Katie Daggett and Ed DesJardins. Photo by Robin DesJardins

With the live concert season starting to roll out — something that really excites and encourages me — I want to kick that off with a couple of shows coming up being presented by two local singer/songwriters: Katie Daggett and Ed DesJardins. I have worked with both artists many times over the years and it’s always great to reconnect with them, as I did recently with a telephone interview that found Mr. DesJardins on the other end of the line. It seems that he and Katie will be performing in Readfield and Manchester in early and mid-July, so when we connected on June 3, I asked a logical question.

Q: How long have you been working with Katie, anyway?
DesJardins: We had our first gig in the summer of 2004, so we’ve been at it a long time.

Q: Wow, I guess you have. Have you ever recorded anything together?
DesJardins: Well, we’re in the process of making a record right now.

Q: Oh, really?
DesJardins: Yeah, finally after all this time (chuckle). It’s going to be mostly original music and a couple of covers that we like, probably 10 or 12 songs. We’re about four into it at the moment and have got some studio time scheduled for the 19th of this month; and I’ve got my studio, too, so we’re kind of working out of both places. So, yeah, we’ll have some original music and we’re going to have some actual vinyl made, too.

Q: Well, everything old is new again, it seems.
DesJardins: (Laughter) Well, yeah, you know, with CDs now, not too many people even use them anymore, everybody downloads everything, so we’ll have that available on a site but we’ll have some vinyl, too, for people who have record players; frankly, I always thought it would be cool to have my own record. So yeah, that’s what we’re doing.

Q: Cool. Now you have a couple of gigs coming up, right?
DesJardins: Yeah, the first show that we have in July on the 6th is at the Readfield Union Meeting House, and that’s a 7 p.m. start and I believe that it’s a $10 ticket. The seating capacity in that room is 200 and it’s a grand old space, I’ve used it before — I’ve had shows there and I played there — and it’s got a beautiful ambient sound, we’re looking forward to that. And then the show after that is going to be at Lakeside Orchard in Manchester; they have a nice concert series where they book shows almost every week and on July 10th we’re going to be there; and then I’ll be back there on July 31st with a couple members of the Boneheads and some other players and we’re going to be doing our Tom Petty tribute show that we did last year there, it was a big hit. Again, I think it’s a $10 ticket — very affordable — and there’s all kinds of room to spread out out there in the field and it’s great. It’s just down the street from Readfield where the earlier gig is on Route 17. It’s a big, old apple orchard out there but there’s a nice stage setup.

Q: Well, it must be great to finally get out and play again after 14 months of enforced inactivity.
DesJardins: Yeah, it is. Katie and I did a bunch of stuff last season, like summer and fall — all outdoor stuff, obviously — and the Lakeside gigs were part of last year’s experience; people were really hungry for something to go to, and I think they still are. It feels great to be getting calls and writing dates down and booking shows again.

Q: Now, back to that bombshell announcement of the album you guys are working on. How does it compare to the solo CDs that you have put out?
DesJardins: It’s a pretty spare album; the couple of albums that I’ve done in the past are pretty produced, with a lot of fabulous musicians and all kinds of sound going on, but this time we’re just getting the core of us together: two acoustic guitars, two vocals and we’re just laying down the songs front to back with no edits, no punches or anything like that, just a good, live performance. Then I’ll go in and maybe throw a little bass line in there, maybe a little bit of lead guitar kind of thing just to flesh it out a bit, but for the most part it’s going to be kind of like what you would hear if you came to hear us in concert. It’s going to be much closer to that and that’s something that we both agreed that we wanted.

Q: And when you two are out on the road supporting it, fans can get it and go, “Yeah, that’s what I heard tonight!”
DesJardins: Yeah, exactly, that’s pretty important, too.

Q: Now you were talking about getting calls about setting up shows and stuff like that, so I’ve got to ask: how does this summer look to you?
DesJardins: It’s looking pretty good. It’s got Katie and I playing out a lot, we got our outdoor venues and house concerts, just like some of the old gigs that we’ve and I’ve always had, and private parties, too.

Q: Well, Ed, is there anything that you’d like me to pass on to the folks reading this article?
DesJardins: Absolutely! Tell ’em we love ’em and welcome back, we can’t wait to see them when we’re out playing!

Check out Ed’s and Katie’s Facebook pages for everything you need to know about them!

Lucky Clark has spent more than 50 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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