PORTLAND, Maine — Earlier this month, The Mallett Brothers Band took the stage at the State Theatre in Portland. It was the first time they had headlined a show there in two years with a live audience.
Like many bands, the guys tried to stay busy through the pandemic, and while they couldn't tour, they recorded, dropping a new album earlier this year.
"We pretty much moved into our studio when we weren’t digging for that first year and a half. With all that downtime we really got to put a lot of work into it, and we got to think about it a lot and try a million different experiments," Luke Mallett said. His brother Will added, "So we got out the synth guitar."
"Yes, so we got off the synth guitar," Luke Mallett said, laughing. "And a lot of Hammond organ. Wally played a lot of Hammond organ on this new record, which was kind of a new thing. We were playing with every toy at our disposal."
The result is a unique album for fans who are used to a certain style. While listeners find a bluegrass/rock vibe from "Gold Light," Luke Mallett said there are a few tracks on the record that will surprise people.
The Mallett Brothers Band is getting back on the road in February, but not before stops at some favorite venues in Maine. To see the touring schedule, click here.
"When Port City Music Hall closed, actually, I think we were all a little bit worried that that might have been kind of a domino, and that a lot of other venues might not make it," Will Mallett said. "We were thinking about all of our favorite spots to play and wondering which ones were going to be able to survive the pandemic."
The band kicked its touring schedule off with a headlining show at the State Theatre in Portland at the start of December. Will Mallett said, "I wasn’t sure if we were going to be able to play this room again, so [it's] very exciting."
"We’ve got so many friends that work here and work in venues in town, that own venues in town, that we were all like, 'Oh, what’s next,'" Andrew Martelle said.
During the summer, Martelle kicked off a house concert series in his backyard, inviting neighbors and food trucks, and, of course, the band.
"I got these guys to come play twice. I got Luke to come by himself. I got Will to come. They were very skeptical because, you know, you’re in uncharted waters," Martelle said.
The band said their concert series was very successful. It also did a lot of live concerts from the family farm, a fire pit, the garden, or just someone's house. It was a way, Luke Mallett said, to stay connected with their fans.
"That's the biggest fear in our industry, for a lot of people, is if you take a break for too long, or you don't go back to that city for too long, or you don't put out a record in time, that people start forgetting and losing interest and losing momentum," Luke Mallett said. "So I think it spoke to the tenacity of, not just the musicians, but the fans that they weren't gonna let us get off easy. They were still hungry for music."
To learn more about The Mallett Brothers Band or their tour, click here.
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