new festival, The Source Guitar and Arts Festival, is coming to Lewiston-Auburn Saturday, June 26. The event celebrates the legacy of Lewiston-Auburn’s numerous guitar greats, including jazz legend Lenny Breau, Lewiston-born flat-picking genius Clarence White and Schooner Fare’s Tom Rowe, bassist who began on guitar.

Two brothers and a son of those three – Denny Breau, Roland White and Dave Rowe -will continue those great traditions on several stages for ongoing shows throughout the festival. Many other guitar stars, including Maine’s Johnny Hiland and Germany’s great Peter Finger, will also perform at the event presented by L/A Arts and WCSH6.

Richard Willing, director of L/A Arts, said, “Whenever I’ve been hiring talent to perform here, I say ‘L-A’ and people say, ‘Oh, Los Angeles,’ and I say, ‘No, Lewiston-Auburn.’ They know Lewiston-Auburn and they know about our guitar heritage. They say, ‘Why don’t you highlight it?'”

It’s that national interest, Willing said, that has led to the new festival honoring guitar greats like Lenny Breau (profiled in other story on this page) and Clarence White, who was born in Lewiston the day after D-Day, June 7, 1944. His mom and dad both loved music and encouraged all the White children to play.

White became one of the guitar world’s best flat-picking experts. He benefited from having an older brother, Roland, still one of the world’s leading bluegrass mandolinists with the Nashville Bluegrass Band, to encourage and help him along the way.

Clarence White’s life was taken by a drunken driver in a 1975 auto accident. His brother, Roland, will perform at the Lewiston festival.

Also appearing at The Source will be Johnny Hiland, one of the most critically acclaimed young artists to stir Nashville. Originally from Woodland Maine, Hiland blends his unique hybrid style of blazing “chicken picking” with influences set in country, rock and blues styles of the guitar heroes of his generation and those who came before. He recently played as a session guitarist with Ricky Skaggs, Janie Fricke, Randy Travis, Hank Williams III, Rebecca Lynn Howard and Vassar Clements,

Another guitar great coming to Lewiston is Peter Finger, one of Europe’s leading acoustic guitarists, as well as a composer, producer, label head and publisher.

A free workshop will be given by Steve Baughman on Orkney tuning in Bonney Park (bring your guitar). Baughman, who plays a Celtic “frailing” style, said the tuning has nothing to do with the islands off Scotland.

Events will take place at Bonney Park and Festival Plaza, both on Main Street, Auburn, and in Railroad Park, Oxford Street, Lewiston.

The schedule is as follows:

Auburn’s Bonney Park: 10 to 10:45 a.m., Martin Gibson; 11 to 11:45 a.m., Sean McGowan; noon to 12:45 p.m., Steve Baughman; 1:15 to 2 p.m., Peter Finger; 2 to 3 p.m., workshop by Steve Baughman; 2:30 to 3:15 p.m., Libby Kirkpatrick; 3:45 to 4:30 p.m., Peter Finger; 4:45 to 5 p.m., Buck Curran and Charlton Phaneuf ; 5 to 5:45 p.m., Libby Kirkpatrick.

Auburn’s Festival Plaza: 10:15 to 11 a.m., Sean Mencher Combo; 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Denny Breau; 12:45 1:30 p.m., Roland White with the Dave Rowe Trio; 2 to 2:45 p.m., Sean Mencher Combo; 3:15 to 4 p.m., Denny Breau; 4:30 to 5:15 p.m., Roland White with the Dave Rowe Trio.

Lewiston’s Railroad Park: 11 to 11:45 a.m., Mark Miller Blues Band; 12:15 to 1 p.m., Erin McKeown; 1:30 – 2:15 p.m., Johnny Hiland; 2:45 – 3:30 p.m., Mark Miller Blues Band; 4 to 4:45 p.m., Erin McKeown; 5:15 – 6 p.m., Johnny Hiland.

The performance schedule, which is available online at www.laarts.org, is subject to change.

Besides musical events, there will be an Artist’s Village in Railroad Park where the public can view and purchase the works of more than 50 artists and craftsman. Charleen Belanger, WCSH6 community relations director, said there are entrants from all over Maine and New England in various media. There will be oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings, pastel drawings and photography, fiber art, pottery, wood, ceramics, basketry, and jewelry. Entrants will vie for a $1,000 Best of Show prize, as well as $600 and $400 prizes.

For more information about The Source Guitar and Arts Festival, contact L/A Arts at 1-800-639-2919 or 782-7228; or go online to www.laarts.org.


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