Futurebirds, country-fried Hi-Beams first up for ‘Music in the Mountains’
The Arts Council of Big Sky recently announced another amazing summer of Music in the Mountains at Center Stage in Town Center Park. Featuring 15 events, the series will include 12 Thursday night concerts, the ninth annual Big Sky Classical Music Festival, and a performance from Montana Shakespeare in the Parks. All performances are FREE and open to the public.
The series kicks off Thursday, June 20th with cosmic folk band Futurebirds and guest set by local psych rock band Dammit Lauren and the Well at 7pm. The evening doubles as the third annual Big Sky Soul Shine event, sponsored by the Hungry Moose Market. There will be a kids carnival, games, art activities and more. The event is a benefit fundraiser for ALS and a continued celebration of former Hungry Moose owner Mark Robin.
Hailing from the bohemian college town of Athens, Georgia, Futurebirds play laid-back country-rock with an atmospheric, psychedelic twist. The music is a patchwork amalgam of influences, including: twangy Southern rock (they’ve opened for the Drive-By Truckers), reverb-soaked psychedelia reminiscent of early My Morning Jacket or fellow Athens residents Phosphorescent, and soaring guitar solos à la Neil Young and Crazy Horse. The group began turning heads with the release of a self-titled EP, whose backwoods harmonies and pedal steel riffs helped earn them a contract with Autumn Tone Records. With the label’s help, Futurebirds booked time at Chase Park Transduction – one of Athens’ most renowned studios and recorded Hampton’s Lullaby, released in August 2010. The group’s latest releases include 2015’s Hotel Parties and the subsequent Portico EPs, I and II.
The rocking honky-tonk sounds of Halden Wofford and the Hi-Beams follow on Thursday, June 27th. With an unapologetic embrace of the twang, the band rides out from the cutting edge cowtown of Denver, Colorado. Rootsy and real, neither revivalist nor retro, the Hi-Beams’ brand of country music is as boundless and electrifying as America itself. From Red Rocks to rodeos, the Fillmore Auditorium to the back of a flatbed truck, to Prairie Home Companion, Kate Wolf Festival, and performing arts centers, the Hi-Beams deliver an unforgettable and original night of American music.
Future weekly concerts this summer include the Tiny Band on July 4th – complete with the region’s best fireworks show; The Commonheart on July 11th; Orgone on July 18th; Hayes Carll on July 25th; Marcia Ball on August 1st; Town Mountain with special guests Laney Lou and the Bird Dogs on August 8th; Mt. Joy with special guests Upstate on August 15th; Honey Island Swamp Band on August 22nd; Ron Artis and the Truth on August 29th; and Pinky and the Floyd on September 5th. In addition, the ninth annual Big Sky Classical Music Festival, with special guests Angella Ahn, Jonathan Gunn and Dallas Brass, will take place August 9th–11th. A free performance of Montana Shakespeare in the Parks will take place at the park on August 19th, and the fourth annual Mountainfilm in Big Sky event caps the summer September 13th–15th.
Town Center Park opens at 6pm for each Thursday concert, and there will be food and beverage vendors (including alcohol) and an arts activity tent for kids. Please be aware that NO dogs or glass containers are allowed in the park. Music typically starts at 7:15pm, but please visit www.bigskyarts.org for more information on these events. Further details about the summer lineup and other Arts Council happenings are also available through the website. •