Rhode Island’s best

New England Music Awards salutes Little Compton Band

By Bruce Burdett
Posted 4/29/16

LITTLE COMPTON — Being nominated for the New England Music Awards’ ‘Best of State’ is a big deal so members of The Little Compton Band hopped in Atticus Allen’s Volvo station wagon April 9 …

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Rhode Island’s best

New England Music Awards salutes Little Compton Band

Posted

LITTLE COMPTON — Being nominated for the New England Music Awards’ ‘Best of State’ is a big deal so members of The Little Compton Band hopped in Atticus Allen’s Volvo station wagon April 9 “and made our way to Salisbury, Mass., not really knowing where that was.”

“We got there late,” after the awards had been handed out, Mr. Allen said, “but in time to see some great performances.”

During a final set, they were talking to a woman who asked where they were from.

When she learned Little Compton, she replied, “I think you guys won — yours was the first award given.”

“She then escorted us backstage where the emcee presented us with our award. We were taken back — truly surprised.”

Winning is great, they said, “but we would like to point out that art is not about competition or awards — there really is no ‘best band,’ there are plenty of other Rhode Island groups that we really dig, that put everything they have into their work regardless of the amount of exposure they'll receive. Its just about making the music period.”

That said, Mr. Allen added, “We can’t thank New England Music Awards enough for the recognition and all the great work they do …These awards give artists like us a platform to say thank you to … the fans that come out to the shows and support us.”

The Little Compton Band, whose five members have known one another since around kindergarten, is on a good run, having also won the WBRU Rock Hunt Wildcard in 2015.

They are all 26 years old, all grew up in Little Compton and then went on to Portsmouth High School.

They started playing together in grade school at bass-player vocalist Silas Peckham-Paul’s Wishing Stone Farm. Joining in were Silas Campbell, keyboards, guitar and vocals; Evan Poitras, drums and vocals; Jimmy O'Connor, vocals and guitar, and Atticus Allen, slide guitar and vocals.

Individually they played in school bands, state school jazz ensembles, always returning to jam together and experiment with their music in Little Compton.

“We come from similar musical backgrounds. Most of us have very musical parents who played in bands or just had great record collections that we all discovered around the same time” —

The Allman Brothers, Little Feat, Ray Charles, Steely Dan, The Band, Grateful Dead, Dire Straits, “are the sounds most prevalent in our recent records.”

But “we are first and foremost an original band,” Mr. Allen said. “Song writing is the glue that holds this band together moving forward and that keeps us coming back to the studio and the stage every week …”

Still they were influenced by some favorite tunes that “still remain sprinkled throughout our sets every night, songs like ‘Blue Sky,’ ‘Elizabeth Reed’ (Allman Brothers ) ‘Skin it Back’ and “Dixie Chicken’ ( Little Feat ), ‘Ain’t No Use’ ( The Meters ), “King Harvest’ (The Band) …

“For example, in a fifth grade talent show, some members of the now LCB performed cuts from Steely Dan's Aja. It was no doubt horrible but it shows you how long we've been digging into this end of the musical spectrum.”

For those who’d like to hear for themselves, they play often nearby, including:

• May 5 at The Parlor on Broadway in Newport;

• July 22, Folk Fest at Jimmy’s in Newport.

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