SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — After a long, pandemic-necessitated hiatus, Bald Hill is back on stage. Private parties have so far dominated the band’s schedule, as formal music venues are still sorting the new realities, inside and outside.
While private parties are great fun, they don’t well serve the band’s adoring public. So here’s the good news, friends:
Bald Hill will return to the Fore River Brewery on Sunday July 25. The New Gloucester 5-piece will hold forth in South Portland’s finest beer garden, on Alton Street, from 2-5 p.m.
Stay tuned to this space for more show info, as July and August are shaping up as very busy months for South/Central Maine’s surprisingly hip purveyors of blues-inflected new grass, folk and Americana.
TURNER, Maine — Are you sitting down? Bald Hill will play a live and in-person performance here starting at 6:30-8 p.m. on June 15 2021.
The band will appear publicly for the first time in 15 months as part of the popular, long-running weekly series, Music for Mavis. The outdoor performance will take place at the Gazebo, on the town green fronting the Turner Public Library. This idyllic venue sits at the corner of Matthews Road and Route 117/Turner Center Road.
It’s been very long 15 months for anyone who enjoys live music. Bald Hill last played “out” on March 7, 2020 at Gritty McDuff’s in Auburn, and dared not even practice out of doors, in the same space, until August of 2020. Since that time, however, the band has done nothing but practice, in the open air, in various open-doored garages, even cavernous religious sanctuaries — shout out to the New Gloucester First Congregational Church!
Fully vaccinated and having fully integrated new bassist, Rod Pervier, Bald Hill is ready to update and confirm its established reputation as surprisingly hip purveyors of bluegrass/newgrass, blues-inflected folk-rock and Americana.
Music for Mavis is a Turner institution, a non-profit organization designed to bring music and the arts to “our rural communities”. The organizers provided Bald Hill the following information, to share with folks thinking of attending on June 15, or any show this summer:
“Masks are encouraged for entering and leaving the space and when donating, for safety and comfort of both you and your neighbors. If you feel vulnerable or compromised, please wear your mask the entire time. Please sit with the people you came with, otherwise establish and maintain at least a 6-foot distance to others. And please respectfully make your needs known. Please stay home and take care if you don’t feel well, or have possibly been exposed to the virus. No one may approach the band or the gazebo. There will be no rain venue and the music will likely carry on in the mist. For more information, call 207-754-0954.”
See here the Music for Mavis 2021 Summer Schedule, as of May 3:
May 25 – Mary Murphy (blues, jazz)
June 1 – Jodi and the Gang (Americana)
June 8 – Patrick Libby (rock/bluegrass)
June 15 – Bald Hill (bluegrass/newgrass, blues-inflected folk-rock and Americana)
June 22 – Marty Lang and Pip (jazz)
June 29 – Hurry Down Sunshine (folk)
July 4 – Pat Colwell and friends (tentative)
Stay tuned to this space for more Bald Hill news and show information re. what is sure to be a busy summer for music lovers across south/central Maine. Hope to see y’all in Turner on June 15.
PORTLAND — It was only a year ago that Bald Hill, those surprisingly hip purveyors of blues inflected newgrass, folk and Americana, rocked the house at Maine Craft Distilling (MCD) for the first time. You know a gig is going well when the place is packed, which it was that April night — but also when the wait and bar staff have that frantic, slightly overburdened look in their eyes. It’s a sure sign the crowd is happy and our hosts are making money.
That evening seems a world away this April morning, and indeed it is. Bald Hill is not playing much music, not together, and the staff at MCD is probably wishing for steadier work.
During this strange and stressful time, we at BH wanted to send along our best wishes to the staffs at all the venues we wish we were playing this spring. We’ll be back with you so soon as we are able. In the meantime, we wanted to alert you to the good works now being undertaken by Maine Craft Distilling, which has cannily shifted its production from spirits to… hand sanitizer.
“Our customers and all Mainers are dealing with an unprecedented global pandemic, and it’s important for us to give back to our community and those in need,” the distillery’s founder and CEO Luke Davidson said in a statement. “We will keep producing the hand sanitizer as long as we need to.”
To assist with its new production line, the distillery has hired five new employees, who now work at the distiller’s Washington Avenue distillery and Public House in Portland. Customers have been visiting on a daily basis to pick up product — so we encourage all our Portland peeps to drop by. Davidson and MCD are also channeling donations to nonprofits serving Maine communities.
Manufactured in accordance with the World Health Organization’s formula, the MCD hand sanitizer consists of 80 percent denatured alcohol plus hydrogen peroxide and glycerin. It can be used in spray bottles or applied directly on hands. Davidson said it has produced more than 4,000 quarts of hand sanitizer in a matter of weeks, and raised more than $15,000 for several nonprofits.
AUBURN — Bald Hill, those surprising hep purveyors of blues-infused newgrass, folk rock and Americana, will return to Gritty McDuff’s Brewing Co. for a pair of shows this spring — the first being this Saturday night, March 7.
runs from 8-11 p.m., but no harm in arriving beforehand to secure primo
seating, indulge in some of Gritty’s stellar pub fare, and partake of the beers
that pioneered Maine’s craft-brew scene.
will return to Gritty’s in Auburn for another show on May 9, so mark your
of you who’ve never visited, the Gritty’s in Auburn is the most sumptuous and
scenic of all the Gritty locations. It fronts on Main Street but the picture
windows out back look out over the pub’s sprawling deck, Great Falls and the
Mighty Androscoggin River. For those of you who’ve not partaken of the Bald
Hill experience, well… get ready for songs from the varied likes of Patsy
Montana, Prince, Richard Thompson, Dolly Parton, Elvis, Son Volt, The Stones,
The Dead, Hank Williams, Crosby Stills & Nash, The Band and Delbert
LEWISTON – Bald
Hill, those surprisingly hep purveyors of blues-infected newgrass, folk rock
and Americana, will present the second annual All Dead Revue here at the She Doesn’t Like Guthrie’s Restaurant
& Café on Friday night, Jan. 24.
Dead tribute show (All Dead inclusive of their covers, songs performed by the
Jerry Garcia Band and other offshoots) will start promptly at 8 p.m. — maybe
sooner, as the line-up and set list are jam-packed. Be sure to arrive early so
as to avail yourself of Guthrie’s signature burritos, panini, craft brews and
Gloucester-based Bald Hill will preside on 24 January, several special guests
will participate — in order to execute the wide-ranging,
sure-to-be-crowd-pleasing set list (whose contents nevertheless remains a
closely guarded secret). Those performers include multi-instrumentalists Mike
Conant and Ted McHugh, in addition to very special guest: Grateful Dead
lyricist Robert Hunter, whose bodily presence left this mortal coil in
September 2019, but whose astral presence will participate next Friday night in
the form of a microphone stand positioned stage left.
excited to have Mr. Hunter participating,” BH mandolinist Ben DeTroy said. “We
nearly landed Jerry – in the form of an XLR cable. But he’s attending the
Senate impeachment hearings instead, as an angel on the shoulder of Justice
Bald Hill sets
routinely include Grateful Dead covers (the band’s next gig: a return to
Gritty’s McDuff’s Brewing Co. in Auburn, on March 7) but its presentation of
the All Dead Revue is a natural outgrowth of the band’s own roots. BH started
out as a bluegrass band, and while there will be plenty of rockin’ Dead
interpretations Jan. 24, some may be surprised to learn just how much bluegrass
and other traditional genres similarly influenced The Grateful Dead.
Garcia started out as a banjo player in a bluegrass lineup (a role he reprised
in the ‘70s bluegrass “super group” Old & In the Way), and the Dead
routinely covered bluegrass and otherwise traditional tunes — even if they
became more famous later as “Dead tunes”. Think Pig in a Pen or Cold Rain
& Snow. The band’s very first single (from their debut, self-titled 1967
album) was Sitting on Top of the World,
a song made famous by bluegrass legend Doc Watson (but first recorded by the
Mississippi Sheiks in 1930). Many Grateful Dead originals also make allusions
to classic folk tunes. Deal, for
example, incorporates themes and phrases found in Sam and Kirk McGee’s Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down, while the
classic Casey Jones riffs off TheBallad
of Casey Jones, a song that describes a real-life train wreck that happened
“Casey Jones didn’t start out as a song,” Hunter told Rolling Stone in 2015. “It just suddenly
popped into my mind: ‘driving that train, high on cocaine, Casey Jones, you
better watch your speed…’ I just wrote that down and I went on to whatever
else I was doing, and some time later I came across it and thought, ‘That’s the
germ of a pretty good song.’ ”
Bald Hill, those surprisingly hep purveyors of blues-inflected newgrass, folk rock and Americana, return to the beer garden at Fore River Brewing Co. this Saturday night, Oct. 12, in South Portland.
BH will play from 5-8 p.m. and welcome in SoPo several special guests. Keyboardist Matt DeTroy, fiddler Mike Conant, and local, multi-instrumentalist legend Ted McHugh will all participate in this outdoor show. Dress warmly and don’t miss it!
In other news, Bald Hill has confirmed a reprise of its wildly popular All Dead Revue, which debuted last October before a packed house at She Doesn’t Like Guthrie’s Restaurant & Café in Lewiston. BH will return to Guthrie’s for this second annual Grateful Dead tribute on Jan. 24, 2020. Mark your calendars, people; grow your hair out and reserve your best tie-dye.
Bald Hill will feature again during the annual New Gloucester Christmas show at the First Congregational Church of New Gloucester. This year’s show has been scheduled for Dec. 7. A video of last year’s event can now be seen here: https://www.facebook.com/NewGloucesterChristmas/
In the meantime, while you’re still here at www.baldhillband.com, check out the new content we’ve gathered and posted here in wake of our show at the fabulous Gendron Franco-American Center in Lewiston. Thanks to Gary Stallworth for the still photography (see IMAGES tab). For video, click on the SOUND & VISION tab.
NEW GLOUCESTER, Maine — The late-summer show dates keep piling up for Bald Hill, those surprisingly hep purveyors of blues-inflected newgrass, folk rock and Americana. So go get your calendars (or whip out the ol’ iCal-equipped smartphone) and make a note of this:
• Saturday, Aug. 17: BH will play the New Gloucester Fair with a two-hour show beginning at 10 a.m. and featuring old friend/special guest Mike Conant on fiddle, banjo and guitar. The Fair itself, which runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., will take place at the New Gloucester Fairgrounds on Bald Hill Road, making it the first time NG-based Bald Hill has ever played a proper gig ON Bald Hill.
• Sunday, Aug. 25: The band will head east to
Rockport for a 7 p.m. date at the Samoset
Resort. This is technically a private party but it will take place in the
resort’s very public, main bar area downstairs. Mid-coast BH peeps and all
revelers pure of heart are encouraged to stop by, say hello and join the
• Saturday, Aug. 31: Bald Hill returns to the Fore River Brewing Co. in South Portland for its annual, late-summer gig in the brewery’s expansive beer garden. Once and future “Friend of the Band” Ted McHugh will again preside. Show time is 6 p.m. We recommend the East Yard pale ale.
• Thursday, Sept. 12: It’s confirmed: Bald Hill will be the featured performer upstairs in the concert hall during a special evening of music at the Gendron Franco Center on Cedar Street in Lewiston. For those unfamiliar, the Franco is housed in the former St. Mary’s Catholic Church, which has been converted into a Franco-American cultural hub. Join BH for an Open House reception at 6 p.m., followed by a move upstairs — into the beautifully ornate concert hall — for an hour of music beginning at 7:30 p.m.
BRISTOL — Attention Mid-Coast Peeps: Bald Hill, those surprisingly hip purveyors of blues-inflected newgrass, folk rock and Americana, will make their triumphant return to The Contented Sole in Bristol on Friday night, July 26.
A month later, New Gloucester-based BH will head to Rockport
for a date at the Samoset Resort, Aug. 25.
Sole might be the most picturesque eatery in a state chock full of them. Situated
entirely on a pier that extends well into the still waters of New Harbor, The
Sole is THE place to spend a Friday night in July. The food is sublime (try the
fish tacos), the craft beer selection extensive.
The band will play 6-9 p.m. We hope to see y’all there.
Summer 2019 has been a busy one for Bald Hill, comprised
mainly of private parties. The Contented Sole date signals a return to the
public sphere. In addition to the Samoset gig, BH will headline the New
Gloucester Fair on Aug. 17. This is truly a home game for the band, all six
members of which reside in beautiful New Gloucester. Indeed, the Fairgrounds are
located on Bald Hill Road!
Stay tuned to this space for show times on Aug. 17, as we hope
to see y’all there, as well.
Attention Portland-area and otherwise south-lying peeps: Bald Hill will bring its surprisingly hep brand of blues-inflected newgrass, folk rock and Americana to Maine Craft Distilling on Friday evening April 19. Showtime is 7-10 p.m.
If y’all have visited MCD before, you know what a warmly post-industrial-yet-cosmopolitan space they’ve created there on Washington Street, which has become ground zero for the city’s freshest new restaurants and bars. If you haven’t been there before, we recommend the Queequeg with soda & lime.
After a crazy fall, culminating with its first annual All Dead Review and third annual New Gloucester Christmas Concert, NG-based Bald Hill hibernated for much of January and February, practicing new material and participating in various side projects. The April 19 show will prove the band’s 2019 spring awakening prior to a glut of performances slated May, June, July and August. Watch this space (and sign up for notifications!) to stay abreast of upcoming show dates.
NEW GLOUCESTER — Bald Hill will again help anchor the third annual New Gloucester Christmas concert, an evening of cross-genre, seasonal entertainment scheduled for Saturday night, Dec. 15, in the acoustically spectacular sanctuary of the New Gloucester Congregational Church. Showtime is 7 p.m.
A community pot-luck supper will precede the musical program in the church vestry, starting at 5:30 p.m. The dinner is free and open to the public, as is the concert. But a suggested donation of $10 will benefit the church’s Fuel Assistance Fund, which helps needy families heat their homes during the bleak midwinter.
[Hearty and otherwise southerly fans of Bald Hill should know that essentially the same concert will be staged Dec. 1, in Alfred, Maine, at the Alfred Parish Church. The curtain goes up there at 7 p.m., as well.]
A New Gloucester Christmas is a collaboration of many artists from the Greater New Gloucester area. Spearheaded by guitarist Jim Gallant, fiddler Mike Conant, and the members of Bald Hill, this year’s line-up includes a host of new participants, including noted Seussian scholar/declaimer Don Libby and choirs representing St. Gregory’s in Gray and the New Gloucester First Congregational Church itself. Returning to the stage from previous Christmas appearances are Emily and Steve MacKinnon (of the Kennebunk River Band), George Wardwell, and percussion guru Tony Castro.