7 Maine Bands

MaineActs-webSEVEN MAINE ACTS TO TAKE NOTE OF
By A.J. Wachtel
All the participants in the New England music scene are on the same team. We just play a lot of different genres at a lot of variable venues throughout five separate states. Each of these assorted areas have their own special sound and unique characteristics. Check out what the JUKE ROCKETS BAND, BUCK CURRAN (from ARBOREA), THE MALLETT BROTHERS BAND, BLACK CAT ROAD, DOMINIC AND THE LUCID, ISAIAH BENNETT and THE PAT FOLEY BAND all say about Maine’s happening entertainment environment.

JUKE ROCKETS BAND

(high energy blues)
Carlene Thornton — vocals
Steve Mellor — bass
Bill Batty Jr. — drums
Ron Casillo — guitar

Noise: Where is your band located?
Casillo: Mid Coast Maine.
Noise:  What’s good and bad about your local scene?
Casillo: All good…
Noise: Describe your band’s sound and how you fit into the scene?
Casillo: Chicago blues – high octane blues!
Noise: What’s your best song?
Casillo: Difficult question – they are all great!
Noise: What national act’s influence is most evident in your sound?
Casillo: We feel we are unique. Janis, Chicago and delta blues, Eric, BB, Tedeschi
Noise: What are your plans for the future?
Casillo: To keep on moving forward to bigger and better events and opportunities.

BUCK CURRAN (from ARBOREA)

(psych folk)
Buck Curran — guitar
Shanti Curran — vocals

Noise: Where is your band located?
B. Curran: Bergamo, Italy/ Lewiston, Maine.
Noise:  What’s good and bad about your local scene?
Curran:  The scene in Maine is quite small (compared to places like Portland, Oregon, Boston, or New York City. so it’s imperative to tour throughout the US, UK, and Europe to develop a career in music.
Noise: Describe your band’s sound and how you fit into the scene?
Curran:  The music can be best described as alternative folk or psych folk. Maine is home to quite an eclectic body of artists… so the sound of my music, as well as Arborea’s output reflects diversity and originality.
Noise: What’s your best song?
Curran: I’d say “New Moontide” and “Sea of Polaris” from my debut solo album Immortal Light, while perhaps not my best songs, they are definitely the best representation of my artistic voice.
Noise: What national act’s influence is most evident in your sound?
Curran:  Arborea is an established national/ international act, so the influence of being in Arborea for over a decade has definitely shaped my musical voice. I also draw inspiration from American artists like Robbie Basho, Jimi Hendrix, John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman. My music is based on tonal colors, improvisation, and modal playing. The lyric side of my music stems from poetry… similar to how Robbie Basho, The Doors, and Hendrix combined poetry and musical landscapes to create their music.
Noise: What are your plans for the future?
Curran:  I have two albums that came out in July… my debut solo album Immortal Light and a Robbie Basho tribute album Basket Full of Dragons (with an international lineup) so I will be busy touring in the U.S. and Europe throughout 2016 and beyond, in support of these albums.

THE MALLETT BROTHERS BAND

(Americana/rock)
Luke Mallet — guitar/ vocals
Will Mallet — guitar/ vocals
Adam Cogswell — drums
Nick Leen — bass,
Wally — dobro and electric guitar
Andrew Martelle — fiddle/ mandolin

Noise: Where is your band located?
L. Mallet: We are based out of Portland Maine, but spend at least half of the year out on the road. Our regular tour stops include places like Colorado, Texas, and everywhere in between.
Noise:  What’s good and bad about your local scene?
Mallet: Maine as a whole, especially Portland, is a wonderful scene to get started in. It’s an open and friendly community of artists here, and the city has a genuine small town vibe. We’re fiercely proud of where we come from as Mainers, and we find loyalty to that from fans all across the country.
Noise: Describe your band’s sound and how you fit into the scene?
Mallet: Our sound has lots of elements, and our individual influences are all over the map. There is no sound specific to our scene, but there are amazing musicians from hip hop to metal to rockabilly and everything in between. There’s also a long history here of road songs, working songs, and songs about the land from people like Dick Curless and our own father, David Mallett.
Noise: What’s your best song?
Mallet: “Low Down,” the title track off of our second record, seems to persevere as a crowd favorite. Picking a favorite for me would be like picking a favorite child.
Noise: What national act’s influence is most evident in your sound?
Mallet: I think that changes from song to song, or writer to writer. In heavy van rotation lately is the latest Hardworking Americans, Sturgill, Stapleton, the New Basement Tapes, etc.
Noise: What are your plans for the future?
Mallett: Stay the course. Keep touring, releasing new music, and having copious amounts of fun. This month we plan on gigging from Maine to Colorado and back. See the website for details!

DOMINIC & THE LUCID

(alt/rock)
Dominic Lavoie — guitar/ vocals
Nate Cyr — bass/ keys/ vocals
Charles C. Gagne III — drums/ vocals
Scott Mohler — guitars/ keys/ vocals

Noise: Where is your band located?
Mohler: Portland, Maine.
Noise:  What’s good and bad about your local scene?
Mohler: There is far more good than bad about our scene.  At the risk of sounding extremely corny, it really is one big family for the most part.  I think the only real downside to our scene is that with it being a fairly small city, bands very easily can get the “big fish in a small pond” mentality and that can lead to some swollen egos.  But this city will also humble you very quickly.
Noise: Describe your band’s sound and how you fit into the scene?
Mohler: Our sound is best describe as psychedelic rock I would say.  We all come from different musical backgrounds but have found common ground in The vintage sounds of ELO, The Beatles, The Kinks as well as more contemporary bands like Dr. Dog, The Shins, and The Flaming Lips.
Noise: What’s your best song?
Mohler: Our best song?! My favorite one to play is “Dog” because no matter how the night is going I always know it will sound good and strong.  As far as what our best written song is, I wouldn’t know.  Hopefully the best one hasn’t been written yet.
Noise: What national act’s influence is most evident in your sound?
Mohler:  I would say Blitzen Trapper, Dr. Dog or My Morning Jacket would be the best off the cuff answer here.
Noise: What are your plans for the future?
Mohler: To hopefully keep getting better and to continue evolving. as far as more tangible things I think we hope to keep making records and to continue our creative relationship.  Hopefully we will spread to some newer markets and gain some traction in other parts of New England that we’ve neglected for the past few years.

BLACK CAT ROAD

(roots)
Steve Bailey — guitar/ vocals
Jessica Hines —  washboard/ vocals
Kate Seavey —  bass/ vocals
Don Reed — keys/ percussion
Chris Hartogh — drums

Noise: Where is your band located?
Hines: Steve and Jess  live in Peru, Maine, Don and Kate are out of Denmark, Maine and Chris is out of good old Portland, Maine, or P-Town, as we affectionately coin it.
Noise: What’s good and bad about your local scene?
Hines: The camaraderie among musicians is solid here and the support from our fans is truly astounding. A challenge may be that there are many talented artists in the state and a finite amount of venues and most of those venues require long winter driving, where part of the fun includes dodging moose, deer and other various wildlife. The density of the media coverage could also be stronger.
Noise: Describe your band’s sound and how you fit into the scene?
Hines: We’ve got a rocky, bluesy roots sound that is unique to our band. Our sound has been described as organic. We liked that.
Noise: What’s your best song?
Hines: Honestly, we have soft spots for each of our original tunes. Like choosing a favorite kid, I’m afraid of singling one out for fear of hurting the others’ feelings. But if we are really honest, our favorite is usually the most recently written. Right now, the newbie is “Damned”.
Noise: What national act’s influence is most evident in your sound?
Hines: We are influenced by what we love. We love all the old blues, Shovels & Rope, Morphine, Howe Gelb, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, ? and the Mysterians,  Gary Clark Jr., Deep Purple, ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Lester Butler, and Prince.
Noise: What are your plans for the future?
Hines: Explore more music, write more songs, finish up and release our current CD, play more festivals, and tour the East Coast.

ISAIAH BENNETT

(acoustic folk)
Isaiah Bennett — guitar/ vocals

Noise: Where are you located?
Bennett: I mainly am a solo artist based in Portland, ME but my band name is Isaiah Bennett.
Noise: What’s good and bad about your local scene?
Bennett: The Portland music scene is so diverse and supportive of all of it’s bands and artists.  There is a lot of camaraderie and intermingling of bands which makes it feel like family.  Some of the bad things about the scene is that there are so many bands and venues that fans sometimes will forget where and when you’re playing even if you’ve promoted the gig well.
Noise: Describe your band’s sound and how you fit into the scene?
Bennett: My band’s sound is acoustic pop with a little bit of funk in the mix.
Noise: What’s your best song?
Bennett:  My best song is probably “Horizons.”
Noise: What national act’s influence is most evident in your sound?
Bennett:  Some of the biggest influences in my sound are Amos Lee, Van Morrison, Ray Lamontagne, The Beatles, etc.
Noise: What are your plans for the future?
Bennett: My plan is to play bigger and better venues and travel the world sharing with people my art and songs. Just to have more influence so that I feel these songs have wings and touch more people’s lives.

THE PAT FOLEY BAND

(alt/ country/ folk/ rock)
Pat Foley —  vocals/ guitars/ keys/ harmonica
Shawn St. Pierre — bass/ vocals
Brian “Hoagie” Lassonde — drums

Noise: Where is your band located?
Foley:  Pat Foley and his band are located out of the southern Maine area.
Noise:  What’s good and bad about your local scene?
Foley:  The local scene has an eclectic blend of artists but not a lot of rooms that support original music.
Noise: Describe your band’s sound and how you fit into the scene?
Foley:  Pat Foley solo is a whole different show than the Pat Foley Band.  Pat Foley solo is an energetic acoustic show. I use a loop pedal and also do a lot of percussion on the guitar. I am very energetic onstage and never sit on a bar stool. My shows are a blend of originals and my own versions of six hundred songs by memory (No iPad clipped to my mic stand). When I play with the Pat Foley Band we are a powerhouse three piece with more of a bluesy/ rock/ jam band feel. We have over thirty originals and also play an eclectic blend of covers that we put our own twist on. I think we fit into the jam band/ listening and dance rooms. We can almost play any kind of crowd.
Noise: Describe your band’s sound and how you fit into the scene?
Foley: Our best song is one of our originals titled “Gone.” People also dig a little caribbean song on the new CD titled Down in Belize also. “Drift Away” has a Stephen Stills bluesy/ rock edge to it that people like too.
Noise: What national act’s influence is most evident in your sound?
Foley: I would say our sound is influenced by Grateful Dead/ Allman Bros./ John Mellancamp/ Eagles/ CSN.
Noise: What are your plans for the future?
Foley:  Our future plans are to get our CD One Day At A Time to take off. We’ve sold over 1400 copies since it’s release last June. We would like to get our music to a semi-national level. Playing festivals and touring small theaters throughout New England and further. Music is my life and it’s all I’ve done for twenty five  years. I perform twenty to twenty five nights a month and don’t see that stopping. We will start recording a new CD in the fall of 2016 and we’re looking forward to that.

Comments

7 Maine Bands — 2 Comments

  1. Check our Muddy Ruckus from Portland, I live in Boston but I go check them out every time they come visit.

  2. great read about the Maine music scene i have a band RC BUDAKA that has been around 3 years .Its always a challenge to find great places to play. i think that is the hardest part for any band things are great from may to oct and then the winter comes and alot of times thats when you hit a road block.over all though it is a great place for bands you just have to dig deep.