By Travis Miller
July 14, 2014. Summers at Banner Elk’s Tate-Evans Park are packed full of excitement thanks to the annual Concerts in the Park music series. From June through August each year, a number of a eclectic musical groups are welcomed to the stage, each playing in a variety of musical styles.
On Thursday, July 17, Soul Benefactor will take the stage and play their favorite soul, funk and rock classics. The concert will begin at 6:30 p.m. and like every Concerts in the Park show, admission is free and open to all of the public.
Soul Benefactor tends to focus on classic soul music as well as funkier rock songs and a wide slice of music from between the mid ’60s and mid ’70s. They play famous hits as well as lesser-known classics from artists such as Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Billy Preston, Junior Walker & The Allstars, Al Green, Sam & Dave, Otis Redding, Booker T. & The MGs, The Meters, Bill Withers, Van Morrison, The Allman Brothers Band, Derek & The Dominoes, Joe Cocker, CCR, The Rolling Stones and more.
“I love the production of that music, the style of that music,” said band member David Brewer. “There’s really probably nothing about soul music that I don’t like. For whatever reason, it just sort of resonates with me. It has a earthy quality to it and there’s an honesty to it that is lacking in a lot of other types of music … I keep wondering at times if I’ll quit [liking it so much], but the more I dig in, the more interesting it is to me.”
Music lovers will be impressed with the wide variety of meticulously selected songs in their playlist.
“Really one of the main things about Soul Benefactor is that we really do try focusing on songs that aren’t heavily featured. We do all covers but we try and dig a little deeper than what you’d hear from 10 minutes on the radio … And it’s not a contest about making it obscure either — it’s still about entertaining people.”
Food vendors will be present at the park to serve barbecue, pizza, hot-dogs, popcorn and more. There will also be a Kid’s Zone, so bring the whole family and spark a new interest in a now-classic musical tradition.
Concerts typically end at around 8:30 or 9 p.m.
“It ain’t nothin’ but a party,” said Brewer. “We just want people to come and dance and have a good time.”
The performance is sponsored by The Sterling Company, a real estate group located in Banner Elk that serves the communities of Avery and Watauga.
The following is a list of the remaining shows in the Concerts in the Park music series:
July 24 – Dashboard Blues
July 31 – Smokey Breeze
Aug. 7 – The Extraordinaires
Aug. 14 – Sharkedelics
Aug. 21 – The DeLuge
Aug. 28 – Whip Daddy’s
For more information on Soul Benefactor, visit SoulBenefactor.com and for more information on Concerts in the Park, visit BannerElk.org or call the Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce at 828-898-8395.