All Roads 2017

Indie music hat trick in Belfast

May 17, 2017
The Ballroom Thieves

Belfast — Belfast becomes the vortex of Maine-made indie music Saturday, May 20, as Launchpad presents the third annual All Roads Music Festival, which followed four years of Belfast Free Range Festing in the city. Since 2010, with a two-year gap, spring has meant a flowering field of independent music in Belfast, and 2017 is right on track.

A number of those tracks are on vinyl and even cassette, which is gaining favor with musical creatives. Some independent artists are purely downloadable … and Maine rapper Spose previewed his latest album in an app. But this weekend, it’s all live.

As in years past, there is a Festival Opening Party the night before, Friday, May 19. This year’s takes place at Waterfall Arts, 256 High St., from 8 to 11 p.m. The evening will include sets by Waldo country trio Sugarbush (8:30 p.m.) and Livid Orange (9:30 p.m.) There will be light food and drink, plus craft brew, courtesy of Oxbow Brewing Co. Admission to the opening party is included in the VIP Pass; individual admission, in advance or at the door (as space allows), is $10.

Saturday offers 30 different acts plus a set by Yard Sail, this year’s MAMM Slam winner; and two special events focusing on the craft of songwriting.

The popular Maine Songwriter’s Circle kicks things off at 1 p.m. at the Colonial Theatre, 163 High St. Presented by Bangor Savings Bank, this year’s circle will place six talented Maine singer/songwriters on the Dreamland stage to share stories of their creative processes and some of the results. Sonia Sturino from Weakened Friends, Travis Cyr, Kenya Hall, Anna Pillsbury, Loretta Allen from OHX and Luke Mallett from the Mallett Brothers Band will perform and chat with the audience. The Maine Songwriter’s Circle is open to all pass holders; individual tickets, $7, will be sold at the door as space allows.

Following shortly thereafter, at 2:45 p.m., at the Colonial, the festival will fete its second annual All Roads Legacy Artist — Dave Mallett, father of the Brothers and longtime Maine state treasure. A songwriter whose work has been performed by artists from Pete Seeger to The Muppets, UMaine alum Mallett has released 14 albums (several in Nashville), mostly for independent labels, in his four-decade career … and sings on MBB’s latest CD. His All Roads appearance will be a moderated, 45-minute retrospective Q&A, open to all pass holders; individual tickets, $7, will be sold at the door as space allows.

Tickets and seating lowdown

All festival seating is general admission, and all performances are first come/first serve. Festival and VIP pass holders given priority access 20 minutes prior to set start. Individual tickets will be made available about 10 to 15 minutes prior to the show, as capacity allows.

The Festival Pass is $25 in advance, $30 at the door; the VIP Pass is $35/$40. A special $10 Festival Pass for children younger than 10 is sold day-of-fest only at the box office.

To purchase passes online, visit allroadsmusicfest.org. They also are sold at the Belfast Co-op and participating Bull Moose locations.

Following is the schedule of performances, listed by venue; note that times and venues are subject to change.

Colonial Theatre

1 p.m.: Maine Songwriter’s Circle

2:45 p.m.: All Roads Legacy Artist Dave Mallett

4:30 p.m.: Shane Reis, Portland rapper delivering lushly R&B hip-hop.

5:45 p.m.: Hannah Daman & The Martelle Sisters, Portland singer/songwriter joins forces with classically trained fiddle-playing siblings.

7 p.m.: They Called Me Legion, indie rockers from Bangor.

8:15 p.m., Chris Ross and The North, 2014 NEMA Songwriter of the Year brings just-released Americana.

Waterfall Arts

1 p.m.: Yard Sail, just-crowned winner of the Maine Academy of Modern Music’s battle of the Maine high school bands.

2 p.m.: Osmia, spacey lo-fi alt-rock act who has recorded right in town.

3 p.m.: Cape Cannons, experimental rock band from Portland leans into ambient and synth.

4 p.m.: Bad Island, Bangor rock band takes on The Way Life Should Be.

5 p.m.: TheWorst, Portland rock trio cranks up the volume.

6 p.m.: The Very Reverend, Portland rockers with Downeast roots offer smooth vocals and glam/punk grooves.

8 p.m.: The Restless Atlantic, four-piece post-hardcore band from Portland.

American Legion Hall, 143 Church St.

1:30 p.m.: Joel Thetford, former rodeo rider marries Texas roots to Maine indie charm.

2:30 p.m.: Goldenoak, modern folksters and perennial fest faves.

3:45 p.m.: Kenya Hall, funk/soul/jazz singer/songwriter and dance band from Portland.

5 p.m.: Weakened Friends, indie noise junk band from Boston and Portland.

6:15 p.m.: Paranoid Social Club, side project of Dave Gutter and Jon Roods, is back at it.

7:30 p.m.: Spose, Wells-based rapper brings his Good Luck With Your Life Tour to town.

8:45 p.m.: The Mallett Brothers Band, Maine’s own alt-country rockers, should keep the dance floor hopping.

10 p.m.: The Ballroom Thieves, harmony-rich Boston-based trio delivers rock-infused folk.

Belfast Free Library, 106 High St.

2:15 p.m.: Yes We Kin, experimental folk collective from Portland.

4 p.m.: Dan Blakeslee, performer of both Boston subways and the Newport Folk Festival.

5:15 p.m.: Forget/Forget, indie electro-pop duo from Portland.

6:30 p.m.: Thorn & Shout, a new musical project of Sofia (Squinch Owl/Sons of an Illustrious Father) and Link (Thy Courage Quail) Crowsfoot.

7:45 p.m.: Sea Level, moody electro-triphop from Portland music producer Dan Capaldi.

First Church, 104 Church St.

2:30 p.m.: Blake Russo Band, high-energy, rootsy Americana from Bar Harbor.

4:15 p.m.: Tall Horse, indie ‘90s-style rockers from Portland.

5:30 p.m.: Jeff Beam, Portland-based psych-rocker.

6:45 p.m., Midwestern Medicine, fresh indie rock from Portland.

8 p.m.: Wait, dreamy indie pop from Bangor.

9:15 p.m., Spencer Albee, Maine’s indie music master brings his 20th album to the fest.

The All Roads Music Festival Closing Party starts around 11 p.m. at Three Tides, 40 Marshall Wharf, and features Gypsy/surf/punk tunes from Wyld Lyfe. Admission is free for VIP pass holders, $7 for all others, as space allows. For more information about the fest and its performers, including links to audio samples, visit the website and the fest’s Facebook page.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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Staff Profile

Dagney C. Ernest
A&E editor for Courier Publications, LLC
(207) 594-4401/4407, ext. 115
Email Me

Dagney has been providing Courier coverage of the local arts scene since 1985 and has helmed the multi-paper A&E section since it debuted in 2003. She has been a local performing artist, community and professional, for more than 30 years and spent a decade writing, producing and announcing on-air for several Midcoast radio stations. When not in the NewsNest, Dagney likes to be in motion.

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