As a kid I used to love to fool around on the piano for countless hours. I did not have a clue about what I was doing, but I had a great time. Then I took about 7 years of keyboard lessons trying to learn how to play the Organ. At the “pinnacle” of my ability I was able to eek out a passable version of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor (The Phantom of the Opera theme).Even though I learned how to play, I really don’t know my A chord from a G these days but I still love music. I can’t seem to get enough records, cds, mp3s, (just ask my wife), of great music from just about any musical genre.
I love live music, especially when it is done well. Here in Put-in-Bay we have some great music choices. The perennial favorites like Pat Daily, JD Owen, Mad Dog Adams, Bob Gatewood, Ray Fogg, and West Side Steve keep their fans coming back to the island year after year. Popular regional bands like Mustang Sally, The Menus, The Maxx Band, The Paradise Band, Wally and the Beaves “pack the house” which is great for business. I live in the village, but not right downtown, and I know you can hear a live band just about every day of the summer somewhere. The list of bands coming to the island every summer is long, but I long for more, more bands, more choices, and more styles of music too (especially when it is free!)
This summer there are some great bands coming to Put-in-Bay that are, to use a cliché, outside the box of what we normally get. On July 6th a group from Detroit called Terrie Lea and the Mustangs came and opened the Twilight Music Series at the monument to rave reviews. A little country, a little rockabilly, with a nice tribute to Johnny Cash, Terrie provided a great sound for the Put-in-Bay Arts Council’s “American Originals” concert series. They have won the Detroit Music awards for best country a dozen times.
I search for good music, and last summer I went with friends to Cleveland Metroparks to a blue grass festival and heard Missy Raines and the New Hip from Tennessee. Her band tours the country doing festivals and concerts all year long. Missy is an amazing award winning bass player and the band plays Blue Grass jazz. I hope you didn’t miss Missy Raines and the New Hip on July 21st.
I got a phone call one day; a person from Columbus had heard that we have Eden Brent coming to the island. They wanted to get tickets. I told them the concert was free! On August 4th we are pleased and amazed to get Eden Brent, a blues piano player, from Mississippi. Eden has a sultry voice and is the real deal when it comes to authentic Mississippi blues music. Last winter she came through Cleveland, playing at the Winchester in Lakewood. You could not get a seat.
The final concert of our Twilight Music Series on August 18th is Mo’ Mojo. They are smokin’ hot and play Cajun Zydeco. I don’t remember a real Zydeco band ever coming to the island. If you are a music lover and want to dance too, bring your sweetheart. I promise you that you can’t escape the infectious sounds of Zydeco and that toe tapping feeling will certainly come over you.
One last note on local music, there is a band of real Put-in-Bay Island guys that have been seen playing at Walleyes, Tippers and the Fish Bowl. They go by the low-key name of “The Island Band” to blend in. I guarantee you will enjoy their show and may even be asked to come on stage and play tambourine.