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Aimsel Ponti

Aimsel Ponti is a Content Producer at MaineToday.com and a music writer for MaineToday.com and the Portland Press Herald. She has been obsessed with - and inspired by - music since she listened to Monkees records borrowed from the town library when she was six years old. She bought her first Rolling Stones record at a flea market when she was in 7th grade and discovered David Bowie a year later. She's a HUGE fan of the local music scene and covers it along with national musical happenings in her "Face the Music" column and with artist interviews that appear in print in the Portland Press Herald and online at Mainetoday.com. You'll also find her out and about absorbing live music like a sponge and roaming around local record shops and flea markets. Aimsel is also the host of Music from 207 on 98.9 WCLZ and appears monthly on the WCHS TV show “207” to talk about...music of course.

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Face the Music with Aimsel Ponti
Posted: July 16, 2015

Dustbowl Revival, D. Gross ready to roll out the new tunes

Dustbowl Revival has plans to celebrate “With a Lampshade On” at One Longfellow Square on Thursday.

Dustbowl Revival has plans to celebrate “With a Lampshade On” at One Longfellow Square on Thursday.

You’ll have a foot-stomping revival if you help The Dustbowl Revival celebrate the release of their latest album, “With a Lampshade On.” “Lampshade” is the fourth record from the eight-member band.

Their debut was 2010’s “You Can’t Go Back to the Garden of Eden.” DBR’s sound is a frisky mix of Americana, bluegrass, hot jazz, pre-war blues, Southern soul, New Orleans funk, swing and gospel.

A listening session revealed an array of instruments, including washboard, ukulele, mandolin, fiddle, trumpet, guitar, trombone, bass and drums. Vocalists are Zach Lupetin (he also plays guitar) and Liz Beebe (she plays the washboard and uke).

The first single off the new record is called “Never Had to Go” and the video stars none other than Dick Van Dyke, dancing (at 89!) like there’s no tomorrow.

I am not going to tell you not to wear a lampshade on your head to this show. But if you do, be sure to cut eye-holes so you can see where you’re going.

The Dustbowl Revival with Joe Fletcher, 8 p.m. Thursday. One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland, $14 in advance, $17 day of show. onelongfellowsquare.com

D. Gross will release his new CD, “Juggernaut,” with a party at Blue on Friday. Samuel James and Aleric Nez open.

D. Gross will release his new CD, “Juggernaut,” with a party at Blue on Friday. Samuel James and Aleric Nez open.

PORTLANDER D. GROSS is set to release his third solo album with a Friday night show at Blue. Gross was a member of the Americana band Los Federales for a stretch of time before going solo in 2007.

He’s got a thing for music from Appalachia and the Mississippi Delta. It was a rainy Thursday morning as I listened to “Juggernaut” and although I was at my desk in the newsroom, that was not the scene in my head. I pictured a truck stop diner somewhere far from here with a bottomless cup of coffee and a stack of quarters to feed into the corner jukebox.

The first song selection would be the last track on the album, “The Good Life.” “This is the good life, this is the one. This is where trouble hides from the sun. Here lies redemption for all we done wrong. This is the good life/And it’s here and it’s gone.”

Gross plays the lap steel guitar on this one and the lonesome edge to his vocals is what set the scene for that desolate spot where time stands still and music means everything. “Juggernaut” was created over a 16-month period and on it you’ll hear, besides the lap steel, pedal steel guitar, Hammond B3 organ, Rhodes piano, theremin and accordion, among several other instruments played by Gross and six other area musicians, including Jason Ingalls, Duane Edwards and Samuel James. Speaking of Samuel James, he’ll be opening the show, as will Aleric Nez.

“Juggernaut” gets better with each listening as more of its intricacies are revealed. “Life’s Getting On” floats along at a breezy pace as Gross sings about ” a million things gone right or gone wrong,” the Hammond B3 hums and Todd Hutchisen’s pedal steel steers. The next tune, “Urban Farmboy (Banjo),” is a knee-slapping romp that might elicit a spontaneous do-si-do with whomever is in closest proximity to you. The instrumental tune “Somnambulant” features James on the resonator guitar ensconced with upright bass, pedal steel, Hammond B3 and drums and electric guitar. It would fit in well with an episode of “True Detective” as the credits roll. Got plans for a road trip or do you just need to hang out on the porch looking up at the stars? Or are you looking for a damn good record to add to your collection? Then pick up a copy of “Juggernaut” at Blue on Friday night and become friends with it. And like D. Gross on Facebook for updates on future performances and such.

Here is is performing the song “Hummingbird” last year at One Longfellow Square:

D. Gross CD Release Show, 8 p.m. Friday. Blue, 650 Congress St., Portland. portcityblue.com

More live music coming up

Kacey Musgraves with Andrew Combs
6 p.m. Thursday. The Maine State Pier, Commercial Street, Portland, $19.75 to $45.75. waterfrontconcerts.com
Nashville-based singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves’ record “Same Trailer Different Park” debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart. At the Portland show you can expect to hear the gold-certified single “Merry Go ‘Round” as well as the hits “Blowin’ Smoke,” “Follow Your Arrow” and “Keep It to Yourself.” Her brand-new record is “Pageant Material.”

Steep Canyon Rangers
7:30 p.m. Thursday. The Opera House at Boothbay Harbor, 86 Townsend Ave., $30. boothbayoperahouse.com
In the mood for some original, progressive bluegrass rooted in tradition? Steep Canyon Rangers fit the bill: They’re seasoned musicians known for instrumental wizardry and speed, tight harmonies and for putting on seriously fun shows.

Interpol
8 p.m. Monday. The State Theatre, 609 Congress St., Portland, $28 in advance, $30 day of show. statetheatreportland.com
“El Pintor” is the first record in four years from the rock band Interpol. They formed in 1997 and have gone through a few lineup changes and hiatuses over the years. Their debut full-length record, “Turn on the Bright Lights,” was released in 2002 and the band continues to enjoy critical acclaim with songs including “Slow Hands” and “C’Mere.”

Passion Pit with The Broods
7 p.m. Wednesday. Thompson’s Point, Portland, $36 general admission. statetheatreportland.com
Out of Cambridge, Massachusettes, comes the indietronica act Passion Pit. It formed in 2007 and is made up solely of Michael Angelakos on vocals and keyboard. For the live show he’ll be joined by drummer Chris Hartz, Aaron Harrison Folb on bass and synths, Giuliano Pizzulo on guitars and synths, Pete Cafarella on synths and Ray Suen on guitar and synths. Passion Pit’s debut album, “Manners,” came out in 2009, followed by “Gossamer” in 2012. The latest one, “Kindred,” was released this spring and is home to the singles “Lifted Up,” “Where the Sky Hangs” and “Until We Can’t (Let’s Go).”

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