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 Paddy Mills, Max Ater and Randy Lindsey, and emerging artist Will Harris.
Paddy Mills is an award winning folk singer from the coast of Maine. The son of a part time DJ at the local AM country radio station, Paddy grew up in the small fishing village of Owl’s Head. He cut his teeth playing Irish music at pubs throughout New England. These are the elements that inform his writing; from the direct and simple approach of classic country music, the emphasis on melody and storytelling found in traditional Irish music, to the unpretentious attitude and dry wit that stem from a hard scrabble life of scratching out a living where the ocean meets the land.
Paddy spent much of his youth performing in musical theater. He is home on a stage. He studied jazz vocals in college for a time and fronted a grunge cover band in those formative years as well. It was, however, as a singer songwriter that Mills hit his stride. Paddy’s 2011 solo acoustic album 3 Lefts sounds “as though he were right there in your living room. For some artists, the more raw the recording, the more exposed their shortcomings. But to Mills' credit, his congenial delivery makes for one smooth listen” –Portland Press Herald. This is true also of his live performances. Whether at a coffee house, Festival, folk club or the corner of a bar, Paddy has a way of making listeners feel like they’re sitting in a living room listening to the telling of old familiar stories about their own family and friends. In 2013 Paddy was the Winner of both the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival Songwriting Contest and the Rose Garden Coffeehouse Performing Songwriter Competition, and has started 2014 by winning the South Florida Folk Festival Singer-Songwriter Competition and taking Gold in the Mid Atlantic Song Contest, Folk/Acoustic category.
As a Folk Singer, Paddy maintains an extensive repertoire of Irish, American, Maritime, Nicaraguan and Labor folk songs. In 2012 he spent time in Nicaragua studying the music of the Sandanista revolution. His knowledge of and respect for traditional music is reflected is his own writing. As a songwriter, Paddy has a knack for the overlooked. He knows that common sense is not so common, and simple truths are not so simple. Mainefolkmusic.com describes his songs as “intimate, heartfelt, finely crafted, and masterfully performed” Most importantly, though, Paddy's music can leave you grinning like you've just been let in on a secret -- one that you might just have known all along.
With “...a voice that rivals any you might hear on the radio...” (The Coastal Journal), Max Ater is an upcoming Pop/Soul sensation from Southern Maine. The 23 year-old singer-songwriter is best known for winning Maine’s Got Talent! in 2012. Driven by lyrics that connect us all, Max blends his deeper truths and soulful voice with a contemporary sound to deliver music that resonates with many audiences.
No stranger to the stage, Max filled his youth with community theatre, vocal training, and hours a day behind the piano. At an early age, Max was inspired by artists like Jamie Cullum, Norah Jones, John Mayer, and Elton John. In high school he began composing original music, which led to to an array of accolades including a nod and win from the Independent Music Awards, appearances on multiple television programs, and regular airtime on the radio. Max’s latest album is currently underway at Anchour Studio in Windham, ME. You can find out more about Max by visiting www.MaxAter.com
Randy grew up in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and began his career in guitar performance by teaching himself at age 14. He performed Rock and Roll with several local bands for many years and began teaching at local music stores at age 20. During his career, Randy has also performed solo, with duos and trios, and with bands of many different genres.
After receiving his Bachelor's degree in Guitar Performance and Music Education at the University of AL in Huntsville in 1981, Randy developed and implemented the Guitar Program at the University of North Alabama in Florence, AL, from 1983 thru 1992 when he left to earn his Masters of Music Arts (MMA) degree in 1994. He finished course work in Doctoral studies at the University of Southern MS in 1996. Randy's college teaching experience includes instructing applied classical guitar majors and guitar elective students, along with conducting guitar classes and guitar ensembles.
As a performer, Randy Lindsey provides his unique musical ambience in a wide variety of settings. He enjoys including Jazz Standards, Classical Guitar Pieces, Originals, World Music (Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, French, Thai), Popular Guitar-Oriented Songs, (and even fun Cowboy Songs).
"Music you've never heard, music you may never hear again, and songs you've always known."
Will Harris (Emerging Songwriter)
Will has been playing and writing songs for more than 40 years, but until fairly recently has been keeping them "at home." Over the past few years he has been playing out on the open mic circuit and trying his songs, both old and new, out on audiences including several stints as featured artist at Ebenezer's. Will's songs are mostly in the folk tradition, edged with some country and bordered by the blues.