Earth Weekend Concert of Toughcats at COA

Posted April 11, 2013, at 4:31 p.m.

Saturday, April 20, 2013 8 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Location: College of the Atlantic - Gates Community Center, 105 Eden Street, Bar Harbor, Maine

For more information: Lauren Rupp; 207-288-5015;

BAR HARBOR—On Saturday, April 20, at 8 p.m., College of the Atlantic brings back the Toughcats, a group that has catapulted from North Haven, Maine, to national fame. “It’s not every day that you’re completely blown away by a band,” writes Elise Yablon of the NYC Examiner. “Toughcats managed to put the entire room in awe.” The trio originally played COA’s Gates Community Center in November 2008.

The group—Jake Greenlaw on percussion, Colin Gulley on electric banjo, and Joe Nelson on guitar—have worked together for eight years. They originally formed to raise money for a local scholarship fund. Using vocal harmonies, reported National Public Radio, they blend “uke, banjo, mandolin, suitcase and percussion … folk, rock, ragtime and bluegrass into their music.” They’ve also been known to mix acting, juggling and movies into their live performances.

“They are one of the most creative and inventive bands going today,” writes Sam Pfeifle of the Portland Phoenix. “They manage to be artsy, melodic, down-to-earth, accessible, and a hell of a lot of fun all at the same time.” Emily Burnham of The Bangor Daily News adds, “Toughcats have just as much Tom Waits as twang in their sound.”

Toughcats have released three albums. Their first, Piñata, came out in 2006 and was praised for its harmonies, humor, and musicality. “Run to the Mill” came out in 2010, with thoughtful ballads, upbeat rock pieces, and some instrumentals. “Wooden Ball” was released last fall.

The members still live on the island and spend time working as lobstermen, carpenters, Emergency Medical Technicians and other jobs.

Tickets for the Toughcats concert on Saturday, April 20 in Gates Community Center are $10 per person. For more on the band, visit For more on the concert at COA, contact Lauren Rupp at, or 207-288-5015.

College of the Atlantic was founded in 1969 on the premise that education should go beyond understanding the world as it is, to enabling students to actively shape its future. A leader in experiential education and environmental stewardship, COA has pioneered a distinctive interdisciplinary approach to learning—human ecology—that develops the kinds of creative thinkers and doers needed by all sectors of society in addressing the compelling and growing needs of our world. For more, visit