Jemima James Goes from Pop to Fiction

The lines sprang into Jemima James’ head, complete with melody, sometime in the 1970s: “Raised in a home, his back got no bone.” The rest of the song, Billy Baloo, soon followed.

“I just liked the way it sounded,” she said, sitting in the wind outside the Scottish Bakehouse in Vineyard Haven this week. Though the story didn’t pair with reality, she found that changing the words messed with the tune. And she trusts the songs that arrive this way.

Island Boys Become L.A. Billionaires With Pop Release Really Real Forever

Tim Laursen, who writes the majority of the lyrics for The Billionaires, looks through his screen porch out at the woodland behind his family’s Vineyard Haven home, and tries to explain his song-writing method.

“Okay, popping into my head right now, wood,” he says, humming a tune and then seamlessly cranking out a lyric: “Must be romantic cutting wood by hand/Put down the power tools and give me back the land.”

Under the Sea With No Paddle but a Pencilina

The pencilina is like an instrument from Dr. Seuss’s The Butter Battle Book. It’s got bass and treble necks with movable bridges and open strings which can be plucked, played with a bow and manipulated with drumsticks. It is mounted with four bells: a fire bell, a doorbell, and two brass telephone ringers.

New Releases Sing of Vineyard Sound

The folk trio of Cindy Kallet, Ellen Epstein and Michael Cicone have emerged after a 15-year recording hiatus to release Heartwalk, a collection of original songs and folk favorites. While the three may have spent the past decade and a half on other projects, the warmth and sincerity on Heartwalk demonstrates they’ve lost none of the chemistry that earned them accolades on the New England folk circuit for their previous albums Angels in Daring (1988) and Only Human (1993).

Despite Bug in His Ear, Singer Rallies to Perform With Group

First it was Owen Bennion’s two front teeth vs. a steel basketball pole. Then it was Matt Ungaro’s left ear vs. a moth of undetermined species.

Kids Do the Flips for SteveSongs Now

Among many funny things about Steve Roslonek, this may be the funniest: After everything that’s happened in the past 10 years, he still thinks his voice — and even his personality — is best suited to singing backup. Think about that when, in all likelihood, he and his band fill the Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs with thousands of parents and children for a free concert on Sunday afternoon and get them clapping, stomping and singing along to tunes such as Elephant Hide and Seek, The Veggie Song and Opposite Day.

Opera Hits High Notes With Good Gags

Susanna, a Neopolitan countess of the early 1800s, has a segreto, a secret: she smokes. Her husband, Count Gil, an obsessively jealous man — but a perfectly nice fellow in every other way — sniffs tobacco in the palace and draws a logical but preposterous conclusion: Susanna is having an affair with a man who smokes. The pair is at loggerheads, and more than willing to sing about it, courtesy of the great Enrico Wolf-Ferrari. Thus unravels the 15-minute intermezzo comic opera, Il Segretto di Susanna, to the merriment of all.

With Songs on Their Lips, Island Musicians Bid an Affectionate Farewell to 2007

Island musicians were the dominant revelers at the Vineyard Haven observance at the close of 2007.

The event could have begun at any time for members in the audience at the Katharine Cornell Theatre on Monday afternoon.

For some it began with a belly dancer revue. For many it was Johnny Hoy of the Bluefish singing a song dedicated to time slipping away.

From West Tisbury to Symphony Hall: Katie Sings With the Pops

Katie Mayhew sang twice at Symphony Hall in Boston yesterday, first in rehearsal and second as part of a competition for the Boston Pops High School Sing-Off.

Katie, 15, is one of 22 contestants in a statewide competition to be a singer with the Boston Pops this summer. They came from all over the state, from as far east as the Vineyard and as far west as Stockbridge. Each singer, aged from 15 to 18, was aspiring to be a winner. The grand winner will perform with conductor Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops as part of the Fourth of July concert and fireworks.

Kenny Lockwood to Play At Old Whaling Church

Kenny Lockwood and Red Road are making a rare appearance on the Island at the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown, Saturday, August 30, at 8 p.m.

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