March 18, 2010

The Night Is Young


— By . PONTI

I can't feel sad, 'cause two out of three ain't bad. CAKE put on a fantabulous show last Wednesday night, and Erin McKeown was her usual sparkling self on Saturday night.

But by the time Sunday night rolled around, this kid was down for the count. I know I missed a fine performance by longtime favorite Suzanne Vega at the State Street Church, but I needed the extra 40 winks. It's a sad state of affairs, though, when I'm choosing a winter's nap over a live show. I'm so lame, I probably think this song is about me!

That doesn't mean I'm not going to send you all to a bunch of shows this week, because I most certainly am, Sara Cox and Kate Schrock, to name two notables. Just nap as needed, go easy on the spiked egg nog and you'll be fine. Tie in some shopping while you're at it, in keeping with my local-music-makes-great-gifts theme.

I'm also sending you to see a woman who qualifies for two awards this year in my book: with a superb CD called ''Big Dream Boulevard'' and by virtue of having the trickiest name to pronounce I've come across in some time. Her name is Antje Duvekot, and I'll tell you how to pronounce it below.

There's also the world's longest lineup of local acts playing at the Big Easy on Friday night, and a stocking full of other shows I'm gonna put on your radar.

OK, so let's start with how to say it correctly. Her first name is Antje (AUNT-yuh), and her last name is Duvekot (DOO-va-kot).

The Boston Globe named her debut record ''Big Dream Boulevard'' (Black Wolf Records) the No. 1 folk album of 2006. I just became hip to it a few months ago and can appreciate where the Globe's coming from. German-born Duvekot spent much of 2006 on the road playing solo and opening for Ellis Paul, Cheryl Wheeler, Indigo Girls, Vance Gilbert and Eddie from Ohio. This year she hasn't slowed down, logging miles and miles around the county.

Celtic-music super group Solas' founder Seamus Egan recently released a compilation album of works by contemporary songwriters. The song that was singled out more than any other wasn't a Dylan cover or a Tom Waits song or, for that matter, a Nick Drake one. Nope, it was a song by Antje Duvekot.

Egan was so enamored, he produced her full-length album. Another big fan of Duvekot is Ellis Paul, who not only sings on the record but also released it on his Black Wolf label. So why all the fuss? Duvekot has a lyrical intelligence that merges seamlessly with a bold yet emotionally provocative voice. Visit and take a listen to ''Go Now,'' ''Dandelion,'' or ''Judas,'' and you'll catch my drift.

Her music is bewitching and acutely poignant.

Antje Duvekot, 8 tonight, One Longfellow Square, tickets $12 in advance, $15 at the door, 761-1757 or visit

WCYY continues its Holiday Bizarre series with a list of local bands as long as the Mississippi River. I've just named the event Falalapalooza. OK, maybe not. Anyway, here's the too-good-to-be-true list of artists: Brzowski & DJ Gray Matter, Jeff Beam & Friends, Billy Lobby, Roy Davis, Highway Jackson, Sidecar Radio, Twisted Roots, Meantone, Jake Roche of Jeremiah Freed, Jaye Drew & A Moving Train, Pete Kilpatrick, Cambiata, Cosades, Headstart, the Leftovers, Covered in Bees, Esperanza, and Dominic & the Lucid.

Not sure about the partridge in a pear tree, but I think we'll be just fine without it. By the way, this year's Home for the Holidays show will help raise money for the Center for Grieving Children.

WCYY's Home for the Holidays, 9 p.m. Friday, Big Easy, 21+, call 871-8817 for cover

Let the mesmerizing sound of klezmer music, courtesy of Portland's own Casco Bay Tummlers, light up the Hanukkah season with a Saturday night performance.

In addition to the traditional klezmer sound, the Tummlers explore related music from places such as Macedonia, Greece and Serbia.

The Tummlers have been playing together for more than two decades and have made their way around Eastern Europe and, of course, all over Maine. Steve Gruverman breathes ethnic dance music into his clarinet, and Carl Dimow has created a unique klezmer flute sound. You'll hear rich vocals and bass from Julie Goell, and Nancy Hoffman shines on the accordion and vocals. Rounding out the quintet is drummer Hayes Porterfield. Zip over to for more info.

Casco Bay Tummlers, 8 p.m. Saturday, One Longfellow Square, $12, 761-1757,

High on my Top 10 list of favorite records this year is ''Crowded Is the New Lonely'' from Sara Cox. She'll be playing her last show of 2007 Friday night at the North Star Café. That's all you need to know.

But wait, there's more. ALSO playing are singer-songwriters Vanessa Torres AND Megan Jo Wilson. All three will do solo sets, but they'll also sing together.

The North Star Café, although a wonderful venue, isn't Gillette Stadium, so get there early so you can be sure to snag a seat.

Sara Cox, Vanessa Torres, Megan Jo Wilson, 8 p.m. Friday, North Star Café, $5

Along with her sister-in-law Sara Cox, Kate Schrock's 2007 release ''Invocation'' is high on my list of all-time favorites, and I'm not just talking about local music. So if you live in the midcoast area, or live there on TV, head to one of my favorite little towns, Damariscotta, on Saturday night.

Schrock will be joined by guitarist Jeff Rojo and trumpeter/drummer Marc Chillemi for a show at the Lincoln Theater, ticket proceeds going to the renovation fund for said theater. Be sure to request ''Rebel's Eye,'' and ''Carolina Hurricane.''

Kate Schrock Trio, 8 p.m. Saturday, Lincoln Theater, Damariscotta, 563-3424,, $15, or $12 in advance at the Maine Coast Book Shop on Main Street in Damariscotta

Aimsel Ponti is a Portland freelance writer. She can be contacted at:

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