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Anni Blog December 1, 2017

Hello to All! My December Blog will be shorter than most… much to do & just home from a trip to Baltimore. I have mostly local gigs ahead, planned that way on purpose with the potential for New England weathah comin’ in. My days of white knuckle white out drivin’ are numbered I hope… perhaps none in my future, but it’s way too soon to say. December kicks off at JJ’s in Old Orchard Beach & I continue to do monthly shows at both Lenny’s (Westbrook) & Toddy Brook (N Yarmouth)… these are all fab places to bring friends out for holiday hook ups, so keep them on your “go to” radar as December unfolds.

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)


Fri, Dec 1 / JJ’s / Old Orchard Beach ME / 6:30PM
Thurs, Dec 7 / Lenny’s / Westbrook ME / 6:30PM
Fri, Dec 8 / Toddy Brook / N Yarmouth ME / 6PM
Thurs, Jan 11 / Lenny’s / Westbrook ME / 6:30PM
Fri, Jan 12 / Toddy Brook / N Yarmouth ME / 6PM

2. TARGET GIGS (Full Details)

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 (& JANUARY 11th) / LENNY’S / WESTBROOK ME / 6:30PM / 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 / DECEMBER 8th (& JANUARY 12th) / 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 / JANUARY 11th / LENNY’S / WESTBROOK ME / 6:30PM / 207-591-0117… (see December 7th for details.)

FRIDAY / JANUARY 12th / TODDY BROOK GOLF COURSE / N YARMOUTH ME / 6PM / 207-829-5100… (see December 8th for details)

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Every once in a while you meet a person who stands out as rare & special… somebody you meet through what feels like divine intervention… right time, right place. If you’re like me, you know in an instant that this person will be someone that you will see again, someone you will spend quality time with when you can.

And so it was when I met Greg Voelker on a little island called Culebra in 2008. Culebra is a Puerto Rican island, about half the size of Nantucket & about 20 minutes from San Juan by plane. My pal Danielle (Dani to me) & I had decided we needed an April get away that year & we found our way to this place at the recommendation of a friend. Within maybe an hour or two of landing, we met Greg at a local hang called the Dinghy Dock… this became one of our fave spots (among many others.) Greg took us in under his wing in many respects… he introduced us to a lot of the locals & he hooked us up with the music scene there. On our second night, he got us out on the water in his sail boat to soak in the full moon as we had never seen it. He took time off to find us at the end of each day to get us to the best places to watch the sun set. He drove us to places on the island we never would have experienced without him. He showed up at our bungalow with fresh fish & veggies & cooked them for us on our grill out by the water. We laughed a lot! We shared a lot of special moments.

We became known as Dani & Anni by the locals. When we showed up again in April 2009 & 2010, Greg picked us up at the airport & took us right to the beach to get wet & rejuvenated. I had gigs there those two years & had a ball sharing my music & meeting people from all over the world. We went snorkeling, caught & ate conch, went night swimming in the middle of the sea with glowing phosphorescence all around… (“its like swimming with Tinkerbell!”) We ate yummy local fare & danced to the kettle drums under the moon & stars… we lay on the dock watching meteor showers (or at least looking for them.) If Greg wasn’t right there beside us sharing each of these memories, you can bet he was the catalyst in getting us there.

As life would have it, we didn’t get back to Culebra after 2010. I stayed in touch with Greg, though. He came to Maine a couple times & I got to see him in my own back yard. When the hurricanes first plowed through the Caribbean earlier this year, I reached out to find him to see if he was all right. It took a while to connect, as power & cell phone service was down. When we finally spoke, he told me he had been diagnosed with lung cancer & he was seeking treatment in San Juan… which became impossible when Puerto Rico proper was so heavily damaged after yet another storm. With determination & a lot of patience, Greg made his way to Baltimore to be with his son, where treatment was more available & he could be near family.

Dani & Anni just got back from visiting Greg in Baltimore over the Thanksgiving holiday. Dani flew from Toronto, I flew down from Maine. It was a no-brainer to go. Holiday travel being what it is, it wasn’t cheap or easy, but it was worth all of it & more. We got to hang out & laugh with Greg & talk about all the cool moments we shared. We caught up on news of Culebra… a lot of the people we hung out with are now dead or gone from the island. It can never be what it was when we were there… but the memories are priceless & remain with us always. Greg is in pain & doing what he can to just live day to day… but ever thankful for friends & family. He is sometimes sparkling with the piss & vinegar he always had & I am thankful I got to bask in the glow of that again. Here’s a picture taken on Thanksgiving evening at Greg’s son’s home… (Greg Jr.)

“Thankful on Thanksgiving for time spent with Greg in Baltimore”

With Thanksgiving behind & Christmas ahead, my hopes are that all of you find ways to spend quality time with rare & special people, be they friends, family or somebody you meet as if by divine intervention. Take time to bask in their glow & carry it with you. I’m still smiling from our trip to Baltimore & I’ll carry these memories with me into 2018 & beyond. I’ll watch for you as I journey on. Thanks always for tuning in…


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7 - Lenny’s - Westbrook ME - 6:30PM - 207-391-0177
8 - Toddy Brook - N Yarmouth ME - 6:30PM - 207-829-5100


11 - Lenny’s - Westbrook ME - 6:30PM
12 - Toddy Brook - N Yarmouth ME - 6PM

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