Music as fresh as summer fruit is what Oliver’s Music in the Park series promises this July and August. The musical lineup, hosted by the Oliver Community Arts Council, will include a “mixed fruit bowl” of classic rock, country, folk, R&B, jazz, and pop from several new performers . The venue remains the Oliver Community Bandshell on Thursday evenings from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. A new rain venue on site at the Oliver Community Hall assures great music rain or shine.
The series kicks off Thursday July 2 with indie folk-rock trio from the Similkameen, “JEM”: Jodel, Elam and Maggie. Think of a tempting bunch of cherries, with their rich dark vocals. Elam and Maggie are also known as “Wild Organic Humans” (named for their organic farm) and join up with Jodel Burk for sweet harmonies that are oh-so-good for you.
After Uncork the Sun, Music in the Park returns Thursday July 16 with Michael Painchaud, an appealing young country singer – songwriter from West Kelowna. Painchaud may be as fresh as a country peach, but with fifteen original compositions under his belt and pursuing a business degree, he has a country music career in his sights. He has been a finalist in open mic competitions in the Central Okanagan, and named in the top 25 at the BCCMA.
13 Broken Bones bursts onstage for the July 23 Feed the Valley concert. All professional musicians easing back on their separate careers, the Penticton bandmates share “thirteen broken bones” between them as well as a love of classic rock from the 60s to 80s. Rollicking keyboard, familiar guitar riffs, and tight driving vocals will have the audience singing along to Bryan Adams, Doobie Brothers, Van Halen, Eagles, Billy Joel and the Beatles. Bite into this “tart apple” that rewards with a big juicy pop of flavour. Bring canned goods to support Valley First Credit Union’s local food bank initiative.
Smooth jazz provides a contrast on July 30 when Cindy Doucette brings her sultry vocals to centre stage. Think fruity sangria when it comes to Cindy’s voice: tempting, refreshing, and relaxing. A perennial local favourite, Cindy promises to delight with a mix of pop and jazz standards.
Dale Seaman & Highway 97 play country rock on August 6. Seaman, called “Penticton’s Country Gentleman”, excels at covers from Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson, to Lady Antebellum and Bonny Raitt. Dale has also had success as a singer-songwriter, releasing his first CD in 2009, so audiences can expect to hear some of his own compositions. His new band backs him up with full rich sound.
The Darlene Ketchum Quartet belts out soul, R&B, on August 13. The Delta band, touring the BC interior, will add a funky, laid-back groove to Darlene’s rich, powerful vocals. A talented composer, arranger, and musician, Darlene will sing a mix of gospel standards, funk, blues, and her own compositions. Be sure to bring along some watermelon to cool you off after some southern soul music.
Train-lovers of all ages will enjoy the songs and stories performed by the Kettle Valley Brakemen on August 20. The band will bring railway history to life with true tales of derring-do and daring and original songs about BC’s dramatic steam train era. Audiences will go “bananas” with their hilarious comedy. Songs and stories of railway brawls, jail breaks, train wrecks, and raining rattlesnakes will enrapture listeners.
The series winds up on August 27 with Up the Crick. Chris Stodola and Rick Braman from Osoyoos perform lovely vintage music from the 20s on to more contemporary pop, all with a sweet easy charm. Like heirloom fruit, the varieties remembered from childhood, the tunes are familiar golden oldies that can’t be replaced. Chris and Rick (the “Crick” of the title) accompany their vocal harmonies with lush keyboard and guitar.
All concerts begin at 6:30 p.m. and are run as admission by donation, with a suggested donation of $5 to cover costs. Picnic fare and other goods available at the concurrent evening market, open 4:30 to 8:00.