State of Grace

By on Sep 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Not for nothing, but New England College on Main Street is booking some of the very best shows in the area these days. “The Listening Room Music Series” throughout the summer provided top notch performances by a slew of diverse and an incredible core of artist from around the country. The place is really humming with talent, firing clean, with purpose, vision. Musicians from Texas, New York, Boston and right here in NH, have graced the floor at NEC and stood between the speakers and exposed their wares to the intelligent crowd of music lovers that don’t give a lick that the place doesn’t serve booze. A dry night of music will sometimes leave you with the moistest of memories. The Duke of Dudeism himself, Jeff Weber, the cultural arts director at the performance center, has gone full throttle, all in with the music. And on October 1st at 7:30pm, another...

Guster at 25

By on Sep 14, 2016 in Interviews | 0 comments

On Friday night at the Capitol Center of the Arts in Concord, Guster, an alternative band that started out back in Boston in the early 90’s, commence to celebrate 25 years together, a feat few bands come close to accomplishing. Guster’s sound is smart and moody and atmospheric these days, leaning heavy on the reverb and harmonic, lets sing down a water well easy beats.  Soundcheck caught up with drummer Ben Rosenworcel to talk about their new sound, the importance of finding that one hit on a album and whether their new “looseness and swagger” will translate with a new generation of Guster fans. 1. Do you ever cut a record without feeling as if there is at least one legit hit in the batch? This is an awesome question.  I don’t think we’ve ever had this question.  I don’t think we’ve ever had a hit song either.  Usually I go into every record thinking there’s a...

Nothing is over! Nothing!

By on Sep 8, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

“It’s over, Johnny! It’s over!” “Nothing is over!” Rambo said that, and how right he was. Same goes for the music, Johnny. Nothing is over! At least not down at Bronstein Park in Manchester where the homeless and peddlers past their days just trying to stay alive. The park is really nice, dipped just under street level with cut grass, cast iron benches and full trees where people cool off under or just kiss with dirty teeth until the sun goes down. Last week I’m down at Bronstein watching my daughter and the other members of the Central High School Marching Band practice for their first big half time show at Gill Stadium. I didn’t realize how much I missed the sound of a marching band. How all the pipes blend as one, that thunderous beat of the drums, the bending flags, the energy fully built to capture a crowd. Their performance was spot...

Losing Bruce

By on Aug 31, 2016 in Blog | 1 comment

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...