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Glenn Miller Orchestra, Chris Smither among headliners for Greensburg's SummerSounds series

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SummerSounds 2014 performers

June 6: Nicole Atkins

June 13: Gedeon Luke & The People

June 20: Cello Fury with Joy Ike

June 27: Leroy Justice

July 4: The Idol Kings

July 11: Hollis Brown

July 18: Beau Soliel

July 25: The Glenn Miller Orchestra

Aug. 1: The Duhks

Aug. 8: The Horse Flies

Aug. 15: Chris Smither

Aug. 22: Birds of Chicago

Aug. 29: Alternate Routes

Source: Greensburg Summer Sounds

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Monday, March 10, 2014, 11:21 p.m.
 

Gene James pulled over his car when he heard the woman singing on his radio in January.

James, who selects bands with Westmoreland County Judge Richard E. McCormick Jr. for Greensburg's annual SummerSounds concert series, didn't want to miss the woman's name. He hoped to book her for a show this summer.

His roadside stop paid off: Nicole Atkins will open the 15th Annual SummerSounds on June 6 at St. Clair Park.

“She is amazing,” James said.

“I thought she actually was probably beyond our budget,” he said, but she agreed to do a show.

James, McCormick and others on the SummerSounds' committee have completed the 2014 lineup, with only one past performer scheduled to appear: Chris Smither on Aug. 15.

James and McCormick said they try to keep the sounds fresh at the free concert series held on Friday nights in the summer.

“That's what SummerSounds is all about,” James said.

“I think we're doing well with the budget we have getting national acts,” McCormick said.

James praised Smither's acoustic blues.

“He's the only solo act we've ever had,” James said. “He's a gifted writer and the most accomplished guitarist I think I've ever heard.”

When Smither takes the stage, “it sounds like two people are playing guitar,” James said.

The Glenn Miller Orchestra on July 25 is “a coup” for SummerSounds, he said. The 20-member band, of course, plays Big Band songs and operates under “the overture of the Glenn Miller estate.”

SummerSounds performers have been nominated for or won prestigious Grammy Awards, James noted.

“We've done a pretty good job of getting the people before they're discovered,” he added.

McCormick is looking forward to The Duhks on Aug. 1.

“They are a Canadian band that I've been watching for years and trying to book,” he said.

The band went on hiatus but now is back on the road.

“I think they're going to be well-received,” McCormick said. “They're a lot of fun.”

McCormick said he is looking forward to performances by Beau Soliel on July 18; Birds of Chicago, Aug. 22; and Pittsburgh-based Cello Fury with vocalist Joy Ike, June 20.

“They're all wonderful bands,” James said. “I'm looking forward to hearing all of them.”

The concert series has drawn approximately 30,000 people each of the past few years.

Weather plays the biggest role in determining turnout, James and McCormick said.

“I think that if we have nice Friday nights, we'll break records,” McCormick said.

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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