Drunk Stuntmen frontman Steve Sanderson still remembers the phone call that gave birth to band’s now-annual performance at Bourne Scenic Park.
“It was 13 years ago, the band was on the road, and my dad calls,” he explains. “So he says he wants to get my mom something for their 30th anniversary. I, of course, say, ‘Good for you, Dad—why did it take you 30 years to think to buy her present?’ He told me to stop being a wiseass, and [explained] the significance of what he was trying to achieve.”
Apparently, Dad went on to say, Mrs. Sanderson was missing her son very badly. And after assessing all the customary gifts folks give to one another when achieving a marital milestone, Mr. Sanderson realized that nothing would mean more to his soulmate than to see her son perform at the campground they stayed at most every summer of their adult life.
“Back then, we were performing upwards of 150 shows a year, so it was particularly tough to get back to Bourne and go camping with my parents,” Sanderson says. “We haven’t missed a year since that phone call, however.”
Including this year, with Sanderson’s father now departed. “It’s turned into a memorial and celebration for him,” says bandmate J. Scott Brandon of this year’s July 13 Bourne show (on Cape Cod; see bournescenicpark.com). “And we’re also looking to recreate his famous Bahama Mama recipe!”
Similarly celebrating a memory is the Springfield Armory (nps.gov/spar), which is hosting a big band concert in honor of the historic Benny Goodman show that took place at the facility in 1943.
The Valley’s own 19-piece Blue Skies Big Band was tapped to headline this year’s event, taking place July 13. The entertainment begins at 5:30 p.m. with free swing dance lessons courtesy of the Feeding Hills’ Jitterbug School of Social Dance. The concert proper begins at 6:30 p.m. behind the museum. Guests are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket. In the case of inclement weather, the concert will be moved to the gymnasium at Building Two (the Scibelli Building), Springfield Technical Community College.
In other assorted acts of outdoor audio, the South Hadley Rec Department has cooked up an eclectic array of acts for its Town Green Summer Concert series this year. The South Hadley Community Band kicked things off on June 27. Brit-mimics Union Jack pick things up this Thursday, July 11, followed by swing kings The O-Tones (July 18), George Baker’s Polka All-Stars (July 25), Twisted Twins (Aug. 1), Lindsey Labelle Band (Aug. 8), Jumpin’ Juba (Aug. 15), Dave Colucci (Aug. 22) and The Dan Daniels Band wrapping things up Aug. 29. All shows run from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and are free. For more information, kindly point your browser to southhadley.org.
Meanwhile, south of the border... Sun Valley Resort in Stafford Springs, Conn. offers up the Marshall Tucker Band, Shovelhead, poultry (barbecued chicken) and more for a paltry $30 per person ($50 per person), this Sunday, July 14. One hundred percent of the proceeds benefit year-round programs and services offered at the Channel 3 Kids Camp (channel3kidscamp.org) in Andover, Conn.
And last but not least, something both outside our geographic area and literally outside the box: Boston’s first annual Outside The Box festival will turn public spaces like the Boston Commons and City Hall Plaza into performance spaces that will host more than 200 free events from July 13-20.
“Our region is already known for its universities, hospitals and history,” says founder and philanthropist Ted Cutler. “It’s my hope that we add the arts to what people think of when they think of Boston.”
For more info on the event and a complete description of all performers, venues and times, visit outsidetheboxboston.org.•
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