Meet the Musicians at State of the State

On July 11 at the State Theater in Portland, some of Maine’s best musicians will come together for a night of great music at the State of the State. We asked them how Maine has helped influence their music. Here’s what they had to say.

The Maine music community is the reason Maine Youth Rock Orchestra exists. Our focus is to highlight the local talent of all genres and bring together the music community as a whole. In no other state will you find such a supportive and positive environment for musicians of all ages to strive and succeed. We are a rarity as a state, and that is something to be treasured.
Kevin Oates, Maine Youth Rock Orchestra

Growing up in Maine and growing my career in Maine has taught me the importance of balancing a strong work ethic along with quality of life.   Now more than ever, it is important to put in a hard days work, but let’s not forget,  this is vacationland.  Work hard, play hard.
Ken Bell

We couldn’t do what we do without the support of Maine’s unbelievable musical community, from promoters to musicians to fans, and we’re grateful beyond words for all those guys and gals. There’s also a lot of inspiration in the great music and great musicians that have come from Maine, from Lenny Breau to Dick Curless to all the phenomenal artists and bands doing good stuff right now. The musical soil is rich and we’re lucky to be from here.
– Will Mallett

I don’t know if I would have been able to achieve the success I’ve achieved if I didn’t live in Maine. I don’t know if it’s because we don’t have much to root for, if it’s just that we support our own, or if Mainers are just good people, but Maine has rallied around me multiple times and enabled me to do rap music as my career for the past four years. For example, when my album “The Audacity!” was on the iTunes top 10 chart the day it came out in 2012, it seemed everyone in Maine was sharing the link to buy it and getting their friends and families to purchase it, even if they weren’t into rap music. It was just because they wanted to see someone from our state win. Maine will always be my home because of things like that and I look forward to more success in the future that will allow me to give back to the state that has given me everything.
Ryan “Spose” Peters

I think I can speak for the whole of Model Airplane when I say that Maine, and its incredible musicians/music-goers from whom we’ve learned so much, have truly shaped us and made us the musicians we are today. The music community is so encouraging and so ubiquitously talented. It’s rare to find a place where the whole of the community encourages each other to learn, to grow, and to work tirelessly to find our own voices, with nothing but support the whole way through. I think we all owe our respect and love for the craft to this wonderful state, and all of its inhabitants, and we will take that with us wherever we go.
Lyle Divinsky of Model Airplane

We made the conscious decision to move to Maine and start our band here instead of in New York, California, or any other traditional music destinations. Music fans in our state are tremendously loyal and the music community is insanely positive and supportive. There’s a great melting pot music genres in Maine and we try to embrace that in everything we do. Things just look and sound a bit different here.
– Andy Mead of The Other Bones

Maine has provided us identity and sanctuary. Identity, in the sense that we have been blessed with the opportunity to be nurtured, challenged, and inspired by a fiercely unique locale and community. Sanctuary, in respect to the deep roots we have in Maine as our home base for writing and our studio. This has become of critical importance to us and our families considering thousands of miles traveled for multiple tours all over the country. It’s great to see other places but this is home.
– The Wrecking

Baxter Brewing Company wouldn’t exist, period, if it didn’t exist in Maine. I would never be able to do what I do without my network of professional advisors and investors that can only come to someone of my age and experience by growing up in a small Maine town. I owe all of the support that I’ve received as a business owner, and all of the support Baxter has received as a brewery, to the fact that we do business in Maine.
Luke Livingston of Baxter Brewing

“Wicked awesome” is the only way I can describe how it feels to be part of the State of the State concert. Maine feels like a second home, and not only because I grew up with summers in Cape Neddick. I shot my video, “I Love You Sally Struthers” with the television icon herself in Ogunquit. Some of my most memorable stand up performances happened at the Comedy Connection in the old port and charity shows in Lewiston. Mainer’s have been exceptionally supportive of my brand of comedy. Now I get to rock the State Theatre with Spose and the Mallet Brothers? Wow! Maybe I’ll bring whoopee pies, Moxie and Flo’s Hot Dogs for everyone! Wicked awesome, indeed!
Nick Lavallee

“To be honest, it’s really true what they say.  To be from Maine is a special feeling that you can’t really describe.  To be able to share this night with so many talented musicians and friends is incredible.  To say I’ve grown up in Maine, and to live here now is something I say with pride. This State has given me every opportunity I’ve ever had.  To be able to give back with this show is an honor.”
Kyle Poissonnier, Katalyst