When the Mousam River Ramblers placed in the top five at this year’s Maine Academy of Modern Music Rock Off, people took notice. After all, the four Kennebunk High School juniors who comprise the group don’t play your typical teenage rock: they play bluegrass.
At a recent rally for Save Our Beaches, a group fighting against beach privatization in Kennebunkport, the Mousam River Ramblers took the stage. They followed a performance by some local adult bluegrassers, the Mousam River Rats, who teased the youngsters for copying their name.
It was a 21-plus event, so Ramblers peers were in short supply, but that only served to reinforce the band’s universal appeal. Along with first-wave bluegrass tunes, the band played several of their originals (five of which were perfected for the MAMM competition), as well as crowd-pleasing covers, including the Beatles’ “I Saw Her Standing There” and the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” as audience members sang and danced along.
The four — Alex Deely on mandolin and vocals, Max Robinson on banjo and vocals, Noah Dest on guitar and vocals, and John Lyden on upright bass — have only been playing together for about nine months, but have managed to score a block of school time to use for rehearsal, helping to develop their mature sound.
: New England Music News
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