New Gloucester Newgrass

Tag: folk

Still in the glow, Bald Hill returns to Gritty’s in Auburn on May 21

AUBURN, Maine — You never know what’s gonna happen when Bald Hill takes the stage.

The band returns here to Gritty McDuff’s Brewing Co., hard by the Mighty Androscoggin, on Saturday night, May 21. The music starts at 8 p.m.  But when the headliner is New Gloucester-based Bald Hill — those surprisingly hip purveyors of blues-inflected newgrass, folk and Americana — expect the unexpected.

IMG_0591*Saturday night’s show, for example, will feature a pair of guest artists: blues harmonica virtuoso Mark Peterson and vocalist Emily Edwards.

The band returns to the Twin Cities on Friday night June 3, with an 8 p.m. show at She Doesn’t Like Guthries Restaurant & Café (show up and you might just hear some Prince). Another fun date — a barn party celebrating the 10th anniversary of New Gloucester’s charming Chandler House B&B — will take place on Thursday evening, June 9.

However, the most seismic, unpredictable Bald Hill event took place on May 14. The band had been lured out to Peaks Island in order to play a set and join in celebrating the birthday of drummer Kim Chasse. Kim has played in a number of bands over the years, and so a huge collection of fellow musicians and friends packed, then totally rocked the Lions Club in all-out, hootenanny fashion.

Halfway through Bald Hill’s set, Kim and BH lead singer Renée St. Jean — who’ve been an item for some time — excused themselves, ostensibly to mingle with all the family and friends who’d gathered on the island. When the set ended, Kim reemerged on stage in coat and tie. Then, as a saxophone belted out the familiar processional, Renée — also changed into formal dress — walked deliberately through the parting crowd with a bouquet of flowers in hand.

Yes, a surprise wedding! Of the hundreds in attendance, only the sax player, Mike Abbott, Kim and Renée knew of this grand design in advance. Bald Hill mando player and officer of the court Ben DeTroy was also in on the secret. He had to be: Ben married the happy couple at center stage. Newly betrothed and still formally clad, Kim and Renée rejoined the musicians on stage for two additional hours of rollicking performance.

A special shout-out is due drummer Tom Schipper, who sat in for Kim and unwittingly made this spectacular ruse possible.


The happy couple, at center, poses for pictures while the music plays on.

BH releases spring dates, new recordings

2016.03.05 grittys b&w

NEW GLOUCESTER, Maine — Bald Hill has announced a raft of new show dates for April, May and June. It has also stocked this here website with a new set of recordings demonstrating the band’s surprisingly hip purveyance of blues-inflected newgrass, rock and folk.

To hear these new aural offerings, visit the SOUND & VISION page (via the tab above).

Upcoming show dates include:

  • Saturday night, April 2, at Gritty McDuff’s Brewing Company, located on the corner of Main and Court streets in downtown Auburn (8-11 p.m.);
  • Friday night, April 15, at She Doesn’t Like Guthrie’s Restaurant & Café, across the Might Androscoggin in Lewiston (8-10 p.m.);
  • Saturday night, May 21, when Bald Hill is back at Gritty’s in Auburn (8-11 p.m.); and
  • Thursday night, June 9, when BH will preside at a barn party host by Chandler House B&B, located at 337 Intervale Road, just north of New Gloucester Village (5-9 p.m.)

The band is particularly pleased to entertain at Chandler House on the occasion of its 10th anniversary. Many locals already know what a gracious, architecturally interesting addition this establishment has been to the New Gloucester community. If you don’t, come and check it out. There’s no better place to stash your relatives when they come to visit — and this barn is world class.

On June 17, Bald Hill will also play a return engagement at a private party in our hometown of New Gloucester.  You can’t come — or rather, we’ll leave it to our hosts to invite you. But do be advised: The band does play private parties and is now accepting bookings for the summer. Act now while supplies last (see CONTACT tab above to get in touch). And do follow us here or like us on Facebook to stay fully abreast of all things Bald Hill, including updates and additions to the show schedule.

One more thing before we go: As the band is continually evolving — adding new songs and genres to the repertoire — it’s ever more complicated to answer this most-central question, “So, what do you guys play?” We get this all the time, and it’s a reasonable line of inquiry for anyone considering a night out with Bald Hill.

In the past, we have described ourselves as “those surprisingly hip purveyors of blue-inflected newgrass, rock and folk.” That’s accurate, but somewhat flip. To be more concrete, we sometimes share recent set lists (scroll down a bit to find one of those). What’s more, we post here at our new recordings as they are generated.

But we recently came across a not-unfamiliar term that would appear to sum up our sound quite neatly, cleanly and succinctly: “Americana”. To further edify the matter, here’s an eloquent and apt definition of Americana, courtesy of noted Weskid, academic and journalist Carlo Rotella: “high-gloss corporate country’s earthier foil and partner, which embraces not only folk traditions but also vintage commercial styles drawn magpie-fashion from bygone eras.”

So, if you’re into that, do come out and join us this spring.





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