This week’s Hippo

Haiti benefit at Milly’s – Local bands come together for a cause

Musicians often disagree on style. Metalheads keep folkies at arm’s length, while folkies scorn rappers, who themselves sneer at some vaguely defined notion of country music.

They’ll all unite around a cause, however. That’s the case this Sunday, March 28, when Milly’s Tavern and Manchester-based Jesus is the Way Ministry Worldwide Missions hold a fundraiser for Haiti earthquake relief.  The all-day show includes pop, rock, metal, acoustic and everything in between.

Hard work pays off – New Hampshire wins big at national country convention

That there aren’t many maple syrup operations in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., is no big surprise.

But for some reason, New England is a hotbed of country music. Once again, a contingency from New Hampshire and Vermont won big at the annual gathering of the North American Country Music Association International earlier this month.

Nite Roundup includes TranScenT, Driving Sideways, Irish comedy, McAllister Drive and a rescheduled Hey Mama show

This Week’s Compass

Beyond

Worth driving out of town

What: The Honey Dewdrops

Where: Starving Artist, 10 West St in Keene

When: Friday, March 26 at 8 PM

Tickets: $5

More: www.thestarvingartistcollective.com or call 352-6900

Distance: 45 Miles

No doubt before Johnny Cash and June Carter went public with their romance, plenty of fans suspected they had more than onstage chemistry.

The same is true of the Honey Dewdrops – Laura Wortman and Kagey Parrish – who perform in Keene tomorrow night. Listening to “If the Sun Will Shine,” the duo’s debut CD, stirs thoughts of milk and honey, peaches and cream and other perfect elemental unions.

They harmonize with comfort, ease and sweetness.  When Wortman croons, “I love to hear his guitar singing … the sweetest song you ever heard,” punctuated by Parrish’s impeccable finger picking, even a casual listener detects something deeper than notes, chords and choruses.

The pair met in a college party band – she sang and he played guitar.  Between Stevie Wonder and Doobie Brothers covers, they connected. Soon were performing together in the same Virginia clubs where the Dave Matthews Band got their start.  In 2008, they beat out five other groups chosen to compete in A Prairie Home Companion’s “People in their Twenties Talent Show” – a sort of slow lane American Idol.

Horizon

Mark your calendar

What: Leo Kottke & Jerry Douglas

Where: Lebanon Opera House

When: Friday, April 16

Tickets: $41/general admission

More: www.lebanonoperahouse.org

*Leo Kottke is a master of 6 and 12 string guitar – his playing defies time and space.  Judging by his command of the lap steel resonator guitar, Jerry Douglas might as well have invented the Dobro. The chance to see these two masters, both synonymous with their instruments, on the same stage is a rare one that should not be missed.

Kottke and Douglas had an opportunity to perform on the same show a few years ago in Colorado. Since then, they have expressed an interest in doing so again.  It is the region’s good fortune that two of a handful of shows will be in New Hampshire (one in Lebanon, the other in Derry) – their first and only appearances together east of the Mississippi.

Kottke doesn’t sing a lot – he once likened his voice to “geese farts on a muggy day” – but he’s a great storyteller and a superlative guitar player.  Douglas is a go-to guy for too many musicians to mention, but it’s worth mentioning that following this tour, he’s heading out on the road with Elvis Costello’s band.

Players

Local Music Spotlight

Who:  Screwtops

What:  Multiple era classic rock

Sounds like: Beatles, Stones, Band

The Screwtops are a regular attraction at Electra Nightclub in West Lebanon, Salt hill Pub in both Lebanon and Newport, Shenanigans in White River Junction and Colatina Exit in Bradford, Vermont.  The band features Charlie Glazer on keyboards, drummer George “Animal” Chris, John Bristol on guitar and Lance Mills, who doubles on bass and guitar. All four members sing, and Mills and Bristol often perform as a duo.

Heavily influenced by the Beatles, early Rolling Stones and 60s-era Motown, the band covers everyone from the Clash to Johnny Cash along with the a growing list of classic rock by artists like the Doors, Stray Cats and Van Morrison.  They bring a surprising freshness to familiar favorites – layered harmonies on their version of CCR’s “Travelin’ Band” give it a Beach Boys feel.  The band’s faithful cover of Dylan’s “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” is also a nice showcase for the Screwtops’ vocal prowess.

Upcoming gigs:

Friday, April 9 – 7:00 p.m. at Colatina Exit, Bradford, VT  (Mills and Bristol duo)

Friday, April 30 – 9:00 p.m. at Salt Hill Pub, Lebanon

Friday, June 4 – 9:00 p.m., Salt Hill Pub, Newport