POINT PLEASANT — Mayor’s Night Out, a tradition over 10 years old, continues next month by bringing free concerts to Riverfront Park.
Beginning June 9, the concerts will begin every Friday night at 8 p.m. at the amphitheatre and continue through Friday, Aug. 25. There will be no Friday night concerts during the Point Pleasant Sternwheel Regatta or Mason County Fair.
The lineup for this year’s free concerts was announced last week by Mayor Brian Billings and Ida Herdman, utilities manager for the City of Point Pleasant who also books the shows each year.
This year, Herdman and Billings said, in addition to bringing back old favorites, five new acts have been booked to perform.
New to the lineup is the String Benders which open the concert series on June 9, playing country, blues, classic rock, comedy music and modern rock. Billings said the band, from Bidwell, Ohio, was a hit at last year’s Tribute to the River festival and they were asked to return to the Riverfront Park stage. The band consists of Nick Rocchi and Jason Stout, a duo who perform with acoustic and electric guitars and some backing tracks. The group has performed at several local venues.
Also new this year, Matt Metheney who performs country music. Metheney, from Rutland, Ohio, has three songs currently on the radio and on iTunes. His most listened to song is “Drunk on Memories” which he wrote for three of his friends who have passed away. He traveled to Nashville last year to be a part of the New Country Music Artist venue during the CMA Festival and has performed at the Adelphia Music Hall in Marietta, Ohio as well as at the Colony Club in Gallipolis, Ohio. He’s booked to play various fairs and festivals this summer and will return to Roshambo Studios to work on an album for release later in the summer.
Tangled Roots, also new to the series, takes the stage June 23 and is an electro-funk band based in Point Pleasant. The seven-member lineup has varying musical backgrounds which creates an eclectic sound. Band members are Jason Cremeans, Bryce Duncan, Lamar Flowers, Shawn Hesson, Jon Loudin, Jeremy Martin, PJ Rupenstien.
Blue Moves hits the Riverfront Park stage for the first time on July 7, bringing Elton John covers and chart topping hits from R&B, jazz, rock and country styles. Members Eli Wilson and Levi Billiter have performed at several local venues, building up a following.
Scotty Randolph is also new to the series and performs on Aug. 4. Randolph, currently based out of Indianapolis, Ind., performs his own brand of country music. He has performed across Ohio and Indiana.
Billings said the free concert series is important to the city because it allows for a free recreational activity for all ages and it helps utilize Riverfront Park, which was “built to promote our city,” he added.
“Our park is beautiful,” Herdman agreed.
Both Billings and Herdman said the series brings in people from not only Point Pleasant, but across the river in Ohio. Herdman added, the concerts are free and within walking distance for several residents, including senior citizens in the community who live in the downtown area.
This year, a large hole has been left by the passing of Carolin Harris, who provided concessions for every concert. This year, Billings said the city is booking non-profits who would like to set up for the concerts and sell refreshments as a fundraiser. To book a place to set up at the park to sell concessions, call the city’s Administrative Assistant Teka McCauley at 304-675-2630. For opening night on June 9, city officials will be selling concessions to benefit the construction of a splash pad at Krodel Park.
The mayor said this summer’s lineup includes something for everyone and both he and Herdman were appreciative of all the acts, both new and those returning favorites, for once again participating in the concert series.
A complete listing of this year’s concert series is as follows: June 9: String Benders, performing classic rock, country, blues and pop. June 16: Matt Meheney, performing country. June 23, Tangled Roots, performing funk, reggae, jazz, dance, party music. (June 30 there is no Mayor’s Night Out due to the Point Pleasant Sternwheel Regatta.) July 7: Blue Moves, performing music from Elton John, the Beatles and more. July 14: Paul Doeffinger, local singer songwriter performing original material, popular hits. July 14: Living Proof, performing gospel music. July 28: Cee Cee Miller, performing country, rock, blues. Aug. 4: Scotty Randolph, performing country, rock, blues, southern rock. (Aug. 11 there is no Mayor’s Night Out due to the Mason County Fair.) Aug. 18: New Salvation, performing gospel music. Aug. 25: The Mason Dixon Band, performing country.
Point Pleasant City Council once again approved funding the concert series, which consists of paying the acts $200 to perform, and the city takes care of all the utilities, the stage and cleanup.
Acts wishing to be considered for the concert series in the future may contact Herdman at 304-675-2366.
Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at email@example.com.