Westbrook Shines Light on Local Music Creating the Rudy Vallee Summer Concert Series
Discover Downtown Westbrook in conjunction with the City of Westbrook and Mayor, Michael Foley created a one of a kind summer concert series. With this being a year of pandemic and COVID-19, we were not actually sure how this event would come together.
This past summer, we completed 4 successful music events that ended recently in September. After 4 weeks, we are happy to say that we think it was a success.
Navigating COVID, the power issues, the stage, and social distancing tables were a lot. A core group of dedicated DDW volunteers combined with James Tranchemontagne of the Frog & Turtle and Mayor Foley provided the muscle to make this a reality.
This is important for music and culture and it is really amazing that the people in Westbrook cared enough to make this happen. Musicians were hit hard by the pandemic and had no place to play music.
There was no way to earn any money to keep promoting their craft. Westbrook provided a platform to begin making this a reality. We hope to improve the event in the future and make it a regular thing in the summer of 2021.
The location for the summer concert series was just off Main Street in between the Frog & Turtle and Portland Pie. People could either elect to book a table at no cost or eat outside at Portland Pie or Frog and Turtle.
Almost all tables were booked prior to each event. We will be working diligently to make the event even better for next year. We were just happy to be able to help musicians and provide fun for the community at the same time.
The Fabulous El Grande
The first event was kicked off on August 12 with the fabulous El Grande. If you have not seen this band you are missing out.
They perform all-original music. Their performance is tight and their energy is high.
A fixture in the talented Portland, Maine music scene, El Grande has been playing shows throughout the northeast for the past decade, winning over ska purists and skeptics of the punk scene. The group delivers high energy concerts and tight songs in their live performances, always proving to be memorable and unpredictable.
Combining muscular vocals and lyrics that touch on personal triumph, relationships, and social messages that speak to everyday people, El Grande’s songs range from fast, upbeat soul shouting ska to crooning rocksteady and lovers rock reggae. The band’s diverse sound combines early 2-tone rhythms and third-wave ska to produce a big sound and prominent horn section melodies.
August 19 with The Grumps!
For the second event, we went in a different direction and had “The Grumps” perform. The Grumps is an engaging and unique band based in and around Portland, ME.
Since their inception in 2002, The Grumps have been entertaining audiences with relentless fervor unrivaled by most acts touring today. Building their following from just family and friends, and the growing fan base that has enjoyed and appreciated the band’s hard work and dedication, The Grumps have seen the enormous benefits of performing more than 1000 shows since the beginning!
Lincoln Continental by Request!
August 26 marked the entrance of Lincoln Continental. People in Westbrook seem to really like this band.
Lincoln Continental was formed out of sheer desperation after a band unexpectedly canceled a Saturday night gig at Portland’s late, lamented Bramhall Pub, where Linc was one of the hosts of the pub’s Friday night open mics.
Bartender and booker Leigh Currier suggested Linc do it, provided he could round up someone else to do it with him, suggesting he ask Bill. Linc and Bill would play at the open mic together, so it was a natural fit.
They began performing as Lincoln Continental, an acoustic duo. Kelley’s wonderful voice was added to the mix eventually, giving the group an added vocal weapon to unleash.
Pete is no stranger to Portland’s music scene (and certainly not to fans of The Kopterz). Charlie is the bassist (the word is you’re not really a fan of a band unless you know who the bass player is), and he’s got his own band, The Loose Screws.
They have been brandishing their brand of party rock for years. He’s also played with The Lost Chairs. Together, Pete and Charlie provide a solid and soulful foundation for the band to stand on.
Bonnie Edwards Comes to Westbrook!
The last event was in September with Bonnie Edwards & The Practical Cats. These seasoned musicians lay down a groove!
With her gutsy vocal style and dynamic stage presence, Bonnie puts her heart and soul in each performance. The Cats provide their unique style of blues, jump swing, jazz, vintage r&b, and original music.
We are so grateful to all the musicians that played during our Concert Series and can’t wait to make the most out of this event again next year!