Street Music is returning for a spring series of four free, open-air concerts in the middle of Paris Avenue in Port Royal.
Concerts begin at 6:30 p.m. on a stage that will be set up between 9th and 10th streets. Shows will be:
- May 17: Reckless Mercy, recklessmercy.com
- May 31: Lauren Mitchell Band, laurenmitchellband.com
- June 14: Mac Arnold & Plate Full O' Blues, macarnold.com
- June 28: Bart Walker Band, bartwalkerband.com
Series producer J.W. Rone said the lineup consists of great artists who have not performed in the Street Music series before. The first group, Reckless Mercy, is made up of local and regional members. Rone said he met them by chance in the music store in ARTworks, the nonprofit community art center, theater and gallery run by the Arts Council of Beaufort, Port Royal & Sea Islands.
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"I saw their video of 'Ain't No Grave Can Hold My Body Down' and was like, 'Oh yeah, these guys have got to come,'" Rone said.
Mitchell is a powerful singer whose performances pay tribute to artists such as Janis Joplin, Etta James, Koko Taylor and Aretha Franklin, Rone said.
Mac Arnold has a long history of music and performed with James Brown, the Muddy Waters Band, Otis Redding and B.B. King, among others. He retired to become an organic farmer and now performs with his own band.
The Bart Walker Band is a national recording group that moved to Nashville, Tenn., Rone said. Walker's music is more rock than the other artists, and "his guitar is amazing," Rone said.
The twice-annual series is paid for by the town of Port Royal and typically costs $20,000 annually, or $10,000 per series. Town manager Van Willis said he expects this series to cost $8,000 to $10,000, as there are some ways to save money with the bands and by working with Rone directly.
ARTworks usually works with Port Royal to produce the series, but Rone, the former executive director, said ARTworks is still transitioning under new leadership and it was easier for him to take the series under his wing. ARTworks is expected to resume the partnership with Street Music in fall.
Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin.
- Jazz concert added to Port Royal Street Music series, Aug. 6, 2013: http://bit.ly/1oH2FNP
- Businesses look forward to boost from return of Port Royal Street Music, July 24, 2013: http://bit.ly/PFVYvN
- Four free performances scheduled for Port Royal Street Music concert series, March 21, 2013: http://bit.ly/1fWR5s1