The sound track of my summer is different from the soundtrack of my work year, which is September to June. During the work year I listen to one certain station on the radio in the morning that I can count on to keep me on track with time updates, and I’ve listened to it for so long that I really know what time it is instinctively by what song they are playing or whether they are doing a traffic update, an interview, or whatever programming is on. Sometimes in the afternoon or evening I’ll listen to a CD or a music station on the TV. But July and August are times that I listen to different radio stations and go to live performances.
In the summer we go to fairs, festivals, and free outdoor concerts. My favorite thing to do at a fair or festival is check out the musical performances. This year I have three favorites, and they are eclectic choices.
In June we went to a Scottish festival and the second we approached the field I was captivated by a lone piper surrounded by 5 drummers, it was Albannach, a Scottish band. The massed bands is always powerful, so many pipe bands all playing the same song marching toward you in a block is an awesome thing, but the performance by Albannach just fascinated me. They are primal, and wild, and different than any other band I’d ever seen. Needless to say I have one of their CD’s and occasionally check them out on Youtube.
Every year we go to the local 4-H fair, and my favorite thing to do is hang out in the coffee house tent. If I’m lucky we go on the day that Scott Hallock is performing. We first saw him a few years ago, and something about his acoustic guitar and bluegrass style speaks to me. Primarily I’m a soft rock/pop music fan. The first time we saw this performer at the fair he was singing a song he wrote about his grandfather. Whether he’s covering a song like “Ode to Billy Jo” or singing an original song I look forward to seeing him every year. He can also be seen on Youtube.
Most recently, on our last night of vacation in Alexandria Bay, NY, we attended a free concert in the town park. We didn’t know what to expect of the “Country Stompers”, but we picked up some sandwiches for dinner and headed off to the park. It turns out that the band is local, has “groupies” who follow them from performance to performance, and are all over 70! They were fantastic, playing covers of classic country western music from the Merle Haggard, Sr. era. The groupies were dancing, and they even had a segment where the band called a square dance. We were treated to watching the groupies square dancing, and all through the concert the audience, (my hubby and I included!) got up to dance. A sing-along portion included “Roll Out the Barrel”, and they ended with “God Bless America” and all the groupies (mostly women of the same age as the band, I suspect) stood, holding hands with their arms raised as we all sang along. Sadly, the “Country Stompers” are not on Youtube. I think that may have been my favorite performance of the summer.
In a couple weeks I’ll be back to the same old radio station and soft rock/pop, but in my head I can listen to any of these live performances any time I want.