LEWISTON — The title track, “Andreita,” has shades of Paul Simon. “Me and the Moon” goes a little country.

“Batman in Pacific Palisades” is as dance-worthy as three acoustic guitars can get.

After five years of playing together, lawyers Jim Howaniec, Steve Brochu and Stephen Dassatti released a new CD last week.

Next up: Agreeing on a band name. After that, maybe a first gig.

Howaniec, a former Lewiston mayor, author and defense attorney, wrote the lyrics. Brochu, a defense attorney from Brunswick, sings lead vocals. Dassatti, assistant district attorney in Cumberland County, sings backup vocals with Howaniec.

For 21 years, Dassatti has also belonged to a band with Lewiston Judge John Beliveau, a jazz group named The Lost Trio, that has, occasionally, been up to four members.


Much like The Lost Trio, Dassatti said, this new band won’t be taking any legal-inspired names.

“The kiss of death is if you say you’re a bunch of lawyers making music,” Dassatti said. “I remember back in the old days, there was a band made up of all police officers, and no one would go see them.” 

Howaniec said the past 10 years of personal history inspired many of the songs. “Andreita” was the first song he wrote, back in 2010, based loosely on an old girlfriend. “Quiet Hero” was a tribute to his father, a World War II veteran.

“Batman” was based on meeting Adam West, TV’s original “Batman,” who came to Lewiston in 1992 as a guest speaker at a Three Stooges convention.

“Pass me some of that Moxie/

We’re gonna get wild tonight/


Batman is coming/

And it will be all right.”

“He was the former mayor of Pacific Palisades, Calif., so we kind of bonded,” Howaniec said. “He was very nice.”

The unnamed band practices together once a week, as time allows, in Howaniec’s living room, which they’ve dubbed “How Dat Studios.”

“It’s really fun to collaborate,” said Brochu, who released a solo CD 15 years ago.

Most of the songs on “Andreita” were recorded over the past two to three years. It was mastered at The Studio in Portland last year. The past several months were spent on artwork and small details.


“It’s something that we wanted to do for a while,” Howaniec said. “Our goal was always to put together something like this; we’re just so busy with our respective lives, it took five years to do.”

The album, which Howaniec said he’s been told will get airplay on WBLM’s “Greetings From Area Code 207” this Sunday, starts off with a mellow, 1970s folk sound. It’s not quite fast enough to dance to, but not hold-up-a-lighter slow. The second half adds a little more heat — and country.

“It’s pretty eclectic,” Dassatti said. “It reflects the musical tastes of three different people.”

Growing up, Howaniec and his brothers went to see Queen, ZZ Top, Alice Cooper, Bruce Springsteen and the Grateful Dead.

“I literally like all music,” he said. “I’ll listen to anything from German death metal to Puccini.”

The group has another 20 original songs ready to record for a second album. Howaniec, who sings on “Much Needed Friend,” has no problem addressing juries or large crowds, but getting on stage to perform is another matter.


“That would be pretty terrifying, to be perfectly honest,” he said. “I’ve never done anything like this. I’ve always been the one in the crowd, listening to music.”

But, maybe.

First, they hope to settle on a name, and then a website to sell the newly minted CD.

“It’s been fun,” Howaniec said. “It’s sort of a good release. While I enjoy criminal defense work, it can tend to be a little dehumanizing at times. Writing songs and playing music helps to relieve stress levels.”


Check out this story at sunjournal.com to hear “Andreita” and “Batman in Pacific Palisades” by Jim Howaniec, Steve Brochu and Stephen Dassatti.

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