CALAIS _ Feet will be tapping during the 5th annual Ken and Jane Brooks and Friends Concert on Saturday, Oct. 19th at Washington County Community College.
The show starts at 7 p.m. and will be held in the lecture hall.
Since their concert last year, it has been an amazing time for the couple who in 2012 received the Vocal Duo of the Year Award from the Maine Country Music Association.
But soon they will be back in Calais and in addition to their musical voices; this year’s Homecoming Concert will include Eric Boothroyd.
According to Ken Brooks, Boothroyd is an outstanding musician with years of experience. He started out with a rock and roll band in Connecticut later moving to Maine where he joined the Misty Mountaineers Bluegrass band. Since then he has played with other Maine bluegrass bands. “He is a well-rounded musician, a great guitarist and a fantastic singer,” Brooks said.
Although the program will consist of the traditional bluegrass, country and folk, Boothroyd and the Brooks will also play some vintage rock and roll. One popular song that the couple has performed over the years is Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence.” The couple plans to sing that again this year.
Brooks, who is a true musical talent, began his career more than 45 years ago. He has played at clubs, fairs, concert halls and festivals throughout Canada and the U.S. including Nashville, Tennessee.
In 1965, he regularly performed at the Jonesport Opry House. From 1988 to 1996, Ken was the lead vocalist and guitarist for Bluegrass Supply Company, one of the most popular and best known Bluegrass bands in the Northeast. Since that time he has performed with other Maine bands including Union River Band, Bob and Grace French, the Rainbow Valley Folks and Fox Hollow. He also performed with Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul and Mary fame. He is presently a member of the Katahdin Valley Boys, an award-winning bluegrass band.
He has recorded 10 albums and has appeared as a backup musician on others. In 2012 he was inducted into the Maine Country Music Hall of Fame.
Beside his musical talent, Brooks also is a talented artist. He has painted everything from wall murals to pictures on the sides of trucks. He also does lettering and his graphic artistry is much sought after by motorcycle enthusiasts.
The couple met while attending school in Calais.
Jane found her bluegrass roots when she and Ken were married in 1987. Several years ago when Ken was not playing in a band, Jane decided to learn to play an instrument. She chose the bass. The couple has been performing as a duet act since 2004. Jane Brooks has also performed as a member of Fox Hollow.
A portion of the proceeds from the concert will help fund the Ken and Jane Brooks’ WCCC Scholarship and the Calais High School music program. “We grew up in Washington County and graduated from Calais,” he said. “We are aware of how difficult it is to get a college degree and we wanted to do something to support the college and the students who attend. We would like the students, once they graduate, to stay in Washington County.”
Three years ago, then WCCC President Joyce Hedlund approached them about setting up a scholarship in their names. They agreed and established the Ken and Jane Brooks WCCC Scholarship Fund. Again this year, they sent out letters to prospective donors and to date they have raised more than $500 for the fund.
Anyone who would like to donate can make checks payable to the Ken and Jane Brooks Scholarship and send it to WCCC, One College Drive, Calais. All gifts to WCCC are tax deductible. There also will be a donation box for those who wish to donate the night of the concert.
The couple also plans to donate a portion of the concert proceeds to the Calais High School music program. They also will be holding a workshop at the high school prior to the concert.
The concert is co-sponsored by Greystone Bed and Breakfast and WCCC
Admission is $15 at the door, $12 advance sale and $10 for WCCC students with student ID and children under 12 years old.