INSIDE THE BUMMER TENT   Dec 6, 2002

 

One of the many interesting aspects involved in putting on a multi-act musical extravaganza like "A Lehigh Valley Christmas in Concert", is lining up the numerous MCs for the evening’s festivities. Since the first concert, seven years ago, we have always had 4 or 5 MCs sharing the duties throughout the night. (That would be the "Many Masters Theory" for those of you into Quantum Entertainment Theory.) Besides the obvious scheduling difficulties, there is also the attempt to match the MC with the musicians or at least the musical style he or she will be introducing. I know we have all witnessed the TV award show comedies of somebody like eminem giving the Country Music Life Time Achievement Award to Dolly Parton, so I guess we shouldn’t be that particular, but we do try to have it make some sense.

Since the LVC concert deals with 20 acts and a wide variety of musical styles from Jazz to Rock, Blues, Classical, Celtic and a host of others, it does makes things easier. For example, this year we have the Honor of having the Honorable Don Cunningham, Mayor of Bethlehem, join us on stage. Well, as some of you may know, the Mayor is a huge Bruce Springsteen fan so, we thought it would be the most fun for him to talk about the rock and blues artists on the bill. He may even sing a song, so watch out!

Godfrey Daniels founder, Dave Fry will be back in the area and back on stage as one of our MCs after missing a few years. Dave knows almost everybody in the folk/acoustic music scene around here, so he’s a natural.

New this year will be the wonderful presence of Berrisford Booth, renowned painter and associate professor of Art at Lehigh University. Berrisford was born in Jamaica and brings a long and intense love of world music to the evening. George Miller and Kate Scuffle, the Artistic and Executive directors of The Theatre Outlet (www.theatreoutlet.org) have strong Celtic ties and Randall Forte, executive director of the Lehigh Valley Arts Council (www.lvartscouncil.org), has close contact with the classical community. Actually all these folks have such broad musical tastes that there is no real way to come up with a Kid Rock introducing Itzhak Perlman type scenario, but we want to stay alert.

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Futures

Bummer Tent has been busy over the past few months planning "A Lehigh Valley Christmas in Concert - 2002." On Sunday December 15 at the Civic Theatre in Allentown, this year's CD release will showcase some new artists and brings them center-stage at the Civic. Devilish Merry, an avant-folk, American Celtic band will perform an Appalachian medley featuring vocals, banjo, hammer dulcimer, fiddle and whistles. Collection of 3 highlights three young Jazz musicians performing their rendition of Vince Guaraldi's Linus and Lucy. Two Part Invention features classical guitar and flute, while James Ruhf commands attention with his bagpipe ensemble and the Lehigh Valley World Beat Ensemble demands attention with their drumming.

As usual, there is something for everyone - all genres of music will be performed during this three-hour show. Starting at 7 PM, the concert will also include some of previous year's favorites - Zen For Primates (doing Bing Crosby's Hawaiian hit, Mele Kalikimaka), Celtic classic favorite, Blackwater is featured with "Christmas in the Trenches" and Jake Kaligis is joined by BC (Bev Conklin) performing a duet of "Star Carol" an Aaron Neville Christmas tune. And, other performers that evening will be Eric Steckel, Craig Thatcher, James Supra, The Vaughn 5, Roger Latzgo, ACCO, Jackie Tice, Darlene Finelli, Cree and Lucky 7. "A Lehigh Valley Christmas in Concert" in 9 days - www.civictheatre.com/sales.

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Hanging Out and About

Do you know of a restaurant called Abruzzi on Main? It's in Coopersburg. While they are known primarily for their Italian cuisine, they also feature some of the finest musicians in the area. In honor of their music scene, Abruzzi's has opened a chic little club "under" their restaurant - a cozy intimate setting, even equipped with one of our favorites - a little white sofa.

And, speaking of something different - how about Lucky 7's (www.clik.to/Lucky7) happy hour at Croc Rock? Every Friday (until they're not there anymore) you can dance your pants off to some great live R&B, funk and disco from 6-8 PM. Free snacks, cheap beers and great music - what more do you want from 6 to 8?

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Bands

Ever go see your favorite band and find another guitarist playing lead or another lead vocalist singing? Well, check out BC and the Blues Crew (www.bcandthebluescrew.com.) Earlier this year, Mike Brandt, the lead guitar player was injured in an auto accident and Wayne Smith (the band's sometimes dummer, often keyboard player and vocalist) along his brother, Dave Smith, the band's sax player, took turns on lead guitar and - wow!! The Smith Brothers (hey, maybe they should have a band) took over the guitarist's role, trading riffs and a fine job they did of that! Versatile musicians in almost any musical style, they never cease to amaze. Dave, probably known to many as the original sax player in Zen For Primates, happens to be an amazing guitar player, too. And, Sarah Ayers, an up and coming Blues singer, will do a great job filling in on vocals for BC. An excellent example of the quaility of musicianship here in the Lehigh Valley.

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Recommendations

The Deer Head Inn, the world-renowned Jazz club located in Delaware Water Gap will host one of Zen For Primates' (www.bummertent.com) infrequent appearances on Friday, December 13. A word of warning - there are rumours of changes at the venerable old Deer Head and it's long history as a Jazz institution may be coming to an end. So, go hear some there soon!

Inside the Bummer Tent - check it out First Friday of every month or past articles on-line at www.bummertent.com.