Living the Dream and Loving It
by rachel lovejoy, the citizen, 10.24.06
The band NOW is NOW is taking its own advice and making the most of the moment with their latest CD “Never Go Back.”Led by singer-songwriter Mitch Alden of Limington, the band’s influences blend subtly to produce its own unique sound.
Shades of Jonathan Edwards, Pure Prairie League, the Eagles and other west coast 70’s bands flavor the sound produced by Alden and bandmates Drew Wyman on bass and Neil Carroll on drums. Althouh Alden can easily break into rock and roll, as he effectively demonstrates in “Better Day,” on “Days of Summer,” and in “Young Man,” from “Never Go Back,” his voice seems most at home in his ballads, where his introspective images emerge through his music. His songs smile as readily as he does, and though some of his musical introductions lean toward the contemplative, Alden’s optimism soon surfaces to restore a natural hopefulness to his melodies.
Alden, 36, and his wife Dylan moved to Maine from Boston after making what he called “a quality of life decision.” “I love Maine,” he said. “It’s fantastic.” A long-time songwriter, Alden decided that it was time to put his singing and composing skills to the test. After a lot of practice and some voice lessons, Now Is Now was born in 2000.
The band went through several configurations, with Carroll signing on in 2002 and Wyman in 2004. Carroll lives in Waterboro and Wyman lives in South Portland. “I never really sang until I started up six years ago,” Alden said. “I like the feeling of touching people with a song and bringing joy to someone with music.”
Alden said that he has gotten some of his inspiration from novel’s he’s read. “I put myself in the first person of a character in a book,” he said. Two of the songs on the band’s third and latest CD, released just this week called “Never Go Back,” were inspired by Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower” series, a favorite of Alden’s.
The band’s name is also a departure from the title of a book by spiritualist Ram Daas entitled “Be Here Now.” Part of the Daas philosophy is that anyone can share a message by telling his own story. For Alden, that happens through his music.
The band lives for those moments when it all comes together on stage for them in what Alden refers to as “golden gigs.” “It’s when people leave the bar and join in,” he said. The band has compiled an impressive resume of appearances in its short history. They’ve played at the State Theater in Portland, as well as Ri~Ra in Portland and Burlington, VT, the Phoenix at Sunday River, the Press Room in Portsmouth, NH, and the Mercury Lounge and The Bitter End in New York City.
The band also released “Transitions” in 2002 and “Days of Summer” in 2004. The CD’s are available locally and online at www.NOWisNOW.com. The website also lists all of the band’s upcoming play dates.
“Stuff is happening in a good way,” said Alden. “If this is a dream, I’m living it and loving it.”
rachel lovejoy is staff writer for the the citizen.