The Art Roundup 20/07/30

For more than 300 artisans in and around the Granite State, the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen’s annual Craftsmen’s Fair — traditionally held for nine days in August at Mount Sunapee Resort in Newbury — is the highlight of their year and their biggest opportunity to display, demonstrate and sell their crafts. Drawing more than 20,000 paying attendees, the fair also provides 80 percent of the League’s yearly operating income, executive director Miriam Carter said, so when Covid-19 made it impossible to host the fair in person, organizers had to think outside the box.

From Saturday, Aug. 1, through Sunday, Aug. 9, the public will be able to “attend” the 87th annual Craftsmen’s Fair virtually through the League’s website, where there will be links to more than 140 League members’ online shops, plus a virtual exhibition tour and exclusive video content including demonstrations by the artisans, musical performances and guided craft projects for all ages.

“We’ve tried to create an environment of engagement and excitement — not just another website — that mirrors the live event, where you can shop, learn about crafts and talk to the artists,” Carter said. “The only thing that’s different this year is that, instead of being on the mountain, we’ll be on your monitor.”

A variety of contemporary and traditional crafts will be represented at the fair, such as baskets, blacksmithing, hand-blown glass, functional and decorative ceramics, framed original prints, metal sculptures, vibrant folk art, modern and traditional furniture, elaborate quilts, wearable art and jewelry.

Potter and longtime League member Andy Hampton of Chichester specializes in pottery with a Japanese aesthetic, using Japanese production and firing techniques. He will have 150 unique pieces for sale at his online shop during the fair, including dinnerware, bonsai pots, sculptural vases and wall hangings. He has also recorded a video for the fair, demonstrating how he creates a teapot.

“I will actually have a much larger presentation of my work [at the virtual fair] than I could have had at the live craft fair,” Hampton said. “It gives us [artisans] the opportunity to expand and show more of a variety of items than we could physically.”

Another longtime League member, Lauren Pollaro of York, Maine, will present more than 150 pieces of her mixed media art and jewelry, including earrings, brooches and pins, pendants, necklaces and wall hangings. She also made a video for the fair, giving viewers a tour of her studio and showing some of her works in progress and finished works.

“After a spring and summer of disappointments, art shows being canceled and fear about how I’m going to stay afloat, it’s great to have this event,” Pollaro said. “I know it won’t be the same [as the live fair], but I’ve been preparing the same way that I do for the live event, and the same energy is there.”

The virtual fair model has pushed League members, many of whom have had a limited or nonexistent online presence, to expand their use of technology for marketing their products and interacting with their customers. To facilitate, the League provided classes for members on how to create a website and engage on social media.

“We’ve been encouraging members to be more active online for years, so this [virtual fair] has been a huge opportunity for them to finally take the time to do that,” Carter said. “It’s definitely been a challenge for them, but I think they are grateful that we could still move forward with the fair this year using this virtual model.”

Hampton said he contracted a website builder to build him a new site and has been promoting his work on social media, and Pollaro said she updated her website with a new online store.

“I already had a website, but it was just informational and explained my work, like a portfolio. Purchasing pieces wasn’t an option on the site,” she said. “I was always reluctant to [sell online] … but now that I am, I have a feeling this is going to be a new mode of business for me.”

While the League hopes to bring the live Craftsmen’s Fair back to Mount Sunapee next summer, Carter said, all future fairs will have a virtual component.

“The beauty of the internet is that we can build on the 20,000-plus people coming to the live event,” she said. “We can expand our reach in the arts community to be nationwide and even worldwide.”

87th annual Craftsmen’s Fair
Online at
When: Saturday, Aug. 1, through Sunday, Aug. 9
Cost: Free to access; donations appreciated

Quality of Life 20/07/30

No Multicultural Festival this year…
This year’s Concord Multicultural Festival, typically held in September, has been canceled due to the uncertainty and challenges presented by Covid-19 that “just cannot be addressed effectively” at an event of its size, according to a press release from the festival planning team. The festival celebrates different cultures and heritages from around the world through food, music, art and activities.
Score: -1
Comment: The festival planning team will instead host Welcoming Week in September, where immigrants, refugees and long-time residents come together to discuss how to build welcoming and inclusive communities; assembling a virtual cookbook with recipes from a variety of cultures submitted by individuals, families, businesses and organizations; and presenting international art, dance and music at International Art Day, part of Intown Concord’s Market Month, on Saturday, Aug. 22.

… New Hampshire Senior Games canceled too
The 2020 New Hampshire Senior Games have been canceled, according to a press release. The decision was made to protect the well-being of the athletes, who are ages 50 and up. “Our board has spent many hours over the past several weeks and considered a broad range of alternatives,” NHSG Board Chair Larry Flint said in a statement. “At the end of the day, we felt this was the most prudent decision.”
Score: -1
Comment: It’s not all bad news — this year’s games would have been a qualifier for the 2021 National Senior Games in Florida, but as many other states have also canceled their games this year, the National Senior Games Association decided that any athletes who qualified for the 2017 or the 2019 national games are automatically qualified for 2021, according to the press release.

Ready to rock
“Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey, “Cotton Eye Joe” by Rednex, “Party In The USA” by Miley Cyrus and “Can’t Stop The Feeling” by Justin Timberlake are some of the songs that 17-year-old Hayley Dufour, a senior at Alvirne High School in Hudson, loves to listen to, and thanks to her they’ll be featured on Pandora’s new Special Olympics Champions playlist. According to a press release from Special Olympics New Hampshire, athletes throughout the country submitted playlists along with their reasons for choosing the songs, and Dufour’s playlist made the cut. Through Unified Sports at Alvirne, Dufour participates in soccer, basketball, track and cheerleading, and outside of school, she participates in softball and bowling with Special Olympics New Hampshire, according to the release.
Score: +1
Comment: QOL loves the upbeat song choices and will be checking out Dufour’s playlist on Pandora.

QOL score: 51
Net change: -1
QOL this week: 50
What’s affecting your Quality of Life here in New Hampshire? Let us know at

Celtics ready for playoff run

The NBA restart begins this week with some tune-up games in advance of the playoffs. All will be played in the Orlando bubble, which will be weird. Even weirder will be having no fans on hand and thus no home court advantage, usually a big deal in the playoffs. And with as many as four teams in each division having a shot, this is the most wide-open playoff since 1979!

Here’s a look at those with the best chance to win it, with apologies to Utah, who is close to these teams but will have a tough time climbing over the best out west.

Boston Celtics: Despite some frustrating moments, the Celtics have been a breath of fresh air after last year’s dumpster fire. They have three 20-points-per scorers and Gordon Hayward is at 17.1, so they have firepower. But there’s not much scoring off the bench, which will haunt them against Toronto, Milwaukee and the Clippers if they get that far. What they need is Jayson Tatum to continue the ascension toward being a Top 10 player and Hayward to be more steady. When the latter plays well the whole team does, but his outside shooting frustratingly disappears at times and he plays with no confidence other times. In short, he’s got to be tougher and more consistent. Outlook– They could go out early or, if they shoot well, to the finals.

Philadelphia 76ers: They’re under major scrutiny. Whispers have been growing that if Philly doesn’t go deep in the playoffs it may be time to break up the Joel Embiid-Ben Simmons duo. Seems weird after all the crowing done over the supposedly brilliant but actually failed “process” that delivered them to town. But for all the good Simmons does, he can’t make a shot past 10 feet, somehow has never made a three-pointer his entire NBA career and is very shaky at the line. In the 3-ball-crazed league that’s not good, especially with Embiid doing serious damage in the area where Simmons needs to operate. For now, their issues are that they’re not a good 3-point shooting team and the home/away splits were 29-2 in Philly and 10-24 on the road. So you have to wonder if playing in the dome is good or bad. Outlook – they’re dangerous but go out early.

Denver Nuggets: They didn’t look particularly inspired when they split a pair of early season games with the Celtics. But they’re deep, versatile and big and have a number of guys who can score. Their best player is center Nikola Jokic, who is surrounded by a lot of good shooters, and he’s their best passer. If the head is on straight they can beat everyone. Outlook – Having said that, I don’t think they can guard Lebron if they meet in Round 2.

Houston Rockets: Many like Houston because of the James Harden-Russell Westbrook duo and scrappers that make up their small ball line-up. Not me. Their 34.8 percent 3-ball shooting is just 24th in the league and basically the same as shooting 50 percent on twos. So I’m betting micro-ball gets blown up when they face teams with big centers like Anthony Davis or Jokic, who’ll adjust to their quickness to play them tougher outside the arch as a series evolves, then kill them on the boards and with inside scoring. Outlook – Don’t get past Round 2.

Miami Heat: They’re scrappy and have a great coach who gets a lot out of his team while Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic are better than many probably realize. But, while I know he’s talented, I’m not a big fan of Jimmy Butler, whose idea of leadership is to belittle people. I’m also not sold on the bench as Tyler Herro, Kendrick Nunn and (sorry, N.H.) Duncan Robinson are going to have to prove to me they can do in the playoffs what they did during the regular season. I don’t see that happening. Outlook – A tough out done after Round 1.

L.A. Lakers: The LeBron-A.D. duo is as formidable as any in the NBA, but what else do they have? Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley are both out, so they have no point guard. And sorry, David Price, yuck to ball hog replacements J.R. Smith and Dion Waiters. Outlook – Hard to ever bet against LeBron but I don’t see them getting by the Clippers, or maybe even Denver.

Toronto Raptors: Don’t know if anyone saw them being on pace to win 59 as they were before the virus hit. What they have is a very good coach and a great GM who sees how the pieces fit, and their best player, Pascal Siakam, is a lot better than people think. Outlook – Tough out for anyone.

Milwaukee Bucks: They were on a historic pace before the shutdown, have the NBA’s best player in the Greek Freak and seem to be on a mission. On the down side Eric Bledsoe does a lot more bad things than he does good in big moments, and while they’ve been productive I don’t like their bigs. The bench, though, is underrated and so is Khris Middleton, who can go on a six-game shooting tear than can kill a team. Outlook –They go to the Finals.

L.A. Clippers: My pick to win it all because they have great defenders on the wing in Leonard and Paul George,who can also go for 30 any night and the ever annoying Patrick Beverley at the point. That latter will be a nightmare for the point guard-less Lakers. And with those two great wings they can stagger their playing time to avoid the normal fatigue that comes with trying to guard LeBron and the Freak by themselves for an entire game. Finally with Marcus Morris, Reggie Jackson and Joakim Noah added to Montrezl Harrell and the game’s top sixth man Lou Williams they are deep and feisty off the bench.

All this doesn’t take into account Covid-19 blips — they can’t be predicted.

Come to the Common

Uncommon Art event is on in Goffstown

The Goffstown Main Street Program will host its 12th annual Uncommon Art on the Common Saturday, Aug. 1. The art show and sale has been scaled back but will feature the same variety of handcrafted items by local and regional artists. Nina Duval has participated in the show as an artist every year since its inception, and in recent years also as a volunteer. Now she is leading the organizing committee and talked about what the show will look like this year.

What is Uncommon Art on the Common?

It’s an art show and sale where local and fairly local artists come into town for the day, pitch a tent and set up their displays, sell their art and interact with the fairgoers who come around. … One of the other things we do is the Uncommon Bling Project. It’s a voluntary project where artists, if they want to, can create little items that can be strung on a cord, kind of to show a little example of what they do. People go around to each tent and put [the artists’ bling] on a cord and wear it. … We try to do little things like that to get the community involved.

What has been your involvement?

I’ve been a part of the show every year since the beginning. I started off as an artist, and then I started volunteering, doing ancillary jobs, nothing really big. This is the first year that I’ve gotten to spearhead the Uncommon Art Committee on the [Goffstown] Main Street Board of Directors.

What kinds of arts and crafts will be represented at the show?

We have oil painters; acrylic painters; artists who do watercolors, pastels and pen and ink; woodworkers. We have one person who works with leather and metal, as well as some digital art. We have potters; jewelry makers; stained glass artists. Sometimes we also have writers from a local writers group, and sometimes even published authors who sell their books.

What kind of art do you do?

I started out doing multimedia, like painting and photography and things of that nature, and then, seven years ago, I kind of branched out into jewelry creation. Most of what I do is chainmail and wire wrapping beadwork; that’s become the bread and butter for me as far as sales. … I try to get into different media, too. I have a lot of ideas for new things that I want to do. This year I’m actually branching out into upcycled plastic, like rugs, mats and totes that are created from plastic shopping bags.

Why did Goffstown Main Street decide to move forward with Uncommon Art this year?

This event was probably just as close to not happening as it was to happening. Goffstown Main Street has had to shut down two of its events already, and it gets a good portion of its funds from those events, so we thought, ‘Let’s see if we can still do this.’ Also, there are a lot of artists that have had their events canceled this spring and summer, and those events are where they make a good bit of their income.

How did artists feel about participating in the show this year?

Pretty much all of the artists who are participating have been indoctrinated that [following Covid-19 guidelines] is what they have to do now, and most of them have been very cool with it. They understand what’s expected of them. … Of course, we didn’t really expect that we would get our normal number of applicants. Normally we get roughly about 50, but right now we’re at 25. … For some artists [the Covid-19 guidelines are] a problem because of the media they work in. For example, we have a woodworker who was concerned about having to use disinfectant wipes on her products because it would absolutely toast the finishes.

What is the event committee doing to make sure that the show is safe?

In other years we’ve had different things, like face painters, but for obvious reasons we’re not really doing that this year. We’re also limiting the number of artists so that social distancing will be easier to do. … We have brightly colored mats that we’re going to set in front of the tents for social distancing, and we’ll ask people, ‘If you see two or three guests inside a tent, please wait outside until they leave.’ … We’ve purchased a lot of masks, and the artists are told to wear masks and have hand sanitizer on hand for their guests. A lot of artists, especially ones like jewelry makers, want you to be able to handle their items and look at their items up close, so we tell them to make sure that people use hand sanitizer before they touch anything. They’ll also be using disinfectant wipes to wipe down tablets, phones, pens and things like that.

What makes Uncommon Art unique?

I think it’s the scale of it. It’s kind of like a mini version of the [Craftsmen’s] Fair at Sunapee; it’s not huge, but we still get pretty good traffic. It’s a good place for a lot of [art fair] beginners to get their feet wet and start doing outdoor fairs.

12th annual Uncommon Art on the Common
Main Street, Goffstown
When: Saturday, Aug. 1, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Cost: Free admission and parking
More info: Call 497-9933 or visit

News & Notes 20/07/30

lyCovid-19 updateAs of July 20As of July 27
Total cases statewide6,2496,441
Total current infections statewide565407
Total deaths statewide398409
New cases190 (July 14 to July 20)211 (July 21 to July 27)
Current infections: Hillsborough County328201
Current infections: Merrimack County3128
Current infections: Rockingham County127103
Information from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

Governor’s updates

On July 17, Gov. Chris Sununu issued Executive Order 2020-15, extending the state of emergency in New Hampshire due to the Covid-19 pandemic for another three weeks through at least Aug. 7. It’s the sixth extension he has issued since originally declaring a state of emergency on March 13.

On July 21, Sununu issued Emergency Order No. 59, an order that temporarily halts premium and signature requirements for Medicaid beneficiaries until 90 days after the termination of the public health emergency.

On July 22, Sununu released the Governor’s Covid-19 Equity Response Team’s report, offering immediate, short-term and long-term recommendations. The report includes recommendations to increase community testing, to assure testing sites have written protocols for community outreach and demographic identifier data, to assure healthy food access, to deploy Covid-19 response community health workers and to provide isolation and quarantine housing support.

During a July 23 press conference, Sununu announced the launch of the Empowering Youth Program as part of the Invest in the Future Fund, which allocates about $4.5 million of federal CARES act funding to ensure kids in New Hampshire have programs available to them that traditionally exist in the summer. About $2 million of that $4.5 million will be used for the Empowering Youth Program. “The goal … is just to provide funding for things like day camps, or recreational sports and other recreational programs, so we’re not just taking the summer in an isolated chunk,” Sununu said. “We want to create a continuum of opportunities for these kids that extend, as we finish out the summer and then move into the next year.” Now through Aug. 17, organization leaders can file an application by visiting To be eligible for funding, programs must serve youths, at least 75 percent of which are New Hampshire residents.

On July 27, Sununu issued Emergency Order No. 60, rescinding the state ban on reusable shopping bags in grocery stores, which had been in place since March 21. “We looked at the latest data, consulted with officials at public health and ask individuals to be courteous and respectful to retail/grocery workers by cleaning your reusable bags,” Sununu wrote in a tweet.

Details of all of Sununu’s Emergency and Executive Orders can be found at

Laws and vetoes

Gov. Chris Sununu has signed into law and vetoed several House bills in the past week. Here are some of the highlights, according to press releases from the Office of the Governor.

HB 1135 was signed into law. Among other things, this law declares June 6 as D-Day Remembrance Day and Aug. 31 as Overdose Awareness Day, and it makes Holocaust education compulsory in New Hampshire schools and establishes a commission to study best teaching practices for the subject.

HB 731 was vetoed, relative to raising the minimum wage. In his veto statement, Sununu said that when minimum wages increase, employees often end up with fewer hours, or jobs are eliminated. “Now is exactly the wrong time to pursue policies that will reduce the chances of Granite Staters being able to get back to work and that will further hinder our employers who are already struggling in this global pandemic,” Sununu said in his statement. “This bill would have meant fewer jobs and fewer available hours for our workers who are unemployed or underemployed.”

HB 1454 was vetoed, relative to alternative education. In his veto statement, Sununu said the bill would have “effectively killed” the Learn Everywhere program, which “empowers parents to find the best educational paths for their children, and allows students to access a broader range of courses than their schools could provide on their own.” He said the bill would restrict parents’ ability to find alternatives to their children’s education.

SB 124 was vetoed, relative to the minimum electric renewable portfolio standards. In his veto statement, Sununu said the bill could potentially cost electric ratepayers $300 million in new subsidies each year, and the state would need to use 20 square miles of land to achieve the solar energy goal set forth in the bill.

All legislative staff and legislators entering the Statehouse in Concord are now required to wear a mask, after the New Hampshire Joint Committee on Legislative Facilities voted 11-0 last week in favor of the mandate, according to a press release. Masks will be required in all public areas.

Live and Let Live Farm in Chichester, the Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire in Bedford and the Friends of Manchester Animal Shelter will benefit from the New Hampshire Liquor Commission’s “Allies for Animals” raffle, which features “some of the world’s most sought-after whiskies, bourbons, scotches and cordials,” according to a press release from the Commission. Raffle tickets are $100 and are available through Sept. 15 at

Help “Stuff the Bus” for students in the greater Nashua area on Saturday, Aug. 1, when United Way will be accepting donations of school supplies from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Staples in Nashua, Staples in Amherst, Big Lots in Nashua, and Sam’s Club in Hudson, according to a press release. Donations will also be accepted that day through Aug. 8, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, at Target in the Pheasant Lane Mall in Nashua. The supplies support back-to-school programs at the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter, Nashua Goes Back to School, Milford SHARE Outreach and school districts in the region.

A compromising compromise

Most New Hampshire public school districts are expected to go to a hybrid school model in the fall. This will mean kids go to school for a few days a week in smaller groups. When not in school, those kids will be remote learning.

It’s a compromise intended to reduce potential transmission of Covid-19 by reducing the contact kids have with each other and staff while acknowledging that remote learning has its limitations. In most districts, class sizes will be limited so kids can sit six feet apart.

Though I’m sure it’s well-intentioned, I wonder if this hybrid plan is actually counterproductive.

The challenge here more than anything else is the logistics of caring for kids and reducing potential transmission.

First there is the issue of getting these kids to school. How many kids will be allowed on buses? How do we make sure the kids wear masks? Do we have the buses and drivers to do that in a way that won’t completely undo the measure being taken to reduce class size?

Once at school, can we reasonably expect kids to socially distance themselves? It sounds as if recess and other activities like that could be eliminated or curtailed. What impact will that have on learning?

After all that, kids will still be expected to be remote learning for two to three days a week. Who is going to be at home with them to keep them on task and to watch over the younger ones? As more parents go back to work, will caregivers be friends, grandparents, day cares or a patchwork of those? Will these kids be exposed to even more people thereby increasing their exposure to Covid? If parents have to stay home, who is going to pay them?

On top of all that, women, in many cases, will end up being the primary caregivers for kids’ remote learning. What is the impact to them? Are we furthering the longtime earnings gap between men and women?

These are all issues greater than our public school districts, but federal and state governments have essentially laid all of these problems and concerns at their feet without giving those districts the resources to adequately deal with them.

As tough as it is, state and federal governments need to take an active role in helping districts make in-school learning as safe as possible for kids and staff. If this means extending the day, then do it. If this means putting more buses on the road, then do it. If this means bringing in more teachers, paying teachers for extended days or offering hazard pay, then do it. If this means bringing in portable classrooms then do it.

There are no easy solutions — no silver bullet. But with more assistance and coordination from state and federal governments schools (or other buildings turned into schools) could be made more safe. But we can’t expect public schools to solve this on their own.

Signs of Life 20/07/30

All quotes are from The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance, by Tom Brady, born Aug. 3, 1977.

Leo (July 23 – Aug. 22) What are your goals? How do you define success in your life? Only you can answer that! Yay!

Virgo (Aug. 23 – Sept. 22) The game never stops evolving, so why should I? You shouldn’t.

Libra (Sept. 23 – Oct. 22) … just because you’re standing at a buffet, that doesn’t mean you’re supposed to eat everything. You should eat just enough so that you feel full, and no more. Sports training is no different. Binge watching may not be the best way to go, either.

Scorpio (Oct. 23 – Nov. 21) Many gym trainers tell athletes to target their upper bodies on Mondays and Wednesdays and their lower bodies on Tuesdays and Thursdays. At TB12, we advise athletes to do upper body, core, and lower body in the same workout. A comprehensive approach is best.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 – Dec. 21) … the ones I remember best are the closely fought games in which, no matter what the scoreboard says, our team put in our best effort. Ah, those are good times.

Capricorn (Dec. 22 – Jan. 19) Strong athletes like to work on strength, and fast athletes like to work on speed. But that doesn’t create balance. To create balance, we need to work on our deficiencies as well. You know what you need to do.

Aquarius (Jan. 20 – Feb. 18) After the seventh push-up, your chest is straining and you feel fatigued. … But your brain says, ‘Keep going! Fight hard!’ It asks other muscles to step in to help you finish. It could be your lats, your triceps, or your butt — your brain calls on any muscle that will help you achieve your goal and finish what you set out to do. But to me, form first means engaging only the muscles you should be engaging for the movement you are attempting to do. That’s how you keep the proper balance. Start easy and work your way up.

Pisces (Feb. 19 – March 20) If you do daily squats with a four-hundred-pound load on your back, the only thing you’ll get better at is squatting with a four-hundred-pound load on your back. Which could come in handy sometime!

Aries (March 21 – April 19) Make sure you maintain the right biomechanically correct form — knees over feet, hips over knees, and your core engaged — before you start, and stop performing an exercise the moment your form starts to break down. One good push-up is better than 10 bad ones.

Taurus (April 20 – May 20) Sometimes I think I’m the most hydrated person in the world. It’s not a competition.

Gemini (May 21 – June 20) Sometimes we see older people working out with bands, or doing water aerobics or tai chi. It turns out that they know something the rest of us don’t. Ask them what they know.

Cancer (June 21 – July 22) If we’ve lost but I’ve learned something, the game turns into a positive experiment. Sometimes in the moment it doesn’t feel that way, because the emotions are running so high — but you try to learn and move on. Lesson No. 1: Don’t send Lenny from Accounting for coffee.

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,

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

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

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

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

First Cow (PG-13)

Film Reviews by Amy Diaz

An enterprising duo finds money in baked goods in First Cow.

Otis Figowitz (John Magaro) is, as his nickname “Cookie” suggests, the cook for a hunting expedition in the Pacific Northwest in the 1800s (Wikipedia says 1820). While searching for mushrooms and other edible fare to add to the provisions for the hangry trappers, he meets King-Lu (Orion Lee), originally from China. When they first meet, King-Lu is naked and hiding from a party of Russian trappers. Cookie gives King-Lu some food and takes care of him for a day or so while he recuperates from days on the run.

Later, after Cookie has been paid for the hunting expedition, he meets King-Lu in the small town (a bar, some houses, a thoroughfare where people sell all manner of things). King-Lu takes Cookie to the small shack where he’s set up a home. They hang out for a while, talking about future plans (maybe a farm for King-Lu, maybe a hotel and bakery for Cookie) and eventually about food. A cow has recently been brought to the area by the local rich guy, Chief Factor (Toby Jones), and Cookie has seen it hanging out in the meadow. What’s the harm in borrowing a little milk late at night?

Cookie makes a kind of fried biscuit with the first batch of stolen-milk-enhanced batter. King-Lu sees opportunity in these non-hardtack foodstuffs. Cookie makes a sweeter batch of what he calls oily cakes, which have kind of a doughnut-y appearance, and quickly sells out of them in the town’s thoroughfare, with King-Lu even helping along a bidding war for the last cake. They sneak in for another nighttime milking of the cow and the next day produce even more oily cakes (cooked on the spot), leading to a line of eager customers and cake-embellishments like a shaving of cinnamon.

The cakes are, I guess, the talk of the town and Chief Factor shows up to try one, leading Cookie to worry that he will eventually guess at the ingredients. Factor asks for Cookie to make an even more elaborate dessert for an upcoming tea party and King-Lu and Cookie find themselves trying to judge exactly how far they can take their criminal baking endeavor: they want to sock away enough money to chase their dreams but get out before they are caught.

There is a watchfulness about this movie — watching Cookie look for mushrooms or fry up oily cakes, watching other people in the town sell their goods, watching people go about their day. The movie takes the time to look around at the world this story is set in and what it maybe loses in momentum it gains in texture. There isn’t a lot to this movie in terms of events but there is a lot of richness, a lot of giving us the feeling of what a thing is like — a dirty bar, a spot in the woods or even the friendship between these two men, which is a truly lovely element of this story. This movie is the ultimate show-not-tell and it is able to immerse you in its world and in its characters without romanticizing the harsh realities of its time. A

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language, according to the MPA on Directed by Kelly Reichardt with a screenplay by Jon Raymond and Kelly Reichardt (based on the novel The Half-Life by Jon Raymond), First Cow is two hours and two minutes long and distributed by A24. The movie is available for rent or purchase.

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