Flying Monkey hosts Samantha Fish Dec. 9-10

PLYMOUTH — Rising blues star Samantha Fish brings her high energy live show to The Flying Monkey stage on Sunday, Dec. 10, at 6:30 p.m. Louie Fontaine & The Starlight Searchers open the evening. Tickets for this show start at $25.
Whether one leans toward the blues, Americana, or music by a garage band, there’s a common bond suggesting a reverence for roots music. Looking back to an earlier template—no matter the genre—proves the point that appreciating what came before can be a stepping-stone for what comes next.
Samantha Fish knows that all too well, and it’s been evidenced in the music she has made during her entire career. While she is well known as a purveyor of blues, having been lauded by such legends as Buddy Guy, the Royal Southern Brotherhood, and Luther Dickinson, her real love is simply raw, scrappy rock and roll. “I grew up on it,” she insists. “Working with Luther on an album further instilled that spirit in me. It made me realize just how much that basic, unfettered sound means to me, and how well it ties into soul music, R&B, country and so many other forms of music that are essential even today.”
Having already made it clear that she's more interested in following her heart than she is in repeating past triumphs, Samantha Fish delivers some of her most compelling music to date with Belle of the West, her fifth studio album. The deeply soulful, personally charged 11-song set showcases Fish's sublime acoustic guitar skills as well as her roots, emotionally resonant song writing.
"To me, this is a natural progression," Fish notes. "It's a storytelling record by a girl who grew up in the Midwest. It's very personal. I really focused on the song writing and vocals, the melodies and emotion, and on bringing another dimension to what I do. I wasn't interested in shredding on guitar, although we ended up with a few heavier tracks. I love Mississippi Blues; there's something very soulful and very real about that style of music, so this was a chance to immerse myself in that."
Tickets to see Samantha Fish are $25, and $30 for premier seating. For more information on upcoming shows or to purchase tickets call the box office at 603-536-2551 or go online at


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Samantha Fish

  • Written by Mike Mortensen
  • Category: Lake Style
  • Hits: 55

Lakes Region Foodie - Sicily


I have just returned from 10 wonderful days on the island of Sicily. A land steeped in history and mythology, it is a crossroad of civilizations. The Greeks, Corinthians and Romans all contributed to its art, architecture and cuisine. Four important crops in Sicily are oranges, lemons, almonds and pistachios. We passed acres of orchards; the oranges hung heavily from the trees, not quite ready for harvest. We visited a chocolate shop, where dark chocolate-coated almonds and pistachio bars were sampled by our group and came home with many of us.

IMG 2411 DSI participated in a cooking demonstration in Ragusa Ibla, where sardines were filleted, then rolled up with a stuffing of bread crumbs and herbs, sprinkled with lemon juice and baked. The sardines were from nearby waters. Each of the group took a turn at rolling the sardines.  We had three surgeons in the group – they did the best work!  I also attended a cooking class at the school of cooking of Anna Tasca Lanza, author of the wonderful cookbook “Coming Home to Sicily.” The chef demonstrated how to make a traditional Sicilian Dolce (dessert or sweet) Cassata, a very delicious cake for special occasions.
At the Biviere Estate, the ancestral home of the Borghese family, we were entertained for lunch by Virginia, the daughter-in-law of the Principessa Borghese. The Principessa and Virginia had written a cookbook of her memories of dishes from the estate’s kitchen.  The recipe style is different, as there are no measurements, or number of servings; the Principessa says “leaving this task up to the “chef” to figure these things out after reading the description of the dish.”  I have taken to liberty of estimating measurements for her recipe for potato and caper salad.

Potato and Caper Salad Biviere
Boil some potatoes (1 pound small potatoes) without removing their skin.  When cooked (when pierced with knife and tender) then cut into round slices.  Wash a nice handful (about 1/3 cup) of salt-packed capers under running water and in a sieve. When all the salt has been removed, add to the potatoes and dress with olive oil. (1/4 cup).

The Principessa concludes the recipe by saying “It is not a very well known salad, but a very appetizing one.”  I ran it by several friends who happened to like capers and they approved wholeheartedly. This recipe would make a nice addition to a holiday buffet, and would hold well, since there is no mayonnaise. FYI, the caper is the flower bud of a bush that grows in the Mediterranean.  You can see the bushes growing out of ancient stone walls in Sicily.  The buds are picked, sun-dried, and then pickled in brine.  They vary in size, the smallest being considered the finest.  They can be packed in brine, or packed in salt.
They make a nice garnish on meat dishes.

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Rolling the sardines

  • Written by Ginger Kozlowski
  • Category: Lake Style
  • Hits: 225

Scottish tenor sings for love

Tenor John McDermott to perform at Sacred Heart Church Friday for Laconia Putnam Fund


LACONIA — John Charles McDermott, a Scottish-Canadian tenor best known for his rendering of the songs "Danny Boy" and "Loch Lomond," will present a concert for the Laconia Putnam Fund on Friday, Dec. 1, at 7 p.m. at the Sacred Heart Church.

The concert is free and people planning to attend are reminded that they should arrive early in order to have a seat for the performance.

McDermott, whose professional career began at the age of 38, says he never imagined that he would enjoy the kind of success he has had as a singer, and that his life is an example of being in the right place at the right time.

For his parents' 50th wedding anniversary, McDermott recorded an album of Irish and Scottish ballads that he had grown up singing with his family, and, when people heard it, they encouraged him to produce it commercially. It led to his career as a world-famous tenor.

McDermott was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1955, but grew up in Willowdale, Ontario, where his family of 12 had moved in 1965.

After singing at weddings for a few years, he joined with several other choristers to form a group, named The Mistletones, in 1980.

He performed "The Ballad of Harry Warden," the closing theme of the Canadian slasher film “My Bloody Valentine” (1981).

Starting in 1988, he has regularly been called upon to sing the national anthems at Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays and Toronto Maple Leafs games. From 1984 through 1992, he worked as a circulation representative for the Toronto Sun; Conrad Black heard him singing at company parties. Black, along with other executives, financed McDermott's independent recording of "Danny Boy" in 1992, which was picked up and released in North America by EMI Music Canada.

Following this unexpected success, McDermott decided to pursue a professional singing career.

"I got into the business when I was 38, when most people are getting out," says McDermott. "I never had any intention of  leaving my job as a newspaper circulation rep. I was busy, it was a seven-day-a-week job, and I enjoyed it. I had no intention of going off and becoming an artist.”

He said that he realized he had made the right decision to become a professional singer when he gave his first live performance at The Rebecca Cohen Theater, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in October 1993.

“It was a sold-out show and the audience felt like they were sitting right in my living room, that's how comfortable it felt,” said McDermott.

McDermott claims he inherited his voice from his late father, Peter. He dedicated his album, “Love is a Voyage,” to his father and it includes a track by his father recorded in 1958.

He is also a  strong supporter of  veterans. His father served in the Royal Air Force in the U.K., while his uncle died in the notorious Changi Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in Malaya. Two cousins were killed in Vietnam while another took his own life 10 years after the war.

McDermott received the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation in 2010 and he is also an honorary member of the War Amps of Canada.

Through his not-for-profit organization, McDermott House Canada, the singer has worked trying to raise $3.6 million to enhance and expand the palliative care unit, K-Wing Veterans Center, at Toronto's Sunnybrook Hospital. Palliative care was front and center for McDermott when his sister, Alice, died from cancer. The family tried to find her palliative care, but there weren't any spots available, so the woman's daughters took care of her at home until she died.

He says that the experience robbed two of his nieces of their teen years and put his focus on palliative care and hospice.

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Tenor John McDermott will perform in a Putnam Fund concert Friday, Dec. 1, at 7 p.m. at Sacred Heart Church. (Courtesy photo)

  • Written by Roger Amsden
  • Category: Lake Style
  • Hits: 221

Taking the Plunge – Annual Turkey Plunge fundraiser called the 'ultimate bonding experience'


LACONIA — The annual Turkey Plunge in support of the good works of the local Salvation Army will take place this Saturday, Nov. 18, at Opechee Park in downtown Laconia.

Past experience from the previous 12 plunges indicates that this event can be the ultimate bonding experience for teams of employees, school classmates and church/civic organizations.

“Participating in the Plunge each year with a bunch of my co-workers is a great way to bond as a team in support of the Salvation Army and it carries over to our workplace throughout the year” said 12-time Plunger Mark Emery of UPS.

“Mark is correct when discussing the bonding that builds teamwork through the Plunge” added Capt. Scott McNeil of the Salvation Army, himself a lead plunger. “And we encourage businesses, school clubs and churches to enter a team in this year’s Plunge to forge the same types of bonds that UPS, Patrick’s Pub, T-Bones, the Ballard House, Bank of New Hampshire, Meredith Village Savings Bank, Laconia Middle School staff and others have done.”

While the emphasis may be on teams plunging, McNeil was quick to add that any individual is welcome to take the Plunge  Saturday. Registration forms are available at or by calling the Salvation Army office on Union Avenue at 524-1834. Gates open at 11 a.m. at Opechee Park with Plunge costume judging, warm-up exercises and team introductions.

The general public is invited to attend this free fun-filled family event.

Once again, WEMJ radio personality Pat Kelly will handle the announcing tasks and urge the crowd to cheer on the participants.

The public is also invited to the delicious luncheon immediately after the Plunge, provided by well-known area restaurants and catered by the Culinary Arts students of Lakes Region Community College starting at 12:30 p.m. for a $5 donation, across the street from Opechee Park at the Boys and Girls Club.

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An exuberant UPS Team Brown thanks its supporters at last year’s Turkey Plunge. (Courtesy photo)

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It's officially called the Turkey Plunge, but this group of penguin plungers participated last year. They all worked at the Bank of New Hampshire. (Courtesy photo)

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Last year's Turkey Plunge raised just over $10,000 for the Lakes Region Salvation Army. (Courtesy photo)

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You don't have to wear a costume to participate in the Plunge, but it seems to help. Last year, groups from Patrick's Pub, UPS, NH Mutual Bankcorp, Laconia High School, Laconia Middle School and T-Bones/Cactus Jack's were among the participants. (Courtesy photo)

  • Written by Ginger Kozlowski
  • Category: Lake Style
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