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Wonderful Open Mic Night with Maine Songwriter's Association

Venue: One Longfellow Square, Portland ME ~ December 14, 2011 ~

Dec 26, 2011
Kimmy Sophia Brown

I arrived a little late for the Maine Songwriter’sAssociation Open Mic event. It was too bad because everyone said how wonderful the first singer, Max Garcia, was, but alas, I missed him. I entered while Bob Danzilo was playing. Bob’s from my generation -- a strongly-built man, with a lovely, resonant voice who sang seafaring songs. He was a good guitar player with a comfortable stage presence. I was impressed by the freshness and strength of his voice. He played two or three original songs and then played a cover of a Stan Rogers tune called, “The Lockkeeper”. He told us that he works as a yacht captain by day, and mentioned the longstanding relationship between ships and music. I liked his compositions, “Inner Smile” and “Stars on the Ocean”.  Hear more of Bob’s music at: http://www.reverbnation.com/bobdanzilo

Truth About DaisiesUp next was John Malloy -- a big teddy bear of a guy. He hadan exceptional tenor voice that was surprisingly powerful. I thought that with voice training he could do musical theater or possibly even opera. He had an understated presence, very quiet and likeable. His first song was about a rope swing. He mused, “Let’s pretend we’re at a Sweaty Moss concert,” and he sang, “Radio, you read me”.  I love the song, “There is No Goodbye”, which I heard on his myspace site:

http://www.myspace.com/jmalloymusic. More proof of his awesomeness is the list of his influenceson his myspace. I like everyone he likes!

Peter Alexander, the president of the Maine Songwriter’sAssociation, was the MC. He introduced a young man named Joe Gallant. He was a real cutie, kind of a Donovan meets Paul McCartney (I’m giving my generation away again!) He was an earnest, clean-shaven young man with a knitted cap and a lot of heart. I really liked his first song, “Sweet Rebellion”, especially when his voice went up when he sang, “Save me, sweet rebellion.” Peter said that all the CDs that Joe cut are sold out. I wasn’t surprised because he looked like a heartthrob. He was a passionate rhythm guitar player. His voice could use a little training but he had a lot of enthusiasm. His website is http://www.joegallantmusic.com/

Peter Alexander told a story about his wife being out ofstate for many months caring for an ill parent. While she was gone, Peter wrote a song called, “If You Know Me”, about missing her. He said the whole thing came out all at once, from beginning to end. He played it elegantly on a twelve-string guitar, and sang with a distinctive, strong voice. Find out more at http://www.myspace.com/peteralexanderband

Finally it was time for the headlining group, TruthAbout Daisies. They have a memorable name that made me wonder what thedaisies have been up to! Ronda Dale was dressed in several shades of pink and orange, played a mean bass and supported the others with lovely backup vocals. Doug Swift played a very impressive lead guitar, banjo and recorder and had a clear and steady voice. Sheila McKinley was a tall, striking blond woman who could be the cousin of Mary Steenburgen or Jenna Elfman. The band had a kind of country sound. I could imagine Emmylou Harris recording any of their songs -- “Forgive Me,” “Hard Time”, “Night Falls”, “Pink Peonies”. Sheila’s songs are passionate and insightful and she conveys them with a voice full of power and emotion. I thought I knew where the melody of a song was headed and then it went somewhere else. She wrote one for her sister who recently lost a husband, that was particularly moving. I think Emmylou oughta meet them, I think they’d hit it off.  Check out their website, http://www.truthaboutdaisies.com/

You can check out more Maine talent from the MaineSongwriter’s Association on their website, www.mesongwriters.com. Also, OneLongfellow Square hosts them one Wednesday night a month.

Photo of Truth About Daisies by Rebecca Lathrop

For music lovers visiting Portland, Maine, I highly recommend
One Longfellow Square ~ "Portland's Premier Arts Venue"
Check them out at onelongfellowsquare.com.

Kimmy Sophia Brown has loved humor and music and freedom for as long as she can remember.She is especially passionate about the environment and caring for animals.

She writes the column "From the Back Porch" as well as reviews of music in her column "MusicViews". Her goal in her music reviews is to introduce music she loves to people who may not have heard that particular artist or CD. For information about how to submit a CD for review, click here.

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