Kyle Lamont Photo by Scott Chaffee

Kyle Lamont spent a little over a year doing interviews, seeing shows and visiting venues to prepare for the launch of her podcast all about live music in March. Then all of a sudden, live music didn’t exist.

“It was way too tumultuous to release a podcast about the world of live music, especially while venues were and are still suffering,” said Lamont, who added that was it was also tricky to create a marketing plan around something so delicate. So, she waited until June and dropped all 15 episodes of Season 1 at once. Season 2 launched on Jan. 19 with new episodes rolling out on Tuesdays.

Concert Cast is a comprehensive and entertaining field guide to the live music experience, served up in 20- to 35-minute episodes. It features interviews with local musicians, like Angelikah Fahray and Ben Cosgrove, and explores Maine venues, including Eureka Hall in Stockholm, The Pickled Wrinkle in Prospect Harbor and State Theatre in Portland.

Each episode is engaging, informative and bursting with enthusiasm about everything music-related. During an episode recorded at the King Pine Room at Sugarloaf, Lamont chatted with the band Ghost of Paul Revere and shared some theories about the origins of artist dressing rooms being referred to as green rooms. One possibility was that they were filled with plants that lent moisture to singers’ voices, she said she discovered in her online research.

In another episode of Concert Cast, you’ll find Lamont in Belfast during the two-day All Roads Music Festival of 2019. Her attention to detail is acute as she describes wiping away the “web of ocean mist that’s caught in my eyelashes” and walking up Belfast’s Main Street which she says feels like being inside a postcard with its pre-Civil War architecture. Lamont meets up with the festival’s director, Meg Shorette, and the two chat vibrantly about their love of Belfast and their even bigger love for live music.

Lamont lives in the Down East town of Sullivan, and her studio is in Ellsworth. Her childhood was spent in Maine, as well as Phoenix, Arizona. In high school, the Maine Community Foundation awarded Lamont a four-year Guy P. Gannett scholarship for journalism, and she graduated from the University of Missouri where she majored in English. She also wrote for the college newspaper and interned and later worked at the ABC affiliate news station where she produced, wrote, edited and filmed segments. She also worked at a local music venue called The Blue Note which was her foray into the world of concerts and touring. After graduation, Lamont spent time living in New York City, North Carolina and overseas in Amsterdam. She considers the road her home, but also refers to herself as a “bona-fide boomeranger.”

Kyle Lamont working on her podcast. Photo by Amanda Whitegiver

Lamont is the creative director and owner of Good To Go Studios, a boutique production agency in Ellsworth that specializes in commercials, short films and podcasts. Before the COVID-induced lockdown, she was traveling for work to places like Romania to all over the U.S., including San Francisco, New York City, Seattle and Salt Lake City.

Lamont originally wanted to do a filmed series about concert culture, but the overhead costs and limitations steered her toward the world of podcasting. She soon found it was an effective way to share her love for traveling the state to see live music. “It’s a chance for me to create a shared experience. With a podcast, people are able to sink into the episode, they’re not scrolling or distracted. People commit to listening, and people listen with their heart and imagination.”

I’ve long wondered about the ins and outs of podcasting and Lamont broke it down succinctly. “Starting a podcast is actually accessible and affordable, which is one reason we are seeing a huge increase in shows. Keeping a podcast on air is another story. It’s all about the hats and how quickly you can pass them off.” Lamont also said financing is essential and that sponsorship dollars translate to being able to expand the team with writers, editors, producers and hosts. “A team means more creative brain power to create great content quicker. Personally, the production side is a natural fit for me, and my biggest challenge is getting the podcast in front of the right ears.”

Lamont wouldn’t say how many listeners she has, but said she knows that most of her audience listens all the way through episodes, which she said is “very encouraging.”

So how did Lamont get into live music in the first place? It started with an MC Hammer and Salt-N-Pepa concert in Phoenix when she was 8 years old. “I was with my parents, and I remember dancing on top of my seat and being dazzled by the bright costumes and choreography.” About five years later, as an eight grader, her father drove Lamont and some friends from Sullivan to Boston to see Fiona Apple at the Orpheum. “We had balcony seats, and I remember being wowed by the theater. I had never experienced something so grand before.”

The lack of live performances right now has given Lamont a lot to miss – and a lot to say about it.

Kyle Lamont outside The Grand in Ellsworth. Photo by Morgan Look

“Concerts are kinetic. The way they ignite energy before you even get to the show and how that energy stays with you after the show while bragging – or simply working at your desk. I miss that energy, it is so inspiring,” Lamont said. She also spoke of missing the anticipation, the random bathroom conversations with fellow concert goers and feeling the bass throb beneath her feet.

“I miss talking with people under the marquee, especially the one at State, about the show we just saw, and reviewing the performance as if we are sportscasters. I miss the feeling of walking into a venue and knowing that I will be untethered for three hours. I miss disappearing in the music only to come out renewed. So, yeah, I miss the whole live music experience.”

Me too, Kyle, me too. But keeping the podcast going has helped.

“Season 2 of Concert Cast is my way of staying connected, raising awareness and keeping an eye on the future of concert culture. I know my appreciation for what we had and what we will have when concerts come back will be amplified for sure. This medium has been a gift and I only hope that I can continue expanding the vision and growing  the audience! I hope everyone who listens can hear a bit of themself in the show.”

Concert Cast is available wherever you listen to podcasts.

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