Boothbay Harbor Opera House: The Autumn Defense

Opening act: Johnny Irion of the Guthrie Family Band

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By day John Stirratt and Patrick Sansone sell thousands of albums, tour the world with indie juggernaut Wilco and lend their writing, playing and producing abilities to dozens of high profile recordings. By night these renowned pros sit down, relax and create something special that comes straight from the heart of why they pursued music as a career – and that is their band The Autumn Defense. On Wednesday, July 25 the six piece Autumn Defense arrive in Boothbay Harbor to perform at the Opera House. Opening the show will be Johnny Irion of the Guthrie Family Band.

Stirratt and Sansone, a pair of Southerners-turned-Chicagoans have quietly been nurturing their own timeless brand of reverent, classic pop full of nods to the AM gold, soul and rock radio that dominated the group’s formative years.

Stirratt began collaborating with musician Patrick Sansone, known for his work with Joseph Arthur and Josh Rouse, to produce 1960s-style rock/pop. Their debut album The Green Hour was released on the Broadmoor label, with Stirratt doing the bulk of the writing while Sansone focused on the technical recording aspects. The band did some light touring around the United States in between other projects.

The duo reconvened in 2002 to begin work on their follow-up album, the critically acclaimed “Circles,” released in 2003. In 2004  Sansone joined Stirratt as part of Wilco's six-man lineup, in which he still remains.

The Autumn Defense has released five albums  in the intervening years and has toured throughout the U.S. and internationally. Band leader and part-time Midcoast resident John Stirratt approached the Opera House about performing on its historic stage this summer. With a date available the Opera House eagerly welcomes this multi-talented group of internationally touring singer-songwriters.

Advance discounted tickets are $20 and available through the Opera House box office at 86 Townsend Avenue or by calling 633-5159. Regular tickets are $25 and available online at and at the door. Doors for seating open at 7 p.m. Concert begins at 7:30 p.m.

Event Date: 

Wed, 07/25/2018 - 7:30pm