While Veterans Park will be filled with at least 10,000 music lovers at Beach Road Weekend later this summer, some of us also enjoy the MV Concert Series experience. These concerts take place at the Performing Arts Center, the Old Whaling Church, or the Loft and provide a more intimate opportunity to take in a performance. After COVID kept us apart and away from live music, this summer looks like it will be filled with possibilities. As creator of the MV Concert Series Adam Epstein says, “The MV Concert Series is all about keeping live, alive.”
Things kick off with Dustbowl Revival at 8 pm on Friday, June 24, at the Loft. This American roots band has performed from L.A. to Denmark to China. Founded more than a dozen years ago, Dustbowl Revival’s album “Is It You, Is It Me” offers a sound that mixes folk, funk, and fiddles, and should be checked out.
The historic Preservation Hall Jazz Band follows on Sunday, July 3, at the PAC. The band took a trip to Cuba in 2015, looking for the musical links that connect New Orleans and Cuba. The well-received documentary “A Tuba to Cuba” saw the band playing with their Cuban counterparts, with the idea that music has the power to unite everyone. Their soundtrack of the same name will whet your appetite.
Neighbor plays at the Loft on July 3 as well, and Cape Cod favorite Crooked Coast plays there on July 7. Corey Rodrigues brings the laughs to the Loft on July 13, and he’s worth checking out on his website (coreyrodrigues.com) where you’ll find the jokes a perfect fit for our times. (Start with the clip from “Conan.”) Author and comic Paula Poundstone performs at the PAC on July 16; with her keen observation skills, she’ll have the audience laughing throughout.
Soulful substance takes the stage when Cautious Clay performs July 17 at the Loft. The Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter brings a deep emotional connection with his music. Deer Tick, with special guest Lightning Bug, plays the Loft on July 20. Hailing from Providence, R.I., Deer Tick has been a certified hit on the Island previously, so we can look forward to seeing them again. Lightning Bug brings their melodic music that is sure to hold up their end of the bargain. Taking the Loft stage on July 21 is Brett Dennen, a young musician with a voice you’ll remember long after the night’s over. The New Motif comes to the Loft — billed as “an electric funk rock jam band,” they’ll get you moving with their funky bass and drum grooves.
Rounding out July are Bearly Dead at the Loft on July 25, Sierra Hull and Della Mae play the Loft on July 26, Graham Nash brings his classic self to the Old Whaling Church on July 27, Lespecial comes to the Loft on July 28, and another favorite, Ani DiFranco, takes the stage at the PAC on July 31.
Just to get you thinking ahead, August brings the David Bromberg Quintet, Ruston Kelly, the Adam Ezra Group, Tom Rush, Livingston Taylor, Andy Frasco and the U.N., Chris Thile, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Ryan Montbleau, Blind Boys of Alabama, the Indigo Girls, Bumpin’ Uglies, Guster, Ripe, and Sammy Rae and the Friends. I’ll save my two personal favorites for last: Don McLean comes to the Island on August 20, and someone I do not know but whose name I appreciate, Low Cut Connie, arrives at the Loft on August 24.
You won’t be able to enjoy all this wonderful — very much live — music unless you visit mvconcertseries.com. I can only lead you there, I can’t buy your tickets.