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Bumper Jacksons Open Riverfront Concerts
CHESTERTOWN, MD—The sweet days of summer are here, and Washington College aims to make them sweeter still with its lineup of family-friendly outdoor concerts on Thursday evenings June 18, July 2, and July 9. Held alongside the river on the Custom House lawn at 101 S. Water Street, in Chestertown’s historic district, the concerts begin each evening at 6:30 p.m. Bring blankets, chairs and a picnic supper and enjoy these evenings discovering America’s great musical traditions through music and commentary. The concerts are free, and so are the cookies and lemonade.
The Bumper Jacksons jump-start the series on June 18 with their rollicking fresh take on American roots music — New Orleans jazz, street blues, honkytonk, and old-time country. Back in Chestertown by popular demand, the trio consists of Jess Eliott Myhre on clarinet and washboard, Chris Ousley on guitar, and Alex Lacquement on bass. Recognized as the region’s “Best Traditional Folk Band” at the 2013 and 2014 Washington Area Music Awards, the Bumper Jacksons are playfully creative with their originals and re-imagine roots music with both power and tenderness. Their goal: an old-fashioned dance party where everyone’s invited and the dance floor never sleeps.
Mark the start of Independence Day weekend on July 2 with the Back Porch Blues. This all-star, down-home acoustic trio includes guitarist and vocalist Eleanor Ellis, the blues harmonica virtuosity of Jay Summer, and the percussion talents of Eric Selby. They deliver the “real-deal” acoustic blues played from the Piedmont to the swamps, performed with the relaxed vibe of a jam session on a neighbor’s porch. The band has appeared at venues throughout the country, including the Music Center at Strathmore and the Kennedy Center.
Hometown favorite The High and Wides will wind up the series on July 9. Based in Chestertown, this group features Marc Dykeman (guitar), Nate Grower (fiddle), and Sam Guthridge (mandolin) — all veterans of the popular bluegrass band Chester River Run-Off — and upright bass player Mike Buccino. Their sound combines the nostalgic twinge of old-time folk, the laid-back drive of western swing, and the raw energy of rockabilly.
Concerts are sponsored by the College’s C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience and hosted by WRNR radio personality Michael Buckley. For more information please see www.washcoll.edu/centers/starr/or contact program manager Michael Buckley, 410-810-7156. The concert series is supported in part by funding from the Maryland State Arts Council.
Founded in 1782 under the patronage of George Washington, Washington College is a private, independent college of liberal arts and sciences located in colonial Chestertown on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. For more information, visit www.washcoll.edu. The College’s C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience is dedicated to fostering innovative approaches to the American past and present. Through educational programs, scholarship and public outreach, and a special focus on written history, the Starr Center seeks to bridge the divide between the academic world and the public at large. Visit starrcenter.washcoll.edu.