Joyce Alla and Leslie Martini
Local icon Brian Maes has shared stages worldwide with U2, Aerosmith, Robert Plant, Barry Goudreau (formerly of the band Boston), and Peter Wolf (of the J. Geils Band), to name a few.
On Saturday, Sept. 10, Maes will takes the stage at The Beacon in Marblehead with The Brian Maes Band.
Local roots run deep for Maes, who grew up on Harrison Avenue in Lynn and graduated from Lynn Classical High School.
In his newly released, three-book series, “Brushes with Greatness,” Maes pays homage to his youth on Boston’s North Shore and the extraordinary support from family and friends that spurred his career.
“My neighbor once told me I was humming and singing before I could even talk,” Maes recalls.
Some of his fondest early memories were his Aldsworth Elementary School music classes, sing-alongs with his multi-generational family, and his parents’ extensive record collection.
“It would be Patsy Cline, Al Hirt, Herb Alpert, Eddy Arnold, Andy Williams, Tom Jones, or Engelbert Humperdinck on the record player, as my mom would be busy taking care of the family in some way,” he says.
Trumpet and baritone horn lessons in elementary and middle school gave way to a passion for piano at age 16. Growth as a musician in those early years led to newfound friendships, the formation of a rock band, and rehearsals in his parents’ basement.
Maes credits his family’s tolerance of regular, deafening sound erupting from the basement, as one of the many gifts they gave him.
The first of early dreams for Maes was his acceptance to Berklee College of Music. The Berklee experience — teachers, other musicians and friendships — coupled with a part-time job at renowned music store E.U Wurlitzer, was perhaps among the greatest influences to solidify his
Another defining moment came with his first, live television performance on “5 All Night, Live All Night” (Boston’s Channel 5, WCVB), playing piano with the Robert Ellis Orrall Band.
With fond recollection, “Brushes with Greatness” tells of the astounding support Maes received from then co-workers at Kelly’s Roast Beef on Revere Beach.
The praise and recognition Maes received while playing at other famous venues (The Rat, Jaspers, The Channel, The Paradise, Inn Square Men’s Bar) stand out in his memory as additional, significant validations.
The “Brushes with Greatness” book series — a love letter to the musical and North Shore communities that raised him — will be available for purchase at upcoming performances.
At the Beacon on Saturday, Sept. 10, Maes will play piano and sing lead vocals alongside his wife, Mary Beth Maes (vocals and guitar), “Old” Tony DePietro (drums), “Rockin’” Rick Plourde (bass and
backing vocals), and Steve Koulalis (lead guitar and backing vocals).
Maes also plays piano and sings at The Hawthorne Hotel every Thursday night in September. His band celebrating the music of The Who will play at Breakaway in Danvers on Oct. 15. Maes joins
Barry Goudreau’s Engine Room at Breakaway on Oct. 22.