The Music Roundup 20/08/06

Celtic cousins: A free downtown show stars Rebel Collective, who blend traditional Irish songs with modern rock. The band has a central core of three cousins, Michael Green, Brian Waldron and Ross Ketchum, along with bass player Connor Veazy and drummer Pete Provencher. They’ve opened for Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys, and appeared at the Highlands Games Festival. Thursday, Aug. 6, 7 p.m., 1 Eagle Square, Concord, facebook.com/rebelcollectivemusic.

Gather together: An Arts in the Park concert, Songwriter in the Round offers Greenhouse Recording Studio performers playing originals. Dakota Smart is an Alton-based keyboard player and singer; he took top solo artist honors at February’s Young Performers Club contest at Boston’s Hard Rock. Senie Hunt is a percussive guitarist and Kimayo is a gifted singer-songwriter. Friday, Aug 7, 6 p.m., Belknap Mill, 25 Beacon St. East, Laconia, facebook.com/events/283664642742368.

Roots rockers: Enjoy a reggae festival with Jah Spirit; led by singer Michael Wolfe, the band’s been playing music with a message of peace, freedom and universality since the early 1980s. Their motto is “Together we aspire, together we achieve.” They can also deliver joyful remakes, like the Motown gem “My Girl,” which appeared on their Ceasefire CD. Saturday, Aug. 8, and Sunday, Aug. 9, 11 a.m., NASWA Resort, 1086 Weirs Blvd., Laconia, naswa.com.

Park ’n’ laugh: Roll up, park the car and revel in the comedy of Bob Marley, as the latest entry in drive-in entertainment bows. Marley was performing outdoors long before social distancing made it mandatory, building a following at New England summer campgrounds, even telling jokes from a few boat docks. Sunday, Aug. 9, at 6 and 8:30 p.m., Northfield Drive-In, 981 Northfield Road, Hinsdale, tickets $34.50 per person (two per car minimum) at eventbrite.com.

Gazebo groove: Led by Moultonborough Postmaster Rick Clogston, Red Hat Band performs classic hits and other favorites to close out a summer concert series. Bring a blanket, lawn chairs and a picnic dinner for the free show, sponsored by the local Lions Club. The band covers Van Morrison, John Denver, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Dire Straits, among others. Wednesday, Aug. 12, 6:30 p.m., Function Hall Gazebo, 139 Old Route 109, Moultonborough, moultonboroughnh.gov.

Soundtrack to your summer

7 performers talk about playing in a time when local music is center stage

In the midst of live music’s strangest season — with most national acts having canceled their tours — local talent is getting a lot of love.

“From farmer’s markets to on stage gigs, everyone has been so attentive and so appreciative,” Paul Driscoll said. “I’ve gotten some of the best and most generous feedback this year.”

MB Padfield, a Granite State native who heads home from L.A. every summer, agrees.

“People are bored of being bored and I think they’re far more receptive now that they’ve had this time to really reflect on priorities in their life,” she said. “Quarantine was a really big pause button.”

Here’s a look at seven performers currently playing around the state.

Gabby Martin

Performing since 2017, Gabby Martin is from Rochester and currently lives in Thornton.

What should people know about your music?

First of all, I see myself as a local kid — I really do love the state of New Hampshire. I love the venues and just being able to meet members of the community that I normally would not interact with. … Musically, I love performing covers. I do write music as well but there’s something really special about recreating music that people know and love in my own way.

What did you do during quarantine?

One thing that makes me unique from some of the other artists is that I’m also in grad school so that keeps me busy. During quarantine I did a live concert every Sunday and also learned some new equipment, played with some software. I am not one of those that wrote an entire album or anything like that.

When did you start playing out again?

May 22 at Schilling Beer Co. in Littleton.

How’s your summer going so far?

It’s going well. The biggest challenge would be the weather. I’ve been playing at Schilling Brewery in Littleton about once a weekend and that’s been a good addition, something that I didn’t have on the books before the beginning of the summer. It’s going well and it’s very nice to be back out with people.

What are some of your favorite venues?

Schilling Beer … the Copper Doors, Kettlehead Brewing, and I love Hart’s Turkey Farm — it’s a classic New Hampshire venue.

What’s the rest of your summer look like?

I’m finding it’s going very quickly compared to last summer.

How can people keep up with your shows and projects?

I’m pretty active on Facebook and Instagram and I also have a YouTube page.

Typical set list

“Bennie and the Jets” – Elton John

“Bobbie McGee” – Janis Joplin

“Big Yellow Taxi” – Joni Mitchell

“Valerie” – Amy Winehouse

“Angel from Montgomery” – John Prine

“Wish I Knew You” – The Revivalists

“Love Song” – Sara Bareilles

“Put Your Records On” – Corrine Bailey Rae

“Sunrise – Norah Jones

“Ironic” – Alanis Morissette

Upcoming appearances

Aug. 7 – Lone Wolf Brewing, Wolfeboro

Aug. 8 – Tumbledown Café, Sanbornville

Aug. 9 – Ore Mill, Warren

Aug. 11 – Common Man, Ashland

Aug. 13 – Sea Dog Brewing, Exeter

Aug. 27 – Revolution Taproom, Rochester

MB Padfield

Performing since she was 16, MB Padfield is originally from Manchester and is now based in North Hollywood, California. She comes back to New England to perform from the end of June to Labor Day since she moved to L.A. in 2017.

What should people know about your music?

The elevator pitch is I’m a pretty versatile live performer but my original music is grounded in pop and songwriting, so I’d like people to know that I’m a songwriter and that I write original music as well as play it in addition to live performances.

What did you do during quarantine?

I was just writing. I was songwriting and working on recording. I’m prepping, I want to do a record and I’m in the place I think mentally now where I’m really ready to do that, and I have the songs. So I spent the entire quarantine time just writing and making good music and then learning new stuff — spending time on, you know, things that I think were on the to-do list but I haven’t gotten to yet. … I wanted to learn a new computer program, I wanted to learn more about bass, and I think I was able to have that time so I could really dive in.

When did you start playing out again?

June 24 at Murphy’s Taproom in Manchester [a weekly residency for the summer].

How’s your summer going so far?

Everything has honestly been really great other than the fact that I lost more than half of my work — shows that I booked at the beginning of 2020 and canceled and then rebooked and then with the shutdown they canceled again. … But crowds want to be entertained and they are a bit more receptive. … In a world of background noise, I feel like now has been the time where we’re able to really step out from that.

What are some of your favorite venues?

I love playing at Bernie’s Beach Bar, it has a big stage, and at Wally’s; Hampton Beach feels like the Las Vegas strip.

What’s the rest of your summer look like?

I’m still taking requests for private parties and events and I’m still looking to book new venues and more venues. For the most part things have been status quo, or they have been in the past couple of weeks. Hopefully the Covid numbers will continue to decline and we’ll be able to start really moving past this.

How can people keep up with your shows and projects?

All my shows are on my website, mbpadfield.com

Typical set list

“Give Me One Reason” – Tracy Chapman

“Pretty for a Living” – MB Padfield

“Whole Lotta Love” – Led Zeppelin

“Havana” – Camila Cabello

“Into You” – MB Padfield

“The Real Slim Shady” – Eminem

“War Pigs” – Black Sabbath

“Full Throttle” – MB Padfield

“Can’t Take My Eyes off of You” – Lauryn Hill

“The Cat Song” – MB Padfield

Upcoming appearances

Aug. 8 – Bernie’s Beach Bar, Hampton Beach

Aug. 9 – Wally’s, Hampton Beach

Aug. 10 – Bernie’s Beach Bar, Hampton Beach

Aug. 12 – Murphy’s Taproom, Manchester (Wednesday residency)

Aug. 13 – Stumble Inn, Londonderry

Brad Bosse

Brad Bosse, originally from Milford, has been performing full time for eight years. He currently lives in Hooksett and has a summer place in Wells, Maine.

What should people know about your music?

I’m upbeat. I bring a good time. I do everything from Sinatra to Notorious B.I.G. to Sublime to Kenny Chesney. I kind of do it all, but I kind of make it into my own style.

What did you do during quarantine?

I was super bummed just because I’m a driven guy [and am] used to working all the time. The first couple of days, it was nice to have some time off, but I forecast my schedule six to eight months out and I’m like, ‘Oh my god, I have no income.’ … I went on unemployment [so] I was making some money. I did a couple of livestreams … I called them Pajama Jams … but sitting in front of your phone in your bedroom playing guitar just doesn’t have the same effect as playing live. Then I said, when have I had this much time to just relax and write music, to not have to perform? Just picking up my guitar … it was nice to just do it for the pure joy of music again.

When did you start playing out again?

The first Monday that New Hampshire opened up outdoor dining May 20 at Penuche’s, then I played Wednesday at Stumble Inn in Londonderry, then Thursday at Tuscan Kitchen in Salem.

How’s your summer going so far?

It’s been really good. I was worried about the weather, because you just never know, and I personally super lucked out … every [time] it’s rained it was either before or after my gig. I’ve only gotten rained out twice. In regards to people coming out it’s a sense of normalcy that’s nice. … I love my job. It’s work, but at the same time I like that with music I get to forget anything else in life for three hours and just get lost in the music. I missed that, and it’s nice to have that again.

What are some of your favorite venues?

Instabar — that’s a new and really fun place. Stumble Inn is great … and Tuscan [Market & Kitchen in Salem].

What’s the rest of your summer look like?

More of the same. … I was doing Friday, Saturday and Sunday doubles every single week last summer, and I decided to stop, but when somebody offers me a gig, I have such a hard time saying no even though I know the day is going to kick my ass. This summer … I picked up a couple, because I had gigs set up before Covid hit, then I booked all these new dates.

How can people keep up with your shows and projects?

My Brad Bosse Music Facebook page is the best place.

Typical set list

“Steal My Kisses” – Ben Harper

“You Can’t Always Get What You Want” – “Rolling Stones

“No Diggity” – Blackstreet

“Franklin’s Tower” – Grateful Dead

“Fly Me to the Moon” – Frank Sinatra

“Humble” – Kendrick Lamar

“Danny’s Song” – Kenny Loggins

“Give Me One Reason” – Tracy Chapman

“Closer to the Sun” – Slightly Stoopid

“Small Worlds” – Mac Miller

Upcoming appearances

Aug. 7 – The Oven, Epping

Aug. 8 – Community Oven, Hampton

Aug. 9 – Instabar, Hampton & Cheers, Concord

Aug. 11 – McGuirks, Hampton Beach

Aug. 14 – Stumble Inn, Londonderry & The Oven, Epping

Aug. 15 – Community Oven, Hampton

Aug. 16 – Instabar, Hampton

Aug. 18 – McGuirks, Hampton Beach

Paul Driscoll

Paul Driscoll, who was born in Stoneham, Mass., grew up in Everett, Mass., and spent most of his life in Colorado, is now based in Milford and has been performing for three and a half years.

What should people know about your music?

I always want to give people something new, whether it’s my original music or something that I know that they probably haven’t heard yet. … If it’s one of my own songs and it goes over that’s something I’ll always come back to, because it’s just the best to be able to, like, make someone bob their head or get up and dance to your own song.

What did you do during quarantine?

That first month or so I think like a lot of people I was just wishing that it was just kind of going to blow over really quick. I was stuck in a place of not really being motivated besides doing online shows. I wasn’t writing a lot and my head was a little foggy. Over the past few months I’ve really come out of that and I’ve started writing more from different points of view. I feel like I’ve become a lot more thoughtful as a songwriter and as an entertainer.

When did you start playing out again?

May, at Trombly Gardens in Milford.

How’s your summer going so far?

I’ve been playing a lot. … There are some places that I’ve never played before that reached out to me just because they need local music in some capacity.

What are some of your favorite venues?

Fresh Chicks Market in Peterborough is really awesome and the farmers always tip well with baked goods and all that stuff. So that’s really cool. And definitely Trombly Gardens in Milford.

What’s the rest of your summer look like?

The shows have picked up exponentially so now it’s pretty much back to a normal schedule, just playing outside pretty much instead of all the indoor shows. I’m also three songs into my second album as far as writing and I’ve got a little bit of a concept going. So a lot of writing and a lot of playing. Just trying to stay creative.

How can people keep up with your shows and projects?

My Facebook page, Paul Driscoll Music.

Typical set list

“Hold On” – Tom Waits

“Thirteen Silver Dollars” – Colter Wall

“Lenny’s Song” (original)

“Old Paint” (traditional)

“Dancing in the Dark” – Bruce Springsteen

“Whitehouse Road” – Tyler Childers

“Million Pound Man” (original)

“These Days” – Black Keys

“Poor Man’s Son” – Noah Gunderson

“Ain’t Nobody’s Problem” – Sawmill Joe

Upcoming appearances

Aug. 8 – Moonlight Meadery, Londonderry

Aug. 10 – Fresh Chicks Local Outdoor Market, Peterborough

Aug. 22 – Concord Arts Market

Sept. 6 – Trombly Gardens, Milford

April Cushman

Originally from Brookline and now living in Swanzey, April Cushman has been playing guitar since she was 5. As an adult, she’s been performing for five or six years and is now a full-time musician.

What should people know about your music?

As a songwriter I feel like I’m really trying to stay on my own path and … to know that my music is telling stories that are true to me, telling stories that other people can relate to…. I grew up with a lot of country, folk and rock, and I’m trying to stay on the Southern rock side of things versus the country pop scene that’s really popular right now.

What did you do during quarantine?

I lost almost four months’ worth of shows, so I tried to try to keep as much contact with my fans as I possibly could. Thank goodness for social media. I was able to do a bunch of online shows, going live across the country. … My husband, my daughter and I do a lot of fishing and four-wheeling, so we tried to stay outside and enjoy life as much as we could and just kind of hang tight until things started to open again. It was a difficult time.

When did you start playing out again?

My first was an acoustic show at a venue I never played before in Hampton called WHYM Brewery. It was nice to sit there and play for three hours and be like, ‘Oh my gosh, people are real!’

How’s your summer going so far?

Great. I had recorded and released my first single about a month ago … got that all out of the way and came back home. I started gigging again, and it has been rolling.

What are some of your favorite venues?

I’ve been hitting up the craft brewery scene really hard, because all these places have really great patios and little stages away from everyone [like] Backyard Brewery in Manchester [and] Smuttynose in Hampton.

What’s the rest of your summer look like?

I’m really looking forward to playing Fletcher Murphy Park in Concord on Aug. 8 with my band. It will be the first time we’ve been on stage together since the beginning of February.

How can people keep up with your shows and projects?

The best way is through my website — aprilcushman.com. A lot of people follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

Typical set list

“Walking In Memphis” – Mark Cohn

“In A Small Town” – Original

“Soundtrack to My City” – Original

“Dust On The Bottle” – David Lee Murphy

“Fire And Rain” – James Taylor

“Once Upon A Time” – Original

“Come To My Window” – Melissa Etheridge

“Ain’t No Stopping You” – Original

“Skin And Bones” – Liz Longley

“Humble and Kind” – Lori McKenna

Upcoming appearances

Aug. 6 – Village Trestle, Goffstown

Aug. 7 – Murphy’s Taproom, Bedford

Aug. 8 – Fletcher-Murphy Park, Concord

Sept. 4 – Murphy’s Taproom

Ryan Williamson

Ryan Williamson, who grew up in Concord and still lives there, has been performing for almost three years.

What should people know about your music?

I tell everyone from the beginning that all the sounds I’m going to play are going to be played live. I use a lot of looping stuff but I don’t use any pre-recorded sounds; I make all of it myself. I play all kinds of genres … anything from Lee Brice country to Taylor Swift and Usher. Stuff that you wouldn’t expect to hear out of a solo guitarist.

What did you do during quarantine?

For the first couple weeks I just enjoyed not playing gigs all the time and kind of decompressed — I actually really liked that for a while. I started messing around with GarageBand, recording my original stuff, working on a range of different things trying to stay creative. I did a couple of online shows, which was really weird, because I’ve played at places where there are no people in the crowd, but this time there were definitely no people … but I got some good feedback on it. It was fun to try new stuff. That went on until the gigs came back.

When did you start playing out again?

End of May, at Backyard Brewery in Manchester.

How’s your summer going so far?

The last couple of weeks I have been really busy, and the next couple of months are really busy too, so I don’t feel like I’ve lost a whole lot. A lot of places have done a really good job creating outdoor seating areas for their patrons, and on the off chance that it’s raining, some places are still doing inside seating if people are comfortable with that.

What are some of your favorite venues?

I love Backyard Brewery and little places like Firefly in Manchester. Fratello’s in Nashua — the city has done a really good job opening up the Main Street area to have outdoor seating. You’re like hybrid busking out there. I’m on the street corner playing to patrons of a restaurant and to anyone who’s walking down the streets. That’s a new experience for me.

What’s the rest of your summer look like?

I’m going to be just playing gigs; I can’t go anywhere. Normally my family and I would go to our house in Canada, but we’re not allowed to go there, so I’m just going to be here playing gigs at various places around New Hampshire.

How can people keep up with your shows and projects?

I’m pretty bad at Facebook, but I try to keep my website up to date — ryanwilliamson.com.

Typical set list

“Moondance” – Van Morrison

“Hard to Love” – Lee Brice mashup with “Learning to Fly” – Tom Petty

“I Don’t Care” – Ed Sheeran

“Rhiannon” – Fleetwood Mac

“Slow Burn” – Kacey Musgraves

“Dancing in the Dark” – Bruce Springsteen

“Delicate” – Taylor Swift

“Faithfully” – Journey

“Die a Happy Man” – Thomas Rhett mashup with “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room” by John Mayer

“Watermelon Sugar” – Harry Styles

Upcoming appearances

Aug. 7 – Cactus Jack’s, Manchester

Aug. 8 – Backyard Brewery, Manchester

Aug. 11 – Murphy’s Taproom, Bedford

Aug. 14 – WHYM Brewery, Hampton

Aug. 15 – Cactus Jack’s, Manchester

Aug. 16 – KC’s Rib Shack, Manchester

Aug. 17 – Homestead, Merrimack

Aug. 18 – Fratello’s, Nashua

Aug. 20 – Firefly, Manchester

Maddi Ryan

Maddi Ryan of Methuen, Mass., who has been performing since she was 16, just finished her senior year of college at Boston University and moved back to her home town.

What should people know about your music?

I always want to be genuine and honest with listeners and I want to do something people resonate with, like, yeah, I’ve gone through that. I want to connect with people and be that friend through my music. I usually lean toward more of the pop country realm, because I love the attitude behind it. Singers like Maren Morris, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood — I feel the emotions.

What did you do during quarantine?

I was finishing up my senior year of college, which was interesting, but I was also writing, writing, writing all the time. I annoyed my parents with the loud sounds coming out of my room. Me and the drummer I play with, Charles Greenwood, we were playing some livestreams and writing, reflecting and thinking of the next steps of where I want to be when this is all over.

When did you start playing out again?

June 27 was my first gig, at Liberty & Union Ale House in Taunton.

How’s your summer going so far?

It’s going pretty well. Most of these gigs are outside so it’s very dependent on the weather, which luckily has been holding up.

What are some of your favorite places to play?

Bonfire in Manchester is always such a fun time. All the places I play are awesome; it’s hard to pick a favorite.

What’s the rest of your summer look like?

Playing shows of course, and it looks like a lot of recording — I’ve put all my energy into [working in] my basement, trying to get some writing done and make demos. Looking forward to putting out some music in the near future.

How can people keep up with your shows and projects?

My Maddi Ryan Music Facebook page and my website too.

Typical set list

“Free Fallin’” – Tom Petty

“Stuck Like Glue” – Sugarland

“Folsom Prison Blues” – Johnny Cash

“Lonely” – Maddi Ryan

“Come Together” – The Beatles

“Hotel California” – Eagles

“Chicken Fried” – Zac Brown Band

“Tennessee Whiskey” – Chris Stapleton

“Zombie” – The Cranberries

“My Church” – Maren Morris

Upcoming appearances

Aug. 7 – Bonfire, Manchester

Aug. 28 – Old School Bar & Grill, Windham

Featured Image: MB Padfield. Courtesy photo.

The Music Roundup 20/07/30

Stepping up: After a long pandemic-caused hiatus, Thirsty Thursday jam sessions return to Auburn Pitts. In a tradition for years now hosted by Oak Hill Music, singers are asked to bring a microphone, and masks are still required. Hats off to the first person who whips out a rendition of “Safety Dance” or “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” for the socially distanced, Purell-soaked fans. Thursday, July 30, 6:30 p.m., Auburn Pitts, 167 Rockingham Road, Auburn, facebook.com/auburnpitts.

Healing laughter: A residency that began last week and runs through mid-August has Comedy at a Distance, with Juston McKinney & Friends keeping the mood light in dark times. The mechanics of standup makes doing shows challenging, but people want to laugh and the consensus is it’s working in the New Normal — events are selling out and comics are happy. Friday, July 31, 7:30 p.m., Rex Theatre, 23 Amherst St., Manchester. Tickets are $29 and can be purchased by calling 668-5588.

Plucky pair: Though it sounds like a bird, the moniker of rootsy acoustic folk duo Green Heron is actually a play on the last names of Scott Heron and Betsy Green, both members of modern bluegrass combo The Opined Few and the band Mama Ain’t Dead. They play guitar, fiddle and banjo and harmonize. Their afternoon show is free and open to the public. Sunday, Aug. 2,, 4 p.m., Blueberry Express Park, 16 School St., Allenstown. See facebook.com/greenheronmusic.

Guitar man: With a resume stretching from ’90s rockers Wild Horses to backing Godsmack’s Sully Erna on his solo records and playing Faux Walsh in Dark Desert Eagles, Chris Lester has earned a reputation for talent and versatility as guitarist, singer and producer. Most recently, his band Ghosts of Vinyl released a pair of songs, “Amnesia” and “Zero Gravity.” Wednesday, Aug. 5, 5 p.m., Stumble Inn, 20 Rockingham Road, Londonderry. See chrislester.com.

Jerry day: On what would have been Jerry Garcia’s 78th birthday, musicians like Brett Wilson are playing in tribute to the guitarist known as Captain Trips and beloved by Deadheads. Wilson’s band Roots of Creation was inspired enough to make Grateful Dub a couple of years back, a reggae collection of Dead favorites like “Friend of the Devil” that ended with a minute of silence for Jerry. Saturday, Aug. 1, 6 p.m., Surfside Burger Bar, 41 NH Route 25, Meredith. See rootsofcreation.com.

Saturday in the park

Concord concert series spotlights local music

With big-name shows canceled throughout the state, local music is enjoying a welcome moment in the spotlight. In Concord, Capitol Center for the Arts and its smaller sister venue Bank of NH Stage are dark until close to Labor Day, but they’re keeping on by helping out with a series of concerts highlighting regional music, in nearby Fletcher-Murphy Park.

Upcoming are JamAntics cofounder Lucas Gallo (Aug. 1), modern country artist April Cushman (Aug. 8), percussive guitarist Senie Hunt (Aug. 15) and fiddle wizard Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki with Matt Jensen (Aug. 22). Music in the Park is a collaborative effort between Capitol Center for the Arts, Concord Community Music School and the Concord Parks & Recreation Department, with sponsorship by Concord Pediatric Dentistry.

Gallo, a tireless booster of the Concord scene for years as a musician and promoter, fits in perfectly with the series’ spirit. His show will celebrate the release of a new album, From the Attic. The all-acoustic CD was largely completed during the pandemic lockdown; many performers used the period of no gigs to focus on original projects.

Gallo was spurred to pull out material he’d kept in storage for years and “open it up,” as he sings in the title song.

“This album is all about taking those songs that have been kicking around for a while down from the attic,” he said in a recent phone interview. “Clear the dust, rejuvenate this older material in order to keep moving forward.”

The oldest song, “Drown,” dates back 18 years —‌ almost half a lifetime for Gallo, 37. The instrumental “Glude” and “It’s You,” a romantic shuffle with echoes of Jack Johnson written for Gallo’s wife, are the most recent tracks.

“They’re maybe a year old,” he said. “The others range over the last 10 years; some are songs that I played live a bunch but don’t have on record.”

Darlingside singer and guitarist Don Mitchell served as engineer, mixing and mastering the new record.

“I have a pretty long history with Darlingside here in Concord,” Gallo said. “It was super cool to have him be in that position on the album.”

Along with working on his own stuff, Gallo used the quarantine to check out friends in the music community, what he called a “silver lining” of lockdown for the father of three.

“We don’t get out all that often at nighttime, being parents,” he said. “So it was really cool to all of a sudden see everybody doing livestreams. … Nobody really took a break; they just found a different way to do it.”

Gallo also recognizes that Covid-19 offered an opportunity to performers like him.

“It’s a little bit ironic that it’s a big win for the local musicians when all these huge shows can’t happen,” he said. “All the local shows happen in smaller venues or bars, and it’s just really cool that local music is the one that’s able to keep it going.”

Music in the Park will happen rain or shine; if there’s inclement weather the show will be moved into Bank of NH Stage.

“There’s only 50 tickets being sold,” Gallo said, “so there will be plenty of room to social distance within the venue.”

All tickets include a copy of the new disc, a fact that may be most exciting to Gallo.

“I wanted an incentive to come,” he said. “To me it’s just like holding a book —‌ I want to hold a CD in my hand.”

Gallo offered high praise for the Capitol Center team that spearheaded the show.

“They’re smart people who are always looking for ways to pull in local music,” Gallo said. “It’s funny — I found out about Music in the Park because I’d emailed [marketing manager Sheree Owens] thinking that it would be so cool if they could do something out front, or close down part of Pleasant Street. Then she mentioned that they had this idea.”

Lucas Gallo
When:
Saturday, Aug. 1, 6 p.m.
Where: Fletcher-Murphy Park, 28 Fayette St., Concord
Tickets: $10 at banknhstage.com

The Music Roundup 20/07/02

Mountain music: A Concord trio consisting of guitar, drums and keyboard, Holy Fool favors smooth soulful grooves with jazzy elements. They play an outdoor show at a ski resort repurposed for summer, their first since Friday the 13th in March at hometown haunt True Brew, just as the world was shutting down. During quarantine the group was part of the Granite State Online Music Festival. Thursday, July 2, 4 p.m. at Pats Peak Ski Area, 686 Flanders Road, Henniker, facebook.com/holyfoolnh.

Singing, playing: Enjoy a solo acoustic experience with The Lone Wolf Project. Christopher Perkins’ set list includes everything from Queensrÿche to Cyndi Lauper, with sweet tunes like John Denver’s “Annie’s Song” offered as well. Perkins has some nice originals, too, like “Today,” written during lockdown, about keeping family close. Friday, July 3, 6 p.m., Fratello’s Italian Grille, 799 Union Ave., Laconia, facebook.com/ASoloAcousticExperience.

Laugh again: Though his Headliners downtown showcase room is still shuttered, Rob Steen is promoting shows and performing comedy again in Manchester, as a multipurpose movie house returns to standup. Drew Dunn, who won top honors at competitions in Seattle and Boston, tops the bill at what’s basically a three-headliner show, with Steen and Amy Tee. Saturday, July 4, 9 p.m., Chunky’s Cinema Pub, 707 Huse Road, Manchester. Tickets $20 at headlinerscomedyclub.com.

Twofer time: In between shows with their band Almost Famous, Jimmy Magoon and Kristin Atkins perform as a duo, covering pop hits and classic rock for every mood. Formed in 2012, the Boston group is popular for whipping crowds into a dancing frenzy, but their talents for chilling a room and keeping an easy vibe going will probably be more welcome in this moment. Sunday, July 5, 3 p.m., Old School Bar & Grill, 49 Range Road, Windham, facebook.com/almostfamousrocks.

In the pocket

Blues rockers return to the stage

Downtown Dave & the Deep Pockets played their last pre-quarantine gig on March 8, so when they booked a late May show outdoors at Broken Spoke in Laconia, frontman Dave Glannon counted the days. Fate, however, had other plans for his blues-rock powerhouse. A broken well pump forced them to cancel, though the owner paid half their guarantee, a reminder of why the Spoke is a favorite venue for the band.

The cash was a comfort, but for Glannon, music is passion first, profession second. He was ready to get down and play his harmonica, to jam with guitarist Paul Size and a rhythm section of drummer Don Boucher and bass player Erik Thomas.

So he moved the show down the road, and turned it into a party.

“Everybody was already there, like right around the corner, and my friend has a place at the lake,” Glannon explained in a recent phone interview. “It just felt so good to get together and play.”

Glannon became a musician at age 41, inspired by the purchase of his first compact disc player, when they were a new thing. He bought two CDs that day, Aerosmith’s Live Bootleg and Muddy Waters’ Still Hard. The latter looked cool, had Johnny Winter backing blues legend Waters on guitar, and was bargain priced.

It changed his life.

“I think I played it for three months straight,” Glannon said. “That’s when I realized this is something I would really love to do.”

Attending an all-star benefit show at the original House of Blues in Cambridge a while later cemented his instinct.

“There were all these great people — Jerry Paquette, Racky Thomas, Jerry Portnoy, a bunch of others. … I went by myself and was just standing there taking in all the action, and I realized I really had to pursue it,” Glannon said. Realizing that learning to play guitar would take a lot of time, “I figured harmonica was the quickest way to get into that.”

In the mid-2000s Glannon practiced in his garage and went to Tuesday night blues jams hosted by Paquette at KC’s Rib Shack in Manchester — always as a spectator. One night, after prolonged prodding by his then-wife, he stepped on stage.

“I played one song and started to walk off, but Jerry stopped me,” he said. “He said, ‘You don’t sit down until I tell you to.’ So I kept coming back. … He must have seen something there.”

Glannon spent four years playing in Paquette’s Kan-Tu Blues Band, then set about forming the Deep Pockets in 2010.

“I love the blues and I like that style, but I wanted to do something more up-tempo,” he said.

Band members have come and gone; none remain from the lineup that traveled to Memphis after winning the 2015 Granite State Blues Challenge. Boucher came aboard shortly after the competition. Size, a Texas expat who played in The Red Devils, is the most recent to join. ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons included Size on his 10 Guitarists Who Blew My Mind list, which also included Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix.

Glannon thinks the current Downtown Dave & the Deep Pockets is the best ever, for a few reasons.

“These are four people who truly get along, have great respect for each other, great talent, and are in tune with everything that is going on,” he said. “On stage, it’s pure magic, three to four hours of thinking about nothing but the music at hand. It helps keep you sane.”

Their summer calendar is slowly filling, with shows set for July 11 at Pitman’s Freight Room in Laconia, and July 18 at The Anchorage, a restaurant-bar situated on the edge of Lake Sunapee. Pitman’s has long been a favorite stop for the band.

“It’s a great room, and the sound quality is fantastic,” Glannon said. “People are there strictly for the music, and it’s always a very appreciative crowd.”

Featured photo: Downtown Dave & the Deep Pockets. Courtesy photo.

Downtown Dave & the Deep Pockets
When:
Saturday, July 11, 8 p.m.
Where: Pitman’s Freight Room, 94 New Salem St., Laconia
Tickets: $20/door – pitmansfreightroom.com
Also: Saturday, July 18, 8 p.m. at The Anchorage, 71 Main St., Sunapee

The Music Roundup 20/07/23

One-man band: When all the pieces are engaged, Lee Ross delivers a bold, brassy sound that definitely seems like it’s coming from a crowded stage, not a Boston-based solo performer with a boatload of musical chops. Ross tricks out his keyboards to mimic a rhythm section, plays saxophone and flute, sings and loops it all to amazing effect — the magic of a big band, no social distancing needed. Thursday, July 23, 7 p.m., Penuche’s Music Hall, 1087 Elm St., Manchester. See facebook.com/leerossmusic.

Salt the rim: Kenny Chesney doppelganger Dan Wray, who’s also front man for No Shoes Nation, a Chesney tribute act now in its fourth year, helps celebrate National Tequila Day. Yes, that’s a thing, and no, it’s not a legal holiday even if it should be. Hits like “Guitars and Tiki Bars” will rev things up, with a giveaway of a Charbroil Smoker, essential equipment for backyard parties, adding to the fun. Friday, July 24, 6 p.m., Village Trestle, 35 Main St., Goffstown. See facebook.com/NoShoesNationBand.

Join in blues: Bring a guitar, harmonica or voice to a jam hosted by blues band Catfish Howl. The afternoon confab happens outdoors under the tent, with proper space between the players. The Manchester group features Zydeco aficionado Glenn Robertson, and its name comes in part from Professor Catfish Bill, who sings and plays percussive instruments like the washboard. Saturday, July 25, 2 p.m., Area 223, 254 N. State St. (Smokestack Center), Concord. See catfishhowl.com.

Shell it out: Enjoy al fresco music in the local bandshell with Lunch at the Dump, an inventively named roots band that’s closing in on 50 years together. They began in the spring of 1972 as a loose group of pickers learning to play their guitars, fiddles, banjos and mandolin. Reportedly, a “chance encounter with a carrot cake at the local landfill” prompted their moniker. Tuesday, July 28, 6:30 p.m., Angela Robinson Band Stand, Community Park, Henniker. See facebook.com/Lunch-at-the-Dump.

Music City bound

Amanda McCarthy makes her move

With a combination of innate talent and plucky determination, Amanda McCarthy has become a fixture on the regional music circuit, from the Seacoast to the White Mountains. She’s recorded and released multiple albums of original songs the latest, Epilogue, arrives in the fall while performing covers to fuel her dream of being a full-time musician.

Like many before, McCarthy’s time in the trenches playing bars and restaurants led to an inevitable conclusion that it was time to try her luck in a major market.

“People like my original music in New Hampshire, but there’s not really an original music industry here,” she said in a recent phone interview.

So, after a few more gigs, including a farewell bash with some of her musical friends on Aug. 1 at Long Cat Brewery in Londonderry, Amanda McCarthy is moving to Nashville. The goal, she said, is to live in a milieu that makes her artistic development more possible.

“I love playing for people,” she said. “Even if it’s playing covers, I really, truly enjoy it. But I know in my heart I love writing songs; that’s why I went into music in the first place.”

In the past year, McCarthy’s relationship with U.K.-based Evolved Artists has encouraged her to take the next step.

“I’ve been working with them as a songwriter … sending demos that they’ve been sent off to their contacts,” she said. “I figured if I was lucky enough to land an opportunity like that being in New Hampshire, then what else can I accomplish when I’m actually down there where things are really happening?”

“Here,” a preview track from her new album that will be officially released at the Long Cat farewell show, offers insight into the urgency McCarthy feels about testing the water in that “very big pond” now instead of later.

“All my friends are running off to chase their dreams, from Hollywood to Tennessee, oh but I’m still here,” she sings. “I vow, I’ll make it out of here somehow.”

McCarthy is encouraged by area musicians she’s met who’ve headed south like Tom Dixon, Sam Robbins, Morgan Clark and Stacy Kelleher, along with others she hasn’t.

“I don’t know Brooks Hubbard personally but I know of him,” she said. “I know he’s down there; I’d love to get in touch with him at some point.”

As she begins to wend her way into the Nashville community, McCarthy has the valuable currency of a good story to tell the one about her close encounter last March with New Hampshire’s most well-known rock star, Steven Tyler. It’s an experience she calls “the second best day of my life after having my daughter.”

As she and her boyfriend drove to her gig at Salt hill Shanty near Lake Sunapee, McCarthy mused that the Aerosmith singer, who owns a home there, might be in the crowd. The two were joking, but things got real as she finished her encore and spotted him at a table with friends.

She had a choice to make.

“I stood there for about 30 seconds,” she said, “then I said into the microphone, ‘I don’t know if this is kosher, but if I don’t do it I’m gonna hate myself,’” and proceeded to play a flawless version of “Angel” after which she was unable to eat or drink anything.

“I was just literally dumbfounded,” she said. “One, that he was there, and two, that I just did that. At some point I decided I didn’t want to go bother him; I’ve read his autobiography and he really just values being a normal person.”

So she began to pack up and load out, only stopping to send a copy of her Road Trip CD and a note with thanks for being an inspiration over to Tyler’s table.

When she heard Tyler say, “Wait, she’s still here?” McCarthy knew her magical day hadn’t ended yet. He came over and the two had a happy chat.

“He was so kind and down to earth, and he just talked to me; not like I was some dumb kid 40 years younger than him … like a human,” she said. “It was one of the kind of things completely above my expectations.”

Asked what she’ll miss most from her home state, McCarthy quickly replied, “one hundred percent the ocean” she lived in Hampton for four years. She’ll also treasure the camaraderie of the New England music community.

“From Day 1, when I was 19 years old and didn’t know what I was doing, they gave me a shot and made me feel welcome. Between Penuche’s and people like Paul Costley, they allowed me to be a full-time musician, which was all I really wanted. I’m going to miss being able to do that down there … but I’m hoping it’ll be worth it in the long run.”

Amanda McCarthy & Friends
When:
Saturday, Aug 1, 6 p.m.
Where: Long Cat Brewing, 298 Rockingham Road, Londonderry
More: amandamccarthy.com

The Music Roundup 20/07/16

Dance night: While pulsing music can’t be experienced on a packed dance floor, Velvet Rope offers a socially distanced night of rhythm sensations. Presented by talent collective Pangea, the evening promises deep house and tech with four DJs (a resident and three guests), and ample space to dance. It’s the first in what they hope will be a regular series of events; the next is set for July 24. Friday, July 17, 9 p.m., Jewel Music Venue, 61 Canal St., Manchester, facebook.com/Pangea-110546673851223.

Fiddle time: One of the busier musicians during quarantine, Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki frequently brought his wife and kids to online shows, which provided many charming moments. The fiddler extraordinaire and his trio play an outdoor show that’s part of a Concert on the Lawn Series. Tirrell-Wysocki excels at Celtic-Irish music, but his talents range across the spectrum, and he sings, too. Saturday, July 18, 6:30 p.m., First Baptist Church, 201 North Road, Brentwood, facebook.com/firstbaptistbrentwoodnh.

Folk affair: While the venue remains idle, Bank of NH Stage is hosting shows, including Kimayo, a singer, songwriter and activist. The al fresco performance happens in a Concord park. Kimayo released her debut album Phoenix last year and is readying a follow-up LP. Fellow folkie Guy Capacelatro praised her talents, saying her set was “a wallop of sound that was delightfully delicious.”​ Saturday, July 18, 6 p.m., Fletcher-Murphy Park, 28 Fayette St., Concord. Tickets $10 at ccanh.com.

Let’s rock: Popular local cover group The River Band plays a free show, one of many in a midweek concert series that wraps up the Wednesday before Labor Day with Eric Grant. Upcoming events include 60’s Invasion (July 29), B Street Bombers (Aug. 5), Oxford & Clark (Aug. 12), Studio Two playing Beatles songs (Aug. 19) and Billy Joel tribute act Cold Spring Harbor (Aug. 26). Wednesday, July 22, 7 p.m., Milford Recreation Department, 1 Union Square, Milford, milfordrec.com.

Music that matters

Alternate Routes performs at Tupelo Drive-In

Crisis is often a catalyst for great art. That’s been true twice for Alternate Routes — a few years back the band, fronted by the songwriting duo of Tim Warren and Eric Donnelly, addressed the epidemic of gun violence with “Somewhere in America.” Featuring lyrics by Donnelly, it crystallized the issue by melding the personal and political, without judgment.

Now, as the country endures a pandemic, the pair have delivered a song that fit the moment perfectly. “If I Ever” is a meditation about standing at the brink and vowing to come back with purpose — loving more, worrying less, and facing life’s demons. “I’m gonna be better,” Warren sings in a high lonesome voice. “Because I’m gonna be grateful … if I ever get out of this.”

“If I Ever” wasn’t exactly new. Warren said in a recent phone interview that “bits and pieces of it have been around” for a while. He sent an old demo to producer Chris Ruggiero to buff up, then had Donnelly lay down subtle but essential guitar to build on the rough home recording.

“That’s when it definitely was an Alternate Routes song,” Warren said. “After that, we didn’t do much to it. We just were like, ‘OK, this is cool, here we go’ — then we just put it out.”

It’s the video made to accompany “If I Ever” that lifts the song to a higher plane. Shot at dawn in New York City in its early days as Covid-19’s epicenter, it’s both beautiful and harrowing. The frame fills with socially distanced joggers, a delightful 8-year-old girl named Daisy, encountered during filming, dancing fluidly, and shots of vast empty streets. It ends with frontline workers sharing encouraging words hand-lettered on signs: “If I can feel hope so can you” and “I’ve learned the power of communicating with my eyes.”

Creating the video was a very moving experience for Warren.

“It was such a desolate scene there in Brooklyn,” he said. “Moments on the bridge where there was nobody but us, the police officers sitting there, and a few other people jogging by, I’ll never forget it.”

It came together quickly and was released in early May.

“That’s why I wanted to do it,” Warren said. “We finished the song in the pandemic, and we put it out during the pandemic, and that’s really what it sounds and feels like to me.”

An upcoming duo show at Tupelo Drive-In is their first since before lockdown, and may be their final performance of the year.

“I’m glad we’re going to be able to get to do one,” Warren said. “I don’t want to sound pessimistic, but I’m not sure how many of them we’ll be getting to do before we ring out 2020; I just don’t know.”

Other projects will suffice for the well-traveled band. Warren is hungry to make a new album after releasing a series of singles — “It seemed like a good fit for the way people were putting music out over the last couple of years, but for me that pendulum is swinging the other way.”

Both are focused on family. Donnelly and his wife welcomed their first child, a daughter, in March, while Warren and his wife are expecting their third in September.

Such activity makes another project nearing completion even more exciting: their call to community, Nothing More will be published as a children’s book, with drawings by Mae Besom. She’s best known for illustrating Kobi Yamada’s What You Do Matters trilogy.

“This woman is really brilliant, and I can’t wait,” Warren said.

With its anthemic chorus “we are how we treat each other and nothing more,” the song became a phenomenon. It played during the 2014 Olympics closing ceremonies, and the band has performed it at hundreds of schools, while receiving requests to use it at hundreds more.

Warren and Donnelly hope to take it even further.

“We’re going to try to put together a choral music package … together with ‘Somewhere in America’ and a few other songs that can create a dialogue in schools amongst kids learning music, about some of the social stuff that’s spinning around the world right now,” Warren said. “That feels like important work, you know?”

Alternate Routes
When:
Thursday, July 23, 6 p.m.
Where: Tupelo Drive-In, 10 A St., Derry
Tickets: $20 per person (restaurant), $75 per vehicle at tupelohall.com

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