May 12, 2013

North Pond Hermit inspires album by Maine musicians

The six-song soundtrack about the elusive hermit is expected to be released later this month.

By PAUL KOENIG Kennebec Journal

The man known as the North Pond Hermit soon will have a soundtrack immortalizing his tale.

click image to enlarge

In this April 2013 file photo, musician Stan Keach of Rome, Maine. A couple of Maine bands teamed up to produce a six-song album inspired by the North Pond Hermit's story, due to be released on CD later this month.

Staff photo by David Leaming

A couple of Maine bands teamed up to produce a six-song album inspired by the hermit's story, due to be released on CD later this month.

The story of the man who reportedly committed more than 1,000 burglaries while living alone in the woods for 27 years sparked worldwide attention when news of his arrest broke in April.

Christopher T. Knight, 47, was arrested April 4 after allegedly trying to steal food from the Pine Tree Camp in Rome, which serves children and adults with disabilities.

The Half Moon Jug Band and Belgrade Lakes-area musicians Stan Keach and "Barefoot" Dan Simon perform on the album, titled "The North Pond Hermit Sessions."

Troy Bennett, a member of the Half Moon Jug Band living in Portland, posted a video online of himself playing a song about the hermit soon after the arrest.

"Nobody's seen his face in 27 years, since that day in '86 when he up and disappeared," Bennett sings in the video as he strums a banjo.

Keach, of Rome, also posted a video of himself and Simon playing a song he wrote about the hermit around the same time Bennett's tune appeared.

Bennett, a Bangor Daily News staff photographer, said the CD will have both his and Keach's hermit songs, as well as two other songs unrelated to the tale.

"Keach and I became aware of each other on the Internet, and we immediately thought it would be a good idea to put a quick CD out and capitalize on the buzz," Bennett said.

Bennett said he thinks the hermit's story captured the world's interest because people admire the seemingly simple way Knight lived.

"I think people fantasize a little bit -- I know I do -- about being able to unplug," Bennett said. "I'm plugged in 24/7. ... It would be neat to, even for a couple of weeks, get in the woods, unplug and not look at anybody."

 

Paul Koenig can be contacted at 621-5663 or at:

pkoenig@mainetoday.com

 

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