By now you are probably aware of the Waterville Rocks! concert series that’ll run into September. There are three more of these free, family-friendly shows scheduled. Today I want to focus on the Aug. 11 show and one of the featured acts performing, the Pete Kilpatrick Band. From his home in Brunswick, the group’s founder and frontman called to chat about the upcoming Central Maine gig as well as his band’s latest release, “Echo.”

Q: What number album is “Echo” and when did it come out?

Kilpatrick: It’s actually our seventh, if you can believe it, and it came out at the end of April of this year, so just under three months ago. I put out the first album in 2003, but there’s been like a revolving door of musicians in the band over those years. The guys I play with now have been with me anywhere from seven or eight years — our piano player — and a couple of guys have been in the band for about four years and the most recent addition would be our drummer and he’s been playing for us about two-and-a-half years.

Q: Well, that’s still enough time together to create a good level of cohesion in the group, I would think.

Kilpatrick: Yeah, and everybody that’s in the band has known each other for a really long time just from the Portland music scene playing in different groups over the years. We’ve all gone to see each other perform in those bands.

Q: Are these the same people who are backing you on “Echo”?


Kilpatrick: Yes.

Q: And is your new CD a fair representation of what folks can expect sonically from the Waterville Rocks! show?

Kilpatrick: Yes, we tried to track the majority of that album live, so it does capture the feel of the band, because there’s not a lot of additional tracks on it that we can’t recreate live. But we probably won’t play many of the songs on “Echo,” because some of them are on the darker side, and when we do summer concerts, we tend to keep it more upbeat. A lot of the songs on our older albums are more upbeat, and when we play an hour-and-a-half long set, we play three or four songs off each of our albums that are the most family friendly. All of our music is somewhat similar: The style is acoustic-based pop rock, I guess you’d call it.

Q: Yup, I would agree with that for sure. And with that many albums, your set lists can be drawn from quite a lot of songs.

Kilpatrick: Yeah, and I think over the years, we’ve kind of figured out what works well for certain audiences. And for the summer concert series that we do, and we do quite a few of them, I found that it’s a pretty wide demographic of families with younger kids and then older folks. So we try to play songs that represent the band really well, but cater to the audience that’s going to be there.

Q: Now this is scheduled to be an outdoor show, right?


Kilpatrick: Yes.

Q: And if it rains it’ll move to the Waterville Opera House?

Kilpatrick: Yes, I think so. I’m pretty sure.

Q: Oh, have you ever played in the Waterville area before?

Kilpatrick: The only place we’ve played in Waterville is at Colby College. We’ve never played at Mainely Brews, but I think maybe some of the guys in the band have played there with other groups, but I never have. I’ve played at Colby 10 times since I’ve been playing. We’ve opened for national bands that they’ve had there, and we’ve done some events for the students like private parties and stuff like that, even in the last year I would say. I’ve done two or three solo shows at Colby over the past year or so.

Q: So you do solo performances as well. Do you prefer that over band gigs, or is that like comparing apples to oranges?


Kilpatrick: I think there are aspects of both that I really enjoy. I like playing solo just because I can get into my car and go. I don’t have to coordinate with anybody, and (I can) play what I want to play. I think there’s something nice about the simplicity of just a singer and a guitar playing songs that I wrote. But then with the band, it obviously adds all these different layers and is definitely more upbeat, and it’s fun just to play together with the group and just work off of each other. We tend to, I would loosely call it, jam when we play. There are certain parts in some of our songs where we kind of go off the rails a little bit and just play whatever comes to mind, within reason. Obviously, it’s much more fun doing stuff like that when you’re playing with other people.

Q: I can understand that, and it’s neat because you really have the best of both worlds there, as well.

Kilpatrick: Yeah, it’s really nice. And I think being a musician, it’s nice to have that flexibility as far as booking shows, because obviously there are some events that call for just a solo musician and others that work better with a band. It’s nice to have the ability to not really turn down certain gigs that you want to do — being able to do them in two different styles.

Q: Is there anything, Pete, that you’d like to have passed on to the folks reading this article about your upcoming gig in Waterville next month?

Kilpatrick: Well, it might be good to mention that, though we do the majority of original songs, we throw in a couple of covers that people would know like the Beatles or maybe Neil Young, stuff like that. I would say that our music’s pretty family friendly and upbeat — a little something for everyone, I guess.

Lucky Clark has spent 47 years writing about good music and the people who make it. He can be reached at if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

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