter with our friend Rob Morsberger who was suffering from brain cancer at the time. He passed away in June and so this project is really special to us. My new solo album, “There’s a Last Time For Everything” is coming out in October and I’m very excited for that. This album has a slightly different sound than my previous ones and I made it in Nashville with my friend Jordan Hamlin. There are 10 original songs and one cover song – “Call Your Girlfriend” by Robyn.

B: Do you prefer songwriting, recording, or touring?

LWR: Hmmm… I like all three but in moderation – all of them can drive you nuts!

B: Who are some artists that you’d love to work with?

LWR: I’ve been really, really lucky because I’ve gotten to work with lots of musicians I really admire like the Indigo Girls, Over The Rhine and many others. On this last album I got to have Mary Chapin Carpenter and Colin Meloy as guest singers! I’d love to work with both of the more going forward.

B: My blog focuses on the concert experience from a concert goers experience. From my perspective, I know what I think makes a good show, but from a performer’s perspective, what makes for a great show (or what makes for a terrible show)?

LWR: Well, the audience is really what makes or breaks a show. You can have all kinds of problems with the venue or your travel that day or whatever other logistical issues that are surrounding you – but if the audience is great, it saves the day!

B: We’re really excited you’re coming to Gardiner, Maine to play for us! Your mom will be joining you. What will be the show format? Do you play out together much?

LWR: My mom and I have been doing a bunch of shows together this summer. It’s fun for us to have each other to travel with and to get to sing harmonies. It’s a nice change of pace to traveling alone!

Thanks, Lucy! So excited to see you again in my hometown. Friends—Gardiner is a short 45 minutes from Portland and only 30 minutes from Brunswick. Get yourselves up here that night. It will be a great show. Check out this short set from Lucy and Suzzy on NPR’s Mountain Stage. Again, grab your tickets here!

xo,

bree

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized