First Friday, Spring Sings, a little bit Country


First Friday, April 7, 2023, 6-9pm


The lineup is slowly coming together for the next First Friday event, Spring Sings, April 7, 6-9pm at the Milton Art Center as the musicians choose the songs they will perform based off the theme of a little bit country.


The theme is chosen after some back and forth between a group of musicians who have been working together for over eight years as they produced Open Mic at the MAC. Open Mic has been retired and this new form, First Friday, working off a theme, is one tweak they’re making in response to some of the limitations they felt when producing Open Mic.


“I really enjoy working with a theme,” said musician, Drew Dunphy.  “Often I find that having some parameters or limits gets the creative juices flowing.  I usually try to think of songs that fit the theme but are slightly off the beaten track, something that might initially catch a listener off guard but still feels authentic to the theme of the night,” said Dunphy.


Working as a duo, musicians Ben Zoll and Jen Meyers of Owl Haus both felt they had lots of ideas right away – that the theme of a little bit country was very much up their alley. “A few of our originals can be considered “country” for sure, so we thought of those first. We both love Americana music as well as modern takes on these traditional songs,” said Zoll.


Zoll and Meyers said that one of the songs they’ll be performing is an original, and the other two are quite different from each other. Zoll said “Pistol Packin’ Mama” is an Alex Dexter song from 1943 that Bing Crosby famously covered, and “Did I Shave My Legs for This” is a Deana Carter song from the 90s. What we love about the Deana Carter song is that it’s both playful and addresses real inequities in some relationships. You could say both covers are songs about women reevaluating their lives, and trying to take some control, too. Our original song, “Time to Go,” is a break up song, classic country content, but very playful and upbeat. Break up songs are perfect for spring, when we’re all focused on new beginnings and saying goodbye to old man winter,” said Zoll.


Steve Cousineau and Claudia Wellington will be teaming up to perform Johnny Cash and June Carter’s “Jackson.” Cousineau chose Johnny Cash for his humanistic story telling songs and will also perform “Big River” with Kevin Dambruch.


Claudia Wellington and Kevin Dambruch will be performing “Lonestar” written by Lee Alexander, performed by Norah Jones and “Killing the Blues,” by Alison Krauss and Robert Plant.

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