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Classic Hollywood: Oscar's "Maine" Man

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Sweet Harmonies and Flying Fingers: Don’t Miss Arc Iris at The Loft Interviews

Sweet Harmonies and Flying Fingers: Don’t Miss Arc Iris at The Loft

I’ve been a fan of Jocie Adams ever since I first heard her sing nearly four years ago, late one night in Austin, Texas. My brother-in-law had been raving about her former band, The Low Anthem—this was just before their sold out performance as part of Lincoln Center’s The American Songbook Series and their appearance on “Late Night with Letterman”— so I gave it a shot. The music I heard that evening was mesmerizing- layered harmonies, guitar, clarinet, keyboards, acoustic bass, and drums. Jocie’s voice has a beautiful, strange, and playful child-like quality that instantly draws you in to her orbit. After following her career since that night in Austin, I can’t wait to hear Jocie again when she performs a special concert at The Music Hall Loft in Portsmouth, NH on Friday, December 6 as part of the Martingale Wharf Singer Songwriter Series. She’ll be in town showcasing her latest creative endeavor- Arc Iris. With Arc Iris, Jocie’s musical landscape is layered with mariachi horns, acoustic bass, guitars, keyboard, and clarinet— a much more adventurous terrain from that of her Low Anthem fame. I caught up with her recently to talk about her music, her memories, and her new band. Read More Read More
Behind the Scenes with Thérèse LaGamma: On Tour by Bike, Cellist and Songwriter Ben Sollee Interviews

Behind the Scenes with Thérèse LaGamma: On Tour by Bike, Cellist and Songwriter Ben Sollee

Sollee first caught our attention four years ago when he was hailed by NPR’s Morning Edition as one of the “Top Ten Great Unknown Artists” of the year.  Not long after,  All Things Considered called his debut “an inspired collection of acoustic, folk and jazz flavored songs, filled with hope and the earnest belief that the world is good.” One of the things that sets him apart from other singer songwriters of his generation is that he performs and writes much of his music on the cello.  His music incorporates a unique mix of his Appalachian roots and R&B. His vocal stylings and penchant for intricate arrangements have earned him comparisons to Sufjan Stevens. Read More Read More
Behind the Scenes with Thérèse LaGamma – Why We’re Sweet on The Sweetback Sisters Interviews

Behind the Scenes with Thérèse LaGamma – Why We’re Sweet on The Sweetback Sisters

The Sweetback Sisters have a sound that carries with it hints of the past with influences ranging from Patsy Kline to Jimmie Rodgers. They’re a terrific sextet of multi-talented musicians: Emily Miller, Zara Bode, Jesse Milnes, Ross Bellenoit, Stefan Amidon, and Peter Bitenc. If you like old timey, spirited country music that is able to rock a little harder than usual, this band is sure to put you in a good mood. This year they have been on the festival circuit performing to diverse audiences at SXSW music festival and opening up shows for giants like k.d.lang. They’re heading to Green River Festival in Greenfield, MA this summer, following their performance at The Music Hall Loft on Friday July 13 at 7pm & 9pm. You don’t want to miss this self-described “renegade retro band”—and if you love yodeling as much as I do, you’re in for a treat. I recently talked with Emily Miller about the band’s background, musical roots, and creative songwriting process. Read More Read More
Billy Bragg Celebrates Woody Guthrie on June 30 Interviews

Billy Bragg Celebrates Woody Guthrie on June 30

By Thérèse LaGamma I’ve been listening to Billy Bragg’s music—especially his Mr. Love & Justice and Mermaid Avenue recordings—and I can’t tell you how excited I am to hear his performance at The Music Hall’s Historic Theater on Saturday, June 30 at 8pm. Arguably the U.K.’s most famous activist singer-songwriter of modern times, Billy’s first set celebrates Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday by exploring and expanding the Guthrie songbook—he was one of a handful of musicians who had access to the Guthrie archives. His second set will be pure Billy. I recently talked with the London-based star about his music, his politics, and his connection to Woody’s legacy. Read on for a fascinating conversation. Read More Read More
Inside Scoop: Jim’s Big Ego Rocks The Loft June 29! Interviews

Inside Scoop: Jim’s Big Ego Rocks The Loft June 29!

By Thérèse LaGamma I’m pumped to welcome Jim’s Big Ego (JBE) to the Loft on Friday, June 29 at 8 pm. JBE is a band that has been making a lot of noise on the Boston music scene since the mid 90’s—performing in hip clubs like T.T. The Bears and The Middle East. Their song ‘Stress’ (video after the jump) was topping the charts on WERS, Emerson radio. Jim Infantino- the bands lead singer and founding member- rocks out while managing to insert both wisdom and razor sharp humor into his songs. Jim’s Big Ego is a cross between rockers Buffalo Tom and Stu &The Negro Problem. If you are a fan of either you will LOVE this band. Their new album has just come out. I was able to catch up with the talented - and very funny - Jim Infantino prior to its release. Read More Read More
Q&A with Opera Aficionado Dennis Kleinman Interviews

Q&A with Opera Aficionado Dennis Kleinman

By Chris Curtis Dennis Neil Kleinman is an award-winning writer/producer whose work has appeared on the History Channel, A&E, Discovery and Nat Geo. He is also a classically trained musician whose compositions have been performed at the Kennedy Center, recorded by such artists as Bobby McFerrin and Phoebe Snow, and featured on television and in movies. He is best known for co-writing the theme song from the long-running children’s television series Reading Rainbow which was recently voted one of the top ten TV theme songs of all time. Programming Coordinator Chris Curtis caught up with him recently to get his thoughts on why opera resonates more than ever, and what fans can expect from the upcoming season of Met@The Music Hall. Read More Read More
Merle Haggard: A Life to Write About Interviews

Merle Haggard: A Life to Write About

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. Read More Read More

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