Why would anybody want to listen to me?

That’s the question podcasters everywhere, including Maine, have to wrestle with. People have seemingly limitless options when it comes to finding something to listen to in their precious free time – music, audio books … and podcasts galore. What a podcast needs to be successful, says Maine native John Lee Dumas, is passion.

Dumas gets more than a million listeners a month for his business-oriented podcast “Entrepreneurs on Fire” and says that while good audio quality and informative and entertaining content are important, passion is crucial.

“You have to love the content as a podcast host because it comes through in your voice, and if you don’t love it, your listeners will pick up on that very quickly,” said Dumas, who grew up in Alfred but works and lives in Puerto Rico. “You must be excited, curious and fired up.”

Maine podcasts are full of passionate voices, including podcasters who seek to inspire, to grow Maine businesses, to tell adventurous tales or to help put toddlers to bed. Some are fired up to promote the local wrestling and comedy scenes, or to talk about nothing and everything with buddies in a basement. The Maine rapper Spose interviews musicians, chefs and anyone he finds interesting on his “The Spose Podcast,” while two chefs at The Great Lost Bear in Portland have turned their free-form discussions about whatever into “The Peanut Butter Podcast.”

Here is sampling of some of the Maine-made podcasts available now, for free, on a variety of platforms, including iTunes and YouTube.


“The Mayan Crystal” is a serialized adventure story set in the jungles of Belize, but created in the more sedate surroundings of the small town of Alfred.

“The Mayan Crystal” is a serialized adventure set in the jungles of Belize.

The series is based on original idea by Fred Greenhalgh, 34, who grew up wanting to be a filmmaker. But while studying film, he fell in love with audio storytelling. For more than a decade, he’s been working from his Alfred studio on audio projects, including an adaption of Joe Hill’s graphic novel “Locke & Key” for Audible.

“The Mayan Crystal” was an idea he got after traveling to Belize. The series, which Greenhalgh helped write and which was produced by Gen-Z Media, follows the adventures of a 12-year-old girl who finds a magic crystal that awakens a long-dormant enemy of the Mayan people. The girl and her sister take it upon themselves to stop the spirit, over nine 20-minute episodes. It was recorded in a New York City studio with actors, a score and sound effects, and it sounds like a movie with no pictures.

The podcast premiered in March, so Greenhalgh doesn’t have download numbers yet. But his previous podcast series, “The Dark Tome,” attracted 30,000 to 50,000 listeners after it was released in 2016. That series is about a teenage girl who finds a book that becomes a portal to other worlds. That series included nationally known South Portland voice actor William Dufris, who was the title voice in “Bob the Builder” cartoons. New episodes of “The Dark Tome” are due out at Halloween.



Martin Grohman of Biddeford says he started “The Grow Maine Show” podcast in 2013 basically because he had successfully started a business – DuraLife Decking – and wanted to help other Mainers do the same. So Grohman, 49, created a show where entrepreneurs and people working on Maine’s economy can share their thoughts.

His shows are about 30 to 40 minutes long, and new episodes come out about every other week. He usually travels to the person he’s interviewing. A recent podcast featured Maddie Purcell of Fyood Kitchen in Portland, a company that puts on cooking competitions, for fun, for groups or individuals. He’s also interviewed Sen. Angus King and the CEOs of Maine companies Clynk and Cianbro. Episodes get 500 to 1,000 listeners each, Grohman said.



“The Spose Podcast” is a way for people to get to know the Maine rapper better.

The Maine rapper Spose started his own podcast, “The Spose Podcast,” in November as a way for people to get to know him a little better than through social media, which is full of people taking jabs at each other or trying to be super hip.

“I’ve always thought social media was an inaccurate representation of my personality,” said Spose, 32, whose real name is Ryan Peters. “And I’ve always been curious about what people are passionate about. As an entrepreneur myself, I’m always asking people ‘How did you do that, and why did it work?’ ”

Some of his guests on the weekly podcast have included fellow musicians, but he’s also interviewed Yarmouth chef Christian Hayes, who recently won on the Food Network cooking competition “Chopped.”

Spose’s podcasts, recorded at the same Sanford studio where he records his music, get about 1,000 listens per episode.



“Story Spectacular” features short stories for young children.

Angela Ferrari of Portland realized the power of her podcast, “Story Spectacular,” after getting an e-message from a young boy in Australia.

“He wanted me to write him a story (for the podcast) about a dinosaur who does yoga. But I thought that was too good an idea to take from him, so I wrote one about a dinosaur in a toy store,” said Ferrari, 31, a children’s author and book illustrator. “I had one story (‘The Shape Escape’) that I decided to make a book out of.”

“Story Spectacular” started in October and features short stories for young children, usually about 10 minutes long, twice a week. About half are Ferrari’s original stories, and half are the re-working of fairy tales or popular stories. The originals are often based on Maine places or people, like “Lawrence the Light House,” about a lighthouse who is afraid of the ocean, or “Dive In” about a shy lobster who works hard to “come out of his shell” at an undersea festival. Ferrari does all the voices, composes the music and records at her home. Each episode gets about 500 downloads, for a total of 6,000 to 8,000 a month.



Bangor City Councilor Ben Sprague, 34, said he started “The Maine Show Podcast” in 2015 because he liked podcasts and was surprised that there weren’t many about Maine. So on his just-about-weekly podcast, he interviews interesting or inspiring Mainers, including police officers, politicians and a nurse who recently returned from working with refugees in Greece. Each episode gets about 1,000 to 1,500 listeners in the first week or two after release. The podcast overall, including past episodes, is downloaded about 3,000 to 5,000 times a month.



Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino of Falmouth started “Best Ever You” in 2008 as a multimedia provider of content about self-help and lifestyle improvement. A couple of years later she started the “Best Ever You Show” podcast with the same aim. Ever since, she’s been recording shows with people from all over the world whose stories might inspire others, including some Mainers.

“The Best Ever You Show” focuses on self-help and lifestyle improvement.

A recent interview was with Win Charles, who was born with cerebral palsy, owns her own jewelry design company, competed in an Ironman triathalon and does motivational speaking. Since she started, Hamilton-Guarino has done more than 430 episodes, which have been downloaded some 2.8 million times, she said.



If you search just a little bit, you can find a Maine-made podcast to suit your tastes. If you want free-form conversations about anything, try “The Peanut Butter Podcast” hosted by Patrick Aden and Brett Spalding, two cooks at the Great Lost Bear in Portland. On an episode featuring Great Lost Bear bartender Andy Pilsbury, the conversation included Dungeons and Dragons, local restaurants, parenting, cell phones’ impact on society and what it’s like to grow up in Maine.

“We, The Academy” is a podcast that “deconstructs popular media through a feminist lens,” hosted by Mackenzie Bartlett of Portland and Sarah Kennedy, a Gorham native living in New York City. The two women in their 20s choose a movie or movies each week and discuss their impact on pop culture and society. Some podcasts covering specific local scenes include “Yeah, But Why?” (Maine comedy) and “The Maine Event Podcast” (Maine and New England wrestling).

On the podcast “What’s With You? Scooby-Doo!” Portland warehouse manager Nic Robes also engages in free-form conversations, but loosely based around discussions of specific episodes of the classic cartoon franchise “Scooby-Doo.”

“Being a big fan of pop-culture and animation, I was baffled that absolutely everyone is familiar with Scooby-Doo to a certain extent,” said Robes, 31. “That means I can use Scooby-Doo as a conversation starter with practically anyone. Thus, the podcast was born.”

Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:


Twitter: @RayRouthier

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