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Dancing the winter blues away ... with live music! PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 28 January 2011 16:53

 I can’t think of a better way to beat the winter blues then to listen to live music and dance the night away.


And that’s just what I did on On Saturday, Jan. 22, when Hallowell City Hall Auditorium served as the scene of a most delightful treat as The Returnables, Boneheads and Dirigo gave locals a fabulous night away from the cold and snow.


I knew when I stepped into the venue that this was going to be an awesome show because the aura in the room was electric – to say the least. The musicians were up for this show and they were all excited. There is nothing like performing for your hometown friends, especially in the dead of winter. And there is nothing like listening to live music when the performers are into the show.


Hats off to Tim “Chummy” Sullivan for coming up with an awesome musical event to help rid us of that infamous Maine winter malady: Cabin Fever. Dick Hollis, drummer for the Boneheads, dubbed the evening “The First Annual Chummy Fest,” and hopes this will continue in winters to come. He was also heard saying that this idea shows us “just how great Tim Sullivan is!”


The Liberal Cup, a Water Street fixture in Hallowell, provided a cash bar, while Steve and Jada from Cosmic Charlie’s in downtown Augusta, manned the musician’s merchandise table and raffled off various items throughout the evening as a fundraiser for Steve “Spanky” White.


Parrish Renauld, local musical connoisseur and friend to all musicians, served as emcee for the evening. “This is extremely positive for the community to get this many talented musicians together at once. What a great idea to get people together in the winter,” he said.


With the room filled to capacity, 20-year music veterans, The Boneheads, kicked off the evening with some of their original tunes, bringing everyone in the room to their feet. What can one say about the Boneheads that hasn’t already been said? These guys know how to get a room rocking by pulling out many of their melodic dancing tunes and setting the musical tone for the evening. People started dancing to the first note the Boneheads played. And trust me, as their local fans and friends we didn’t need to wait to hear what was coming because we knew it would be great.


Scott Elliot, one of my all-time favorite bass players, never ceases to catch my ear with his driving beats. He has a knack for performing his original tune, “Rail Road Bill,” differently each time he plays it. I never grow tired of hearing it. In fact, I don’t grow tired of hearing any of the Bonehead tunes because of the joy the band brings in playing their music. Thanks Boneheads for a great set! By the way, look for the Boneheads to be performing soon at The Wharf in Hallowell.


Next up on tap was Dirigo. If you haven’t caught this band yet, I urge you to check them out. A relatively new band to the Hallowell scene, Dirigo is bursting with musical talent. Comprised of Maine guitar legend, Steve Jones, Strangefolk members Erik Glockler on bass and Luke Patchen on guitar, and Ginger Cote on drums, this is a band to keep your eye on! There wasn’t a body, foot or toe that stayed still in the room as Dirigo entertained us with their awesome guitar playing and wonderful vocal harmonies. I REALLY like this band and they are quickly becoming one of my favorites. This is the fourth time I’ve seen them, and I enjoyed them each time. Like many others in the room, I think I danced on each and every note they played.


Unfortunately, Ginger Cote was not able to perform with Dirigo that night and someone sat in for her, but I wasn’t able to catch his name. But, let me add, that he did a great job of filling her shoes.


Last, but certainly not least to the stage, was one of Hallowell’s favorite hometown bands (and Parrish’s), The Returnables. Yes folks, they are back! You can even hear a couple of their tunes up on the site this week. Sporting a new buzz doo, Ian Parker, lead guitarist and singer for the band, told me that he was “excited” for this evening because like everyone else, he’s had the winter blahs. “Everyone needs this night," he said.


Well, as always, Ian, Josh and “Uncle” Harley entertained us with their driving, zany brand of music, which has endeared them to their fans. You don’t just get music with the Returnables, you get a SHOW! I love watching Josh do ‘his thing’ while playing bass. We all know what a humorist he is, but he has a way of translating that humor into stage antics that never fail to delight the crowd. Locally, you can catch the Returnables on Feb. 25 at the Wharf and on March 4 at Hoxter’s. Get out there folks and let these guys know how happy we are to have them back; (I know that Parrish is!).


For me, Luke Patchen, guitarist for Dirigo, summed the evening up when he said, “The power of music brings people together.”

That IS what it’s all about. It doesn’t matter what your status in life is, what country or area you come from, or what language you speak – music will always be a universal language.


Tim Sullivan, an awesome guitarist in his own right, deserves a huge pat on the back for pulling off this marvelous event in the dead of a very cold Maine winter! It brought together friends and fans that have been sitting behind closed doors trying to stay warm and rest their bones from the constant monotony of shoveling snow.


For a few hours, we were allowed a respite, a music interlude between storms, an intermission from the cold and darkness that so typifies Maine winters. I know that a lot of people hope there will be a lot more shows presented by Tim Sullivan.


As Steve Jones put it, “A show with Timmy, why not, how could it be any better?”



Don’t miss the Charlee Black Band CD release party on Saturday, Feb. 12, at Easy Street Lounge in Hallowell.


And with that, my friends, I say “adieu,” till next time!



Last Updated on Saturday, 29 January 2011 15:00

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