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Scotland singer in Maine for two concerts
REGION -- New England Celtic Arts, The Kingfield POPS, and the Stanley Museum join forces to present the Cape Cod Based duo Stanley and Grimm at the Herbert Hotel in Kingfield on Tuesday, at Skye Theatre Performing Arts Center in South Carthage on Wednesday, October 12, and at Unity College Center for the Performing Arts in Unity on Thursday, October 13.
Curtain at Skye and the Herbert is 7 p.m., and 7:30pm in Unity. Pre-show jam sessions at Skye and Unity start one hour prior to curtain. There will be a meet and greet at the Herbert starting at 6 p.m.
Fiddler Nikki Engstrom and guitarist and singer Sean Brennan have been playing throughout New England as the duo Stanley & Grimm at concerts, house parties, pubs and festivals. Having met and played together at local sessions on Cape Cod, Nikki and Sean made their debut appearance as Stanley & Grimm at the 2005 Cape Cod Celtic Festival where they opened for the internationally known Cape Breton group Beolach.
In the following years, they have recorded three CDs of traditional material and original compositions and arrangements, opened shows for Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill, Liz Carroll & John Doyle, and traveled throughout New England playing concerts, house parties, festivals and pubs to a growing base of fans.
Nikki Engstrom is an accomplished, award-winning fiddler and teaches many workshops at festivals throughout the year while maintaining more than 30 full-time private students on Cape Cod. She has performed, competed, and taught throughout New England and Canada.
In addition to her inspired and intense fiddle playing, Nikki has composed many original tunes, including “Little Hawk” and “The Huntress.”
Sean Brennan has been playing in sessions and entertaining in pubs for many years in Boston and on Cape Cod, performing as guest accompanist for well-known artists such as Eamon Coyne, Patsy Whelan, and the late Jerry Holland, as well as regular performances with Dublin balladeer Dave Hickey. In addition to the diverse ballads and songs Sean has collected in his extensive repertoire, he has also written many of his own songs, including fan favorites “Galway Senorita” and “Last Night’s Fun.”
The duo takes its name from the makers of Nikki’s fiddle and bow, fiddle-maker and inventor of the Stanley steam engine, F.O. Stanley, and Grimm, respectively.
F.O. Stanley made a toy violin for himself when he was a 10-year-old boy. In 1865 he built his first full-sized instrument, made when he was 16 years old. Together with his twin brother, Francis Edgar Stanley (1849-1918), he produced a select number of concert-quality instruments after careful study of classic violins produced by Italian masters. Freelan traveled to Cremona to purchase spruce for his Violin tops and to Germany for the Bosnian Maple for the back, sides and neck. After his retirement from the Stanley Motor Carriage Company, F.O. Stanley set up a home-based violin-making shop with his nephew, Carlton Fairfield Stanley (1871-1956), in Newton, MA. The Stanley Violin is still one of the most sought after in the world.
At the Tuesday event in Kingfield Howard Randall, president, Chairman of the Board of Trustees and the Managing Trustee of the Stanley Museum, will also give a short talk about the Stanley family, the Stanley violins, and their support and appreciation of the arts. Several Stanley violins will be on display and this well may be the largest gathering of Stanley violins. "It's kind of like a Stanley Steamer meet only more musical" said Phill McIntyre, Skye Theatre director.
Skye Theater is located three miles West of East Dixfield village at 2 Highland Dr. off Winter Hill Road and Rt. 2 in South Carthage. UCCPA is at 42 Depot St. in Unity. The Herbert Hotel, is at 246 Main St., Kingfield. Ticket price is $15 at the door. For reservations call Skye Theatre at 562-4445 or UCCPA at 948-7469 or Herbert Hotel 265-2000. Reservations are strongly suggested at all venues. *Tickets for The Herbert are $10 at the door.