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Friday, October 16, 2015

A tale from NEVAHLAND

     It is hard to believe that so many years have passed since that fateful night at the Fountain House when a weary traveler walked in on, what was then Never Too Late, playing their normal Wednesday night rehearsal/gig.  At first I thought Gerry Garcia had been resurrected and had decided to grace us with his presence, but lo and behold it was not Gerry but a fellow troubadour by the name of Lawrence LeBlanc.  It seems he was on his way to "Winter Harbor" to hear some live music but as chance would have it he ended up in "Winterport" instead, talk about "can't get there from here."  He seemed a likeable fellow who just happened to have his instruments with him and wondered if he might be able to sit in on a few tunes.  Now for all musicians who have been in this situation before you would appreciate my reluctance in allowing someone to join us on stage but in this case there was something about Larry that made me say "please do."  The rest became NEVAH history as this gentleman proved to be quite an accomplished musician who provided us with the missing piece needed to round out our sound.

Larry is on the right

     What can one say about Larry? multi-talented (guitar, mando, dobro, fiddle, squeeze box, and peddle steel), creative (Last bus to Bangor, Gypsy Brown, a song we just called "Larry's instrumental, and others that we NEVAH got to touch on.), petulant (sometimes defensive and a little thin skinned at times, but hey I gave him a break, he grew up in Lynn, Mass), voracious (I thought I played a lot until Larry came along and related his weekly schedule of "fiddle group" "Petersen Project" "open mic night" "mid coast duo" and on and on, ad infinitum), dedicated (when Larry learned a song, whether a cover or another band mates original offering, you could tell he worked on his parts, constantly honing his leads or rhythms, making it his own), accomplished (although we constantly joked about it, Larry is a Marine Biologist, or was it Scientist, or maybe Scuba diver, it still is questionable, along with being a husband to his lovely and talented wife Adria, who thankfully put up with us and provided some great videos of the band over the years).
      You might be wondering about the reason behind my musing as it relates to "my friend" Larry, well wonder no more, it's unfortunate but Larry and Adria are leaving us, returning to Massachusetts for work related reasons.  Larry will always have a home in Maine and a band to return to "NEVAH."
We will sorely miss him and know some lucky players at some bar in Mass will have this "guy" come up to them and say " I was on my way to (fill in the blank) to hear some live music and I have my instruments with me, can I sit in on a few tunes?"  If they are as smart as we were they will find a truly good hearted, talented individual, who will make them a better band than they were, our friend forever "Larry Leblanc"