Rough Francis returns to Empire tonight with special guests Covered In Bees & The Worst

Yessah! Not only is it Friday, but it’s First Friday here in Portland meaning that there’s not only awesome music to check out, but great local art to peep too. There’s a slew of stuff to cover for this Finally Friday Edition of The Newz, so let’s take care of business, babies! Don’t miss out on music such as The Bill Barnes Trio at Nocturnem Draft Haus, The Piano Men: The Music of Billy Joel & Elton John at City Theater, Tricky Britches at Stone Mountain Arts Center, Pardon Me, Doug at Portland House of Music and Events, Chris Ross and The North at Chummies, Pete Witham & The Cozmik Zombies at Salvage BBQ, Scolded Dogs at Easy Street Lounge, Muddy Ruckus at Guthries, American Ride at Trains Tavern, Skosh at the Matterhorn Ski Bar, Okbari at Blue, Whiskey Myers & The Wans at Port City Music Hall, Lady Lamb & Henry Jamison at SPACE Gallery, Vinyl Tap at RiRa, Roosevelt Dime at Moose Alley, Backlash at Mixers, Revibe at Mainely Brews, and much more!


The VFW Post 1603 in Auburn will be swinging tonight as The Juke Joint Devils take to the stage this Friday to kick out some old time, hard driving blues tunes. Tonight’s free show gets jumping right around 7.

Folk-rock cover act Rippleton Cross will be performing an acoustic set at Fire House Grill this Thursday evening. This free show will feature the pair performing renditions of songs by such artists as The Who, Joe Jackson, Simon & Garfunkel, Cat Stevens and many more as things get started right around 8pm


The Allison Ames Band will be bringing some irresistible dance tunes to Hollywood Casino tonight as they serve up classic rock covers during a free 21+ event that gets underway right around 8.

If you find yourself Fridaying up in the Central Maine area get on over to The Nocturnem Draft Haus in Bangor as they present another fine evening of jazz tunes and musical merriment with local act The Bill Barnes Trio. This free 21+ shindig gets swingin’ at 8 o’clock.

If you’re in Central Maine and looking to have some serious fun then don’t miss the party happening at the Penobscot Pour House with local rock and roll act Overdrive as things get underway at 9.


City Theater in Biddeford presents The Piano Men: The Music of Billy Joel & Elton John tonight as a fundraising effort for Biddeford High’s music program. This is THE show for fans of the great contemporary piano men, Elton John and Billy Joel with a 9-piece group fronted by Mainer Joe Boucher. These guys are great and bring these classic songs to life with a ton of talent so be sure to check it out if you’re in the area as the music starts up at 7:30pm.

Check out some banjo-based bluegrass tunes at Elements on Main Street tonight as they welcome back local act Banjo Read for a Friday night full of pickin’ and pluckin’. This free all-ages show will get started up at 8 o’clock.


Don’t miss a great show at Stone Mountain Arts Center tonight as local back-porch bluegrass band Tricky Britches sets up shop on stage starting right around 8pm.


Dance it out down at Skip’s Lounge as dance/pop cover act Tickle gets ready to bring the house down with some of the best of today’s music mixed in with a little bit of retro funk. The party starts at 9 tonight.


If you’re looking for some fun tunes to take in after doing some skiing or snowboarding this finally Friday then make some plans to head out to The Rack as blues, rock, soul, and R&B band, Slygo Road will be cranking out an eclectic mix of originals and classic covers during a free show starting at 9pm.


Soulful roots-rock act Chris Ross and The North are ready to party with a show at Chummies tonight. These super talented fellas will be turning up your Friday night with some solid rock-infused Americana sounds as things get swinging at right around 9.

Local artist Justin Walton will be playing some acoustic tunes during a free show at Gritty’s. Enjoy some great music, local brews, and delicious pub fare as things get underway at 8.

Local acoustic duo Harvard Cavemen will be serving up a bunch of classic cover tunes at the School Street Pub & Grill this Friday evening. Join the fellas for some free fun as tonight’s show gets underway right around 8:30.


The Scolded Dogs return to the Easy Street Lounge in Hallowell to do a little partying during another free show. Starting at 9 you can expect to hear some awesome originals as well as cover tunes from such acts as Johnny Cash, Parliament, Snoop Dogg, and many more.

The Kennebec Wharf is the place to be for a Friday night full of rock and alternative covers as well as some super catchy original jams from local band Zealous Bellus. The fellas are ready to party on down as this free show starts up at 9 o’clock.


American Ride will be busting out a bunch of modern country covers for you to boogie down to this evening as they play a free show at Trains Tavern beginning at 9pm.


Muddy Ruckus will be easing you into the freakin’ weekend with a free show at Guthries tonight. This gypsy blues-folk act will kick things off right around 8pm.


Central Maine band Skosh brings their badass blend of funk, rock and ska up to the Matterhorn Ski Bar tonight for a party that’s guaranteed to please. Join the fellas for this free show that’ll get cranking right around 9 o’clock.


JD Gilbert & The Night Train will be bringing some country tunes to The Brunswick tonight. This free 21+ party gets rockin’ and rollin’ right around 8:30pm.


Take in some roots rock tunes this finally Friday as local musician Travis James Humphrey returns to the Dogfish Bar & Grille for a free Happy Hour set that’ll start up right around 5 o’clock.

Local folk songsmiths Caroline Cotter and George Woods will be performing a fun and intimate set of acoustic tunes at Blue this evening. Things get underway at 6pm.

Built on the Lynyrd Skynyrd Southern rock template, complete with country and blues overtones, Whiskey Myers, will be burning things up on stage at Port City Music Hall tonight. Nashville country-rockers The Wans will open things up with a set slated to start at 8 o’clock.

If you’re downtown this evening doing the First Friday thing, be sure to take in tonight’s performance by Okbari Middle Eastern Ensemble at Blue on Congress Street. Starting at 8 the act will be performing music from the Middle East and Turkey on such unique and beautiful instruments as oud (fretless Middle Eastern lute), qanun (72-stringed Middle Eastern micro-tonal zither), nay (ancient Middle Eastern reed flute), and Middle Eastern percussion.

Portland’s own twisted rockabilly rock and rollers Pete Witham & The Cozmik Zombies are back at Salvage BBQ tonight. Check out this high-energy show as the fun fires up right around 8:30.

Fridays are generally a great time to shake what your mama gave ya, so you might as well do just that tonight by getting down to Flask Lounge on Spring Street in Portland where DJ Jamie O’Sullivan will be hosting his monthly LOVE event. LOVE will feature O’Sullivan and some special guests DJs bringing you the best house, techno and disco to shake your can to. You can check out this free event starting right around 9.

Phish cover act Pardon Me, Doug is ready to bring some musical merriment to your weekend as the bring their tribute show featuring renditions of Phish classics to the stage of Portland House of Music and Events. Mellow your mind as the music starts up at 9 o’clock.

Maine native Lady Lamb brings her solo, acoustic tour back to her old stomping grounds for an intimate show at SPACE Gallery. If you haven’t scooped up tickets yet, I’d suggest doing so ASAP as I wouldn’t be surprised that this show, featuring LL’s enchanting and atmospheric blend of folk, pop, and indie rock, sells out as soon as this here blog gets posted. Alt-country troubadour and fellow Maine native, Henry Jamison, will open the show tonight as things get underway at 9 o’clock.

Over at RiRa in the Old Port you can join Vinyl Tap who will be partying down tonight with all of your favorite dance jams. Vinyl Tap is known for making people bust a move to their wide array of danceable cover tunes that span between everything from everything The Beatles to Huey Lewis, Cee Lo Green, Stevie Wonder, The Dead and many, many more. There’s never a cover charge so check it out starting at 9 tonight.

Burlington, VT’s punk powerhouse Rough Francis returns to Portland tonight. If you’ve not seen this band led by three sons of members of 70’s proto-punk legends, Death, then make some plans to get your ace to Empire as these fellas prepare to melt faces once again. Beloved, local death-punk act, Covered In Bees, as well as Portland’s newest punk rock and roll band, The Worst, open the night as music starts upstairs right around 9:30pm.

Local pop-rock cover act The Nikki Hunt Band will be bringing the party to Brian Boru tonight. Covering artists such as Sheryl Crow, Joan Jett, Bruce Springsteen, Sublime, No Doubt, The Doors, U2 and many more there’s guaranteed to be something for everyone. Tonight’s performance will also include a colorful hula hoop act so be sure to check it out starting at 9:30pm.

Another First Friday at Blue means that local act The Evan King Group will be laying down some smooth jazz and funky soul. Grab a drink and get cozy as things get started around 10.


Brooklyn steamboat soul/roots revival act Roosevelt Dime brings the party up to Rangeley tonight as they play a show at Moose Alley. The fun starts right around 8:30 this finally Friday.


Five piece cover act Backlash returns to Mixers tonight to serve up songs from such artists as The Allman Brothers, The Eagles, ZZ Top, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, CCR, Elvis, George Thorogood, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Beatles, and more. The party starts up at 8:30.


Modern country and rockabilly cover act the Whiskey Sour Band will get you boot-scootin’ out on the dance floor of The Kerrymen Pub tonight as they play a free show starting up at 8pm.


Locally based party band Girls Just Want To Have Fun brings a night featuring some of the best 80’s pop, dance, New Wave, hard rock, rap and one hit wonder tunes around to Thatcher’s tonight. Shake your groove thing out on the dance floor as things get underway at 8.


Eureka Hall in Stockholm welcomes Americana  and folk force Sugarbush to the stage for an evening of musical revelry that’ll get underway at 7:30.


If you’re spending your Friday in Waterville then make some plans to check out Maine-based musician Ron Bergeron as he returns to the Silver Street Tavern for a free show tonight. Ron will be getting things kicked into gear right around 8 with tons great covers from The Beatles, Stones, Queen, Elvis, The Boss, Tom Petty, Paul Simon and more.

Burlington jam band Revibe returns to Maine for a show at Mainely Brews. Revibe combines a wide range of musical influences and genres including jam, funk, psychedelic rock and electronica to create tight grooves that are bound to keep you moving. Get down to Mainely Brews as tonight’s shindig gets shaking right around 9.


The Groove Kings return to the Frog and Turtle tonight to for some soul, funk and rhythm & blues. Let these talented gents treat you to some serious fun as this free finally Friday show starts up at 8:30pm.


Sparks The Rescue front man Alex Roy goes solo and acoustic tonight for a show at Rustic Grill and Tavern. Beginning at 7 you can stop through and check out some of Roy’s pop-rock jams as he plays a free set of songs this evening.

Holly Nunan

Holly “The Nunz” Nunan is a musician from Portland, Maine with an unabashed love for the city as well as its thriving Maine music scene. This is her scene report.

Aside from here on this blog, she can be found around town taking in local shows, performing with any variety of musical acts (basically anyone who will give her a microphone and a tambourine), and talking up local music on WCSH 6 on Friday mornings around 6:20am. She is also the Promotions Director for WFNK, WTHT and WHXR in Portland as well as an On Air Personality at 107.5 Frank FM.

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