The annual Cortland Main Street Music Series kicked off last Friday, featuring local and regional talent and through the end of summer.
A total of 12 groups will perform at the CFCU Community Credit Union stage over the course of four free concerts.
Each concert will start at 5:30 p.m. every Friday in July at the city lot between 64 and 76 Main St. Cortland. Gates will however, open at 5 p.m.
The series is celebrating 16 years of bringing in local, regional and national acts to downtown Cortland, according to event organizer and local musician Chris Merkley.
Genres range from rock, americana, folk, country, celtic rock, and many more.
The series kicked off on July 5th with local duo and Grammy-award winner Lonnie Park along with international touring artist John West. Following that was The Fall Creek Brass Band, bringing the sounds of New Orleans via Ithaca. Then to finish up the night on a highlight, The Alternate Routes, from Connecticut, who have appeared in numerous late night TV shows, such as The Late Night Show with Craig Ferguson.
The second week of the series will continue Friday, July 12, with local Americana rock band The Beauchesnes and fellow Cortland rockers The Cousins—a brand new local group fronted by the songwriting and singing combo of Quona Hudson and Clint Bush. Headlining the night is the internationally acclaimed Todd Hobin Band from Syracuse. Their music has been called 'Distinctly American' and makes a timely arrival in town to coincide with SUNY Cortland Alumni Weekend. Having performed on the SUNY campus more than any other band in the school’s history, the group returns as part of a collaboration with their Music Legacy group’s unveiling of a commemorative sculpture for this year’s alumni weekend celebrations.
The series turns up a little more the third week, when Enter The Haggis headlines the Friday, July 19 show. Based in Toronto, Canada, the high-energy band of Celtic-rockers combines bagpipes and fiddles with a rock rhythm section to create a distinctively eclectic sound, praised by The Boston Globe, The Washington Post and many others. The show opens up with the Starmer Brothers, a staple of the Cortland music scene with a legacy as long as their extensive repertoire of songs that effortlessly blends rock, jazz and blues music. Immediately after the Starmer brothers, The Old Main will take the stage. Hailing from the Adirondack region, the band has drawn favorable comparisons to the Avett Brothers with their brand of foot-stomping folk and alt-Americana music.
The final night of the series cranks things up even higher on July 26th with headliner Brandon “Taz” Niederauer, a virtuosic guitar prodigy making waves on the national festival circuit. The sixteen-year-old, nicknamed “Taz” for his ferocious guitar playing, is living proof that dreams really do come true. Having performed in some of the most legendary venues in America, the young guitarist has shared the stage with greats such as Buddy Guy, the Tedeschi Trucks Band, Umphrey’s Magee, and Twiddle among many more. The opening sets of the night will feature a solo performance by Marc Ryan, front man for Tribal Revival and fixture of the local music scene, followed by Mike Powell and the Black River. Mike Powell became a lacrosse legend at Syracuse University before going pro and becoming the most decorated college lacrosse player in the history of the sport. Powell left his life in athletics years later to pursue a full-time career in music, quickly earning critical acclaim and a devoted following of fans for his masterful storytelling and soulful delivery of country, rock, blues, and heartfelt Americana music.
The Cortland Main Street Music Series, presented by CFCU Community Credit Union is a non-profit organization, with a mission to enrich Cortland’s culture and contribute to a vital downtown by providing an annual series of concerts by local, regional and national artists.