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Local Scene: Music fests aplenty this weekend in NWI | Music

6 min read
Local Scene: Music fests aplenty this weekend in NWI | Music

The Taste of Crown Point will feature several local food vendors and live bands at the beautiful and spacious Bulldog Park Pavilion this weekend. The family friendly event features top shelf live entertainment presented free of charge. Bring blankets and folding chairs to this all ages event, but leave your coolers at home, as there will be a variety of food options on the grounds and a full stocked cash bar.

Pink Floyd tribute band, Echoes of Pompeii, headline Friday’s event with a free 8 to 10:30 p.m. performance flush with special lighting and staging effects as music from “The Wall”, “Darkside of the Moon,” “Wish You Were Here” and other classic albums are performed. The Friday stage will also feature Mr. Funnyman performing a variety of party rock covers ranging from Presley to Prince at 6:30 p.m., with an opening set of music by NWI acoustic duo Kasim & Josh kicking off at 5 p.m.

The annual foodie fest continues on Saturday with a “Women Rock” theme, as a trio of female fronted groups take the stage is succession, beginning with a 4:30 p.m. show by rock/pop group Zodiac featuring vocalist Jill Field, followed by the popular NWI dance/rock band NAWTY fronted by Mandalyn at 6:15 p.m.

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The “Taste” weekend wraps up with Saturday’s performance by The Women of Motown, a powerhouse R&B group fronted by three ladies in full diva mode who rip through two hours of soul deep covers from throughout the decades. Their show features the famous hits by such top female R&B artists like Diana Ross, Martha Reeves, Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight but they also give a woman’s touch to classic hits by The Temptations, Four Tops, Jackson Five, The Commodores and other famous male groups. More: crownpoint.in.gov.

The Six-Strings Music Fest returns to The Northwest Health Ampitheater at Central Park Plaza in downtown Valparaiso on Saturday with live music by a bevy of bands taking stage from 4-10 p.m. Performing will be the aforementioned Pink Floyd tribute group, Echoes of Pompeii, performing at 8:30 p.m., along with guitar virtuoso Marco Villarreal at 7 p.m., and jam band Dead To Rights at 5:45 p.m.

From 4-5:30 p.m. there will be short performances by a trio of bands — Don’t Tell Mama, The Pequad, and Lunoir — each consisting of students from Valparaiso’s Six String Music School. Food booths, local vendors and a cash bar will be on site. Tickets: $18 at facebook.com/Six-Strings-422812395209177. More: 219-252-3636.

Valparaiso’s Central Park Plaza is also the site for The 8th annual Front Porch Music Festival presented Sunday by Chad Clifford, the owner of Front Porch Music, a long running retail music store and school known for their basement coffee house stage where all ages of local musicians gather to perform.

“After a two year hiatus, it feels good to get back to doing our music festival,” said Clifford, who uses this event to shine a light on the various musical projects of some of the Front Porch’s music teachers and staff.

Along with Clifford’s own popular band The Crawpuppies, performers scheduled for Sunday’s event include The Michael Kelsey Band, Stop.Drop.Rewind, Eric Lambert & Char, Rito (featuring Lou Samaniego), For Pete’s Sake, Big Dune Avenue and Mami Matsuda. Other performers were expected to be announced. A beer garden and an area of kid-friendly activities will be on site, along with food options. Tickets: $20 adults / $5 for under age 18. More: 219-464-4700 or facebook.com/FrontPorchMusicValpo.

• Acoustic pop/rock duo Jessi & Drew (of Jessi & The Fizz) perform this evening at Montego Bay Grille (233 Main St.) in Hobart for this week’s installment of the eatery’s Acoustic Thursday Concerts series. Next Thursday (7/21) finds LeAnn Stutler returning to Montego.

Teddian Jackson, the owner and chef of Montego Bay Grille, announced he and wife Josie are hosting a “5 Year Anniversary” party from 3 to 9 p.m. on July 23 to celebrate attaining that milestone with his business and to showcase the newly expanded and remodeled facility. Performances will take on Montego’s rear patio and parking lot area by The Hurricane Reggae Band, David Sanchez & Friends (of Soundz of Santana), and others to be announced. More: facebook.com/mobaygrille.

• The Blue Steel Blues Society (facebook.com/bluesteelbluessociety) welcomes and presents for a series of NWI performances, the acoustic blues duo Soulful Femme — Cheryl Rinovato and Stevee Wellons — who are based in Pittsburgh and have original music that gets a fair share of radio play on blues programs around the globe, including this columnist’s own “Midwest BEAT Blues” program. More: soulfulfemme.com.

In celebration of the ladies being in the Region for the first time to perform, my radio show this Friday (7-9 p.m.) on 89.1FM-Lakeshore Public Radio will feature some Soulful Femme songs for those blues fans unable to attend any of their live gigs this weekend. Find the ladies at  Elements (23 Washington St.) in Valparaiso on Friday, at Leroy’s Hot Stuff (333 West U.S. 20) in Portage on Saturday and Harbour House (3698 S. County Road) in Knox.

• Leroy’s Hot Stuff (333 W. U.S. 20) serves up classic rock Friday with the band 38 Things, before welcoming Pittsburgh-based Soulful Femme on Saturday. Music starts at 8 p.m. A weekly “Blues Jam” happens Sundays 7-10 p.m. More: leroyshotstuff.com or 219-926-6211.

• Elements Wine Bar (23 Washington St.) in Valparaiso features a 6 p.m. solo performance tonight by virtuoso guitarist Marco Villarreal. Soulful Femme blues it up on Friday, followed by the sizzling blues of Mississippi Heat on Saturday. Music starts at 7 p.m.nightly. More: facebook.com/elementswinebar.

• Hobart’s talented Lawrence sisters — Mindi & Amber — perform acoustic tonight at Northwoods Falls (8101 Wicker Ave.) from 7-10 p.m. Friday finds jam band The Rusted Strings on stage there, and veteran modern rock group Nomad Planets rock the joint on Saturday. On Sunday afternoons, matinee shows are presented from 2-5 p.m. with this week’s performer being The Four Horsemen, which is the collective name being used by four of the Region’s finest players and songwriters — Greg Ashby, Jeff Massey, Chris Grove and Billy O. That’s a show not to miss. More: northwoodsfalls.com or 219-351-5148.

• Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana (5400 W. 29th Ave.) in Gary features Southern Draw for its ongoing Free Country Friday Concert series at the Hard Rock Cafe Stage.

Saturday on that stage will be the Chicago-based dance band R-Gang, a collective of session musicians and notable music veterans who deliver a solid show ranging from vintage Motown hits to grooving 21st Century radio hits. More: hardrockcasinonorthernindiana.com.

• On Friday on the Hard Rock Live Stage at Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana (5400 W. 29th Ave.) in Gary, features a double shot of alt-rock hit makers as the co-headline tour of Collective Soul and Switchfoot land on stage at the Region’s newest large scale concert facility. Tickets: $52.50 and up. More: hardrockcasinonorthernindiana.com.

• Singer/songwriter Jack Cunningham — whose songbook covers the gamut of styles — performs acoustic covers of popular radio hits this Saturday from 2-5 p.m. at Anderson’s Winery & Vineyard (430 E. U.S. 6) in Valparaiso. More: facebook.com/andersonswineryvalpo

• Classic rockers Listen Betty is the collective name being used by a group of top Regional musicians — Amy McCormick, Michael Ferri, Aaron Harris, Billy Romer and Scott Hicks — rock the house Friday from 8 p.m. to midnight at Duffy’s Place (1154 Axe Ave.) in Valparaiso. More: facebook.com/listenbetty.

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