presented by Arts After Hours and Briola Records

"The Devil And Billy Shake" by George D. Simpson and Brian Maes
About the Creators of The Devil and Billy Shake
Brian Maes is a lifelong career musician, graduate of Berklee College of Music, and Lynn native who has toured the world in various bands, written a billboard top 26 single, produced a billboard charting album, been a lead + backing vocalist, keyboardist, musical director, conductor and opening act for countless well known bands … U2, Aerosmith, Foreigner, Pat Benatar, Eddie Money, B.B. King and Deep Purple to name a few …
George D. Simpson is a punk rock poet who has been writing songs since childhood about the struggles of the the human condition and life's hard lessons of love, hate, war, peace and God.  Though never having acclaimed recognition on a grand scale, George is well known and appreciated for his skills in demonstrating vivid imagery and strong story line in his writing.

Development of a New Rock Opera
Though George and Brian come from the same area in the North Shore of Boston, they never crossed paths until recently …  

George had hoped to work with Brian for quite some time and presented him with the story of "The Devil And Billy Shake" ,which he had been working on for 3 years, while Brian was on tour and doing extensive traveling with "Ernie And the Automatics."  Brian politely declined the offer to work on the Rock Opera with George because he felt that it was too big of a project to take on while having  so many other commitments.   This didn't stop George from trying many times to convince Brian to just read it.  As Brian was getting ready to leave town on tour once again, George suggested that Brian just toss it in his bunk on the tour bus for when he might have some down time.  That is exactly what happened and as Maes began reading the story, he became more intrigued with every page.  He remembers thinking to himself that there was really something strong there on those pages.  
When Maes returned home from tour he met with George and they agreed that they would become partners in the project and that Brian would set the story of "The Devil And Billy Shake" to music.  It was also decided that Maes would choose the musicians as well as engineer and produce the recordings when the music was ready.
    Having worked with many of the best players in the Boston area, Brian picked the players that he felt best suited his musical vision of what George's lyrics were suggesting to him.  George was elated and felt that Brian's compositions were exactly what he had been imagining.  Every musician that performed on this music has been very excited to be involved and brought their "A Game" to every performance.  The composition and recording of the music for the Rock Opera has taken Brian and George 2 years which means that "The Devil And Billy Shake" has been 5 years in the making.

Now, we bring it to the next phase of development and stage a concert version of the rock opera for you all to enjoy. After each performance, we will have a talkback with the creators and audience. 
 The Story
Billy Shake is an American rock star of epic proportions … So beloved throughout the world that the devil himself, known here as Dr. Spark, brings Billy to hell to entertain him and his followers.  Dr. Spark also wants to perform along side him to nurture his own ego and to try to convince Billy that he could have anything he desires if he stays …
    Billy, sing songs for those in the inferno but fights to retain and express his believe in love of God, country and the pursuit of love.
    Dr. Spark, with the help of his sinister singing sodality "The Demonettes," taunt and mock Billy and all he stands for in the hope of leading him astray…
    Does Billy stay?  Does the Dr. win?  Experience "The Devil And Billy Shake" and find out for yourself ...



Kook Lawry -  Lead Guitar

Tim Archibald - Bass

"Old" Tony DePietro - Drums

Brian Maes - Keys + Percussion

Danny McCarthy - Acoustic Guitar

George D. Simpson - Dr. Spark
Brian Maes - Billy Shake   
MaryBeth Maes -  Princess Shrill 

Elle Gallo - Hellen 

Terri O'Soro - Shelley

"In this rock opera about the biggest show on (and beyond) earth: good vs. evil, Maes and Simpson have reached a new plateau and favorable comparisons to another famous rock opera about a deaf, dumb and blind boy would not be out of place."
        Carter Alan WZLX

July 26-August 10, 2014 (Saturday and Sunday ONLY)
Tickets on Sale Soon.

October 2014, our final musical is still TBD! 

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Lynn Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

    Season Design by Jill Parker Design.

    Arts After Hours is an independent, cooperative venture dedicated to invigorating the Lynn, MA creative economy by providing unique artistic experiences.
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