May 30--The library is usually a space for quiet research and serene book browsing, but summertime signals the transformation of headquarters library into concert central.
The Central Rappahannock Regional Library's annual Music on the Steps concert series will bring a range of genres from folk to salsa to the library's doorstep Monday evenings starting June 3.
Series coordinator Lynda Baer said she took over planning 28 years ago, when performers only played through June and were given "an electrical outlet and a glass of water."
Now, with funding from the Friends of The Central Rappahannock Regional Library, Baer books primarily local bands to bring the community together for the free outdoor event in front of the library.
Despite the modest sums she can afford to pay the groups, most keep returning, and Baer is grateful.
"Everyone is so generous," she said.
Baer attributes the continuing support of the series to the Friends, as well as the concert-goers, fans of particular bands and music lovers who come to any and every performance.
Baer says this year's event is more eclectic than ever, but still features crowd-pleasing bands from past performances.
The series kicks off in June with The Believers (June 3), The Dixie Power Trio (June 10), The Company Store Band (June 17) and Denim & Lace (June 24).
A fan favorite, The Dixie Power Trio will be the second performance of the series, transporting the crowd to Louisiana with styles including zydeco, Cajun, New Orleans jazz, funk, street parade and rock.
The Dixie Power Trio features cornetist and accordionist Zach Smith, tuba player Andy Kochenour, guitarist Chuck Underwood and drummer Byron McWilliams.
The group, 25 years strong, is a "veteran band," Smith said, having performed for the concert series over the past 10 12 years.
Smith described the zydeco style as "rock 'n' roll that comes out of the swamps of Louisiana," featuring an accordion, a rub board and French lyrics.
Among the many venues the Dixie Power Trio has performed, Smith said the library series is a very "family-friendly" environment that the band enjoys playing.
Stepping back from the New Orleans vibe, classic rock 'n' roll group The Kore will perform July 8. The band features Greg Sutler on guitar and vocals, Konard Williams on bass, Mike Gianforte on the drums and Larry Townley on the keyboards.
"That's my music," Baer said, placing the rock 'n' roll group in her top three favorites.
The Kore plays "the kind of music people like to tap their feet and clap to," said Gianforte. He called their style a mix of pop and rock, with oldies thrown in.
The group has been in the area for 20 years. Gianforte calls the band their "outlet to have fun," while giving back to the community. He mentioned the group's future hopes to help the local fire department with fundraisers.
July will also showcase Don Brown's Soul Experience (July 1), Celtic Machinations (July 15), Laurie Rose Griffith and Peter Mealy (July 22) and Becky, Slam Y Limon (July 29).
Transitioning into August will be Jeni & Billy (Aug. 5), the Abbe Buck Trio (Aug. 19) Harry, Larry and Buck The Skiffle Lounge Sound (Aug. 12) and Chatham Street (Aug. 26).
For their first time at the library's concert series, the Abbe Buck Trio will bring traditional jazz and pop vocals from Abbe Buck, keyboard from Steve Rabson and upright bass from John Buck.
The trio features old jazz classics such as "Fly Me to the Moon" and "Bye Bye Blackbird."
"Older people need music, too," Buck said.
Baer said it is a "glorious experience" to watch children dance outside to the music and to see people watching performances from the library windows during a hot Virginia day.
The library is not just about books, she explained, but about different programs and ways of learning. She called the concert series "the epitome of what a library can be."
What: "Music on the Steps"
Where: Central Rappahannock Regional Library headquarters, 1201 Caroline St., Fredericksburg
When: Monday evenings in June, July and August, 7 8 p.m.
Info: 540-372-1144; library point.org/musiconthesteps
Regina Weiss: 540/374-5417 -- firstname.lastname@example.org
(c)2013 The Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, Va.)
Visit The Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, Va.) at www.fredericksburg.com/flshome
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