Rock Springs Brown Bag Concert Series, June – August
The Rock Springs Main Street/Urban Renewal Agency (URA) is rolling out the third year of their lunchtime concert series – the Brown Bag Concert Series. Presented this year by SweetwaterNOW, the concerts will be held every Tuesday this summer (June through August, except the week of July 4) in Bank Court from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. The shows are free and guests are invited to bring their lunch and enjoy a summer day in Downtown Rock Springs; most of the downtown restaurants offer take-out as an option for lunch.
2017 performance by Coteries.
The twelve-week concert series will feature a variety of music styles including country, rock, folk, Americana and more. All of the concerts take place in Bank Court and picnic tables with umbrellas are available, but guests might want to also bring their own lawn chairs since seating is limited.
The Brown Bag Concert series is underwritten by the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund. Sponsors of the series include: Bridger Coal Company; Edward Jones Investments; High Country Realty – Emily Lopez; Quiznos; Ramsey Eye Care Center; Rocket Miner; Sweetwater Now; and Western Engineers.
The 2018 line-up includes:
June 5 – Shandryn Trumble
Wyoming raised, Shandryn Trumble plays blues-infused folk music with pop sensibility. Her set list includes originals and covers, and her songwriting lends to personal experiences which manifest in catchy and relatable tunes.
June 12 – Amber Sweeney
Amber Sweeney is a highly sought after performer and songwriter who’s often been compared to the likes of India.Arie, Bonnie Raitt, and Sheryl Crow. Her distinctive voice and stage presence demand attention and make her the darling of every bill. She draws her fans into the stories with lyrics and music long remembered. She is accessible on stage unlike other artists and fans feel as if they’ve made a new friend in Amber.
June 19 – Will Baxter
Will Baxter was born in Dallas in 1982. He was educated at Colorado State University. In 2013, he started playing music professionally. Along with Christ Duarte, he has opened for: Jimmy Thackery, Andrew “Jr. Boy” Jones, John Lee Hooker Jr., Australia’s Harper, Eddie Shaw, & “The King of Beale St.”, Preston Shannon. He plays guitar & sings for The Will Baxter Band, Will & Dave Duo, and solo projects. He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.
June 26 – Sundae and Mr. Goessl
Sundae + Mr. Goessl are Seattle’s premier Vintage Jazz Duo featuring Earshot Magazine’s Vocalist of the Year, Kate Voss, and Seattle’s busiest freelance guitarist, Jason Goessl. Together, this dreamy duo delivers a show packed with wit, charm, nostalgia and serious chops! Recently awarded Best Jazz Act of 2017 from Seattle Weekly, this duo has been hard at work putting together a main stage act for touring the 2018/2019 season all over the country. Vocalist Kate Voss was named Seattle’s Jazz Vocal Princess in 2014 after studying under Seattle legend, Greta Matassa. This was her career launch and Voss was crowned with the same title again in 2016. Previously a full-time piano instructor, Voss’ flashy melodica solos are a delightful addition to this act, often engaging the audience even more with this unique instrument. Jason “Mr.” Goessl is highly sought after for his unparalleled versatility. A master of all styles, Goessl brings all of his skill sets and 30 years experience to this act incorporating finger-style guitar, looping, bebop, country and Bossa nova styles as well as a flavor all his own from his custom Bischoff acoustic/electric guitar (with a Bigsby!).
July 10 – Whiskey Slaps
Hillery Lynn has been playing guitar, singing and writing songs most of her life. Her unique, smoky twang is a beautiful counter to her softly complex guitar playing and the perfect showcase for her quirky original songs and subtle readings of American traditional folk tunes. She’s won (or co-won) the Laramie Singer Songwriters contest two years in a row now. Birgit Burke has been writing songs, singing, and playing various musical instruments most of her life as well. Her voice ranges from a broken alcoholic snarl to ethereal plea, while her songwriting, guitar, and mandolin playing lift elements from 1920’s blues, old-time and Irish traditional fiddle tunes, Appalachian folk, and country western. She also publishes poetry, short stories and essays, and loves murder ballads. Both women grew up singing with their sisters and the family harmony influences are clear. To answer your question, whiskey slaps is a game that made it to Laramie via Antarctica. Hillery can explain it to you.
July 17 – Rooster Robinette
Based out of Pinedale, Wyoming, Rooster is an award winning professional bluegrass fiddlist and singer/songwriter with over twenty years of experience performing and writing music. In the beginning of his career in music, Rooster was a competitive fiddlist who frequently placed in the top of his division and often won first place titles at competitions all across Utah, Idaho and Wyoming. In more recent years, Rooster toured the Intermountain states extensively as a member of Salt Lake City based Alt-Country band, Matthew & The Hope. Rooster’s music is often described as Cowpunk; a mix between old country acts such as Hank Williams Sr., George Jones and Waylon Jennings combined with newer acts such as Hank III, Robert Earl Keen and Wayne “The Train” Hancock.
July 24 – Sky Smeed
Sky Smeed was born and raised outside of Chanute, Kansas, in an old, one-room schoolhouse his parents bought and turned into a home in the early 1970s. To date, Smeed has self-released five full-length albums: Flying High (2002), The Front Steps (2004), Mill River (2006), Sky Smeed (2012) and Drive All Night (2015). His sixth album, Lunker Bass (2017), was recorded and produced at The Ninth Ward Pickin’ Parlor in Lawrence, KS by none other than award-winning folk duo Truckstop Honeymoon (Mike & Katie West). Lunker Bass saw digital distribution on Feb. 1 and physical distribution on March 1.
July 31 – Escaping Pavement
The phrase, Escaping Pavement means so much more to singer-songwriters Emily Burns and Aaron Markovitz than a name for a group. They also see it as a description of how they wish to live their lives. “In this very technology-based day and age, we feel it is more important now than ever to hold on to the things that ground us and remind us we’re all in this together. It’s about getting back to the essence of the human experience,” says Emily. The Detroit, Michigan-based duo masterfully blends and blurs the lines of bluegrass, folk, country, and rock garnering favorable comparisons to artists as diverse as The Band, tastemaker/producer T Bone Burnett, The Civil Wars, and Emmylou Harris. Their unique, joint front-person arrangement that showcases their lush vocal harmonies is combined with melodic mandolin passages and hard driving guitar rhythms. When all of these elements collide, they allow for astounding musical interplay.
August 7 – Amy Obenski
Amy’s songs are timeless. With lyrics about the experience of being human, her music has a way of connecting with pretty much anyone on a deeply personal level. She’s compared frequently to classics like Joni Mitchell and Carol King. And to describe her voice, it’s common to hear words like “Clear”, “Pure”, “Haunting” and “Mesmerizing”.
August 14 – J Shogren Shanghai’d
J Shogren Shanghai’d from Centennial WY (pop 100, 4 bars) have a singular vision of what they are doing musically—Roots & folk music filtered through a contemporary dissonant transmitter. Shogren calls their music “catawampus American music”. He shows up with a lived-in rasp of a voice, acoustic guitars, a mandolin and a batch of his own songs and some well-traveled numbers by cohorts from another time. Shogren has released numerous albums over the last decade, played all over the Rocky Mountain region & Europe, and International Blues Challenge in Memphis.
August 21 – Danika and the Jeb
If when you hear the term ‘acoustic duo’ you imagine two people sitting on stools, lightly strumming guitars, singing about how life has treated them poorly, think again. Danika & the Jeb are dynamic, uplifting, and fun, while their music is a soulful combination of artfully written songs and powerful musical phrasing.
August 28 – Chris Welch
Chris Welch has been performing shows since 2010, when he helped establish the Chris Welch Band. In addition to headlining local venues, the band has opened for national acts including Stoney LaRue, Casey Donahew, Reckless Kelly, John D. Hale Band, Matt Stell, and Mike and the Moonpies. Now on his own, Chris is enjoying the freedom to perfect his own sound, which is heavily influenced by singer/songwriters such as Cody Canada, Robert Earl Keen, Todd Snider, and a variety of other artist.
The Rock Springs Main Street/URA is charged with the redevelopment of Downtown Rock Springs. As part of their mission, there are three standing committees –Promotions, Business Develop, and Arts & Culture. For more information contact the Rock Springs Main Street/URA at 307-352-1434 or visit their website at DowntownRS.com