Leading into Veterans Day, we speak with longtime NPR war correspondents Neal Conan and Anne Garrels, who are in Maine as part of the East Coast tour of “Between War & Here.” The performance combines music, poetry and memoir to explore the themes of honor, courage, loss and hope. The journalists have teamed up with the chamber group Ensemble Galilei for this project, and will share their stories from their reporting careers as well as their involvement with this artistic collaboration. Ensemble Galilei’s founder Carolyn Surrick joins the discussion as well.

Chris Pizzello / Invision/Associated Press

A new documentary by Ken Burns explores “the history of a uniquely American art form: country music. From its deep and tangled roots in ballads, blues and hymns performed in small settings, to its worldwide popularity, learn how country music evolved over the course of the 20th century, as it eventually emerged to become America’s music.” Join us for a conversation about country music.

Before rock 'n' roll, jazz dominated the music scene in America.

In the decades since Elvis and the Beatles changed the face of music, jazz has remained a steady, if somewhat diminished, uniquely American art form.

A panel of jazz lovers, including Maine Public’s own Rich Tozier, join us to talk about their love of jazz and the Maine jazz scene. We’ll also hear some live jazz during the show.

The DVD cover image for The Eventful Life of Al Hawkes

Maine Public TV Air Times:
Thur., Sept. 19 at 10:00 pm
Sat., Sept. 21 at 11:00 am

The Eventful Life of Al Hawkes is a documentary film about New England country music, told through the story of a Maine record label and its founder.


Which are the five albums you’d choose if you could only listen to 5? Which 5 records or artists had the greatest impact on you musically? Get ready for the great debate of the albums that matter most.

Maine’s own "holler folk" band, Ghost of Paul Revere, joins us to discuss their new album, life on the road, and making it onto the national music scene.  They made their national debut in January on "Conan."

Vinyl Records: How These Old Discs Are Making a Comeback

May 4, 2018

First there were cassettes, then CDs, then MP3s — each supposed to be the death of vinyl records. Yet they remain popular, and more and more bands are releasing their music on vinyl. Last year 14 percent of all albums sold were vinyl records — the 12th straight year of vinyl sales growth. We’ll hear from collectors and aficionados about why this “old” format continues to remain popular.

Maine Public Music: New Discoveries

Dec 20, 2017
Jennifer Rooks

Our own Sara Willis joins us to share some of her favorite music discoveries of the year.  We’ll also hear from Rich Tozier about some of his favorite jazz ‘re-discoveries’ of the year. 

Guest:  Sara Willis is the host of Maine Public’s “In Tune.”

Rich Tozier is the host of Maine Public's "Jazz Tonight."

Contra dancers in Peterborough, New Hampshire

Maine Public TV Air Times:
Thur., November 2 at 10:00 pm
Sat., November 4 at 11:00 am

Using a wealth of rare archival films, animation, and traditional New England fiddle music, this film tells a 250-year history of an enduring form of community music and dance.

Explore the changing nature of community life through an enduring form of music and dance. The film traces the music’s arrival to New England from the British Isles in the 1750s, to its height in popularity following the American Revolution, to its near extinction and current revitalization in the twentieth century.

Pop & Rock Music Scene

Aug 8, 2017

We survey the pop & rock music scene in Maine and get a preview of some upcoming festivals/concerts.

Guests: Spencer Albee, Portland based and nationally acclaimed singer, songwriter and producer. Since 1995, he has toured internationally, signed multiple record and publishing deals and worked with artists ranging from David Bowie to De La Soul.  Rolling Stone Magazine recently called Spencer a "21st Century master in the lost art of Beatlesque hooks."

A still frame from The Hungry Years

Maine Public TV Air Times:
Thur., Sept. 1 at 10:00 pm
Sat., Sept. 3 at 11:00 am

The Hungry Years follows a talented but homeless young musician over the course of two years as he struggles against all odds to pursue his dream of rock stardom. The film begins as we're introduced to Joel Carpenter, 21, forming his new band with members he's recently met on Craigslist. Soon he is asked to leave the relative comfort of his grandmother’s house, and so his journey into homelessness begins. His girlfriend describes this as Joel’s "nomadic lifestyle." Joel lives between his van, his "office" (the band’s rehearsal space) and crashes on various friends and relatives’ couches. Unable to hold a job very long, he is soon broke and visiting local food banks to feed himself. All through this difficult time Joel continues to write songs and performs with his band, The Effects, in bars and outdoor festivals around Maine. We follow Joel and his band’s successes and failures until tensions and dysfunction finally break the band apart. Joel is then faced with picking up the pieces and coming to terms with where his decisions have led him.

The Falmouth Library Ukulele Society performance in 2015.

Though some still scoff at what looks like a toy guitar, there are a growing number of ukulele enthusiasts. Sales of the small four-stringed instruments, popularized in Hawaii, have skyrocketed in recent years and playing groups are popping up across the country including Maine. The ukulele is is helping many of new players become something they never thought they could be — musicians.

Community Bands

Jul 1, 2014

  Community bands..or 'town bands' in Maine have their roots in military ensembles dating back to colonial times.  before the emergence of radio and other forms of popular entertainment, community bands were at the center of small town life......and even city life.   as Maine prepares to celebrate the nation's birthday this friday, community bands around the state are rehearsing for concerts on the green, or on parade floats.

  Meet the new Music Director at MPBN, Robin Rilette. She was the former morning classical host at Northwest Public Radio (NWPR), based in Pullman, Washington.

Host Jennifer Rooks spoke with:

MPBN's Music Director Robin Rilette

The Intersection of Science, Music, and Creativity

Aug 15, 2013

  What are we learning about how music makes us more creative?

Host Suzanne Nance was joined by:

David Shaw, Black Point Group, Former Chair of The Jackson Laboratory

Dr. Charles Limb, Associate Professor - Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery Faculty, Peabody Conservatory of Music

Jennifer Torrance, Jackson Laboratory's Senior Manager of Multimedia Services


Additional Information: