Losing Bruce

By on Aug 31, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

This is a tale of raw stupidity. So, with that, I’ll get right into it. Because I’m a Bruce Springsteen cultist, I decided a few years back to leave the sweet bosom of New Hampshire for one day only and hit the Jersey Shore. Out of that fever and a well-developed hunch-meter hatched over 30-years of tailing Mr. Springsteen, I rallied a buddy from Manchester and my brother for an all-out road trip to Asbury Park, New Jersey in search of The Boss. I’m 46 now and should be embarrassed (I’m not) that I would still go through such lengths to track the 66-year old songwriter down on an off-night near his home, where Bruce might pop into a bar for a drink and end up playing with the house band for an hour and half. It does happen. I’ve witnessed it. To me, Springsteen is that long lasting impression that grabbed hold of me at age 15 and still won’t let up on my fat neck. I...

Behind the Wolf Eyes of Lauren Hurley

By on Aug 24, 2016 in Interviews | 1 comment

There was a lot to like about Lauren Hurley when we met about four years back at WNHN. She arrived in studio hauling her acoustic guitar wearing denim bib shorts, black army boots, and she had this magnificent mane of hair half-covered by a baseball cap, worn backwards. Quite the vision, to say the least. Hurley, 24, who lived in the Lakes Region for many years before moving home to Methuen, Mass, came across as a highly inquisitive being with the uncanny ability to put you into a trance with her narratives about life and music. Then angels flew from her lips as she played and sang and suddenly you’re sharing a vessel with Big Mama Thornton and Mazzy Gray as Lauren counts down..”two, three, four”…towards a slamming chorus of throaty beauty. Lauren has a new self-titled EP out and it’s really good. Lauren finds her groove on “Cherry” and shakes...

Cracklin’ Mess of a Man

By on Aug 18, 2016 in Blog |

The week was a musical blur, an undigested meat pie of memories that will take a lobotomy to forget. It almost flattened me, sure, but like music does, and probably always will, she saved me in the final hours after a week of soul-crushing, sleepless nights. Days before sitting down with musician Reverend Todd Seely from Stratham at NEC on Main Street for the monthly installment of “Granite State of Mind,” I was in Los Angeles visiting friends, watching the Red Sox gag in the heat at Chavez Ravine. Somewhere between the Hornitos in Hermosa and the long flight home, I got good and sick. And sick I do not do well. I want my buttered toast cut into fours and my chicken soup cooled with crackers when I’m sick. That’s how sad it gets. But the Reverend was coming on the show and that’s a good get. Todd swings a big stick in the state music scene. He’s adored by the punks, the sweat box...

Reverend Todd Seely at NEC !

By on Aug 9, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

When one moves to Zambia from New Hampshire to work for a construction management company, rarely (okay, never!) does that person become a bonafide rock star and end up invited to sing in front of two presidents of that nation. But that’s exactly what happened to Reverend Todd Seely from Stratham, who, after playing music in these parts for many years, left the Granite State in 2011 to help improve the country’s infrastructure. Somewhere along the way, between playing covers of Patsy Cline and Motorhead, Seely, 45, found out that the power of music, his voice and his presence would lead him in such a diverse direction. This Wednesday night at New England College on Main Street in Concord, starting at 7:30 p.m., Reverend Todd will recount his days in South Africa and also talk about his influences, his fondness for heavy metal and country music and what it is about Patsy...

Belknap County Blues

By on Aug 3, 2016 in Blog | 2 comments

The last time I was in the Belknap Country Jail in Laconia, I was visiting my roommate from college, who, instead of breaking down kegs of beer with us on the weekends, left on Friday afternoons to become just another inmate at the county jail. That was part of his sentence for his stupidity, weekends in jail for an entire semester, then a longer stint when the school year ended. That was over 20 years ago. So, when Dr. Jack Polidoro from Belmont mentioned that he and some other musicians would be playing a special concert for the inmates at Belknap in a few days, I jumped at the chance to get back inside. Yes, Johnny Cash’s famous live prison concert album, “Folsom Prison Blues” played into my curiosity. But I didn’t expect to see a recreation of the historic 1968 event. I was curious to see if the spirit of Cash would reappear in the clouds gathered round the pink sunset that hung...

Taking a Break from the Rage

By on Jul 20, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

We took a break from the hate, the sadness, the racial and religious rage that’s dividing this country once again, and decided to simply hug it out on a recent Saturday night in Windham. It was the Annual Concert on Cobbetts Pond, and the late afternoon heavy rains started shouting down on us. We had a band booked, though, a real deal duo, Miss Maybell and Slimpickin’s from Jackson, and they play ragtime, blues and country music. A sublime combination. Rain or shine. The crowd, a mix of Bay State bombardiers and Granite Staters, started filing in as they hurried down the rain soaked grass that led to the waterfront home. Steel gray and bittersweet, the sky above seemed to growl each time the bins outside were filled with more ice and beer and vino. So, instead of allowing her to dictate our dispositions, we growled back at her, informing the sky that no matter how dark she gets,...

The Road Warrior

By on Jul 13, 2016 in Interviews | 0 comments

Thanks to my most reliable musical gumshoe, 87 year old Demetra Angelides from Manchester, the Greek-born outlaw country aficionado, for tipping me off that Austin Lucas would be swinging through Nashua this Sunday night for a show at the Thirsty Turtle Tavern. That’s a real good show to catch if you’re into grit country, songs sung with a longing for a peaceful state of mind. Anxiety plays a theme, as does isolation and redemption in many of Lucas’s songs, but the tattooed road warrior from Indiana is doing the only thing, he says, that’s worth doing: playing music. You hear George Jones and echos of all the folkies from Macdougal Street in Lucas’s sweet poetry. “Rolling Stone” magazine recently voted him one of the “Top 10 New Country Artists.” Not bad. And although the nights are long and morning much too short for Lucas, who is...

Cole Robbie Band at NEC!

By on Jul 5, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

So, if you’ve made your way down to New England College in Concord to see any of the “Listening Room Series” concerts, then you’ve got a taste of ragtime and folk and blues and country and heart-lined songwriters delivering powerful performances and answering personal questions about being a musician. This week should be no different. “Granite State of Mind” brings you the Cole Robbie Band, a duo these days that lean many different ways musically. Reggae Rock, Dead, hippy island sounding stuff that always puts me in the right spot. Made up of Mike McDowell and Renato Morais, The Cole Robbie Band have this thing about them, a positive vibe that flows as they play. Not just the sound, but the spirit of the duo will easily captivate you if allowed. Which you should, this Wednesday night at NEC on Main Street in Concord. Doors are at 7, show at 7:30pm. We go for an hour...