As most of you know by now, I really enjoy discovering new music and new bands of all genres and such is the case this week. There’s a six-piece band from Northampton, Massachusetts, that is the pure definition of eclectic — they call their music Bohemian Folk Punk — and they are bringing this infectious concoction to Waterville as part of the Maine International Film Festival. Their current release is the CD “Change Yer Life.” In a recent interview with frontman Asher Putnam, he talked about what makes his band tick and their upcoming trip to central Maine.

Q: So you’re coming to be a part of a film festival, correct?

Putnam: Yes, the Maine International Film Festival. It’s an outdoor show, weather permitting.

Q: Has your band ever performed in Waterville before?

Putnam: No, it’ll actually be our first time in Waterville, Maine.

Q: But not your first time in Maine?

Putnam: No, we’ve played Portland a few times now, and we’ve done Bar Harbor twice.

Q: I’ve never heard anything quite like what you guys do. It is truly unique and totally infectious. In fact, I don’t see how anyone could sit still at one of your concerts.

Putnam: Oh, man, thank you! I guess we try to mix a blend of our grandparents’ cultures and good old Americana to get people to move. At our core we are a dance band, but we borrow from Irish and Hungarian folk traditions as well as pretty classic Americana and bluegrass music, and we put that through a filter of dance hall music.

Q: To prepare for this chat, I went to your website and listened to “Change Yer Life.” Is that pretty indicative of a live show?

Putnam: Definitely.

Q: Do you record live?

Putnam: We actually recorded that in our home studio, and it was made over a period of four or five months. We took our time with trying to get the sound that we wanted and link it to the emotion and excitement that we have at a live show.

Q: Well, I must say, Asher, that you are a very emotive lead singer.

Putnam: Well, I think a lot of it comes from love and loss and grief and happiness at the core. You know, the universal feelings. As a band we all try to open up to the audience and they open up to us as well, so it’s a cathartic experience. I’ve been told that many times from the band and from our audiences. We borrow a lot from my grandparents’ culture — Klezmer Jewish culture — and there’s so much sadness in the lyrics (while) the rhythms and the melody are often very upbeat. People really seem to feel what’s going down.

Q: Well, as I said before, this is new musical territory for me. I’ve never heard anything quite like it, this distinct dichotomy.

Putnam: Oh, cool. I guess it is the blend that happens. A lot of us went to school to study music history, and we have access because of the internet age — as well as the great libraries and fantastic professors — the ability to access all kinds of music. Dan (Niederhauser), our bass player; Amory Drennan, our trombone player; my brother Jesse (Putnam) who plays accordion, and myself all have grandparents who immigrated here slightly before the start of World War II from Hungary and Romania. We all grew up as kids in our grandparents’ houses hearing like a lament in the melody but then there was a driving, very upbeat rhythm — like horns playing or stirring violin solos — like excitement. We thought that this was very interesting stuff. I mean, it wasn’t until later when we were adults and in college and were listening to the folk/pop bands that were coming out that we went: “What can we do with the stuff we’re familiar with, which is Americana and European and Irish folk? Let’s see what we can do with it.” We wanted to make it interesting.

Q: Is there anything that you’d like to pass on to the readers of this article especially seeing this is an area debut for Bella’s Bartok?

Putnam: Well, just that it’ll be the most fun you’ll ever have with your clothes on, so bring your dancing shoes and bring some friend. It’ll be good!

Lucky Clark has spent more than 45 years writing about good music and the people who make it. He can be reached at [email protected] if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

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