The Hippo


Apr 18, 2019








Lucius will perform at the Granite State Music Festival. Courtesy photo.

Granite State Music Festival

When: Saturday, June 21, and Sunday, June 22, starting at noon
Where: Kiwanis Riverfront Park, Concord
Tickets: $50/weekend; $30/daily at
Appearing Saturday, June 21
Adam Ezra Group
Ghost Dinner Band
Jandee Lee Porter Band
Mines of Paris
Tristan Omand
Roots of Creation
Chris Peters Songs
Ian Ethan Case
Brooks Young Band
Delanie Pickering
Appearing Sunday, June 22
Kingsley Flood
People Skills
Karen Grenier
Folksoul Band
Erik “Fingers” Ray
Pat and the Hats
Four Legged Faithful
Donkilo! Afro Funk Orkestra
Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki Trio
Ross Livermore Band
Steve Blunt (KidZone)

Once more with Granite
New Hampshire centric music festival returns for third time

By Michael Witthaus

 In early 2014, amidst “pass the virtual hat” Internet fundraisers and organizing committee meetings, the Granite State Music Fesitval came perilously close to moving from its Kiwanis Riverfront Park home due to rising operation costs. The crisis passed, however, and an accord reached with the city allowed it to continue, for the third year, in the bucolic location on the banks of the Merrimack River. 

The Granite State Music Festival was founded in 2012 with a goal of delivering a weekend of New Hampshire’s best in entertainment and arts. 
Adam Ezra Band headlines Saturday, June 21, with indie darlings Lucius closing out Day 2. Both performers hail from outside New Hampshire, though Sunday’s headliner has a connection to the state — guitarist Peter Lalish is from Orford and once played in a church band with a GSMF board member.
That’s a bit different from what Lalish is doing with Lucius, led by Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, two women who look like twin sisters but aren’t. In February, a British paper called the Brooklyn band “the missing link between Arcade Fire and Haim.” 
But it’s a perfect fit, explained new festival president Nicole Vera. 
“It’s really the point of our festival, to bring good New Hampshire musicians onto a bigger stage… but our headlining act is going to sell the bulk of tickets, so it’s very cool to have that tie.”
The remaining acts are pure Granite State. They cross the musical spectrum, with rhythmic Roots of Creation, country chanteuse Jandee Lee Porter Band, jazzily soulful infused Donkilo! Afro Funk Orchestra and double-necked guitar wizard Ian Ethan Case among those sharing the stage.
Many are Concord-based, like Four Legged Faithful, Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki Trio, Tristan Omand, Brooks Young Band and Pat & the Hats. The latter band includes Capital City native and festival founder Scott Solsky on guitar, keys and vocals, and may be the most buzzworthy act on the bill. Led by charismatic and talented Patrik Gochez, its much anticipated debut album arrives in July.
“We have a really great local music scene in our town. … People are talking about it,” said Vera, noting that the nonprofit will award its first scholarship this year, to young blues-rock guitarist Delanie Pickering. “She’s a high school student from Concord that started playing guitar about a year and a half ago, and she is fantastic. We are really looking forward to watching her grow.”
This year will see an expansion to two stages for performers, the addition of wine to the solar-powered beer garden, an outdoor beauty parlor and an old-fashioned shave parlor hosted by a local barber shop.  
“So you can get a very cool shave with a straight razor while you are listening to music,” said Vera.
Another addition is the family-friendly GSMFest KidZone, which features performances from Steve Blunt and Marty & Joey with Miss Noelle, an inflatable playground and racetrack, tree climbing and a wide range of all-ages activities including tie-dying, bubble play, storytelling, water sprinklers and something described as “random acts of kindness.” 
“There will be lots to do and we’re hoping families will stay longer,” said Vera, noting that tickets for ages 10 to 16 are $20 for both days with the purchase of an adult admission, and children under 10 get in free. “So a family of four can literally have two days full of fun and music for under a hundred bucks. I think that’s a great deal.” 
As seen in the June 19, 2014 issue of the Hippo.

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