A little bit country

Wax Tablet
By PORTLAND PHOENIX MUSIC STAFF  |  September 21, 2011

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• The line-up for the Portland showcase at the CMJ Festival will be: SPOSE, BILLY LIBBY, THE MALLETT BROTHERS BAND, SUNSET HEARTS, THE MILKMAN'S UNION, THE TOUGHCATS, and KURT BAKER. The seven artists, picked by the PORTLAND MUSIC FOUNDATION, will play their part (of an 80-venue, week-long festival that takes over much of the five boroughs of New York City) on October 20, running from 7 pm until they get shut down by the cops (we imagine). That same night, there will be a live-stream listening party at Bayside Bowl so you can hear how the locals do, even if you can't make it down to the Big City. There will also be a kick-off party at Empire on October 14, where you can grab a download card with all of the bands' music, enter a raffle for some sold-out tix (Pixies, Primus, Skrillex, ho hum) at the State Theatre, and listen to some choice vinyl selections (Kurt Baker will man the tables) from the bands' collections.

• Speaking of the Mallett Brothers Band, they ought to have enough cash to gas up the van a few times after winning the Rockin' Country Showdown at the Oxford County Fair this past weekend. The country-rock six-piece took home $25K for their victory, thanks to 99.9 the Wolf, beating out second-place winners THE ERIC GRANT BAND ($7500) and people's choice winner SKYLER ($2500 — we'd not have thought him "country," but country is a big tent nowadays).

DILLY DILLY is back (she and BILLY LIBBY should do a show, even if just for the fun of saying the bill out loud). After a sojourn to the West Coast, the former Cerberus Shoal-ite and now solo artist in her own right promises to get back and active again in Portland making music. Give her a warm welcome October 15, where she plays at the Port City Music Hall.

• In the spirit of spreading the Portland gospel and introducing more Boston bands this way, the Empire is launching a new music series, BOSTON & MAINE (like the old railroad, dontcha know), that will feature free shows headlined by Boston artists, but with locals sitting in on songs during the set. First up is ADAM EZRA, who'll be joined by members of THIS WAY and MARION GRACE, on October 6. Meanwhile, you can spend a different sort of night on the rails every month at Bayside Bowl: their "Too Broke to Be This Drunk" night of honky-tonk country, hosted by a new and well-spirited musician every third Saturday. Toss in a very slick bar and a bunch of heavy objects and you got yourself a night, partner.

• Tacking on yet another release to the list we ran in the fall preview: JOE GALLANT, a young singer/songwriter out of UMaine-Farmington, releases an EP, My Own Divide, with a show October 28 at the Big Easy. There will be an all-ages gig first, from 6 to 9, with a couple openers from the MAINE ACADEMY OF MODERN MUSIC. Later, Gallant plays again, along with Bowling Green act Sleeper Agent.

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