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Aimsel Ponti

Aimsel Ponti is a Content Producer at and a music writer for 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 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 of course.

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Arts & Entertainment with Aimsel Ponti
Posted: July 1, 2015

4 choices for music al fresco in Portland this summer

Sassquatch of Soul Lyle-Divinsky

Sasquatch of Soul Lyle-Divinsky

There’s nothing like hearing music outside. Whether you’re out on a deck with a pint, sprawled on a blanket on a hill by the ocean or out on a patio with pals there’s something extra marvelous about hearing music out in the elements, especially considering that many of us never thought the snowbanks would melt enough for this to happen. And yet, here we are, in July, with summer waiting for us to dive in- head first. To celebrate, this week’s column highlights four live music performances that are happening more or less al fresco. So read on and then soak up the sun, the moon, the scenery and most certainly the music.

He’s affectionately called the Sasquatch of Soul and when he sings, the sound you’ll hear will put you right in orbit. Lyle Divinsky, with his easy smile and huge voice, will be sitting on the dock of the bay every Monday this summer playing his acoustic soul. His repertoire includes originals and classics of the soulful persuasion. Think Bill Withers and Otis Redding. Plus, believe it or not, you haven’t lived until you’ve heard what Divinsky does with Bob Seger’s “We’ve Got Tonight.” Trust me on this.

Lyle Divinsky

6-9 p.m. Thursdays, The Porthole Restaurant & Pub, 20 Custom House Wharf, Portland, no cover,

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

Sometimes he lives here, sometimes he lives in Austin, Texas. But rest assured, Eric Bettencourt is worth seeing no matter where he’s playing. He’s a prolific songwriter, fantastic guitarist and has one of the most distinct voices around there parts. Bettencourt’s latest album is last year’s “An Underwater Dream.” Bettencourt is absolutely sensational live. He’s calling the gigs at Brian Boru “eric b. and the loud funs.” From 5 – 7 p.m. it’ll be a “chill acoustic” set with free BBQ then at 9:30 an electric set kicks in with lots of “jams and engaging covers,’ Bettencourt told me, adding that both sets will include originals.

Eric Bettencourt

5-7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.-1 a.m. Thursdays. Brian Boru, 57 Center St., Portland, no cover, 21-plus,

Here’s a chance to catch some tunes every Wednesday afternoon out on a patio. Singer Rebecca Kingsley and her guitarist Andy Argondizza will be playing super smooth, soulful, grooving and mellow covers, originals, jazz and R&B and other sweet selections. Kinglsey is a New York City based, Portland born Latin/soul/jazz singer who released an album of Dominican style of music known as Bachata as well as one of jazz and R&B originals. I’ve seen Kingsley live and she’s the real deal so do make a point of catching one of these performances. They’ll be happening through August.

Rebecca Kingsley and Andy Argondizza

4:30 – 6 p.m. Wednesday, Portland House of Music & Events, 25 Temple St., Portland, no cover,



In the mood for a jazz, funk afrobeat organ trio? Yeah me too. Especially when said trio is organist Pete Dugas, guitarist Max Cantlin and drummer Chris Sweet. They’re called Micromassé and they are influenced, heavily, by the jazz organ groups of the 50s and 60s. They also have a keen fondness for traditional and contemporary African and Latin music. The fact that they have honed in on such such a distinct sound is impressive all on its own. And I assure you, having seen them a couple of times live, they do what they do incredibly well. Zip on over to and reward yourself by listening to “Tout Le Monde.” Then stay right you are and give “Fero City Shuffle” a spin. Toes will be tapping and you might just take up playing the air organ. Or maybe that’s just me? I’m getting pretty good at it. Micromassé own Wednesday nights at Portland House of Music & Events throughout the summer. Do yourself a favor and catch them at least once this summer.


9 p.m. Wednesdays, Portland House of Music & Events, 25 Temple St., Portland, no cover,

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