Skyflight Productions presents an evening with Parsonsfield on Thursday March 10th, 2016 at the Albert S. George Youth Center at Barnesville Memorial Park in Barnesville, OH. Parsonsfield is a five-piece Americana band from Connecticut that infuses a rowdy, rock-'n'-roll spirit into its bluegrass and folk influences, blowing away any preconception of what you think banjos and mandolins
should sound like.
ParsonsfieldChris Freeman (vocals, banjo), Antonio
Alcorn (mandolin), Max Shakun (vocals, pump organ,
guitar), Harrison Goodale (bass), Erik Hischmann (drums)
has toured steadily since their debut in 2010. In 2013 they
recorded their debut album Poor Old Shine (Signature
Sounds Recordings), produced by Sam Kassirer (Josh
Ritter, Lake Street Dive). The critics were impressed, with
David Vescey from the New York Times noting, "I fully
expect to hear more from this band as the years go on."
and the U.K.'s Maverick Magazine calling it "A blistering energetic debut." During the winter of 201314
the band wrote and performed an original score in the acclaimed production of The Heart of Robin
Hood at Harvard's American Repertory Theater, and they will continue the production for a four-month
Broadway tryout in Canada in winter 201415. Their new E.P Afterparty (also produced by Kassirer and
released on Signature Sounds) is available August 19.
They weren't always called Parsonsfield (the band started out as Poor Old Shine, but changed in July 2014).
The new name was born of the inspired experiences recording two albums in beautiful, rural Parsonsfield,
Maine, at Great North Sound Society, Kassirer's farmhouse studio/retreat. It was there they met current
drummer Hischmann, who was working as Kassirer's assistant engineer.
"We owe a lot to what happened there," said Freeman of their time at Great North. "Our sound really
changed when Erik joined ... it pulled us from being a more traditional string band to something that felt
much more uniquely ourselves. It made us the band we are today."
As for the name change, it was certainly unusualand a difficult decision (they learned that, to some, their
old name carried an association with an antiquated derogatory expression). But it also sparked an
unexpected creative musical leap.
"It gives us more freedom to explore different genres and styles without having the burden of expectation,"
says Freeman of the change. "Many people thought Poor Old Shine was a reference to moonshine, and
thus assumed we were an Appalachian or bluegrass band. It's an opportunity to explore our own music with
Afterparty does just that. Its six songs, five covers and an original, crackle with that newfound clarity.
Among the covers is an accordion-drenched take on Mississippi John Hurt's "Let The Mermaids Flirt With
Me"; "Strollin' Down The Highway", a funked-up Bert Jansch cover kicked into gear by drums, bass and
banjo; a version of Huey Lewis and the News' "The Power of Love" like you've never heard before; and
"Hang Me", a punk-grass take on the traditional song made famous by Dave Van Ronk and the Grateful
Dead. The original, "Anita, Your Lovin'", is an ode to a love that left for Providence, Rhode Island, sounding
like a '50s boy group at a front porch sing-a-long.
Parsonsfield has certainly traveled many miles since their early days of making handmade CD packaging
from old cereal boxes, to currently wowing crowds at prestigious festivals including Edmonton, Ottawa,
and Philadelphia Folk. The band formed at the University of Connecticut, where agriculture student
Freeman met paper artist Alcorn in a folk music club on campus. An early version of the band landed its
first gig by accident. The folk music club was mistaken for a band, and asked to open for friends at the
legendary Toad's Place in New Haven, CT in 2010. With the addition of Shakun and Goodale, the band
began writing music influenced by old American songs, and bands spanning The Carter Family to the
Avett Brothers. They also began adding unconventional and sometimes homemade instruments to their
stage arsenal (electric fan, gourd piano, salt shaker, saw, and bike wheel, to name a few). The band
cemented its lineup by adding Hischmann in 2013 when they recorded their first album in Parsonsfield,
"The last few years feel very surreal and it's hard to imagine what'll come next," says Freeman. "We're just
really excited with the opportunities we've had and the people we've gotten to meet. We just want to keep
living this dream."
Albert S George Youth Center (View)
130 Fair St
Barnesville, OH 43713
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|