The Hippo


Mar 19, 2018








Chad LaMarsh. Courtesy photo.

Chad LaMarsh

Upcoming shows
Friday, Aug. 1: 
Shorty’s Mexican Roadhouse (206 Route 101, Bedford, 488-5706) at 6 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 2:
Bacardi Party Cruise, Aboard the Provincetown II, 200 Seaport Blvd., Boston, 2 p.m. (tickets $30 at
Sunday, Aug. 3:
Derryfield Country Club (625 Mammoth Road, Manchester, 623-2880), 5:30 p.m.

Summer Son
Chad LaMarsh on deck and water

By Michael Witthaus

 Chad LaMarsh had a great winter, opening at Manchester’s Palace Theatre for John Waite, Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes and close friend Josh Logan’s triumphant two-night run. He was among the star-studded cast at the big Lisa Guyer bash in April — a particularly sweet night, LaMarsh said recently. 

“I don’t think anybody realized how cool that was going to be,” he said.
Standing with so many great area players on one stage reminded him of how vital the scene is. 
“We’re really blessed as a musical community to have the kind of talent we do around here with people like Lisa, Josh, Tim Theriault, Chris Lester, Nate Comp, and the list goes on.  There are just some really great acts.  I mean, Mr. Nick — that guy stole the show.”
Many of those performers contributed songs to LaMarsh’s Bundles of Books CD, the second for his charity that donates books to underprivileged kids around the holidays.
Good though the winter may have been, the affable LaMarsh is a creature of the sun, most comfortable when playing al fresco on a warm afternoon. He’s a fixture during Motorcycle Week in Laconia and a regular for the outdoor shows at LaBelle Winery in Amherst. The Derryfield Country Club deck in Manchester seems made for LaMarsh and his electric guitar, which resembles a bird in flight. 
For two decades, LaMarsh has hosted a boat party that became a destination event for his local fans. When the first Bacardi Cruise launched in 1994, he had no inkling of the tradition it would turn into. 
“I was doing it with two other solo acoustic guys as a threesome, and then we’d just take turns playing,” he said. “We did it for four or five years, then they got out of the business. I kept it going, got my band involved in it. … It’s taken on a life of its own.  People fly in from all over the country. It’s just a great day of people dancing and having fun.”
The event goes on sale in December and is typically sold out (at press time, about 50 tickets remained). 
“The vibe is the band playing — we bring in a couple new songs just for the cruise that the people who follow us all year long haven’t even heard,” said LaMarsh, who mixes originals like the Keith Urban-sounding “Say Goodbye” with covers from U2 to Maroon 5 to Rascal Flatts. “Everybody is just happy and dancing — it’s just a positive, great time.”
LaMarsh is ubiquitous; there’s probably not an area venue he hasn’t played in his many years on the scene. Among them are The Wild Rover, Fody’s, Portsmouth Gaslight, Whippersnappers, Clark’s and Arena. 
In between his many gigs, LaMarsh works on studio projects. He and Soundtrack to Monday front man Byron Marks have done some recording recently. 
“I’ve been working on his solo project; he’s a phenomenal guitar player and songwriter,” LaMarsh said.
He also has a few solo efforts in the works, inspired by the dreamy music Andy Summers did prior to turning toward jazz-fusion. 
“I still love the ethereal stuff, so I’m getting it out of my system,” he said.
The Chicago transplant is happy and hopeful about the music milieu he’s now embedded in. 
“I think we’re in a pretty special place right now.” 
As seen in the July 31, 2014 issue of the Hippo.

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