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Bluegrass to brass, Midsummer Lakeside Concerts are a sound proposition

From bluegrass to 19th-century brass band music, from global sounds to high-tech traditional, the 2011 Midsummer Lakeside Concert Series offers sounds for every music lover.

The series opens with an evening of bluegrass, folk and Americana by the Crunchy Western Boys at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 14, in the Florence Keigwin Amphitheater by the college’s scenic Lake Andrews. The series continues with four more concerts, all at 6 p.m. Thursdays.

Also in the lineup: the high-tech traditional dance band Perpetual e-Motion (July 21), the Yankee Brass Band (July 28), musicians from the world-renowned Bates Dance Festival (Aug. 4) and songwriter-guitar virtuoso Jim Gallant (Aug. 11).

Sponsored by the Bingham Betterment Fund and the Harward Center for Community Partnerships at Bates, these family concerts are open to the public at no cost. Listeners are encouraged to bring a picnic and lawn chairs or blankets.

An alternative site will be announced in case of rain. For more information about the series, please call 207-786-6400.

Crunchy Western Boys (6 p.m. Thursday, July 14): Exponents of what these musicians call “crunchy Western” music, this acoustic quartet also works bluegrass, folk and Americana into its high-energy sets. Hailing from Warren, N.H., the players are multi-instrumentalists Jim McHugh and Morris Manning, bassist Steve McBrian and fiddler Jacob Stern. Their self-titled first CD, featuring original songs by Manning and McHugh, has sold well over 3,000 copies.

Perpetual e-Motion (6 p.m. Thursday, July 21): Captivating, passionate, propulsive and progressive, this duo from coastal Maine is perched at the convergence of folk and electronic dance music. Ed Howe, who plays electric five-string fiddle, and John Coté, playing electronically treated guitar, didgeridoo and foot percussion, bring a passion for sonic and technical experimentation to the art and soul of traditional music.

Yankee Brass Band (6 p.m. Thursday, July 28): Numbering up to 25 members from all over the country who gather every July, this band is a historically accurate recreation of an American brass band from the mid-19th century. Directed by Paul Maybery, the ensemble performs music of the period in authentic arrangements and on original instruments to produce one of northern New England’s most distinctive musical events.

Global Grooves at the Lake (6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4): Hosted by Terrence Karn, musicians from the internationally recognized Bates Dance Festival create a tapestry of rhythms and melodies on instruments from all corners of the Earth: percussion, accordion, bouzouki, marimba, kalimba and more. Favorites of the Lakeside audience, this ensemble of world-class players and composers represents a unique collaboration of cultures.

Jim Gallant (6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11): With his roots in the rock and folk of the 1960s and ’70s, Gallant offers catchy originals and strong interpretations of contemporary covers. Whether it’s a jig, a Bach fugue or a New Age instrumental, Gallant’s distinctive playing never fails to win listeners’ hearts as well as their feet. His latest CD, 2011′s Old Hat With a New Coat, shows off Gallant’s knack for writing Americana music.



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