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We'll help you plan your best summer yet with our annual roundup of can't miss events! Plus we've got a Face the Music interview with vocal powerhouse Josh Groban who is performing in Portland on 6/24. And as always, we'll help you have a terrific weekend with our hand-picked selection of events. Have fun out there!
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.
Music this week(end): Granger Smith, Alison Brown & Waking Windows
Written by: Aimsel Ponti
Granger Smith with Earl Dibbles Jr.
8:30 p.m. Thursday. Asylum, 121 Center St., Portland, $12, 18-plus. portlandasylum.com
With nine albums of material to choose from, country singer-songwriter Granger Smith will light up the night with songs like "Backroad Song" and "City Boy Stuck." His videos have racked up 35 million views on YouTube and his social media following hovers at the 4 million mark. See him live and you just might end up a member of "Yee Yee Nation," the name of Granger's fans.
Alison Brown Quartet
8 p.m. Saturday. The State Street Church, 159 State St., Portland, $36.50. heptunesconcerts.com
Grammy Award-winning winning banjo player Alison Brown has just released her first album in six years. It's called "Song of the Banjo" and guests on it include Indigo Girls, Keb' Mo' and Jake Shimabukuro. Way back when, Brown was a banker who ditched the four walls of corporate America to become a musician and record label owner. "Song of the Banjo" includes a moving cover of Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time" and Burt Bacharach's "I'll Never Fall in Love Again." The title track is a vibrant original that will give listeners a new appreciation for the banjo that Brown plays incredibly well.
Noon to 1 a.m. Saturday. Various locations, downtown Portland,$5 - $10 per show or $20 for day pass. ticketfly.com/event/937115
Here's a way to see more than 50 bands, writers and comics all in one day, all on or around Congress Street in downtown Portland. Waking Windows is a music festival that was born in Winooski, Vermont and has found its way to Maine for the first time. The venues are The Space Gallery, The Bearded Lady's Jewel Box, Empire, Tandem Coffee Roasters, Local Sprouts, Blue, Asylum, Congress Square Park and the Portland House of Music & Events. Acts include Foam Castles, Cuddle Magic, Jacob Augustine, Sunset Heats, Lisa/Liza and about a zillion others. Waking Windows also includes a comedy showcase and a Lit Crawl featuring several writers.
7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle St., Portland, $39.50 - $59.50. porttix.com
She's known for a Celtic blend of pop, folk and world music that has earned her two Grammy nominations and Juno Awards with over 14 million albums sold worldwide. Loreena McKennitt will be joined in performance by longtime collaborators Brian Hughes and Caroline Lavelle for what will surely be a spellbinding night of song.