August 9, 2019 · 7:09 PM
Sunday, July 28, 2019
Lisbon Concerts in the Park, Lisbon Falls, Maine
Lots of my friends posted updates from their weekend at Newport Folk Festival that made me incredibly jealous–especially because Brandi Carlile was a guest in just about everyone’s set AND DOLLY PARTON WAS THE SURPRISE FESTIVAL GUEST! It made me wish I’d been there in person. I did, however, have a delightful little Sunday with Dan where we took the introduction to cheesemaking class at the wonderful Sunflower Farm in Cumberland and even got to milk goats! It was fun and delicious! I realized the timing would work out perfectly for me to leave the farm and get over to Lisbon Falls just in time to see Parker Millsap at their free Concerts in the Park series. I texted my friend Christine to meet me, and hurried over.
Photos courtesy of Hope Lipp Hall at Sunflower Farm
Parker Millsap had quite a weekend. From tiny Purcell, Oklahoma and at only 26 years old, Parker played the main stage at the Newport Folk Festival on Friday. And then, two days later, he played a free outdoor concert in tiny Lisbon Falls, Maine, to a couple hundred folks gathered in lawn chairs at Marion Morse Park. What a juxtaposition. Chrissy and I set up our chairs and caught up a little bit about our summer vacations. We both had delicious strawberry and nutella waffles from the My Waffle food truck. I was glad to see Parker Millsap and his band for the first time. He has a strong raspy voice and a bluesy rock sound. Check out his KEXP session if you’re unfamiliar with his sound. Parker didn’t say much more than “thank you very much” after each song, which is what makes or breaks a concert experience for me, but it’s probably pretty hard to keep your stage energy up after a weekend at Newport Folk Festival. I’d be curious to hear from folks who’ve seen him before if he brings a more raucous vibe to a more typical show. I’d like to see him again in an indoor venue, I think.
September 21, 2017 · 8:25 AM
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.
I 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.