Monday, July 5, 2010

Summer Music in the Air

Many towns across the country have outdoor summer concerts, and Fredericksburg holds its own against any of them, just one of the many things I love about this town. Despite funding cutbacks for the libraries and arts this year, there still manages to be lots of summer music in the air in Fredericksburg. On Saturday night, we caught the first Bluemont concert of the summer (a shortened schedule due to financial constraints) featuring legendary bluegrass banjoist Bill Emerson and Sweet Dixie (above). The group played a mix of contemporary and classic bluegrass, and the performance was a real treat. Next Saturday, we’ll be back to hear Furnace Mountain, for what sounds like a quirky mix of fiddle, bouzouki, bass, mandolin and washtub in what the band's website refers to as "ethno Appalachian roots music." This year, the Bluemont concerts are being held in the shade on the Kenmore St. side of Maury Field, so bring a blanket or chair, because there’s no bleacher seating.

We’re also regulars at Monday night’s Music on the Library Steps, where next Monday we’ll hear the always-entertaining Company Store Band. Despite serious library cutbacks, the Friends of the Library have managed to keep this concert series alive. We’ve also checked out the Thursday night concert series at the Village at Spotsylvania Towne Centre (is that enough misplaced e’s for you?), which continues presenting local musicians through the end of July (6-9 p.m., sponsored by B101). The crowd was non-existent on the night we went, but it was the first of the series (featuring Pete Mealy and Laurie Rose Griffith), so I’m hoping it’s picked up some momentum as more people hear about it. And at First Fridays this past weekend, we stopped and listened to the music in Market Square (Pete and Laurie again, but I never get tired of listening to them), sponsored by the Fredericksburg Area Museum monthly throughout the summer. The free concert begins at 7:00 pm and ends at 10:00 pm.—bring a chair if you plan to stay awhile. Add to that the monthly Finally Fridays concerts on Sophia Street, the lunchtime concerts at Hurkamp Park on Tuesdays in May, June and September, outdoor performances by the Rappahannock Pops Orchestra, the concerts at Celebrate Virginia, performances by the Fredericksburg Community Concert Band, just to name the ones I can think of off the top of my head, and you can see that you don’t have to go very long between outdoor summer concerts in the burg.