Hello my fair and few readers,
January has come and gone. While it has been very cold and desolate like every winter in Maine, there are many bright spots on the horizons. This year we have already seen Roy Davis release his hotly anticipated album, We Are A Lightening Bolt, the debut of a new line up change for Dean Ford's The Good Night Process, and many more wonderful shows.
However, I think that we still haven't seen the best things come out of the woodwork yet. After many weeks of extensive research, and sifting through recordings and contacts, I have my list of artists/bands that are going to have a HUGE 2010 in the Portland music scene. In short, these are people that I have been very lucky to become acquainted with, and definitely think that you need to catch onto the big wave of talent about to sweep the city off its feet. Be sure to check out the links I have within the paragraphs and spread the love and the music!
First off, The Stereo Flys, while not located in Portland currently, (Boston by way of Portland), Jeff Beam and Sam Peisner are no strangers to the scene here in Maine. Jeff has been honing his front man chops since early high school with the band Specter while Sam respectively laid down the backbone groove for The Sauce (formerly known as the Slurpees). They both joined forces during a short-lived run as "Jeff Beam & The Sauce" back in 2007. When Jeff found his way down in Boston for college, Sam and him reunited to create a more layered psychedelic rock movement of Beam's newest jams. They found drummer Zander Kaigle, who helps weave the music together into something reminiscent of Elliot Smith mixed with Cream. These guys already have a very solid following in Boston and have been playing up in Portland regularly all over the place. This spring will mark the release of their debut album which is tenatively titled "Hello Greetings From a Bunker!", showcasing re-workings of tracks of Beam's first three solo albums. They are also in the process of editing together footage for a DVD, which I can only wait for anxiously. Seriously, they put on one hell of a show, and I think have finally found their voices collectively.
Next, I will move on to a name not many of you are probably familiar with, Cam Jones. I had the pleasure of meeting Cam when I played drums for the Will Gattis Trio, and he has come a very long way from there. I think the only way I can totally describe him in his entirety is a very young Eric Bettencourt . There is a very strong bluesy, classic rock influence in his drumming style, but I also see the same passion and fire in his eyes that I do whenever I have worked with Eric. They both genuinely are in love with music, any and all kinds (which is very refreshing to see). Cam has been very busy, playing skins with The Nebs as well as In The Audience. The Nebs have been together since 2008, and have been synonymous with success in the all ages scene of Portland (which is still very much alive). They are hoping to record a set of singles this year and release it to the masses; once you listen to the Nebs, you will understand where I see the Eric Bettencourt musical inspiration. In The Audience is getting ready to release their debut album over in Japan. I haven't heard much from them but I like what I hear. When Cam is not being sequestered to behind the drum set, but as a multi-instrumentalist as well, getting ready to release his debut EP "Drum Keys and Cymbal Keys", on We Are All Nice Friends Records.
Lastly, I want to highlight a man who got me my first real start with in the Portland scene, Will Gattis. After the release of his debut album, Dullard (which was a critical darling across the internet), Gattis went and company in the now defunct Will Gattis Trio parted ways, which I think personally left a mark on him. After that, setting out on his own, has logged in countless miles up and down the eastern seaboard, playing headlining shows from Florida to DC, to New York and back; even being named Maine's Best Singer/Songwriter in 2007 during the Maine Singer/Songwriter showdown. This work ethic has turned Gattis into a bona fide front man, which even plays out in his songwriting. He surely is "“an upcoming purveyor of quirky indie pop.” as the Portland Phoenix accurately states. Some of the upcoming things to look forward from Will is a forthcoming 4 song EP, as of yet not titled, extensive touring schedule (and hopefully more shows in Portland - that's a plea from your Portland fans Will!).
There you have it folks. Those are my picks for the artists that are going to have a hugely successful 2010. Like I said, make sure you click on the links for the names, but a comprehensive list will be posted immediately following the next paragraph:
The Goodnight Process
The Stereo Flys
We Are All Nice Friends
Until next time my friends!