Indie rocker Mike Mains returns to Basking Ridge to kick off the 2018 Ross Farm Music Series on Sunday afternoon, April 22. The doors open at 2:30 p.m. for the 3 p.m. concert but guests are welcome to come early and stroll the grounds of the historic Ross Farm at 135 N. Maple Ave. in Basking Ridge.
Mains has set himself apart in the world of indie rock, often mixing catchy lyrics and melodies with vocals ranging from soft and sweet to screaming with emotion. His live show has always been highly energetic, weaving crowd participation with feel-good songs that everyone sings along with, whether they are new or longtime fans. Even while playing with bands such as twenty one pilots and mewithoutYou, Mains' performances stand out and live on long after his final song ends.
Diversity has been a key to his success. Mains has an ability to find common ground with any listener’s mood. Ranging from alternative rock with his song “Noises,” emotional heartbreaking lyrics found in “Emma Ruth,” and the upbeat reassurance that “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright,” he guides the listener through the highs and lows of everyday life.
Mains is set to release one new song a month starting in May 2018 to complete an EP he just finished.
Opening the show is Annalise Emerick, a self-starting, twenty-something, singer-songwriter who has been on the road virtually non-stop for seven years. Choosing to leave behind any semblance of a normal life for the day-to-day of a traveling independent musician was always a no-brainer for the Nashville spitfire. In 2011, Emerick released her first project, Starry-Eyed, to heavy critical acclaim after it debuted at #9 on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart. Three years after the release of her first EP, Emerick returned with Field Notes, a folk-inspired, markedly more mature turn for the singer that demonstrated just how much her endless days on the road and years of hard work fostered her growth as an artist and performer. With Field Notes, Emerick has situated herself among fans of Brandi Carlile, Patty Griffin, and Eva Cassidy alike.
Emerick has toured extensively all over the United States, playing 150-plus shows every year.
She released The Right Heart EP, a collection of love songs, on May 5th, 2017 and continued touring throughout the year, including three weeks in Europe.
The season-opening concert coincidentally falls on Earth Day, so organizers from the Friends of the Boudinot Southard Ross Estate are taking the opportunity to honor the beauty of nature and the Ross Farm property that has been owned by the Somerset County Parks Commission since 2005. Local youth volunteers have been creating posters highlighting Boudinot’s Garden and focusing on this year’s Earth Day theme of ending plastic pollution. The earliest guests will receive free packets of four varieties of pumpkin seeds, while supplies last.
Admission is a suggested donation of $20 for adults and $5 for students. Weather permitting, the concert will be staged on the Tack House Patio, near Boudinot’s Garden, but inclement weather will move it inside the historic Bank Barn. Guests are encouraged to bring sports chairs or blankets for the lawn, but plenty of seating will be made available inside the barn. Light refreshments will be available.
The 2018 Ross Farm Music Series theme is once again “American Voices Making Music Where History Made America” as the authentic voices that these touring musicians bring to the historic Ross Farm stage are honored, shared and celebrated at every concert. These live music events are made possible through the generous donations of concert audiences and “Band of Friends” members, those who make a $100 donation at the beginning of the series, as well as local business sponsors. All sponsors will be listed on the website at www.RossFarm.org and on social media including Facebook at The Ross Farm – Basking Ridge, Twitter @RossFarmBR and Instagram @rossfarmbr. Visit the website to learn more about this concert and others coming up through the spring and mid-summer, as well as a variety of other cultural and historic events.