The summer of 2021 on the Coast of Maine has been a busy one for almost everyone, including the crew at the Opera House in Boothbay Harbor. While performances will continue year round, as long as pandemic precautions allow, the end of summer brings Maine super-talent David Mallett and his band to the stage, with additional concerts by Scots Celtic trio Cantrip, and England’s acclaimed Richard Thompson.
David Mallett returns to the stage on Saturday, Aug. 28, accompanied by fiddle, bass, piano and more with his band. In a career spanning four decades, he has recorded 17 albums, had several hundred covers of his songs, including the American folk classic Garden Song and performed in clubs, concert halls and festivals across the US, Canada, and Europe. He has appeared on numerous broadcasts, including National Public Radio’s “A Prairie Home Companion.” Known for his carefully written, poetic offerings, his body of work has provided material for an eclectic list of artists that includes Alison Krauss, Pete Seeger, Hal Ketchum, Emmylou Harris, John Denver and the Muppets. Of Mallett the New York Times says, “He harks back to the earnest ambitions and heartfelt melodies of Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash, singing with the conviction that folk can still be heroic.” Advance discounted tickets $25. Regular tickets $30.
Bringing the sounds of Celtic music and more, the trio Cantrip lands on the Opera House stage on Friday, Sept. 3. The name Cantrip is an Old Scots word meaning a charm, magic spell or piece of mischief and it aptly describes the unexpected twists and turns in their musical arrangements, likewise the compelling potency of their musicianship. Swirling border pipes, raging fiddle, thunderous guitar and three rich voices blend to create a sound energetic enough to tear the roof off. Echoes can be heard of trad music from the 1960s and 70s, but the years have slowly infested their music with the sounds of funk, metal, bluegrass, swing, and even klezmer. Join in on the fun tonight with Dan Houghton, Jon Bews and Eric McDonald in their first appearance at the Opera House. Advance discounted tickets are $20. Regular tickets are $25.
Richard Thompson has been called “The finest rock songwriter after Dylan and the best electric guitarist since Hendrix,” by the Los Angeles Times. Thompson comes to the stage on Saturday, Sept. 4. Powered by evocative songcraft, jaw-dropping guitar playing, and indefinable spirit, this venerable icon holds a coveted spot on Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” and counts a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Americana Music Association in Nashville, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the BBC Awards among his many accolades. 2011 saw Thompson garner an OBE (Order of the British Empire) personally bestowed upon him by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. Moreover, Time touted his anthem, “1952 Vincent Black Lightning,” on its “100 Greatest Songs Since 1923” list. Thompson’s influence can’t be overstated. Everybody from Robert Plant, Don Henley, and Elvis Costello to REM, Sleater-Kinney and David Byrne has covered his music. Advance discounted tickets are going quickly at $40. Regular tickets are $45.
Tickets for all upcoming performances are available at the Opera House box office at 86 Townsend Avenue, or by calling 633-5159. The box office is open Wednesday - Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
All seating is general admission with doors opening at 7 p.m. and concerts beginning at 7:30. The historic upstairs Opera House bar opens at 6:30 p.m. each night for ticket holders.
Audience members are required to have proof of vaccination at the door on the night of the performance, or proof of a negative Covid test taken within 24 hours of the performance. The CDC recommends masks for indoor activities.