Call Now to Reserve Tickets • (410) 639-9133 • 5753 Main St, Rock Hall, MD


Home of Musical Magic!

Located in a 100 year old building on Main Street, The Mainstay is a cultural and artistic center for Rock Hall, a historic “waterman’s” town on the Upper Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. The town’s healthy mix of people with a deep heritage on the Eastern Shore and newcomers who have fallen in love with the area give it a vitality, a hometown feeling and a sense of community that is hard to beat.

The Mainstay is a warm friendly place with great sound and sight lines. With only 120 seats, there’s not a bad one in the house. It’s a listening room that’s almost as comfortable as your living room. Beer, wine, soft drinks, home-baked goodies, Mainstay merchandise, Mainstay Music CDs, Chesapeake Scenes CDs and Charlie Byrd CDs are available at the bar in The Byrd Room.

Our audiences range from local Rock Hallers and Eastern Shore residents to those who find their way here from Philadelphia, Annapolis, Baltimore, Washington DC and beyond.

The Mainstay offers more than 50 concerts a year. You can hear great jazz, blues, classical, folk …almost any form you enjoy. Check out our list of memorable performances.

So, come and see us in Rock Hall… our town motto is “nice people live here” and you’ll find a whole group of those people right here at The Mainstay!

Tom McHugh



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John Rimel and Tom Proutt

Americana and Gospel Influenced
Singers and Songwriters

Saturday, September 23, 2017 at 8:00 p.m.

$15 in advance (use Buy Tickets link below) or 18 at the door (call for reservations)

John Rimel and Tom Proutt are Virginia songwriters, who share the stage for Americana and gospel-influenced performances of their original material. John Rimel has a lifelong devotion to art and craft of songwriting. His thought-provoking lyrics are wide-ranging and his musical sensibilities span a spectrum that encompasses rock, country, folk, bluegrass, Americana, blues, Cajun, and gospel. His songs have been recorded by The Statler Brothers, Dailey & Vincent and Jimmy Fortune with whom he shares a number of co-writes including "More Than A Name On A Wall," a top 10 hit, named the 1990 Country Song of the Year. An excellent piano player who has done a lot of session work, Rimel has also toured nationally as the keyboardist for the Jimmy Fortune Band and has performed his songs on the Grand Ole Opry. Tom Proutt was born in Maryland and now resides in Virginia. He has a 40 year career as a singer and songwriter and is a voting member of The Recording Academy (The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences) that produces and awards the Grammys. His work was considered for a Grammy in 2015 and 2016. He is in demand as a studio musician throughout the mid-Atlantic region. His music is frequently aired nationally on NPR and PBS stations. Kent County’s own Mary Simmons will sing harmony with Rimel and Proutt on some of their songs.

John Rimel's website

Tom Proutt's website

John Rimel and Tom Proutt video

Mainstay Monday

Featured Guest: Van Albert
With your host Joe Holt

Monday, September 25, 2017; 7:00-8:30 pm

only $10

Join us for another Mainstay Monday! These eclectic evenings happen every Monday night. Each is hosted by Chestertown’s Joe Holt at the piano partnering with a special guest. The music is diverse and spontaneous. Every Monday we have casual seating, tables so you can bring your own dinner and a cash bar. The evenings begin at 7:00 p.m and run until about 8:30. Featured guest tonight is Van Albert. Van has been a comedian, entertainer, fiddle player, guitarist and storyteller both in the US and in Europe. Since settling in Chestertown a few years ago, he’s performed sparingly, but will come out of hiding to join Joe for a wide ranging musical romp. “Music is hard work, but when you’re playing with Joe, it’s just plain fun.” Come and share in the fun with us.

Joe Holt's Mainstay Monday videos

Michel Nirenberg Quartet

Brazilian Jazz

Saturday, September 30, 2017 at 8:00 p.m.

$17 in advance (use Buy Tickets below) or $20 at the door (call for reservations)

Saxophonist and composer Michel Nirenberg is building bridges between the classical, samba and choro music he grew up playing in Brazil and the jazz music he has explored more deeply in the United States. His compositions celebrate and build on the common roots found in the music of both hemispheres - a place where African and European influences combine to create a rich and inviting sound. Nirenberg was born into a musical family in Rio de Janeiro. He had already made a name for himself in Brazil, performing in many festivals and winning in competitions throughout the country before coming to this country to earn a master’s degree in music in 2014 from James Madison University while also carving out a niche in the Washington, DC jazz scene. His music has been described as a delightful mix of up tempo Brazilian street music with a slight New Orleans tinge and classically inspired melodic explorations (tangos and the like).

Michel Nirenberg's website

Michel Nirenberg video

PigPen Theatre Co. @ The Garfield

Theatrical Indie Folk-Rock
The Mainstay at The Garfield

Saturday, September 30, 2017 at 8:00 p.m.

only $15

This one night only concert at The Garfield is a joint presentation of The Mainstay and The Garfield and will take place at The Garfield Center for the Arts at 210 High St. in Chestertown. Call the Garfield for tickets (details below.)
(NOTE: This concert is indeed the same date as the Michel Nirenberg concert at The Mainstay. It was unavoidable, you'll have to decide.)

Calling themselves “A Band of Storytellers,” PigPen Theatre Co. blurs the lines between indie folk-rock and ensemble theatre. Their imaginative writing, gorgeous vocals, irreverent humor and their creative theatricality have built them a strong concert following and gained them enormous popularity in the NYC theatre scene. They began creating their unique brand of theatre, music, and film as freshmen at the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama in 2007. They have since produced their original plays in New York City and toured the country – earning them critic’s picks from The New York Times, Time Out New York, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Boston Globe, and many more. PigPen’s debut album, “Bremen”, was named #10 album of the year in The Huffington Post’s 2012 Grammy preview. Following that, they went on tour playing to sold-out crowds across the country. American Songwriter premiered their follow-up EP, “The Way I’m Running,” in 2013 while the band was playing a series of concerts that became one of the most popular residencies of the past decade at the legendary Schuba’s Tavern in Chicago. In 2015, PigPen released their sophomore album, “Whole Sun” and performed at Mumford & Sons’ return to the Gentlemen of the Road Festival. They also made their feature film debut last year in Jonathan Demme’s “Ricki and the Flash” starring Meryl Streep and are working with Writers House, one of the world’s leading literary agencies, to develop their debut children’s novel.

For tickets call the Garfield Box Office 410-810-2060 or purchase online at PigPen Theatre Co. at The Garfield website

The PigPen Theatre Co. website

PigPen Theatre Co. video