THE BEST OF SUMMER GREETINGS TO YOU AND your favorite beach blanket partner!

Now that we’re moving into the thick of the summer, all of the local concert series are kicking into high gear. First, starting Thursday, Arts Jubilee presents its 36th season with spectacular outdoor concerts on five consecutive Thursday evenings beginning July 18. Concerts are presented outdoors with mountain views at the base of the North Slope. An early concert by area performers is at 6 p.m., the featured main performance opens at 7 p.m.

The Thursday night series kicks off July 18 with Chris Collins and Boulder Canyon in a tribute to John Denver; and continues with guitar virtuoso Duke Robillard in an evening of Traditional and Contemporary Blues & Swing (July 25) (the opening act will feature local folk musicians Kathy Bennett and Thom Perkins at 6 p.m.).

Next is bound to be a doozie on Aug. 1 with “The Music of Elton John and Billy Joel,” with Dennis and Davey in the opening show.

The series continues Aug. 8 with the Traditional Pops Concert & Fireworks (opening act: MWV Band), and ends Aug. 15 with the bluegrass and folk of Barnes, Gordy & Walsh.

Arts Jubilee director Bobby Sheehan (also lead singer for the local group, Junco, which performed at the town of Conway’s Fourth of July festivities in Schouler Park) was interviewed by Tony Zore on WMWV 93.5-FM’s “Drive Time” this past Thursday, and he said new this year, guests can enjoy offerings from local food trucks: Kimberly’s Gluten Free Kitchen, White Mountain Wood-Fired Pizza and Rob, Nancy and Reid Clark’s Trails End Ice Cream.

Admission is as follows: Adults, $15; seniors: (65 and up), $10; students, $5; and children 12 and under free.

And on the Friday after any Arts Jubilee Concert, a wristband from the previous evening's Arts Jubilee is redeemable at the Cranmore ticket office for a free chairlift ride to the summit Meister Hut (some conditions apply).

BRADLEY PARK CONCERT SERIES: In other outdoor music news, the Bradley Park Concert Series kicked off in Fryeburg this past Tuesday with a show by the Hot Damn Duo and continues this Tuesday, July 16, with a return engagement of Studio Two: The early Beatles.

On July 23, Bobby Sheehan’s band Junco is set to perform, and on July 30, the rhythm and blues music of the Delta Knights will be featured.

Shows are from 7-8:30 p.m. at the park (in the event of rain, shows move indoors to the fire station).

MWV BAND CONCERTS: Also on Tuesdays, the MWV Band started its Tuesday night band concerts at the gazebo at the North Conway Community Center.

The gazebo, by the way, is going to be replenished this summer, according to Mark Butterfield of the Gibson-Woodbury Foundation. Stay tuned.

ATTITASH MOUNTAINSIDE SERIES: Attitash is back at it for its seventh season of its Saturday afternoon Mountainside at Attitash Series sponsored by Bud Light, which continues today with the local group, the Riley Parkhurst Project.

Next Saturday will be the Grumps, followed by the Jonathan Sarty Band July 27, Crush: A Dave Matthews Tribute Band as part of the annual BlueberryFest Aug. 3; Ben Cook Aug. 10; Shark Martin Aug. 17; Al “The Rev” Shafner and the Revtones at 11 a.m. and Shark Martin at 3 p.m. Aug. 24; Studio Two Aug. 31 and the Gravel Project (winners of the 2019 WMWV Song of the Year contest) Sept. 1.

Shows are 3-6 p.m. Go to attitash.com for the whole scoop.

BEST-KEPT MUSIC SECRET IN TOWN: I had stopped by the deck of the always beautiful North Country Country Club this past Wednesday to enjoy the fine music of local talent Rafe Matregano when I ran into golfers and old hockey teammates Dick Delaney, Steve Blaser and Randy Broekel, as well as birthday boy Jim Savoie and friend Annette Losier.

Also there to celebrate her birthday was the Sun’s Jeannie Cafarelli and husband Kevin Arnold.

Next up is Rek-lis July 17. The series also includes: Riley Parkhurst Duo, July 24; Al “The Rev” Shafner, July 31; Rek-lis Trio, Aug. 7; Rafe Matregano, Aug. 14; Riley Parkhurst Duo, Aug. 21; Rafe Matregano, Aug. 28 and Rev Al again on Sept. 4.

CONCERTS BY THE RIVER: I spoke with the Other Store’s Katie Thompson this week about the Concerts by the River Series behind her store in Tamworth, which got underway last Sunday with a show by the Starlight Honeys. Next up is Tom Robinson and the Coughs July 14 from 3-5 p.m. The band features Tom Robinson on keyboards, Mike Rossi on bass and Jared Steer on drums.

I CAUGHT BRUCE MARSHALL and his Nor’Easters Band (Al Hospers on bass, Chuck Farrell on guitar and a drummer I didn’t know) at Top of the 9th in Fryeburg last Saturday night.

They were excellent, playing some Marshall Tucker tunes and a few originals by Bruce.

Al tells me that looking ahead to July 26, he will be playing bass at a concert at the Wildcat Tavern with musical chum/jazz pianist Mike Levine of Miami. Joining them will be friends Jarrod Taylor on guitar Craig Bryan Jr. on drums. It’s billed as “An Evening of Latin Jazz and Funk.” Mike has recorded and performed with such talents as Mel Torme, Michael Bolton and David Sanborn.

The show is from 7:30-10 p.m. and tickets are $5 per person. For more information, call (603) 356-7300.

THE BARN SERIES AT THE FARMSTAND: Innkeepers Kimball and Neysa Packard continue to present great music weekends in the Feel the Barn Concert Series at the Farmstand Bed and Breakfast in Chocorua.

They have had some changes in the schedule, so here’s what’s currently posted on the website: Marcia Ball has been moved from July 15 to July 21; and the Jon Butcher and Allen Estes show has been moved up from Sunday, Sept. 29, to Saturday, Sept. 28.

Coming on July 20 is Jon Stetson, America’s Master Mentalist. Go to thefarmstand.net/thebarn or call (603) 323-6169 for information and/or tickets.

COLD RIVER RADIO SHOW: The next Cold River Radio Show isn't slated for Theater in the Wood until Aug. 25, but in the meantime, the Wildcat Inn and Tavern will host a Cold River Mini Radio Concert on July 27, featuring my all-time folk favorite, Cormac McCarthy of South Berwick, Maine. Tickets are $5 per person and may be reserved by calling (603) 383-4245.

SUNSET CONCERT SERIES: A.O. Lucy has announced  Theater in the Woods’ Sunset Concert Series will be held on nine successive Saturdays beginning Aug. 3 in Intervale.

Here’s the lineup, with shows beginning at 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.): Aug. 3: August First, a Jerry Garcia Grateful Dead tribute band; Aug. 10: Delta Harpe and the Delta Swingers; Aug. 17: valley favorites Ceili Rain; Aug. 24: local artists Heabdand/Sheehan and Holden; Aug. 31, Entrain (also a perennial valley favorite); Sept. 7: the Blues Project (featuring Barry Goudreau, formerly of the band, Boston and who recently performed at Vito Marcello’s event at Cranmore); Sept. 14: Studio Two Beatles tribute; Sept. 21, Rustic Overtones and Sept. 28, the American Rogues.

For more, go to believeinbooks.org/sunset-concert-series.

IN HAPPY BIRTHDAYS, we salute one and all, including Barbara Williams Cosby and John Donovan (today); Jonathan Rivers of Indian Mound, Barbara Betts Spofford, Stephanie Cannell Mullins of the soon-to-be reopened Cannell’s Country Store; and Chef Bud Selmi (7-14); Mountain Mama Becky MacGillivray Armstrong, musician Peter Heimlich (the big 7-0) and Fields of Ambrosias’s Deb Jasien (7-15); Almost There Friday night fan (and recent Rolling Stones concert attendee) Stacey Sprague (7-17); sailor boy Rich Gray (7-18); and all others.

Have a great weekend!

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