WW&F concert combines train travel, music

Sun, 07/29/2018 - 5:45pm

    Train travel has a musical quality: Clacking percussion from the chugging wheels and clanging brass from the bell punctuated every now and then by the whistle’s toot. When you hear these sounds, you know they mean a train.

    On Saturday, July 28, Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum at 97 Cross Road in Alna combined train travel with the first of a summer concert series. About 30 attendees boarded the train at Sheepscot Station. A ride on the narrow gauge rail took them to the Alna Center depot, steps away from the venue. Seating was under a tent on property owned by more than five generations of the Albee family.

    Saturday’s concert offered the acoustic duo “Married with Chitlins,” otherwise known as Chris and Liz Lannon on the guitar and fiddle. Property owner Tom Albee joined them for a mix of songs that spanned decades if not centuries. Joking about their repertoire, Chris Lannon told attendees, “We play hits from the 60’s – the 1860s.” They performed more recent music, also.

    “I brought the stage,” museum volunteer Stewart Rhine explained when asked about his duties for the evening. He pointed to the 1930 flatbed truck.

    The musicians acknowledged their unusual stage in song. Before starting “Hallelujah,” Liz said: “It’s a love song for a truck and this truck needs a lot of love.”  

    Both guests and WW&F volunteers were enthusiastic about the concert series museum spokesman Steve Piwowarski said resulted from requests by the public.

    Planning started almost a year ago. “We wanted to be sure we were starting it the right way." The series will become an annual event if the response is positive, he said. All proceeds go to museum programs.

    The event linked concert-goer Carroll Lermond to previous generations of his family who traveled the steel ribbon of the WW&F Railway. “My mother took the train to school and my grandfather was an engineer,” he told the Wiscasset Newspaper.

    Volunteer Bill Baskerville, the train’s brakeman, comes to Maine three times a year from home in Virginia. Piwowarski said, “We have 1,100 members from around the world. And when we have a work weekend, we can have as many as 100 volunteers come from around the country.”  

    The next concert is Aug. 25, when “Rough Sawn” will perform country, bluegrass and folk music. On Sept. 8, the series concludes with the award-winning band “Golden Oak.”

    Trains to both concerts depart Sheepscot Station at 5 p.m. and return at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 and can be bought in advance at http://wwfrytickets.simpletix.com/Event-List/. Ticket prices at the door are $18. For more information, call WW&F at 882-4193.