Local Scene: First 'Front Porch Fest' to feature myriad of musical styles

2013-07-26T00:00:00Z Local Scene: First 'Front Porch Fest' to feature myriad of musical stylesTom Lounges Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
July 26, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Front Porch Music -- a mecca for local players of varying degrees of skill and talent from the Northwest Indiana music scene – presents “The First Annual Front Porch Music Festival” Aug. 4 at downtown Valparaiso’s Central Park.

An eclectic batch of musical artists will perform on the pavilion stage from 3-10 p.m. amid food vendors, a local art exhibit, a beer garden, and kid-friendly things like face-painting and blow-up rides. Admission: $10 adults/$5 kids (under 12).

“This event features many of the folks who make Front Porch what it is to the community,” said Front Porch owner Chad Clifford, himself a local singer/songwriter best known for fronting popular region band, The Crawpuppies. “This is a fundraiser of sorts to help keep Front Porch going with its slim margins in these tough economic times.”

Along with The Crawpuppies, regional rock bands set to perform are The Unit, The Day Nine, Shades of Gray, and Chicago blues-rock group Head Honchos.

Front Porch embraces and showcases a variety of non-rock musical styles with its lessons, products and basement coffeehouse concerts, so this event reflects those as well with acoustic artists – Chris & Lou, John Derado & Ronn Barany, Carolyn & Pancho Rodea, EJ Ketchum & Colleen, Beth Newman and Mami Matsuda – performing varying styles. Also scheduled are jazz fusion favorites Freek Johnson, accordionist Capt. Ambivalent, and The Front Porch Garage Band Students. Special guests include veteran region guitarists Nick Byrd and Mike Ferri. Tickets & More: (219) 464-4700 or www.frontporchmusic.com.

MUSIC NOTES:

• Goodfellas (11200 W. 129th Ave.) in Cedar Lake continues its “Summer Concert Series” on Sunday with a 7-10 p.m. split bill featuring the Southern-rockin’ Jimmy Sarr Band and region rockers Steel Harbor. Admission for all ages is free. More: (219) 374-6700.

• The Titus Rodes Band – features lead singer Fernando Rodriguez (also of the vocal group Harbor Lights) – and is one of many regional groups performing at Pierogi Fest tonight (5-7 p.m.) in downtown Whiting. Catch TRB tomorrow at Northwoods in St. John (10 p.m.-2 a.m.). Follow the group on Facebook.com

• Downtown Hammond’s 8th annual all-ages Beatles Fest on Aug. 10 has seven bands making it the largest one to date. Beatles Fest VIP Passes giving access to both the General Admission and VIP General Admission area in front of the stage are now available for $25 online at www.BeatlesFest2013.com. The full event schedule is also found there.

• “American Idol” Season 10 finalist Casey Abrams, a native of Austin, Texas who grew up in Chicago and now lives in California, will return to the Midwest to perform at Valparaiso’s Chicago Street Theatre (154 W. Chicago Street) as part of the venue’s “One Night Jam” series.

Abrams unconventional appearance and unique style – he played stand up bass as a lead instrument on the show -- made him a stand out from other “Idol” contestants. Abrams is touring the U.S. to support his new self-titled debut CD released last month via Concord Music. More: www.jamcaseyabrams.com or www.chicagostreet.org

• Rising country singer/guitarist/songwriter -- Miss Meaghan Owen – from Nashville, Tenn. perform live in-studio this Tuesday as the musical guest on “Midwest BEAT with Tom Lounges” via the airwaves of 89.1FM-The Lakeshore. A young artist with an old soul, Owen is a cross between Taylor Swift and Loretta Lynn. Owen, who wrapped up work on her third studio album last week, debuts songs from it on the radio show before leaving for a promotional tour of the Hawaiian Islands in August. Stream live at: www.lakeshorepublicradio.org/radio.

• Hammond Marina’s “Venetian Night” on Aug. 10 is themed “Bathing Suits and Cowboy Boots” and starts with beach games from 12-3 p.m. for children (5-12), country music band High Noon at 6 p.m., and a fireworks show to close. Also a beer garden, food vendors and boaters competing for “Best Decorated Dock.” The Hammond Yacht Club will be open to the public for this event, Marina parking is free for the day and there is no charge for admission. More: www.hammondmarina.com or (219) 659-7678. Hammond Marina is located at 701 Casino Center Drive in Hammond.

The opinions expressed are solely the writer's. Reach him at beatboss@aol.com.

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