The sounds of bluegrass and folk music will fill the outdoors on the grounds of the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath on June 11 when the Chocolate Church presents Erica Brown and The Bluegrass Connection.

This marks the third year concerts have been held outside on the grounds of the museum, thanks to a partnership between the museum and the Chocolate Church. Music fans can start bringing their blankets and chairs and spread out along the banks of the Kennebec starting at 5:30 p.m. The show begins at 6 p.m.

Erica Brown and The Bluegrass Connection is a five-piece band featuring some of the finest musicians in New England. A fun and energetic band, they incorporate a unique and diverse blend of original and traditional music from their bluegrass, folk and country influences. Music fans in the Midcoast may remember seeing them perform last year at the Thomas Point Beach Bluegrass Festival in Brunswick.

An award-winning fiddler and singer, Erica’s performance with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra earned high praise from the Bangor Daily News: “Her talent for combining the precision of classical music with the spontaneity of country and bluegrass fiddle makes for a fun-filled performance every time she plays.”

Band members include Erica’s husband, Matt Shipman, who has been performing for many years throughout the United States and Canada. Matt plays the mandolin, guitar and banjo, and loves teaching students of all ages in the Portland home he shares with Erica.

Lincoln Meyers is an award-winning guitarist who has been on the New England music scene for the past 18 years. He has toured with The New England Bluegrass Band, Tony Trischka, April Verch and, most recently, Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen.


Bass player Kris Day has been around the Portland music scene for over 20 years, playing bluegrass, jazz, rockabilly and everything in between. He has toured with rock and roll legends Link Wray, Dale Hawkins, Ronnie Dawson and Joe Clay.

Eli Gilbert, a native of North Yarmouth, plays banjo and teaches at Bates College and North Yarmouth Academy. He has performed with the Bluegrass Pride Band, Jeff Brown and Still Lonesome.

The band’s latest album, “Blue Pine Moon,” has been a hit with fans, critics and musicians. The album contains thoughtful and original songs written by Matt and Erica, plus other songs from the bluegrass tradition.

Tickets are $20 in advance at the Chocolate Church office, 804 Washington St., and $22 the day of the show. For more information, log on to or call 442-8455 Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Maine Maritime Museum is at 243 Washington St. and has ample off-street parking.

Paula McKenney is a volunteer at the Chocolate Church and a retired newspaper editor.

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