LAKEVIEW — There’s something about hearing live music outdoors that makes the experience more than simply sounds and rhythm, voices and strings. A song in the open air isn’t just a song anymore, it’s a soundtrack to the beauty of the natural world surrounding you.
When Lakeview’s 2013 Music in the Park concert series gets under way Wednesday with a performance by The Dave Hardin Band, it signals the beginning of 10 full weeks of Wednesday evening shows, all offered free by Lakeview’s Chamber of Commerce and co-sponsor, Spectrum Health Kelsey Hospital.
This greatly expanded lineup is made possible through numerous local sponsors, 11 of which contributed at the $500 “corporate” level. Many $100 “patron” and $25 “friends” sponsorships also added up to give concert organizers the buying power to bring in some truly world-class talent.
The concerts take place at 7 p.m. each Wednesday at the recently renovated Lakeside Park, which will be undergoing even more renovations and expansion later this summer. According to Dallas Lincoln, one of the primary fundraisers for the series, the park improvements alone will likely bring in larger crowds.
“The news of the Meijer grant to purchase a lot adjacent to the park and construct a band shell is a major coup and boost to our MIP (Music in the Park) project,” Lincoln said. “Ten concerts is a stretch for both hiring quality entertainment and fundraising to pay for talent, sound, advertising and printing. We are fortunate to have area merchants and individuals willing to contribute generously each year which enables us to make these events free to the public.”
Dallas’ brother, Lou Lincoln — who along with friend and business partner David McIntire books the series’ acts — has put together an entire season’s worth of notable performers spanning a host of genres. Everything from jazz to blues to folk to Big Band will be represented at this year’s performances.
According to McIntire, this year’s series will be one to remember.
“It’s been such a delight to see Lakeview’s Wednesday evening Music in the Park series evolve over the years,” McIntire said. “It’s not an exaggeration to say the calibre of entertainment for a town the size of Lakeview is unparalleled. With music from the east coast (Mulebone) and the west coast (George Cole’s Eurocana), Lakeview folks should take immense pride in their engaging music series.”
In case of rain, concerts will be moved to the United Church Fellowship Hall, located one block north of the park on Lincoln Avenue.
This year’s Lakeview Music in the Park schedule includes:
• June 26: The Dave Hardin Band (touring folk/ rock band)
• July 3: The Blue Water Ramblers (folk songs of Michigan, America and your life)
• July 10: Claudia Schmidt (acclaimed national touring singer-songwriter)
• July 17: Mulebone (back by popular demand — the boys from New York City)
• July 24: The Flat River Jazz Band (Big Band sound)
• July 31: Detour (power bluegrass with No. 1 bluegrass hit “Quarterline Road”)
• Aug. 7: George Cole’s Eurocana (a standing ovation from last year’s audience)
• Aug. 14: The River Rogues (Dixieland jazz returns)
• Aug. 21: The Turnips (high energy folk rock band makes park debut)
• Aug. 28: The Gravel Ridge Band (Lakeview’s favorite band makes it 19 in a row)