Port City Music Hall
Ghostland feat. The Ghost of Paul Revere

State Theatre & 98.9 WCLZ present

Ghostland feat. The Ghost of Paul Revere

Rayland Baxter, Sister Sparrow, The Suitcase Junket, Dominic Lavoie

Sat, August 31, 2019

Doors: 3:30 pm / Show: 4:00 pm

Thompson’s Point

Portland, ME

$40 Advance / $45 Day of Show / $85 Two Day Pass / $120 VIP

This event is all ages

Port City Music Hall 8/30 tickets available only as part of Two-Day Pass.

VIP package includes one Two-Day Pass, entry to VIP area at Thompson's Point, and a merch bundle.

Everything you need to know about Thompson’s Point CLICK HERE

Thompson’s Point has limited on-site parking available (but it’s within walking & biking distance from downtown Portland!) CLICK HERE TO BUY PARKING

Buy tickets in person at the Port City Music Hall box office (504 Congress Street) Wednesday-Friday 10AM-5PM, charge by phone at 800-745-3000, or online right here. Thompson's Point box office will open at 3PM day of show.

The Ghost of Paul Revere
The Ghost of Paul Revere
"We grew up listening to Radiohead and the Beatles and Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd," says Griffin Sherry, guitarist/singer in The Ghost Of Paul Revere. "Everyone assumed we were a bluegrass band because we were playing these traditional instruments, but we weren’t writing traditional music. We were just writing songs with the instruments we had."

The result is a sound that the Portland, Maine-based band describes as "holler folk," not because it involves a lot of hollering, per se, but because it invokes the rich communal tradition of field hollers, with their call-and-response melodies, sing-along hooks, and densely layered harmonies. That sense of musical camaraderie is essential to everything The Ghost of Paul Revere does, and nowhere is it more evident than their sophomore album, ''Monarch.'

The album builds on the success of the band's 2014 debut full-length, 'Believe,' and their 2015 EP, 'Field Notes Vol. 1,' which was recorded primarily in a single day at Converse's Rubber Tracks studio in Boston. The session was part of a prize package presented by the iconic Newport Folk Festival, which had invited the band to perform at the storied Rhode Island musical gathering earlier that year as part of a lineup featuring everyone from James Taylor and Jason Isbell to The Lone Bellow and Bela Fleck.

"The Monday before Newport we got a message saying to pack our bags and come on down," remembers Sherry. "We hadn't played much outside of Maine or started opening for any big acts yet at that point, and it was a hugely inspiring moment."

Word began to spread about the rowdy pickers from the north. The Boston Globe raved that they "create the type of music for which festivals are made," while No Depression said they "prove that superior roots music can come from anywhere," and Dispatch Magazine wrote that they possess not only "the chops, but the heart to reach their audience and leave an undeniable impression." Hitting listeners straight in the feelings has been the band's M.O. since its inception in 2011, and they've used their powerful stage show to convert the masses at every stop along their long and winding journey, which has included shared stages with artists like The Avett Brothers, The Travelin' McCourys, Brown Bird, The Revivalists, the Infamous Stringdusters, and more. The band sold out Port City Music Hall, Stone Mountain Arts Center, and the Strand Theater multiple times, won Best In Maine at the New England Music Awards, and capped off 2015 with an electrifying headline performance on New Year's Eve at Portland's State Theatre in front of 1,600 enraptured fans.

When it came time to record, 'Monarch,' though, the band knew they wanted to push the sonic envelope beyond the live-in-the-studio setup that had guided their previous efforts.

"Every other record has just been the three of us in a room with microphones until we got a take we liked," explains Sherry. "We approached this one differently. It was the first time we did a lot of arranging and writing in the studio. We decided we'd worry about learning how to present the songs live after we'd recorded everything instead of the other way around."

"It enabled us to get a lot more adventurous with our ideas," adds bassist/singer Sean McCarthy. "We wanted to do something new and explore where we could take the sound while still staying true to who we are."

The album opens with "Little Bird," a playful, infectious foot -stomper that blends blues and soul and roots and perfectly reflects the communal, inviting nature of the band's music.

Banjo player Max Davis takes over the songwriting and lead vocal duties for "Avalanche," an emotional anthem featuring one of the album's most lush arrangements along with driving drums from special guest Tony McNaboe (Ray LaMontagne, Rustic Overtones), while "King's Road" finds the band expanding their sonic palette to include strings and electric guitar, and "Honey Please" channels 60's R&B and Motown through old-school folk instrumentation. At the core of everything The Ghost of Paul Revere does, though, are their powerful, stop-you-dead-in -your-tracks harmonies. On songs like "Wild Child," "Welcome Home," and "Need Somebody," the band conjures up whole worlds of shimmering sonic beauty in the blending of their voices.

"The album follows this arc where it starts very bright-eyed and optimistic and then hits a turning point where it gets really dark," says Sherry, "like a relationship that starts beautifully and then grows sour. As we started to build the record and expand the sound, it had a place sonically and emotionally.”

By the end of the record, the song cycle reveals that traveling through the darkness is in fact a necessary step for positive growth. 'Monarch' closer "Chrysalides" evokes the imagery of metamorphosis, a transformation that represents rebirth and new beginnings.

"It's about what happens in that moment of metamorphosis and change," says Davis. "I was interested in combining different words into a new term that could capture that feeling, so 'Chrysalides' is a play on chrysalis. This was one of the first times that I allowed myself to bite into and really take advantage of that space in the writing."

If there's one takeaway from 'Monarch,' it's that change is inevitable. Lovers, families, friends, instruments, sounds; they all transform with time. The key to thriving and surviving in a challenging world is to embrace those transformations, to accept them not as endings but as fresh starts. What comes next? Only time can tell. One thing's for sure, though: by opening their hearts and souls with such artistic grace and humility, The Ghost of Paul Revere have created a rich, rewarding, passionate community, one that they can count on to join them for every step of the remarkable journey that lies ahead.
Rayland Baxter
Rayland Baxter
Thoreau had Walden Pond. Kerouac had Big Sur. Rayland Baxter? He had an old rubber band factory in Franklin, Kentucky, and it suited him just fine. As one of the hardest-touring artists on the road today, Baxter’s spent most of his professional life in transit, but ever since he was a kid, he dreamed of creative seclusion someplace lonely and isolated, somewhere he could sit still and devote his every waking hour to writing without interruption or distraction. When the opportunity finally presented itself in late 2016, the Nashville native pounced.

“I packed everything in my van and moved to Franklin for three months,” says Baxter. “It was the fist time I ever got to be alone and focus solely on songs like that. All I did was write, write, write all day every day. I was obsessed.”

By the time Baxter emerged, he’d penned more than 50 tunes and crafted a detailed blueprint for his spectacular new album, ‘Wide Awake.’ Deftly produced by Butch Walker, the record infuses Baxter’s easygoing, soulful sound with British Invasion melodies and rock and roll swagger, marrying lean, muscular songwriting with adventurous, inventive arrangements. It’s a cutting, insightful collection, one that takes a sardonic view the violence, greed, and division that seem to define the modern American landscape. Rather than point a finger, though, the music holds up a mirror, offering a sober reflection of the times thoughtfully bundled in bright, infectious hooks. There’s no judgment here, only keen observation, and Baxter implicates himself as much as his neighbor through it all.

“This is an album about decision making,” he explains. “It’s about being a human at the crossroads. Do I do good or do I do evil? Do I lie or do I tell the truth? Am I going to be happy or am I going to be sad? All of these questions and emotions are things I see in myself, and they’re the same things I see in everyone else no matter where I go.”

Baxter’s built a career on capturing those sorts of timeless, deeply human sentiments, bringing colorful characters to vivid life with equal parts humor and pathos. His debut album, ‘feathers & fishhooks,’ was a critical hit praised by Interview for its “well-worn maturity,” while NPR described “Yellow Eyes,” the lead single from his 2015 follow-up, ‘Imaginary Man,’ as “close-to-perfect.” Stereogum dubbed the record “an impeccable sophomore break-out,” and Rolling Stone hailed its pairing of “whimsical narrative with often deceptively complex arrangements.” The music earned Baxter festival appearances from Bonnaroo to Newport Folk in addition to tours with an astonishing array of artists, including Jason Isbell, The Lumineers, Kacey Musgraves, The Head and The Heart, Shakey Graves, Lauryn Hill, and Grace Potter.

“The six months leading up to the release of ‘Imaginary Man,’ that was the first time I really started playing electric guitar and performing with a band,” says Baxter. “We did my first headline run and toured that album for a year-and-a-half, and the experience really opened up this whole new sound for me. It helped me figure out more of who I was as an artist and a songwriter and a traveler and a human being.”

It was with that newfound sense of self that Baxter entered Thunder Sound, the abandoned rubber band factory-turned-studio in the cornfields of Kentucky that would become his home for three months of intensive soul searching and songwriting.

“I blanketed the windows so no one could see inside,” he explains. “I laid a mattress down next to an old Wurlitzer so I had somewhere to sleep. I had a guitar, a desk with a lamp and some paper and pencils, and that was it. For fifteen hours a day, I wrote.”

When it came time to record his mountain of new songs, Baxter relocated to Santa Monica, California, where he wrangled an all-star studio band that included Dr. Dog’s Erick Slick on drums, Butch Walker on bass, Cage The Elephant’s Nick Bockrath on guitar, and piano wizard Aaron Embry (Elliott Smith, Brian Eno) on keys. A producer and artist equally at home working with massive pop stars and indie stalwarts, Walker immediately embraced Baxter’s vision for the album, and the result is a sunny and altogether charming collection. Scratch beneath the surface, though, and you’ll find it’s populated by a cast of characters who project a vision of the good life as they struggle to keep it all together behind closed doors. On the punchy ‘Casanova,’ the singer reckons with debts he knows he’ll never be able to repay, while the volatile “Amelia Baker” charts the narrator’s descent into near-madness as he pines for a starlet perpetually out of reach.

“We have this society where we’re obsessed with celebrity and living on the top of the mountain,” says Baxter. “But what’s at the top? Maybe it’s a lonely place to wake up.”

Late 2016 was a particular tumultuous time in the country, and though Baxter did his best to isolate himself from the outside world while he wrote, it was inevitable that some of the chaos would seep in. On album opener “Strange American Dream,” a chiming piano and spare Motown groove give way to lush harmonies and unexpected melodic twists as Baxter sings, “I close my eyes and realize that I’m alive inside this strange American dream.” Meanwhile, the soaring “79 Shiny Revolvers” finds him reflecting, “you really wanna save the world, man / well, I wanna save it, too / we can blow ’em away / the American way.”

While ‘Wide Awake’ offers plenty of broad, wide-angle musings, some of its most arresting moments arrive bundled inside deeply personal memories and snapshots. The heartfelt “Everything To Me” is a tender tribute to family (Baxter’s father Bucky, who played pedal steel with Bob Dylan and Ryan Adams among others, contributes to the record), and the laidback “Let It All Go Man” is a reminder that there’s beauty in simply being alive.

“I actually started that song two years ago on a trip to South America,” says Baxter. “I was sitting on the porch of a house in this little town in Colombia, and I was all alone playing a gut string classical guitar, just staring out at the ocean and the beach in the middle of the night. It made me realize how much unnecessary stuff we hold on to, all the grinding away we do chasing success and money and missing the big picture. It made me realize what an incredibly beautiful gift it is to be human.”

That empty South American beach may have been a world away from the rubber band factory in Kentucky, but for Baxter, the effect was the same. The solitude offered a chance to observe, to reflect, to grow, to appreciate, and most importantly, to write.
Sister Sparrow
Sister Sparrow
For nearly two decades, the Catskill Mountains hid rock ‘n’ roll’s best kept secret. Then one day, singer and songwriter Arleigh Kincheloe said goodbye to her hometown hideaway and moved to New York City to start the hard soul collective, Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds.

“Our music is loud, fun, and it’s supposed to make you feel good,” she declares. “That’s the goal.”

In the years since, the group has performed more than 700 shows and made their national TV debut on NBC’s Today Show. They’ve released three full-length studio albums, including their most recent studio pass, the acclaimed The Weather Below.

“They may be from Brooklyn, but the fiery brass- and gospel-infused funk emanating from Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds is rooted in Memphis soul,” writes the LA Times. “Their rhythmic wheelhouse combines big-city grit and down-home sweetness with a little bit of Americana twang.”

The band has shared the stage with Gov’t Mule, Dr. John, Trombone Shorty, The Avett Brothers, and Galactic and has turned audiences into believers through appearances on the festival circuit at Bonnaroo, Firefly, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Bottle Rock, Forecastle and others.

Ultimately, Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds stand poised to shake up rock ‘n’ roll all around the world. “This all stems back to why I loved performing and singing to begin with,” Arleigh leaves off. “I want to make crowds happy and see them smile and dance. Singing brings me so much joy. I hope our music does the same for everyone.”
The Suitcase Junket
The Suitcase Junket
The latest album from The Suitcase Junket, Mean Dog, Trampoline is populated by characters in various states of reverie: leaning on jukeboxes, loitering on dance floors, lying on the bottoms of empty swimming pools in the sun. Despite being deeply attuned to the chaos of the world, singer/songwriter/ multi-instrumentalist Matt Lorenz imbues those moments with joyful wonder, an endless infatuation with life’s most subtle mysteries. And as its songs alight on everything from Joan Jett to moonshine to runaway kites, Mean Dog, Trampoline makes an undeniable case for infinite curiosity as a potent antidote to jadedness and despair.

Produced by Steve Berlin (Jackie Greene, Rickie Lee Jones, Leo Kottke) of Los Lobos, Mean Dog, Trampoline marks a deliberate departure from the homespun approach of The Suitcase Junket’s previous efforts. In creating the album, Lorenz pulled from a fantastically patchwork sonic palette, shaping his songs with elements of jangly folk, fuzzed-out blues, oddly textured psych-rock. Engineered by Justin Pizzoferrato (Dinosaur Jr., Speedy Ortiz) and mixed by Vance Powell (Jack White, Houndmouth), Mean Dog, Trampoline rightly preserves The Suitcase Junket’s unkempt vitality, but ultimately emerges as his most powerfully direct album so far.

The follow-up to 2017’s Pile Driver, Mean Dog, Trampoline takes its title from a lyric in “Scattered Notes From A First Time Home Buyers Workshop,” a brightly tumbling folk romp built on ramshackle rhythms and jeweled guitar tones. “I found the notes I’d taken during a first-time homebuyers workshop years ago and they were completely incomprehensible, so I decided to put them into a song,” says Lorenz, an Amherst, Massachusetts-based artist who’s made music under the name of The Suitcase Junket since 2009. “Mean dogs and trampolines are two things insurance companies really hate,” he adds.

Throughout Mean Dog, Trampoline, The Suitcase Junket explores everyday dangers of all kinds, infusing each track with his idiosyncratic storytelling and effusive vocal presence. With its restless melodies and tender intensity, the album-opening “High Beams” offers an up-close look at an unsteady romance (sample lyric: “She was pacing like a raging bull /With a heart half full of hurt, half full of doubting/And like everything I thought I had/It turned half bad before I got to think about it”). A more playful reflection on romantic confusion, “Everything I Like” conjures a happily punch-drunk mood from its bouncy groove and Billy Joel references. “It’s about a relationship where you can’t quite understand each other but sometimes there’s a little clarity—like when a song you both love comes on the radio and all of a sudden everything clicks into place and feels fresh and right,” says Lorenz. Elsewhere on Mean Dog, Trampoline, The Suitcase Junket shifts into heavier terrain, with “Dandelion Crown” instilling a warm empathy into its loving and nuanced portrait of addiction. “That song came from thinking about how you can lose control of your life by degrees, until you don’t even recognize yourself anymore,” says Lorenz. “But there’s still a little redemption in there—those moments when things become sweet and clear again, despite the fact that you’re permanently changed as a person.”

From song to song, Mean Dog, Trampoline shows the sharply imaginative musicality that Lorenz’s honed since he was a kid. Growing up in Cavendish, Vermont, he began playing piano at age five, and later took up violin, saxophone, and guitar. During his time at Hampshire College he studied music and adaptive instrument design (a pursuit that included, as Lorenz explains, “building a prototype for a drummer who couldn’t use their legs, where they’d be able to play the bass drum and hi-hat through a system of pulleys”). After college, he headed to Europe on a $150 plane ticket, ran out of money in Barcelona and spent a year playing music in the streets. “That’s where I learned how to sing loud, which got me figuring out what my voice could do,” Lorenz notes. Once he’d returned to Amherst, he formed the band Rusty Belle with his sister Kate and, several years later, started The Suitcase Junket with the aid of a guitar he’d found in a dumpster. “It only sounds good in open tuning, so from the beginning The Suitcase Junket was defined by limitation,” says Lorenz. “The idea was, ‘Well, you can’t play all those fancy chords you used to play, so what are you gonna do now?’”

With its name nodding to Lorenz’s longtime love of collecting old suitcases (including an antique that he’s refurbished into a bass drum) and to a secondary definition of junket (i.e., “a pleasure excursion”), The Suitcase Junket reveals all the warmth and wildness to be found within such limitation. Not only proof of his ingenuity as a songmaker, that improbable richness is ineffably bound to Lorenz’s purposeful fascination—an element he alludes to in discussing one of his most beloved tracks on Mean Dog, Trampoline, the gloriously clattering “Stay Too Long.” “I’m the kind of person who wants to stay around till the very end of whatever’s happening,” Lorenz says of the song’s inspiration. “Whether it’s a party or something else, I always want to know how it ends. Even if it’s probably gonna be a total disaster, I want to be there to see it all.”
Dominic Lavoie
Dominic Lavoie
For more than a decade, Dominic Lavoie has been spreading his unique brand of classic songwriting with shades of the psychedelic as frontman for the acclaimed New England act Dominic and the Lucid. A two-time Portland Phoenix Best Music Poll winner for Best Male Vocalist, Lavoie knows his strength as a singer and has the ability to successfully mix powerful rock & roll, more intimate numbers and personalized versions of songs by Jeff Buckley, the Beatles and more, to offer a performance that is as emotional as it is entertaining.
Venue Information:
Thompson’s Point
1 Thompson's Point
Portland, ME, 04102