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Anni Blog November 1, 2017

Hello to All! The fall foliage is fading big time here in Maine. We were hit by a “mini hurricane” on the AM of Oct 30th, losing power & most of the remaining leaves on the trees (close to where I live, anyway.) Still, this is nothing compared to some of the losses incurred by so many others… I count my blessings every day. As I write, the power finally came back on at my house (Nov 1st, mid-morning)… however, many are without still & may be for quite some time.

At the start of November, I return to 2 fave venues not played in a while: Gather (Yarmouth ME) on November 1st & Elements (Biddeford ME) on November 4th. Both venues are eclectic in their own way… I highly recommend your checking them out if you’ve never been. Singer-songwriter Jud Caswell just started a songwriters’ open mic in Topsham ME & he asked me to feature there on November 16th… THAT will be fun! I continue to play once a month at both Lenny’s (Westbrook ME) & Toddy Brook (N Yarmouth ME.) And FYI, I continue to share my music in many Senior Living Centers & Veterans’ Homes… many of these concerts are for residents only, so I only list the “public” venues below… without furthers, here’s all the news, in this order:

2. TARGET GIGS (Full Details)


Wed, Nov 1 / Gather / Yarmouth ME / 6:30PM
Sat, Nov 4 / Elements Books, Beer & Music / Biddeford ME / 8PM
     (Coffeehouse Vibe… DONATIONS in lieu of door fee)
Thurs, Nov 9 / Lenny’s / Westbrook ME / 7PM
Fri, Nov 10 / Toddy Brook / N Yarmouth ME / 6PM
Thurs, Nov 16 / Wild Duck Pub / Topsham ME / 8PM
     (Open Mic feature, sign up to perform @ 6:45... hosted by Jud Caswell!)
Fri, Dec 1 / JJ’s / Old Orchard Beach ME / 6:30PM
Thurs, Dec 7 / Lenny’s / Westbrook ME / 7PM
Fri, Dec 8 / Toddy Brook / N Yarmouth ME / 6PM

2. TARGET GIGS (Full Details)

WEDNESDAY / NOVEMBER 1st / GATHER / YARMOUTH ME / 6:30PM / 207-847-3250… an upscale yet laid back & earthy place to gather, eat & imbibe in local fare, inclusive of the music they offer. Acoustic nights only happen on the 1st Wednesday of the month now… your support helps to keep the music happening. (Bluegrass Sunday Brunch is still a weekly event, last I heard.) Gather is set in my home town, right there on Main Street near the Rt 1 overpass. This used to be the Masonic Hall way back when… the stage where I performed several times as a much younger self is now an open air kitchen, where tasty, eye appealing menus are created 6 days a week. Reservations can be taken for parties of 6 or more… trust me, this place is always busy… so if you don’t score a reservation, come early to be guaranteed a seat. Here’s the website

SATURDAY / NOVEMBER 4th / ELEMENTS BOOKS, BEER & MUSIC / BIDDEFORD ME / 8PM / 207-710-2011… If you’re a fan of intimate spaces where artist & audience can easily connect, this is the place for you. It is DEFINITELY the place for ME… it’s like performing in a living room with added perks…the food offerings are eclectic & healthy & YES, they have beer & wine. Performers are paid by donations & a percentage of food & bar sales… so bring your friends, eat, drink, sing along & make our collaborative evening a big success… there’s a FULL MOON that night AND clocks go back an hour, so we can stay out later & sleep in! Here’s their website

THURSDAY / NOVEMBER 9th (& DECEMBER 7th) / LENNY’S / WESTBROOK ME / 6PM / 207-591-0117… Lenny’s is on Rt. 302 at the old Al Hawkes Plaza… you know, with the guy out front swinging a tool box? Bill Umbel created this eclectic, down-to-earth venue & named it in honor of the late, great Lenny Breau. So happy to be part of the family here, playing once a month… the vibe pulls you in & hugs you… feels like home. Grab some pals & head over… bring your appetite for food & music both. Here’s a link to Lenny’s

FRIDAY / NOVEMBER 10th (& DECEMBER 8th) / TODDY BROOK GOLF COURSE / N YARMOUTH ME / 6PM / 207-829-5100… EVERY TIME I play here we all have such a great time! I play every 2nd FRIDAY, every month. I’m a Yarmouth native… this spot is just over the town line in N Yarmouth, but it feels like home to me. The food’s great, the view’s inspiring, the people are wicked friendly & my voice floats nicely in this room. You might consider calling in a reservation for dinner… I’ve seen some pretty packed nights in here! Here’s the Toddy Brook website

THURSDAY / NOVEMBER 16th / WILD DUCK PUB / TOPSHAM ME / 8PM / 207-406-2109... My friend & fellow singer-songwriter, Jud Caswell, is just starting up a songwriters’ open mic at this venue, located at 114 Village Drive in Topsham. When I hosted the Writers’ Open Mic at Raoul’s in Portland (ME) from 1995 to 1998, Jud was one of my regular performers. I thought it was kind & thoughtful of him to reach out to me when he began this project… his format is similar to the one I put in place at my open mic. I am honored that the tradition of supporting original music & creating a community among writers lives on. I am sooo excited to be one of the 1st featured performers at this venue! All you songwriters, grab your instruments & come sign up at 6:45PM… music starts with Jud, who goes on for a couple tunes at 7PM… I’ll be on about 8, 8:15 for a 1/2 hour set. SOOO excited! Here’s the link to the Wild Duck Pub

FRIDAY / DECEMBER 1st / JJ’S EATERY / OLD ORCHARD BEACH ME / 6:30PM / 207-934-0222… this is a fave hang for the locals, including yours truly. I play every OTHER 1st Friday & I always arrive with bells on, as they say. JJ’s staff & patrons are really into the holidays, so wear your red & green & come on down with a festive spirit. This is an all ages hang with great food & beverages… a fun spot for sure to celebrate Christmas & New Year’s! I suggest y’all come early & stay late! Here’s their website

THURSDAY / DECEMBER 7th / LENNY’S / WESTBROOK ME / 6PM / 207-591-0117… (see November 9th for details.)

FRIDAY / DECEMBER 8th / TODDY BROOK GOLF COURSE / N YARMOUTH ME / 6PM / 207-829-5100… (see November 10th for details)

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The peace & tranquility I found in early October while on a hiking adventure in the mountains of western Maine seems distant now. The month of October was warmer than usual & our Indian Summer stretched out into weeks of bliss… but we needed rain here. Well, we got that this week… along with major winds, bringing down trees, power lines & transformers everywhere in the state. Some folks are reporting that the outages surpassed the ice storm outages of 1998. WOW. Still, I am thankful that our struggles are tiny in comparison with folks in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico & all through the Caribbean Islands, Mexico… on & on. I will get to sleep in my own bed again tonight, with power back on & familiar things around me… I am blessed.

I feel a tug to remember some wonderful moments in October to help steer me bright-eyed into November… Eric & I hiked about 35 miles during our week long trek, driving almost 800 miles from start to finish as we searched for the best 360 degree views from the tallest summits along our journey. We hiked in Evans Notch, Grafton Notch, Oquossoc, Rangeley & Moosehead Lake areas… we had spectacular weather almost every day & enjoyed a full moon over Mooselookmeguntic Lake while staying at the Bald Mountain Camps.

Here are a couple of my favorite visual memories:

“View of Rangeley Lake from Bald Mountain in Oquossoc Maine”

“Sunset on Mooselookmeguntic Lake in Maine”

To round out the soulful moments of October, I shared a special concert evening with pals Lynn Deeves & Dan Merrill on October 28th… having not performed together as “under the song tree” for almost 10 years, we still came together on stage in a natural, harmonious, sometimes comical (on purpose… mostly)… fashion that brought goosebumps & smiles all around. It was as if we had never stopped playing the songs that we recorded LIVE in February 2001! Unbelievable… it was hard to go to sleep after that show… I was wound up from it for days. Among many highlights that night, this song, co-written by the 3 of us, was captured LIVE by Dan’s wife, Belinda:

YouTube Video Link

It’s a tad surreal that less than 48 hours after we sang this song, we were hit by a nasty storm that created struggles for so many. The lyrics ring true:

“I need your love to save me from the storm
Just a gentle touch when I’m tired and worn
Will I find you there?
Will you hear my prayer?
I need your love to save me from the storm”

I will remember the best of October when I look back on it… & I pray that all of you find that gentle touch & the love you need when things get rough… & that you are able to remember the most soulful moments when the struggles want to pull you down. I remain ever thankful for your willingness to tune into my ramblings… musical, whimsical or literal… thanks for being there. May we all find many things to be thankful for this coming Thanksgiving & into the months ahead.


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16 - CANCELED - Wild Duck Pub - Topsham ME - 8PM - 207-406-2109
     featuring at Jud Caswell’s songwriters'’ open mic;
     sign up to perform at 6:45PM

     open mic postponed while Jud searches for a new venue!”

1 - JJ’s - Old Orchard Beach ME - 6:30PM - 207-934-0222
7 - Lenny’s - Westbrook ME - 6:30PM - 207-391-0177
8 - Toddy Brook - N Yarmouth ME - 6:30PM - 207-829-5100

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