The Supportive Nature of a Local Music Scene

It is hard to make a steady living off of music, especially when you are from Maine. Maine is generally overlooked when it comes to art, despite the large amount of diverse talent across the state. In fact, a study showed that Maine ranked at number 49 out of 50 states in contribution to popular music. In the local music scene, it has become a necessity to rely on each other for support. Without the support of other musicians, and other producers of the art (record stores, record labels, ETC.) it would be near impossible to gain recognition. For many local artists, the one outlet that has been constantly supportive is Bull Moose Music. Bull Moose Music is a local record store that has locations all around the state of Maine, and one location in New Hampshire. They support many local artists, and make it very easy to access local music.

“Bull Moose has played a huge role in my local career. They have stores all around the state so it’s easy for people to access physical copies of my work. They also take very little money for themselves which allows the artist to keep dumping money back into their work. They make it simple and affordable. Those words aren’t easy to come by as an underground artist, so I’m eternally grateful to Bull moose,” said local rapper Sarah Violette (Lady Essence).

Violette started rapping when she was thirteen. At first she thought that rap music wasn’t real music and assumed it took “little to zero effort.” She figured it would be easy to write music, but quickly realized how difficult mastering the art would be. She started by listening to Eminem and dissecting the science behind his rhyme schemes. But ultimately, she said, “I fell in love with the word puzzle aspect of it at first, then I fell in love with the emotional release it gave me.”

In our small state, it is often the convergence of a number of small entities who partner up to support unknown musicians which can put them on the map. Bull Moose has become one of those many small entities. Many local Musicians have very strong feelings as far as the support of Bull Moose goes.

“Bull Moose is the best record store. Period. They are incredibly supportive of local music and they are keeping the dream of physical CD and record sales alive. I don’t know what local music would be around here without the support of Bull Moose.

 Anytime I’ve released a record, they have always been the first to help promote it, to make sure CDs are in stock, and just generally being super cool about anything you need. Also it’s really important to me for people to buy local for two reasons: because I see more money when you buy a record from Bull Moose rather than iTunes and also because you’re supporting a local store that has been around and hopefully will be around for years to come as we fight this new age digital musical world garbage,” said local musician Anna Lombard.

Anna Lombard is a Local Singer/Songwriter from Maine. She started singing when she was three years old and hasn’t stopped since. She is also part of Armies, a local band mainly comprised of Lombard and Dave Gutter of Paranoid Social Club and Rustic Overtones.

“My favorite collaboration is of course my most recent release and new band Armies, with the incredibly talented writer, performer, musician, and person, Dave Gutter. It’s amazing to – regardless of having collaborated with people in the past – finally find that one person who’s voice so effortlessly blends with your own. It is also been quite the experience to at times be privy to the very private songwriting process that Dave possesses. He’s brilliant. To the point where it is so frustrating to me that songwriting can come that effortlessly to him. At times I have to remind myself that he’s got about 18 years on me as a songwriter and to give myself a little bit of a break. But the connection that I share with him musically is beyond anything I’ve ever experienced with another musician or singer. I feel infinitely grateful to be learning from him, growing as a performer myself because of the confidence being next him on stage gives me, and really just taking it all in and enjoying the ride. He’s the real deal, you know?” said Lombard.

The supportive nature of the local music scene has become somewhat critical for survival as an artist. Living in the 49th most popular state for music does not help the chance of success for an artist from Maine. Lombard and Gutters band already has approximately 8 songs ready for their next record. Lombard is also entering the studio this winter to record her next album. All facts aside, the music scene in maine is thriving at a local level. Dozens of talented artists are crawling out of the alleyways of Portland to go rock a gig at a musty bar for 50$. It is just about time that one of our sidewalk bluegrass bands will stumble across the opportunity to play the gig of a lifetime. It’s just about time for one of our local indie bands to make their way out of the bar and into the radio mainstream. Musicians from Maine are often underestimated and judged by their roots. All we are waiting for now is someone to prove them wrong.

Do you want to get out and see a show? Here are a few local bands and artists playing soon. Fri 12/11 – The Fogcutters – State Theatre – $15 Sat12/19 – Spose – Port City Music Hall – $14 Thu 12/31 – The Mallett Brothers Band – Port City Music Hall – $20 Sat 1/02 – Rustic Overtones – Port City Music Hall – $18 You can buy tickets at www.statetheatreportland.com Visit the Bull Moose website at www.bullmoose.com

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