Buck Curran. Photo by David James Logan

Guitarist, singer and, more recently, pianist Buck Curran is playing a pair of shows this weekend that mark a sort of homecoming for the former Maine musician who moved to Bergamo, Italy, about eight years ago.

He’ll also be reuniting with his former Arborea bandmate, and former wife, Shanti Deschaine for a couple of songs at the Lewiston show.

Although Lewiston native Deschaine is responsible for initially bringing Curran to Maine, his life as a musician started long before their relationship and is still going strong after. When he talks about his songwriting method, it’s apparent why it’s always been so central to his being.

“A lot of my music comes into my mind, then I have to find it on the instrument. I see it in a visual way and I have to translate it,” Curran said last week while on a tour stop in Virginia.

The most recent result is Curran’s 2020 album “No Love Is Sorrow,” a collection of a dozen songs, some instrumental and some with vocals. Topics range from the possible haunting of the house he still owns in Lewiston to the passing of his grandmother, Marie, just before the pandemic started. Curran’s guitar work is intricate and hypnotic while also sounding intimate and deeply personal. His vocals are calm and low, yet the emotion comes through on songs like “Odissea” and “Ghost on the Hill.” The instrumental track “War Behind the Sun” is dark and brooding as an electric guitar first soothes, then cuts like a sword before coming back to gentle terrain.

Born on a military base in Cocoa Beach, Florida, Curran was raised in Detroit and then moved with his family to Ohio when his father, who served in the Navy during the Vietnam War, got a job there.


Curran grew up listening to his parents’ record collection, which included artists like John Williams, The O’Jay’s, Tim Buckley and early Bee Gees. “I loved everything, but I was super fascinated by the idea of an acoustic guitar,” said Curran, who started borrowing his dad’s instrument when he was about 12.

Following in his father’s footsteps, Curran joined the Navy and ended up in Norfolk, Virginia, where he met his ex-wife. They moved to Deschaine’s hometown of Lewiston in 1999 and formed the ethereal, psychedelic folk duo Arborea.

I’m a huge fan of the 2013 Arborea album “Fortress of the Sun.” It’s home to the track “Daughters of Man,” which was used in the trailer of the 2015 film “Into the Forest.” Four albums came before it, and the duo toured extensively around the U.S. and Europe. The couple divorced in 2015 and Curran has since remarried, but the two remain friends.

Through years of European tours, Curran had made some friends overseas, so when he and Deschaine divorced, he took the opportunity to travel and lived in Bern, Switzerland. Subsequently, Curran reached out to a friend in Italy and moved to Bergamo, where he still lives. It was there that he met his current wife, also a musician who performs under the name Adele H. The couple has two small children, and Curran has two adult ones from his previous marriage.

As for speaking Italian, Curran says that process has been slow, but luckily for him, everyone speaks the international language of music.

Buck Curran, Liam Grant and E. Jason Gibbs
7:30 p.m. Saturday. Mayo Street Arts, 10 Mayo St., Portland, $15 in advance, $18 at the door, $22 preferred seating, pay-what-you-can seats available. mayostreetarts.org

Buck Curran & Liam Grant, with special guests Shanti Deschaine and Hiroya Miura
2 p.m. Sunday. LA Arts, 168 Lisbon St., Lewiston, $15. laarts.org

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