Sip on free music summer evenings in Troy

By Lisa Bennett
Photo: Everything Fitz fiddlers duel for Fridays on Prouty July 8; photo courtesy of Troy Hayner Cultural Center

It’s like a decadent Beef Bourguignon; the longer it simmers, the better it is. The Summer Music Series in Troy has been brewing all year long, and it’s ready to serve up some serious fun. From the tangy Lucky Lemonade series in July to the delectable Fridays on Prouty series, Troy is definitely the place to be this summer if you love music. “These concerts on the Prouty are this wonderful collaboration between several groups here in Troy,” says Terrilynn Meece, program coordinator for the Troy Hayner Cultural Center. “The fact that we have these organizations that work together makes this concert so much richer.” The collaboration between the Hayner Cultural Center, The City of Troy and Troy Main Street brings a varied music repertoire to the region. “Our attitude is that this music is for the people of Troy,” Meece adds.

The Fridays on Prouty season kicks off with some rockin’ blues by the Eric Jerardi Band on June 17 as part of the Fridays on Prouty series. But Jerardi is no mere hors d’oeuvre. The talented artist has shared the stage with the likes of Keith Urban, Wynonna, Jim Belushi and even headlined for the great B.B. King. He has done thousands of shows from here to California. This year will make the third year that Jerardi has played at the Troy Music Series. Last year, it rained, and the show was moved to the Troy Christian gymnasium. “I’ll be honest with you, that was one of the most rewarding shows I’ve done in recent memory,” Jerardi recalls.

The season really starts to sizzle with a dance party blend by local band This Side Up on June 24. With a warm, rich three-horn section, This Side Up is able to cover all kinds of music, ranging from pop and R&B to rock and oldies and, yes, even country, making for a foot-stomping, partner-twirling time the whole family can enjoy. After all that dancing, quench your thirst for more, as the Lucky Lemonade series kicks off with the incredible music of Daniel Dye and the Miller Road Band on July 5. Comprised of a steaming blend of talented, classically-trained family members, Daniel Dye and the Miller Road Band bring a unique and decadent interpretation of American roots and traditional folk music that is unlike any other group. On July 8, the Fridays on Prouty series takes on an international flavor with an explosive flambé of fiddling by Canadian-inspired fiddle tradition band, Everything Fitz. This family-oriented band takes percussive step dancing music and high-impact fiddling to a whole new level.

The high-energy, must-dance series continues with some blaringly good music from old-style bluegrass quartet Sawgrass on July 12. Their use of an upright bass lends a unique and fun interpretation to their otherwise, energy-packed bluegrass instrumentals. On July 15, 7th Street takes center stage in a soaring comeback with a delicious smorgasbord of cover songs ranging from classic oldies, including Johnny Cash, to retro ’70s hits, bluegrass and even reggae.

“It’s a nice venue, and it’s cool to have all the families out there and to be able to get out there and have some fun,” Jimmy Allen says. Though it’s a tough act to follow, twin-neck guitar expert Mark Kroos effortlessly takes the stage on July 19 with a masterful acoustic performance that blends the Latin-inspired music of Tommy Emmanuel with the soulful, percussive acoustic style of Michael Hedges. It’s the kind of brilliant performing that leaves you hungry for more. Tribute band Brass Tracks dons the oven mitts and dishes out a awe-inspiring buffet of great horn songs from the ’60s, ’70s and beyond with international sensation Hal Melia on saxophone. Wrapping up the Lucky Lemonade series are the lovely Rachel Brown and renown bassist Bill Watson with a layer cake of soulful melodies on July 26. Attendees can enjoy wine by the glass from Brandeberry Winery as part of the Lucky Lemonade finale.

But that doesn’t mean the music is over, however. The stage heats up once again on July with a contemporary blend of bluegrass, blues, American roots and traditional folk music by the Mad River Railroad.

“People call us a bluegrass band, but we are actually what we call a ‘new grass’ band,” guitarist Dave Younkin describes. “That means we play all kinds of music with bluegrass instruments.” The season wraps up Aug. 5 with internationally renowned Eagles Tribute band Hotel California. Hotel California has played all over the world with artists such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Styx, Doobie Brothers, Gretchen Wilson, April Wine and REO Speedwagon. Their ability to recreate the Eagle’s songs is just plain spooky.
“The biggest thrill for us is not who we play with but … the crowd,” co-owner Michael Dimoulas says.

The Lucky Lemonade Series opens 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 5 at the Troy Hayner Cultural Center, 301 W. Main St. in Troy. The Fridays on Prouty concert series opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 17 on the Prouty Plaza, 1 West Main St. in Troy. Both are free and open to the public. For more information, please visit troyhayner.org/music-and-performing-arts.html and troymainstreet.org.

Reach DCP freelance writer Lisa Bennett at Lisa Bennett@DaytonCityPaper.com

 

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Reach DCP freelance writer Lisa Bennett at LisaBennett@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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