In a little over two weeks, pitchers and catchers report for spring training. So there’s that.

Meanwhile, Lauren Wayne continues to make the masses smile with her concert bookings, including The Both, featuring Aimee Mann and Ted Leo on April 26 and singer-songwriter Katie Herzig on May 9, both at Port City Music Hall. And let’s not forget that before we know it, Waterfront Concerts’ huge Arcade Fire show will be here. Aug. 20 isn’t as far away as it seems.

On the local, and more timely, front, The Clash of the Titans series, which owns Empire on Wednesday nights, is in full swing. I have Feb. 5 on my calendar because I don’t know if I can miss Cyndi Lauper vs. Kate Bush. Hit for the ticket skinny. Here are a few other shows to shake off the frost.

BLUE IS THE COLOR of the week, at least as far as music is concerned. The venue Blue is hosting three acts, all tonight and all worth venturing out on a pre-weekend night for. These acts are Xenia Dunford, Audrey Ryan and Chris Robley.

Kicking off the night is Xenia Dunford. In 2011 she released a self-titled EP and then another one in 2012 called “Lonely Streets.” Her first full-length album is “His & Hers” and upon listening to the first song, “Rhyme & Reason,” I was a believer. I heard piano, slide guitar, organ and a voice that rose like gasoline-stoked flames.

“All I’ve Got” was next and it was just as good. “I’ve got the time to live a life that’s mine, yeah I’ve got the time to let you know I’m fine. I just breathe then you’ll see that I’m alright,” sings Dunford. Over the course of a Friday morning I listened to the album in its entirety and quite enjoyed the twists and turns through folk, Americana, jazz, country and even a smattering of blues. Head to for an earful.


I’ve been a fan of multi-instrumentalist Audrey Ryan since I heard her “Dishes & Pills” album back in 2007, especially the infectious tune “Later Alligator.” All told, Ryan has recorded four CDs and is working on a new record with fellow musician Will Dailey called “Oh, the Ego.” They’re currently tracking songs so the exact release date has yet to be nailed down. Meanwhile, she’s also got an electronic pop side project called Side Exile.

Ryan toured Ireland last fall and keeps quite busy with gigs around New England, including Maine. At any given show you’ll hear her sing, play guitar, accordion, piano, violin and sometimes even the vibraphone (

Chris Robley moved from the other Portland to this one a few years back and continues to ensconce himself in the music scene here. He’s both a musician and a writer and his music is idiosyncratic pop. Head here, and don’t be in a hurry to leave:

Xenia Dunford, Audrey Ryan and Chris Robley. 9 p.m. Thursday. Blue. 650A Congress St., Portland.

YOU DON’T NEED to be Twinkle Toes Flintstone to hang out at Bayside Bowl, though it sure doesn’t hurt. You also don’t need to speak French, but that doesn’t hurt either. Get ready for French Invasion Saturday.

Britta Pejic continues to be the queen bee of these shows and she and her band will play a mix of her originals and classic French pop. You’ll hear her sing in English and French, so dust off your high school textbook and brush up. Unless you’re haunted, like I am, by a mean teacher, in which case you can just wing it (


V4 is three middle school girls and one boy who play original rock tunes with a few well-chosen covers thrown in. How cool is that? Kids today. I love them.

The Bloomers fuse country with rock and blues. They’re the duo of Pip Walter and Jenny Van West. Check them out here: Wow, what a lovely voice Jenny Van West has.

Britta Pejic et Mauvais Doigt, V4 and The Bloomers. 8 p.m. Saturday. Bayside Bowl, 58 Alder St., Portland. Free.

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

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: