Music comes to Crosby Center

Alt. Country Showcase kicks off three-concert series

Sep 08, 2017

Belfast — Necessary Music Productions is collaborating with the newly refurbished and restored Crosby Center to produce three shows on the Crosby stage in September and October.

“With a lovely sound system and stage, large dance floor, seating for hundreds and only a block from the center of town, finally Belfast has a great music venue again!” said Will Neils of Necessary Music Productions in a news release. The Crosby Center is at 96 Church St.

The first event is an Alt. Country Showcase Friday, Sept. 15. Next comes an afternoon and evening of jazz with the first-ever Waldo County Jazz & Heritage Festival, featuring The Wayne Delano Quartet, Mes Amis and others, Sunday, Sept. 24. Finally, NMP will stage one of its “Badass Women Who Rock” concerts Saturday, Oct. 14, with Vicky Andres, Sugarbush and Random Ideas.

The Alt. Country Showcase at 7 p.m. Sept. 15 features local bands with strong song-writing reputations: The Midnight Riders and The Coloradas, as well as Fayetteville, Arkansas-based songwriter Dylan Earl and The Reasons Why. Tickets are $15; children 12 and under are admitted free.

“Last year we were referred to these guys by Will Mallett of The Mallett Brothers Band, who have played quite a few shows with them in Arkansas over the last few years,” Neils said. “They had just released their first EP on the Los Angeles-based Play Yah Records and had just been in Los Angeles, recording and filming their first video for their song, “Blessing in Disguise” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNEEnH8CKkY).

“Their shows here in the Midcoast were opportunities for country music lovers to revel in their literary lyric style and sincere vocal delivery,” he said. “The after-parties in Camden are still talked about with great joy and appreciation over a year later.” Their second album was scheduled for release Sept. 5 in a variety of formats, including LPs, which will be available for purchase at the show.

The Midnight Riders opened for The Mallett Brothers Band June 17 at Rockport Opera House, with a 10-song, all-original set. They also played the North End Block Party hosted by HOME Kitchen Café July 14, and the Rock Harbor Bruin Co. debut July 15, both performances in conjunction with the 24th annual North Atlantic Blues Festival.

The Riders feature Neils on lead vocals, Emmett Lalor on guitar, bass and vocals; Mike Cole on bass, guitar and vocals; and Derek Lane on drums. All three singers have original songs the band will be performing in their shows.

The Reasons Why is the primary vehicle for the musical talents of Dylan Earl, who grew up in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and has been performing in and around Fayetteville, Arkansas, for the last few years with his band, Swampbird, which has been compared to Son Volt and The Drive-By Truckers.

This new project has given him the opportunity to develop his more polished and traditional lyric and vocal style influenced by Mike Cooley of the North Alabama-based Drive-By Truckers, along with an almost eerie echo of the recently departed Okie music legend Merle Haggard, who defined Outlaw Country in the early ’60s, before Nashville figured out how to package it commercially.

These concerts are Mallett-approved shows and performers, Neils said, “so don't miss out on actual Mallett buddies!”

Roy Davis has been writing songs about Mainers and Maine for a decade now, with two solo CDs to his credit and two more with his buddy Bernie Nye on banjo and their band, The Coloradas, in that span. Davis grew up in Montville, and brings the authentic perspective of one who has witnessed the vast diversity of experiences available in Waldo County.

“Whether tossing a contemptuous line at a hipster friend with city problems or focusing a stark beam of light on the plight of Mainers dealing with the scourge of pharmaceutical and street drug abuse and destruction, (Davis) always gives it to us straight with no frills or corny shenanigans,” Neils said.

Entrancing melodies and honest lyrics delivered with a wry and sometimes crooked smile are Davis’s stock and trade. “He stands with the best Maine songwriters of his generation and has recently moved back to Maine after a few years down South, stopping off in Nashville, Tennessee; Austin, Texas; and the northern Rockies in Montana, where he worked as a ranch hand.

The Coloradas, appearing Sept. 15 at the Crosby Center in Belfast.
The Midnight Riders take the Crosby Center stage Sept. 15 in an Alt. Country Showcase.
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