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Check out what happened when Anni sat in with the Sons Of The Beach at The Brunswick in Old Orchard Beach [here]!

Anni Blog May 2, 2016

Hello to All! On the heels of my Arizona adventure, I was home in Maine for just over 24 hours when I woke to snow on the ground in Old Orchard Beach. It was my first day back at school & I had to fish around in the closet for my mud/snow footwear & trudge off to work with memories of 80 degree days, dry air & blue skies slowly blurring in my consciousness. Ahh well… that’s the nature of things & one’s whining can’t change it. I turned up my inner happy, refocused my AZ memories & let them carry me through the work week. On the last day of April, I played a split bill with fast fingers Jim Gallant at The Wayside Theatre in Dexter (ME) & that got my soul warmed up & confident that spring really is in the air. When I turned my calendar to May, the light within grew even stronger… I have some way cool shows on the horizon… two of these are new venues for me: Toddy Brook in N Yarmouth ME (May 20th - FULL MOON!) & Elements in Biddeford (June 11th - COOL SPOT!) Without furthers, then, here’s the current news in this order:

1. THE MAY / JUNE SHORT LIST (Date, Venue, Time Only)
2. TARGET GIGS FOR MAY & JUNE (Full Details)

1. THE MAY / JUNE SHORT LIST (Date, Venue, Time Only)

FRI, MAY 6 / JJ’s / Old Orchard Beach ME / 6:30PM
FRI, MAY 13 / Ocean Pizza / Old Orchard Beach ME / 7PM
FRI, MAY 20 / Toddy Brook / N Yarmouth ME / 6PM (Full Moon Tunes!)
FRI, JUNE 3 / JJ’s / Old Orchard Beach ME / 7PM
FRI, JUNE 10 / Ocean Pizza / Old Orchard Beach ME / 7PM
SAT, JUNE 11 / Elements Books & Music / Biddeford ME / 8PM
THURS, JUNE 16 / Noble House Inn / Bridgton ME / 6:30PM

2. TARGET GIGS FOR MAY & JUNE (Full Details)

FRIDAY / MAY 6th AND JUNE 3rd / JJ’S EATERY / OLD ORCHARD BEACH ME / 6:30PM / 207-934-0222… This is one of my fave local gigs. I used to play every 1st Friday, but now I’m playin’ every OTHER 1st Friday. Jeannie (the owner) has a lot of very special performers playing here & her calendar needs to make room for all. If I’m not playin’ somewhere, I try to get down to JJ’s to check out the other players. I got snowed out once this winter & rebooked… so the consistency of our scheduling got a bit confusing… I’ll be here on the 1st Fridays of BOTH May & June, then we’ll get back to the every other month strategy. If you’ve not been here yet, I’m scratchin’ my head & shakin’ my finger at you! This is an all ages hang with great food & beverages & a fun, dedicated staff. I suggest y’all come early & stay late! Here’s their [website].

FRIDAY / MAY 13th AND JUNE 10th / OCEAN PIZZA / OLD ORCHARD BEACH ME / 7PM / 207-934-2900... when the temps begin to warm here at the seashore, it’s time to get back to playin’ at Ocean Pizza! It sounds like a little diner thing doesn't it? Yes, there's a take out spot in the front... but the dining room is really warm, woody & comfy, with a bar & music on Friday nights... & GET THIS: the only music allowed is... ORIGINAL MUSIC! Totally cool. Pam, the owner, is a petite fiery lady straight outta Italy with some of her Grandma's best recipes tucked up under her sleeve. This is another splendid specimen of a local family run business with something unique to offer. Here's their [website].

FRIDAY / MAY 20th / TODDY BROOK / N YARMOUTH ME / 6PM / 207-829-5100… FULL MOON TUNES with yours truly… a sweet spot for a full moon gig for sure. This is a Golf Club Venue & Restaurant with a small bar area & lots of windows in the room where I’ll be singin’. If it’s a clear night, we’ll be bathed in white light (& full of piss & vinegah.) You might wanna take some extra vitamins for this one… I have a lot of energy, but on the full moon… I can get even more wound up than usual. I went to a surprise party here a while back & fell in love with the idea of playing some music in this space. All you local folks… this could easily become a reunion night, seein’ as a bunch of us spent our formative years in these pahts. How fun would it be to get all the old neighbahs & schoolmates out for this one? I suspect this will be the perfect medicine for a TGIF Full Moon Night! Check out Toddy Brook [here].

SATURDAY / JUNE 11th / ELEMENTS / BIDDEFORD ME / 8PM / 207-710-2011… I had heard wonderful things about this Bookstore / Cafe / Concert Venue, so I went to check it out when my pal Jim Gallant was performing on a recent Saturday night. LOVED IT, so I made contact with the gal who books the shows & we found a date that works. If you’re a fan of intimate spaces where artist & audience can easily connect, this is the place for you. The food offerings are eclectic & healthy & YES, they have beer & wine. Performers are paid by tips & a percentage of food & bar sales… so bring your friends, eat, drink, sing along & make my debut a big success…. really looking forward to this one! Here’s their [website].

THURSDAY / JUNE 16th / THE NOBLE HOUSE INN CONCERT SERIES / BRIDGTON ME / 6:30PM / 207-647-3733… This is my 2nd (hopefully annual) concert here… we had such a ball last year that I asked to come back. This year’s show falls on what would have been my Mom’s 94th birthday. Her presence will be felt & some song choices will most likely pay tribute to “Lovely Lu.” Cindi Hooper has been doing a fine job of finding an impressive roster of artists from all over the country to perform at this concert series. Word of mouth has spread like wild fire, so I encourage y’all to CALL AHEAD TO BOOK SEATS… the shows sell out frequently. If weather allows (It did last year!) I’ll set up outside on the front porch of the Inn… this allows for more people. So, if it’s a warm & dry June 16th, bring a chair or a blanket, maybe some bug dope & 2 or more of your best friends. Cindi sets up a big table offering tasty treats, beer, wine & other beverages during the concert intermission. Suggested donations are $10 to $15… & here’s Cindi’s [website]. You can e-mail her directly right [here]

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When I got to Tucson on April 14th, I hit the ground runnin’ & didn’t let up ’till I got home on the 25th. For a Maine gal, the warmth of the Arizona sun in April was most welcome, as were all the adventures that lay in store. There was a whole lot of bloomin’ goin’ on… not like the spring bloomin’ in New England, of course. I was especially blown away by the flowering cactus everywhere… so many different shades & colors blossoming from the limbs of cactus of all shapes & sizes. My sister Lucie was in Tucson as well, visiting Kathy (a childhood neighbor & long time family friend)… so the first morning I woke in Tucson, I donned my hiking shoes & met them just after sunrise for a hike up Sebino Canyon. Here, Kathy & her brother James had taken some of my Mom’ ashes… we stopped at this very special place to say hello to Mom, taking note that she is surrounded by babbling water, greenery & the colors of the AZ mountains rising at every turn of the head. Not a bad start to a most memorable vacation.

My friends John & Judi & their son Paul went out of their way to make my gig at the Forty Niners Country Club a stellar event on April 19th. I played outdoors watching the sun set over the Catalina Mountains. A friend of Judi’s snapped this shot of me singing, basking in the glow of that setting Arizona sun.

Singin' in the Light of a Tucson Sunset

The audience that night was most appreciative of my music… I heard lots of positive feedback. Albert, a friend I hadn’t seen in eleven years (since we were both performers at The Balsams Resort in Dixville Notch NH) made this show! It was fun & nostalgic to see him & he enjoyed meeting the people I knew there in Tucson.

I’ll resist the urge to share ALL of my adventures out there… but I’d be remiss in my story telling if I didn’t share this one: I left before sunrise on April 21st, driving a compact rental car, headed for Sedona. I had heard from so many people just how spectacular this place was, so I had to make the 4 hour drive over there from Tucson to see it with my own eyes. When I approached the southern entrance to Oak Creek & Sedona, my heart did a few flips & I had to stop & stand still on the side of the road to take it all in. I’ve been to the Grand Canyon, Zion, Yosemite, Glacier, Yellowstone… many other spots that take my breath away… but there really IS something so different in the kind of beauty that hits your eyes & your gut here… it filled me up & made me giddy… a state of being that held me for the entire time that I was there. Had I more time to spare, I would’ve gladly stayed for far more than the 43 hours I had to do some exploring.

I was there for Earth Day & the Full Moon… I saw the sun set from a high perch up near the Sedona airport, turned around to witness the rising of the moon, then had dinner at the airport restaurant with the moon shining just beyond my table for one. I felt far from alone there… as filled up as I was with the sheer joy of being there & in awe of it all. The next morning I was up & hiking before sunrise, skirting Courthouse Butte as the first rays hit the Red Rocks there. It was quiet, cool & I had this view all to myself:

Sunrise Splash on the Red Rocks of Sedona

Friends of mine from Phoenix met me for a late lunch that day & we drove through some areas I hadn’t touched on yet. They were great tour guides & I saw things I hadn’t seen on foot or when I was the one behind the wheel. We heard some music that night at the Old Sedona Bar & Grill, shared some good food & laughter. I went to bed feeling grateful, but admittedly a little sad that I had to have my rental car back in Tucson by 1PM the next day. I swear, I’ll be back there some day & will allow myself more time to soak in that crazy, yet serene energy that so many feel when they are in Sedona. NOW I know what they are talking about.

Too soon I was boarding a plane bound for New England. With the coming of May, I am smiling with the thoughts of my recent AZ adventures, while at the same time looking forward to the weather warming here. I am a Maine girl at heart & the kind of beauty I am surrounded by in my home state is never lost on me. I am grateful that I see the magic in my own back yard. As awesome as it is to travel to distant lands & experience other special places, coming back home is always a beautiful thing.

Here’s hoping that whatever travel y’all have in store in coming months brings you close to a gig I have on the books. Thanks as always for staying tuned to my ramblings. Be well & I’ll watch for you along the way.


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3 - JJ’s Eatery - Old Orchard Beach ME - 6:30PM - 207-934-0222
10 - Ocean Pizza - Old Orchard Beach ME - 7PM - 207-934-2900
11 - Elements - Biddeford ME - 8PM - 207-710-2011
16 - Noble House Inn- Bridgton ME - 6:30PM - 207-647-3733
     Info & Reservations:
     Outdoors, weather allowing… bring a chair or blanket!

1 - Ocean Pizza - Old Orchard Beach ME - 7PM - 207-934-2900
6 - Gather - Yarmouth ME - 6:30PM - 207-847-3250
11 - All Souls Chapel - Poland Spring Resort ME - 7PM - (Summer Series)
     (Door Fees help The Preservation Society to keep this historic Chapel alive & well…
     Natural reverb, stained glass & magic makes this one of my fave places to sing!!)

14 - Gazebo Music Series - Greenville ME - 7PM - 207-695-2702

5 - JJ’s Eatery - Old Orchard Beach ME - 7PM - 207-934-0222
12 - Ocean Pizza - Old Orchard Beach ME - 7PM - 207-934-2900
15 - Lake Pemaquid Campground - Damariscotta ME - 7:30PM
     (Note: for Campers Only)
16 - Drummore Bay Concert Hall - Phippsburg ME - 7PM
     (Reservations Encouraged… NOT been here yet? OMG! Great Spot!)
26 - The Birches Resort - Rockwood ME - 7PM - 800-825-9453

10 - The Village Coffeehouse - New Gloucester ME - 7:30PM
17 - Swan River House Concerts - W Dennis MA (Cape Cod) - 5:30PM
     RESERVATIONS URGED! ONLY 25 SEATS… $20 includes:
     Apps on the deck @ 5:30; Music 7 to 8:15; Dinner at 8:15… BYOB.
     A Secure Order Page will be set up soon… PayPal, Credit (Cash, Check @ door)
     This is at my friend Linda Cullum’s home; Linda will open with a few songs!

24 - Tillotson Center - Colebrook NH - 7PM
     For tix & info call 603-237-9302 or 603-246-8998
30 - Ocean Pizza - Old Orchard Beach ME - 7PM - 207-934-2900

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