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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 News Center Maine TV show “207” to talk about...music of course.

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Blog with Aimsel Ponti
Posted: May 14, 2014

Maia Sharp, Garrison Starr and AG are coming to Maine

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Happy days, people. Winter is but a distant – if not bitter – memory and I’m just about ready to choose this year’s summer toenail color. The seagulls are having babies outside the newsroom windows and each time I go for a lunchtime stroll, I see and hear more musicians busking around the Old Port. Shout out to the horn player near the hot dog guy on Middle Street I heard the other day.

It’s time to shake off the last vestiges of hibernation, put the scrapers in cold storage and roll the windows down as you head out to see some live music.

If Maia Sharp were coming to town, I would definitely go see her. If Garrison Starr were coming to town, I wouldn’t miss it. If AG were coming to town, wild horses couldn’t drag me away. So imagine, if you can, how excited this kid is that all three are coming to town … together.

These three singer-songwriters have released a combined 21 solo records. Sharp has written songs that have been recorded by the likes of Cher, The Dixie Chicks and Bonnie Raitt. Starr has toured with Melissa Etheridge, Sarah McLachlan and Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Steve Earle is a huge fan of hers. You’ve heard songs by AG on “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Gossip Girl” and “One Tree Hill.”

All three of these women have gorgeous and distinct voices, and when they sing together it’s a force to be reckoned with. What’s more, they’ve made a CD together with six acoustic songs reflecting what their live show is like and a new song from all of them. “Anchor Me Down” is the first one they wrote together and it’s my new favorite. The harmonies will slay you faster than any given character on “Game of Thrones.”

I caught up with Sharp, who told me she’s been writing, recording and performing with Starr and AG in various combinations for years, but it was never all of them together until 2012.

“It was a writers-in-the-round-style show, but we were all so familiar with each other’s songs by then that it was easy, and too much fun, to jump in and accompany each other both vocally and instrumentally,” said Sharp.

She added that it was the next natural step to really make a show of it and take it on the road. “After a couple of tours of having only our individual albums at our shows, we knew it was time to make a record as the trio that reflected what people had just seen.”

Sharp told me they’ll have the CD for sale, and consider yourself warned that yours truly will elbow you out of the way to be the first in line to buy it.

An Evening with Maia Sharp, Garrison Starr and AG. 8 p.m. Thursday. One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland. $20; onelongfellowsquare.com

COCKTAIL HOUR STARTS at 7 p.m. for a night of string quartets. Lose yourself in the sounds of musicians from the Maine Chamber Music Festival. You’ll hear violinists Charles Dimmick and Jennifer Elowitch, Stefanie Fong on viola and cellist Jennifer Lucht pull at your heartstrings with their instruments. Their program is “Ramshackle Songs for String Quartet” (2009) by Dan Visconti, “Headshakes for String Quartet” (2010) by Scott Ordway and “John’s Book of Alleged Dances for String Quartet” 1994.

Handshakes, Songs and Dances. 8 p.m. Thursday. The Space Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland. $15; space538.org

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