News Feature

Originally published in Castine Patriot, May 24, 2018
A Penobscot tradition celebrates its 100th show

Penoscot Music Buffett Coffeehouse celebrates anniversary

In this archive photo, Skip Bean performs at the 50th Penoscot Music Buffett Coffeehouse show in May 2010. He returned to Penobscot May 18 for the 100th anniversary as its featured performer.

Photo by Anne Berleant Order prints of selected PBP photos.

by Anne Berleant

The Penobscot “Coffee House” Music Buffet flew in a special guest for its 100th anniversary celebration May 18. Skip Bean, a former host and first-ever featured performer, arrived from Idaho to perform in front of about 90 people at the Methodist Church on Southern Bay Road.

“It was really an all-star cast and well received and appreciated by everyone,” said Anne Parker, a coffeehouse regular who performed on the dulcimer as an opening act.

The Penobscot “Coffee House” Music Buffet began in January 2010 and has hosted an open mic session and featured performer every third Friday evening since, except for once when the snow was heavy enough to cancel the show. The hour of open mic brings a range of performers and instruments, traditional and eclectic, followed by a featured performer.

Since its start, attendees have contributed about $15,000 to a donations basket, with approximately $5,000 given to the Tree of Life food pantry in Blue Hill and $10,000 to local heating fuel assistance funds.

Coffeehouse fans and performers also contributed to fly in Bean, who last performed at the coffeehouse’s 50th anniversary before moving to Idaho.

“He really appreciated the opportunity to come back and be reminded of all the things and people that meant so much to him when he was here,” Parker said.

Opening acts for th 100th show included some of Bean’s favorite performers: current host Mike Fay with Susie Fay, Tim Seeley, Sonia Turanksi, Sarah Erlich, Geoff Warner, Bill Gawley and Anne and Lin Parker. The anniversary also raised over $500 for the “heats ’n eats” fund.

The next coffeehouse will be held on June 15 with Curtis Brand as the featured performer and an open mic session beginning at 7 p.m.