This is the second article in a series of musical entertainment offered at local venues in the Greater Windham/Raymond areas. We hope you enjoy the articles and will be able take advantage of the multiple musical performances available in the region
The Elmores, a popular local band, performed to a large crowd of loyal fans who danced the evening away on Friday , December 1 at Gilbert’s Chowder House, 61 Tandberg Trail in Windham.
The Elmores is technically comprised of two bands – the Elmores Trio and The Elmore Twist Band.
It was the trio of Bill Bennett, drummer; Jeremy Longyear, bass guitar and Stuart Tisdale, lead guitarist who performed on Friday. All three musicians contributed to the vocal portions of the well-known 1960s, 70s and 80s songs and dance tunes.
As a part of The Windham Eagle’s music entertainment series, we stopped by Gilberts to enjoy some favored songs in an effort to highlight the arts in the Windham and Raymond communities.
“You know this band has opened for Foreigner in Rangeley?” stated one of The Elmores’ fans, Bob Ritter, when asked about the band.
It turns out that it is true - partially. It was the band of five members, The Elmore Twist Band that opened for the well-known 1980s group. “The big band, The Elmore Twist Band has opened for Foreigner twice and The Doobie Brothers once,” explained the drummer, Bennett. “All in Rangeley. Those gigs were a blast!”
When asked during a break, in-between dances, the fans at Gilbert’s stated that interview questions should go to Bennett. As a result, the assumption that he was the leader of the band was incorrect.
“I'm not ‘the leader’ of the band. We're all equals, although I am the tallest,” Bennett joked.“I’m just the only one who lives here in Windham and that’s probably the reason why they sent you to me.”
Bennett lives on Little Sebago Lake. He is now retired from his position as President of Oakhurst Dairy in Portland, which was owned by his family for over 90 years before they sold the business.
Tisdale and Longyear both live in Portland. When they are not performing as musicians you will find Tisdale working as a high school teacher in Portland and Longyear as an owner and operator of an automotive repair shop, also in Portland.
The Elmores’ interest in rock n’roll began about 50 years ago during the “British Evasion.” “I have known Jeremy and Stuart since I was a child,” began Bennett. “We were just kids and fell in love with the Rolling Stones and the Beatles. We, along with many others, including friend Ross Thompson and Jeremy’s brother Jonathan, goofed around singing and playing. We were self-trained, and it just so happened it turned into something.”
But then adult life took over with college, raising a family and work. “We took a 25-year hiatus and got back together again after raising families and going to school,” Bennett explained.
Twenty-six years ago, the band members got back together again as the Elmore Twist Band. The Trio who performed on Friday evening, The Elmores, have been playing for about 10 years, performing favorite tunes such as “Stuck in the Middle with You” and “Proud Mary” for private and public venues in and around the Greater Windham Area.
“We also perform at Mine Oyster in Boothbay Harbor, as well as at Lenny’s in Westbrook,” Bennett said. “Additionally, we perform at private parties and for charitable events to raise funds for important causes.”
In addition to Bennett, Longyear and Tisdale, the Trio group becomes the Elmore Twist Band when friends Jimmy Austin and Ross Thompson join them. Austin lives in Rumford and is a classically trained musician who has performed with the band, Toto. Thompson is a life long friend and lead singer who lives Stratton.
If you missed the entertainment provide by The Elmores, this time around, be sure to mark your calendars for Friday, January 12. They will be at Gilbert’s to perform once again.
To book The Elmores, contact Bennett by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through their Facebook page.