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Christopher brings band to Scottdale Gazebo Concert series

| Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 9:06 p.m.
Michael Christopher and hbis band are scheduled to play at 7 p.m. Sunday at the downtown gazebo.

Michael Christopher admits he is a fan of summer and enjoys the weather that comes with that time of year.

It would only make sense then that he and his band would play in the Scottdale Gazebo Concert series. Which they are scheduled to do from 7-9 p.m. Sunday at the gazebo.

“We play a ton of outdoor shows,” Christopher said. “Honestly, I just love summertime and being outdoors. You have to enjoy the weather while you can in the northeast right? Scottdale is one of the few small towns left. It's got a great community feel.”

This will mark the third or fourth time for Christopher to play in Scottdale by his recollection.

Christopher said he's had a band for five years. Joining him in the latest grouping are Zach Reeder, who handles lead guitar, piano and background vocals; Rich Gibson, pedal steel guitar, banjo, guitar and Dobro; Perry Pinto, bass guitar and background vocals and new drummer Keith Kleinhampl.

“This is the best group of guys/musicians I've ever had,” Christopher said.

Christopher describes his band as one that fits into the modern country genre, the type of music heard on the radio.

According to the band's website, Christopher actually didn't discover country music until he was introduced to line dancing during his college years.

The storytelling within the songs made an impression on him, and from that moment he was hooked on the way country provided a narrative to the struggles and joys of everyday life. Shortly thereafter he began singing and playing guitar and found that country really suited his style.

“I would say, I'm somewhat traditional country with a slight rock edge,” he said. “Musically, I'm influenced by a bunch of people. As far as country artists go, Dierks Bentley is probably the biggest influence. His music stands out and is different in a good way. Plus, he writes his own material. As a songwriter, I really respect that.”

The Scottdale performance is one in a busy summer for Christopher and his band mates. There is a show scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Chestnut Ridge Resort in Blairsville.

“We've been playing places from Rehoboth Beach to Tennessee,” Christopher said.

Just two concerts remain at the gazebo in 2013. They are:

Aug. 11 — Remnant

Aug. 18 — Scottdale Community Band at Loucks Park.

All concerts begin at 7 p.m.

Paul Paterra is a staff editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-887-6101.