News and notes from Fredericksburg's entertainment scene
Musical Mondays: Music on the Steps concert series
BY JESSE SCOTT
FOR THE FREE LANCE–STAR
Don’t judge the library by its cover.
What may appear to be a quiet, Colonial brick building is actually an epicenter of non-silence and vibrant activity come summertime.
The Central Rappahannock Regional Library’s popular “Music on the Steps” series kicks off on Monday with a performance by local Cajun rockers, the Dixie Power Trio.
The series will feature a free show every Monday on the headquarters library’s steps through the end of August.
“We, like so many others in the Fredericksburg community, look forward to this series like Christmas or New Year’s,” said Lynda Baer, program coordinator for the library and creator of the “Music on the Steps” series. “This year, we’re bringing back several crowd favorites while also keeping it fresh and new.”
For many artists, “Music on the Steps” has become a must-stop over the course of the series’ 25-plus year history. It’s a unique event where all kinds of bands from all kinds of backgrounds serenade the Fredericksburg community one Monday at a time.
“It’s a great setting for a summertime concert and the folks that have attended our concerts over the years have been absolutely great,” said Zack Smith, accordionist for the Dixie Power Trio. “It’s definitely one of our favorite venues to play.”
In addition to the Dixie Power Trio, a number of other diverse acts will grace the picturesque steps.
The June slate includes folk rockers Andrew McKnight & Beyond Borders (June 11), fiddlin’ rockers The Company Store Band (June 18) and guitarist Angela Easterling (June 25).
In July, the “Music on the Steps” schedule includes hometown veterans Laurie Rose Griffith and Peter Mealy (July 2), bluegrass rockers Jeni & Billy (July 9), the Celtic band of Jim and Holly Lawrence with Lauren Smith (July 16), local bluegrass quartet The Believers (July 23) and the World Jam Club featuring Don Brown (July 30).
Wrapping up the summer in August are the Irish duo of Pat Egan and Alex Caton (Aug. 6), classic rockers The Sunday Times Band (Aug. 13), the Latin salsa band Sabor Afrocubano (Aug. 20) and ’50s/’60s duo Denim-n-Lace (Aug. 27).
While some musicians, like Peter Mealy, have been playing the steps for a quarter of a century, this is the first year for a handful of bands including Pat Egan and Alex Caton.
“We had just wrapped up recording an album and were approached about playing a unique show down in Fredericksburg,” said Egan in a phone interview from his home in Leesburg. “We gladly accepted and are looking forward to bringing some Irish and old-time music to the town.”
The “Music on the Steps” series was originally designed by Baer and her colleagues to showcase the library’s extensive offerings to the Fredericksburg community. In addition to enjoying some quality tunes, Baer hopes attendees realize that the library is about more than just books.
“Like any business that centers on a service, we provide a number of different things,” said Baer. “We’re all over the place we offer computer classes, children’s programs and the list goes on and on. We want the community to know that we are here for them.”
In addition to seeing familiar faces each year and building a program of quality music, Baer especially enjoys giving folks in the ’Burg one more free, family-oriented option for their summer nights.
“We’ve designed this series to be very family-friendly,” said Baer. “I love seeing all of the families at the library and we want them to keep coming back.”
WANT TO GO?
What: “Music on the Steps”
Where: Central Rappahannock Regional Library, 1201 Caroline St., Fredericksburg
When: Mondays through Aug. 27, 7 to 8 p.m.
Info: 540/372-1144; library point.org/musiconthesteps
June 4: Dixie Power Trio
June 11: Andrew McKnight & Beyond Borders
June 18: The Company Store Band
June 25: Angela Easterling
July 2: Laurie Rose Griffith and Peter Mealy
July 9: Jeni & Billy
July 16: Jim & Holly Lawrence with Lauren Smith
July 23: The Believers
July 30: World Jam Club featuring Don Brown
Aug. 6: Pat Egan and Alex Caton
Aug. 13: The Sunday Times Band
Aug. 20: Sabor Afrocubano
Aug. 27: Denim & Lace
Jesse Scott is a freelance writer and Fredericksburg native. Email him at email@example.com.