If the snow hasn’t melted by the time this hits newstands, I’m moving to Key West and ask that you don’t come looking for me. But with any luck, the dirty snowbanks have retreated, the Red Sox are winning and I’m looking out my window daydreaming about things like the schedule for the L.L. Bean summer concerts and the Alive at Five ones, too.

Believe you me, you’ll know as soon as I do who’s playing where. For now, however, I offer up two Friday night options. DVR the Red Sox/Yankees game and set yourself free on the streets of Portland.


IT WAS A GOOD KIND of sensory overload when I watched and listened to the clip for “Eileen” by The Suitcase Junket. There sat Matt Lorenz, playing his electrified acoustic guitar with a jagged green bottle top as a slide while his feet banged on handmade percussion gear.

In front of him, a vintage microphone into which he sang in a gnarled, bluesy drawl about a woman he wishes gave a damn about … herself. Midway through the song Lorenz does this throat singing thing that riddles the song with stinging nettles. To be clear, I loved it.

Then I listened to “Never Leave, Let Me Be” and was even more intrigued.


Who’s this guy with the handlebar mustache playing on an acoustic guitar while his feet stomp on a pedal contraption that includes a kid’s shoe? And where did he get those awesome yellow shoes? And how does he make those weird whistling sounds? In other words … what the what?

I spent some more time absorbing YouTube clips and then I actually read the press release that was sent to me. Here’s what I learned: Matt Lorenz, aka The Suitcase Junket, is a nationally touring, slide guitar-playing one-man band.

He’s the founding member and main songwriter of the roots-rock trio Rusty Belle and has performed with Chris Smither, Lucius and several others.

Lorenz has released two albums and another one’s coming out soon. He’s a self-taught overtone singer and his music treads into blues, ballads and old-time Appalachian. The Suitcase Junket began with a dumpster salvaged guitar, an old suitcase, hi-hat, washboard and a foot drum fashioned from chair legs and a gas can. Talk about up-cycling!

As for the overtone singing, it has a high whistling tone to it and it fits Lorenz’s overall sound perfectly. This guy’s one cool cat and I hope that he puts Portland on his list of places to visit repeatedly.

The Suitcase Junket. 8 p.m. Friday. Blue. 650A Congress St., Portland. No cover. portcityblue.com



SO HEY, here’s a local music throwback worth your consideration. Sidecar Radio formed back in 2003. Doesn’t that seem like a lifetime ago? They called it quits in 2012, but not before the four-piece rock outfit delivered five releases and tons of live shows. Christian Hayes, Corey Tibbetts, Jason Stewart and Walt Craven, I salute you.

And I also invite all of you, dear music fans, to consider heading to their show for this one-night-only Sidecar Radio reunion. Not only do you get a healthy dose of Sidecar, but you’ll also hear from 6gig and Headstart.

I’m sorry for this pun but I just can’t resist it: You’d be insane not to head to Asylum for this one.

Sidecar Radio with 6gig and Headstart. 9 p.m. Friday. Asylum. 121 Center St., Portland. $7; 21-plus. portlandasylum.com

Aimsel Ponti can be contacted at 791-6455 or at: aponti@pressherald.com


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