June 26, 2008

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Making a dry Martini
Musicians play benefit to repair flooded bar
By Brian Early bearly@hippopress.com

A tenant above the Green Martini Lounge in Concord overflowed the bathtub, causing parts of the ceiling at the lounge to crumble and shutting the bar for a month while it was repaired. For the musicians, it was the month that music died in Concord.

For local musicians, the Green Martini is one of the happening spots. It has two active open-mike nights during the week, along with regular performers on the weekends and a Tuesday. The players are very appreciative of the space, so appreciative that they are hosting a sort of benefit show for the lounge to help with the repair costs of their place.

Owner Paul Faella “lost a bunch of money,” said Alan Rogers, known as the Vintage Doc Rogers, who plays at the open mikes often, as well as playing with Rick Amidon in the duo Loose Change. “We thought we’d put together a concert to give him some money.”

The show, which is planned for outdoors on Saturday, June 28, starts at 2 p.m. and ends at 8 p.m. Then the regularly scheduled performer for that night, Dusty Gray, will play inside from 8 p.m. until about midnight. Eight performers are planned for the day, including Kenny Weiland of the Swunk Brothers, George Belli, who plays with the Retro Activists, singer-songwriters Duane D’Agnese and Dusty Gray, local folk hero Gary Bunker and the Chip Smith Project.

“It’s going to be a great day of music,” Rogers said. “It’s pretty much family names that play at the Martini week after week.”

The event is free. “He’s going to make his money by selling libation and food and we’ll pass the hat once after each act,” Rogers said.

Paul Faella bought the Green Martini Restaurant and Lounge two and a half years ago; the place had been open and putting on music a few years before that. Faella brought in more music, creating an additional day for the open mike, as the original Thursday night slot was becoming too full for just one night.

“I just love music, that’s basically it,” he said.

Faella doesn’t play at the lounge. Often, he’s in the back cooking or taking care of other parts of the business. But he played music, mostly brass instruments, from when he was six until he was 25 years old, even playing in Las Vegas. “I was part of the union out in Vegas,” he said. But he hasn’t played for years, and he doesn’t expect to anytime soon.

“I will not be getting up on stage,” he said. “I’m a little shy.”

Rogers, who’s a semi-professional, says the Green Martini is a bit of a grooming spot for musicians. “It gives them a chance to be heard and hone their act,” he said.

One of those is the Chip Smith Project, a new alt music group that hasn’t played a regular gig at the Martini — or anywhere else locally — but will show up from time to time at the open-mike nights. “They are so cool,” Rogers said. “They’re a more New Hampshire Cowboy Junkies. They write great stuff about the trailer trash side of life. A real funky funky style.”


Green Martini music
When: Saturday, June 28, from 2 to 8 p.m.
Where: 6 Pleasant St. Ext., Concord
Info: greenmartinilounge.com, 223-6722