Erica Brown, her bluegrass band will give two concerts

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CARTHAGE — Erica Brown, known for combining the precision of classical music with the spontaneity of country and bluegrass fiddle, will play Wednesday, Feb. 29, at Skye Theatre Performing Arts Center.

She and her band, The Bluegrass Connection, which performs all over New England, will also play Thursday, March 1, at Unity College Centre for the Performing Arts.

Brown has performed as a special guest with Mac McHale and the Old-Time Radio Gang for five years. In addition to Erica Brown & The Bluegrass Connection, she is also a member of The Stowaways, Darlin’ Corey and The Record Family Band.

Brown, who has opened for country music superstars Dwight Yoakam and Ricky Skaggs, was a member of Bates College’s Fighting Bobcats Orchestra for five years and the Maine All-State Music Festival for two years.

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She has won numerous fiddle contests throughout New England and Canada. In 2003, she received the Maine Country Music Association’s Junior Female Entertainer of the Year award; and, in 2006, she won the Harold Carter Memorial Award from the Down East Country Music Association.

Making up The Bluegrass Connection are Steve Roy, Matt Shipman, Ken Taylor and Read McNamara. Roy, a Portland resident, is well known for his bass playing, but also plays and teaches mandolin, guitar and fiddle. He has also performed internationally with myriad bluegrass bands.

Shipman, also of Portland, has performed for about 10 years and has taught guitar and mandolin at 317 Main St., a Community Music School in Yarmouth, for five years. He also plays bouzouki as well as tenor and clawhammer banjo.

Taylor has performed with Brown for eight years, playing acoustic bass and adding vocals to the group. He started out as a guitar player with an interest in folk music, but was soon sidetracked into bluegrass.

McNamara started playing banjo at age 18 while at college. As he puts it, “Everyone else played guitar. After my grandfather died, I inherited his old Gibson banjo, so I started playing that to change things up a bit.”

Curtain is 7 p.m. at Skye; 7:30 p.m. at Unity. A jam session will begin one hour prior to curtain at both venues. Tickets are $15 at the door. For reservations, call Skye at 562-4445 or UCCPA at 948-7469. Skye is at 2 Highland Drive. UCCPA is at 42 Depot St., Unity.

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