Union — The Thompson Community Center gym will be filled Friday night, April 18 — filled with music and emotion.
The Disc Frisk Presents Benefit Concert Series, last active about 10 years ago, is bringing legendary Maine band Rustic Overtones plus up-and-coming Maine hip-hop artist Spose to the Midcoast as a community celebration and fundraiser in memory of Laken Kyle Harrington.
Disc Frisk Presents’ Stephen Lea has been promoting live music for years. The Benefit Concert Series’ first event in 2003 came out of a belief that music is a healing force.
“A friend of mine lost a child to suicide, his 15-year-old son. I had just talked to him; we were planning to go out and catch some live music … I thought, let’s bring the music to the kids,” Lea said.
He produced several concerts in a series that raised money for suicide awareness in the year or two that followed. Now he is producing another concert in response to a loss closer to home.
“In August, we lost Laken to suicide. These musicians are the best of the best, I could not do any less in my grandson’s memory,” Lea said.
Harrington was 14 when he died. The show will benefit the Laken Harrington Memorial Fund, which will assist students who want to participate in school sports but cannot afford the associated equipment and other expenses. The scholarships are focused on Medomak Valley students, but Lea said that may well widen to include other Midcoast students who love sports they way his grandson did.
“He was so into sports, he lived and breathed it! He was first-string, I have to brag a little. I expect his teammates will be out in full-force for the show,” Lea said.
Rustic fans have been buying tickets for the all-ages show, thanks in part to front man Dave Gutter’s mentioning it on tour, including an appearance on “The Today Show.” Lea said he is anticipating a good turnout … and more.
“I think it will be another part of the healing process for all of us — family, friends and the community,” he said.
Rustic Overtones and Spose will each play one set at the benefit show, set for 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. at the center, 51 South Union Road/Route 131. Tickets are $12 in advance and will be $15 at the door, as available. Advance tickets are available via ticketrink.com; and, until day of show, at Andes Variety, Warren; Grasshopper Shop, Rockland; HAV II, Camden; Mic Mac Market, Union; and 150 Main Salon, Thomaston.
Rustic Overtones is a seven-piece band hailing from Portland, where they have been pioneers in the New England scene for the past 20 years. Rustic is famous for putting on powerhouse live performances, and the band’s distinctive blend of rock, soul and funk has earned them unanimous critical acclaim and a legion of loyal supporters.
Rustic Overtones has won numerous awards including 2013 New England Music Award Best Live Act/New England, 2012 New England Music Award Best Band/Maine, 2012 Portland Phoenix Best Male Vocal, 2010 Portland Phoenix Album of the Year, 2010 Portland Phoenix Best Live Act, 2010 Portland Phoenix Best Male Vocal, 2010 Portland Phoenix Album of the Decade and 2009 Portland Phoenix Best Live Act.
Rustic’s studio ambitions have led to collaborations with David Bowie and Tony Visconti, Imogene Heap, Funk Master Flex, Eric Krasno and Nigel Hall.
Producer and emcee Spose, hailing from Wells, has been making music since age 9 and rhyming since 1999, when he was 14. He was named Maine's Best Hip-Hop Act for both 2008 and 2009 at the WePushButtons Awards and also named Best Hip-hop Act in the Portland Phoenix's 2010 Best Music Poll. In 2009, he released a mix-tape with fellow emcee Cam Groves titled "We Smoked It All." A track off that mix-tape, produced by Spose himself, "I'm Awesome," received regional radio play in New England, which garnered Spose his first major label recording contract with Universal Republic Records. The single was released in March 2009 nationally and eventually went gold, after selling more than 500,000 digital copies in just a few months. Spose used the opportunity to build his own company, the Preposterously Dank Entertainment label.
Spose has performed with international acts including Drake, J. Cole, B.o.B., Wiz Khalifa, Ke$ha, Weezer, Stone Temple Pilots, Cage the Elephant, Mike Posner and Kardinal Offishal. He also has performed with the cream of the underground hip-hop crop including 7L & Esoteric, Brother Ali, Sean Price, Ill Bill, Kool Keith, Mac Lethal and more.