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Bluegrass

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A conversation with Chris Pandolfi

Because its musicians play with fiddles and banjos and stand-up basses, there is an idea out there that bluegrass is as old as dirt.
Where is bluegrass going?
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  October 12, 2012
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Jonah Tolchin’s Criminal Man is a product of the environment

As if there was any question regarding the impassioned subject matter found on Jonah Tolchin's recent full-length debut Criminal Man , the 19-year-old singer-songwriter-guitarist decidedly sets me straight during our interview earlier this week.
Straight outta Shannock
By CHRIS CONTI  |  June 08, 2012
[vinylsighting] A banjo underground...

[vinylsighting] A banjo underground...


Years ago, while still ensconced in my former life as a music industry stooge (and proudly so), I was in a meeting with legendary polka...
By Brad San Martin  |  December 11, 2011
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Enjoy getting pantsed by Tricky Britches

Most often, I think, whatever "chemistry" is results from a band playing together like their lives depended on it.
Fighting the good fight
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  July 15, 2011
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Erica Brown is more than a pretty girl with a fiddle

Just hitting the backside of her mid-twenties and already coming up on two decades into her career as a fiddle/violin player and singer here in Maine and beyond, Erica Brown is one of the youngest true veterans on the circuit you're likely to find.
Bluegrass connections
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  July 08, 2011
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Steve Martin to give Portland the Bird

Things that are important to understand going into Steve Martin's bluegrass performance, backed by the Steep Canyon Rangers, at Merrill Auditorium: 1) The music is dead serious. 2) So is the comedy.
Steep and deep
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  May 13, 2011


The Toughcats at One Longfellow Square, February 3

When considering the bands comprising the Portland music scene, in all of its glory, it's easy to forget the Toughcats, because they don't play locally very often.
Music seen
By AMANDA PLEAU  |  February 11, 2011

Live review: Matt Meyer and the Gumption Junction at Blue, November 11

On my way to see Matt Meyer and the Gumption Junction play at Blue, I made sure to get there on time.
Music seen
By AMANDA PLEAU  |  November 19, 2010
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The next great young singer you need to know: Amy Allen

Just after graduating from Waynflete and off to college this fall, Amy Allen joins an impressive cadre of young female singers (Clara Berry, Amanda Gervasi, Aly Spaltro, Marie Moreshead) doing great things locally.
Chasing Amy
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  October 01, 2010
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Remember when

A celebration of our nation's founding is as good a time as any to dig into some old-time country music, either from this country or another. Whether a reissue from 1976 (the Bicentennial!) or a release from just last week, Mainers give you plenty of bac
Getting back to roots for the Fourth
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  July 02, 2010
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Summer treats

From Andean to zydeco, pick your flavor and there's a summer music festival ready to serve it up.
Whether classical, jazz, pop, or folk, 'tis the season to get out and enjoy the music
By CLEA SIMON  |  June 18, 2010


Mousam River Ramblers

At Atlantic Hall, Kennebunkport, May 19
Music Seen
By BRIDGET M. BURNS  |  June 04, 2010

Mandolin Fest

At SPACE Gallery, March 27
Music Seen
By BRIDGET M. BURNS  |  April 02, 2010
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In good Company

Dark Hollow Bottling Company take a piece of their name from an old-school folk/bluegrass tune, "Dark Hollow," possibly made most famous by the Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia's Old and in the Way , but also recorded as early as 1926, with popular versio
Dark Hollow Bottling debut a new old-time sound
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  February 26, 2010
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Review: Carolina Chocolate Drops at Somerville Theatre

The Carolina Chocolate Drops introduced the penultimate song of their Saturday night Somerville Theatre show as from 2001, "which is about 100 years ago in pop music."
Review: Carolina Chocolate Drops at the Somerville Theatre, January 23, 2010
By JON GARELICK  |  January 29, 2010

The Stowaways

Empire Dine and Dance, January 4
Music Seen
By BRIDGET M. BURNS  |  January 08, 2010


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Tomorrow never dies

For a Halloween party with substantially less gore, check out the newest release from Dave Rowe (and sometimes his Trio), The Music Never Dies .
 A new full-length from Dave Rowe (and Trio)
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  October 30, 2009
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Doing what comes naturally

Tallahassee make timeless old town music on Wolfe Moon
Tallahassee make timeless old town music on Wolfe Moon
By CHRIS CONTI  |  September 25, 2009

Music Seen: The Record Family

When the economy suddenly found us working Saturdays, Saturday night out became all the more important. Enter the Silver Spur in Mechanic Falls.
At the Silver Spur (Mechanic Falls), September 12
By BRIDGET M. BURNS  |  September 18, 2009
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More than guitar

"I like using songs to change the environment — to get the listener's ear to be a little skewed."
Julian Lage's talent isn't just in his fingers
By JON GARELICK  |  September 11, 2009
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Trail of tunes

The best summer music festivals take something from the season: the smell of the surf, the sight of the mountains, fireworks, lawn seating — or, at least, fried dough.
Music al fresco at summer fests
By CLEA SIMON  |  June 12, 2009


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Up in the County

Is it bluegrass if it doesn't have a banjo? Or a fiddle, for that matter? Hamilton County, a three-piece acoustic outfit who debut their first CD, Brokedown Breakdown , next week, sure do a good impersonation of a bluegrass band, even if purists might
Hamilton's Brokedown Breakdown
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  June 05, 2009
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Before the Goldrush

With a name right out of a Nathaniel Hawthorne novel and hand-pressed CD packaging graced with images of antique farming tools, Putnam Smith does nothing to dispel the notion that he wouldn't mind living in 1809 instead of 2009.
Putnam Smith can't quite find his way home
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  May 29, 2009
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No man is an island

Anybody who needs to be reminded of the musical talent that swirls around and intermingles throughout our fair city probably doesn't listen to a ton of local music.
Two rootsy discs, 20 rootsy players
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  May 08, 2009
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King Wilkie | King Wilkie Presents: The Wilkie Family Singers

Today, "risk" is less popular than George W. Bush, but this former Virginia band — now in NYC — are rolling the dice hard.
Dead Oceans (2009)
By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  May 01, 2009
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Home, at last

Other than two tracks on the Greetings from Area Code 207 series, there has been nothing to bring home and put on the stereo for fans of what has been at times Portland’s hardest-working band.
Jerks of Grass deliver a disc 10 years in the making.
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  July 23, 2008


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Hybrid rhythmic engine

Fusions are the lifeblood of music, but too often they come with a whiff of high-concept gimmickry.
Nation Beat is a gas
By JON GARELICK  |  July 15, 2008
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Gabba gabba hayride

Punks in the know will tell you that the club where the music started, CBGB, is an acronym for “country, bluegrass, and blues.”
Tommy Ramone’s roots show in Uncle Monk
By STEVEN BEEBER  |  July 07, 2008
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Drinking and driving

Dave Hunter and his Molenes show they’re more than just a guitar band.
The Molenes release Songs of Sin and Redemption
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  June 04, 2008
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Indie gets the blues

White rockers generally come by the blues one of two ways.

The Gossip, the Black Keys, and the Kills


By MATT ASHARE  |  April 23, 2008