The time has come for blues, soul and rock ‘n’ roll once again in Plattsburgh.
The Jumpin’ in July concert series will take place at the Strand Center for the Arts, on Thursday nights from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m, which are all free to the public.
“It’s a great way for the Strand Center for the Arts to bring the community together and give back,” said Jessica Dulle, executive director at the Strand Center for the Arts.
The concert series will begin July 10 with a performance by Erin Harpe & the Delta Swingers.
“We’ve played it twice before, and it’s a great series,” Harpe said. “We love Plattsburgh and have some friends there already.”
Erin Harpe & the Delta Swingers unique brand of blues features originals and classics that range from Memphis Minnie to early Bonnie Raitt, played by members Harpe on acoustic guitar, Jim Countryman on bass, Bob Nisi on drums and Richard “Rosy” Rosenblatt on harmonica, a team that formed in May 2010.
For the event, Erin Harpe & the Delta Swingers will be performing a lot of originals and cuts from their upcoming new album, like their theme song “The Delta Swing,” “Good Luck Baby” and their new sing-along, “The Voodoo Blues.” They’ll also mix in some old time delta blues numbers like Memphis Minnie’s “Chauffeur Blues,” “Shake Your Hips” and a danceable version of “Angel from Montgomery.”
“We guarantee you’re going to love it, no matter what kind of music you’re into,” Harpe said. “Erin Harpe & the Delta Swingers have been called ‘a dance band that has a unique delta blues flavor and a world music creamy filling...mixing in afrobeat, reggae, funk and disco with delta blues finger-picking, creating an amazing new sound.’
“We’re looking forward to it.”
A week later, July 17, Lucid will take the stage at the Strand Center for the Arts.
“We really, really love playing for the community,” said Lowell Wurster, percussion and harmonica player for Lucid. “Any music that we can have in the community is a step in the right direction.”
Lucid formed in 2003 with members Kevin Sabourin on guitar, Wurster, Jamie Armstrong on saxophone, Chris Shacklett on bass, Andy Deller on keys and Chris English on drums.
In 2013, they released their newest album Home is Where We Wanna Grow, and they’re currently working on a new album that has not yet been titled. Wurster said they’re not sure what songs they will be performing at the concert.
“[Our latest album] has a lot to do with community and togetherness,” Wurster said. “Our lyrics are really our strongest asset.
For the last week, ending the concert series, the Dave Keller Band will perform July 24.
“The music will make them smile, dance and sing-along,” Dave Keller said. “Everybody needs a little soul music, especially in the summer.”
Keller is a soul and blues musician who plays guitar with his band, which was formed in 1996, members Gary Lotspeich on bass, Brett Hoffman on drums and Ira Friedman on Hammond organ.
For the concert, Keller will be performing songs mainly from his two CDs Soul Changes and Where I’m Coming From.
His album, Soul Changes, was nominated for a Blues Music Award (BMA) for Best Soul/Blues CD of 2013. His previous CD, Where I’m Coming From, won the 2012 Best Self-Produced CD Award at the International Blues Challenge (IBC).
“The concert series started as wanting to merge all forms of cultural aspects together,” Dulle said. “It’s been going on for five plus years, and it’s been slowly growing.”
The Strand plays a role in the development of the arts. Since its inception in 2000, they have strived to collaborate with the community and strengthen the economics of the North Country.
Currently, they provide an array of classes in clay, dance and movement, music, visual arts, writing and more, along with galleries and the Strand Theatre located in downtown Plattsburgh.
To learn more about the Strand Center for the Arts or the concert series, visit the website at plattsburgharts.org.
“What we do is art based,” Dulle said. “That’s what we provided for the community.”