Fans of John, Paul, George and Ringo are in for a “fab” time on Saturday, when the fourth annual “Beatles at the Barn” fills the acoustically astute confines of the County Line Orchard’s big barn with four hours of tunes by the famous mop tops from Liverpool.
Performing faithful renditions of everything from early classics like “Please, Please Me” and “She Loves You,” to end of an era epics like “Come Together” and “Hey Jude,” will be a collective of regional music makers who are all confessed “Beatlemaniacs.” The music for this all-ages family show begins at 6:30 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.) and ends about 10:30 p.m.
“The Beatles are probably the greatest influence ever in popular music,” said Chad Clifford, vocalist/guitarist of The Crawpuppies, one of the bands performing Saturday night. “Their music changed rock ‘n’ roll and pop culture forever.”
“It was the ‘perfect storm’,” added Tom Collins, Sr., event producer and owner of County Line Orchard. “It was just the right group at just the right time in history. It was the time of the Cold War, the threat of nuclear war, the Bay of Pigs, and our nation was still reeling from the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. I was only a little kid, maybe second or third grade, but I remember thinking we lived in a pretty scary world. We needed The Beatles to happen when they did. The day after The Beatles appeared on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show,’ they were all people talked about. They took our minds off all the scary things."
The idea for “Beatles at the Barn” came after Collins and a buddy spent an evening watching local duo Chris & Lou at The Old Style Pub. “Chris and Lou cover a fair share of Beatles songs and it was like a bell went off in my head,” recalled Collins, who had just completed construction the orchard’s huge new barn. Collins thought a concert saluting his favorite rock ‘n’ roll band might would introduce people to his new building while helping a local charity and providing local music fans with an entertaining evening.
With the help of Chris (Sulcer) and Lou (Saminegio), Collins reached out to other area musicians to put together the first event as a fundraiser for the Northwest Indiana Food Bank.
Last year and this year’s “Beatles at the Barn” show again stars both popular region acts whose members perform together acoustically to kick off the night, followed by respective individual band sets, and wrap it up with a grouping called “MegaBeatles,” which includes both groups with a plethora of special musical guests.
“There’s a whole bunch of us on stage for that last MegaBeatles set,” said Clifford, noting how adding keyboards, saxophone, extra percussion, and several guitars and voices makes it possible to perform and do justice to the more orchestrated and complex late-era Beatles music.
· Northwest Indiana rockers Chad Clifford and Aaron Hedges of The Crawpuppies will once again be “moving up” in the world as musicians - literally! The duo will be making music in their third annual appearance on the 95th floor of the John Hancock Building in the famous “Signature Room” (875 N. Michigan Ave.) with Chicago radio personality Bob Stroud for the “Wine And Rock” wine-tasting April 4 presented by Stroud’s station, 97.1 FM – The Drive. Hedges said Stroud “pops up to sing a few with us each year.” Tickets for the 6 to 9 p.m. event are $85 and include tax and gratuity. More: (312) 280-0472.
· Heads up! Reserve the date to “Rock Your Bra Off” once again. On April 6h, the now annual multi-band fundraiser to fight breast cancer takes place at Growler’s (2816 Highway Avenue) in downtown Highland. Organized by Danielle Hedges, this year’s event will include performances by the regional groups -- Boys Are Mean, The Rok Bottomz Band, History’s End, Dave & Dave, Foot 5 and The Jimmy Sar Band.