, Newburyport, MA

Local News

August 1, 2013

The sounds of a celebration

Close to 100 groups perform music during Homecoming


“I started at the Grog four decades ago, and I consider Newburyport my second home,” said Prue, an engaging musician who runs summer music presentations in Bradford (Haverhill).

“Yankee Homecoming has created a community of those who play music and those who appreciate it. There aren’t many cities that can pull off something like this.”

Prue runs an open mic night on Wednesday evenings at the Grog, which is open to newcomers and veterans alike.

Elena Lewis of Waltham, listening to the tunes, said she came to Newburyport for the first time as part of her vacation. “I like the music, and the fact it is community-based. I’m interested in black history, and I will be going over to the Maritime Museum later,” she said.

Another visitor, Barbara Sager of Haverhill, said, “The waterfront and the music make for a good place on a hot day. We’ll listen to some bands, then go to a restaurant we read about as being one of the best on the North Shore (Ceia).”

Playing on the waterfront tonight will be Beatlejuce, the New England-based cover band that reproduces Beatles music. They play early Beatles to late Beatles and have been a favorite when they’ve played here before.

A key member is bass player Joe Holaday of Newburyport, husband of Mayor Donna Holaday, who doesn’t have to commute far to play this particular gig.

“This is one of our favorite shows all year,” said Holaday, who noted the group plays 80 to 100 dates per year. “The venue is just great, with the river at your back and a park in front. It is well attended. We started in 1994, and now we see three generations of a family singing the tunes and the music. It’s great to see listeners of all ages enjoying the show.”

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