UPCOMING SHOWS

Read Free or Die

SEPTEMBER 26 @ 6PM | DOORS 5:30PM | UPSTAIRS

Come discover the next Charlie Simic.

Read Free or Die: The University of New Hampshire’s MFA graduate reading series! Stop by to hear local writers read their works of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.

Karaoke w/ Chad Banks

SEPTEMBER 26 @ 9PM | DOORS 9PM | UPSTAIRS

The Jazz Jam

SEPTEMBER 27 @ 6PM | DOORS 5:30PM | UPSTAIRS

SOGGY PO' BOYS

SEPTEMBER 26 | AFTER JAZZ JAM | UPSTAIRS

Haley Heynderickx w/ Small Pond

SEPTEMBER 28 @ 8PM | DOORS 7PM | UPSTAIRS

I need to start a garden.

It takes a mix of skill and luck to tend a garden well, but it’s impossible without a certain amount of kindness tended. While the cyclical nature of gardening seems inherent, in some ways, Heynderickx is just beginning. Her debut album, named I Need to Start a Garden out of a search for calm through these waves of uncertainty and upheaval, is out now via Mama Bird Recording Co.

For the empathetic singer/songwriter, the reasons for seeking such acceptance and understanding stem from a life of paradoxes. Heynderickx grew up in a religious household in Oregon, closely identifying with her Filipino roots, but also straddling multiple cultural identities. Now residing in Portland, her faith is not overt, but her introspection and continued struggle for self-actualization are easily accessible and relatable.

Likewise, the tracks on I Need to Start a Garden reflect these seemingly disparate elements. Through soft acoustic guitar picking and deftly accented trombone sighs, Heynderickx’s music immediately recalls folk music of the ‘60s and ‘70s mixed with a love of jazz radio. But Heynderickx’s singing—her vocals that range from sultry to operatic—belie a tenacity in her soul.

It’s a balance then, between exposing and protecting herself on I Need to Start a Garden. Heynderickx vacillates between powerlessness (opener “No Face”) and empowerment (lead single “Oom Sha La La”). But her generosity of spirit remains the constant throughout the whole album.

You can hear that exceptional care in “Jo”, as she whispers, “You tended your garden like heaven and hell / and you built the birds houses to see if it helped at all.” Aware of the birds, the garden, and anyone listening acutely, Heynderickx’s music serves as an invitation for all to join her. Because the beauty of a garden is that, while it’s often started for deeply personal reasons, its bounty is best consumed and shared with others.

I Need to Start a Garden was produced, engineered and mixed by Zak Kimball at Nomah Studios in Portland, Oregon. Haley Heynderickx co-produced the album. It was mastered by Timothy Stollenwerk at Stereophonic Mastering in Portland. The record features Lily Breshears (Bass, Keys, Backing Vocals), Denzel Mendoza (Trombone, Backing Vocals), Phillip Rogers (Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals) and Tim Sweeney (Upright Bass).

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Dueling Pianos

SEPTEMBER 29 @ 8PM | Doors 7pm | UPSTAIRS

The popular piano battle returns to the Press Room for a raucous evening.

Dueling Pianos is a fun, live music concept that is perfect for your party, wedding reception, corporate event or night club! We provide a lively, interactive show which appeals to audiences of all ages and musical tastes. Songs can range from classic crooners all the way to today’s pop hits (with pretty much everything in between!). Better still, the set list is request­ driven so your audience is able steer the show to their liking with no two shows being exactly the same. We can even get your guests on stage and involve them in our “shenanigans”! This will surely be an event that will be remembered.

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Power of Love (Huey Lewis and the News Tribute)

SEPTEMBER 30 @ 8:30PM | Doors 7pm | UPSTAIRS

It’s hip to be square.

What is The Power of Love?

Boston, MA’s own PoL formed in 2012 with one simple goal: to be the best Huey Lewis & The News cover band you … or anyone else … has ever heard.

Featuring a five-piece line-up and a full horn section, The Power of Love boasts an impressive collection of Boston indie rock and punk rock stalwarts (including members and former members of Big D and the Kid’s Table, The Fatal Flaw, This Blue Heaven, Razors in the Night, Mount Peru Lannen and more).

PoL’s live show is no ironic, tongue-in-cheek takedown of Huey Lewis, nor is it a slavish tribute act. The band has the pure musicianship to honor the original songs and their arrangements, while still attacking the material with a raw rock and roll ferocity. Also, with no single front person and band members sharing vocal duties equally, PoL truly lives up to its motto:

“No Huey; Just the News”

That’s The Power of Love.

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The 17th Annual (I Gotta) Rock! Show

OCTOBER 1 @ 8PM | DOORS 7PM | UPSTAIRS

A rockin’ benefit for Portsmouth’s favorite parade.

The annual tradition continues Saturday, Oct. 1st, at 7pm (doors) when the 17th annual (I Gotta) Rock! Show/PHP fundraiser returns to the stage of The Press Room. The Rock Show is including the much-anticipated announcement of our 2022 Grand Marshal, kick-ass raffle prizes, and of course, music!

Final lineup (in no particular order):

Zorp

Zorpians are a race of aliens far from this planet, Out of that race one special alien was born.

Holden Brown and the Wishes

This fictitious group of well-meaning occultists preach their esoteric mythology through a loving pastiche of classic rock and doo wop. It’s a rock show and a mystery play. But altogether, it’s a toe-tapping, bone-rattling work of theatrical shenanigans

Feverslip

Feverslip boasts a well-defined musical precept: Keep rock music alive. One listen to this energetic group of young musicians and you will believe that it never even skipped a heartbeat. Hailing from southern Maine, this dynamic fellowship of five strives to re-energize the musical landscape of today. The pure passion with which they play not only showcases their distinct blend of modern roots-rock blues, it creates more momentum than a meteorite.

New Hampshire’s biggest Halloween parade is brought to you by the people, for the people. The parade is NOT a city-sponsored event. It is staged by volunteers and funded solely by the community, primarily through grassroots events.

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ALI MCGUIRK

OCTOBER 2 @ 6PM | DOORS 5PM | UPSTAIRS

Spellbinding songwriting.

18+

“When I was out in L.A., I had the sensation that I was doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing,” Ali McGuirk says of recording her stunning Signature Sounds debut, Til It’s Gone. “That’s such an elusive feeling to capture.”

On the recommendation of producer Jonah Tolchin (a star singer-songwriter in his own right), McGuirk traveled from her adopted home of Burlington, Vermont to the Los Angeles neighborhood of Silver Lake to track much of Til It’s Gone. A sublime set of songs that pairs McGuirk’s trademark soul sound with rootsy turns and raw rock ‘n’ roll detours, the album began to bloom at the L.A. sessions. McGuirk remembers describing to Tolchin the vibe she envisioned for the record. She mentioned something about it being akin to the cool fusion of styles that Little Feat achieved in the ’70s – that funky, twangy, jazzy and thoroughly-authentic feel. Tolchin suggested they just call up legendary Little Feat guitarist/mandolinist Fred Tackett and get him to lay down a few parts.

“Fred Tackett came in and was casually telling stories about sessions he did with Ringo and Harry Nilsson like it’s not a big deal,” McGuirk says with a laugh. “It took me a minute to acclimate, but once the music started, everyone was so supportive and into the tunes.”

Tolchin and engineer/studio owner Sheldon Gomberg recruited an A-list of session players including Tackett, organist Larry Goldings (James Taylor, Norah Jones), singer Valerie Pinkston (Ray Charles, Luther Vandross), percussionist Lenny Castro (Stevie Nicks, Stevie Wonder). They provided the astounding chops, but the true magic of Til It’s Gone comes from McGuirk’s singular voice as both singer and songwriter. The nine tracks – songs that run from intimate introspection to wider meditations on oppression and justice – succeed because McGuirk has composed dynamic, hypnotic frames for her vocals.

Growing up just outside Boston, McGuirk doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t want to be a singer. But as a kid, she didn’t see a path forward. To her, professional singers were pop icons like Brandy, Britney or Mariah. McGuirk got a guitar in high school but admits she basically only played the same four chords over and over again. By college, after a couple decades of absorbing ’90s r&b,’70s singer-songwriters and classic soul of every era, McGuirk found her own aesthetic: earthy, pure, propelled by a voice capable of whispering dark truths or belting out big hooks on her originals. Boston responded with a wave of love. The Boston Globe named her an “artist to hear.” She racked up nominations and wins at both the Boston Music Awards and New England Music Awards. Her standing-room-only residency at Somerville’s Bull McCabe’s Pub delivered electric performances – Til It’s Gone also features key contributions from McGuirk’s Boston bandmates such as guitar ace Jeffrey Lockhart.

The songs on Til It’s Gone are a culmination of McGuirk’s influences, experience and soul searching. Over jazz vamping and a deep groove, “Evelyn” speaks to “several layers of generational trauma that the women in my family have survived.” Somewhere between folk ballad and quiet storm r&b cut, “The Work” addresses how too many people refuse to have honest and earnest conversations about their privilege – “If we can’t talk to each other and hold space for people when we can, nothing will progress,” she says. “Wealthy people, white people, cisgender people, straight people and anybody who holds institutional power need to first learn what institutional power is, then realize they, or we, have it, then do some work.”

McGuirk also spends time considering and reconsidering love gone wrong, or love gone sideways, or upside down. “Let It Be You” sits happily in its classic blues pop vibe capturing a scorching vocal take that came at the end of an epic 10-hour day in the L.A. studio. “Leave Me” winds through complex emotions – “If I’m gonna sing about the delusions of love, let my head be squarely on my shoulders while doing it,” she says – over an equally complex arrangement that starts with Joni Mitchell-reminiscent folk and rises to a jamming, Grateful Dead-esque climax. With the twang of an Emmylou Harris gem, “Empty Vase” came out of wanting to write some “anti-torch songs.”

“I used to sing a lot of jazz and loved the ‘torch’ singers like Dinah Washington, Etta James, Sarah Vaughan, Abbey Lincoln, even though so many of the songs they sang felt anti-feminist to me,” McGuirk says. “Abbey Lincoln says a song is like a prayer, and you get what you put out and I found that to be true in my life. The idea that you can be a strong, independent feminist, and still suffer from the leftover feelings of a culture steeped in historically unequal power dynamics between the genders is something that writing these songs has helped me process.”

Til It’s Gone is the rare record that features a young artist relaxing into tender, homey spaces and pushing herself emotionally and sonically. Stretches of the record channel those brilliant, warm torch singers McGuirk has spent so much time with. Then there are wild asides, such as album closer “Milk,” a towering rock crescendo full of guitar feedback and organ swells.

“Every artist has genre identity crises because you don’t want to get pigeonholed and it’s so easy to,” she says. “But you get so invested in these sub-genres. In high school, it was Joni Mitchell and Neil Young singer-songwriters. In college, it was jazz. And all along it’s been soul. My go to is still turning on Donny Hathaway to chill. But I have always felt I have had these other secret interests that come out.”

“I love ‘Milk’ because it makes people think I’m a rock artist,” she adds with a laugh. “It’s the last song on the record, but definitely one of my favorites. I think we created a whole dystopian love scene on this one. I wanted the vocals to be distorted and the guitars to be out front.”

Til It’s Gone loves to dip into genres and sub-genres. But it never gets lost. Acting as co-producer with Tolchin, McGuirk let the songs wander from shadowy emotional spaces to big, bad guitar workouts to delicate little confessions. But her voice – bold, buttery, spellbinding – carries each song to the next til they’re gone.

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Mary Lambert w/ Aisha Burns

OCTOBER 3 @ 7PM | DOORS 6PM | UPSTAIRS

The 2x Grammy nominated songstress joins us for an intimate night.

All Ages

This is a general admission, seated show.

Mary Lambert is not your typical triple-platinum selling artist. While studying Music Composition at Cornish College of the Arts in 2008, she found a home in the spoken word community of Seattle and began experimenting with infusing poetry into her music, performing frequently as a cellist, singer-songwriter, and poet. Lambert had never recorded music formally and was juggling multiple food service jobs when she received a call from Macklemore and Ryan Lewis to collaborate on their marriage equality anthem, “Same Love”. Writing and singing the hook to “Same Love” led to an MTV VMA win and two Grammy nominations: Song of The Year and Album of The Year, and culminated in the iconic 2014 Grammys performance, which featured a mass wedding officiated by Queen Latifah and Lambert’s unforgettable duet with Madonna.

Her solo career sky-rocketed after releasing a standalone version of the song and shortly signed to Capitol Records. She released Welcome to the Age of My Body, an EP with the Top 20 Adult Contemporary hit “She Keeps Me Warm” and “Body Love”, a spoken-word piece about body image. Later that year, she debuted her first pop song: a tongue-in-cheek single, “Secrets,” that went Gold and shot to No. 1 on the Billboard Dance charts, which was followed by her debut full-length album, Heart on My Sleeve. Lambert received the Human Rights Campaign’s Visibility Award, The SAMHSA Special Recognition Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for her work on destigmatizing mental illness, and was invited to speak at the UN. She has performed on the Colbert Show, Ellen, The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Tonight Show, and the American Music Awards.

Lambert was successful in the eyes of the public; but below the surface, she was struggling with weekly panic attacks and mental instability. In 2015, she chose her mental health, and parted ways with formal management and Capitol Records. The desire was to reclaim her independence, to reconnect with poetry, and to focus her attention on composing, writing, and production. Free from any constraints or contracts, Lambert self-released the joyful indie-pop EP Bold and a self-recorded holiday EP, Happy Holigays. In 2018, Lambert partnered with Macmillian and Henry Holt to release a poetry collection centered around trauma and mental illness called Shame is an Ocean I Swim Across, and she released her sophomore album, Grief Creature, as a complementary work. Written, produced, and arranged almost entirely by Lambert, the album contains heart-rending adult-pop songs as well as intense spoken-word tracks, and slicker collaborations with Macklemore and Hollis don’t deviate from the album’s vision of what Lambert calls “a break-up album to shame.”

Lambert is currently working on a new book and EP about body image; co-starring in the Netflix animated musical and series, I Heart Arlo and Arlo the Alligator Boy; hosting The Manic Episodes, a queer and mental health podcast with her fiancé, Dr. Wyatt Hermansen; and facilitates a virtual workshop on fat liberation and body image called Everybody is a Babe. Lambert is also the film composer for 1946, a documentary about biblical mistranslations, due for release in Fall 2022. She lives between Seattle and quiet Western Massachusetts with her fiancé and her two dogs, Turnip and Georgie.

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Harsh Armadillo Presents: The No Clique Sessions

OCTOBER 5 @ 8PM | Doors 7:30pm | UPSTAIRS

Your next sweat dream. High octane funk from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. 

Life is complicated. People are complicated. Finding solace in a gas station sandwich is complicated. Everyone gets emotional the moment before they bite on an extended warranty offer. Don’t worry about it. A day is rarely punctuated by the risk you didn’t take. 
 
The No Clique Sessions are a live music series presented by members of Harsh Armadillo, featuring musical collaboration with our favorite artists from around the Northeast. Kill your TV, microwave your iPhone, and come take a risk on making a Wednesday night memory or two.

Erin Harpe Country Blues Duo

OCTOBER 6 @ 8PM | Doors 7PM | UPSTAIRS

Acoustic blues mastery.

18+

A rising star in the roots and blues scene with a growing fan base around the world, guitarist/singer/songwriter Erin Harpe has been compared to legendary blues women like Bonnie Raitt and Rory Block. Living Blues Magazine called her “one of the most dynamic, talented and exciting roots rocking blues women on the scene”, and the Midwest Record dubbed her “Bonnie Raitt on modern performance enhancing drugs!” Recently named New England’s “Blues Artist of the Year,” Erin has garnered critical acclaim with her award-winning electric blues band Erin Harpe & the Delta Swingers for a decade, gaining a considerable fan base with their memorable high-energy performances and irresistible mix of genres they call “Boogie, Blues & Beyond.”

Erin gets back to her roots in the acoustic blues for her new Country Blues Duo (a.k.a. “CBD”) with longtime partner/bassist Jim Countryman. Appropriately nicknamed “shit-kicking blues” on a recent UK tour, they create a very full, danceable and engaging sound with their down-home duo, which features Erin on acoustic guitar, vocals, kazoo & foot percussion, and Jim on ukulele bass and backing vocals. Their energetic performances transport the audience to the Delta, with vintage classics by the likes of Memphis Minnie, Mississippi John Hurt, Tommy Johnson and Blind Blake – elevated by Erin’s own interpretations – and mixed in seamlessly with original compositions and country blues takes on popular songs. Erin Harpe CBD is a must-see roots act that will get any crowd moving!

The duo’s latest release, MEET ME IN THE MIDDLE (2020 VizzTone) was recorded in the couple’s home studio while in quarantine during the pandemic. The new album has gotten rave reviews, declared “today’s country blues at its very best” by Frank Matheis in Living Blues Magazine, and getting a 3 out of 4 star review in MOJO. The album entered the charts at #13 on Billboard’s Blues Chart, and climbed to #5 on Relix/Jambands.com Radio Chart, #7 on iTunes Top US Blues Albums, #9 on North American College & Community Radio’s Top 30 Blues Chart, #8 (Top 50 Contemporary Blues Albums) & #15 (Top Blues Albums) on Roots Music Report’s Charts, and #17 on Living Blues Radio’s Chart, also making several 2020 top 10 lists!

“Erin Harpe has a timeless quality about her. Maybe it is her signature look with a flower in her hair and the fishnet stockings, a look that would have worked in any decade over the past century. Or maybe it is her virtuoso finger picking guitar style or the way she can play the slide guitar like some of the recent greats such as Bonnie Raitt or Rory Block. Or maybe it is her beautiful singing voice, especially when she is covering the old-time blues music of Memphis Minnie or Sippie Wallace with a confidence and sass that might remind you of Maria Muldaur. Her style is both endearing and enduring.”

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New Hampshire Film Festival

OCTOBER 7-9 @ 8PM | UPSTAIRS | SCHEDULE TBA

The New Hampshire Film Festival is an annual fall event that unites professional filmmakers, screenwriters, and film industry experts with film lovers.

Founded in 2001, the non-profit New Hampshire Film Festival has become one of the leading festivals in New England and a highly anticipated Portsmouth, NH tradition. Over 10,000 attendees enjoy screenings of carefully curated films, lively panel discussions and buzzworthy events in addition to the multitude of dining and shopping options Portsmouth offers.

  • 4 Days
  • 100+ Independent Films
  • Lively Q&As with Cast & Crew
  • Engaging Panels & Workshops
  • Buzzworthy Parties & Networking Events
  • 10,000+ Attendees
  • 15,000+ Social Media Followers

Each year, veteran celebrities and up-and-coming independent film artists add to the high voltage energy of the New Hampshire Film Festival. Past celebrity attendees include:

  • Flea
  • Brittany Snow
  • Adrian Grenier
  • Ken Burns
  • Christopher Abbott
  • John Viener
  • Brett Cullen
  • Rae Dawn Chong
  • Ernest Thompson
  • Tommy Chong
  • Tom Bergeron
  • Josh Meyers
  • John Michael Higgins
  • Michelle MacLaren
  • Mike O’Malley
  • Cole Escola
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Armchair Boogie w/ Annie in the Water

OCTOBER 13 @ 8PM | Doors 7PM | UPSTAIRS

Let’s boogie.

Armchair Boogie has been ramblin’ since 2015 when Augie Dougherty (banjo, vocals) and Ben Majeska (guitar, vocals) collided in a fiery crash of modern bluegrass glory. With the rhythmic addition of Eli Frieders (bass) and Denzel Connor (drums), the Boogie Boys took their current funky form.

The band fuses traditional bluegrass instrumentation with well-structured lyrics and the modern jam-band groove that keeps their fans moving throughout every show. The Boogie Boys have shared the stage with many contemporaries, such as Yonder Mountain String Band, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, The Infamous Stringdusters, Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, The Dead South, Kitchen Dwellers, Pert Near Sandstone, and have jammed with many more.

Catch a show anywhere around the country…even your grumpiest Uncle will jump out of his armchair and boogie down to these guys.

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Bombargo

OCTOBER 14 @ 9PM | DOORS 8PM | UPSTAIRS

A good time. Guaranteed.

Bombargo is a Canadian based international touring band that drops a vibrant splash of soul over their distinctive ‘vintage-pop’ sound. Well known for bringing unrivaled energy to the stage with sing-along anthems, double-brother harmonies, and a powerful message that combined make for one of the most captivating live shows ever! Frontman Nathan Thoen’s passionate conviction and ‘Jagger-like’ dance moves even impressed billionaire and music industry icon Sir Richard Branson, quoting “I haven’t seen this type of energy since The Rolling Stones!” – and he would know, having personally signed The Rolling Stones to Virgin Records.

The band began with lead singer Nathan Thoen and guitarist Spencer Chilliak after the two spontaneously met and drove 16 hours to attend Sasquatch Music Festival where they became inspired to start a band. The duo wrote their debut single “Let It Grow” during their very first writing session and as part of Bombargo’s debut EP Back on Main which would go on to be included in “The Top 10 Best Saskatchewan Albums of 2015” by SaskMusic. This further inspired them to continue writing, touring, and release their first full-length album titled We Are Bombargo. The group has since evolved into a 7-piece touring band adding Nathan’s brother Anthony Thoen on guitar, additional brothers Matt and Sammy Folkersen on keys and bass respectively, Connor Newton on saxophone, and Niall Cubbon on drums.

Bombargo went on to receive massive acclaim when pop star icon Taylor Swift added their 2018 single “Mr. No Good” to her Spotify Playlist titled “Songs Taylor Loves” alongside mega artists including Ed Sheeran, Camilla Cabello, and Kendrick Lamar. Being the only unsigned band on this star-studded playlist saw Bombargo featured on CBC’s the Q, NME, Exclaim, Fashion, Noisey, People, and Billboard. This success was followed up by the release of their most successful single to date – “Oxygen” which pushed Bombargo into the Canadian Hot AC Top 40 Charts for the first time in the fall of 2019. The band also made its US touring debut in late 2019 with their 33 date “North American Dream Tour” which kicked off with Bombargo playing the sold-out Roughriders Labour Day Classic Half-Time Show to over 33,000 people.

The band’s highly anticipated US debut at Hotel Cafe in Hollywood, CA gained heavy press coverage including a raving article in Billboard Magazine. Bombargo has opened for legendary acts including John Butler Trio, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Joel Plaskett and most recently performed on the Okeechobee festival main stage in Florida with over 40,000 in attendance. They have surpassed 4.5 million streams on Spotify, received over 715,000 views on YouTube, and were nominated for the Saskatchewan Music Awards “Pop/Rock Artists of the Year” in both 2018 and 2019. In August of 2020 the band landed a ‘most excellent’ cameo in the hollywood blockbuster “Bill & Ted 3: Face The Music”.

There’s no doubt Bombargo will continue spreading The Goodtime GuaranteeTM long into the future with the release of their new album ‘nubula.’ (released in May of 2022), and upcoming

“Goodtime Guarantee Tour” this coming fall.

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SHARON JONES: "BRINGING MOTOWN TO MYTOWN"

OCTOBER 16 @ 6PM | DOORS 5PM | UPSTAIRS

Sharon does Motown!

All Ages

SHARON WILL BRING THIS CELEBRATION OF ONE OF THE GREATEST ERAS IN MUSIC TO PORTSMOUTH’S HISTORIC PRESS ROOM!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

PIANIO TIM RAY

BASS. MARTY BALLOU

DRUMS LES HARRIS JR

GUITAR PAUL BOURGELAIS

GUITAR MARK MICHAELS

PERCUSSION ALLAN MACLELLAN

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

VOCALIST’S

YAMICA PETERSON CAIN

PETE PETERSON

SIERA PETERSON

MARIE FOTI

JOHANNA LANDIS

JAMES GERALDEN

DEREK THOMPKINS

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

SOUND AND LIGHTING

MICHAEL TILLEY

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Imarhan

OCTOBER 19 @ 8PM | Doors 7PM | UPSTAIRS

Tuareg music in hyperdrive.

In early 2019 the members of Imarhan began literally laying the groundwork for their third album. The Tuareg quintet was building a professional recording studio, the first ever in their home city of Tamanrasset in Southern Algeria, from the ground up. By March of 2020 the studio was filled with high-end audio gear otherwise inaccessible to the vast majority of musicians in much of the Saharan region. The group christened it Aboogi, named for the first semi-permanent structures their nomadic forebears built when establishing settlements and villages, and began tracking the first album they were able to record on their native soil. It seemed only natural to also call the resulting collection of songs Aboogi, a nod to the new collective space they had established, as well as the resilience of their culture and communities.

The diversity, beauty, and struggles of life in Tamanrasset are reflected in the songs on Aboogi. Following the exhilarating, eclectic Temet – which OkayAfrica declared “doesn’t just take the next step in Tuareg music; it sends it into hyperspace” – Imarhan has made an album that is as serene and open as the desert it emerged from. “Aboogi reflects the colors of Tamanrasset, what we experience in everyday life,” says bandleader Iyad Moussa Ben Abderahmane, aka Sadam. “We give space to the wind and the natural energies, to the sun and the sand. We want to express their colors through music.” There is incredible warmth embedded in these steady, lilting rhythms and patiently strummed acoustic guitars, derived not just from the natural environment but from the community that surrounds them. That warmth may come from the Saharan sun and those living under it, fostered by many generations of musicians that came before them, but it emanates outwards as Imarhan become leading ambassadors for their people and culture around the world.

As they have brought this music to new audiences in far-flung places, Imarhan’s musical community has also become global. Aboogi features Sudanese singer Sulafa Elyas, who contributes a gorgeous verse in Arabic on the mournful “Taghadart,” and Super Furry Animals’ Gruff Rhys sings of the value of kinship on “Adar Newlan” in his native Welsh. Their local Tamanrasset community joins in as well, including Tinarwen’s Abdallah Ag Alhousseyni and the poet Mohamed Ag Itlale, also known as Japonais, a pillar of the city’s artistic community who passed away shortly after these recordings were made. Imarhan’s musical world has always been expansive, based in the traditional sounds of the Tuareg people but fiercely individualistic and embracing of the many varied styles they encounter. On Aboogi they emerge as a truly global group, united with their collaborators in a spirit of resistance and social change.

Though the backbone of Imarhan’s music is based in the traditional rhythms and flourishes of Tamasheq wedding bands and the Assouf music pioneered by Tinariwen, Imarhan’s songs are thoroughly contemporary, bridging the past and future. On “Assossam” they sing together in one voice of the frustrations of the Tuareg people in post-colonial Southern Algeria, economically disenfranchised by their government as money and power are concentrated in Algiers two thousand miles to the north. “Adar Newlan” touches on the struggles of the young people of Tamanrasset: “The sons of my country are exhausted,” sings Sadam in Tamasheq, referencing oppressive laws that end up imprisoning many young men who are forced to work while struggling to simply survive. But still they draw on ancestral texts, such as on “Tindjatan,” which tells the story of a great defeat of a Tuareg community during a war before French colonization, calling for bravery and solidarity, even in the face of ruin, as guitars trace circular patterns over insistent hand claps. “You must be in solidarity with your people at all costs, until the end,” says Sadam. This wisdom, like the music, becomes meaningful when passed down again and again, made new by each successive generation.

These may be heavy topics, but the featherweight, festive music on Aboogi belies its fierce sense of conviction and justice. Therein lie the complexities that make Imarhan’s music so prescient – beauty and tranquility intermingle with strife and heartache, creating a dynamic view of life for those subjugated by over a century of colonialism and lopsided revolutions but blessed with extraordinary community, art, and culture. With this album, and with the new studio that shares its name, Imarhan have opened their arms to those around the world who share their sense of conviction and open-mindedness, ready to build relationships with artists and audiences of all generations and backgrounds based on a deep trust in themselves and each other. “Please,” sings Sadam on “Taghadart,” “safeguard my trust, from now until the end of time.”

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Hey Blondie (Blondie tribute) & Pretendica (Pretenders tribute)

OCTOBER 28 @ 7:30PM | DOORS 6:30PM | UPSTAIRS

In case your costume is being awesome.

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Wizzardess w/ Special Guest EZ CHEEF

OCTOBER 29 @ 9PM | DOORS 8PM | UPSTAIRS

Hell of a show.

Wizzardess exists for two reasons: time and space…and brutality! Three reasons.

Formed by four like minded souls in the seacoast NH area, Wizzardess plays music with a notably 70s flair.

Compositionally as influenced by Deep Purple and Black Sabbath as they are by The Sword and Elder, Wizzardess combines their love of loudness, comic books, mythology, and over-the- topishness into a shockingly palatable and cohesive musical experience. also, they totally rule.

Wizzardess is:

Jon McCormack-Lead Guitar/Vocals

Rick Habib-Drums/Vocals

Mike Klempa-Bass.Vocals

Stu Dias-Lead Guitar Vocals

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THE MALLETT BROTHERS BAND

NOVEMBER 3 @ 8PM | DOORS 7PM | UPSTAIRS

The boys are back in town.

“FOUNDED IN 2009, THE MALLETT BROTHERS BAND HAVE HAD MULTIPLE LINEUP CHANGES AND STYLISTIC SHIFTS OVER THE YEARS, BUT THEY’VE REMAINED STEADFAST IN DELIVERING HEARTFELT SONGS WITH EMOTIONAL LYRICISM, VIVID IMAGERY, AND DYNAMIC MUSICAL TONES…” -NO DEPRESSION

The Mallett Brothers Band is an independent rock and roll / Americana / country band from Maine. Their busy tour schedule since forming in 2009 has helped them to build a dedicated fanbase across the U.S. and beyond while still calling the state of Maine their home. With a style that ranges from alt-country to Americana, country, jam and roots rock, theirs is a musical melting pot that’s influenced equally by the singer/songwriter tradition as by harder rock, classic country and psychedelic sounds.

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THE MALLETT BROTHERS BAND

NOVEMBER 4 @ 9PM | DOORS 8PM | UPSTAIRS

The boys are back in town.

“FOUNDED IN 2009, THE MALLETT BROTHERS BAND HAVE HAD MULTIPLE LINEUP CHANGES AND STYLISTIC SHIFTS OVER THE YEARS, BUT THEY’VE REMAINED STEADFAST IN DELIVERING HEARTFELT SONGS WITH EMOTIONAL LYRICISM, VIVID IMAGERY, AND DYNAMIC MUSICAL TONES…” -NO DEPRESSION

The Mallett Brothers Band is an independent rock and roll / Americana / country band from Maine. Their busy tour schedule since forming in 2009 has helped them to build a dedicated fanbase across the U.S. and beyond while still calling the state of Maine their home. With a style that ranges from alt-country to Americana, country, jam and roots rock, theirs is a musical melting pot that’s influenced equally by the singer/songwriter tradition as by harder rock, classic country and psychedelic sounds.

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Cormac McCarthy

NOVEMBER 12 @ 7PM | DOORS 6PM | UPSTAIRS

An intimate performance from a local legend.

Cormac McCarthy is a critically acclaimed singer-songwriter and musician. His concerts are a mix of ballads, biting humor and country blues guitar picking.

Plying his trade for 35 years, he has recorded 5 albums (two for inter-nationally known Green Linnet records).

Cormac has performed all over the country, from Alaska to Bermuda, from the Newport Folk Festival and Ben and Jerry’s One World, One Heart Festival to syndicated radio shows such as the Folk Sampler and Mountain Stage.

“A distinctive songwriter with a warm, powerful, inherently melodic baritone, a fine guitarist and a devastating wit … enormous writing gifts, capable of putting chills into your spine or a silly grin on your face…” –

-Jeff McLaughlin, The Boston Globe

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Upstate

NOVEMBER 19 @ 7PM | DOORS 6PM | UPSTAIRS

Jazzy, funky, folky.

18+

Upstate is a band guided by clear ambitions: to write honest songs, play rich music, and “leave it all” on the stage and in the studio. Mary, Harry, Melanie, and Dylan draw on varied influences, traditions, and experiences. The result is art that’s both fresh and firmly rooted in what’s come before. The band weaves traces of Americana, Jazz, Gospel, and R&B with their eyes towards music that tells the truth above all. Throughout the past decade, Upstate has honed their sound and stagecraft and shared stages with many of their major influences, including The Wood Brothers and Lake Street Dive. They’ve built a reputation for eclectic instrumentation, musicianship, and powerfully dense vocal harmony. But what’s been most consistent is the band’s tendency to scratch an itch, pulling crowds from raucous anthems, to quiet intensity, and back again in a single set. Upstate’s performances, regardless of the setting, take listeners on a textured musical journey. The band spent 2019 touring in support of their acclaimed sophomore record ‘Healing,’ and spent 2020 writing, reflecting, and regrouping. They’re prepared to deliver on what they’re known for and then some.

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Special Interest

DECEMBER 5 @ 8PM | DOORS 7PM | UPSTAIRS

Dance music meets the punk rock.

All Ages

On every level, Special Interest is uncompromising: in their adventurous sound, their high-energy live performances, and their convictions. Dance music and punk culture have flirted in the warehouse before, but Special Interest’s desire to dismantle genre is informed by a larger abolitionist worldview that resists constraint, category, and conformity. Their music is a soundtrack to dancing the pain away as much as raging against injustice.

 

Brought together by New Orleans’ inventive DIY scene, Special Interest finds a new way of defining the “rock band,” a true collective unit rather than the dictated vision of a single member. Their sound is ever-fluid and continues to evolve — Special Interest actually began as the duo of Alli Logout and Maria Elena with guitar, drum machine, and a power drill, before Nathan Cassiani and Ruth Mascelli filled out its current line-up.

 

2018’s Spiraling and 2020’s widely acclaimed The Passion Of further articulated the group’s style, driven by dance grooves and electronic textures as much as hardcore riffs, but Special Interest expands the vision with Endure. The writing of their latest album was informed not just by the bleakness of the pandemic, but the tremendous energy and righteous anger of the summer 2020 uprisings. Endure sets the intensity of that moment — from the gnawing despair of isolation to the euphoria of human contact and connection — to a driving dancefloor rhythm.

 

Special Interest describes the experience of recording Endure as “inverted,” since the pandemic obviously stunted the possibilities of live performance, resulting in a new period of experimentation and sonic exploration in which old rules were cast out. Everything the group writes springs from the same source — a hard-hitting drum machine beat — but the possibilities are endless and the outcome always unpredictable. Ruth Mascelli’s work on drum machines and synthesizers provides a foundation, as varying beats lead the group into different directions: rave-ready drum and bass or ballroom-like house on the more dancefloor-friendly cuts, and marching kicks on No Wave-inflected tracks like “Foul” and “Love Scene.” “Cherry Blue Intention” brings together a sturdy post-punk bassline, shrieking guitar effects, and a jungle breakbeat into a driving anthem of an opening track.

 

New songs like “(Herman’s) House” recall the art rock of Sparks and The B-52s as much as politically-minded punk, and on “Midnight Legend,” the group is more overtly pop than ever before — making something fun during a time of frequent sadness became a central priority. But that doesn’t mean anything is simple or surface-level, with a darkness often treading beneath the smooth production. For as much as the band plays with dissonance, Maria Elena’s expressive guitar work and Nathan Cassiani’s grooving bass lines effortlessly weave together, and shade out the soundscape brought into existence by Alli Logout’s commanding vocal presence. Collaboration is central to the band’s creative process, and it’s difficult to imagine even one element from the whole of Special Interest subtracted from the equation. Their songs are living organisms, open to the possibility of experimentation and interpretation, but also not the property or creation of any one person.

 

Though Special Interest was shaped in New Orleans, there’s a universality that reaches far beyond one city. The group directly addresses the issues that surround them, like gentrification and the impending climate apocalypse. There’s a universal resonance to songs like “Concerning Peace,” which takes its hook from a sample of Stokely Carmichael, but Special Interest’s music isn’t just a call to action. Biting humour and irreverence intermingle with harsh edges of noise, and there’s always room to dance and sweat. Within the world of Special Interest, a four on the floor can bring together not just a group of individuals, but disparate styles and sounds into a solid whole.

 

That duality is embodied by the final lyrics of “L.A. Blues,” an extended opus from a group often known for brief blasts: “The end of the world is just a destination that I had to grow to love.” Those lines reinforce the album’s call to endure, as so many of us fight and struggle to endure in a frequently unwelcoming world. But there’s also a second meaning, as New Orleans residents might know “The End of the World” as a makeshift park that overlooks the Mississippi River. Even as their music transcends borders and adapts into new styles and forms, Special Interest is rooted in a sense of time and place, truly capturing what it feels like to exist in this moment. Just as much as any single musician, the group exists because of the dancing bodies in the crowd, striving to become a truly living collective that dissolves the barrier between performer and listener. Special Interest and their spectrum of sounds is the result of organic connection not just between four artists, but between those four artists and the world around them.

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BENEFIT SHOW FOR BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS FEAT. YELLOWHOUSE BLUES BAND

DECEMBER 10 @ 3PM | DOORS 2:30PM | UPSTAIRS
DECEMBER 10 @ 7PM | DOORS 6:30PM | UPSTAIRS

Get in the giving spirit with this great blues band.

All Ages

Big Brothers Big Sisters Benefit Concert with the YellowHouse Blues Band!

A nine-piece band with a funky horn section and multiple singers, The YellowHouse Blues Band is a Seacoast based blues band that will perform for you a set of well-known rock and blues songs, putting their own take on them! Known for playing Benefit Concerts to support Big Brothers Big Sisters of NH, they’ve raised over $77,000 to help the children in our community.

Members of the YHBB have performed all over New England at venues including Jimmy’s Jazz & Blues Club, Gillette Stadium, The Music Hall, The Word Barn, The Palace Theater, Vinegar Hill Music Theater, Portland House of Music and Port City Music Hall.

The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters of New Hampshire is to provide children facing adversity with strong, professionally supported, one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. These mentoring relationships change the lives of our children for the better, forever.

Every child needs a mentor. Who was yours?

3PM SHOW7PM SHOW