The Middlesex Bandstand summer concert series, now in its 14th year, has a diverse lineup of music for its six weeks of concerts.
Wednesday evenings at 6:30 p.m., starting July 10, will be filled with soul, rock, roots music, Cajun dance and jazz at the Martha Pellerin-Andy Shapiro Memorial Bandstand.
The setting has always been a favorite for music lovers who like the spaciousness of the surrounding grounds near the Rumney School. There’s always good food, and a family oriented atmosphere to accompany the music. The bandstand is dedicated to the memory of Middlesex residents and musical legends Martha Pellerin and Andy Shapiro.
Myra Flynn, who’s been dubbed the neo-soul songstress, opens the series on Wednesday. She’s a great singer who made a name for herself with her soulful vocals and lyrical delivery. While she now lives half the year in Los Angeles, Flynn spends a lot of the year in her native Vermont performing. She’s a top talent and gives the summer concert series a real opening boost.
High Summer performs July 17. Led by the sultry voice of Miriam Bernardo, members of the septet have played in a variety of Vermont bands. Their music runs the gamut from originals to covers with a jazz/rock sensibility.
The Blackwater Trio performs July 24. Based in Clarksdale, Mississippi, the three perform folk, roots and rock. They performed here last year where they were greeted with enthusiasm. Seth Stroud (lead vocals, guitar), Walt Busby (lead guitar, vocals) and Alice Hasen (violin, vocals) have influences ranging from Led Zeppelin to Gypsy jazz.
If you love to two-step on the dance floor then get ready for the Green Mountain Playboys who bring their high energy Cajun music to the bandstand July 31. The Playboys, based in Montpelier, feature twin fiddles, accordion, electric guitar, bass, and drums. They play two-steps, blues and waltzes.
Renegade Groove, a four-piece funk-rock band from Burlington, combines passions for funk, rock, blues, jazz, and soul in its compositions, creating a sound has been described as “an actual party.” They perform Aug. 7.
The summer concert series concludes Aug. 14 with the Paul Asbell Quintet. Burlington’s Asbell is a nationally known guitarist who plays a variety of styles. He is also a top bandleader and his quintet is a jazz powerhouse. For this performance Asbell brings the Vermont “A” list of jazz performers to the stage with pianist Tom Cleary, sax player Chris Peterman, bassist Clyde Stats, and drummer Gabe Jarrett. This is as good as it gets for jazz in Vermont, or anywhere.