BELFAST — At Summer Nights, Thursday, August 15, the entire Searsmont Street Band crew will play their fortieth reunion gig, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Steamboat Landing Park in Belfast.
Concert is free, and donations will be accepted in the hat. Bring a chair or a blanket, a picnic and a friend. Please no dogs in the concert area. Concerts are weather dependent, check Belfast Summer Nights Facebook page for updates. For more information call: 322-7123.
Dancing in the dark
Forty years ago, five young local musicians managed to get themselves hired to play at a street dance in Searsmont: Dave Lewis, Phil Divinsky, Jeff Densmore, Joe Allard. and Ando Anderson. They had so much fun they decided to throw in together and the Searsmont Street Band was born. They worked hard (somewhat) and soon were playing in clubs from Portland to Bangor, Islesboro to Sugarloaf. Their country rock blend featured the distinctive singing of Phil Divinsky, sweet lead and harmony vocals by all, and the alluring sound of Dave Lewis’s pedal steel.Though they played regular country gigs at the Ten Four Diner in Liberty they gravitated more toward rock and roll.
Rock Me Mama
After a couple of years, Dave Lewis and drummer Jeff Densmore left the group for greener pastures and were replaced by Willy Kelly on harmonica and guitar; and Bob Evans on drums. The new lineup still featured great harmonies but Kelly added a songwriting component and great chops as a lead singer and instrumentalist, according to Summer Nights. Overall, the band was geared more for a harder edged sound. Within a year they appeared on the Benjamin’s After Dark album and enjoyed a steady stream of local gigs.
“Dragons live forever”
Rock and Roll is great but pretty soon life starts to call. A harmonious family scene trumps the coolest four part vocalizing when the washer is dying. Not long after the album project the band disbanded a little at a time. Over the years remnants of the Searsmont Street Band still appeared in different combinations and in fact all of the players still perform.