Summer music events return at TCA, Adam’s Park
Temperatures are rising and music will soon be in the air, so it must be summer in Tecumseh. The city offers two ways to enjoy music during the heat of summer.This is the third year for Tecumseh Center for the Arts’ Black Box series bringing the sound of Michigan musicians to Tecumseh on the fourth Thursday of the month. Music in the Park complements the Classic Car and Bike show on the third Thursday of the month through September.Shelley Lim, director of cultural and leisure services, helps coordinate the two concert series. Her focus is to bring great music to the city, and she uses a variety of ways to find the right groups to perform here.The sponsor for the TCA Black Box Summer Series is the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs. The goal is to find a variety of Michigan talent to take the stage at the TCA.“The focus is on Michigan musicians. We do some re-search, mostly on the Internet,” Lim said. “We also take suggestions.”Bands send links to their information and examples of music for consideration. Lim goes through the information, but doesn’t stop there.“We also rely on people who are music lovers to help us find good music,” said Lim. “Dan Hacker was kind enough to send us an email with links to local artists that he enjoys.”Two of the groups selected for the Black Box concerts came from his suggestions. Stella! and The Appleseed Collection were on Hacker’s list.When it comes down to final selections, there isn’t a specific format Lim follows. “We just kind of wing it,” she said. “We really do try to select a variety of music.”The first of the Black Box concerts is set for Thursday, June 26 with the music of Rootstand. This Michigan band bills itself as a “Michigan’s Celtic Jamgrass Champions” and has a sound mixing the sound of Celtic bluegrass with reggae, Americana and blues. More information on the band can be found at its website, www.rootstand.com. July 24 is when Stella! hits the stage at the TCA. The four women who make up Stella! hail from southeast Michigan, and are known for their three-part harmonies and focus on roots music. Blues, jazz and old-style country music are the band’s specialty. Information and music are at www.thestellagirls.com. The Black Box Summer Series closes out on August 28, featuring The Appleseed Collective. This Ann Arbor quintet is proud to be musically eclectic, playing a mixture Dixieland, bluegrass, ragtime, western swing, and gypsy folk tunes that are all original and unique. See more about the band at www.theappleseedcollective.com.The concerts all begin at 7 p.m., with the doors opening at 6 p.m. The cost is $10 for a ticket, or $25 to enjoy all three concerts. Each band performs two sets with an intermission.“It’s a very relaxed atmosphere,” said Lim. “We have the lobby open ahead of time so people can enjoy beer, wine and snacks. It’s a great way to kick off your weekend on a Thursday evening.” There are more people taking advantage of the Thursday night series every year, according to Lim. “It’s really picking up steam,” she said.Music in Park is a chance to enjoy local music at no charge. United Bank and Trust underwrites the concert series, allowing Lim the ability to bring more music to Tecumseh.“There are so many great regional talents,” said Lim. “This is the tenth year for Music in the Park. We have a committee that meets every year to decide on the bands. We are very fortunate that so many area musicians call us or email us and send us samples of their CDs to be considered.” Lim is very excited about the musical choices for this summer. The season begins at Adams Park on June 19 with Fat Mouth Charlie and the Bisquit Rollers, a blues and classic rock band.“This is music everybody knows and enjoys,” Lim said. “It’s a great way to kick off the season.”On July 17, the Ann Arbor band The Kerfuffles will be in town. “They specialize in family-friendly kids music,” said Lim.The blues band, Bull Halsey, will play in front of the fountain on Aug. 21. This band hails from Chelsea.On Sept. 18, Music in the Park ends the season with Laith Al-Saadi. “Al-Saadi is a nationally recognized blues guitarist who happens to live in Ann Arbor,” Lim said. “He’s fantastic.”The concerts start at 6 p.m. and each act plays two sets with an intermission. Whether enjoying music inside a cool theater or outside under the stars, Tecumseh has plenty to offer this summer for music lovers.