The band’s other Rose, banjo, mandolin and pedal steel player Charlie Rose, lent his rolling notes and soaring steel licks to the affair, enhancing the feeling of a sacred ritual being performed. Newly added touring percussionist Darren Garvey has shown great musical savvy in finding ways to enhance the band’s sound without changing the atmosphere that has won Elephant Revival a legion of fans across the nation.Guitarist and vocalist Daniel Rodriguez in particular seemed to be in fine spirits and even finer musical spaces, as his grins seemed to outnumber the notes he played. On tracks like “Spinning” and Sea Monster” he handled the lyrical duties with the same devotion to intonation he showed each chord and plucked note throughout the night. His partner in crime at the front of the band, however, stole the show with a bravura performance.Whether captivating the crowd while leading a reverential a cappella version of “The Raven,” coaxing haunting melodies out of a musical saw or driving the tempo with her stomp box, drums and washboard, Bonnie Paine did it all. Sharing the stories behind the mesmerizing music she revealed a slowly forming song cycle as the heart of some of her best loved compositions, promising delighted fans more in the series to come. Simply put, as Paine goes so does Elephant Revival, and as usual she went to the heart of listeners and immediately set up shop for the rest of the evening.The thunderous applause and heartfelt pleas for more kept the band from going too far before returning for a double encore that included the always invigorating ‘Grace Of A Woman” and it’s tribute to the power of women. In a band like Elephant Revival that so wonderfully blends the energy of the sexes, it is truly fitting to see them join their voices and skills together. In a male dominated field like the music industry, it is a welcome sign to see their brand of joy so well received by fans of all ages and genders. Elephant Revival has been winding their way down the Eastern seaboard, reverse tracking the path of the recent storms, bringing sunshine and positive vibrations to those in need. With a receptive crowd packing the Georgia Theatre in Athens, GA last night eager to hear their brand of transcendental folk music, the band was ready to preach to the choir and convert fresh fans to their cause. Over the course of a set of delicate musical passages and rip roaring sing-a-longs, Elephant Revival did all that and more.Armed with fresh songs from their latest release, Petals, the band played an eclectic set that saw each member take the lead and run with it. Whether it was fiddler Bridget Law calling the tune on band classics like “Single Beds Are Made For One” or bass player Dango Rose showing off vocal skills to match his throbbing intonations on “When I Fall,” the name of the game was parity. Openers River Whyless, from Asheville, North Carolina showed a remarkably resilient and musically dexterous spirit throughout their set. Problems with their gear forced them to abandon their set list and the stage itself to take a special fully acoustic approach to their material. While not a true representation of what this home spun and intriguing band is capable of, the audience was nevertheless taken with their can-do spirit. It’s certain that all those in attendance were charmed by their energy and will be eagerly seeking out the band in the future.
BANGOR — Celebrating on the Cross Insurance Center floor, Mount Desert Island’s senior starters took turns at one of Maine’s most exhilarating high school basketball traditions.With ladders placed beneath both baskets, the Trojans’ Maddy Candage and Julia Watras stepped up to perform the famous cutting of the nets that follows every regional and state championship game. When the two finished, Hannah Chamberlain and Alexis Clarito climbed the rungs to waive the nylon as a jubilant MDI crowd watched.Candage, Chamberlain, Clarito and Watras have been the heart of an MDI program that has improved bit by bit to become a championship-caliber unit over the past few years. Now, after carrying the Trojans to the Northern Maine title, they will end their varsity careers when they play alongside one another one last time — with a state title on the line.MDI’s Alexis Clarito scores a layup during the first half of the Class B North girls’ basketball championship game against Waterville on Feb. 23 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. Clarito scored eight of MDI’s first 17 points to pace the Trojans to a 10-point lead early in the game. BARRY GUTRADT PHOTOThe MDI girls led from wire to wire against Waterville to earn a 44-35 victory in Saturday’s Class B North championship game at the Cross Center. The win was the product of MDI’s core four, which provided all but one point for the Trojans for the second consecutive game and delivered on defense to earn a regional title.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder text“For this group of seniors to come in here having never won a tournament game [at the Cross Center] in their careers to being Northern Maine champs, it’s just a huge accomplishment,” MDI head coach Brent Barker said. “They stuck right by each other and did a really good job.”Candage scored MDI’s first three baskets of the game on a pair of layups and a jumpshot to give the Trojans a 6-2 lead. A Clarito 3-pointer would be the Trojans’ only other points in the opening frame, but the team held Waterville to another two-point basket and a free throw to lead 9-5 through the first eight minutes of play.Despite Candage going to the bench with two fouls, MDI started the second quarter on an 8-2 run with a mid-range jumper and 3-pointer from Clarito and a wide-open triple from Chamberlain to pull ahead 17-7. Yet Waterville responded with a 7-0 run before Watras scored five of the half’s final eight points to put the No. 1 Trojans (19-2) on top 22-17.“They left us open,” Clarito said. “I was a bit worried I was too far back behind the line, but [both of my 3-pointers] flew right in.”Chamberlain opened the second half with a corner 3 before a Candage free throw and Watras layup gave the Trojans a 28-17 lead. Third-ranked Waterville (20-1) finally scored its first points of the quarter just past the halfway mark, but the Panthers couldn’t find any sort of major offensive spark as MDI took a 35-25 lead into the final period.MDI’s Julia Watras drives to the basket against Waterville’s Abigail Saucier (middle) and Madeleine Martin during the first half of the Class B North girls’ basketball championship game Feb. 23 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. Watras led the Trojans with 17 points in the win. BARRY GUTRADT PHOTOMDI had to sweat a bit in the fourth as Waterville cut the gap to 38-31, but the Panthers wouldn’t score again until the Trojans’ starters left the game. With MDI leading 44-31 late after three points from Watras, a basket from Candage and a free throw from Rachelle Swanson, four Waterville points in garbage time did nothing to stop a sea of white jerseys from celebrating at midcourt.Watras led MDI in scoring with a game-high 17 points, 12 of which came in the second half. Candage and Chamberlain provided nine points apiece for the Trojans with Clarito scoring eight points and Swanson scoring one. Kali Thompson led Waterville with 12 points.When Barker took out his starters as the Trojans led by 13 with just over a minute to go, Clarito wasn’t 100 percent sure of the outcome. Although a Waterville comeback might have been mathematically possible (albeit statistically insignificant) at that point in the game, the senior guard still felt her younger teammates would finish the job.“When the subs were going in, I told them, ‘Hey, it’s not over yet,’” Clarito said. “They finished it for us, and we all knew they would.”It wasn’t necessarily the prettiest of performances for MDI, which turned the ball over 15 times in the first half alone. Yet Waterville struggled to overcome the Trojans’ press, which forced it into a slew of its own turnovers, and the Panthers still had trouble getting shots to fall when they did so.With Chamberlain’s third 3-pointer, which gave MDI a 33-22 lead in the third quarter, the senior set a new record for the most in a Class B regional tournament with 11. She made five in the Trojans’ overtime win over Winslow in the semifinals and three in the team’s quarterfinal victory against Maine Central Institute.MDI seniors Hannah Chamberlain (left) and Maddy Candage share a hug following the Trojans’ 44-35 win over Waterville in the Class B North girls’ basketball championship game Feb. 23 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. Candage, Chamberlain, Clarito and Watras scored all but one of the Trojans’ 44 points. BARRY GUTRADT PHOTOMDI’s senior sharpshooter wasn’t even aware of her new achievement until she was informed of it in a postgame interview. More important to Chamberlain was the Trojans’ Northern Maine championship plaque, which she carried around the court with a wide smile on her face as she posed for photos, hugged teammates, coaches, parents and fellow students and wiped a tear of joy or two from her face.“She’s done it to help our team out,” Barker said of Chamberlain, whom he called one of the best shooters in the state. “None of us even talked about the record because we don’t talk about those things; we talked about our next game, and we talked about what he had to do compete in that game. I thought we did a great job of that here tonight.”MDI’s opponent in the state title game will be Class B South No. 1 seed Gray-New Gloucester (19-2), which earned a 42-31 victory over No. 3 Freeport (16-5) on Saturday to win the Southern Maine crown. Gray-New Gloucester’s only losses on the season have come against Greely, which entered Saturday’s Class A South final with a record of 20-0.The Trojans and Patriots will face one another at 1:05 p.m. next Saturday, March 2, at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland. With a win, MDI would claim its first state championship since 2003, when Barker’s father, Burt, coached the current MDI head coach’s sister, Bracey, to the third of the team’s back-to-back-to-back Class B titles.“I really don’t know what to expect,” Candage said. “It’s kind of crazy. We’re all just really happy right now, and we’ll get a week to prepare and be ready to win one more.” Mike MandellMike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. 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