Mallett, the quintessential Maine folk singer/songwriter whose work spans four decades, has released a dozen albums worth of songs he wrote and performed. His latest album takes a slightly different tack, setting new melodies to 22 stories in Henry David Thoreau's book "The Maine Woods." The album was created, in part, to mark the 150th anniversary of Thoreau's trip to Maine in 1857.
"Thoreau spoke of Maine so well," Mallett said. "The people deserved to hear about how he felt about their state."
To complete the album, Mallett read Thoreau's stories repeatedly and then developed the melodies that would "enhance the moment." He has called the project one of the most challenging things he's ever done.
Mallett, who began singing and performing when he was only 10, hails from a small town in rural Maine, but his music has traveled to all corners of the world. His songs have been recorded by more than 150 artists including Pete Seeger, Alison Krauss, Peter, Paul & Mary, Arlo Guthrie, John Denver, Emmylou Harris, and the Muppets.
The songs Mallett writes and sings are filled with passion, evocative imagery, and a sense of the inevitable passage of time. The loss of American towns and rural landscapes is the subject of many of his songs, as are the issues of wilderness preservation and the struggle of the common man.
Recognized by the Bangor Daily News as one of the most memorable Mainers of the 20th Century, Mallett has released 12 albums, published two books, and has performed throughout America and Europe. His "Garden Song" has become an American folk classic.
Billboard has said of the singer, "Mallet is a first-rate folk singer and writer. His portraits and townscapes are camera sharp, and his knowledge of his subjects is profound."
The concert is $10 for adults, $5 for students, and free to UMPI, NMCC, and SAGE students with ID. For more information, call Cultural Affairs Director Carol Ayoob at 768-9462.