Escanaba brings back Music Mondays

ESCANABA — Music lovers can again look forward to getting out to some fun, free concerts this summer on Monday evenings. Continuing in the City of Escanaba’s annual “Music Mondays” summer tradition, these concerts will start on June 25, and pick up again on Monday, July 9 through Monday, Aug. 6 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Ludington Park’s Karas Bandshell.

Held along the lakeshore under the summer sun, Music Mondays offer listeners a variety of musical styles. Listeners can relax while listening to some great local bands, and are welcome to use available bench seating or bring their own lawn chairs or blankets — maybe even something to drink. These fun free concerts offer everyone the opportunity to come out and savor the sun, while listening to music, having fun, dancing, or just hanging out.

The first Music Monday concert on June 25 will feature the band Sit Down Francis, playing their signature hardcore alternative folk music. The next concert will be Monday, July 9, when listeners can check out the wonderful Phil Lynch Jazz Quartet, which is made up of public school educators.

On July 16, guests will enjoy the sounds of Speedy Beef, performing mainly ’80s rock, including some “hair bands,” alongside “classic rock” from the ’70s and through the ’90s, including lesser known B-sides, and some pop songs in the mix.

Speedy Beef Drummer Nick Nolde of Escanaba said there may be tunes by Cheap Trick, A-Ha, Bon Jovi, Poison, Elton John, the Sweet, Gin Blossoms, the Violent Femmes, and Billy Joel. And according to Nolde, they may even mix some Michael Jackson tunes.

Subsequent concerts will feature tunes from Wingin’ It on July 23, and on July 30, Kraig Kenning (kraigkenning.com) will play a mixture of folk, acoustic blues and roots rock.

Finally, on Aug. 6, those who love ’60s sounds, with some ’50s and ’70s songs in the mix, can check out the Cadillacs, an Escanaba-based “oldies” band whose four vocalists will offer harmonies, and at times a cappella. Songs include the Beach Boys and Four Seasons tunes, “good-time” music with a “certain innocence” and “a happy sound,” says Greg Curran, Cadillacs keyboardist.

There is no better venue in our area than the Ludington Park bandshell, with its elevated stage, said Nolde. “The sound is so nice,” Curran added.

The family-friendly concerts aim to feature only child-appropriate songs. Curran says he loves when generation after generation can love the same songs in the manner that the Beatles, a band that inspired him and his baby-boomer band-mates in their youth, still sell, captivate and inspire young listeners. He loves seeing three generations enjoying a show together, as often occurs at “Music Mondays” concerts.

The concerts are sponsored in part by the City of Escanaba, Engineered Machined Products, Inc., Sayklly’s Confectionery & Gifts, Patrick Lindow of Edward Jones Investments, Marie Theoret, and William and Diane Bennett.

The Michigan Council for the Arts & Cultural Affairs and the Central U.P. Planning & Development Regional Commission (CUPPAD) also support this program.