This past Friday there was an air of magic, a feeling of anticipation and a lot of talented musicians about to embark on an angelic journey with their conductor Jacob Augustine. This day marked the release of not 1, but 3 albums. Prolific to say the least, Jacob has not let the bar fall releasing a catalog this large.
Three bands, $10...no questions asked.
Billy Libby opened the night with his soft, subtle compositions adorned with auxiliary instrumentation and thoughtful lyrics. Having recently released his full length album, coming back to Portland was a no brainer. He has friends here, he has a lot of love here...but he has a future in NYC. I had met Billy at Coffee By Design on Washington Ave years ago when I worked at Sunny Breeze (R.I.P.) and had the pleasure to share the stage for Ween vs. Flight of the Conchords. At every turn he is dynamic, friendly and most of all honest performer that won't let you down (and didn't!!). It is a bummer we can't call him "ours" anymore but I do feel that the world is deserving of a good person who can take his great music far.
take a listen here!
This Way, picking up their feet and rolling through high tempos, got my body moving. Jay Basiner has a great presence on stage. Shielded by his guitar, worn with loving beatings it has received, he pounded out a passionate set with the band he, as a singer/songwriter, has integrated with so well. Dave Patterson, Charlie Sichterman, Andrew Martelle and Anna Patterson are integral parts of this whole. Without the gorgeous back-up vocals, the crisp mandolin and tangy fiddle, thumping down-home bass and charging drums this band would not be the favorites they are amongst Maine venues. The support they offered both in fans, friends and kind words for Jacob's CD release was what I love about Portland bands...we look out for each other...we, as a community, support the sacrifice artists make to create our culture - because of that we CAN call it OUR culture.
here is their music - take a chance and explore!
There's not enough words in the English language that can help color my feelings and memories of this night. Jacob Augustine, backed by Dominic and the Lucid, brought forth an immense wall of sound and presence while still maintaining the soft, subtle, personal and introspective tones that makes his music so accessible to a broad audience. With strings, auxiliary percussion, an old pump organ and a ukulele he kept it real and close to the heart. It's real, it's painful, it's beautiful and captivating. I'm in awe that this man, of ominous stature and presence, can have such an angelic voice. It's easy to hear the years of travel, experiences, personal changes, love lost and found and the brooding sense of the future standing there like a sentinel - a fork in the road. When one releases 3 albums there is a lot of material to support and a reality of personal sacrifice to drive these forces forward. Promoting albums is never easy and putting together a standout, once in a year (maybe a lifetime) CD release show is near destructive to the mind...Jacob made this show a perfect extension of his self. I felt it was a very personal and deep show that I can only wish the world had seen - hopefully Jacob will take this show on the road and change some hearts, gain some hearts and hopefully not break any. Thank you Jacob.
Take a listen, make an offer, download his 3 albums here!
Again Jacob, Thank You.
Dylan Verner - Portland Pinhole