A “Glorified House Party”

By on Apr 20, 2017 in Interviews |

For a performance venue like “The Word Barn” in Exeter to fly under the radar — as it seems to be doing — is pretty remarkable. Makes me wonder if that’s how it was planned to be, on the hush-hush, a slow build into something special. Then again, the place was packed last Saturday night. People staring down from the upper level, listening from the yard through the large windows, from the seats and stools inside, getting knocked backward by the beauty of Sean Rowe’s monstrous voice and ninja finger moves on his guitar. What the owners, Ben and Sarah Anderson, are providing for the region’s art community is quality creativity at an honest price. Set in a barn attached to a house off Newfield Road, tucked so quietly close to the road — we drove past the entrance four times heading to the show — this is the ideal place to visit if you...

The Dobros Declare: “Time Ain’t Gone To Be A Kid…”

By on Apr 13, 2017 in Reviews |

It’s over, folks. Come out from under your house clothes, carry those rags to the fire pit out back. She’s gone, Old Miss. Winter, the wrecker that she is and always will be. When I felt the sweet touch of the sun hit my face the other day, well, it was bliss. So no winter. Something in my mind broke open, something clogged with vast amounts of winter feedings. I felt a new craving descending on me. Suddenly, I broke out my Joe Cuba Sexltet CD and listened to it for three hours as I peeled around Nashua, Keene and Peterborough, windows down, heat OFF. “Latin Boogaloo” was calling me home after a six month hiatus. This is what I walk around my yard listening too during the summer months, burning the night off. And that first jump in the lake of the season should be accompanied by something new or from the past that’s been buried in the folds of your music...

Of music and musings

By on Apr 6, 2017 in Blog |

Bear with me, please. It’s been a hellacious week. The hour calls for a mash up of thoughts, some musical, some not. Nothing solid, just a string of loose ends to untangle, a series of observations that should be recorded before they are forgotten. Or, in other words: I don’t really have a story this week. Just a gaggle of thoughts. Like I said, the last seven days were an utter train wreck. DRIPPING My bathroom tub faucet ran a leak. Small potatoes to some, a simple drip, maybe a washer or a fresh cartridge will make life bearable again. But no, not to someone like me, an anxious incompetent when it comes to tools or anything with a chain on it, my life was thrown a millions ways. I lost weight. My hair thinned. Three teeth fell out. I don’t think I listened to a Springsteen song for, like, six hours. After ripping a knuckle trying to work a nut loose under the...

Teaching on the music scene

By on Mar 23, 2017 in Blog | 2 comments

In one week, I’ll be doing something I never would have imagined I’d be doing, not in 100 years. And I’ve done some things — some good, some wicked, some better left forgotten. But teach a class? That was not on my “Do Before Dying” list. Visit Owl Farm in Woody Creek, Colorado? Yes. Shave my head? One of these days. Interview Springsteen? God willing. But stand before a real class with real students, real people, people that have signed up for this class called “A Look Inside the NH Music Scene?” Well, that’s just weird. When Phyllis Benoit from Granite State College in Concord emailed me in the fall saying that she reads my weekly music column in the Concord Monitor but doesn’t know what I’m talking about half the time, all I could say was, “Neither do I.” Then Phyllis proposed that I teach a class at the...

Smokestack Lightnin’

By on Mar 15, 2017 in Interviews | 1 comment

“It’s not just a pub,” says the owner of Area 23 Pub in Concord, Kirk McNeil. “It’s an experience.” I love that. I like when a pub, a bar, a cinema or music venue strives to be more than just a “get em’ in, get em’ out” type of joint. And for McNeil and his strong-minded, forward thinking, hearty staff of creative people, there seems to be a sense of, not just service, but a purpose, that goes into any working day. And, well, it has worked — big time! Area 23 Pub, located in the Smoke Stack Center on North State Street, has a little bit of everything going for it. There’s the Gonzo flair, inspired by the late, great writer, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. There’s the creative food, the Korean ribs and Surprise Sandwiches. Then there is the poetry, the cribbage tournaments, rant nights, movie nights, and of course,...

Dark Before Light

By on Mar 8, 2017 in Interviews |

I’m telling you, it’s going to be one of those nights down at NEC in Concord this Saturday. I can feel it. No rain, no snow or even fog in the forecast. Perfect weather for kicking around in the new downtown, breaking in the brick. A night built to drink, get fat, then walk it off. But of course, the only way to better that diet of fun is to feast on some heady music. Go ahead, gorge yourself. Let recording artist from Boston, Mark Erelli, spoon feed you into his world. He considers a lot of what most of us have forgotten, processes it honestly, and delivers those thoughts in song without fully understanding what the end game really means. Erelli, 43, plays, sings, writes, and will remind you of the legends — Dylan, Simon, Jackson Browne. And he has this sound, this voice and tone, that works for you, not against you. We all need that. “For a Song” is a...

Music Runs The Game

By on Feb 23, 2017 in Blog, Interviews |

Lee Viathan from Manchester loves music. Plays it, lives it, embodies it. One night or three in a row, Viathan, 36, can be seen either popping a brain vessel watching an Extreme Wresting match in Rhode Island or brushing is drums through a set of country/folk tunes at some club in southern New Hampshire. Viathan will admit that music shapes his days, creates an identity and drama in his life while forging friendships and tearing down social walls within this majestic space known as music. Why don’t we let Lee tell you all about it. 1. I see your work playlists on Facebook that you post, and the range of music is wild. You are all over the place. Can you go from a thrash metal song to folk on a dime? Explain how music dictates your dispositions. For the most part as it comes to what I’m going go listen to, my disposition more often than not dictates the music. Its starts...

Worth The Ride

By on Feb 16, 2017 in Reviews, Uncategorized |

I enjoy sitting in my freezing cold basement listening to music that other people created. Song after song, over and over again, I drag and rewind, drag and move forward, pondering these creations, these sensations. Some people like to ski or snowshoe. I like to sit in my basement a lot. But for some godless reason, the “Sarah and The Wild Versatile” CD that I was given didn’t take when I popped it in the computer to run it. Just spun round-n-round, aiming at nothing. I spit on the disc, shined it on my thigh, loaded it in slowly again. Still nothing. Frustrated, I pocketed the CD then shouted up to my 15 year old daughter who was embedded in her softly lit fortress, doing her teenage thing. “Let’s get coffee, sweet face!” I said when I reached the kitchen. “We’re going for a ride.” Listening to music while driving trumps any other...