I love catching the big name acts that come to the Music Hall—who wouldn’t swoon to Al Green? But I get even more jazzed about seeing emerging talent push musical boundaries—known to music critics and fans but new to me—like the infectious, high-energy band David Wax Museum, who played to a sold-out house at the Loft on Sunday April 7.
And, as a writer, I hate to miss any of the Writers on a New England Stage or Writers in the Loft events. It’s fascinating to get a privileged peek inside the heads of these authors, each with a singular voice and point of view.
So it goes without saying that I’m excited about the expanded lineup of the Portsmouth Singer-Songwriter festival this year, starting with the Pulitzer prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon with his book The Word on the Street: Rock Lyrics on Wednesday, April 17; and ending with a double bill of Aimee Mann and Sharon Van Etten on Sunday, April 21. (All appendages crossed that Aimee and Sharon will decide to sing a song or two together for us. . .)
By Peter Squires
On April 21st, my band, The Farthest Forests, was lucky enough to perform at The Music Hall. As local musicians, this was a distinct honor – how many of us ever get the chance to perform for hundreds of people in such a beautiful, historic setting? What’s more, we had the honor of meeting and sharing the stage with the fantastic Felice Brothers and the otherworldly O’Death, and as part of the first ever Portsmouth Singer Songwriter Festival, we get to say we shared a place in history with the legendary Merle Haggard and Roseanne Cash. We are extremely lucky to have been given the opportunity to play a part in such a momentous occasion.
Individual tickets to the Portsmouth Singer Songwriter Festival (April 20 - 22) go on sale Wednesday March 7 at noon for everyone-individual tickets are on sale to members right now. We’ve got Merle Haggard, The Felice Brothers, O’Death, The Farthest Forests, Lucy Wainwright Roche, Elsa Cross, a ton of local Singer Songwriters (who’ll be announced this week) performing in the Round Robin, and to cap the weekend off, Rosanne Cash.
The legendary singer songwriter, who catapulted to stardom in the 1970s with his hit, “Okie From Muskogee” and went on to win every imaginable country music award, makes his Music Hall debut on April 20. Haggard and his band, The Strangers, will launch the first Portsmouth Singer Songwriter Festival. Deputy Director of Programming/Curator Thérèse LaGamma interviewed him to get the backstory on his colorful past, what continues to inspire his music, and why his messages are more relevant than ever. Read on to discover why Haggard is arguably the coolest superstar of Americana music.
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