Each month, the Maine Songwriter's Association presents Songwriters on Stage, a showcase of some of the best songwriters Maine has to offer. The show features three seasoned performers and an emerging songwriter to kick the evening off. It's an opportunity for listeners to discover new music or come hear local favorites in one of the best listening rooms in Maine. The September concert features Jud Caswell, Jenny Lou Drew, Ben Hunsberger, and emerging songwriter, Sam Balentine.
Maine’s Jud Caswell is a little bit like a one-man folk festival. You’ve got your banjo picking, your Irish drinking songs, a rack of acoustic instruments, and a deep catalog of award-winning originals. He’s often compared to James Taylor and David Wilcox, but his songs draw on a long musical history and wide-ranging influences from jazz and Piedmont blues to contemporary folk and rock.
Jud is currently celebrating the release of his sixth collection, “Watch The Fall.” This is his first CD of new material since 2007. The years between have been full of music and focusing on family, friends and community. The album reflects that focus. Early listeners have called it “homey and groovy and uplifting and thoughtful” -- a “celebration of life, love, family, and all that is wonderful about midcoast Maine.”
Jenny Lou Drew is a Maine native who has been writing songs for as long as she can remember. Her husband, Scott Morgan, helped to arrange and produce their latest album, which he mixed and engineered in their home studio. The self-titled debut, "Jenny Lou Drew and The Damage Done", has been getting airplay on several Maine stations and is available at Bull Moose locations as well as on Bandcamp. They are currently at work on a follow-up for release in 2016.
Blending a lifelong passion for music with his unique perspectives on life, love, politics, and nature, Ben Hunsberger's music is seasoned with flavors of Jackson Browne and The Beatles, and echoes of Brubeck and Mose Allison. Clear vocals backed by keyboard and guitar highlight his live performances. Ben has played with many well-known area musicians including Jenny Lou Drew, Ted DeMille, Carter Ruff, Scott Woodruff, and Liz and Chris Lannon. He has recorded seven original albums, and his latest effort - New Paint – comes out in December, 2015.
Sam Balentine is a singer-songwriter from Portland, Maine. He’s been singing since he could talk, and has played the guitar for 10 years. Sam got serious about songwriting while studying music the Portland Arts and Technology High School, and used this education to hone his craft. Since graduating high school in 2011, he has continued studying music and writing on his own. Sam has played in the bands Gifted But Twisted and Flagstaff, and is currently working with his musical friends on a self-produced album.