Wednesday lunch breaks and evenings jazzed up with concert series

Thursday , May 29, 2014 - 5:06 PM

Highway Thieves

Matt Larrison, The Highway Thieves drummer, takes a break from laying down the beat at a concert...

Standard-Examiner staff

The work week is about to get more lively on Wednesday afternoons and evenings due to the return of the annual Tunes at Noon and Talent in the Park free concert series.

Artists local to the Ogden area and even some invited guests playing the Talent in the Park series will grace the Ogden Amphitheater stage, at 343 Historic 25th St. Ogden Amphitheater executive director Dan Musgrave, a longtime proponent for both series, said the concerts began 12 years ago when the amphitheater opened.

“We, the city and Downtown Ogden Inc., wanted programming in the amphitheater and so it worked out to do a Wednesday night concert series,” Musgrave said, adding that the Tunes at Noon series has also been a big hit.

“We have the grass and the shade and the big trees and the music, and it’s just really fun ambiance to be downtown on lunch break. We encourage employees to bring a sack lunch or their lunch and sit on the lawn and have a real nice lunch break with us.”

Musgrave and his team, who also program for the Ogden Farmers Market and Monday Night at the Movies, said they rotate different artists from the Ogden area so every year is different.

“We track who brings a bigger crowd and who fits our genre of music and some of the programming we are trying to do, and we invite them back and bring on new ones every year,” Musgrave said. “So its always changing and different and gives everyone an opportunity to play.”

Talent at the Park, starting on at 8 p.m. June 11 and continuing Wednesday evening throughout the summer, features a wide array of artists. The 2014 opening act is local band the Highway Thieves. Although vocalist and guitar player Jon Turner has played concerts at the Ogden Amphitheater before, he said this is the first time the Highway Thieves was invited to play.

“I love festival season,” Turner said during a phone interview. “I’m stoked to get people outside again and get people away from their television and doing some kind of artistic activity.”

The Highway Thieves, a sextet consisting of two different set of siblings and two other members, has an interesting dynamic when it comes to the song writing process, according to Turner.

“Its kinda cool actually, the siblings are quicker to bicker amongst each other whereas I feel like other people that weren’t related and have that close relationship would just be passive about things,” he said. “It does add a little spark to the writing process which I enjoy.”

Turner’s brother Devin does lead vocals for the band, but has taken a different route getting there. While Jon Turner was busy playing barrooms, Devin Turner has been involved with theater, musicals, improv and choir.

“Playing with my brother has been one of the happiest things ever for me,” Jon Turner said, adding that they both grew up in the house he currently resides in, affectionately known as the “loud house.”

The Highway Thieves have played a number of shows locally and around the Wasatch Front. Jon Turner said everyone in the band is excited for the music scene to continue flourishing in Ogden.

“I am really excited to get the Highway Thieves out there, and I’m really excited to see people get outside and do something and kinda shift from the winter into the summer activities.”

As for the Tunes at Noon series, Korene Greenwood is the opener on June 11, and will be accompanied only by her acoustic guitar and musical spirit. Greenwood is returning to the series for the second time this year, but said she hopes to make a tradition out of it.

“I’ve wanted to do it for a number of years, ever since they started doing Tunes at Noon,” she said. “So I think last year was my foot in the door so to speak. I’m hoping to be doing this year after year.”

Unlike the Talent in the Park concerts that are held later that evening in the amphitheater, patrons gather to hear Tunes at Noon under the large shady trees of the Ogden Municipal Gardens, on the same block as the Ogden Amphitheater but closer to where Washington Boulevard meets 26th Street. Greenwood said the lunchtime series had an excellent turnout last year.

“People come and get a taco from the taco cart or bring their own lunch and sit and listen to music,” she said.

Instead of having a set list for her solo shows, Greenwood said she usually gets a feel for the crowd and plays what songs she thinks the people would like to hear. She said her Janis Joplin covers are a crowd favorite.

“I pretty much do whatever comes out of the top of my head as I feel it when I’m on stage playing,” she said. “What can I say, I just do what my musical spirit tells me to do. I’ll be doing anything from blues, to some good ol’ Janis Joplin music. People like to hear me do the Janis stuff, because I have the hair!”

Tunes at Noon

Tunes at Noon will feature young folkster Sammy Brue and “one man band” Gary Stoddard. Here is the Tunes at Noon schedule:

June 11 – Korene Greenwood, Ogden-based bassist and singer/songwriter. Look forward to hearing original acoustic tracks and Joplin covers.

June 18 – Gary Stoddard, who plays many different styles of music, will make the audience think there are actually five musicians playing when it is actually just him on stage. Look forward to seeing Stoddard loop his keyboard and layer his vocals.

June 25 – Roby Kap, Ogden-based country rock and blues musician who typically jams with his brother in the Kap Brothers Band will be playing a solo show.

July 2 – Dan Weldon, a solo act, playing acoustic, blues and Americana. He plays instruments including, guitar, bass guitar, dobro, mandolin and banjo.

July 9 – Che Zuro is a female singer/songwriter hailing from Eden, Utah. She plays rock and folk tunes but will play acoustic songs at the free concert.

July 16 – Scotty Haze, a popular Ogden-based musician will play acoustic blues and classic rock.

July 23 – Sammy Brue, a young, up-and-coming Ogden-based singer/song writer draws on influences such as Bob Dylan and The Avett Brothers, and sings his own traditional folk and Americana street-style songs.

July 30 – Amy LaMarr, of Ogden, will play her originals in the folk/acoustic pop genres.

August 6 – Exit349, a seven-member band, will play classic rock from oldies to today.

August 13 – STAMPEDE!, an award-winning yodeling/instrumental duo, mixes humor with classic western songs.

Talent in the Park

Bands playing Talent at the Park include Soul jammers Shaky Trade and the classic Ogden Chamber Orchestra. The schedule:

June 11 – Highway Thieves, six-piece whisky-folk rock band from Ogden

June 18 – Pasadena, an alternative rock and reggae band from Maryland

June 25 – Hal Holiday Review, classics and old time music the family can enjoy

July 9 – Ogden Chamber Orchestra is Ogden’s own professional orchestra with musicians drawn from all over the greater Ogden area.

July 16 – Ophir Creek, a local group playing folk, bluegrass and gospel music

July 23 – Tim Daniels, Antique Cadillac. Tim Daniels plays Americana-rock with three other band members. Antique Cadillac is a blues-playing trio.

July 30 – Shaky Trade, a popular local funk rock band

August 6 – Todo Mundo, From the Sun. Tudo Mundo, a band from San Diego, plays Reggae, Gipsy, Rock. From the Sun, a local five-piece fusion rock band, blends soulful songwriting with reggae and funk.

August 13 – Lady Legs, a rock, folk and soul band from Salt Lake City.

August 20 – Grits Green, Krooked Treez. Grits Green brings together two MCs, drums, bass and guitar for a funky, live hip-hop sound. Krooked Treez, orignially from Belize, fuses rap, rock and reggae.

Contact reporter Raychel Johnson at 801-625-4279 or rajohnson@standard.net. Follow her on Twitter @raychelNEWS.

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