Music of Maine: Lissa Schneckenburger
Lissa Schneckenburger grew up in Maine, where she started out as a fiddler focusing on music for contra dances, and through years she’s added singing and song writing to her work in music. Through the course of several recordings, and in her live shows as well, she explores the unique music that’s found in northern New England. That music arises from a mix of influences brought by people from Ireland, Scandinavia, France, England, Scotland, Quebec, Acadia, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Appalachian mountains, and forged by people who lived in the mountains, forests, small towns and big cities, and along the waters of the coasts of Maine and neighboring states.
Schneckenburger is known for her fiddle playing, and she a gifted singer too. Some of the music on her album Song might sound both a bit a bit familiar and a bit different. She has delved deep into research for older songs from New England, and indeed they do carry hints of those flavors from other landscapes. You might’ve met relatives of Little Musgrove in English and Scottish collections, for example, and The Old Beggar Man has cousins in the Maritimes. Schneckenburger has put her own stamp on these pieces, though, making the historical tales as vivid as though they happened just yesterday.
Supporting her on Song are a number of New England based musicians you’ve met before along the music road, among them Hanneke Cassel on fiddle, Keith Murphy on guitar and harmony, Matt Heaton on guitar, Corey DiMario on double bass, and Natalie Haas on cello.
Want to know more about New England fiddling? Schneckenburger gives good insights on it in the FAQ section of her web site.
Maine has produced several other fine storytellers in song, too.
Aroostook County native Ellis Paul’s latest album is The Day After Everything Changed. Catie Curtis, who grew up in Saco, shares her music most recently on the recording Hello Stranger, and Patty Griffin, whose songs have been recorded by artists as diverse as The Dixie Chicks, Kelly Clarkson, and Emmylou Harris, is from Old Town. Her latest release is Downtown Church.
This is part of The Great American Road Trip, in which I’m partnering up with A Traveler’s Library to add musical ideas to the book and film suggestions for journeys through the regions of the United States which you’ll find there. For more about this (and a look at some great road songs) see Great American Road Trip: Music begins
you may also wish to see
Another Fine Winter's Night: Matt & Shannon Heaton
music of Vermont: Nightingale
for another way to hear about and think about Maine, listen to Presence in the Wild, an interview with Kate Braestrup, chaplain to the Maine Game Warden search and resecue services, from the public radio program Speaking of Faith.