NORMAN — The Performing Arts Studio has announced the schedule for its 2013 Summer Breeze Concert Series, which will kick off May 19 with Grammy-nominated Bearden-based singer/songwriter/musician John Fullbright and his band.
The concerts will continue Sunday nights through Sept. 8, when world-renowned Guthrie fiddler Byron Berline and his band will play the closing show.
This year’s lineup will showcase some terrific Oklahoma talents, including Honeylark, Parker Millsap and Hosty Duo.
All concerts are free and begin at 7:30 p.m. Sundays in Lions Park, Symmes Street and Flood Avenue. Information: www.thepas.org.
Here’s more on the lineup:
May 19, Summer Breeze, John Fullbright Band, 7:30 pm, Lions Park, Norman, Free
John Fullbright is a young man who finds love, beauty, and pain in the here and now, and skepticism and disdain for those who would take advantage of the dreams of those hoping for a better world. He is a gifted songwriter, a brilliant vocalist, and an exciting multi-instrumentalist,traversing an emotional and musical terrain that is extremely broad, showing equal acuity with tender ballads and songs that make you want to drive faster with the windows rolled down. Firmly rooted in a variety of musical styles, he draws on what has come before, but without imitation. Forget labels when you listen to John Fullbright. He is not folk, not Americana and not pop, but possibly the best fusion of them all.
June 2, Summer Breeze, The Gourds, 7:30 pm, Lions Park, Norman, Free
You would think that after multiple albums and seventeen years of touring coast-to-coast and across the pond, the Gourds would have it all down. Well, they do: they project the alt/indie/roots sensibilities of their hometown, Austin, Texas, better than any music group going. The Gourds mix of Americana/blue grass/rock/bayou among other music influences makes them impossible to fit into a neat classification. Their high-energy live performances and constant touring have earned them the reputation of a band that must be seen to be appreciated.
June 16, Summer Breeze, Parker Millsap with band, 7:30 pm, Lions Park, Norman, Free
Parker Millsap writes songs and then he sings them. Also, he sings other songs that he wishes he wrote. The Oklahoma singer/songwriter writes bluesy, folksy melodies, with lyrics thathave pleasantly surprising turns of phrase while simultaneously recalling gut-bucket blues from a bygone age. To really get to know the man, you must listen to his music. And frankly, his music really does all the talking. Millsap is a poet: at times his work can be dark and brooding, at other times hopeful, but most of all he has something to say, something to tell you that will grab you and attach itself to you and remain a part of you forever.
July 7, Summer Breeze, Hosty Duo, 7:30 pm, Lions Park, Norman, Free
The Hosty Duo are Mike Hosty, an outstanding guitarist and songwriter, and Michael Byars, a world-class drummer. Their setup is simple, but their individual talents make this two-piece band sound twice its size. Hosty simultaneously tears through gritty slide leads, blows harmonica and or Kazoo and uses foot pedals to stomp bass lines. His guitar collection includes an 8-string instrument that allows him to thump three bass strings with his thumb while he fingerpicks guitar. And “Tic Tac” Byars puts it all in a rock-solid groove. Their superb style of bluesy roots rock combines with imaginative songs about nights spent in jail or dinosaurs or affairs of the heart to make one of the most entertaining shows anyone could hope to see.
July 21, Summer Breeze, Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band, 7:30, Lions Park, Free
If you haven’t experienced the high energy, swamp funky zydeco sound of Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, it is high time that you join the legions of fans that have. Once the accordion-playing virtuoso grabs the mic and takes to the stage with his band mates, audiences are treated to a show like no other. Chubby’s sound is infectious – a concoction of blues, 70s funk, rock and roll, and good-ole zydeco flavor – and makes even the most timid individuals get their feet a movin’.
Aug. 4, Summer Breeze, Honeylark, 7:30 pm, Lions Park,Norman, Free
Honeylark is the dark, sticky-sweet offering of Natalie Moore Houck and Ryan Houck (formerly of Oklahoma’s Green Corn Revival) to the ever temperamental gods of the aesthetics… Watch out for lightning. The group strikes a fine balance between Americana roots and indie-pop sensibility, mixing country influences with a folk flair and a ‘folk-rock noir’ feel.
Aug. 25, Summer Breeze, Elephant Revival, 7:30 pm, Lions Park, Norman, Free
“Where words fail… music speaks. “That simple line reveals volumes about the band’s reason for being. Music unites us in ways that no other medium can. Even when we don’t understand one another’s languages – we can be moved by a rhythm, soothed by a song. Brought together by a unified sense of purpose – the spirit of five souls working as one, in harmony, creating sounds they could never produce alone. This Nederland, Colorado quintet are, needless to say, quite a sound to be experienced – especially when they fall into the pocket of a groove containing elements of gypsy, rock, Celtic, alt-country and folk. Their mission is “to close the gap of separation between us through the eternal revelry of song and dance.”
Sept. 8, Summer Breeze, Byron Berline Band, 7:30 pm, Lions Park, Norman, Free
For an exciting evening of traditional bluegrass and Western swing music, join three-time national fiddle champion Byron Berline and his band; John Hickman, Jim Fish, Greg Burgess, Richard Sharp and Steve Short. Berline’s career includes helping Vince Gill get his start in the recording industry, recording a fiddle solo for a song by the Rolling Stones, playing with musicians like the Eagles and Elton John, among others, and recording with Gene Clark of the Byrds. The Byron Berline band entertains regularly in the Music Hall above Berline’s Fiddle Shop in Guthrie, and the group is in great demand around the state, as well as surrounding states and throughout Europe.