An Interview with Martin Barre of Jethro Tull

This week, the classic rock guitarist Martin Barre, who played with the iconic classic rock band Jethro Tull for 43 years, comes to Portland. Now 75, Barre is fully focused on his solo career, after tensions between band members of Jethro Tull — most notably lead singer and flute player Ian Anderson — have splintered the group. The Phoenix spoke with him about a life in music and reckoning with history.   Hi Martin. You…

I Still Don’t Leave Home Without It

Membership cards always have a place in my heart and wallet. I’ve said it here plenty times before; I’m not anti-technology or against trends towards modernity, but I do like to stay close to the way things used to be when it feels right.  I own iPhones, pods, and pads, so I’m not really in the dark. I mostly like that stuff just for the convenience of it all. I hate the cold, empty feeling…

Have Fingers, Will Travel

While much of Maine was hunkering down and getting ready for another big snowfall, a few lucky ones made the trek to Mayo Street Arts on March 12 to get schooled in a guitar lesson that blends East and West. Hiroya Tsukamoto, a New York-based guitarist and singer from Kyoto, Japan, led a workshop on “Cinematic Guitar Poetry,” a program which includes music, storytelling, and poetry. In this intimate workshop, Michael Libby of Lewiston, Jon…

Supporting Portland's live music scene is weather proof

Winter, huh? In just one week in February we got the crap kicked out of us with a handful of snowstorms. The rest of the month, we’re practically short sleevin’ it. People were super happy for the unseasonable temperatures there for a little while. I even saw some folks wearing crocs! Unfortunately! (Sorry, it’s part of my Jimmy Buffett allergy). Plenty of concerns race through our minds during winter storms: school cancellations, road closures, power…

The Year of the Snaex: Teret and Sutherland's Holy Times

More than ever, even last year's lovely album In the Heart of the City, Christopher Teret and Chriss Sutherland have stretched their individual personas into true foils. As musicians whose prior vessels had more to do with escape and exploration — Sutherland with the amorphous, freak-folk carnival act Cerberus Shoal from 1995 to 2007, and Teret, who hails from Baltimore, with his post-punk group Company — the barebones earnestness of Snaex is one of the group's…

The King of Rock Delivers Again

There are a few hip folks out there that know this, but for those unaware, Danko Jones is the king of rock. It’s true. He has been for quite some time. Since his emergence in the club scene in Toronto in the mid ’90s, Danko, bassist “JC” John Calabrese and whoever's been playing drums for them (there have been six) have been at least one constant in the world of rock we can count on…

The Music Lives On With Me: Honoring a friend’s parents and their record collection

Hard times fell on one of my oldest friends in New Hampshire last year. In seven months he lost both his mother and father. His father died unexpectedly in May, then on Christmas Eve his mother passed after a quick returning illness.  I can’t imagine what he’s going through and I don’t know how he’s holding it together. No brother, no sister. Any other relatives turned out to be estranged jerks over the years. Oh and his…

Kim Warnick's Backstage Encounter

It’s satisfying to reflect on how Portland has been home to some great musicians over the years. Some that we know of; Ben Deily of the Lemonheads, Adam Gardner of Guster, Hutch and Kathy from The Thermals and the legendary BeBe Buell (rock n’ roll mother/sister/friend/singer/muse). This city has been a choice spot for many to hang their hats for some years now. Music, food, art, beer, the coast, good people, we pretty much have…

The Same Old Song and Dance Out of Boston

Like many of you, I was watching that remarkable football game last Sunday. I’m not a big fan of the pre-hype and hoopla myself. I understand this particular game is on a bigger worldwide stage and that there’s more to it, but I just want to watch the game itself. No eight-hour pregame shows. No celebrity picks or foolish videos. Just the game please and damn, what a game it was! I timed my Sunday…

Bridging gaps through music with the Portland Culture Exchange

Protesters gathered on Monument Square Friday night, with sign-holders chanting to passing cars and each other that “Hey Ho! Donald Trump has got to go.” The woman on the bullhorn implored art walkers to come out each month in similar fashion.   Across the street, in the atrium of the Portland Public Library, critics of the current regime took another approach, gathering musicians from several immigrant communities for the Portland Culture Exchange’s music jam and…
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