2017-04-19 / Arts & Entertainment

‘Songs Beyond Borders’ returns

“Songs Beyond Borders” enters its fifth year featuring Maine and East Coast Canadian songwriters

Heather Pierson, Ashley Condon, Ian Sherwood and Denny Breau. (clockwise from top left) will perform in ‘Songs Beyond Borders.’ Heather Pierson, Ashley Condon, Ian Sherwood and Denny Breau. (clockwise from top left) will perform in ‘Songs Beyond Borders.’ New England Celtic Arts will present Songs Beyond Borders Part I at Green Church Concerts in Mexico Wednesday, April 19, at Old South Congregational Church in Farmington Thursday, April 20 and at the Chocolate Church Arts Center in Bath Friday, April 21. Curtain is at 7 p.m. at all locations other than the Chocolate Church which is 7:30 p.m.

“Songs Beyond Borders” is an ongoing project between New England Celtic Arts, the Maine Arts Commission and the East Coast Music Assoc., to provide a cross cultural exchange with Maine and the Maritimes. Part I will be held in April this year and Part II in late October. The musicians selected have been carefully chosen to highlight stories and songs from the regions participating.

Maine: Denny Breau’s rhythmically flawless and dazzlingly clear style allows him to do amazing and stunning things with a six-string guitar. He first draws in an audience with a finely arranged melody and then slides effortlessly into scorching finger work that sets ears aflame. The lighting fast guitar lines that seem almost humanly impossible to accomplish are balanced with those that have a quiet intimacy and wrap tenderly around his carefully crafted songs.

Heather Pierson is an award-winning pianist, multi-genre singer/songwriter, arranger, bandleader, and performer. From New Orleans-style jazz and blues to rousing Americana and poignant folk narratives, Pierson’s memorable, intimate and cathartic live performances feature her virtuosity on piano, her bell-tone vocals and her commanding yet playful stage presence while wielding a tenor banjo, melodica or acoustic guitar.

Nova Scotia: Ian Sherwood is a musician, storyteller and a constant creator. He has penned tunes for many other artists as well as for theatre, film and television. He was named Contemporary Singer of the Year by the 2013 Canadian Folk Music Awards, Best Male Artist of the Year by the 2012 International Acoustic Music Awards and was the 2008 and 2010 Music Nova Scotia Musician Of The Year. Bob Mersereau of CBC Radio, Fredericton described him as “… a natural performer who entertains as much with his wit and stories as with his songs.”

Prince Edward Island: Ashley Condon was raised between two potato fields on Prince Edward Island. Condon is the grandchild of Bill Leblanc, a Canadian country pioneer who once spent the night in jail with Hank Snow. Like pecan pie —sweet and nutty— Condon has won audiences over with her larger-than-life stage presence and down-to-earth charm. She has established a reputation in the Maritimes as a powerful writer and singer and an uncommonly-talented entertainer who jokes and tells stories to audiences as naturally as if they were guests in her living room.

The Green Church is located at 163 Main Street in Mexico. Tickets are $20; call 562-4445.

Old South Church is located at 235 Maine Street in Farmington. Tickets are $15; call 491-5919.

The Chocolate Church Arts Center is at 804 Washington Street in Bath. Tickets are $15; call 442-8455.

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