Long time local rockers Allen Fray (bass/vocals) and Bob Wray (guitar/vocals), formerly of the regional bands Salamander Drake and Desdinova, are back in action with a new 3-piece original project rounded out by drummer John Ripperton. The trio goes by the name The Barleywine Sound Union and makes their public debut this Saturday with a 10pm performance at Beer Geeks (3030 45th Street) in Highland. More: (219) 531-9795
“When Salamander Drake split up, half the band went to form and tribute/cover band, while Allen and I decided to pursue a new original project,” explained Wray. “We will have an EP recording titled ‘Yukon’ wrapped up by the time of the debut show. The Barleywine Sound Union does all its own music, but I would say our music stems more from artists like Wilco and Barnstorm, than the Blue Oyster Cult and Pearl Jam inspired rock we did in our past bands.”
Wray hopes the curious will give their new original music a listen at: www.reverbnation.com/thebarleywinesoundunion
• Bernie Glim & The Country Roads Band will perform a free all ages concert from 2-5pm Saturday as the outdoor fall music series continues at County Line Apple Orchard (200 S. County Line Rd) in Hobart. “This is a great place for families to come out and have a good time,” said Glim. “It’s a great atmosphere for fun in the fall.” More : (219) 947-4477.
• Congratulations to singer/songwriter James Neary who took first place and the $300 cash prize at last Saturday’s “Porter County Unplugged” music competition at The Cornucopia Coffee Company in Valparaiso. This was Neary’s second consecutive year of winning the event, which packed the venue with music lovers as eleven acoustic acts performed two songs each with their eye on the prize. All monies raised benefited Mental Health America of Porter County. Thanks to event organizer Jim Henry for allowing this columnist to emcee the event along with musical hosts Chris & Lou, who did an amazing job as always. More on the organization at WWW.MHAPC.ORG
• The town of St. John is celebrating its 175th anniversary this weekend with a “Taste of St. John” festival in Civic Park featuring a variety of local folks entertaining with magic, dancing and more. Among them is the town’s most famous native, Nicole Jamrose, who performs with her band from 7-11pm on Saturday. For a full weekend schedule: http://www.stjohnchamber.com/.
Among the local businesses with booths set up for visitors to peruse is Beat Boogie Quality Custom Drums (www.beatboogie.com) owned by longtime region drummer Steve Crabtree.
• Condolences to the family of long time local sound engineer and event producer Joe Rega on the passing of his father Louis Rega on September 27, following a long battle with illness. Joe is owner and namesake of JRT Events, which produces festivals throughout Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland.