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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Music fills the summer nights at Mason District Park

The free Spotlight by Starlight concerts going on this summer at Mason District Park feature all kinds of music, from rockabilly to blues, jazz to country. Here are some samples of songs from the past few concerts recorded by Bob Kovacs, who also uploaded them to the Annandale Arts You Tube channel.

This one, from Aug. 7, features the band Hangover Royale’s rendition of “Johnny Law,” described by Kovacs as “an uptempo rockabilly screamer”:

Hang-Over Royale’s leader and singer is Angus Mackay, who also fronted the TOAST Big Band’s performance at Mason District Park Aug. 2. Mackay is from Australia but sings like an American. Kovacs shot the video with three cameras, with cooperation from the band.

Kovacs captured “Aberdeen” performed by the Baltimore-based Delta blues band, Swampcandy, July 17:

“The young guy playing standup bass and bass drum just knocked me out,” Kovacs says. “It was a hot night, so a fan on the floor blew the bass player’s long hair behind him like a comet’s tail as he kept pounding away on the drums. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Speakers of the House, also from Baltimore, performed at Mason District Park June 21. They specialize in a pop/funk/jazz reminiscent of Steely Dan. This song, “North Avenue,” is one of their originals:

Here’s a clip of Cathy Ponton King singing “You’re My Sugar Face” on July 31: 

“Maybe it’s just me, but it makes me smile when I see a grandmotherly-type strap on a Fender Telecaster guitar and play the blues,” Kovacs says. “Cathy Ponton King reminded me very much of Bonnie Raitt (and that’s a good thing), and this song, about her daughter, is one of her originals.” After finishing two songs, it started raining, and the audience was invited to join the band on the stage.

Spotlight by Starlight concerts at Mason District Park scheduled for this week include the Patty Reese Band (blues/roots rock) on Wednesday, Aug. 14; the United States Army Blues jazz band on Friday, Aug. 16; and the Blue Highway bluegrass band on Sunday, Aug. 18. All those shows start at 7:30 p.m.

On Saturday morning at 10, there’s a family show with Rocknoceros. And on Saturday, Aug. 17, 7:30 p.m., it’s Indian Cultural Heritage Night at Ossian Hall Park in Annandale featuring the dance group, Kuchipudi Kalanidhi.

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