Dodson dreams up a Fall Concert extravaganza

By Dagney C. Ernest | Oct 24, 2018
David Dodson

Camden — It’s been 30 years now that local singer, songwriter, guitarist and bandleader David Dodson has been enlivening autumn with an annual Fall Concert. What began in a room at the former Eastward in Rockport will fill the Camden Opera House stage Saturday night, Oct. 27.

The 30th edition may even overfill the stage, as Dodson and usual musical cohorts will welcome the Gawler Family and the Mondaynite Jazz Orchestra to the fold. Each will play short sets, then join Dodson for a number or two. It all begins at 7:30 p.m.

The Gawler Family is the state’s own traditional acoustic string band dynasty, helmed by parents John and Ellen and including daughters Molly, Edith, Elsie (and sometimes Bennett Konesni). Well-known and –loved by attendees of the Maine Fiddle Camp in Montville, the Gawlers play and teach around the state; and the second generation have made their homes in Waldo County.

Molly Gawler, a professional dancer, has performed on stages around the world and toured for years with the acclaimed Pilobolus dance company. She will do a little dancing Saturday night, with a partner described as “Hollywood’s giant singing mouse.” In November, all the Gawler women will be joining the farewell tour of world-famous fiddle choir Childsplay.

The Mondaynite Jazz Orchestra — MoJO to its many fans — boasts some 20 members and is dedicated to a variety of musical styles, including traditional big band, Latin, funk and blues. Dodson, who has been singing with the little big band for a year now, is a fan of the “shining wall of horns” sound and is thrilled to be singing two songs he wrote around it.

“I always loved the big band songs and the big horn sound and loved to sing those songs in the shower, so I decided to audition, and to my good fortune, they let me in,” he said.

The songs he will introduce with MoJO are “I’m Not Young Anymore,” which Dodson describes as “kind of as if Frank Sinatra were still here,” and a “Route 66”-ish take on Maine’s Route I-95. The band also will perform “Blues for Percy” and “One by One” on its own. Dodson said he is continually blown away by the power, depth and musical sophistication of this band.

“Standing in the middle of it is like standing under a waterfall,” he said. “I’m glad they are keeping these great songs and that big band style alive.”

Also performing as the concert’s house band will be The Lowdown, which features Dodson, John and Rachel Nicholas and Michael Nickerson. They will be joined this evening by North Carolina friend Dave Magill on keyboard. The Lowdown plays original tunes by Dodson and by John Nicholas, songs about old friends, changing the world, love and “the boss of the Mafia’s fruit and vegetable department.”

Speaking of fruit, no Fall Concert takes place without homemade apple crisp at intermission. Also a perennial part of the event and on hand this evening will be friends and relatives Anne Dodson, Matt Szostak, J.R. Braugh, Will Brown and Dean Stevens.

Advance tickets for adults are $12 at K2 Music in Camden, Rock City Café in Rockland, and the Parent Gallery in Belfast. Tickets for those 12 and younger are $8. For more information, call 236-2794.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.