Slaid Cleaves to showcase Whistlestop Concert Series Aug. 7

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Storyteller musician Slaid Cleaves

FARMINGTON – Storyteller musician Slaid Cleaves will highlight the Whistlestop Concert Series Amphitheater Stage Aug. 7. Gates open at 5 p.m. with the show beginning at 6 p.m.

“We have been working to bring Slaid to Farmington for nearly three years. We are so excited to finally be able to secure a date for the Whistlestop Concert Series,” said John Moore. “He has a tremendous following across the United States and Europe but especially in his home state of Maine where his shows consistently sell out.”

Cleaves was raised in South Berwick and Round Pond, Maine and now calls Austin, Texas home. He has been touring throughout the United States and Europe for more than 30 years.

Franklin County residents may be familiar with Cleaves’ song “Below,” which tells the poignant story of the flooding of Flagstaff Plantation from the perspective of one of the displaced residents. Flagstaff and two other villages were flooded in 1952 by Central Maine Power to create the Dead River hydroelectric dam.

“The dusky waters move cold and slow. And the ghosts of a village still wander below.”

Joseph Hudak of Rolling Stone describes Cleaves as a “master storyteller, one influenced not by the shine of pop-culture but by the dirt of real life.”

Cleaves’ songs tell the stories of people who live in an often unglamorous reality, working dead-end jobs, going broke and growing old. He finds the beauty in everyday life.

The Whistlestop Concert Series represents the realization of a long-time dream of bringing top acts to Maine’s foothills region.

“The Amphitheater is an ideal venue for outdoor concerts. Just to the left of the stage, concertgoers can see Mt. Blue. We are truly blessed here in Farmington,” Moore said.

The community has long asked for an outdoor concert venue. Moore has been working to bring shows home to Farmington with concerts at the Amphitheater the past few years but this is the first summer the Whistlestop Concert Series has been in full swing.

Upcoming shows include Spencer and the Walrus Saturday, July 30; Ward Hayden and the Outliers Aug. 20; and Brett Dennen Friday, Sept. 16. Memorial Day weekend brought 10 performers to the outdoor stage as part of the successful Sandy River Music Festival. Performers included the David Mallet Band, Jason Spooner, The Mallet Brothers and GoldenOak.

“We were so pleased with the response. People are excited to have live outdoor music in Farmington and no one can beat our view,” he said.

Concertgoers should bring a lawn chair or blanket. Food and beverage vendors will be available on site. Tickets are $25 and available at The Amphitheater Stage is located behind the Narrow Gauge Cinema.

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