Summer Music Schedules Warming Up - Roberta's Blog

If the past two weekends are any indication, this looks to be a wild summer, full of music and good times for the Quad Cities. Nearly every day there are multiple choices. Even in the middle of the week, you can find live music somewhere. Not only do we have several open-mics and jam sessions, but venues are beginning to book solo/duo acts and even bands on weeknights. The outdoor music season is in full swing as well. On June 4, I headed out to catch some of the music and was only able to visit a couple of shows.

In front of the Bettendorf Library, Faye’s Field hosts free live music every Thursday evening during the summer. Thursday night David G. Smith brought his band to play on a sunny June evening for an appreciative crowd.

VanderVeer Park was my next stop. There the park board had set up their portable stage and the Swingin’ Doors were serenading as people sat and listened and children played on the nearby playground. People strolled down the promenade and stopped to listen as well. The park board shares free live music once each month during the summer season.

My last stop for the night was the Redstone Room. Soul Storm was opening there for Nicholas David. Soul Storm plays a blend of soul/funk/dance music. With 3 strong vocalists and top notch musicians, the possibilities are endless!

Friday night I stopped by the RME for the first Friday Live @5. There was a bit of Déjà vu involved here, as the band for this first free outdoor show of the season was Soul Storm. They sound just as good on the plaza as they did on the stage the night before, and it was obvious the Quad Cities was ready for summer music, as that courtyard was packed!

Back in January we at Local Scene made some new friends at Codfish Hollow – you might have seen the article I posted here: http://www.localscenemag.com/node/waydownwanderers . The Way Down Wanderers were back in the QC Friday night, kicking off their summer tour, so I hit the Redstone Room after dinner and joined a very large crowd in welcoming them back our way. They brought along their own opening act, a solo artist known as PM Buys. Buys could have carried a show all on his own, as he held the room spellbound. At one point he introduced Muscatine musician Andrew Durham, who joined him on stage with some killer harmonica and vocals. Near the end of his set, he stepped off the stage and the audience surrounded him as he went unplugged for a song.

I knew the Way Down Wanderers were pretty amazing the first time I heard them play – and at that time they had only been playing together for a little over a year. Friday night they blew the roof off the Redstone room. Their dynamics were even more pronounced and well-placed. From the first song, Austin’s vocals gave me goose bumps, and the band made sure those goose bumps stayed for the whole set. If you haven’t had the opportunity to see them yet, make sure you catch them next time around.

From the Redstone I skipped across the river and paid a visit to RIBCO, where Have Your Cake was partying until the wee hours. They’re always fun, and Cake’s music never gets old. Especially when it is performed by musicians such as these.

Saturday night I met up with Jackie Darin and after dinner we headed to RIBCO for William Elliot Whitmore with Frank F. Sidney’s Western Bandit Volunteers. Only when we arrived, the act on stage was not the WBV. The trio was saw was Joseph Huber. It appears we had missed the entire first set.

William Elliot Whitmore provides for some great listening. As much as I enjoy his music, I think I enjoy it better in a listening environment than on the plaza. The crowd was rowdy and a bit distracting. But the music was as good as ever.

The RIBCO show started a little late, which unfortunately delayed my next planned stop – Rascals. I got there just as the final band was making its way to the stage. This wasn’t an ordinary rock show. the event, put together by Miner Disturbance Radio, included twenty-eight local musicians who were put together into 7 bands that had never played in combination before. The bands were assigned to play 4 classic metal songs each. There were young musicians and some of the old guard. Miner and crew did a good job of mixing things up, and the results were even better than most imagined, from the comments I heard at the show.

My arrival after midnight found the venue still packed to the rafters, and the final mix-up band taking the stage. Broga Pants, featuring Jacob Gregory, Justin Farley, Shannon Ford, Mike Gustafson and Zach Damp, put on a high-voltage set and the entire room was engaged.

This weekend there are benefit shows and mini-festivals popping up all over the QCA. There is plenty of music to go around and every genre is represented. Check out our calendar for the most complete listing available in the QC.