The fact that it’s also the town of Winterport’s 150th anniversary only adds to reasons to go to the fifth annual Winterport Music Festival, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 7, at Abbott Park, off Route 69.
The festival traditionally has boasted a wide array of Maine bands and one national headliner. Last year, a double bill of funky bluegrass-jazz band the Waybacks and Detroit bluesman James Montgomery topped the lineup, while in 2008 it features J. Geils of the legendary J. Geils Band, performing in his gypsy jazz duo Kings of String with Gary Beaudoin.
This year, festival-goers can look forward to Ernie and the Automatics, featuring two former members of the platinum-album-selling band Boston, Barry Goudreau on guitar and Sib Hashian on drums. Brian Maes, lead vocals and keyboard, was with Goudreau post-Boston, when he formed RTZ with other members of Boston such as the late Brad Delp and bass player Tim Archibald. Maes and Archibald also toured the world together in Peter Wolf’s House Party Five. Saxophonist Michael “Tunes” Antunes arrived in the Automatics lineup while still performing with John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band.
Also on the bill is Leah Tysse, an Orono native and current resident of San Francisco, who is in the area for a few shows this summer. Tysse has a powerful blues voice, and she’ll perform her original songs with her band. The Aurora Jazz Project comprises four excellent eastern Maine jazz musicians, playing a blend of jazz, rock and funk.
Bangor’s own Mudseason play a hypnotic, percussive blend of rock and funk, complete with a killer horn section, and they’ll perform at midafternoon. Maine bluegrass band Blue Northern round out the bill, along with Sweet Northern Blues, which features longtime Maine blues duo Trent Souder and Lauren Williams, Winterport Town Manager Phil Pitula on bass, drummer Lovey Williams and keyboard player Mark Swan.
Admission to the festival is $5; free for children under 12. For information, visit winterportmaine.gov.