Maine bands you’ve got to hear!
Here’s what I’m seeing as worth giving a listen to for music from Maine. Get on Spotify and give them a listen!
The Mallett Brothers – Congrats to TMBB for earning the (much deserved) TWO awards at The New England Music Awards: Band of the Year 2014 AND Album of the Year ‘Land’!
These guys are a Portland based country band. Think Mumford & Sons but with more Maine redneck and more heart wrenching lyrics and more fast dance-able tunes. I’ve seen them play at Billy’s tavern, the Strand Theatre in Rockland, The Lobster Fest this past Summer, and at the Damariscotta River Association Fundraiser at Round Top Farm. They do a great show. By the end of the show in Damariscotta, every single folding chair in the barn had been folded up and moved to the side so we could dance.
You really, really need to see this band before they get huge. They tour a lot. Pick up any of their albums – they’re all amazing. Low Down is my fave. Listen to them on Spotify like crazy (I do – ask any of my coworkers:) ).
From Low Down (2011):”Low Down” “Wish You Well” “Don’t Need You” “Think I’d Feel Fine”
From Land (2014): “Somethin’ to Lean On” “Blue Ridge Parkway” “Getaway Queen”
I could keep listing songs, but I’ll stop. You can read a bit more about them & see pics of me with the band here.
Worried Well – They were nominated for “Best New Act” by The Portland Phoenix. I grabbed their CD for a couple bucks when I saw them playing in Bangor after the Kahbang Music Festival this summer. It’s a two man band. A bit rough. Indie-pop with folk influence, but a bit emo too. Think Brand New meets Conor Oberst’s folk sounds. The 2013 album “Luck” gets a bit heavier/louder guitar. I prefer the lighter acoustic songs off the 2012 release. I think if they go back to that a little more, they could go somewhere. Definite potential. They play in Portland on March 21st.
Listen to: “I Couldn’t Make Stairs” “She’s Got Something to Say”
Lady Lamb The Beekeeper – Out of Brunswick. Vaguely reminiscent of Florence & the Machine. Maybe it’s just the deep female vocals though. Girl’s got rhythm & some pipes for a youngin’. I dig the lyrics in: “Absence makes the heart grow hollow” on “Aubergine”
The Coloradas – I cannot stop listening to these guys.
The Coloradas came to The Speakeasy, February 2014, to play their lively folk/bluegrass/country/roots.. oh, just listen to them. Heartfelt songs. I’m in love. If you like Avett Brothers, you’ll want to check them out. Listen here or on Spotify or Reverbnation or on their website. Great sound. Enjoy banjo, mandolin, acoustic guitar, harmonica. Great rhythm (I dig the faster songs, check out “Misery”). Great Lyrics, e.g., “This isn’t love, Natalie, until I leave you… my key.” I like the songs with first person narratives. But ya know, I’m a sucker for Maine boys singin’ folk music.
They tour in Europe. So catch them in Maine while we’ve got them! Listen to: “Crooked Youth.” (The video above.)
The Ghost of Paul Revere – or read about them in my article in The Scene, here. You may have heard Ghost of Paul Revere on the radio. WCLZ plays them on the Maine 207 showcase sometimes. They just had their CD release party for Believe – sold out show at the State Theatre in Portland in February 2014.
My Article from the Scene (‘Cause not all of ya have the subscription with Village Soup):
The Ghost of Paul Revere just released their first full length album and it was worth the wait! They blend their toe-tapping folk melodies with stirring vocal harmonies. The soulful instrumentals, complete with banjo, harmonica, guitar, bass, & mandolin, make you feel like you are in the dance hall with the band. They don’t use any percussion save the occasional well-executed foot stomping. It’s not an album you can sit still to.
These boys put on a great live show. I’ve seen them at Billy’s Tavern, and at the KahBang Music Festival in Bangor. They packed The First Church and got the whole place moving when they played at the Belfast Free Range Music Festival last summer. And on top of that, when the bassist broke his string, he finished the set doing the base with vocals. For a song to get you moving, check out “Hey Girl.”
The upbeat songs are fun but Ghost of Paul Revere’s slower paced songs are where this band really shines. The heart wrenching vocals and moving lyrics are delivered in a fashion reminiscent of a yearning lover’s lament. When I first heard their song “Kodiak” on North (2012) the words: “I was born alone, but I’ll die with you,” stuck with me. After powerful lyrics like that they had a lot to live up to with this new album and they delivered. The refrain of “’Cause I’ve always wanted to be a better man,” on “Audra” and “I lost my heart in the heat of San Antone” on “San Antone” make this the perfect album to cuddle up with.
If you like The Avett Brothers, Mumford and Sons, and similar music, pick up The Ghost of Paul Revere’s Believe. Trust me. You can pick up the album at Bull Moose or at Ghostofpaulrevere.com. Billboard Magazine reports that Believe is charting on the Northeast Heatseekers chart. You may have seen them on Maine’s 207 on WCSH 6 or heard them on WCLZ on Holly Nunan’s Music from 207. They are currently nominated for the title Best in State for Maine in the New England Music Awards. Make sure to visit nemusicawards.com/nominees to support these guys. Or see them live! GOPR will play on February 21st at the Port City Music Hall in Portland for their CD Release Party.
Chris Ross – My college Roomie introduced me to Chris Ross. He plays at the Camden Opera house every once and a while, so the name may be familiar. Don’t let the home made youtube vids scare you off. This guy has talent. And a great voice. And he’s on Spotify, so get listenin’ already. Listen to: “Last Last Call” “Might Be” (What’s better than sad songs about unrequited love?)
This is my favorite song of his:
Ellis Paul – Wonderful folk musician. The 2002 album, “Speed of Trees” is incredible. He’s wonderful live as well. His lyrics are deep -often telling a story. The music is great. It’s folky, but more pop/folky. Like accessible for anyone. He’s been featured on a few movie soundtracks. I think Shallow Hal is one. I remember sitting in the movie theatre and being pumped that I knew the song. It was one of those “I knew it before it was cool” moments. If you listen to WCLZ a lot, then you’re probably going to want to give Ellis Paul a listen.
This is my fave Ellis Paul song:
Warning – don’t watch this video at work or around kiddos ’cause they use a few naughty words. But it’s a good’un! Rock/Pop-Rock/lil bit o’ punk.