On Wednesdays throughout the summer, Ludington’s Waterfront Park will become a destination for fans of blues, jazz, rock and R&B music as a new weekly concert series sponsored by the Ludington Area Center for the Arts gets underway.
Starting on Wednesday, June 19 and continuing through Aug. 28, a different band or artist will take the stage at Waterfront Park Pavilion to participate in the LACA Summer Concert Series.
Andrew Skinner, operations manager at the arts center, said he’s excited about the new series, adding that it’s something that’s been a goal of his for some time.
“I’ve wanted to host a concert series like this — free and open to the public in a nice outdoor space — since I started at LACA,” Skinner told the Daily News. “Waterfront Park is the ideal location for that. It’s a nice place, to enjoy the sun, and it’s on the grass and by the water.”
The first performer in the new LACA Summer Concert Series is the Paul Nelson Band, which will take the stage from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, June 19.
The band is led by renowned blues guitarist and music producer Paul Nelson. A Grammy Award-winning guitarist, Nelson has strong ties to the world of American blues music, forged through his work in the studio with the likes of Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy and Johnny Winter.
Nelson has recorded several albums with Winter, including “I’m a Blues Man,” “Roots” and “Step Back,” which won a Grammy for Best Blues Album in 2015.
He also earned a Grammy nomination for his production work on Joe Louis Walker’s “Everybody Wants a Piece.”
In a release about the concert, Skinner said Nelson represents “a diverse blues-rock, fusion-based sophisticated journey of boundless energy.”
Nelson made a name for himself working with legendary blues guitarists, but now he said he’s excited to be pursuing something of his own with the Paul Nelson Band.
“I’ve played with a lot of artists and recorded with a lot of artists, and now I’m on my own doing my solo thing, and it’s been really good and successful,” he said. “I love that area down there, so I’m going to have a good time.”
Though he defines his music as a “mixture of blues, jam and rock,” he said he wants prospective concert-goers to know that his music is accessible and geared toward modern audiences.
“Don’t be scared by the term ‘blues,’” Nelson said, during a phone interview with the Daily News. “We’re not playing that old archaic stuff. I’m more along the lines of the newer guys.”
He said the music is accessible and “danceable” — listener-friendly, interactive and fun for fans of all ages.
Concerts in the series are free and open to the public, according to Skinner, but donations will be accepted to help fund the concerts and pay the bands, according to Skinner.
Every performance will be from 7 to 9 p.m. at Waterfront Park, according to a release from LACA.
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