For many years, the Bluemont concert series has been bringing an eclectic mix of performers to smallish cities and towns in central and northwestern Virginia for weekly summer concerts. We’ve been going to the Saturday night concerts at Maury Stadium in the burg since they started 11 years ago, and have added Spotsylvania’s Sunday night Bluemont concert to our schedule for the past couple of years. Maury Stadium is a big venue, relatively speaking, and although attendance this year seems to be a bit off, the concerts still get a pretty decent turnout. A lot of our friends are Bluemont regulars, so there is always a good group of people to hang out with, our chairs and blankets covering a sizable portion of the grass, stage-left. Some of my favorite performers have been the off-beat ones, including The Bobs and Da Vinci’s Notebook, two funny, funky a capella groups, as well as a name-forgotten klezmer band that was my first introduction to the genre. Occasionally, you get a relatively big name act, like Eddie from Ohio or the Dry Branch Fire Squad, but more often than not, it’s musicians you’ve never heard of. But I don’t really care who's playing—I love sitting out on the grass on a summer evening, relaxing with friends, watching the kiddies dance (and sometimes the grownups, too), and if the music is great, that’s a bonus.
Tonight’s performers were John Roberts and Tony Barrand, who play old English folksongs—ballads and sea chanteys and bawdy songs--the kind that definitely would have gone nicely with a pint of ale or two, if we had been in a pub instead of in public.