On Saturday, March 16, Continuum Arts Collective, in conjunction with 3S Artspace will present "The Last Waltz," the legendary final performance from The Band, featuring an awe-inspiring collective of Seacoast-based musicians.

EDGE caught up with heralded musician, CAC co-founder, and The Last Waltz visionary (in this setting Ė he hasnít gone toe-to-toe with Robbie Robertson - yetÖ), Martin England, to discuss the happening and Continuum Arts Collective which is the beneficiary of the show.

EDGE: When did The Band first enter your psyche? Did they take hold upon first agitation?

England: The Band first entered my psyche (itís dark in here) during adolescence, and of course upon seeing The Last Waltz for the first time (it was at a drive-in movie theater back in the '80s), but I can honestly say I didnít truly become infatuated until Stu and Eff organized the tribute night four to five years ago at Furyís and The Reconstructed participated. Thereís something about learning another bandís songs that brings you closer to both their music and them as individuals and songwriters. In the case of The Band, it sent me into a rabbit hole of listening and reading everything theyíve ever released or have been written about them and trying to find interviews and performances of them on YouTube. I think itís safe to say theyíre slid their way into my top five musical acts of all time.

EDGE: Can you remember the first song/record you heard by them?

England: ďThe WeightĒ was definitely the first song I heard that I can remember. My mom used to have a motor route for Fosterís back in the '70s. I heard "The Weight" on WTSN (true story) while helping her deliver papers one day.

EDGE: What struck you about their music? How was it different from everything else going on at the particular moment in time that The Band took to ďthe sceneĒ? How was it similar?

England: In my opinion, The Band is one of the most unique musical acts in rock and roll history. They were one of the first full bands to pen allegorical tales set to roots-based rhythms and melodies, and truly blurred the lines between folk, rock, country, and blues. I believe itís different because although you had similar bands like The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers, and (of course) Dylan, they were one of the first really good bands to have multiple lead singers. Nobody was a star, but every member was incredible in their own right. The Band was indeed all about the band and not the individuals who comprised it.

EDGE: Fast forward four-ish decadesÖ Youíre set to perform ďThe Waltz,Ē which, for all intents and purposes was the curtain call for the band. Has there been a better exit in popular music?

England: "The Last Waltz" was kinda like when Brady won Super Bowl LIII and retired (wait). Or Ted Williamsí last at-bat, when he launched a pitch into the bullpen and called it a day. They not only went out on their own terms, but they brought along arguably the greatest cast of amazing musicians along for the ride. They were all still so young at the time, which is why The Beatles rooftop performance is a close second, but yea. Nobody really saw the Beatles. And they certainly didnít serve 5,000 a turkey dinner before the show. No, there has not been a better exit.

EDGE: Why are you recreating this? Howíd the idea come to be?

England: After we did The Band tribute night at Furyís, the idea crept into my head when The Band of Heathens (Ed Jurdiís amazing band) played a benefit for Continuum Arts Collective. During soundcheck, they played Bessie Smith (which Soggy Po Boys covered at the Furyís tribute and a totally underrated song by The Band), and it knocked me over. I quickly inquired about having them back to play The Last Waltz, but they were in Europe that fall, so I thought itíd be fun to assemble our own lineup of Seacoast musicians and give it a go. It took nearly a year to recruit players and work out schedules. This also gives me a selfish opportunity to work directly with so many folks Iíve admired in this scene for a long time.

EDGE: Itís not your first time. Itís round two. How did the first round go? Why do it again, and why in this particular setting?

England: Round one was magnetic and magical. One of the best aspects was the fact we had three rehearsals here at Continuum Arts Collective. We have various lead singers and all were scheduled to rehearse at different rehearsals, so they never really got a chance to see each other perform. Outside of the audience that night being in perhaps the greatest collective mood Iíve ever witnessed, every member of our band was so excited to see the others play the songs they hadnít seen yet, because not everyone was at every rehearsal. For me personally, it was such a great opportunity to play with so many other musicians with whom Iíve always wanted to jam. Sure, our bands have all played together, but thereís something about playing IN a band together, fighting the fight and winning the battle that is much different. We all got Garth Hudson tattoos immediately after.

As far as why weíre doing it again, most of it has to do with the fact we all put so much time and energy into learning the songs and had a ball in the process, it was a no-brainer. This particular performance is also Continuum Art Collectiveís first New Hampshire fundraiser, as we now have our license to operate and fundraise in the Granite State. 3S is the perfect venue, as itís a modern facility with a huge stage, great sound and lights. It has the largest capacity of any venue in the seacoast with reasonable ticket splits. I also know and love so many of the folks who run the operation. They truly deserve it. Itís gonna be fantastic.

EDGE: Logistically, what is it like to manage this performance?

England: Iím not gonna lie. Itís a flat-out dreamboat pleasure cruise. Just ask our stage manager, Kim Starling.

EDGE: This is a benefit for the Continuum Arts Collective. Tell the folks what that particular non-profit organization is all about.

England: Continuum Arts Collective assists underserved, school-aged artists and musicians in Maine and now New Hampshire by supplying them with musical instruments, art supplies, and lessons for each. We also provide experiential opportunities for these students in the way of monthly open mics and public performances. In an ideal world, students who donít participate in school-led, extracurricular activities should still receive funding to pursue the arts and music on their own, but they donít. CAC is here to assist those students and help fuel their artistic and musical endeavors. To this point, weíve served nearly 200 students and we just assisted our first student in New Hampshire.

EDGE: Who plays Neil Young in this production?

England: Neil Young will actually be here to play himself. He looks a lot like a dude from Manchester named Tristan Omand.

EDGE: I know the sum is greater than the parts, but, which member of The Band resonates most with you? Why?

England: George Harrison. Okay, this is impossible, because I love everyone for different reasons, but Iím gonna say Rick Danko, and heís only slightly above Richard Manuel for me. I love him most because thereís a scene in "The Last Waltz" where Marty Scorsese (I call him Marty) visits their studio, and when Scorsese brings up the fact this is their last show, Rick gets emotional. The Band meant everything to that guy. Even though they obviously went on without Robbie after "The Last Waltz," it was never the same. He was devastated that it was over. Is he the most talented? Is he the best singer? Probably not, but Iím all about heart, and my heartís with Danko.

EDGE: What can folks expect when they come out to see the show?

England: The Band wrote, recorded, and released many more songs that people know than they think. When we did the first show, everyone was dancing and singing along. Not everyone is a musical historian, so I cut most people slack, but the most overheard comment that night was, I didnít know they did this song! Which, of course, they didnít do every song, because they also served as the backing band and played songs written by Muddy, Joni, Dylan, Neil Young, Van, Clapton, Dr. John, Paul Butterfield, and Bobby Charles (who Iím still pissed about being left out of the film). I forgot Neil Diamond on purpose. Rumor has it Stu bought a red velvet suit for the occasion. Itís also St. Patrickís Eve, so yea, itís gonna be a big old party. Expect a whirlwind gala of vintage. Break into your old manís closet and dig out that patten leather jacket youíve always secretly wanted. Heíll understand.

EDGE: Who wins in a staring contest Ė Garth Hudson or Mike Effenberger?

England: Iíve never seen Eff Bomb blink. Iím going E-Bomb all the way.

For more information, check out www.3Sarts.org and www.continuumarts.org.