POLK COUNTY — With the 4th of July officially kicking off the sights of summer with parades and fireworks, the sounds follow next with local music festivals.
After a year off due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Dallas Sounds of Summer Concert Series returns just in time for its 25th anniversary.
Dallas’s music festival features a wide variety of music on Thursdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. July 8 to Aug. 5, at the Rotary Performing Arts Stage at the corner of Main and Academy streets.
Kicking off the season is country music act Copper Ridge. While the music program says the group is “outlaw country,” lead singer Charmin Gibson said their music is actually hard to define.
“We’re heavy into 80s and 90s country, with a little blue grass, our originals in country folk, and a touch of Southern rock,” said Gibson. “We are outlaw wrapped in a little bundle.”
Gibson said she started Copper Ridge in 2011 after performing solo. Based “kind of” out of the Willamette Valley, maybe closer to Canby, Gibson recruited her sister, Daisy Brandhorts, and friend Harley Wainscott on guitar then came up with a band name.
“We wanted something that sounded country-ish – Copper Road, Copper River,” Gibson said. “We went with a subdivision l lived in of Newbraunsels, Texas. Copper Ridge was the deciding factor for me.”
After settling on a new lineup with new band mates Scott Carter on drums and Dallas’s own Nathan Myers on lead guitar, Gibson said Copper Ridge was able to return to touring in March this year, starting with some private parties. She added they’re looking forward to returning to Dallas where they last performed at the Sounds of Summer Concert Series in 2019.
“I think it’s awesome. We’re excited. We had fun last time we were here with a big crowd,” Gibson said, adding don’t be surprised if they go over their two-hour time limit. “We’re good for another hour if called for. Don’t leave the crowd wanting, we always say.”
Learn more about Copper Ridge at www.copperridgecountry.com.
Over in Independence the entertainment continues July 17 with six weeks of free concerts and another six weeks of free movies thrown in starting July 16 at the city of Independence’s River’s Edge Summer Series.
With the popularity of the series, organizers are contemplating adding a few more bands to the list. But kicking off the Thursday night performances is Portland band The Junebugs. The music from trio Moses Barrett, Kyle Owen and Nathaniel Daniel is described by imagining Neil Young and Janis Joplin having three love children, and those children grew up to like folk rock and hip hop.
“I kind of grew up playing folk music with my parents,” Barrett said. “Kyle and Nate are kind of the same. We began playing tunes together from an Americana song book that included Tom Petty, Van Morrison, John Kline and the likes.”
Lucky for the Junebugs, they never accrued any rust during the pandemic. Barrett said they bought a streaming rig just before the shutdown, inviting their fans to watch them live on Facebook.
“At first, they were like, why would I do that when I can see them in person? Then the shut down happened and we started streaming weekly. We built this incredible community of people there. So, we’ve been performing for almost a year straight.”
The Junebugs hit the road performing in person about two weeks ago, starting with special events and fair shows. But it’s Independence they’re excited to return to, Barrett said.
“We’re big fans of Independence. We’ve played the Riverside Amphitheater a couple of times,” he said. “It’s a beautiful setting and we love the town.”
Learn more about The Junebugs at www.thejunebugs.net.
The River’s Edge Summer Series music performances are Fridays from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Satisfying that thirst on concert nights will be an all-ages beer garden featuring Parallel 45 Brewing, Trinity Vineyards, West Side Tap House and Ten Towers Cider House. Satiate that appetite from local food trucks both movie and concert nights, including fare from Greece Lighting Express, El Pique Restaurant, C.O.B. LLC, Vianney’s Tamales.
To learn more about the River’s Edge Summer Series, go to www.independenceamphitheater.com.
Dallas Sounds of Summer Concert Series
July 8 — Copper Ridge (County Western)
July 15 — Ty Curtis (Blues, Rock, Funk)
July 22 — Midnight Serenaders (Retro Swing)
July 29 — Bridge City Soul (Soul, R&B)
Aug. 5 — Johnny Limbo & The Lugnuts (Rock n’ Roll)
River’s Edge series
July 16 — The Junebugs (folk rock band)
July 23 — Ty Curtis (blues rock band)
July 30 — Gab Cox (blues band)
Aug. 6 — The Boondock Boys (southern rock band)
Aug. 13 — Infamous Soul (classic rock cover band)
Aug. 20 — Romance (traditional Latino band, romantic and classic boleros)
This year’s movies are Thursday nights, starting at 9:45 p.m. in July and 8:30 p.m. in August. This lineup includes:
Movies in the Park
July 15 — The Croods 2
July 22 — Men in Black
July 29 — Reya and the Last Dragon
Aug. 5 — Black Panther
Aug. 12 — The Mighty Ducks
Aug. 15 — Star Wars: The Force Awakens