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Concert series hopes for dry Friday nights

| Friday, March 29, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Organizers of the SummerSounds musical concert series in Greensburg will cross their fingers and hope it doesn't rain on Friday evenings this summer.

Two groups whose shows were among a half dozen that were hampered, interrupted or stopped because of downpours last year are scheduled to return to the stage in St. Clair Park.

“Last year, it was exactly half the shows (that had rain),” said Gene James, committee chairman. “Weather is the biggest factor in attendance by far.”

Overall concert attendance took a slight dip in 2012, falling to 29,114 after reaching 31,580 the previous year.

All the concerts are free and start at 7 p.m. on 13 consecutive Fridays, starting on June 7.

The two groups back for another try are Brother Josephus & The Love Revolution and The SteelDrivers.

Brother Josephus will spark Independence Day festivities this year with a performance on July 5. The group's act came to an abrupt end last year when lightning shot across the sky.

“We'll play to rain and 25 people, but not lightning,” James said.

The SteelDrivers, who opened last year's concert series as a tornado touched down in nearby Ligonier Township, will return to Greensburg on Aug. 16. British singer Adele recorded the group's song, “If It Hadn't Been for Love.”

Organizers scheduled four groups that have appeared at SummerSounds over the years.

A Silent Film returns to open the 2013 season on June 7.

“Silent Film is a spectacular act, and they're getting really good press,” James said. “We're delighted to get them again.”

David Bach Consort returns to the stage after an absence of about five years.

“He's very good,” James said of the Baltimore jazz keyboardist.

The five-member Guggenheim Grotto makes another appearance July 26, with 2012 performer Snarky Puppy back on the stage Aug. 2.

“With Snarky Puppy, it's grab the act while you can,” James said. “They'll be out of our reach soon. They're on their way to being a big, big act.”

Rosco Bandana, an “Americana rock” band, performs June 14, followed by Marrakesh Express, a Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young tribute band, on June 21.

The country swing-honkytonk group Sweetback Sisters performs July 12, and Jessie Dee, a rhythm-and-roots band with horns, takes to the stage on July 19.

The season winds down with Black Lillies on Aug. 9. Lake Street Dive, a band James described as “musically interesting, talented and taking off,” will perform on Aug. 23, followed by Yarn on Aug. 30.

Preshow music will be offered before some concerts from 6:15 to 6:45 p.m.

James and Westmoreland County Judge Richard E. McCormick Jr., who couldn't be reached for comment, selected the groups who will perform at SummerSounds.

James said he and McCormick have different musical tastes, but “we share a respect for quality.”

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or bstiles@tribweb.com.

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