By Bailey Faulkner
If you haven’t had the time to make the short drive out to Todd for some great tunes this summer, you’re not too late! Although High Country veteran string outfit Amantha Mill and duo Wayne Henderson and Helen White have already taken the stage at downtown Todd’s Cook Park this year, the latter half of the summer will offer music lovers of the area a chance to see both new and familiar faces at the popular outdoor music series.
Each Saturday show in the summer concert series is held from 6 – 8 p.m., rain or shine. With tents available at the site to keep you dry, you only need to bring a blanket or lawn chair and an ear for the best music that the area has to offer!
Saturday, July 15: Melissa Reaves
A High Country native, Melissa Reaves has toured the world showcasing her fiery vocals, relentless guitar playing and rock ‘n’ roll stage presence. Reaves recently performed two sets at the Sirens on the Mountain festival in Todd and two shows in Boone with longtime friend and musical soulmate Masa Takahashi.
Whether with a band or on the stage by herself, Reaves is a raw force of rock and blues experimentation, having opened for superstars like Robert Plant and countless others.
Saturday, July 29: The Lucky Strikes
Hailing from the High Country, The Lucky Strikes are a “classic jazz band” known for their versatility and ability to perform anything from light background music to upbeat dance numbers. Playing tunes and standards instantly recognizable to a more mature audience, The Lucky Strikes are able to put their unique spin on each of their selections.
Appealing to a wide age range and fans of varying jazz-influenced genres, The Lucky Strikes are sure to give any audience exactly what they want to hear. The band’s July 29 appearance will be its first in the summer concert series.
Saturday, August 5: Strictly Strings
The most youthful of the acts in the summer concert series, Strictly Strings performs beyond its years, wowing audiences at fiddlers conventions and bluegrass festivals across the region. Formed from a Junior Appalachian Musicians class led by now-member Cecil Gurganus, Strictly Strings continues to preserve the music and style of Doc Watson and other legends of Appalachian and old-time string bands for new generations while infusing their own unique influences and playing styles.
Stricly Strings won six awards at conventions and festivals during 2015 and have continued their path to old-time stardom throughout this summer.
Saturday, August 19: The Worthless Son-in-Laws
Another new act in the concert series, The Worthless Son-in-Laws feature “beautiful pop hooks and melodies wrapped in twang” in their original songwriting. Influenced by Creedence Clearwater Revival, Joni Mitchell, Sun Volt, Uncle Tupelo and seemingly everyone in between, the Worthless Son-in-Laws received outstanding reviews for its 2013 release of No. 8 Wire, a 12-track album with sounds reminiscent of the Jayhawks and the Grateful Dead.
The Worthless Son-in-Laws have performed extensively in the High Country this year, gracing the stages of Murphy’s Pub, Appalachian Mountain Brewery and many other venues around the area.
Walter and Anne Cook Memorial Park is located at Todd Railroad Grade Rd in downtown Todd. Each show in the summer concert series is free of charge.