Playing the dream

Brooks Young counts his wins ahead of Thorogood tour

Most people who meet their musical idols are grateful if they get a bit of face time and an autograph, but Brooks Young aims higher. Beginning with B.B. King, whom he met as a teenager, the fiery blues guitarist has shared the stage with a still-growing list of performers that includes Bryan Adams, Los Lobos, The Wallflowers and Huey Lewis & The News.

Last year he received a personal invitation from Sammy Hagar’s management and flew out to the Midwest to play solo for stadium-sized crowds ahead of the Red Rocker’s band The Circle, a supergroup that includes Jason Bonham and Van Halen’s Michael Anthony.

“It was quite a rush … very surreal,” Young said by phone recently. “You walk out there holding a piece of wood with six strings on it and 20,000 people in front of you, what are you going to do?”

Young’s success has come from a combination of talent and tenacity.

“Keep pushing forward and the things that you love in life will come to fruition,” he said. “That’s all I care about — just stick with things.” His latest triumph is a tour with George Thorogood & the Destroyers that begins Oct. 21 in Pennsylvania and winds its way through the South, ending Nov. 10 in Mobile, Alabama.

Thorogood was also part of the Hagar run, and the two connected during the brief tour.

“We just became friendly with each other,” Young said. “It spurred George to ask me to come out on tour this fall.” The nearest show is in New York, a four-hour drive from his home town of Concord, but fans will have an opportunity to catch a full Brooks Young Band show at Penuche’s Ale House on Sept. 1.

“I’m really excited about that,” Young said. “I’m going to be out there on the road, in a bunch of places that I don’t know, with a bunch of people I don’t know around me, and I want to leave home feeling good.” He’ll also play a few solo gigs before heading out, including one at Foster’s Tavern in Alton Bay on Sept. 15.

His Penuche’s full band set will feature material from Supply Chain Blues, a solo blues album released last October. It has a mix of originals, like the title track and “Working Man,” along with several tasty covers — Freddie King’s “Going Down,” Howlin’ Wolf’s “Forty-Four,” “Ventilator Blues” from the Stones’ Exile on Main Street, and Buddy Guy’s “Five Long Years,” the musical twin of Derek & the Dominoes’ cover of “Have You Ever Loved a Woman.”

He’s working on a follow-up to the record, which garnered a burst of attention when it came out. For a while, Supply Chain Blues was No. 1 on the iTunes blues charts, sitting atop Buddy Guy. “The day I woke up and saw that, I thought, ‘Oh my gosh,’” Young said. “I pinched myself and went, ‘I’m sorry, Buddy, it won’t be very long; maybe a week or two.’”

Now 41, Young is no less giddy than when he was starting out and meeting Ben Folds in the hall of a Manchester hotel elevator was a cool moment. These days there are bigger achievements, like recording Eric Clapton’s song “Promises” with his daughter Ruth and attending Clapton’s Boston Garden show courtesy of the legendary guitarist’s management.

“I’m so thankful that after all these years this guy from New Hampshire that’s not even close to all these other folks is part of that circle,” he said. “Guitar icons like B.B. King and Robert Cray and Jimmy Vaughn and Eric Clapton, playing with them, or going out and hanging out with them, was a dream of mine since I was a kid growing up in Concord, and I decided this is what I’m going to do. I’m going to stick with it until the day it doesn’t work; it still gets better every year.”

Brooks Young Band
When: Friday, Sept. 1, 8 p.m.
Where: Penuche’s Ale House, Bicentennial Square, Concord

Featured photo: Brooks Young. Courtesy photo.

The Music Roundup 23/08/31

Local music news & events

Al fresco blues: A summer concert series ends with the Eric Lindberg Band, led by a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He’s joined by Aaron Jones (kids’ music’s “Mister Aaron”) on bass and 13-year-old drumming phenom William Lindberg. The twilight show will be rich with down-home blues and Americana rock. Thursday, Aug. 31, 7 p.m., Butler Park, 17 W. Main St., Hillsborough. See

Down-home sound: Sip a glass of craft cider and enjoy Eyes of Age playing harmony-rich folk songs. Hancock duo David Young and Susan Lang are joined by bass player Rob Clemens for an after-work set that’s sure to have a few Grateful Dead tunes as well. Friday, Sept. 1, 5 p.m., Contoocook Cider Co., 656 Gould Hill Road, Contoocook. See

All day music: Dozens of regional acts play on multiple stages at the Keene Music Festival. It’s all about discovery, and a visit to the fest’s Facebook page is a good place to start. It includes quick profiles of many performers, like blues rockers Dragon Bone Jam, traditional Irish band O’Hanleigh, “eclectic funk addicts” Whalom Park and the boisterous, female-fronted metal group Vale End. Saturday, Sept. 2, 10:30 a.m., Downtown Keene. See

Four-band show: Four area alternative rock bands gather for DankFest, as Area 23 prepares for a move from its current home in Concord’s Smokestack Center to an as-yet undisclosed location. The last day for live music is Sept. 30, with an afternoon Acoustic Circle and an evening performance by Professor Harp scheduled. DankFest is named for host band Dank Sinatra; also appearing are Wired for Sound, Buster and Kuusi Palaa. Saturday, Sept. 2, 8 p.m., Area 23, 254 N. State St., Unit H, Concord,

Heavy times two: Nine bands, two stages and the admonition to “leave nothing left standing” mark Distressfest, a metallic knockout of a show. Appearing are No Bragging Rights, Mouth for War, Downswing, Your Spirit Dies, Ratblood, Cannabis Crypt, Fishface, Heavyweight and Iron Gate, the latter a Manchester act that formed when its singer asked online for anyone looking “to play heavy, ignorant music.” Sunday, Sept. 3, 6:30 p.m., Jewel Music Venue, 61 Canal St., Manchester, $20 and up at

You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah (PG-13)

Two lifelong besties do the kind of brutal (psychological) violence to each other that only two middle school girls can do in You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah, an Adam Sandler family production.

The girl having the titular bat mitzvah in her friend group’s season of bar and bat mitzvahs is Stacy Friedman, played by Sunny Sandler, the younger of Adam Sandler’s two real-life daughters. His older daughter Sadie plays Ronnie Friedman, Stacy’s older sister, and their genuine sibling chemistry — unwavering support while also threatening to murder each other — is one of many endearing elements of this comedy. Stacy and Lydia Rodriguez Katz (Samantha Lorraine) have long been best friends, planning their spectacular “today you are a woman” bat mitzvah parties for years. But then, as can happen in the seventh grade, there are shake-ups in friendships. Lydia becomes friendly with a group of popular girls. She doesn’t seem to think much of it but Stacy becomes both jealous and eager to get herself included, especially since those popular girls hang out with Andy Goldfarb (Dylan Hoffman), the boy who makes the world go slow-mo for Stacy.

At first Stacy and Lydia seem to fit in, but then Stacy has a menstrual product mishap in front of the whole popular-girls-and-cute-boy crowd that Lydia seems to join the populars in laughing at. Horrified, Stacy declares her love for Andy dead — but not so dead that she doesn’t become enraged when she sees Lydia kissing him later. Thus does Stacy shout to Lydia the movie’s title: “You are so not invited to my bat mitzvah.” This seeming break in their friendship does not, however, lead to an end of hostilities between Lydia and Stacy, with Stacy eventually (accidentally) burning it all down over her hurt at what she sees as Lydia’s betrayal.

Adam Sandler plays the Friedman girls’ father, Danny, with his Uncut Gems wife Idina Menzel playing Bree, Danny’s wife and the girls’ mother. Rounding out the Sandler family on screen is Adam Sandler’s real-life wife, Jackie Sandler, who plays Lydia’s mother, Gabi, in the midst of a divorce from Lydia’s father, Eli (Luis Guzmán). With fun small roles — Sarah Sherman as Rabbi Rebecca and Ido Mosseri as DJ Schmuley, the must-have party DJ — the movie has an overall chummy feel. Lots of good-natured yuks and a general sense of good will toward all. Which is sort of your standard Adam Sandler Netflix fare, except for the young-teen-girl on young-teen-girl angst and destruction and love and loyalty. Those elements have some surprising sharp edges that can take you right back to the lunch room and the kids who are too cool and the close friends with whom there’s been a falling out. And even though the movie knows we know how not a big deal in the scheme of one’s whole life the slights and upsets that torment Stacy are — and how ridiculous her response is — the movie doesn’t belittle the bigness of these kids’ emotions.

You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah is a charmer of a gentle growing-up comedy with just enough “thank God I’ll never be 13 again” tartness to give it some genuine emotional moments. B+

Rated PG-13 for some crude/suggestive material, strong language and brief teen drinking, according to the MPA on Directed by Sammi Cohen with a screenplay by Alison Peck and Fiona Rosenbloom, You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah is an hour and 43 minutes long and is streaming on Netflix.

Featured photo: You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah (PG-13)

Slow AF Run Club, by Martinus Evans

Slow AF Run Club, by Martinus Evans (Avery, 239 pages)

Desir must not get to the library much, because there’s actually no shortage of books in this genre, from 2007’s elegant Strides by Benjamin Cheever (John Cheever’s son) to A Beautiful Work in Progress by Mirna Valeria, published in 2017.

But Evans does bring something new to the table, which is a willingness to use the F-word frequently (very popular in publishing these days), and also, he has run eight marathons (including Boston) as a 300-plus-pound athlete, a truly admirable feat. His book promises to be “the ultimate guide for anyone who wants to run,” and by “running” he doesn’t set the bar too high.

Apparently Merriam-Webster defines running as “to go faster than a walk.” So, “As long as your legs are moving faster than when you are walking, then you are running,” Evans says. He believes that the biggest thing keeping people from running is not the physical work of exercise but the mental roadblocks. So he spends the first part of the book offering a sort of runner therapy, with mantras such as “Not everything you think is true, and not everything you feel is real” and “The body you have today is the body that you have today.” He’s also a fan of affirmations, such as “You can do hard things” and “I love hills!!!”

Admittedly, it’s cheesy sometimes. But Evans does offer some more serious self-coaching advice. For example: Delusional self-belief, he says, is what inventors have until they invent something that no one believed possible. At one point, no one thought a four-minute mile possible, or a marathon under two hours. And when Evans weighed 360 pounds and was told by a condescending doctor “lose weight or die,” he had delusional self-belief when he announced he would run a marathon and bought running shoes later that day.

As Evans makes clear, the physical challenges of running a marathon at his size are subordinate to the psychological ones. In one story, he talks about being harassed by a van driver who is on the course to pick up people who can’t keep running. It was his first marathon, in Detroit. Although Evans repeatedly says he is fine to continue, the driver keeps coming back to him, urging him to get in the van and quit, saying things like, “Hey, big man, you’re starting to slow down. Hop in, I’ll take you to the finish line” and “I’m just doing my job, I can’t help it that you’re fat and slow.”

The driver continued badgering him until Evans was less than a mile from the finish line, which rightly infuriated him. What’s worse is that it almost worked — at one point, Evans hobbled to the van and almost got in before realizing that he could push past the pain and keep going. He did finish, and wrote of the moment, “I felt like I could literally do anything. I’ll never forget that moment, and everything that had come before it, not for as long as I live.”

With stories like this, it’s understandable that Evans feels the need to curse, a lot. And he is a reliable narrator when it comes to the difficulties of running while fat (his choice of word) and he gives decent advice on practical things such as how to deal with chafing, what to wear, what to carry on a long run, how to stretch, and so forth. He also has a rather heartbreaking chapter on “Running While Black,” in which he wrote, “The murder of twenty-five-year-old runner Ahmaud Arbery in 2020 damn near broke me. I almost hung up my running shoes for good because of it.”

But much more of his experience has been positive. In fact, scared as he was to run his first 5K in Cromwell, Connecticut — “a fat Black man wearing a bright orange shirt and shoes … getting ready to run a race in a sea of fit white people” — it turned out great, and he wants everyone to do it.

“Running,” Evans writes, “is a struggle of the mind.” That’s true for thin runners as well as overweight ones. But large runners do face an obstacle that thin runners don’t — judgment — judgment of ourselves, and the judgment of people who see us out on the road. In the face of this struggle, mindset is everything, he says. “Because let’s face it, people be judgin’. Haters are going to hate. There’s always going to be someone telling you to get on the bus.”

That’s a great line, and there are plenty in this book, but it is folksy to a fault, unfortunately. The expletive works in the title and in the running club he founded, but the constant repetition in the book becomes tiresome, as do some of the self-help exercises. (“Write down a habit that you would like to create a ritual for.”)

But I’ve been running for 30 years and am somewhat cantankerous, so maybe that’s great advice for others. Evans is an inspirational runner who has built a strong online community; he has 94,000 followers on Instagram, where he goes by “300poundsandrunning.” He’s a terrific role model for anyone, regardless of age or weight. B-

Album Reviews 23/08/31

Beth Bombara, It All Goes Up (Black Mesa Records)

This Missouri-based singer-songwriter’s trip tacks to a yodely Sarah MacLachlan-by-way-of-Christine McVie angle: really pretty Americana-tinged songs with a mature, astute, well-settled vibe that will surprise you if you’re inquisitive enough to seek her out (with so many choices out there, I’m trying to save you some time here). If she’d appeared in the ’60s, begging the same audience as Joni and Carole and whatnot, you’d know her name like the back of your hand, but it’s current-year and all that, so unfortunately you’re left with hacks like me trying to nudge you in her direction. As you can see, unlike so many critics who try to show off their knowledge of one-off SXSW obscurities, I do aim for the more general audience this would appeal to, although in the meantime there’s some subtlety afoot that’s assuredly indie, mostly taking the form of Wilco-infused, murkily rendered guitar arpeggios, which I’m a sucker for (who isn’t?). Well worth a listen. A+

Jonathan Scales Fourchestra, Re-Potted (self-released)

Some of you already know that I’m pretty particular about my island-vacation vibe, like I absolutely cannot stand Jimmy Buffett, and so on. No, if you’ve ever gotten to a club or two in Costa Rica or whatever, you know that steel pan drums, timbales and all that stuff are omnipresent, at least in the places where the more adventurous tourists dare to tread (doffs cap). So this is that vibe in stripped-down form: Scales handling the steel pan drums, E-Lon JD on bass and Maison Guidry on the drum kit. I haven’t name-checked Weather Report’s Night Passage album in (hopefully) a couple of months, but the feel here is exactly that, sans a sax and Joe Zawinul of course, but in order to bring it into current-year, there’s some Eminem-style rapping during the closer track “Gravitropism,” and it fits perfectly. JD’s bass is busier than Mother Teresa making the rounds at Leper Triage Central; it carries this release to a major extent. A+


• Oh, no, please tell me it’s not happening already, it can’t be September already, but it is, the list of new CD releases for Friday, Sept. 1, is right there, staring me in the face! Let’s start with The Pretenders, led as always by Chrissie Hynde, who, last we knew, had fallen victim to some cancel culture stuff that we can skip for now, being that it barely made a dent in her rep (she basically ignored it, which is precisely what you’re supposed to do if you find yourself getting yelled at by a ridiculously large number of people online), and besides, I’ve totally forgotten what it was all about; I mean, I’m no right-wing dude at all, I assure you, but if you’re keeping a complete chronological history of it all, you’re trying too hard; at this point no good will ever come from it. Either way, Chrissie is my goddess. Did you know she did some stuff with The Damned back in the early Mesozoic Era? OK, where were we, oh yes, the band’s new album is called Relentless, and it is their 12th, which does seem something of a low number, wouldn’t you say? Chrissie and her — I mean, the band’s guitarist, James Walbourne, wrote all the songs by collaborating remotely, which has become more and more of a thing, not just with bands but with workplaces in general. The whole album is available to listen to now on YouTube (you know what to do if you want to rip it to your MP3 player, right friends? Don’t do it, though), but for our purposes we’ll check out the leadoff single “Let The Sun Come In.” Ack, it’s a slow-ish rocker that sounds like a team-up between Chrissie and something like Hall & Oates. I am not prepared for this. Someone say it isn’t so.

• British dreampop band Slowdive named themselves after a Siouxsie and The Banshees song, a practice I’ve always thought was, like, really stupid, but I can’t have everything go my way I guess. The band’s 1993 album Souvlaki is widely considered to be one of the greatest shoegaze albums of all time, but that brings us to now, and their fast-approaching new full-length, Everything Is Alive, so we’ll just see about all this “Slowdive is awesome” jibber-jabber, now, won’t we. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve properly covered a shoegaze album in months now, mostly because no new ones have come out as far as I know. So the new single, “Skin In The Game,” is certainly My Bloody Valentine-ish in its way, very ’80s, for instance the dude singer takes a whispering-for-the-sake-of whispering vocal approach, blah blah blah, but wait, there are art rock guitars, which is mildly interesting. The only thing I can definitely predict is that there surely must be far better songs on this album, that’s really it.

• Aside from weird devil-metal bands with band logos that are completely unreadable, the only bands that are allowed to become famous in Sweden are electro-pop bands, everyone knows that. Why, look at this duo over here, Icona Pop, composed of — oh forget it, I’m not going to try typing these weird Swedish names, whoever they are, they’re about to release their new album, Club Romantech, in just a few minutes, literally! Huh, look at that, they’re on Ultra Records, the old house/trance label that has all the big Armand van Helden-clone DJs and whatnot, this is going to be good, let’s vitit YouTube and see! Yup, the single “Where Do We Go From Here” is mindless dance fun, not too strange, just dancey and sexy, you’d like this.

• Finally let’s look at Northampton, Mass., indie-rockers Speedy Ortiz’s new LP, Rabbit Rabbit. Huh, the single, “Plus One,” is ’90s riot-grrrl-grunge but with an interesting time signature. These people are OK!

If you’re in a local band, now’s a great time to let me know about your EP, your single, whatever’s on your mind. Let me know how you’re holding yourself together without being able to play shows or jam with your homies. Send a recipe for keema matar. Message me on Twitter (@esaeger) or Facebook (eric.saeger.9).

Labor Day refreshments

You promised your therapist that you would try to take better care of yourself. And you really meant to. But the kids had camp, and then your sister had a fight with her boyfriend and showed up at your house with three suitcases. And then the weekend you thought you might actually get away, the dog came down with food poisoning, and then all the water in the faucets turned rusty.

With one thing or another, you never got to sit in a cabaña, sipping umbrella drinks and making small talk with attractive strangers.

And now summer is over. This is deeply unfortunate.

I hesitate to give you unsolicited advice, but your sister is still here and there are at least three movies that the kids want to see, so maybe:

1. Do what you have to do to grab two or three hours to yourself. Spring for movie theater popcorn, if you must.

2. Put on a playlist of Harry Belafonte and Don Ho.

3. Drink one — or both — of these Decadent Vacation Cocktails:

Rum Runner

  • 1 ounce white or silver rum – Because this is a strongly flavored drink, you probably won’t want to use your best rum for this; any subtle nuances will be overwhelmed. Don’t use the ultra-discount-bottom-shelf stuff, but you don’t need to sweat finding really good rum for this. Captain Morgan or Bacardi would be fine.
  • 1 ounce dark rum – Again, don’t let this stress you out; I like Myers’ Dark for tropical drinks.
  • 1 ounce crème de banana
  • ½ ounce blackberry brandy
  • 2 ounces pineapple juice – I like to buy the little 6-ounce cans of juice for this; you don’t end up with a giant, half-empty can slowly going bad in your refrigerator.
  • 1 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
  • ½ ounce grenadine

Pour all ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker, then shake thoroughly. Strain over fresh ice in a large glass. Garnish or not, depending on your mood; too many cherries might be nice. Again though, the key here is to avoid stressing out over sub-crisis decisions.

This is a classic fruity, boozy Attitude Adjustment Tool. The rums play well with pineapple juice — why would they not? Pineapple juice gets along with everyone. The lime juice adds a touch of acid, and the grenadine — which is pomegranate syrup, if that’s weighing on your mind — adds color and rounds off the juices, keeping them from being too acidic.

Bahama Mama

  • 1 ounce coconut rum – the sweet kind
  • 1 ounce dark, overproof rum – the kind you remember from college as “151”
  • ½ ounce coffee brandy
  • 2½ ounces pineapple juice
  • ¾ ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice

Again, pour all ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker, shake, and strain into another large glass — or the same one; there’s no one around to make pointed comments — over fresh ice.

On the face of it, these ingredients do not seem like a great match. Pineapple juice and coffee? But I stand by my previous comment about pineapple juice going with anything. Rum — the friendliest alcohol — has already been making sustained eye contact with the lemon juice and trying to organize a limbo contest.

Either — or both — of these drinks will improve your attitude. When your children return from the movies, call them Lola and Sergio regardless of what their actual names are. This will freak them out enough that you will be able to demand that they bring you Cheetos®, and they might actually do it.

Featured photo: Rum Runner and Bahama Mama. Photo by John Fladd.

In the kitchen with Heidi Piotrowicz

Heidi Piotrowicz created 603 Perfect Blend, a loose-leaf tea and spice company, two years ago with her husband, John, when they wanted to find healthy alternatives to soda and sugary drinks for their three kids, who also have roles in the business. They started by offering 15 teas and have expanded to more than 40 different tea blends, flavored sugars, rubs and spice blends. The blends change depending on the season but include flavors like alpine apricot tea, classical creme brulee tea, ginger snap and apple fritter sugar. You can find them at the Milford, Bedford, Candia, Hooksett and Church Street (Deerfield) farmers markets. They will also be at the Deerfield Fair from Thursday, Sept. 28, through Sunday, Oct. 1.

What is your must-have kitchen item?

Our must-have kitchen item is our glass mason jar steeping pitcher for hot and iced tea. We love to cold-steep iced tea and you can always find several of these pitchers steeping in our refrigerator.

What would you have for your last meal?

A nice rib-eye steak with Big Fripp Coffee Rub and fresh pasta with our Italian Pesto Blend Seasoning served with a big glass of sangria.

What is your favorite local eatery?

We are a huge breakfast family and hands-down Tucker’s is our favorite local restaurant to visit for breakfast. When we travel we always find ourselves comparing other breakfasts to them.

Name a celebrity you would like to see trying your blends?

Martha Stewart and of course Snoop Dogg. We would love to serve them up some tea-inspired cocktails and a sangria using Snoop Dogg’s wine.

What is your favorite thing on your menu?

Our family’s favorite tea blend is Wicked Pissah Supa Tea, which has notes of acai, elderberry and blackberry. This tea is delicious both hot and iced, but we prefer it as iced tea.

What is the biggest food trend in New Hampshire right now?

In the tea industry, boba has become a huge trend alongside the popularity of mocktails.

What is your favorite thing to cook at home?

John is the cook in our family. When we’re not at an event or market, he loves to make big pots of chili and comfort foods. He has an award-winning chili recipe from our chili cook-off days that is unique and very delicious.

603 Perfect Blend White Tea Sangria
From the kitchen of 603 Perfect Blend

4 Tablespoons loose-leaf white tea
4 cups boiling water or cold water
1 bottle white wine (750 ml)
2 cups white grape or white cranberry juice
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

In a teapot or mason jar, cover the tea leaves with 4 cups of boiling water and steep for 4 to 7 minutes. Strain tea leaves and let tea cool. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
Cover tea leaves with 4 cups of cold water and steep in the refrigerator overnight. Strain out tea leaves or remove tea steeper.
Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher. Add the fruit of your choice. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours to let all the flavors combine. Serve over ice and add fruit from the sangria for garnish.

Food truck Fridays

Intown Concord sponsors food trucks for First Friday

This past May, Intown Concord started a new tradition with First Friday. On the first Friday of every month, businesses in downtown Concord are encouraged to stay open until 8 p.m. or later. Each month, Intown Concord sponsors one food truck to attend, previously Wicked Tasty Food Truck and The Sleazy Vegan. Next up, on Friday, Sept. 1, is One Happy Clam.

“In the past, people have made comments about Concord closing up early and how there wasn’t much to do in the evening here, so we thought to focus on an effort to get the businesses to do something special once a month to encourage people to come downtown,” said Jessica Martin, the executive director for Intown Concord. “We have been sponsoring a food truck to come … and we’re hoping long-term that more food trucks will come down.”

Derry native Rick Metts, who has been in the restaurant business for 50 years, established One Happy Clam in September 2021. He started out at McDonald’s in 1974 and worked there through high school and into college. Twelve years later Metts, along with a friend, bought Clam Haven in Derry, where he worked for 33 years along with his wife, daughters and grandson.

“I had always dreamed of owning a diner, and the food truck craze was starting [around] 2015, 2016, so I put that in the back of my mind to maybe pursue when I got out of Clam Haven,” Metts said.

In 2020 when he sold the restaurant, that’s exactly what he did with his wife, daughters and grandchildren. He bought a pre-built truck in August 2021, bought and sold the necessary equipment, and a month later, One Happy Clam was on the road. Along with seafood, they also serve hamburgers, hot dogs, sandwiches and more. Due to his time at Clam Haven, he already had a reputation in the community.

“They knew what we served at the restaurant, so I try to use the same suppliers and the same menu items,” he said. “There’s a consistency, so they know if it’s me this is what they’re going to get.”

Unable to attend First Friday in July because the truck needed a new transmission, Metts is eager to be involved in September.

“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “It’s a little different market. They don’t know who I am up there, some might, most don’t, so we get a chance to make a good first impression.”

Martin says there’s been a great response from the downtown businesses, Gibson’s Bookstore, Homebody and Achromatic being among the ones that have taken part in the later hours.

Revelstoke has been having a DJ, Wine on Main has done a free wine tasting and Spruce Home has even given out free iced coffee and doughnuts.

“It’s been a little bit of a slow burn but we’re gaining momentum,” Martin said. “We’re trying to put some sort of musical act near the food truck so it’s kind of a nice vibe, people get their food, they can sit there and eat and listen to some entertainment at the same time.”

First Friday
When: The first Friday of every month. The next event is Friday, Sept. 1
Where: Downtown Concord
Cost: Free
This month’s First Friday is being billed as “Dogapalooza” highlighting the dog-friendly nature of downtown, according to an Intown newsletter which include a list of businesses that allow dogs either inside the business or outside leashed as well as which businesses offer treats or water.
Also this Ryan Deachman (pictured bottom right) from 6 to 7 p.m. at Bicentennial Square.

Featured photo:Courtesy photo.

The Weekly Dish 23/08/31

News from the local food scene

Try gourmet kettle popcorn and handmade wine: Visit Averill House Vineyard (21 Averill Road, Brookline) between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 1, and Saturday, Sept. 2, for gourmet popcorn paired with handcrafted wine. From mango maple moscato, strawberry zinfandel and black currant wine to sweet caramel and brown sugar and garlic pepper and rosemary popcorn, there is a combination for everyone. Tickets start at $20 and can be purchased through eventbrite.

Bourbon, wine, golf: Stonebridge Country Club in Goffstown (161 Gorham Pond Road) hosts Bourbon, Wine & Nine on Friday, Sept. 8, from 2 to 9 p.m. Sample wines, bourbons and scotches and enjoy food from Drumlins Restaurant. Festivities include a nine-hole scramble tournament, a putting contest, live music and chances to raise funds for The Liberty House Charity for Veterans and win prizes. Golf registration starts at 2 p.m. and tee-off is at 3 p.m. The tasting tent opens at 5 p.m. Tickets range from $25 to $60 and can be purchased via eventbrite.

Meet Austrian winemaker and try his wines: Stop by Wine on Main (9 N. Main St., Concord) on Friday, Sept. 8, between 5 and 7 p.m. to meet Austrian winemaker Paul Direder and try his wines.

Launch party for Botanica #9: Enjoy brunch, gin cocktails, music, a flower steam bar and more at Manchester Distillery’s (284 Manchester St., Manchester) Gin & Jam launch party for Botanica #9. The free event will be held on Saturday, Sept. 9, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with an official toasting at 9 a.m.

Medium reading and wine tasting: Psychic medium Jessica Moseley will hold a group medium reading at Averill House Vineyard (21 Averill Road, Brookline) on Saturday, Sept. 9, from 6 to 8 p.m. Guests 21 and older will be offered a complimentary wine tasting flight of four vintages or a single glass of wine. Tickets are $45 and can be purchased on

Hampton Beach Seafood Fest: Don’t miss the 34th Hampton Beach Seafood Festival from Friday, Sept. 8, through Sunday, Sept. 10. More than 50 local food vendors and 70 local artisans will be displaying and selling their products, such as home decor, honey and hot sauce. More than 15 performances will take place over the course of the weekend on two stages, featuring The Great Escape, Maddi Ryan, Being Petty and Brandy Band among others. Festival events include a cornhole tournament, a 5K, a lobster roll eating contest, live culinary demonstrations, a mini air show, an art gallery and auction, and fireworks. Tickets are $10 per day. Visit

Treasure Hunt 23/08/31

Hello, Donna —

I’m trying to get any information that you may know about this rocker. I’m not positive what century it’s from but I was told 19th by my mum. — Melanie

Dear Melanie,

Your rocker is called a stick-style rocker. The age your mom gave you is correct. It’s from the late 1800s to early 1900s, the late Victorian Era. It appears to be in original condition and in good shape for the age.

The values are tough. Antique rockers are not in high demand in this generation. The value should be in the range of $50. — Donna

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