The music of Kathy Bennett and Thom Perkins, Bennett & Perkins, is an exercise in storytelling with many of their songs set in the greater Conway area, their home base. Their songs share lost loves, lost lives and real life adventure, coupled with haunting harmonies and memorable arrangement of vocals and guitar. Whether it's a song about traveling to Cape Breton to a country dance or a love story between a man and his long-lost wife, their songs evoke a strong emotional response from the audience.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

We're Finalists in the Maine Song of the Year Contest

November 7th at 7pm:

Maine Songwriters Association 10th Annual Song Contest Finals!

The MSA Song Contest is our capstone event, and after another excellent contest response from our supremely talented members, we had a field of 38 entries for this year's event. Three judges – blinded to contestant names - ranked each song for lyrics, melody, originality, song structure, and overall impact. The rankings were then combined to choose six finalists. The top 10 songs were extremely close in scoring and combined ranking, a testament to the high-quality of song writing from MSA. All of the songs were worthy contenders.
While we truly wish we could hold the finals live in a venue as we have for the last nine years, we will be hosting the finals via Facebook Live on Saturday, November 7; The show starts at 7 pm.
Our finalists will join us live via Zoom to introduce their song, which will then be presented as a pre-recorded video.

Here's the link to the Facebook Live Event:

We hope you’ll join us online for this very special MSA event; it will be a wonderful evening of original music, as well as an opportunity to show support for your fellow songwriters during these difficult times.
We’re looking forward to hearing our finalists’ great songs and crowning the winner!
In lieu of tickets for this year's event, we hope that you'll consider a donation to MSA through a secure PayPal link (in the event on our MSA Facebook page).
The songwriters who will represent MSA for the tenth annual contest finals this year are, in alphabetical order:

Kathy Bennett and Thom Perkins (co-write):
From the mountains of northern New Hampshire comes a unique blend of harmonies and guitars from Kathy Bennett and Thom Perkins. They released their first CD, The Kitchen Music Sessions, in the summer of 2010, produced in a farmhouse kitchen by multi-instrumentalist Davey Armstrong. They followed it up with their breakthrough album of original music, House on Fire in 2012, produced by Tom Dean and featuring musicians including Dean, fiddle virtuoso Joyce Anderson and mandolin player extraordinaire Tom Yoder. House on Fire is a powerful collection of songs with stories and music inspired by everyday lives, with songs of lost loves, lost lives and real life adventure, coupled with haunting harmonies and memorable arrangement of vocals and guitar, fiddle and mandolin. The pair performs an eclectic blend of both original music and their own arrangements of a wide variety of works by songwriters around the world.

Peter Carriveau:
Peter lives in Monmouth, Maine. At age 9, Peter formed his first musical group with his brothers. He played, mostly bass, in a series of bands throughout his teens and 20’s that paid his way through college, but had him spending too much time in smoke-filled bars. After graduate school Peter hung up his guitars, raised a family, occasionally acted in local theater, played a few musical benefits, and taught high school History for 34 years. In June 2015, Carriveau retired from his “teaching gig” and began playing at pubs and restaurants as a solo singer/acoustic guitarist. He also began to write songs as a creative outlet to reflect a deep-felt personal connection to the passing parade. Peter is looking forward to new projects, collaboration, and sharing his musical vision.

Doug Kolmar
Doug: I was fortunate to grow up in a house filled with music, and a pretty eclectic mix due to my father's work as a concert booking agent in NY. I caught the songwriting bug pretty early on; making up new words to existing tunes when I was about 8. I later detoured for several years into instrumental music, leading to a Master's degree in Composition from NYU, but words called me back sometime in the 90's and grabbed on for good. I found MSA shortly after moving to Maine in 2002, and it's been a real life line for testing and refining the craft. I was a 3rd place winner in the 2016 contest, and this is my 3rd time as a finalist. My most recent album, Arcadia (2018), as well as 3 previous albums can be found on iTunes, Spotify and other streaming services.

Deann Marsh:
Deann shares her passion for songwriting about causes, and true stories of lives, with an inclusive and eclectic style. Having sung with the Harbour Singers end-of-life choir, she deeply appreciates the power of music for healing. She welcomes participation in the Maine Songwriters Circle, which she co-hosts Chris Moore of 317 Community Music Center in Yarmouth.

Matt Shipman and Erica Brown (co-write):
Matt and Erica feature a delightful blend of vocal harmonies accompanied by fiddle, banjo, mandolin and guitars. From original and traditional songs and instrumentals from New England, Appalachia, the Maritimes and beyond, they play a diverse and unique mix of traditional influenced folk.

Jeff Trippe and Stan Keach (co-write):
Jeff and Stan have been writing songs together for over a year now, including several historical ballads. Both Jeff and Stan are veteran performers on the Maine acoustic music circuit, and both enjoy the opportunities for the artistic camaraderie presented by songwriting contests. Many of Stan's songs have been recorded by nationally-known artists. Jeff has published novels for young readers and adults.

Our 2020 MSA Song Contest Judges:

Gary Lawless is co-owner of Gulf of Maine Books in Brunswick, a widely published poet, a teacher of poetry and creative writing, and plays bass in the Leopard Girls band.

Jenny Lou Drew is an award winning songwriter including a recent win at the Maine Songwriters Association annual songwriting competition for the song "Mending Fences”, and a nomination for Best in State in the 2019 New England Music Awards.

Tom Mitchell performs original, eclectic songs influenced by life experiences and a lifetime of absorbing music of all kinds and was winner of the Maine Songwriters Association contest in 2019.

We are truly looking forward to this wonderful evening of original music, supporting our fellow songwriters, and witnessing great and inspiring songwriting. Thanks, and hope to see you there!

MSA Board of Directors:

Scott Woodruff, President
John Schindler, Vice-President and 2020 MSA Contest Finals Emcee
Kathleen McGee, Treasurer
Perry Desmond-Davies, Secretary
Charles Bernier, Board Member
Nancy Sferra, Board Member and 2020 MSA Contest Finals Co-Chair
Giff Jamison, Board Member and 2020 MSA Contest Finals Co-Chair