Friday, June 21, 2024

Cryin’ Out Loud band to perform at Windham Summerfest

By Kendra Raymond

With the countdown to Windham Summerfest well underway, festival fans are starting to make plans to join the festivities. Whether you’re looking for some great eats, parade excitement, crafting exhibits, field day activities, or live music – there is something for everyone.

The Cryin' Out Loud band is typically known for playing
blues but at Windham Summmerfest, they will also perform
popular songs from the 1960s to the present day and a lot
of original music. SUBMITTED PHOTO
This year, the Summerfest theme is, “Summerfest Turns Back Time.” What better way to “turn back time” than to listen to some great tunes from the well-known group Cryin’ Out Loud? Typically known as a blues band, COL performs well-known songs from the 1960s to the present day. This band packs a punch; In addition to popular tunes, the band also plays a variety of original music.

Band member Jim Fratini says that the current iteration of the band has been together for about two years. Last year the band found themselves opening for the Grammy-winning guitarist and producer Paul Nelson, who took on the job of producing their first Album “Play Loud and Smoke Often.” Paul passed away earlier this year.

The band consists of Brandon Stallard on guitar and vocals from Lamoine, Ben Chute on guitar from Damariscotta, Jim Fratini on bass and vocals from Winterport, and Bob Evans on drums from Bangor.

“As a veteran musician of the Bangor music scene, I have had the opportunity to play with some of the greatest musicians in Maine,” said Fratini. “There is nothing like being part of a group of musicians that are bringing their talents to a stage and having people enjoy what they are presenting.”

A middle-school science teacher by day, Fratini incorporates fun musical elements into his classroom. Students enjoy learning through his laid-back attitude and interesting connections. A veteran student recalls Mr. Fratini’s class fondly by saying “A lot of teachers don’t realize the importance of arts and personal connection to learning. Mr. Fratini’s classroom was always a space to have fun and learn in a relaxed and productive environment.”

Fratini has been heavily involved in the Maine Invention Convention, a competition created to promote creativity, forward thinking, and confidence in middle school-aged students.

Former student and Invention Convention winner Nolan Raymond says that Frantini’s class was special.

“Mr. Fratini always incorporated creativity and music into his class. By encouraging kids to think outside the box, we were able to tap into the more nuanced ways of looking at things.”

Fratini shared the exciting news that Pilot Light Records has announced that its blues-rock artist Cryin' Out Loud has broken the Top 10 of Roots Music Report (Blues Radio Chart) on their recent album "Play Loud and Smoke Often." The album was produced by the late Paul Nelson, Grammy Award winning guitarist of Johnny Winter.”

Fratini said that the Cryin’ Out Loud CD is now available on all music platforms. Produced by Nelson and recorded in Bangor, their debut release is highly anticipated and inspired by the likes of The Band, The Allman Brothers Band, Little Feat, and of course all the blues greats. There is something for everyone on this album and it’s full of brand-new originals and features guest appearances from Erik Lawrence, Paul Nelson of the Paul Nelson Band, and Ana Popovic’s renowned keyboardist, Brooks Milgat.

“Maine truly has an outstanding musical community and supportive venues that support live music,” said Fratini.

COL is set to hit the main stage at Summerfest from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday at Windham High School. <

To learn more about Windham Summerfest, visit

Check out the COL website for more information to learn about upcoming shows at <

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