Early Winter 2018-19 A review and what to expect in the new year


Sidestep on November 30, 2019  –  L to R: Steve Gruverman, Vincent Pasternak, Ken Lovelett, Barb Truex and Gary Chapin. Photo: Pete Levin

After a hectic fall butting up against the holiday season and the added adventure of a plumbing flood in our house just before Christmas, it is finally time to catch up with fans and readers…..

The November 30 concert with Sidestep (pictured above) at the Woodfords Meloon Chapel in Portland, ME was a delight. We had a wonderful house filled with new and old friends and some who just came because it looked interesting. Our deep thanks to Paul Lichter, long time Dimensions in Jazz producer, and to the Woodfords Church for providing such a wonderful venue to play in.

Ken Lovelett (percussion), Vincent Pasternak (violin, viola, guitar) and I have been playing together since the early 70’s. These days, living in three different states, we don’t often have the opportunity to get a full evening of music together. Paul was determined  to get this concert on the calendar and we are happy that he pushed! We were also lucky to have a couple of guests join us on several pieces: Steve Gruverman (clarinets, whistle) and Gary Chapin (accordion). Steve, Gary and I have a trio together here in Maine that specializes in traditional rural French music so it was a treat to bring them into a different setting for this show.

The show was recorded by John (Jomo) Morrison. We haven’t started working on that yet, but hopefully the late winter and spring will begin to produce some tracks from the event.


Looking to February, The Dark Follies will be performing outdoors for the Winterfest in Camden, Maine. In front of the Camden Library from 11am-2pm on February 2, we will emerge from the building for short 10-minute pieces, and then disappear to warm up and come back again. This should be fun and a challenge! We will use all percussion instruments that are weather proof and can be played with sticks! The dancers will move a lot! Check out my other blog post for all the details.


Coming up on February 23 is another very interesting event produced by Joie Grandbois (director of the Dark Follies) and Flourish – Arts as Sacred Healing in Biddeford, ME. It will be a combination film screening/live music set with the film Whose is this Song?.

The musicians playing the live set before the screening will include Steve Carpenter (ney and percussion), Jonathan Waldo (oud), Dorothy Barker (percussion), Carson Lynch (violin), Joie Grandbois (percussion), and yours truly (banjo uke, and acoustic dulcimer). There is no official name for this ensemble yet, but it is developing into a thing, we think. More information will appear over the next couple of weeks.

Joie describes the evening this way:

“I am beyond excited to bring Adela Peeva’s “Whose Is This Song,” a documentary that explores the origin of the song many of us know as Uskadar, to Flourish-Arts as Sacred Healing in Biddeford for a special screening on February 23rd.

I’m also very happy to share that following the film there will be a special musical performance featuring music from the regions explored in the film including, of course, the song Uskadar. “

Tickets for this special showing will go on sale December 28th!
Cost: $10 Advance/$15 door
(Tips for the band are welcomed and encouraged)

Preview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGCURBHF2Ss



As for The Maine Squeeze and Le Bon Truc – both groups will be awakening from a winter’s sleep in March and April. There are no theater projects scheduled yet for 2019 but the year is just getting started….and more features, pages and music will begin to appear on this site over the next few weeks too. There are plans brewing for a trip to Ohio at the end of May for some solo house concerts and events. Many thanks to Jerry Rockwell for making this trip happen and also for all his geeky help and encouragement with WordPress!


I will have some live music guests on my radio show at WMPG in January and February. Guitarist and new Mainer Aaron Lefebvre www.aaronlefebvre.com will join me on January 24 and on February 6 members of Portland group Zapion https://www.zapion.org/  will make an appearance featuring their Middle Eastern music. Tune in on Wednesdays 10:30-noon at 90.9 FM or stream from wmpg.org



Last but not least, I’ll be back in production of shekeres hopefully by February as a new studio gets put together in the basement. Stay in touch and keep reading!



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