November 21, 2013

Making Noise: Bounty for the ears: Funk, French, folk, soul and blues

Model Airplane, Joelle Morris and Starlight Cicada are among the wealth of musical choices.

By Aimsel Ponti
News Assistant

Need an infusion of folk, soul and blues? I thought you might. Destination Biddeford for four acts that will get the job done, and in an intimate, perfectly low-lit space no less.

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Elizabeth Spookydawn Taillon, aka Starlight Cicada, will play songs from her new EP, “The Mansion Demos,” at The Oak and the Ax in Biddeford on Friday.

Mia DeGiovanni photo

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Mike O’Hehir and Old Soul are part of a busy lineup in Biddeford Friday.

Courtesy photo

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Turn your radio dial to 102.9 WBLM every Friday at 8:30 a.m. to hear Aimsel Ponti wax poetic about her top live music picks for the week with the Captain and Celeste.

Catch local and national acts performing live at the Press Herald on The Newsroom Sessions video page.

Lewis Lazar is a New York rock and roller originally from Belgium. After his stop in Maine, Lazar will hit the road for a three-week East Coast tour with Mike O’Hehir of Old Soul, who is also on the bill in Biddeford. O’Hehir’s got a folk-rock sound that’s anchored by the kind of soothing voice you want to keep listening to.

But we’re only halfway there music fans. At the very same show you’ll hear roots and blues from none other than Mr. Samuel James. The way he plays his guitar is, well, downright mind-blowing. I’ve been a fan of James for years and if you’ve never seen him perform live, do yourself a favor.

This brings us to Elizabeth Spookydawn Taillon, who performs under the moniker Starlight Cicada. I had never heard of her, but in the blink of an eye, I’ve become a card carrying fan. My fingers almost burst into flames they were flying so fast against the keyboard when I wrote to her asking for a link to her music. Her response came in the nick of time, and next thing you know I was here: loremipsumrecordings.bandcamp. com/album/the-mansion-demos.

Be sure to read Rick Johnson’s full review of the EP. We usually try not to cross wires on the same week, but with the show this weekend and my all-out adoration for the music, I couldn’t help myself. As you’ll read, Johnson is on the same page. Great minds …

The EP is called “The Mansion Demos” and it’s home to five songs. There’s a fullness to Taillon’s voice that reveals itself early on in “Dragon on Eden.” The song is meditative yet acutely emotional with only the gentle caress of Taillon’s electric guitar. In other words, it’s right up my alley. In fact, all of her songs are right out there, unadorned and laid bare for us to hear. Secrets are exchanged, hearts are trod upon, ways are lost and so much more transpires in these songs. I can’t stop listening.

Lewis Lazar, Old Soul, Samuel James and Starlight Cicada, 8 p.m., Friday. The Oak and the Ax, 140 Main St., Suite 107, Biddeford. $10;

WHETHER YOU’RE FLUENT or a hack like me who is haunted by a mean high school teacher, French is a gorgeous language; especially when sung with the mezzo-soprano voice of Joelle Morris. Morris calls Winthrop home but was raised in Evian, France, where she fell in love with legendary chanteuse Edith Piaf.

To mark the 50th year since the world lost Piaf in 1963, Morris and her band will perform a show of her songs. You’ll hear such classics as “Non, je ne regrette rien,” and Piaf’s signature “La Vie en rose.” You’ll also hear some holiday tunes from Morris’ new CD “C’est Noel!” Hear Morris’ lovely rendition of “La Vie” and many others at and then make a plan to see her live.

Joelle Morris, 7:30 p.m. Friday. The Franco Center, 46 Cedar St., Lewiston. $17; $15 for seniors; 

NEED TO GET DOWN before you chow down? Need to revel with friends, relatives and perfect strangers while hearing some of the best funk and soul east of the Mississippi? Need to dance like a total dork and not care? If you answered yes to even one of these questions, have I got a show for you. I give you Model Airplane’s Funksgiving Shakedown. Fronted by Lyle Divinsky, the band means business and they’re serving up a “5-course meal of FUNK y’all!”

Model Airplane’s Funksgiving Shakedown, 8 p.m. Wednesday. Port City Music Hall, 504 Congress St., Portland. $10 in advance; $12 at the door; 18-plus;

Aimsel Ponti can be contacted at 791-6455or at: 

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Additional Photos

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Joelle Morris, who grew up in Evian, France, remembers Edith Piaf with a concert Friday at the Franco Center in Lewiston.

Courtesy photo

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Model Airplane, fronted by Lyle Divinsky, gets funky Wednesday at Port City Music Hall in Portland.

Courtesy photo


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