Aug 27, 2014 Russ Tarby Uncategorized
This may not have been the wettest summer on record, but it sure seemed to rain every Monday and Wednesday. Those are the evenings on which free concerts are scheduled at Johnson Park.
As the program director for Liverpool Is the place, a sub-committee of the Greater Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, I book those concerts and present the bands.
We book 24 performances from early June through mid-August, and this year eight of those concerts — fully one-third of the series — were negatively affected by threatened thunderstorms and a plenitude of precipitation.
Sammys Hall of Famer Joe Whiting waited for clouds to pass before starting his July 2 set, but had to throw in the towel when the rain returned after two songs, disappointing a crowd of more than 425.
The modern country band known as the Fulton Chain Gang, which hails not from the nearby city of Fulton but from the far-flung Fulton Chain of Lakes, canceled their July 7 concert after thunderstorms tore through the area.
A week later, on July 14, The Bear Cat Jass Band waited for rain to subside but 15 minutes past show-time as the drops continued to fall upon the already soaked amphitheater stage, bandleader Richard Ames called it off minutes before the sun finally peaked out from behind the clouds.
Though discouraged by the wavering weather, I simply resolved that “the show must go on.” When rain descended again on July 23, we moved the Kambuyu Marimba Ensemble inside the Café at 407, adjacent to the park on Tulip Street. It would be the first of four concerts to be staged inside the coffeehouse.
Thanks to the warm hospitality of café manager Tony Burrows and kitchen manager Laura Hahn, Liverpool Is The Place also presented the rockin’ Christopher Ames Trio there on July 28, followed by Larry Hoyt & The Good Acoustics on July 30.
Falling rain delayed the Aug. 13 set by one of Liverpool’s favorite class rock bands, Smokin,’ sponsored by Daucher Electric, Linda Rosenberg, Dinosaur Radio, CNY Arts and Summit Federal Credit Union. After waiting for 45 minutes, the band delivered a dazzling 45-minute set. The final show of the summer series — the Aug. 20 John Denver Memorial Food Drive concert featuring Alan Taylor, Two Feet Short and the Donna Dennihy Trio — also dodged the raindrops by plugging in at Café at 407.
Stewart’s own ice cream!
Stewart’s Shops, which sponsored the Aug. 20 concert, served free ice cream to the Liverpool is The Place audience. Stewart’s hopes to open its newest area outlet by the end of this year at the corner of Morgan and Buckley roads.
The Saratoga Springs-based chain is building a shop next to Hiram’s Tire in Clay at a location formerly occupied by RJ’s convenience store.
The shop will sell groceries, milk, eggs, beverages and Stewart’s own ice cream and frozen yogurt. The store will also serve sandwiches, pastries, soups and chili. A large walk-in cooler called the “beer cave” will offer a wide variety of brews.
Stewart’s already does business at shops in Minetto, Mexico and Camden; stewartsshops.com.
Despite the precipitation at the Aug. 13 concert, Liverpool Is The Place dedicated a new plaque in the park pavilion to memorialize village resident Michael Casale, a talented bass player and LITP program director who died on Feb. 16 at age 64.
The plaque — designed by village resident TamaraLee Shutt, created by Cicero Laser Engaving and installed by the village DPW — notes that Casale’s concert booking and his bass playing reached their zenith together on June 20, 2011, when he and Liverpool Is The Place brought the band Orleans to Johnson Park, and he sat in with the “Still the One” hitmakers.
Heid’s changes hands
Sandy Parker, the widow of Heid’s owner John Parker, who died last Oct. 26 at age 68, has sold the landmark drive-in restaurant to her brother-in-law, Randy Parker of New Hampshire. Sandy lives in Liverpool.
Heid’s opened as a hot-dog stand here in 1917. John and Randy Parker and family bought the Liverpool location in 1995, but after a few years Randy left the business in John’s hands.
Last year, Heid’s was listed by Food & Wine Magazine as one of the top 27 places to get a hot dog in the United States.