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Jonee Earthquake, Big Paws to play in Peterborough on Saturday

  • Jonee Earthquake plays a resonator guitar during a show with his full band. He will be doing a solo show on Saturday at the Unitarian Church in Peterborough.
  • Jonee Earthquake will bring his pirate attitude to a solo show at the Unitarian Church in Peterboroough on Saturday.
  • Marek Bennett and Emily Hague of the band Big Paws will sing Saturday at the Unitarian Church in Peterborough.

He’s dressed like a pirate and he’ll steal your senses on quite an unusual solo cruise.”

That’s how Jonee Earthquake is described on posters for Saturday’s “earth shaking concert” at the Peterborough Unitarian Church.

The Manchester-based guitarist and singer leads the Jonee Earthquake Band, which he says plays a combination of punk, rockabilly and surf music, both classic cover tunes and his own original tunes. But Saturday’s gig will be a solo show, focusing on Earthquake’s folk roots.

“I grew up in the ’70s, influenced by Dylan, Pete Seeger, Phil Ochs — the protest singers,” Earthquake said in a phone interview Monday. “I listened to Elizabeth Cotton, Mississippi John Hurt. And eventually I got into punk. I just got the feeling that punk music was just protest music, but a lot faster.”

The singer, who said Jonee Earthquake is his legal name, plays all over New England with his band. They probably do more shows in Maine, Vermont and Rhode Island than in New Hampshire, he said. But Earthquake also loves to play acoustic shows.

“Usually when I have a free night, I’ll go somewhere and play solo. I do that in various places. I got to know Jack Kid and he invited me to come play in Peterborough.”

Kid, who helps organize the open stage shows at the Unitarian Church, said Earthquake is a dynamic performer, both with his band and singing alone.

“He really is a pirate on stage,” Kid said on Monday. “He commands the deck. Of course, he works at the post office in Manchester. That might explain a lot, too.”

Earthquake said Saturday’s show will be a mix of well-known folk songs and many of his original compositions. He also plans to do a number of songs on a square-neck resonator guitar.

“You play it Hawaiian style,” he said about the resonator. “I’ll be doing songs from the ’50s, mostly instrumentals. I do sing on a few.”

Saturday’s show will also include a set by the band Big Paws, a group based in Henniker and Keene that has also performed at the Unitarian Church open stage shows. Marek Bennett, Emily Hague and Jack Bopp will play original songs, dance tunes and ballads from a variety of American and Eastern European traditions.

“We all sing,” Bennett said in an email on Tuesday. “The group is a balancing act between traditional and original material, with a strong emphasis on original songs that address things that seem especially important to us. We’ll play some songs about the end of the world, broken hearts, old cats, ancient wars, and healthy forests.”

“Both Jonee Earthquake and Big Paws were very well-received at our open stage shows,” said Maria Belva, one of the organizers of Saturday’s concert. “So we thought it was time to do a big folk concert.”

The show will be held in the church sanctuary, which Belva said can seat about 300 people.

“We have a platform riser so the performers can be seen,” she said. “We really want to promote more concerts in our sanctuary. It’s right in the middle of downtown. We feel it’s a community venue and we want more people to see it.”

The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and proceeds will benefit church programs, including its community suppers.

Dave Anderson can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 233 or danderson@ledgertranscript.com. He’s on Twitter at @DaveAndersonMLT.

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