Flannel Shirt contra at Watts Hall
Thomaston — A special benefit contra dance with Perpetual e-Motion, one of the most popular dance bands in the Northeast, is set for Friday, Dec. 20, at Watts Hall, Main Street/Route 1, beginning 8 p.m.
Proceeds will support the Flannel Shirt Fund, which helps kids in school plant, grow and harvest gardens; and prepare their own food. The fund is in memory of Joel Cartwright, a passionate gardener, generous volunteer, enthusiastic contra dancer and budding musician who took his life at age 24. As a student, he had received Bowdoin College's Community Service Award after founding the school's organic garden, which continues to supply college cafeterias.
Joel's grandfather Roger founded and called contra dances in Maine; and Joel's father, Steve, coordinates a monthly contra dance in Thomaston.
Perpetual e-Motion offers a blend of traditional and modern contra tunes, fused into high-energy music that electrifies young and old. The band is just two guys, although through miraculous electronics it sounds like a lot more players. Ed Howe puts out sound from an electric violin and hand-built footboard, while John Cote plays a Godin Synth guitar, handles vocals, foot percussion and a didgeridoo.
The caller will be Chrissy Fowler, well known to the contra dance crowd as the founder/champion of the Belfast Flying Shoes monthly dance, one of the best-attended contra dance series in the state.
Suggested donation minimum is $20. The Flannel Shirt Fund has, since 2008, awarded grants to school garden programs from Blue Hill to Kennebunk, seeding the concept of sustainable local food, healthy living and a community working together.
Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or email@example.com.