2012 Summer Music Series announced
DAVE MOSIER/independent editor
The question of what to do on Friday evenings this summer was likely answered for many area residents on Thursday when the concert line-up was released for The Van Wert County Foundation’s Fountain Park Summer Music Series.
In addition to a full slate of exciting concerts, this year’s series, the 11th since its inception in 2001 also includes a homecoming for two Van Wert natives who have made a name for themselves as professional musicians.
The leadoff concert this year is the Bronx Wanderers, a group that specializes in Fifties and Sixties music. That concert will be on Friday, June 1, and is part of the One Wonderful Weekend celebration that includes the Peony Festival and ArtRageous on Main events.
On June 8, 7 Bridges: The Ultimate Eagles Experience, will bring a stunningly accurate tribute to the Eagles rock group to Fountain Park. Using no backing tracks or harmonizers, 7 Bridges, named for one of the Eagles’ crowd favorite hits, faithfully recreates the experience of an Eagles concert from the band’s most prolific period. Focusing on the group’s major hits, 7 Bridges also incorporates solo material from band member Don Henley, as well as member Joe Walsh and his group, The James Gang. Enjoy such hits as “Tequila Sunrise,” “Hotel California,” “Desperado,” and “Lyin’ Eyes.”
On June 15, The Doo-Wah Riders will be in Fountain Park to bring their trademark brand of Country music, often described as “high-energy Country with a Cajun twist,” to Van Wert.
With a week off, the series returns on Friday, June 29, with the Lima Symphony Pops Orchestra’s annual “Celebrate America!” Independence Day concert that has become a local tradition. Maestro Crafton Beck returns to lead the orchestra in favorites from the silver screen, Broadway, pop music and, of course, a salute to the military and the USA.
Two weeks later, on Friday, July 13, two of Van Wert’s finest musicians return home for a reunion concert that could bring surprises of all kinds! “Sonny Boy” Terry Jerome, Houston, Texas’ most famous Blues harp player, brings his band and joins forces with local native Mel Deal, one of Nashville’s finest Jazz and Country instrumentalists whose career spans more than four decades.
Because of his versatility, Deal has played the Grand Ole Opry, “Hee Haw,” “Nashville Now,” “The Porter Waggoner Show” and has performed with many Country music stars. He has also performed with some of the top symphony orchestras in the South and is a regular with the Nashville Symphony and on the General Jackson Showboat. Both great musicians will bring some of their finest musician friends from Houston and Nashville to provide an exciting musical reunion jam in Fountain Park.
On Friday, July 20, will be Aftermath: Experience the Sixties, which will reproduce some of the most memorable songs from that decade. Experience the “British Invasion,” psychedelic music and all things “groovy” with songs from the Byrds, Beatles, Hollies, Rolling Stones, Turtles, Paul Revere & the Raiders, The Doors, The Monkees and many more.
On Friday, July 27, Rhonda Vincent & the Rage will return to Van Wert. In 2008, Vincent had nearly the entire park audience up on stage with her renditions of her favorite hymns in Bluegrass style. She touched the hearts and souls of thousands of Van Wert fans and is looking forward to returning for some of that great foot-stompin’, hand clappin’ Bluegrass music.
The final concert of the season, on August 10, will be Brass Transit, a Chicago tribute band that features eight of North America’s most in-demand musicians and singers for a dynamic, crowd-pleasing, studio-tight tribute that delivers Chicago’s extraordinary hit-studded songbook with unmatched precision and passion. The group will transport the audience to the golden age and freewheeling days of the 1970s with a world-class horn section, a rockin’ rhythm section and vocals stacked sky-high.