LEWISTON — Bald Hill, those surprisingly down-home ‘n hep purveyors of bluegrass-inflected folk rock and Americana, return to Guthrie’s on Friday night, Oct. 26, with a twist: two full sets of Grateful Dead tunes.
The timing is propitious: Less than a week before All Saints Day, BH goes All Dead… Cassette tape recordings of the show will be made available to followers of the band after the gig, over the course of years.
“This idea came to me in a waking dream,” says mandolinist Ben Detroy, titular Bald Hill spokesman/spirit animal. “We already play a number of Dead songs as part of any typical show or set. People really dig them. Why not do the Full Monty at Guthrie’s, which is unusual and perfect in that acts there typically play two shorter sets over the course of two hours?”
Bald Hill’s Oct. 26 date at She Doesn’t Like Guthries Restaurant & Café will indeed begin at 8 p.m., while the curtain will promptly come down at 10 p.m.
DeTroy explained that, while the upcoming Dead set list remains a closely guarded secret, each singing member of the six-piece Bald Hill has chosen a few favorites to perform on Friday night. That vocal faction has swelled for this particular show: Friends of the band Ted McHugh and fiddler Mike Conant will both join Bald Hill for this DeadFest Oct. 26.
“We’ve also reserved the right to cover songs that the Dead has traditionally covered,” DeTroy said. “What’s more, anyone showing up Friday night in tie-dye will receive a commemorative Bald Hill-branded roach clip. I should say, they’ll almost certainly get one eventually… “
NEW GLOUCESTER — Bald Hill, those surprisingly hep purveyors of blues-inflected newgrass, folk rock and Americana, will mark the shortening of days with four separate shows in the month of October, including consecutive engagements this Friday night, Oct. 5 (at South Portland’s Fore River Brewing Co.) and Saturday night, Oct. 6, at New Gloucester’s hep Village Coffeehouse.
Friday night’s SoPo gig, to run from 6-9 p.m., will include longtime FOBs (friends of the band) Ted McHugh and Mike Conant. Dress warmly but expect a raucous, coat-shedding performance outdoors in Fore River’s expansive beer garden (BH recommends the East Yard, a stellar dry hopped pale ale that well complements the brewery’s eclectic food truck rotation).
Twenty-four hours later, on Saturday night, NG-based Bald Hill will play a home game and bring the volume down. The long-running Village Coffeehouse is held the first Saturday of each month at the First Congregational Church of New Gloucester, where most performances are held in the cozy Vestry. But the anticipated crowd (and an associated potluck in the Vestry) have moved BH into larger, acoustically superior Sanctuary.
The Coffeehouse show starts at 7:30. Tickets are $10 at the door. The potluck suppah — where admission is free of charge — kicks off at 5:45 p.m.
Bald Hill will again play Hebron Academy’s Reunion Weekend later this month, but not before the band returns to Maine’s coziest venue, Lewiston’s She Doesn’t Like Guthrie’s Café & Restaurant — on Friday night, Oct. 26. Curtain at 8 p.m.
Winter is coming and it stands to be a busy one for Bald Hill. Be sure to visit www.BaldHillband.com and sign up for notifications, to stay abreast of upcoming engagements.