By Lyons Bluesologist, David McIntyre
I thought I would let you all know ahead of time who will be playing in the Town of Lyons Parks & Rec. free Sandstone Park Summer Concert Series this summer so you could mark your calendars. I have watched with admiration as these shows have grown over the years; with the last couple of years being a full park with lots of families, kids, dogs, and music lovers galore.
As the booker of bands, I have tried to keep the lineup as local as I can, and have chosen acts that play fun music that everyone will enjoy. There are only three bands on the schedule this summer that don't have at least one band member living in Lyons, and those, of course, have big followings and a long
history in Lyons. Halden Wofford & the Hi*Beams are one of the area's favorites, as are Bonnie & the Clydes, who used to live here before the flood. The former booker for this concert series, Jimmy Sferes with his partner Jennifer White, who left Lyons in 2007 are also on the schedule! I wanted some different acts this year and thought it would be terrific to have Jimmy and Jennifer back to town after all these years. They were a giant favorite around these parts for so long, and I was happy when Jimmy said he thought it would be great fun. We found a date that would work for them to travel from the east.
On the “local front,” I have been trying to book Sally Van Meter for years. She is usually traveling the world in the summer festival season, but this year she will be home for the RockyGrass festival with lots of her talented bluegrass friends agreeing to join her. Daniel Rodriquez, from Elephant Revival, was another local star I've been after for years, and this summer I was able to find a date for him and his friends.
The concert series will start this year on June 14, with all the concerts on Thursday evenings starting at 6:30 and going until 8:30 p.m. Halden Wofford & the Hi*Beams will kick of the series this year with their unique brand of Honky Tonk, country favorites, and originals. This band has been playing together since 2000 and have become one of the tightest groups on the Front Range, complete with some of the best musicians around. They are one of Colorado’s most enduring acts.
On June 21, local favorite Joe Kuckla and his new band Irons in the Fire will grace the Vasquez Stage. Joe has been a musical staple in the Lyons musical community for many years and has put together a fine band featuring ex-Lyonite David Richey, and a new resident in Colin Mahoney, a true force on the drums. Rock and roll with a country flavor with Joe’s originals make up their sound. Joe is very powerful on stage and always has an enjoyable time as gauged by the size of his smile.
June 28, we will host Good Manners who will feature a full hometown band with Ian Brighton, Kate Little, Eric Thorin, Jon Gray, David Wiatrolik, and Russ Meissner with special guest Jesse Garland, and possibly Brian Schey and Kim Franco. They have an exciting sound grounded in the 20s and 30s swing, with some originals thrown in. All very danceable and really fun music.
July 5 we are pleased to have Daniel Rodriquez and friends. Dan will be joined by many friends and some surprises. We do not have a show scheduled for
July 12, due to the Library fundraiser scheduled at Planet Bluegrass, featuring Denver’s Blues Diva Hazel Miller. We want the entire community to support the Lyons Regional Library, and of course we all want to see Hazel, who hasn’t played in town in many years.
The first half of the series ends with The Erik Yates band. Erik is the banjo player for Hot Buttered Rum (a national bluegrass/Americana act) and recently relocated to Lyons. Erik’s band features David Tiller, Darren Garvey, and more great musicians.
We look forward to hosting these great bands for your listening and dancing pleasure. Thanks for supporting the concert series for all these years, and we will be announcing the rest of the summer lineup in a future column.