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10 I'd like to kick things off with a regional favorite poised for the National stage. This would be no other than Scituate's Ward Hayden and Girls Guns and Glory. My first time hearing about Girls Guns and Glory was about 10 years ago when I was selling Christmas trees on Route 3A. Their then-bassist, who felt that his tip was a little shy of generous, went back to his house and came back with a GGG record. He talked about the band's many gigs and how excited he was about the whole thing. Fast forward 10 years to now, and GGG is one of the regional mainstays armed with a refined sound, critical acclaim and killer players. What started as a love for country music and a slight obsession with Hank Williams, Ward Hayden has stayed true to his vision and has built an outstanding career as a singer/songwriter, as he continues to lead his band into new opportunities. GGG just released a new record called "Love and Protest," and Hayden was kind enough to send me a preview a few weeks back. "Love and Protest" is a twelve-song collection of roots goodness filled with pop sensibilities, hook laden choruses and a sentimental air. This seems to reminisce of Hayden's journey, which has led him to where he and the band are now. It is good ol' fashioned Rock n' Roll with plenty of twang. The album opens with the straight ahead roots rocker, "Rock and Roll." As Hayden proclaims, "I am a hunter, a collector of things." It seems that he is referring to his memories collected through the many trying times that come with life on the road, only to declare that he's "Ready to Rock and Roll." It is a great way to kick of a great record. The record moves onto "Wine Went Bad," a feel-good and memorable melody with lyrics that hint at some darker notions. The next track, "Who Will Love You," is heartfelt and lush-filled with gorgeous delays and introspective soundscapes, woven intimately into a driving beat. This moves listeners through tasty harmonies and an undeniably classic guitar solo. The album continues to move through the remaining songs, which evokes everyone from Hayden's hero, Hank Williams, to Tom Petty. The album features brilliantly written songs filled with depth and wonder, while constantly retaining a modern accessibility. The album ends with the slow 6/8 "Unglued." This song might be the truest tribute to Hayden's influences. If you close your eyes, you can picture yourself at a diner around 2 am on the outskirts of town, with troubles behind and the unknown ahead. Filled with tremolo and a haunting cello, the album ends with the line, "And I was left, with the memories I made." What seems to be a pensive callback to the start of the album, one could argue that Hayden is contemplating whether or not his memories are enough to get by, and if the challenging path of music is worth it in the end. Knowing Hayden, there is no doubt that he will stay true to the path and continue to make great music. "Love and Protest" is a moving album that is filled with raw emotion and synergy. Recorded all analog, Hayden and the boys have greatly succeeded in creating a well-crafted record that is incredibly genuine, transparent and enjoyable. The next new creation here on the South Shore is none other than the BBC acoustic lounge in Plymouth. Over the years, I've been to hundreds of open mics. Open mics are a great place to build a community and to hone your craft. They are a place for songwriters and performers to exchange ideas and try out things that they have been working on for some time. Every now and then, an open mic comes along that provides the perfect setting for that. A setting that isn't challenged by bar televisions or patrons who have no involvement with the music. Hollis Greene, owner of Plymouth's "Music Box," along with his cohort, Angel Dombrowski, has succeeded in creating a fantastic open mic filled with community, vibe and a setting that makes artists feel creative and appreciated. Held every Monday in the upstairs room at by Jay Psaros 47 Award Winners & Industry Insiders SixFoxWhiskey Band GGG Band

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