Mondays at 8 pm
7/18, 8/1, 8/8 & 8/22
Tickets $12 / $10 for members, students and seniors.
July 18 – Deidre Randall and Thomas D'Amour
Deidre Randall’s been on “the edgier side of folk,” as NHPR’s John Walters called her, since she first started playing her songs at open mics around New England twenty years ago. Since 1998 Deidre has recorded three albums of her original songs; Love on the Loose, Passport and Dig. The third release, Dig, is the culmination of many years of writing, plus two years in the crafting with three producers; Marc McElroy, Guy Capecelatro III and Chris O’Neill, collaborating and guiding Randall along the path. The CD release band includes Marc McElroy, Guy Capecelatro III, Jim Rioux, Adam Kelley and many special guests.
"Unique melodies and moving lyrics staying always on the course of pure heart and healthy spirit . . . classic songs that could have been scribbled down in dusty travel logs 50 years ago. Similar to Erin McKeown, Randall takes old-time influences and makes modern music.” - Northeast Performer Magazine
“She could easily pass as the long lost twin sister of Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy.” - Foster’s Daily Democrat
Thomas D'Amour describes his music genre as Uber Indie Shlock. He is heavily influenced by Gutherie, Dylan, and Johnny Thunders. It shows in his writing and performance. His songs are lyrical. Thomas says words are the basis of his songwriting. Maybe it’s all those years of listening to 5 Balls of Power, 7 Seconds, and G.G. Allin while tripping on hallucinogens. As a grade schooler, D’Amour would listen to the 50’s station on a small transistor that he had smuggled into his pillow at night when he was supposed to be going to sleep. “I liked Del Shannon’s Runaway, and Freddy Canon’s Palisades Park.” When he was eleven or twelve years old, his relatives helped introduce him to new music. “Yeah, I had cool older cousins who were listening to Elton John, David Bowie, Pink Floyd.” As D’Amour got into his teens, he was discovering other important music. For his 15th birthday, he was gifted vinyl recordings of Kiss Alive II, Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited, and Neil Young’s Rust Never Sleeps.
D’Amour started playing guitar and writing songs after reading a biography of Woody Guthrie. Soon after, a friend gave him a copy of a Johnny Thunders record. That did it. He said his music changed forever. “Thunders, you damned junkie” he says. Some of his other major influences include Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, and David Bowie. D’Amour said that if it needed to be categorized, his music could best be described as old timey and angry. Some of his friends would agree, except that “…his heart is so big, it’s hard to find the cynic behind those lyrics.”
August 1 – Russ Grazier: Saxophone Alone - an evening of solo works for unaccompanied saxophone
Co-Founder of PMAC, Executive Director, saxophone, composition, music theory and ensembles (B.M. in Composition with Saxophone Concentration, Boston Conservatory; M.M. in Composition, Peabody Conservatory; Graduate Composition Studies at the University of Chicago) Composer and saxophonist Russ Grazier, Jr. is a native of Portsmouth, New Hampshire and has taught saxophone, composition, and music theory for over 25 years. He has served on the faculties of some of the most prestigious music schools in the country including Boston Conservatory, Roosevelt University (Chicago), the University of Chicago College, the New England Conservatory Preparatory School, and the Merit School of Music (Chicago). Russ has been composer in residence with Chicago’s CUBE Ensemble and his music has been performed by the Contemporary Chamber Players of Chicago, the West End String Quartet, CUBE, Voices from the Heart, and many other ensembles and soloists. In 2011, he won the Duo Fujin one-day composition competition and his winning work, analecta for flute and saxophone was performed by the duo on their tour of the Southeast U.S. in Spring 2012. Russ is a past president of Art-Speak, the cultural commission for the city of Portsmouth, where he lives with his wife, Katie, and their two sons, Max and Jake.
August 8 – Chris Cote & Brian James
Chris Cote is a composer and multi-instrumentalist whose work has been performed in theaters and recital halls throughout New England. He has composed music for independent films, public television, radio, audio books, and has been a guest music lecturer at his alma mater UNH. Chris got his start as resident composer and music director for Seacoast Repertory Theatre's youth stage productions from 1994 to 1997 before starting his own youth theatre, Dinosaur In A Dish, with co-founder Adi Rule. in 2004 his musical Johnny Fish & Other Ambitious Beginnings won the Spotlight award for best original script, and the following year his musical adaptation of Victor Hugo's The Man Who Laughs was nominated for a New Hampshire Theatre Award. Chris has produced and recorded 4 albums for his progressive pop project Almanac Mountain, with his latest, 'Cryptoseismology' due out this June.
Brian James has been making music for most of his life. He composes a wide variety of music, from thoughtful folk songs and fingerstyle acoustic guitar pieces, to piano ballads, classical pieces, and tin pan alley style ukulele numbers. The diversity of Brian's work is a testament to his creative range and broad love of music from many different places and times. Brian also has a love for sound production and has recorded and mastered a number of other artists' recordings, and recently combined his composing and producing talents for the soundtrack to the Tara Price short films "The Routine" (2014) and "Earworm" (2016).
August 22 – Daemon Chili
Massachusetts-based American roots rock band Daemon Chili was formed by Michael Dion (lead singer/songwriter/rhythm guitar/harmonica, respectively) in the Boston suburb of Lowell. Previously, Dion was founder of the acclaimed New England string band Hot Day at the Zoo. Citing artistic differences, Dion left the group after 10 years, 3 albums, and one New England Music Award, making a conscious decision to move into a decidedly more roots/rock direction.
Calling upon his old college friends, Steve Benson (pedal & lap steel/mandolin) & Jay Breen (drums) formerly of The Freelance Bishops, and Jason Moretti (lead guitar) & Jay Samiagio (bass) formerly of Cotton Mouth, Daemon Chili was born in the fall of 2013. Heavily influenced by the unique and eclectic sounds of such luminary acts as The Grateful Dead, Allman Brothers, and The Band, Daemon Chili fuses elements of country, folk, bluegrass, blues, reggae, and roots rock into their sound. The band’s first album Rise Up (2014) features the last of the Dion-penned material from Hot Day at the Zoo as well as some live material from Daemon Chili’s 2013 New Year’s Eve performance at the historic Stone Church in Newmarket, NH. This album showcases the transition from acoustic string band to roots rock powerhouse.
The band’s second album, Mercy of the Sea (2016), is Daemon Chili’s first official full-length studio effort, which peaked out at number 5 on the Relix/Jambands.com Radio charts. This album marks the band’s unquestionable metamorphosis into a musical outfit that truly defies genre categorization. The album also features a myriad of additional musicians whose talents help to round out a sophisticated musical juggernaut that heaves up-and-down with purpose and intention. The lineup includes Max Chase (Amulus) on keys; Nick Heys (Hot Day at the Zoo) on piano; Seth Bailin, Mike Kaskiewicz, Alex Allman (The Party Band) on horns; and Jes Sheldon (The Lightkeepers) on backing vocals.