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Berks Arts Council announces diverse lineup for 2019 Bandshell Concert Series

by Berks Arts Council

Jun 28, 2019
At a bandshell concert in Reading

Nationally- and internationally renowned musicians to play Reading’s City Park

Reading, PA—Berks Arts Council is pleased to announce the lineup for the 29th annual Bandshell Concert Series scheduled for Friday evenings July 12,19, 26 and August 2. All concerts are held at the Volunteer Firemen’s Memorial Bandshell in Reading’s City Park. Concerts are held rain or shine. Alternate locations for each concert are announced via social media, website and radio on the day of the concert. The 2019 series brings a diverse lineup of national artists to Reading to present a variety of musical styles from blues to Americana/rock to roots music to enjoy.

“The Berks Arts Council is excited to continue a 29-year tradition of providing outdoor concerts to our local community as part of our mission to provide opportunities to inspire, engage and connect our community through the arts” said Meggan Kerber, Executive Director.

All Bandshell Concert Series performances are free and open to the public. Each concert will feature an opening act of local youth and/or adult artists at 6:15 p.m. Headliners take the Bandshell stage at 7 p.m. each week. Refreshments from food trucks and local restaurants are available for sale beginning at 6 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs. Alcohol and smoking are not permitted in City Park.

The Bandshell Concert Series opens on July 12 with Christone “Kingfish” Ingram.

Once a generation, a blues artist comes along who not only reminds mainstream audiences how deeply satisfying and emotionally moving the best blues music can be but shakes the genre to its core. With both eyes on the future and the blues in his blood, 20-year-old guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Christone “Kingfish” Ingram is taking the music world by storm. Rolling Stone wrote: “Is Kingfish the future of the blues? The blues savior is one of the most exciting young guitarists in years, with a sound that encompasses B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix and Prince.”

On July 19, Marc Berger & RIDE music will feature his romantic connection to the American West and exploring the value of its myths to contemporary culture. Clouds that forever stampede the endless sky, shadows gliding over canyon walls – the American West is a vast expanse of magic and mystery.  From the haunting message and beat of “Twister” and the soul-shaking challenge of taming a wild horse in “Take it on the Chin,” to the sexy, mind-blowing, middle-of-nowhere encounter of “Time Waits For No Man,” and through other musical, scenic stops, Marc Berger & RIDE will take Bandshell Concert Series fans on a dusty tour of the Great American Frontier.

On July 26, Liz Longley, is best known for her stop-you-in-your-tracks voice, Liz Longley is an accomplished singer-songwriter based out of Nashville. Known for her deeply emotional music, Liz has earned accolades from some of the most prestigious songwriting competitions in the country, including the BMI John Lennon Songwriting Scholarship Competition. Signed with Sugar Hill Records, her self-titled debut album received critical acclaim, being described as “a thing of beauty” (Pop Dose) and “packed with instantly memorable pop rock songs…” (Popmatters) Her follow up album Weightless, released in 2016, was praised as “stunning” (HuffPost) and “something more; a cleverness, a wit and a mix of musical styles” (Dallas Morning News) Liz’s music has been featured on tv shows such as Lifetime’s “Army Wives,” ABC’s “Beauty & The Beast” and MTV’s “Scream.”

In her latest single, Longley delivers on her ability to craft intimately personal portraits through music with her emotional take on the Four Tops’ “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)”. The Berklee College of Music alumn worked alongside 5-time Grammy-nominated producer, Paul Moak, on her much awaited sixth album set to release in late 2019.

The 2019 season wraps up on August 2 with Donna the Buffalo.  Donna the Buffalo offers everything you want in a roots band — songs that matter, a groove that makes you dance, an audience that spans generations, and a musical voice that evokes a sense of community.

The band will be playing classic songs and music from Dance in the Street, their first new album in five years, which captures the dynamic energy that has earned the band the love and respect of their fans – the Herd — for 30 years. Donna the Buffalo is known for their lyrics about human potential and community. Donna the Buffalo is not just a band, rather one might say that Donna The Buffalo has become a lifestyle for its members and audiences. The band has played thousands of shows and countless festivals including Bonnaroo, Newport Folk Festival, Telluride, Austin City Limits Festival, Merle Fest, and Philadelphia Folk Festival. Dance In The Street closes with “I Believe,” a song with a message of support. From the stage, Nevins often hears men and women singing it with her. Donna the Buffalo draws on a lot of musical influences, from country and rock ‘n’ roll, to bluegrass and old-time fiddle, as well as Cajun and Zydeco.

Berks Arts Council offers special thanks to the 2019 Bandshell Concert Series sponsors: County of Berks, City of Reading, Reading Eagle Company, Inperium, FirstEnergy Foundation, Century21 Gold, Berks County Living and Power Kunkle. Concerts are also presented through support of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

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