Unless you are a regular attendee of the various open mike nights in the greater Bangor area, you’re probably unfamiliar with the plethora of songwriters that regularly show up toting a guitar or keyboard, ready to play. But they’re there, and they don’t often get to have the spotlight to themselves. This Wednesday, Nocturnem Drafthaus on Main Street in Bangor will host a Songwriter’s Showcase, bringing together five performers who will each have a chance to play their own songs for an extended period of time. Songwriter Jenna Campbell put together the evening, which is set for 7-10 p.m. Intrigued? Here’s a little bit more info on the folks slated to play.
Cartwright has played in a number of punk and indie bands in the area, including pop-punk band The Exclusive. But he has had an acoustic thing going for a while now, initially performed as The December Campaign, but Wednesday he just will be himself. His songs are informed by indie rock — think Bright Eyes, Death Cab For Cutie — and he has been playing around Orono and Bangor since high school. Tough, tender and engaging.
Another Orono native, Dimoulas got his start playing at open mike nights when he was a wee lad of 15. Now 21, he has plenty of years of playing under his belt, and recently released an album, “Apology,” which shows his love of everything from Jeff Buckley to acoustic blues. He has been working with the folks at Main Street Music Studios to refine both his singing and songwriting, and in addition to playing his own songs, he has been known to sit in on the Tuesday night jazz jams at Nocturnem.
Born in Saskatchewan, Canada, and raised in St. Albans, James Reiss is a literate, sensitive songwriter with a winning, expressive voice. His melodic songs, influenced by indie rock such as Glen Hansard of the Frames and the Arcade Fire, are buoyed by his unique, distinctive vocals. He’s a regular at the Tuesday night Paddy Murphy’s open mike, and he’s also set to perform at the upcoming WPC Presents show at the Bear Brew Pub on Friday, Jan. 21.
The muscular, raspy-voiced classic- and alternative-rock-influenced sounds of this Army veteran are familiar to bar-goers around Bangor, and Richmond will have a night to himself at Nocturnem on Thursday, Jan. 12 — but you can catch him in the company of others on Wednesday. Richmond tends toward the more traditionally rock side of things, and he often performs under the name The Worker, bringing to mind songwriters like Bruce Springsteen and James McMurtry.
A Holden native, he has been playing with his brother Sean and drummer Bob Meservey in the band Guilty By Association since this past summer. He’s also a songwriter, proficient at both guitar and bass, and plays a blend of alternative rock that brings to mind Incubus and other alternative favorites.
Emily Burnham may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out her blog at cultureshock.bangordailynews.com.