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May
25
Sat
Kat Wright at One Longfellow Square @ One Longfellow Square
May 25 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Kat Wright at One Longfellow Square @ One Longfellow Square | Portland | Maine | United States

“There’s soul flowing in and out of her rock ‘n’ roll with a serpentine seduction. Some of soul music’s sweet, grand dames belt, shout, seethe, and succumb, while Wright sings gently like a heartache’s apology. It’s funky in spots and beautiful all over. And it hurts a little … like it should”.

After touring for the last decade as a 7–9-piece soul band with horns & keys blazing, this new era finds Kat Wright being born anew – more herself than ever – revealed, simply in a startlingly honest & glimmering naked light. With restrictions imposed by the pandemic, Wright & her cohorts have recently come to enjoy writing & touring in a stripped down formation, mostly trio or quartet, in contrast to the big band she fronted for the better part of the last decade where she was described “a young Bonnie Raitt meets Amy Winehouse”. Fans of Wright’s singing & style have been thrilled to discover this paired down line up which puts the groups true talents front & center to shine, instead of drenching them in horns and fanfare. You’ll still hear the Raitt & Winehouse influences, but now also likenesses with Brandi Carlisle & Norah Jones. The resulting music is more intentional, more distilled, more potent – a direct balm for the trying times we face today. It’s truly a scenario of “less is more” – allowing Wright’s voice to really finally take center stage, to shine and ache and yearn and howl – unburied, out in the open, beaming.

A quote from the folk publication Red Line Roots from November ’21 sums it up best: “The first time I saw Kat Wright live was a festival gig where the band’s horn section alone was comprised of 3 people. Wright has that special balance of power and grace in her voice that can shimmer and float to the top of a big band setting, I don’t think anyone who has witnessed her perform could deny that. But the intimacy and vulnerability that she and collaborators Bob Wagner and Josh Weinstein has crafted with their newly (and COVID necessary) formed (trio) outfit is something truly magnificent.

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May
26
Sun
Jake Blount, Nic Gareiss, Sammy Wetstein Trio at One Longfellow Square @ One Longfellow Square
May 26 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Jake Blount, Nic Gareiss, Sammy Wetstein Trio at One Longfellow Square @ One Longfellow Square | Portland | Maine | United States

Jake Blount, Nic Gareiss and Sammy Wetstein, award-winning folk, jazz, and world music performers, have joined forces combining  vibrant synergy, deft movements, and stories long untold. Through traditional songs familiar and arcane, this new trio celebrates the vivacious rhythms and deep roots of America’s eldest musics.

Jake Blount (Providence, RI) is a singer and multi-instrumentalist described by NPR as “an Afrofuturist in roots-music garb.” A winner of the 2021 Steve Martin Banjo Prize and a Smithsonian Folkways recording artist, American Songwriter has dubbed him the “King of Roots.” Percussive dancer Nic Gareiss (Lansing, MI) has been named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch,” and has been hailed by the New York Times for their “dexterous melding of Irish and Appalachian dance.” In 2020, Gareiss received the Michigan Heritage Award, the highest honor his home state bestows on traditional artists. Sammy Wetstein (Boston, MA) is a musician who infuses folk and jazz music with improvisational creativity. Sammy has performed at the Newport Folk Festival, The Shalin Liu Performance Center, and the International Bluegrass Music Association conference, and has appeared alongside artists jazz icons Joe Levano and Kenny Barron, and world-renowned string players including Eugene Friesen, Darol Anger, and Jason Anick. He is currently a student at Berklee College of Music focusing on jazz and roots cello performance.

Blount, Gareiss, and Wetstein’s years of experience as performers, educators, and scholars in their respective traditions have drawn them close to the spontaneous creative force at the heart of music-making. The trio brings the power of those fresh bonds to bear in a new performance: a paean to both strong roots and musical co-infatuations traced in wood, flesh, and gesture.

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May
30
Thu
Matt Flinner and Joe K. Walsh at One Longfellow Square @ One Longfellow Square
May 30 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Matt Flinner and Joe K. Walsh at One Longfellow Square @ One Longfellow Square | Portland | Maine | United States

Multi-instrumentalist Matt Flinner has made a career out of playing acoustic music in new ways. Starting out as a banjo prodigy who was playing bluegrass festivals before he entered his teens, Flinner later took up the mandolin, won the National Banjo Contest at Winfield Kansas in 1990, and took the mandolin award there the following year. Since then, he has become recognized as one of the premiere mandolinists as well as one of the finest new acoustic/roots music composers today. He has toured and recorded with a wide variety of bluegrass, new acoustic, classical and jazz artists, including Tim O’Brien, Frank Vignola, Steve Martin, Darrell Scott, the Modern Mandolin Quartet, Dave Douglas, Leftover Salmon, Alison Brown, The Ying Quartet, Tony Trischka, Darol Anger, and the Nashville Chamber Orchestra. He has also recorded two Compass Records CDs and toured as part of Phillips, Grier and Flinner with bassist Todd Phillips and guitarist David Grier. His two solo CDs (also on Compass), “The View from Here” and “Latitude,” are now widely considered classics in the new acoustic/modern bluegrass style. His current group, the Matt Flinner Trio (with guitarist Ross Martin and bassist Eric Thorin), has forged new pathways in acoustic string band music with their two ground-breaking CDs, “Music du Jour” and “Winter Harvest”

Hailed by David Grisman as a “wonderful mandolin player”, and by Darol Anger as “one of the best mandolinists I’ve ever played with”, Portland, Maine-based musician Joe K. Walsh is known for his exceptional tone and taste, and his years of collaborations and recordings with acoustic music luminaries including Darol Anger, Brittany Haas, Grant Gordy, Mike Block, Danny Barnes, Scott Nygaard, and pop-grass darlings Joy Kills Sorrow, a band he co-founded. He’s played with everyone from John Scofield to Molly Tuttle to Tony Trischka, and performed at festivals, club and theaters all over North America and Europe. After a number of award-winning years with bluegrass stars the Gibson Brothers, Joe currently splits his time between an inventive string band called Mr Sun (featuring Darol Anger, Grant Gordy and Aidan O’Donnell), the Mike Block Trio, a project with Celia Woodsmith, and a trio with Ella Jordan and Jed Wilson. His most recent record “If Not Now, Who?” was released in 2023 on Adhyaropa Records. An avid educator, Joe is an associate professor at the Berklee College of Music. He teaches regularly at music camps and workshops all over, and teaches online through Peghead Nation.

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May
31
Fri
Eric Hutchinson at One Longfellow Square @ One Longfellow Square
May 31 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Eric Hutchinson at One Longfellow Square @ One Longfellow Square | Portland | Maine | United States

Singer/songwriter Eric Hutchinson is feeling nostalgic as he prepares to spend 2023 celebrating the 15th anniversary of his debut album, Sounds Like This. “It’s a special record for me – one that changed my life, my career, and introduced my music to a new audience I could only have dreamt of,” the Takoma Park, MD native reflects. To commemorate the anniversary, Eric has announced that he will be playing shows all year long, performing the album in its entirety. He’s also revealed that Sounds Like This will finally be available on vinyl for the first time ever. Furthering the deep-dive into his past, Eric will also release a new single, “Sad Songs”, a forgotten pop tune he wrote and performed regularly on tour in 2008 but never got the chance to record until now.

“I’m thrilled to spend 2023 reflecting on how my life and the world has changed in 15 years,”  Eric says. “I hope people will join me on the trip down memory lane. Maybe bring a long-lost college friend to one of my concerts, or give Sounds Like This a re-listen for the first time in forever and remember what life was like back in 2008 – when Barack Obama was elected president, BlackBerrys were all the rage, and watching Netflix meant getting little red DVD packages in the mail.”

Sounds Like This ended up being a chart-topping album released by Warner Bros. Records, but it almost never happened. Just before Eric recorded those songs, he says he was a frustrated kid who was seriously considering quitting music. “I had spent several years toiling away on the road, playing tragically low-attended shows, and recording several failed albums that were not ready for prime time,” Eric remembers. But as discouraged as he was at the time, Eric says he hated the idea of telling his friends and family that he had quit music. “I decided to dig down deep and make one last-ditch attempt to record a professional debut that lived up to the legacies of my musical heroes like Stevie Wonder, The Beatles, Paul Simon, and Michael Jackson,” Eric recalls. “I went for broke, literally, to capture the music that I was hearing in my head – the songs that represented me at that time. I could never have imagined where those songs would take me.”

Eric connected with some big-league producers and engineers and convinced them to work with him. He set up shop at New Monkey Studio in Van Nuys, CA and enlisted the help of producer Will Golden, as well as accomplished session players like Gary Novak on drums, Chris Chaney on bass, and Deron Johnson on keys. “I have such crisp memories of seeing those songs take shape in the studio, “ Eric says. “Back then, I was touring exclusively as a solo acoustic artist out of necessity – I didn’t know how to lead or play with a band yet and I was still learning how to make a record. I remember Gary and Chris coming in – they had played with acts like Alanis Morisette, Sara Bareilles, and Shakira. They were pros, but they were very generous and patient with me. They taught me so much about how to find the groove and the vibe for a song in the studio.” The makeshift band recorded upbeat soul-funk songs like “You Don’t Have To Believe Me” and “Outside Villanova” – tracks that are now well known to Eric’s listeners. From there, the tracks went to mixing engineer Neal Pogue. “I was so lucky to have Neal work on the record,” Eric remembers. “He had mixed OutKast, Citizen Cope, Stevie Wonder – some of my favorite artists and inspirations. I sent him a message on Myspace asking if he’d want to work with me and I couldn’t believe it when he actually wrote back and said yes! I was some random unknown guy. I remember on the first day of mixing, he asked for his check and I gave it to him. He handed it to his wife and she took it directly to the bank. Neal and I just sat there, waiting in his mixing studio. Then Neal got a phone call from his wife that the check had cleared. He put the phone down, pulled his chair up to the mixing board and started in on the record.”

Eric finished the album and shortly after moved to New York City in 2007. He continued making the rounds as a regular performer at small independent music clubs like Ram’s Head Tavern in Annapolis, MD, The Cutting Room in New York City, The Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles and Schuba’s in Chicago. After some time, Eric says his music miraculously ended up in the hands of Perez Hilton, the original celebrity social media influencer. “Perez posted some of my songs from Sounds Like This on his massively popular blog with an absolutely glowing endorsement, and people responded. Within 12 hours, my songs had gone viral – but I think we just called it “blowing up” back then?” Eric says with a laugh. After years of hard work and what felt like never-ending setbacks, Eric had caught a break and was an overnight sensation. Sounds Like This catapulted into the top 10 of iTunes, becoming the highest charting album by an unsigned artist in iTunes history, and debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart. Soon after, Eric found himself in a bidding war between several record companies, eventually signing with Warner Bros Records who officially released Sounds Like This in April, 2008, along with a massive publicity campaign. “Suddenly, I was out on the road year-round, living my dream,” Eric remembers. “I was visiting radio stations by day and playing concerts for actual human beings by night. It was incredible.”

2008 was a whirlwind of a year for Eric, criss-crossing the country over and over again by plane, car, and tour bus. “I put my head down, worked as hard as I could, and said yes to everything that came my way.” By the time he stopped to catch his breath, Eric had performed on “The Tonight Show”, “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”, and NBC’s “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade”. He had shared large stages with acts like OneRepublic, Kelly Clarkson, Jason Mraz, and O.A.R. And his single “Rock & Roll” was a certified gold record and a #1 radio hit in America, Australia, New Zealand, and Norway.

“Looking back on those times, I remember lots of exciting, unbelievable moments,” Eric recounts. “But I also got lost in the blur of the climb and I didn’t always get to enjoy the moment as much as I wish I could have. When I realized the 15th anniversary of Sounds Like This was approaching, it felt like a perfect chance to revisit this music and reflect on the long and winding road I’ve been walking ever since then.

Today, Eric is a seasoned musician and touring artist who’s released eight albums, performed in all 50 states and experimented with diverse kinds of musical genres like pop, folk, reggae, alternative rock, and jazz. Still, more often than not, Eric says if people are familiar with his music, they know the songs from Sounds Like This. “I love getting to hear stories from so many people who remember growing up with the music,” Eric says. “I’ll meet people and they’ll tell me about watching the music video for “Rock & Roll” on VH1 while getting ready for school, or listening to “Food Chain” on a burned mix CD that an older sister made to celebrate getting her driver’s license, or singing “Ok, It’s Alright With Me” in their college a capella group. I’m proud of this album I made many years ago, but I’m even more gratified by the part my music got to play in so many other people’s lives. I’m hoping I get to celebrate Sounds Like This with all those people in 2023.”

*****

Eric Hutchinson is an international platinum-selling singer, songwriter and seasoned touring artist. He has performed in all 50 states and has shared the stage with acts such as Kelly Clarkson, OneRepublic, Jason Mraz, Amos Lee, O.A.R., and Lawrence. His single “Rock & Roll” earned him his first platinum record in the United States and the song became a #1 hit in several countries.

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Jun
8
Sat
Sawyer Auger w/Special Guest Jake at One Longfellow Square @ One Longfellow Square
Jun 8 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Sawyer Auger w/Special Guest Jake at One Longfellow Square @ One Longfellow Square | Portland | Maine | United States

Sawyer Auger, a soulful Folk Rock pop musician, is not just an artist but a beacon of hope using his music to shed light on the shadows of mental health. Born and raised in a small town, Sawyer discovered his passion for music at a young age, finding solace in the strings of his acoustic guitar. Known for his distinctive sound, Sawyer employs a unique approach to his craft by incorporating a looper into his performances, magically transforming his solo act into a captivating full-band experience. With the skillful use of this device, he weaves layers of melody, creating a rich, immersive atmosphere that envelops his audience in a sonic embrace.

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At the end of a long day traversing the White Mountains, when the sun has laid down behind the horizon and the shush of the forest descends, you sit by the campfire and crack open the cold beverage of your choice. Surrounded by friends or family, you realize this is the best possible place you could be right now. This is the feeling that Jake Swamp and the Pine captures with their music. The name Jake Swamp and the Pine provides that context, as it was inspired by the Jake Swamp pine tree – the tallest tree in MA and is honoring Jake Swamp – a prominent environmentalist.

Behind the creative force of Jake Swamp and the Pine is Drew Zieff, JSATP has toured relentlessly since its formation in 2018 in the Greater Boston and New England region. Recent performances include Word Barn, Club Passim, Black Bear Americana Festival, Boston Music Awards Ceremony at Brighton Music Hall, Adam Ezra Ramble Festival, Parlor Room and more.

At the end of 2022, JSATP released their debut album, Simpson and Banks, named after the cross streets in Somerville, MA where the band was formed. Within those cross streets, hours and hours of practice, laughing, writing, struggling with creating social content had been held. There were many moments of life that were revisited because of the writing and reflecting that happened there, so it felt only fitting to honor that with the album name. Those beautiful and confusing moments of life are captured and distilled into each song on the album.

Simpson and Banks received praise from many prestigious publications including Americana UK, who noted that a “Gloriously atmospheric vocals carry a set of passionate, emotive and classy songs.” (read more)

Jake Swamp and the Pine songs range from powerful acoustic anthems to knee-slapping hoedowns to slow and somber waltzes, drawing on diverse influences from the Americana, folk, singer-songwriter, bluegrass, and jam band traditions. With a collection of original songs and covers of artists, there’s always something to stomp, clap, or holler along to. Country 102.5 said “Jake Swamp and the Pine was born to be heard live. You can feel the emotion in his guitar, and his vocals take you on winding journey, up and around bends of inflection. There’s sheer joy that resounds in the making of his craft. You can get all that just from listening to one song.”

JSATP has been nominated four years in a row for the Boston Music Awards Americana Act of the Year, as well as New England Music Awards Americana Act of the Year.

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Jun
13
Thu
Concert in the Park: Maine Marimba Ensemble @ Congress Square Park
Jun 13 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Concert in the Park: Maine Marimba Ensemble @ Congress Square Park | Portland | Maine | United States

Maine Marimba Ensemble performs complex polyrhythmic arrangements of traditional and contemporary Zimbabwean music on handcrafted marimbas.

Phillip-Michael Scales + Artur Menezes at One Longfellow Square @ One Longfellow Square
Jun 13 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Phillip-Michael Scales + Artur Menezes at One Longfellow Square @ One Longfellow Square | Portland | Maine | United States

Growing up, Phillip-Michael Scales didn’t understand what it meant that his aunt’s close friend, the guitar player who called him “Nephew” and he called “Uncle B,” was B.B. King. Once Phillip-Michael began guitar less, the significance became so clear that he shied away from soloing and most things blues. Instead, he fell in love with songwriting when an English teacher told him “A great writer can make their reader identify with anyone.” The trouble was he couldn’t find his story in the blues.

With a fierce independent streak and a passion for performing, Scales fronted his own indie bands, wrote and recorded his own music, and worked to make a name for himself on his own terms. All the while, his “Uncle B” just smiled a knowing smile and encouraged him to “stay with it.” Their relationship grew closer as Scales began to discover “the blues” in his personal and professional life.

When his Uncle B passed away, Scales began incorporating more of the blues into his music as a way to honor him. “These days I’m finding more of my story in the blues. A lot has led me here between politics, my identity, and the idea of Legacy.” The result is a sound he calls “Dive Bar Soul” which takes a bit of indie rock storytelling and couples it with the passion of the blues.

His single “Find a Way” attracted national radio attention in 2022 and garnered an invite to perform on the Ellen Degeneres Show. His music has taken him all the way to the Middle East, as well as festivals across Europe and North America. He has opened for Milky Chance, Jerry Cantrell (Alice In Chains), Caravan Palace, Fantastic Negrito, The New Respects, Anderson East, Guster, The Record Company, and Cory Brannan.

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Jun
14
Fri
Kyshona at One Longfellow Square @ One Longfellow Square
Jun 14 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Kyshona at One Longfellow Square @ One Longfellow Square | Portland | Maine | United States

Kyshona lends her voice and music to those who feel silenced, forgotten or alone. She began her career as a music therapist, writing her first songs with patients — students and inmates under her care. She became compelled to write independently and find her own voice, an endeavor which led her to the Nashville creative community and songwriting culture. Since then, she balances her music career with her passion to heal in community through her organization Your Song Kyshona’s new project, LEGACY, focuses on family.

Storytelling is the way we pass information – between friends, colleagues, and family. Stories are how we imprint our culture and give gifts from one generation to the next. Memory is imperfect. It is influenced by emotion, context, our state-of-mind on any given day, our health, surroundings, language, and how we have been socialized. In telling our stories, we not only enlighten one another to our truths, we also call upon our community to practice active understanding and to help us acknowledge, validate, and remember our past. In telling our stories of the past, we shape a collective future informed by where we have traveled, all we have learned, and who we have been. Every family has storytellers, because we are all storytellers. In her forthcoming album LEGACY, Kyshona tells the long story of her family’s journey. Through stories, photos, film, ancestry and genealogy research, and travels in the power of place, Kyshona shares her story while inviting listeners and concert goers to join her in exploration of self, healing and growth.

Over the last few years, in addition to three new original singles and multiple music videos, she released a collection of recordings and videos in collaboration with Centennial Park Conservancy – recorded at Nashville’s Parthenon, in front of a monument-sized gold statue of Athena. A song she wrote with ZG Smith called “Nighttime Animal” was named to American Songwriter’s Top 25 Songs of 2022 and enjoyed spins on AAA radio. She wrote an article for No Depression magazine, and was invited to speak at several events including giving a keynote address for 2023 Fulbright Scholars. She is featured in a 2023 PBS television show called “Ear to the Common Ground,” gathering fans around a dining table to discuss voting rights in America, and she will be featured in an upcoming video series featuring Americana artists performing in the prestigious Schermerhorn Symphony Center Theater in Nashville.

Her song, “Listen,” was an anthem for many in 2020. Of her album of the same name, one fan reviewer wrote: “Amidst these hard, divisive times this set of songs is a salve for the grief many of us are feeling about resulting loss of family, friends, and community.”  Within the grooves of its 10 tracks, Kyshona blends roots, rock, R&B, and folk with lyrical prowess to uplift the marginalized and bring awareness to the masses. It’s for every silent scream, every heavy load, fearful thought, and a simmering sense of anger that the repressed, the lost, and the forgotten try to hide from the world.

Audiences will find a common thread of empowerment, overcoming adversity, and finding hope in her work.  The show doesn’t end when the last song is sung.  After her powerful performances, concertgoers often ask, “What can I do?”

Her response? “Listen.”

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181 State Street
Portland, ME 04101United States
+ Google Map

207-761-1757

RENT at One Longfellow Square @ One Longfellow Square
Jun 14 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
RENT at One Longfellow Square @ One Longfellow Square | Portland | Maine | United States

In New York City’s gritty East Village, a group of bohemians strive for success and acceptance while enduring the obstacles of poverty, illness and the AIDS epidemic.

 

Jun
19
Wed
The Wellermen at One Longfellow Square @ One Longfellow Square
Jun 19 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
The Wellermen at One Longfellow Square @ One Longfellow Square | Portland | Maine | United States

Bass singing folk group The Wellermen were discovered during the viral Sea Shanty trend of early 2021. The four have only met in person once with members Bobby Waters & Luke Taylor based in the US and Jonny Stewart & Sam Pope based in the UK. The four members’ lives were to change when they dueted with a seemingly innocuous ‘Sea Shanty’ (Wellerman) on TikTok. Since the release of the now ubiquitous TikTok, it’s been viewed 100m+ times across multiple platforms and continents, and has seen The Wellermen appear at events like The Brits, shows like Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Take Away, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver and The Colbert Show & ABC News Australia. The Wellermen used their moment of unexpected virality for lasting good, raising money via proceeds from ‘Wellerman’ for the Marine Conservation Society, giving back to the seas.

Since then the group have gone on to release their debut album containing even more viral hits, from ‘Misty Mountains’ and ‘Nancy Mulligan’ to the North Sea Trend phenomenon ‘Hoist The Colours’ which reached #3 on the global TikTok sound chart in February 2024. The group have achieved 150m streams to date and amassed a global audience of millions in the process.

The Wellermen embark on their debut USA tour in June 2024, with their hotly anticipated follow up album due for release Winter 2024.

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