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Anni Blog August 1, 2016

Hello to All! I just got home from a week away with my siblings & extended family members… it was an amazing time & I’ll share photos & memories in the Cerebral Wanderings section. I have decided to put all the details about shows in both August & September in the Targets section, as I know some of you want to plan ahead. The August 6th show in Saco ME this weekend is Reservations Only (as well as my house concert in W Dennis MA on September 17th) & many others are “Reservations Encouraged”… so look through the list & get a feel for your options, plan accordingly. There are a lot of details & links to share, so I’ll get right to those details & my Cerebral Wanderings in this order:

1. THE AUG / SEPT SHORT LIST (Date, Venue, Time Only)
2. TARGET GIGS (Full Details)

1. THE AUG / SEPT SHORT LIST (Date, Venue, Time Only)

FRI, AUG 5 / JJ’s Eatery / Old Orchard Beach ME / 7PM
     (Yes, they will take reservations)
SAT, AUG 6 / Chef & Gardener / Saco ME / 6PM
     (RESERVATIONS ONLY at 5:30 & 7PM… details below)
THURS, AUG 11 / West End Studio Theater
Portsmouth NH / 2PM & 7:30PM
     (The View from He’ah Variety Show with Ida LeClair)
     (This will sell out! Info below)
FRI, AUG 12 / Ocean Pizza / Old Orchard Beach ME / 7PM
MON, AUG 15 / Lake Pemaquid Campground / Damariscotta ME
     (for campers only)
TUES, AUG 16 / Drummore Bay Concert Hall / Phippsburg ME / 7PM
     (Reservations Strongly Encouraged… info below)
FRI, AUG 19 / Toddy Brook / N Yarmouth ME / 6PM
     (Yes, they will take reservations)
FRI, AUG 25 / The Trailside Restaurant / Greenville ME / 6PM
     (Reservations Encouraged… great food! Info below)
FRI, AUG 26 / The Birches Resort / Rockwood ME / 7PM
     (Reservations Encouraged if you want dinner)
FRI, SEPT 2 / Biddeford-Saco Country Club / Saco ME / 6:30PM
SAT, SEPT 10 / The Village Coffeehouse / New Gloucester ME / 7:30PM
SAT, SEPT 17 / Swan River House Concerts / West Dennis MA / 5PM
     (RESERVATIONS ONLY… apps, dinner & concert included! Info below)
SAT, SEPT 24 / Colebrook Country Club / Colebrook NH / 7PM
FRI, SEPT 30 / Ocean Pizza / Old Orchard Beach ME / 7PM

2. TARGET GIGS (Full Details)

FRIDAY / AUGUST 5th / JJ’S EATERY / OLD ORCHARD BEACH ME / 7PM / 207-934-0222… If it’s nice out, I’ll be hummin’ & strummin’ on the back patio here! This is one of my fave local gigs. I used to play every 1st Friday, but now I’m playin’ every OTHER 1st Friday. I got snowed out once this winter & rebooked… so the consistency of our scheduling got a bit confusing… I’m confident we are now back to the every other month strategy. If you’ve not been here yet, I’m scratchin’ my head & shakin’ my finger at you! This is an all ages hang with great food & beverages & a fun, dedicated staff. I suggest y’all come early & stay late! Here’s their [website].

SATURDAY / AUGUST 6th / THE CHEF & GARDENER / SACO ME / RESERVATIONS ONLY for 2 dinner & music seatings at 5:30PM & 7PM / 207-282-9035… (yours truly will play two 40 minute sets at 6PM &7:30PM, set two outside on the patio if weather allows.) At the end of June, I met a good friend here out on the patio, had a most excellent meal & fell in love with the place. It’s tucked away in a very intimate setting off of Rt. 112 (345 North Street) & it’s run by a husband & wife team who are all about fresh farm to table ingredients, pleasing presentations, good wine, fun cocktails & local brews… I shoulda checked it out long ago! I asked about music & Maureen (the Gardener) said it was an interesting concept… so we decided to try it! I will be the first performer to christen this unique venue on August 6th… seating is limited… call in a reservations ASAP! Here is their [website] & a link to the Ad that Maureen posted on Facebook [here].

THURSDAY / AUGUST 11th / WEST END STUDIO THEATER / PORTSMOUTH NH / 2PM & 7:30PM / BOOK SEATS AHEAD 60 seats per show… a sure sell out I hear... I am psyched & honored to be Ida LeClair’s special guest performer on her now famous “The View from He’ah Variety Show”… Susan Poulin (AKA Ida) is no slouch when it comes to writing & performing, engaging audiences of all kinds & all ages. I know a lot of fellow performers (like Maine’s own Don Campbell) have shared this stage with Ida & all of them go back for more. This will be my first time & I bet it won’t be the last. Ida will do a bit of an interview with me & I’ll get to share some tunes & short stories about my songs. I imagine there’s room for a lot of spontaneity & interaction with the audience. She describes the theater as a very intimate & special one… those sorts of venues are my favorites! I haven’t played the Portsmouth area for a real long time, so I hope to see some old friends in the seats of this unique theater. Feel free to share this info & the link for tickets with folks who might enjoy a special night with Ida & yours truly… book ahead, cos like I said, Ida says “it’s a sure sell out!” See y’all there!

FRIDAY / AUGUST 12th (& SEPTEMBER 30th) / OCEAN PIZZA / OLD ORCHARD BEACH ME / 7PM / 207-934-2900... when the temps begin to warm here at the seashore, it’s time to get back to playin’ at Ocean Pizza! It sounds like a little diner thing doesn't it? Yes, there's a take out spot in the front... but the dining room is really warm, woody & comfy, with a bar & music on Friday nights... & GET THIS: the only music allowed is... ORIGINAL MUSIC! Totally cool. Pam, the owner, is a petite fiery lady straight outta Italy with some of her Grandma's best recipes tucked up under her sleeve. This is another splendid specimen of a local family run business with something unique to offer. Here's their [website].

TUESDAY / AUGUST 16th / DRUMMORE BAY CONCERT HALL / PHIPPSBURG ME / 7PM / 207-446-7199... This is a TRULY COOL VENUE! My friend & fellow musician Jackson Gay & his wife Jean purchased this building with a vision for all good things happening, mostly musically involved. Jack put in a really great sound system… my voice feels like a million bucks in this place! Between my musical sets, decadent pies & other gourmet desserts, coffee & tea will be available to make a sweet night even sweeter. The venue is at 516 Main Rd (Rt 209 out of Bath)… easy to find. RESERVATIONS are strongly encouraged. You can call Jean at 207-446-7199 or order tix from the [website].

FRIDAY / AUGUST 19th / TODDY BROOK GOLF COURSE / N YARMOUTH ME / 6PM / 207-829-5100… This is a Golf Club Venue & Restaurant with a small bar area & lots of windows in the room where I’ll be singin’. The last two times I played here, the place was packed & we all had such a great time! So Chris (the owner) & I have decided we need to keep doing it! I’m a Yarmouth native… this spot is just over the town line in N Yarmouth, but it feels like home to me. The food’s great, the view’s inspiring, the people are wicked friendly & my voice floats nicely in this room… Check out Toddy Brook [here].

THURSDAY / AUGUST 25th / THE TRAILSIDE RESTAURANT / GREENVILLE ME / 6PM / 207-695-3737… In July, my outdoor concert at the gazebo in town was moved inside here due to thunderstorms… I think it was divine intervention. We had a great night & I really enjoyed the spunky gal with the French accent who was hostess, bartender, waitress & did much of the cooking & the gardening around this place! Her name is Aurelie & she & I agreed to give my music another chance to breathe its presence into this venue that long ago I frequented when I was a college kid up on Moosehead Lake, skiing at Squaw Mountain. How fun is it to come back years later with my guitar & relive memories & start new ones? Life is good… call ahead if you want a reservation… pretty sure Aurelie will hook you up. Here’s the [website].

FRIDAY / AUGUST 26th / THE BIRCHES RESORT / ROCKWOOD ME / 7PM / 207-534-2242... this is such a lovely setting... Right on the edge of Moosehead Lake... an intimate dining room with a big windows' view of Mount Kineo. Full bar, great food & yours truly hummin' & strummin' from 7 to 10PM. Worth the ride folks... call ahead to see if there's space left there for an overnight stay. (Definitely make a dinner reservation if you’re planning on eating… tell them you’re an Anni Fanni.) If there’s no room to stay, there are plenty of choices nearby if you want to make a weekend out of it. There are some super hikes in the area with great views, moose watching, fishing, swimming, kayaking, camping… the list is endless. Here's the [website].

FRIDAY / SEPTEMBER 2nd / BIDDEFORD-SACO COUNTRY CLUB / SACO ME / 6:30PM / 207-282-9892… I’ve been aware of this venue for quite some time but it took a while for me to catch up to the right person to land a gig here. I am certain it’ll be worth the wait. Spacious room with views of the grounds, great food I am told & the patrons sure do like to enjoy life & each other. I was down there for a spell one afternoon & ran into all kinds of people I know… I hope you all come out for this one, my debut here. I got a feeling this is only the beginning. I play 3 sets, 6:30 to 9:30… come early, have dinner, stay late… here’s their [website].

SATURDAY / SEPTEMBER 10th / THE VILLAGE COFFEEHOUSE / NEW GLOUCESTER ME / 207-726-3260 / 7:30PM… it’s been way too long since I played here! Seven years to be exact. Guess I got the itch. This is such a sweet, intimate venue, supported & well loved by the community around it. The concerts take place at the First Congregational-Christian Church at 19 Gloucester Hill Road. It’s been renovated & beautifully kept up since I first played there way back when. Oftentimes, they have a wine tasting at The Village Store down the road before the show, starting at 5:30ish. I’ll keep you posted on that. I am honored to be opening their fall/winter season this year (no concerts in the summer.) Tickets at the door are $10… if you want more info, you can call Julie Fralich at the phone number listed above. You can get directions & more at their [website].

SATURDAY / SEPTEMBER 17th / SWAN RIVER HOUSE CONCERTS / WEST DENNIS MA / 5PM / 802-233-5319… RESERVATIONS ONLY… there are only 25 seats! OMG, I am so psyched for THIS one! Here’s what $20 includes: Apps at 5:30 (BYOB)… A one hour concert at 6:30… & DINNER at 7:45! This is the creative brainchild of my old friend & fellow songwriter Linda Cullum, who once lived in Yarmouth (my home town) many moons ago. She tells a great story about our coming together back in the 70’s at this [link] that gives you more info & the magic portal to snag a seat. You can call or text Linda as well at the above number. Once you book a seat, she’ll make sure you know how to get there. By the way, I’ve seen many photos taken from Linda’s deck… trust me, you will want to be here… it’ll be a magic night for sure. Oh & Linda will open the show with a few songs of her own!!! SWEET…

SATURDAY / SEPTEMBER 24th / COLEBROOK COUNTRY CLUB / COLEBROOK NH / 7PM / 603-237-9302 or 603-246-8998 for info... This is a Great North Woods Committee for the Arts (GNWCA) Production. I always look forward to getting back here. This will be my third show with these kind folks & per usual, it’ll be up close & personal, with a relaxed coffeehouse vibe. The foliage should be at peak, so I plan on taking my hiking boots. Maybe y’all should consider the same. Last time through, my pal Sarah & I had a wonderful hike up to Table Rock in Dixville Notch… what a view. Reminds me of old times when a lot of us fun lovin’ people worked one way or another at The Balsams. The beauty of this area never ceases to amaze me. Here's the link to The GNWCA. Yippee!

FRIDAY / SEPTEMBER 30th / OCEAN PIZZA / OLD ORCHARD BEACH ME / 7PM / 207-934-2900… see August 12th (above) for details.

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Sunrise on Orr's Island

Many of you know I lost my Mom a little more than 3 years ago. She is with me all the time… & she was with me in a very big way this past week. You see, after my brother & three sisters took care of her affairs & tied up a lot of loose ends, we had a little cash left to split among the five of us. Not a whole bunch, mind you, but enough that we decided we should do something with it that MOM would appreciate. So we rented a house by the sea on Orr’s Island for a week… I just got home, but my heart still lingers there. (Orr’s Island is a peninsula running parallel to & between Harpswell & Phippsburg, not far from Brunswick & Bath ME.) Here’s a great picture of our home for a week, taken from the beach below it:

Our Magical Family Home for One Glorious Week!

I have not enough hands to count the ways we felt Mom’s presence while we were there. When we arrived, the skies threatened thunderstorms. We asked the powers that be (Mom, specifically) to spare us until we could unload ALL the stuff we brought, our cars filled to the brink with layers of clothes, water toys, food & beverages of all kinds, bikes, life vests, foot gear, games, my guitar, of course & so much more. We had carried in the last bit of stuff from our cars when the skies opened up & we were treated to a fine display of lightening, pelting rain, claps of thunder & a welcoming wind that made trees dance all around us. I swear that was all over within an hour or so, when the sun returned with a huge rainbow, a big swarm of dragonflies & the sweet sounds of every bird you can imagine… most noticeably, one of Mom’s favorites, the scarlet cardinal. And the smells surrounding? Exquisite. Later that same night, fireflies & not one, but TWO sets of fireworks lit the skies in yet another fine display. That was only day one, having arrived at 3:30PM… not a bad welcome.

Our first full day there we woke to a warm & sunny day, birds singing loudly, ocean breeze blowin’ so sweet, pleased as punch at the luck of it… for THIS was the day that we had planned a lobster clam bake for 24 family members. It was perfect. We put out a fabulous spread, laughed & ate & toasted to Mom & each other… occasionally, some of us jumped into the water down at the beach below, right around high tide when the swimmin’ was best. Too soon that part was over, but the week was still very young.

Next day, we decided to take a boat ride over to Harpswell to have lunch at the Dolphin Marina, famous for fish chowdah & blueberry muffins, made fresh every day. On our way, we saw four dolphins swimming ahead of us, so we cut our speed & lingered there… two of these beautiful creatures spent a good 4 or 5 minutes swimming back & forth on the side of our boat, as if playing with us & saying hello. Seals were bobbing up & down ahead of us during this performance, as if waving in our direction. Mom? That’s you, right?

We played cards & backgammon & danced in the kitchen… we took bike rides & more boat rides, visited with more family & friends & went swimming every time it was high tide (well, I did at least.) We ate fabulous meals every night & stayed on the wrap around deck for hours on end, just watching, listening, smelling, spell bound. We woke before sunrise & watched the water turn red, we stayed up until 2AM many nights, staring at the moon & the stars. We took a walk into “the back 40” & ate blueberries & raspberries all the way up & down the hill to the views up there. It never rained when we wanted to do something. The weather was about as good as it can get ALL WEEK LONG! I think I wore fleece twice… at night. We sure used a lot of sunscreen. Oh… & in the early morning of our last full day, my sister Betsey’s son, Walt, & his lovely wife, Emily, welcomed into our wild & wonderful world a 7.5 pound baby girl, Nora Prior Shepard. Prior is my Mom’s maiden name, MY middle name AND Walt’s middle name. Priceless.

If I recalled all the moments of wonder we lived while there, this blog would become a small novel. So what I’ll do is share one particular event that will always stand out for us. On on our last full day there, my sister Katie’s husband, Dave, said he had something he wanted to do down at the beach. He sauntered off for a while & we did, well… whatever… we probably sat on the deck mesmerized. Later on that day, we wound up back down on the beach & saw what Dave had been doing… he had written in stone a big “Thank You Lu” to my Mom… here it is:

A Thank You to Lovely Lu

Pretty amazing right? OK, but that’s not all… for some reason, Dave decided to take the Lu off before he left his little project. He took the picture above before he did that. Not long after we first saw his tribute, admired it & thanked him for it, my sister Betsey came back & took a walk down to see it. She came back telling us “but go look at it… the “Lu” is still there! It’s written in the cracks of the rock!” She was right… check it out:

"Lu" is already part of the message! (Look closely...)

Believe what you will… but if y’all tell me that my Mom wasn’t there this past week (& every day)… I won’t believe you. I bring this magical week & all its energy with me into August & beyond. If I get to see some of you along the way in the coming weeks, it will make a life so rich that much richer. Thanks for tuning into my ramblings… safe travels & don’t forget the sunscreen.


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2 - Biddeford Saco Country Club - Saco ME - 6:30PM - 207-282-9892
10 - The Village Coffeehouse - New Gloucester ME - 7:30PM
17 - Swan River House Concerts - W Dennis MA (Cape Cod) - 5:00PM
     RESERVATIONS ONLY! ONLY 25 SEATS… $20 includes:
     Apps on the deck @ 5:30, One Hour Concert @ 6:30, Dinner @ 7:45!
     BYOB… Click [here] for more info & reservations
     This is at my songwriter friend Linda Cullum’s house… she will open the show!

24 - Colebrook Country Club - Colebrook NH - 7PM
     For tix & info call 603-237-9302 or 603-246-8998
30 - Ocean Pizza - Old Orchard Beach ME - 7PM - 207-934-2900

1 - Elements (Books Beer & Music) - Biddeford ME - 8PM - 207-710-2011
7 - JJ’s Eatery - Old Orchard Beach ME - 6:30PM - 207-934-0222
21 - Ocean Pizza - Old Orchard Beach ME - 7PM - 207-934-2900

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