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30 years of playing; Chuck & Mud and friends plan benefit at Hanover.

Byline: Nancy Sheehan

They've played beautiful music together for 30 years and they wanted a party to celebrate the occasion.

So Chuck Demers and Marie Anne Rocheleau-Demers, aka Chuck & Mud, went out and rented a nice hall (the Hanover Theatre) and rounded up their legion of musical friends (including guitar phenom Duke Levine and local favorites the Blackstone Valley Bluegrass bluegrass, any species of the large and widely distributed genus Poa, chiefly range and pasture grasses of economic importance in temperate and cool regions. In general, bluegrasses are perennial with fine-leaved foliage that is bluish green in some species.  Band). Now all they need to do is bake a very large cake for all of us who plan to show up Saturday night to celebrate with them.

Now, this is not their wedding anniversary. They got married 23 years ago, on July 5, 1986, which they refer to as "non-Independence Day." This would be their musical anniversary, harking back to the day they first performed together at the former Paddock Lounge on Portland Street
For the street in London, see Great Portland Street.
Portland Street (Traditional Chinese: 砵蘭街; Simplified Chinese: 砵兰街 
 in Worcester, which Demers pegged as "a combination neighborhood bar and dive bar."

Yes, the Hanover is many, many steps up the elegance ladder, but after delighting audiences for so long, the duo has earned the right to resplendence re·splen·dent  
Splendid or dazzling in appearance; brilliant.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin resplend

"Chuck and Mud are gifted songwriters and truly great people who communicate passion and humor and joy in their live performances,'' said Walter Crockett, a local musical legend in his own right who also plays lead guitar with C&M. "They love people and they love music. It's good therapy to play with them, and boy do I need therapy (We all do, Walter). Plus you can never really tell what Chuck will do next: he refuses to follow a script, but it usually always often mostly turns out for the best."

The Hanover big gig is a benefit for the day job that has allowed C&M to keep on plucking all these years: Chestnut Nursery School nursery school, educational institution for children from two to four years of age. It is distinguishable from a day nursery in that it serves children of both working and nonworking parents, rarely receives public funds, and has as its primary objective to promote , 6 Institute Road. Demers has been director of the school 22 years and Rocheleau-Demers is a teacher there. The event is multi-faceted: There will be a special children's fest at 4 p.m., featuring the puppetry puppetry

Art of creating and manipulating puppets in a theatrical show. Puppets are figures that are moved by human rather than mechanical aid. They may be controlled by one or several puppeteers, who are screened from the spectators.
 and music of Kim Webster, magic by Jason Arakelian and our honorees, Chuck & Mud and the Hole in the Dam Band.

Then the evening show will be a two-parter. Part 1 at 8 p.m. will include, in order of appearance, the grown-up grown-up  
1. Of, characteristic of, or intended for adults: grown-up movies; a grown-up discussion.

 set-list version of Chuck & Mud & the Hole in the Dam Band, featuring Crockett, Sten Gustavson, Mark Manuel and Joe Zupan; Riverbend, with Myra MacLeod, Ron Carlson, Mary Carfagna and Rob Huffman

And a tribute to the late Pete and Leona Clemente, founders of Clemente Music Studio, featuring videography vid·e·og·ra·phy  
The art or practice of using a video camera.

 by Amy Devlin and music by Peter Clemente Jr. and Joe D'Angelo. Then Chuck & Mud come back, with special guests Ric Porter and Fran McConville this time. (We told you they have lots of musical friends.)

Then there will be a 15-minute intermission to take a breath and buy a libation li·ba·tion  
a. The pouring of a liquid offering as a religious ritual.

b. The liquid so poured.

2. Informal
a. A beverage, especially an intoxicating beverage.

 before Part 2 starts at 9:30. Here's the illustrious line-up: Blackstone Valley Bluegrass Band featuring Bob Dick, Dave Dick, Dan Nowlan and Ken Taylor; the Duke Levine Band with his royal self and Kevin Barry, Lorne Entress and Mike Rivard; then our tireless hosts return, this time with the tuneful Chet Williamson in tow; and the capper cap·per  
1. One that caps or makes caps.

2. Informal Something that surpasses or completes what has gone before; a finishing touch or finale.

 will be a grand finale with EVERYONE (good thing it is on the rather expansive Hanover stage) as well as a few not-as-yet-seen friends such as Valerie Crockett, Paul Della Valle, Lydia Fortune and Todd Benson.

"It is a loose community of musicians who pretty much all know each other and have played together at one time or another, and who share the same musical tastes, which include melodic songs with strong choruses and full harmony, hot solos, and a basically Americana approach to the repertoire - the range from bluegrass and country to rock, blues and sometimes a little R&B and light jazz," Walter Crockett said. "This is not to knock any other kind of music, it's just what we do."

And they do it so well. But who could imagine all this back 30 years ago when the Paddock Lounge owner unwittingly set a new chapter of Worcester musical history in motion. "Chuck and I had played music at a party. That's how we met," Rocheleau-Demers said. "Then he asked me to sit in on a couple songs down at the Paddock, which I did, and at the end the owner said `Come back next week, Chuck, and bring her with you.'"

Chuck & Mud's 30th Musical Anniversary

When: 4 p.m. Saturday (children's show) and 8 p.m. (grownups)

Where: Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts The Theatre for the Performing Arts is a 7,000 seat theater located in the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. History
The Performing Arts Center or the Aladdin Theatre for the Performing Arts
, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester

How much: Matinee, $10; evening, $25 and $35.


CUTLINE: (1) Marie "Mud" Rocheleau-Demers, her husband, Chuck Demers, and mandolin mandolin (măn'dəlĭn`, măn`dəlĭn'), musical instrument of the lute family, with a half-pear-shaped body, a fretted neck, and a variable number of strings, plucked with the fingers or with a plectrum.  player Fran McConville rehearse recently for Saturday's show. (2) Pianist Sten Gustavson, Mud and Chuck rehearse.

PHOTOG pho·tog  
n. Informal
A person who takes photographs, especially as a profession; a photographer.
: T&G Staff Photos/PAUL KAPTEYN
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Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Mar 18, 2009
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