-2.2 C
Friday, January 24, 2020
Connecting Our Communities

If it’s summer, there must be music


News Briefs

Woolwich nixes traffic islands Displeased with the troublesome pedestrian islands installed during the Region of Waterloo’s reconstruction of Church Street...

Woolwich proposes 5% tax hike for 2020

Budget talks underway this week, Woolwich council is looking at five per cent hike in property taxes, a...

Woolwich looks to add green projects as part of climate action plan

Planting trees remains Woolwich’s priority in rolling out a 0.5 per cent greening levy on property taxes again...

EDSS student wins U.S. baseball scholarship

It’s January and nowhere near Florida, but St. Jacobs’ Blake Jacklin is in a baseball frame of mind....


clear sky
-2.2 ° C
0 °
-4.4 °
79 %
1 %
3 °
5 °
2 °
1 °
-1 °

Like most of us, Lynn Russwurm is hoping the summer weather is here to stay. The weekends, especially, should offer up warm temperatures and sunny skies. Starting tomorrow, he’ll be casting an eye skywards on Sundays right through until September as his popular Showcase concert series kicks off at Gore Park in Elmira.

Concert series organizer Lynn Russwurm will be one of the acts performing in Gore Park this summer, appearing with Bob Tremblay as The Two Plus Who. The series opens Sunday evening.[File Photo]
Concert series organizer Lynn Russwurm will be one of the acts performing in Gore Park this summer, appearing with Bob Tremblay as The Two Plus Who. The series opens Sunday evening. [File Photo]
Russwurm’s own creation, the summer concert series has grown in popularity with both audiences and performers: he has no problem filling the schedule, which expands again this year.

A tireless musician, songwriter, producer and record collector, Russwurm works constantly to promote traditional country and bluegrass music. After decades in the industry, he’s got a long list of contacts with artists as he works on the lineup for the series each year.

“I’m always trying to get some new ones, and then there are those favourites returning,” he said of the performers.

“They all really enjoy playing here.”

This year, the series gets rolling Sunday with Steve Piticco & South Mountain.

Formed in 1989, the band received the 1991 Canadian Country Music Association Vista Rising Star Award. Their 1995 single Radioland reached the Top 20 of the RPM Country Tracks chart. Since forming, the band has released 16 albums.

The band holds the title of “International Band Of The Year” in Europe, beating out The Dixie Chicks, The Mavericks and Alabama. Their latest European tour – an annual tradition – had them playing in front of tens of thousands of people in Lithuania, Spain, Holland, Switzerland, Germany, France, Belgium and Denmark, headlining many of the festivals.

Piticco has been the band’s one constant, plucking out the signature sound of Texas-swing-meets-electric-bluegrass. Born in Toronto, he began playing guitar at age 11, acquiring the Fender Telecaster at age 15 that he uses to this day. In the late 1970s, he arrived on the Ottawa-area scene, playing with The Prescott Brothers band and also working with many of the region’s top groups. Piticco has been recognized many times by the CCMA as Guitar Player of the Year and Instrumentalist of the Year. In addition, he played guitar in Tommy Hunter’s concert tour band and appeared as a guest on countless recording sessions, as well as recording several of his own albums.

With his new version of South Mountain, Piticco travels extensively throughout Canada and Europe. The Dutch Country Music Association has honoured him with five Gram Awards for International Instrumentalist (winning over such players as Chet Atkins, Mark O’Connor, Vince Gill and Mark Knopfler) and the group with International Group of the Year twice.

“It’s going to be a great show to start the series,” said Russwurm.

Along with planning out this year’s concerts, the Floradale resident has been busy with another project, releasing a songbook that acts as a companion to his 2012 CD release, “Singing My Songs.”

“It’s something I’ve been wanting to do, as I thought it was a good idea,” said Russwurm. “Years ago, every artist that recorded had a songbook. Now, they don’t do that anymore.”

The book features the music and lyrics to 20 of his own songs – chosen for the album from his collection of more than 600 – as well as photos and a bio of his six decades as a musician.

“When you have a CD with all kinds of artists, it’s sometimes hard to get all the [clearances] to do a songbook. But these are all my own songs, so it was easy to do,” he laughs.

The songbook will be available with other merchandise Russwurm always has available at shows. For him, it’s always about getting the music out there for people to enjoy. It’s the same philosophy with the summer concerts. The showcase series runs Sunday evenings, 7-9 p.m., in Gore Park.

May 31: Steve Piticco & South Mountain

June 7: Commercial Bluegrass Band

June 14: Moonshiner’s Daughter

June 21: The Two Plus Who (Bob Tremblay & Lynn Russwurm)

June 28: Southbound

July 5: Rural Appetite

July 12: Grass Tax

July 19: Earl Fries & The Chaparrals

July 26: Ridin’ High

Aug. 2: Peace River Band

Aug 9: Burie Family

Aug. 16: Gerald Davidson & The Country Versatiles

Aug 23: Doug Dietrich & Sunrise

Aug 30: Dickie Dugal & U-Turn

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to The Observer's online community. Pseudonyms are not permitted. By submitting a comment, you accept that The Observer has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner The Observer chooses. Please note that The Observer does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our submission guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.


Catholic teachers join public board on the picket lines

Local Catholic elementary and high school teachers hit the picket lines Tuesday, marching up and down Arthur Street in Elmira as part of a one-day, province-wide strike. It’s not an...

In Print. Online. In Pictures. In Depth.

You obviously love community journalism. Thanks for visiting today. If you have a great local story, let us know.

Woolwich whittles down tax hike somewhat to 3.9%

Woolwich taxpayers are looking at a 3.9 per cent tax hike as councillors last week made a few tweaks to the budget, dropping...

Water and sewer rates to rise again this year, as Woolwich approves budget

Flush with cash or otherwise, you’ll be paying more again this year for turning on the taps and taking care of business in...

Sugar Kings lose for the first time in 2020

A couple of streaks came to an end Sunday as the Elmira Sugar Kings played their lone game of the week: the four...

Jacks post first loss of 2020, but post wins on either side

A four-game winning streak to start the new year having come to an end Saturday, the Wellesley Applejacks rebounded Tuesday night to post...
- Advertisement -