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Monday, December 31, 2012

Maine's Bluegrass Band NEVAH in concert in 3D

Maine's Progressive Bluegrass Band in glorious 3D - sort of - will be in concert January 26th

For further information please contact us:

or contact the Next Generation Theatre: 207-989-7100

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Bluegrass Band NEVAH Cabin Fevah Relievah 2

Maine's NEVAH Band in Concert
 – January 26th, 2013 at 7:30 PM –
Appearing at the 
in Brewer, Maine

– See the poster below for further details or contact us: – 

Maine's Bluegrass, Newgrass, Country, Prograssabilly Band in Concert

Thursday, December 27, 2012

NEVAH Bluegrass Happy Holidays

To all our Fans in NEVAHLAND … 
we wish you a very 
Happy and Healthy Holiday Season!

Here's a link to a NEVAH Holiday Animation … 
Good Things Come Gift Wrapped

Friday, December 21, 2012

Main Street Music Studios in Bangor Maine - NEVAH - Photos #2

NEVAH, Maine's Bluegrass, Newgrass,  Country, Prograssabilly band … has been to Main Street Music Studios for our second go round this last past Thursday - December 2oth. I've got a couple of new pictures to show you from Dicks handy Nikon camera taken that night.

NEVAH at Main Street Studios - (day 2)
Ed, Phil, Larry, Dick, Hal, Richard

We were very excited because Richard was able to lay down all of his tasty Mandolin lead, fill and chop tracks for each song while Ed recorded a couple of sweet flute lines to compliment some of the tunes. Then Richard gave us some of his deep bass vocals on a couple of tracks and Ed added a "special" vocal track to one of his songs. After listening to each tune to make sure everything worked … we were good to go.
Richard in Vocal Booth - Josh from Main Street Studios Adjusts the Microphone (day 2)
Ed in Sound Booth Main Street Music Studios (day 1)
Now comes the fun part … puttin' it all together. More on that as it happens.

Band Dynamics Performance Prep - Nevah - Part 6

All of NEVAH's rehearsing has really been paying off. It certainly showed in the studio. We didn't waste a lot of time trying to decide what to do. We had it planned and then went about our business laying down the tracks at Main Street Studio in Bangor, Maine … which made for a terrific first band recording experience. Now we'll see what comes of the "mixing/editing" sessions.

However, onto the next topic … performance prep. All of this practicing ultimately leads to our live performances. We've done a few shows in the last several months in very different venues - from a Wedding in a lovely old barn, to a large backyard wedding setting up outside on a stone patio, to the midway stage at the BlueHill Fair and even a small Bar/Restaurant Andy's Old Port Pub in Portland, Maine as well as some shows at bars and local theaters.

NEVAH setting up at a Back Yard Wedding in Winterport, Maine

A Wedding at a Beautiful Old Barn
NEVAH at Pellitiers Loggers Family Restaurant in Millinocket Maine
We like to call what we do –  concerts, performances. They aren't ridged with a complete script found in theatrical performances/plays - legit theatre. However, we have a set list of songs that Phil puts together. And I must admit he has a superb sense of "time" - every show hits the mark and I don't think we've been more than a couple of minutes past our "set" time allowance … ever. And that includes times where he jumps ahead to an alternate tune if he feels the mood of the audience warrants a deviation from our set list.

NEVAH at Andy's Pub in Portland, Maine
Why? It's because we actually rehearse our show, all the tunes in the order we're going to do them, without stopping. And we do this quite a bit. Sometimes running a show two times in a row at one rehearsal - with only a couple of minutes break in between. The only thing we don't rehearse in the same manner is some of our banter which seems to flow easily on-stage between all of the "NEVAH" musicians.

NEVAH at the Blue Hill Fair
We are trying to find a nearby venue to set-up all our equipment and do a full - all out - rehearsal so we can get to another level of performance. It's coming, but finding a place and getting everyone together is not an easy task. Plus we need a sound person to make this work 100%. Luckily we've had some super folks run our board over the last couple of years and it has helped us tremendously (A big thank you to the "sound guys" - you know who you are.)

I'm going to pause here because there is a lot more to discuss concerning performance preparation. 

NEXT BLOG: Performance preparation continued.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Band Dynamics Practicing - NEVAH BlueGrass - Part 5

Hello friends of NEVAH and NEVAH Band blog readers … I know I said the next blog in the series was going to focus on performance, however, at NEVAH's last  PRACTICE session we began to move our rehearsal in a whole new direction … for us.

NEVAH, Maine's BlueGrass, Newgrass, Country, Prograssabilly Band practices one to two times a week. From past blogs you know we are an eight piece band (not including our sound man). Our instrumentation is both acoustic and electric such as a Gibson Mandolin, Martin Guitars, Fender Bass, Pedal Steel, Dobro, Sax, Flute, Ludwig Drums and Percussion along with a modified Stelling Sunflower Banjo with a custom Black Kavanjo Banjo Head. Almost all of our instruments are either wireless or direct plug-ins to the board … with the exception of the drums/percussion, Sax, Flute and Penny Whistle. All of which add to our unique PROGRASSABILLY sound.

NEVAH Bluegrass / Country Music at the Blue Hill Fair
At our last practice we concentrated on just two songs. One an original by our own Ed Russell, "Slow Down Superman" and the other a Bob Dylan tune … "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight". In the past we have essentially assigned large parts, longer instrumental leads – the mandolin taking one break, then the guitar, then more singing, then the banjo lead … etc., however, we are now getting down to single measures of music. Short sweet - instrumental licks played by one or more instruments as a "taste". With two instruments we are arranging these measures to be played in harmony.

Now this might seem normal for some bands, but it has taken us a couple of years to get a basic sound we like and to hone our skills and band sensibilities reaching for a new performance level. We aren't at the point where we microscopically write/create, dissect and restructure a song to the Nth degree as our good friends the world renowned Kruger Brothers do … we simply aren't there yet. However, we are moving in the right direction, growing with each rehearsal. Listening closer, discussing openly, playing better and amazing as it may sound … we have eight musicians agreeing, and working towards a common musical goal.

One thing I believe helping us to be better is the short time we just spent in the studio which forces us to examine each individual instruments contribution to the "whole". And we realize if we take that same attention and apply it to our rehearsals and arrangements then we will produce a better product at our live performances.

Ahh … we have another rehearsal tonight and then on Thursday hit Main Street Music Studios in Bangor again to add Mandolin, some bass vocals and a few additional tracks that weren't recorded at the first go round.

Next NEVAH Dynamic Blog: Performance (For real - I promise)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Main Street Music Studios in Bangor Maine - NEVAH - Photos

As promised, here are some more photos from NEVAH's 1st-evah recording session at Bangor Maine's – Main Street Music Studios …

Ed, Larry, Phil, Dick, Hal, Jack (pre-recording)
Dick at the Drums - Kim photographing
Larry, Phil, Ed, Jack (in the back), Josh of Main Street Music Studios -at the board
Ed at the Vocal Booth
Larry, Andy (Owner /Operator) Main Street Music Studios in Bangor, ME

Eric on the snare, Jack on the cam
Keep an eye out for more photos from NEVAH's 1st-evah Album recording session

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Band Dynamics Practicing - Nevah Bluegrass - prt 4

NEVAH, Maine's Bluegrass, Country, NewGrass, Prograssabilly Band practices quite a bit and it has really paid off, in more ways then one. We try to get together once a week and spend a good three to four hours practicing our tunes. Now, that may not sound like a lot of practicing, but when you have eight members in a band, to get 90% of them there each week is an amazing task we have been able to accomplish for almost two years now.

NEVAH (sans Eric)
We have a set routine we go through, usually a warm up song we jam on a bit which leads us to our arrangement of the Beatles - "I've Just Seen A Face", from there with instruments and voices warmed up we usually play one or two more familiar tunes then jump into something new.

If we are preparing for an upcoming concert/show, then we diligently work on any new material we wish to add, going over each arrangement numerous times to solidify the songs in our minds. We play a few more of our "current set" then go back to the new one's once more and finally end with either an acappella number that took us months to work out, or one of our solidly arranged vocal heavy pieces with numerous harmonies at the end.

NEVAH Wanted Men
A perfect example of our work effort paid off the other night at Main Street Music Studios of Bangor Maine. We spent three + weeks concentrating on the songs we were going to record, six originals. In nine hours were able to lay down most of the groundwork, lead vocals, harmonies and additional fill instruments. We were totally surprised, so were the studio engineers. However, we'd practiced all the parts for each song in rehearsal, and then played what we'd practiced.

NEVAH At Main Street Music Studios
Now, please don't get me wrong, I didn't say it was perfect, far from it. Several tunes were recorded, a couple of times each to relax the singers for better vocal quality. I am sure we will spend a good deal of time tweaking things and or re-recording/over dubbing certain tracks. However, we have a very strong musical foundation in which to build each tune and bring out the best sounds/moments from the session to make the songs shine. The Maine Street Music Studios recording session was an amazing experience, a pleasure, not only because the facility and owner/operator Andy, assisted byJosh, were amazing to work with … but because of NEVAH's rehearsal time.

Next NEVAH Dynamic Blog: Performance

Monday, December 10, 2012

Recording an Album in Bangor Maine - NEVAH's 1st

NEVAH, Maine's atypical Bluegrass, Country, NewGrass, Prograssabilly band went into Main Street Studios, in Bangor Maine on Saturday to record their first-evah album.

We had a terrific time, got a lot accomplished and are looking forward to getting back into the studio to add a few more tracks and tweak the one's already recorded.

Here are a few photos from our first nine hour session.
Jack on dobro
Eric a-shakin'
Josh - from Main Street Studios at the board
Ed and Phil - waiting to sing
Hal on Banjo - Larry on Guitar
Larry, Phil, Ed
Dick on Drums
Phil and Andy
 Stay tuned for more photos, more info and maybe a sneak peak or two of the actual recording.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Recording a Bluegrass / Newgrass NEVAH Album at Bangors Main Street Music Studio

I'm going to digress a little from the Bluegrass Band Dynamics series to make a special


It's finally happening … NEVAH, Maine's Bluegrass, NewGrass, Country - ish, Prograssabilly band is hitting the studio this weekend to start recording our very 1st album of original tunes. 
We are going to record at Bangor's own 

And we are "wicked" excited.

We've spent a good deal of time preparing for this moment, practicing each tune over and over, tightening our arrangements, modifying some of the tunes here and there, tweaking each song for maximum studio performance potential.

Less is More … less is more … less is more (it's either the key to success or our new Mantra or both)

Stay tuned as we post some photos and video of the recording sessions …

See ya soon …

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Band Dynamics NEVAH - Maine Bluegrass - Getting Along prt3

Hello NEVAH friends, hope all is well as we approach the Happy Holidays, all the Happy Holidays! 

Nevah at Old Towns Riverfront Concert Series
I'd like to briefly talk about "getting along" in our band - Musically. You might think a local Maine NewGrass, BlueGrass, Country, okay PROGRASSABILLY band like NEVAH would lean towards a particular sound. Well, we are hard to define, and truth be-told we have a musical spectrum that ranges from hard Bluegrass-ish to Rock and Roll to 60's accapella, And of course, everything in between.

Therefore, the question is … how do we select our music, and agree to the choices. Especially with an eight piece band? It's easy, the Men O' Nevah, have extremely good taste. 

I'm only joking, however, in reality it's pretty accurate - the band members have been around a couple of years, played numerous songs and know a lot of songs, plus we have a lot of open minds, and hearts and are willing to listen to anyone in the band who has an idea for a song, be it an original or a well worn favorite for inclusion in our "Master Set List" -

Pedal Steel and Drums
Banjo and Mandolin
Once a song is suggested, and we know someone really wants to do a song when they bring in Chord Sheets for everyone to look at, they generally have a simple arrangement in mind. 

The Band tries to:
1) Listen to the song played through by the person who would like to include it. If it's the sax player of drummer we'll have the guitar player chord it the first time.
2) Add additional instruments on the second go round … listening and leaving space for leads and instrument flourishes. (On this second go-round good listening and strong eye contact are paramount, the key to "less is more")
3) Work out vocal harmony parts on the third run through. Stopping and starting, assigning parts and trying short passages.
4) Work out leads and lead exchanges. An ever changing process until it feels right (could be several weeks or months).
5) Play it through a few times to see how we like it.
6) Rest, put it aside, STOP playing it and move on to other tunes.
7) Come back to it at the end of the evening.

The following practice we will go over it a few times refining bits and pieces, polish it, perform it and then re-work the tune as needed.

Throughout this process if someone has a thought we throw it out to the group and 99.9% of the time we give a try. On occasion a simple discussion, taking in everyones opinions might negate us trying to over-tweak a song.

It really is that simple!

NEXT NEVAH BLOG: From Practice to Live Performance