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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

NEVAH Band at the Eddington Bicentennial

Hey there, it's official, the NEVAH band is playing on Friday night July 22nd at Comins Hall in celebration of Eddington's Bicentennial. It's the kickoff event for the entire weekend. Of course we will be following a wonderful Chicken Barbeque, which in a way is good for us because we NEVAH like to have a starving audience in attendance or hungry musician on stage.

The show, presented by the Bicentennial Committee and the Eddington Clifton Civic Center (ECCC for those in the know) will start at 7:00 pm so it's a good idea to get there a bit earlier.

If you are going to have some barbecued chicken there are two sittings, one at 5 pm and one at 6 pm (please note there is a $7.00 fee for Adults and a $3.00 cost for children for the barbecue). 

If you are just coming to the show I hear that seats will be going fast so try to get there no later than 6:30 PM. Oh, and did I mention the show is FREE. Yup, you heard it, won't cost a dime to get in to the show. I understand that NEVAH, a Maine band, is pulling out all the stops for this one (being a bicentennial celebration), so you don't want to miss it.

See you July 22nd!

Nevah Band Bio - Richard Silver


Richard Silver - Another Winterport Nevah band member, originally from Rhode Island, arrived in Waldo County in 1982. He played classical piano at age 7, stopping when it interfered with baseball at age 12, to his parents dismay. At 14, his sister began guitar lessons, Richard borrowed her guitar when she wasn’t around and played songs by ear he heard on records, learning folk and early rock on the guitar.  At 16, he discovered the Grateful Dead which became a profound musical influence.  That led to country rock and bluegrass/newgrass interests. In 1976, a friend at a yard sale found an old Gibson A4 mandolin with no strings or bridge and a cracked neck for $10, bought it and gave it to Richard. After repairing it, Richard played contra dances and bluegrass. He’s still at it, 35 years later, with the same A4.  Richard has been accused of playing rock and roll mandolin. (He admits it). His biggest musical influence nowadays are the Kruger Brothers, masters of acoustic American music. Richard practices law with fellow band member Ed Russell, there’s a sign in their office that says, “musicians offering a comprehensive approach to your legal needs”. Richard is grateful his wife lets him do this Nevah stuff! Richard plays mandolin, sings and harmonizes.

Nevah has a New Star

   At the Bangor Grange showcase we had the opportunity to work with a new young photographer whose stylings were perfect. Mia Smith is an award-winning artist who has had her work displayed throughout Maine and continues to add her voice to a vision.


   Mia will  continue her affiliation with Nevah, a Maine band, at the next few shows, so you will be able to have a feeling of being present with her action photos.  As long as we are on the Maine music scene. we hope to keep a relationship with this exciting young artist.
    Nevah hopes to motivate and give many opportunities to other artists . We currently are planing a music showcase to work with some new up and coming artists and some seasoned performers. Watch for upcoming notices of location and artist.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Nevah Band Bio - Ed Russell


Ed Russell - Ed is a genuine local, born and raised in Bangor, moving to Winterport in 1973. He got his lifetime love of music from Father Bob Russell (Bangor’s most enthusiastic music lover for over 60 years). Bob got the young man a saxophone and taught him the jazz standards songbook. Later came garage band/road trip vocals and song/lyric writing predating Weird Al by many years. Even now, “The Ballad of Karen Anne Quinlan” is not fit for public performance. Influences: Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Brian Wilson, Frank Zappa and Duke Ellington, who all taught that humor does belong in music, especially when combined with respectful musicianship. Ed lives in Winterport with his lovely wife Carolyn, who continues to support Ed’s musical passion after 32 years of blissful marriage. His day job is as law partner at Russell & Silver, P.A. with Nevah’s mandolin player, Richard Silver. Ed plays flute, sax, whistles, silly percussion, sings and harmonizes.

Nevah Band Bio - Larry LeBlanc


Larry LeBlanc - born at a very young age, he can’t remember when he wasn’t into music. He started by listening to early/mid 60’s AM radio which featured singers like Peggy Lee and Frank Sinatra alongside American rock n' roll and British invasion bands. He also listened to his parents’ country music, Roger Miller being a particular favorite. He started playing accordion at the age of eight at a time when the accordion was decidedly unhip, but was too young and clueless to know that!  At 15 an aunt innocently bought him the album "Otis Redding/Jimmy Hendrix Experience Live at the Monterey Pop Festival". His mind sufficiently blown, he took up guitar.  A love of acoustic guitar and folk music caused Larry to fall hard for bluegrass in the mid 70’s where he stayed for many years, oblivious to contemporary musical trends. He’s mellowed somewhat but still excitedly pursues archaic sounds in American music while cultivating an air of rustic chic. He’s played in bands over the past thirty years throughout New England, mostly favoring guitar, mandolin and dobro. However, late at night, he has been known to strap on the squeezebox and relive the melodious strains of his youth. Larry plays lead and rhythm guitar, sings and harmonizes.

Nevah Band Bio - Hal Meyers


Hal Meyers - Hal had two passions as a “kid” from New Jersey; one, sleight of hand magic and two, acoustic music. Hal was drawn to the likes of Simon and Garfunkel, Harry Chapin, Don McClean, the Beatles, CSNY and especially Pete Seeger. He taught himself a finger picking style of guitar and sang lot’s of tunes. He practiced both magic and guitar night and day for years. In college magic took a short hiatus and guitar came to the forefront along with a newly acquired instrument, the banjo. He was hooked, but wasn’t in to “bluegrass” so had a hard time finding the “right” stuff to play. Upon graduating from college he toured the globe for over 20 years performing, “MAGIC” in shows and reviews. In 2003 he moved to Maine where he met the “Men o’ Nevah” and they let him sit in on a few jam sessions, then asked if he’d like to play with the group. It took two seconds to respond. Hal plays banjo, sings and attempts to harmonize.

Nevah Band BIo - Phil Pitula

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Phillip G. Pitula - A product of New Jersey where music was the backbeat of the city, gave Phil a deep appreciation for all musical genres.  Music performed well, with passion, is good music.  Phil started playing in 1963, and with his parents support found a passion he would stick with all of his life. "NEVAH" allows Phil to express his deep love for all musical styles from Country, to Bluegrass, to Swing, Gospel, and all things in between, built upon one common thread, vocal harmonies.  Phil has played for "The House of Lords" and the original "Genesis" both New Jersey based bands.  Since moving to Maine in 1970 to attend the University of Maine at Orono Phil has played with "Trapper Brown", "The Amazing Hot Wax", "Some Assembly Required", "Rockin James", "Sista Sadie", and "The Blood Orange Martinis" a blues group that he splits his time with currently. Phil resides in Winterport with his lovely wife Kimberly who continues to support Phils musical passion after 32 years of marriage. Phil plays bass, sings and harmonizes.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The murky origins of the band name

Hi to all of you out there in blogland.  Here is another little tantalizing tidbit of Nevah history from Larry.  No he's not the band historian, he just has a little time on his hands while he is waiting for the bread to cool.   So gather 'round children and you will hear, the midnight tale of the band called Nevah (I know-  that doesn't rhyme!)  Now I was there when the band was named  - the other guys may remember it differently, but this is my recollection.  We had reformed from the ashes of the band known as Never Too Late, or NvR2Late as we had started calling ourselves.  We had found it to be quite a versatile name - on St. Paddy's day we called ourselves Nvr2Irish - lots of possibilities.  But it was a new dawn and time for forward looking direction.  So we were hanging out at Phil's, tossing out various names (the Human Beans, Crushed Buffalo - stuff like that) when our fearless leader Phil suddenly got a very determined and serious look on his face and declared "We are Nevah!" We looked over at him but kept on chattering (" about the Silver Surfers...."?).  Phil just repeated himself, this time more forcefully - "WE ARE NevaH!"  We were startled into silence and tried to grasp the ramifications of his statement.  Phil had kind of a wild look in his eye.  What could we say?  He seemed so sure - who were we to argue?  So that's how we became "Nevah".  Now I don't know what was in the juice glass that Phil was drinking, or if he had had any visions earlier in the day.  He will have to address that.  All I know is that the profoundness of this name began to manifest itself over the next couple of weeks.  The versatility of the double negative bad pun:  ("Everly Brothers?  We would 'nevah' play any songs by them...") occupied our simple minds for quite some time until Phil shared his revelation with us that  'NevaH' spelled backwards is: 'HaveN'.  Whoa!  That was really cosmic, and spoke to one of the fundamental reasons for the band's existence.  We suspect that there is more to be revealed to us, but at this time we are grateful that we received this message from the Great Beyond through brother Phil.  We may have to send him into the desert (perhaps the Desert of Maine down in Freeport) for 40 days to see if he has any more visions.  But right now he's really busy with town business,  music and grandkids.  All we know is that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt in our philosophies, or is it psyches, or maybe just popsicles.  I'm very confused but this I know:  the bread is sufficiently cooled and I can head off to dreamland.  So good night and good luck!

Larry of Nevah

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Maine Bluegrass Nevah Band Style

We hear so much about Bluegrass throughout or great nation, especially in the southern states. Up here in the north, there definitely is some smoking bluegrass being played. And the further north you go the more likely you will here bluegrass that rocks your soul. And in the great state of Maine there are truly some terrific bluegrass bands. One of the most unique Maine Bluegrass bands is Nevah.

Nevah Bluegrass at Bangor Grange

Traditional Maine Bluegrass has been performed and danced too for many years, recently there have been some new bands with an interesting twist to the Maine Bluegrass music scene. Bands like Nevah have been adding flut sax and congas to both traditional bluegrass songs and some not so traditional bluegrass tunes.

Bluegrass is turning into a real force in the Maine music scene so when the opportunity avails it self got to a festival or fair and enjoy some bluegrass that will make you smile.

'Nevah: A Wife's Lament' (not really!) - by Larry's wife

There's a band....called 'Nevah!'
What'da they play?  Its hard to say.
They got doctors, lawyers, PhDs, card tricks, managers - Ain't no sleeze!
Gee---zee, Pretty sweet!

Are they on the road?  Hell no!
Prime time - that ain't their goal
But they'll rock you like a wagon wheel, not too far from home
Ooooh - They stay close

Practice, Practice, Practice, Practice     Oooohhhhh
Gigging, Gigging, Gigging, Gigging  Ooooohhhh
Weekends, Weekends, Weekends -- what weekends?  Oooohhhh

E Cm
E B Cm
E  A B E

Bridge:  Cm A (repeat)

The Story Behind The Last Bus to Bangor

Hi Kids, Larry here.

People are always asking me, "Lar-dog what's the real story behind the Last Bus To Bangor tune?  Well, normally I don't like to reveal much about the origin of tunes, I prefer to let the listener make his or her own interpretation.  But for you blog followers, I will relate how the song came about.

The tune came about one day when I was listening to a record by Bobby Charles.  He is one of those singer/songwriters that never really achieved the fame he deserved.  He's from New Orleans, and is better known as a songwriter, having written some of the great tunes that came out of New Orleans, such as "See You Later Alligator" (which he wrote when he was 16, made into a hit by Huey "Piano" Smith and the Clowns) and some of Fat's Domino's big hits such as his signature tune "Walking To New Orleans".  The Nevah band plays the tune "Down South In New Orleans" which was also written by him.  As a singer, he has a laid back blue-eyed soul style, that you really don't get all that much anymore.

So I'm a fan of Bobby Charles.  I was listening to one of his tunes - "Last Train To Memphis" and started thinking about Bangor and how there are no trains that come and go from Bangor, only buses - and about 45 minutes later I had the tune!  I started with the same feel that the Bobby tune had, but very much veered into C&W territory (crying and wailing, that is!)  I brought it to the guys who were talking about how we had to incorporate more original tunes into the band (these guys write some kick @!ss songs.  I mean, how can one HOPE to compete with a tune like "Driftin' With The Tide"?  It contains solos for both kazoo AND flute!)  Luckily they all liked the tune and we worked it over and gave it the Nevah treatment.  Stay tuned for more originals from the Nevah songwriting mill - we have a few in the pipeline.

Perhaps you have taken the bus from Boston to Bangor.  My wife Adria is a big fan - prefers to leave the driving to "them".  The last bus to Bangor from Boston sometimes has a singing bus driver - a real character.  My hope is that sometime I'll get to play the tune for him - maybe he'll add it to his repertoire!  A guy can dream can't he?

OK, I'll sign off now from my first ever blog entry!  I feel relieved to no longer be a blog virgin.  Have a great day and hang loose!

Larry of Nevah

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Nevah @ UMO Doc Grads

Last night Nevah, a Maine band, played two sets for the "Doc Grad" celebration at UMO's Buchanan Alumni House. Upon arriving for set up Richard, Larry and Hal were shown several potential playing locations. After carefully choosing our spot (we used the old Rock, Paper Scissors technique) we began our preliminary set up, moving plants and tables to create the perfect Nevah band space. We realized that for this event the old rule of "less is more" should come into play so we opted to perform sans monitors.

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By the time everyone in the band had arrived most of the stands, mics, cables and instruments had been carefully put, placed and perfectly tuned, all except for the banjo. As everyone knows, the banjo is impossible to tune perfectly. We ran our sound check, and waited for the Docs, their families and friends to arrive. I'd estimate about 120 people showed up for the event.


At the appointed time we played a low volume, carefully selected, fifty to sixty minute cocktail set. It was well received and the attendees showed their appreciation by not throwing anything at the band (just want to see if your really paying attention). Our voices floated throughout the reception areas and kept people smiling until they were asked to enter the presentation room. I forgot to mention that while were playing a strolling juggler was defying the laws of gravity with hoops, clubs and spheres, carefully timed to our music I might add.

Oh, our official photographer, Mia, was also on hand and snapped several hundred photos of us while we played, or was it ten shots. I don't know, I guess we'll see them soon.

There was a short pause (90 + minutes) before our next set. During that time we ate, drank, socialized and watched the juggler work without music. Just kidding the juggler left as soon as the cocktail hour was over.

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Our second set took off with a bang as the "graduates" and their loved ones strolled back to the reception area where we played our faster, louder music. Quite a few people danced to our rhythms and sang along as we "hit them with our best shots" (that would make a terrific lyric, don't you think?). We played for at least another hour, had a fun time, and as the last person bid us adieu, we quickly broke down our equipment, packed our cars, said our farewells and headed for home.

It was fun. I think we learned a lot by playing at such a low volume, it allowed us to listen better. Plus we re-arranged the band members on-stage set-up. More on that later. I'm outta here!

A real Nevah Man

Thursday, June 23, 2011

New Photographer's Perspective

To those unfamiliar with Nevah, Nevah is not your typical band. I have had the enjoyment of becoming Nevah's photographer. Do not pass judgment on this band, for Nevah should not be considered one type of genre. Nevah is a combination of rock, bluegrass, and most of all soul. If you like to listen to great music and amazing vocals come join us at one of our concerts. 
So far, it has been a pleasure working with Nevah. Behind the scenes the musicians are down to earth people who are just looking to put on a great gig for their audience. After every gig audiences leave astounded and ready to schedule in Nevah's next performance. I would highly recommend time to join us at the next Nevah concert to either sit and listen or dance!
Lastly, it has been an honor to take picture for Nevah. I have enjoyed doing what I love while listening to great music all at the same time. The pictures that I have captured should reinforce the easy-going, folk-based, soulful rhythm that Nevah embodies. Not only is Nevah a new type of music, Nevah is also a great way to get your groove on!
Mia Smtih

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

NEVAH at Pelletier Loggers Family Restaurant

A quick update for everyone. I just sent off a pdf version of our poster (see below) and a few smaller images for the upcoming NEVAH performance at the Pelletier Loggers Family Restaurant, July 16, 2011. The band starts playing at 8:30 pm and goes to 12:30 (with breaks of course). This should be a fun time for all. I've heard the food is very good, the atmosphere is terrific, the restaurant staff is wonderful and the music will be NEVAH-ful. Okay, so I just made up that word, but I kinda' like it. Hmmmm!

Anyway, we'll fill you in on a few more tidbits of information pertaining to the gig as the date gets closer.

Hire-Nevah-a- Progressive-Bluegrass-Maine-Band

Nevah is Making News

The making of a band — Nevah

Posted March 17, 2011, at 1:58 p.m.

Twelve years ago, nobody who’s now in the band Nevah knew that they all lived within a few miles of one another, and that very soon they’d all be playing sweet, harmonious bluegrass-tinged country rock together. Winterport may be a neat little town, but how is anyone supposed to know that your neighbor happens to be an amazing mandolin player?
Fortunately, bassist Phil Pitula, vocalist and flutist Ed Russell, mandolin man Richard Silver, pedal steel and Dobro player Jack Anderson and drummer Eric Brown came to realize that, hey, they all play music, and hey, wouldn’t it be fun to jam together? They recruited Eddington banjo player Hal Meyers and Old Town guitarist Larry LeBlanc soon after, and Nevah — formerly known as Never2Late — was born.
Kitchens, living rooms, Grange halls and the occasional bluegrass festival have hosted the group for more than a decade now. The band will play at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 19, at the Next Generation Theater on Center Street in Brewer; admission is $8. More than anything, though, Nevah is a chance for a group of lifelong musicians to do the thing they love the most: play.
“It’s kind of a genetic disposition for us,” said Pitula, who by day is the town manager of Winterport, and formerly was in the local band Sista Sadie. “We don’t take it too seriously, but we look forward to playing together every week. Between all of us, we know hundreds of songs. We’ve been doing it for decades. It’s so much fun.”
Like Pitula, the bandmates are all successful professionals in their 50s and 60s. Silver and Russell have a law practice in Bangor. Anderson is a retired lawyer, and former member of legendary New York band and countercultural icons the Fugs. Meyers is a graphic artist, LeBlanc is a researcher at the University of Maine, and Brown is a doctor. They’re all busy people. But they’ll always make time for music.
What strikes you first, when listening to the band, are the absolutely gorgeous harmonies all seven musicians contribute. Three-, four-, even five-part harmony is present in nearly every song they play.
Then you hear the loose, playful way they have of collaborating. The sweet melding of LeBlanc’s guitar, Silver’s mandolin and Meyers’ banjo is the core of their sound, with Anderson’s masterful Dobro and pedal steel adding warmth and Pitula’s and Brown’s rhythm section forming the foundation. Russell’s lead vocals and occasional flute playing, as well as his killer kazoo solos, add humor and charm.
The band has a handful of original songs, but also plays delightful covers. They list everything from the Beatles, Paul Simon and the Beach Boys to Brooks & Dunn and Lyle Lovett as influences. Though they may say it’s just a fun side project, it’s clear that the one thing they do take seriously is the pure enjoyment they get out of playing.
“You could have much worse habits than playing music,” said Russell. “We’re all around the same age and we’ve all got the same mindset. We have to have fun playing. We’re too old not to.”
For more information and for tickets to Saturday night’s show, call 989-7100.
Emily Burnham may be reached at Follow her on Twitter at rockblogsterbdn.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Nevah Evahlution

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Hey there, Hal Meyers here. I'm very excited to be part of NEVAH, a Maine band, a terrific group of talented musicians who play a wide variety of music on numerous instruments, including bass, drums, lap and pedal steel, mandolin, guitar, banjo, congas, flute, bari-sax and kazoo.

This past Saturday's gig at the Bangor Grange Hall was a blast. We spent a tremendous amount of time working on and with our new sound techie - Jay Smith - who graciously put in close to 3 hours helping us set and tweak the sound for the evenings event. The audience enthusiastically responded to both sets and gave a standing ovation at the conclusion. We've received some excellent feedback and look forward to our next presentation this coming Friday. Sorry but it's a private gig and I can't reveal the location under threat that someone will cut my banjo strings.

Nevah thought I would discover Nevah land

  Well in my travels thru space and time I always searched for the Alice in Wonderland World, did not think it was found through a Winterport Maine connection.
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   Recently had the opportunity to hear and work with a group of musicians named Nevah, a Maine Band. They are a country, bluegrass, rock and roll crossover band with great vocals and musical talent of a special kind. Each brings a force and combined they take the audience on an adventure to Nevah land. Bassed out of Winterport Maine they perform through out Maine doing showcase gigs. Below is a photo of a recent performance in Bangor Maine where they rocked the house with some old and new friends.
  If you have the opportunity to catch this band go out of your way to see them they make your ears smile.