I’ve got three local shows to tell you about, but first, a quick tale of renewed hope.

I recently had an experience that made me feel a whole lot better about going out to see live music.

Through the last-minute generosity of strangers, a dream trip became affordable, and I went all the way to Mexico to attend Brandi Carlile’s Girls Just Wanna Weekend music festival. I spent five days and four glorious nights seeing some of my absolute favorite acts, and I managed to do this without testing positive for COVID-19. Granted, the performances were all outside but still, I survived two bus rides, two long plane rides and the company of at least 4,000 fellow music fans. All told, I’ve tested four times, and each time I see the negative results, the sigh of relief is profound.

For sure, do what makes you feel comfortable and be aware that if you’re going to step inside a music venue in Maine, you’re more than likely going to have to wear a mask. And if you’re still not ready to see a show in person, no worries because Pete Kilpatrick still does frequent livestreams via his Facebook page, and places like Cadenza in Freeport and Camden Opera House often livestream their shows as well.

But if you’re feeling up for an in-person performance, here are a few upcoming shows for your consideration.

Kate Beever. Photo by Will Wohler, Wohler & Co.



Here’s a chance to have your socks knocked gently but still clear off by a pair of exceptional instrumentalists.

Guitarist Andrew LaVogue released the scintillating EP “Surrounded By The Northern Lights” last year, and I’m giving it a fresh listen as I write this. He plays two guitars masterfully and with just the right amount of effects. More recently, LaVogue released the single “Remember When,” and it too is a captivating composition that is a four-minute showcase of his technique and artistry.

Last year also saw the release of Kate Beever’s “Rewild” album. She’s a lovely singer and maybe you’ll hear her vocals at the Blue show, but even if she plays just instrumental pieces, you’ll love her. Her instrument repertoire includes vibraphone, marimba, drums, piano, tambourine, bass drum and gong, and I suspect several others. You can expect to be mesmerized by both musicians.

6 p.m. Friday. Blue, 650A Congress St., Portland, via donation. portcityblue.com

Anni Clark. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer


Singer-songwriter Anni Clark has been a ray of hope and sensational song crafting for decades. In September of 2020, when the pandemic still had us in a significant chokehold, Clark released the striking album “Will It Ever Be the Same.” The title track asks if we’ll remember each others names or ever laugh again. I can think of no greater testament in musical form of just how painful this pandemic has been from an emotional standpoint.


Listening to the song still makes my heart heavy, and that’s actually its gift, lest any of us ever forget how brutal it’s been. “Can the love we know survive this thing much longer,” sings Clark. Another notable track is “Spring” with airy acoustic guitar and Clark singing about the sweet forgiveness of the season.

February and especially March can be unkind months for some of us, and this song is like a warm breeze. Clark also pays homage to climate activist Greta Thunberg with “I’m With You Greta.” It’s not possible for Clark to put on a show that is anything less than uplifting, so mark your calendar and thank me later.

Thursday, Feb. 24. Lenny’s at Hawke’s Plaza, 1274 Bridgton Road, Westbrook, $10 suggested donation. lennyspub.com

Erica Brown and The Bluegrass Connection. Photo by Honnorway Photography


If you need to be convinced to go see bluegrass fiddler and singer-songwriter Erica Brown and her band The Bluegrass Connection, just throw some headphones and head to ericabrownonline.com and listen to samples of five songs that will make a smile spread across your face.

I continued the Brown exploration on YouTube where I found live clips of “I Wish You Knew” and “Julia Belle.” If you’re even a casual fan of bluegrass, maybe it’s time you see Brown slinging original and traditional tunes live.

7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25. The Annex at Chocolate Church Arts Center, 804 Washington St., Bath, $15 in advance, $18 day of show. chocolatechurcharts.org

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