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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Concert For The Cause

Concert For The Cause:
Featuring Sean Story and Alex Cartwright
Avenue A Park
Hutchinson, KS
© Lydia Lowe 2013

     It was a party in the park this past Saturday night.  If you missed it, you missed a lot.  The concert started a half hour early, at 7:00 p.m. when cKenzi, local Hutch native and past contestant on America’s Got Talent, showed up unexpectedly to open the show.  She sang the song she wrote that got her on to the show and it showcased her talent perfectly.  In between songs she told the crowd about how her life had changed since she had been on America’s Got Talent.


      Then it was time for Sean Story to take the stage.  The crowd had gradually grown by this time to double the size of last week’s crowd.  Sean sang a lot of songs that the crowd already knew and about half way through his set, Morgan Wilk showed up to sing a couple of duets with him.  The crowd was familiar with the duets this duo sang and seemed to enjoy this surprise in the lineup.  Sean’s music drew the crowd in and pulled everyone in together as a group.

     Meanwhile, the smell of hamburgers and hotdogs permeated the air, small groups broke off here and there to talk, people saw friends and family as they wandered about enjoying the show.  Mel Hambleton showed up with free ice cream, again, this week.  The 4H Club was the non-profit featured for Saturday and they made over $130 through food and drink sales, as well as donations just because folks appreciated their organization.  Concert For The Cause t-shirts were on sale for the first time.  At one point, Marcie Penner, author and Kansas explorer, showed up driving her ERV (Explorer Research Voyage) vehicle.
     Then it was time for Alex Cartwright to take the stage.  She brought a member of her new band with her, a violin player who was amazing.  Alex does a great job singing and playing her guitar, but the violin added another dimension to her show.  I cannot wait to see her in concert with her full band.  Alex had a lot of new material and it did not disappoint.  I especially enjoyed the lullaby that she wrote for her then boyfriend who is now her husband.  It had the soft sounds of a lullaby with the twist of a love song.  By now, the crowd in the park had tripled.

      If you miss a week, you miss a lot.  Join the party in the park next week when Concert For The Cause returns with Soapbox Trubadores and Ryan Coon who will be playing their makeup concert.  The featured non-profit will be The Salvation Army.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Concert For The Cause

Concert For The Cause:
Featuring Black Wall Monument and The Space Between
Avenue A Park
Hutchinson, KS
© Lydia Lowe 2013
     The rain held off this week and Concert For The Cause got off to a rousing start on Saturday.  It was a small crowd but the traffic going by on the street was pretty impressive.  Maybe this coming week those folks will stop by and check out the music.  

     This weeks featured bands were Black Wall Monument and The Space Between.  I had already made up my mind about these bands before ever hearing them play.  I'll have to say that I was blown away, they were not what I expected. Original songs that I had never heard before that had me tapping my toe to the beat.  I even detected an Irish influence during one of the songs that The Space Between played.  Pretty amazing.  There was a little guy about 18 months or maybe two years old who was bouncing around on his feet to the beat. If you are not checking out the local band scene you are missing out on some amazing original music.  There's no better way to check out local bands, for free, than Concert For The Cause.
      Tonight's non-profit group was Big Brothers/Big Sisters.  Even though the crowd was small they were passionate about this organization and through food sales as well as other donations, Big Brothers/Big Sisters raised $130.  Pretty impressive when you consider the size of the crowd.  The Space Between band even donated some food to the event and those were grilled up along with hotdogs, hamburgers.  Mel Hambleton provided free popsicles.

     Next week Sean Story as well as Alex Cartwright and her band will be the featured entertainment and the non-profit will be 4-H.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

"That's Entertainment" in Oakdale Park

Here's the lineup for "That's Entertainment" free concerts in Oakdale Park at the 
Eric Stein stage.  Concerts start at 8:00 pm. 

June 13   Ronnie and the Rockits   Classic Rock

June 20   Rob Northcutt Band   Country

June 27   Coversmith   Rock-n-Roll 60's to Today

July 11   DC Bellamy   Classic R & B and Blues

July 18   Samantha Fish   Blues

Monday, June 10, 2013

Bent Road

Monday Night Book Discussions
"Bent Road"
(written by Lori Roy)
Salina Public Library
Salina, KS
© Lydia Lowe  6/10/2013

     I'm a writer myself so probably the first thing that I notice about a book is the writing style and I will have to say that I didn't particularly care for this writer's style.  The book was written like a play, it was all about setting the scene and then I'd wait, and nothing happened.  Even though I knew that was the style, I still found it annoying and that never really left me throughout the entire book.

     However, there was a story in all that mess and it is a good one.  I read a lot of mysteries, so many times I know ahead of time where the story is going before it actually gets there.  I don't know if it was due to the writing style or what, but I did let the writer lead me to conclusions within the story.  I guess you could say, I didn't find this story as predictable as some.  

     The characters were well written and fully formed, especially the state of Kansas, which I felt was one of the characters.  It played a very important part in the story, much more than just as a backdrop.  All the characters intermingled together to tell a story of life and death, love and loss.  The story begins immediately with a kidnapping and leads the reader to an earlier crime that has many similarities to the present day.  All of this is set in motion when a son returns home with his family to make a new life and put the past to rest.  All this activity seems to stir the life in the community to a rolling boil.  I don't know if the author ever lived in Kansas, but she really nailed how life is here in the state.  

     I don't think that this book portrayed Kansas necessarily in a good light, but it was accurate to the country, the people, and the attitudes of those who live and work here.  If you like a good mystery that seems very realistic, if you like reading books set in Kansas, you'll enjoy this book.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Concert for the Cause

Concert For The Cause:
Featuring Soapbox Trubadores and Ryan Coon
Avenue A Park
Hutchinson, KS
© Lydia Lowe 2013

     Concert For The Cause in Avenue A Park got off to a rocky start on Saturday night.  It was the first concert of this new summer series.  The musical acts for Saturday, June 8, 2013 were Soapbox Trubadores and Ryan Coon.  The non-profit group was the Rotary Club.  A representative of Pools Plus was on hand to grill the hotdogs and hamburgers (provided by Walmart, along with hotdog and hamburger buns provided by Dillons), and there was plenty of water and pop (provided by Pepsi Cola) to go around.

     People began lining up around the block facing the park, early, as others drove by to check out the progress of the set up for the event.  Mel Hambleton arrived with their ice cream truck.  The sound engineer began checking the sound as Ryan Coon arrived and did his sound check.  Meanwhile, storm clouds began building in the east.  They were a lovely deep blue color but then the sound of distant thunder could be heard.  This did not bode well for an outdoor musical event.

     A light summer rain began to fall.  Just a sprinkling and concert promoter, James Lowe took Coon over to Inspired Deli for a quick meal before the show started.  Everyone from the sound engineer, the performers, the promoters and everyone else involved in the production were sure that the showers would be brief and over by show time.  Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and so about an hour past the start of the show, the show was called due to rain. 

     The Soapbox Trubadores and Ryan Coon will be rescheduled and will play at a later date during one of the upcoming Saturday shows.  

     Check out the website: for more information on the upcoming schedule.   

     The next show is scheduled for Saturday, June 15 at Avenue A Park and will feature Black Wall Monument and The Space Between.  The featured non-profit will be Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Garden of Sound in Oakdale Park

There's a new art installation in the park where you can create your own music.
Both kids and adults have been seen playing the instruments.
This installation is primarily for those who are in wheelchairs or have mobility issues.
But it's really just fun for everyone.
What a fantastic concept!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Smoky Hill River Festival

It's almost time for the party at the river!  
The Smoky Hill River Festival kicks off on Thursday, June 6, with Festival Jam.  
The music changes every 15 minutes with a different band on stage until 10:00 pm.  
The Festival runs from Thursday, June 6 through Sunday, June 9.  
Check out this short video from a previous Festival and check out this link to find out more about the performers, art, and food.