Roots-rock trio on tap at Sea Dog

Posted Nov. 12, 2009, at 5:28 p.m.

It really was that easy. After one night of playing together, Anthony Ambrosino, Windell White and Jimmy Morang knew that this was the band they had been looking for. It was love at first note for the three, now known as the Bangor roots-rock trio Mudseason, who are set to play tonight at the Sea Dog Brewery on the Bangor Waterfront.

Ambrosino, the singer and guitarist for the group, was in between jobs and floating around New England when he came back in Bangor last April. A chance encounter at a local bar brought him in contact with his future band mates.

“I came up into Bangor and went to an open mike night on a Wednesday. I met Jimmy and Windell that night and played with them,” said Ambrosino. “The next day we went to the open mike at the Brick Church on Union Street. Two weeks later, we were recording an album. It didn’t feel fast or weird at all.”

Seven months later, and Mudseason has a full-length album recorded, as well as a list of original songs that would take most bands two years to come up with. Ambrosino attributes his band’s early success to a shared work ethic.

“We’re all willing to work really hard,” he said. “We come from very different backgrounds, and we have different tastes, but we all share a love of music and a work ethic, and that’s what keeps us going.”

Case in point: Ambrosino’s roots are in the folkier, jammier side of rock. White is proud to say he grew up strongly steeped in R&B and jazz, and his funky, polyrhythmic drumming is proof of that. Morang, however, was originally a metal guy. So how do a metal head, a jazz guy and a folkie work those three distinct sounds to-gether? Well, listen for yourself at myspace.com/mudseason09.

“The thing about it is, we all just really love music, and we’re all willing to bring our different influences to the table and make them work together,” said White. “There’s something that ties everything together in music, and I think we’re able to find that thread and go with it.”

While Mudseason has been rocking bars and restaurants in the Bangor area since last spring, they had their biggest audience not at any particular club — but by simply setting up and playing on the street at the American Folk Festival last August.

“We brought our hand drums and battery-powered amps and just set up on the sidewalk,” said Ambrosino. “I love that kind of impromptu thing. We got a lot of really positive response from the crowd, too. And we got to see Clinton Fearon, the reggae guy, afterwards. It was a great day.”

After this weekend’s show, Mudseason has a few one-off gigs in the area before a big showcase at the Next Generation Theater on Center Street in Brewer, set for Dec. 28. A fundraiser for the H.O.M.E. Center in Orland, the show will feature Mudseason along with Slow Blind Tone and Sweet Terror, all local bands.

Until then, they’re cranking out more songs each week — the band recently wrote a song titled “Broken Wing,” inspired by the reaction among friends and family the day after 53 percent of Maine voted to deny gay people the right to marry. None of the band members was thrilled about that result. But they are firm believers in the idea that whatever you put into the world is what you get back out of it.

“I don’t think anything is as contagious as enthusiasm,” said Ambrosino. “We’re running on all cylinders right now. When you work together and try to be positive and put out good vibes, you definitely breed positivity among each other and in everyone you encounter. This is the most fun I’ve ever had playing music. I think that says something.”

Mudseason will play at 10 p.m. Friday Nov. 13 at the Sea Dog Brewery in Bangor. For information, visit www.myspace.com/mudseason09.

eburnham@bangordailynews.net

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