Join the RFA and Rangeley Lakes Region Logging Museum for a full day of fun! On July 13th from 9-3, the Logging Museum will be hosting their Annual Knit and Crafts Show and Sale, where western Maine knitting, quilting, and other textile arts and crafts will be featured. Phyllis Blackstone, Farmington, and other members of the Western Maine Storytellers will be telling stories for children and adults from 11:30 to 1:00 pm, giving people a taste of the upcoming Western Maine Storytelling Festival, July 19-21 in Farmington. (westernmainestorytelling.org) Books on knitting and crafts will be available, provided by Ecopelagicon. Admission to this part of the event is free; donations to RLRM are welcome. For more info, contact Peggy Yocum, curator of RLRLM, at 864-3421.
Beginning at 1pm, the Sandy River Ramblers and Maranacook String Band will provide hand-clapping, foot-stomping Bluegrass music on the grounds of the Logging Museum. Bluegrass Concert fee is $10-Adults and $5-Children under 12. Tickets will be available at the Rangeley Lakes Chamber of Commerce at 6 Park Road in Rangeley and at the site.
Listen to a recent recording of the North Pond Hermit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDd_0rvKj_s&feature=player_detailpage
The Sandy River Ramblers comprise Stan and Liz Keach, from Rome, on Guitar and Upright Bass, Dan Simons, from Mt. Vernon, on Mandolin; Bud Godsoe, from Madrid, on Banjo; and fiery young fiddler, Jay Smith, from Industry. Stan Keach, with the help of his wife, Liz, wrote all 14 songs on the Ramblerʼs new CD, Cry of the Loon and other original songs about Maine. Other titles include: Slow Down (Youʼll Hit a Moose); Donn Fendler; Loggerʼs Son; and Rugged Rocky Shore.
Keach is a nationally-known Bluegrass songwriters who has had his songs recorded by some of the biggest names in Bluegrass, but he says, “Iʼve been working on writing the songs for this new CD for 30 years.” The CD has drawn praises from critics, and has been getting a fair amount of radio play all over Maine, and even out of state.
Simons, the Mandolinist, is one of the best Mandolin players in Maine. His playing, which ranges from gorgeous flowing tremolos to blazing, hell-bent-for-leather noteslinging, is heavily influenced by the playing of Bill Monroe, the man who invented Bluegrass music back in the 1940ʼs. “Danʼs the most Monroe-based player in Maine,” says Keach, “and it fits our style just right.”
Godsoe, a retired building contractor and shingle mill operator from Madrid, learned to play banjo while working on the Alaska Pipeline in the 70ʼs. “I had long shifts, and then plenty of time between shifts, with not much going on up there in the tundra.”
Ramblers Concerts are full of variety, with plenty of comedy, and a variety of musical styles. The 3-part harmony singing is exceptional, and so is the instrumental playing. The Time-Warner cable TV show, Wildfire, featuring George Smith and Harry Vanderweid, uses music by the Ramblers as its opening and closing themes.
The Maranacook String Band is a youthful band which features two teenaged lead singers whose vocal maturity and expressiveness has been astounding Maine audiences for the 3 years since the bandʼs inception as a gifted/ talented music project at Maranacook Community School in Readfield.
“Their soaring three-part harmonies belie their youth,” was the comment of Phill McIntryre, the director of the Skye Theatre/New England Celtic Arts.
In the bandʼs first year, 2010, they played a few school assemblies and parties. Soon after, two of the musicians graduated, and Stan Keach, who taught in the gifted/talented department at Maranacook High School, retired from teaching. By then, however, the band was already playing many public performances, and drawing rave reviews. The MSB had recruited ace Mandolinist Dan Simons (himself a graduate of Maranacook HS), and soon after recruited Jay Smith, a terrific young fiddler from Industry, to play when he could get away from his studies at USM.
The MSB has played many of the most prestigious venues in central Maine, including The Kingfield POPS Festival, the Skye Theatre, Slatesʼ Monday Night Concert Series, and many state fairs and festivals.
Julie Churchill, a fantastic young singer, is now at UMO (a forestry major), but she drives down on weekends for gigs, as does Banjoist Megan Dood (also at UMO). Bassist Zach Greenham, and Guitarist Lee Stetson are still in high school. Stetson, who also sings Rock and Roll with his fatherʼs band as often as he can, is, like Churchill, a seasoned vocalist, with a style that any adult singer would be proud of.
Joint Venture with: www.rlrlm.org