Somewhere between 80 and 100 bands request to play at Concerts on the Dock every year. With only eight slots available in the weekly summer music series, booking can prove quite a …
Somewhere between 80 and 100 bands request to play at Concerts on the Dock every year. With only eight slots available in the weekly summer music series, booking can prove quite a conundrum.
Luckily, concert programmer Dominic Svornich is no stranger to the puzzle nightmare.
“You listen to them and try to figure out what will click best,” said Svornich, who regularly books musicians for his bar, Cellar Door.
While his downtown nightclub features a wide range of music genres and styles, what clicks best at Concerts on the Dock, he said, is music that people of all ages can dance to.
“Danceable music, fun music, things that are uplifting,” he said of what he is listening for when he makes the selections.
Organized by the Port Townsend Main Street Program, the concert series that this year begins July 13 features many hometown favorites, such as Uncle Funk & the Dope 6, Kevin Mason and the PT All Stars, and Famous Lucy.
“We have a couple of returning favorites each year,” said Svornich.
Svornich is also trying to bring in bigger-name musicians in an effort to establish Port Townsend as a recognized music community.
This year’s notable big-city musician is Grace Love of Seattle, an R&B singer who recently was a visiting artist at Centrum’s Voice Works workshop for singers. Love, said Svornich, is an “absolutely phenomenal” vocalist who is bringing along an eight-piece horn band for the July 20 Concert on the Dock, followed by a concert at Cellar Door on July 21.
“We’re really, really excited that we were able to make this happen,” said Svornich. “We hope to continue expanding our lineup to include more regionally renowned artists in future years, always with an emphasis on summer vibes and danceable performances.”
Another new band of note is Rooster Crow, set to play on Aug. 10, said Svornich.
The concert series takes place on the Pope Marine Plaza every Thursday, July 13-Aug. 31, and brings in hundreds of people, averaging about 350 in attendance, with the crowd sometimes reaching 500.
“We just continued building it year after year, just making it what it is now,” said Svornich.
And every year, it gets better; sponsors are now calling well in advance. “Everyone loves it,” he said.
“The Concerts on the Dock music series fulfills one of our nonprofit organization’s goals to strengthen Port Townsend’s reputation as a home for artists and a destination for arts and entertainment audiences,” said Main Street program director Mari Mullen. “We invite concertgoers to bring a chair or blanket and settle in for these free, all-ages concerts.”
Concerts take place 5-7 p.m. Here’s the lineup for the 2017 concert series.
JULY 13: JOY IN MUDVILLE
Featuring Jason Mogi and Kim Trenerry, members of one of the peninsula’s favorite bands, Deadwood Revival. Joy in Mudville is influenced by old-time bluegrass, folk, rock, country, blues and funk. Its music offers high energy, tight harmonies and clever arrangements.
JULY 20: GRACE LOVE
Grace Love is a soul artist, singer and composer who is taking the world by storm, said Svornich. Based in Seattle, she is bringing an eight-piece horn band to this Concert on the Dock.
JULY 27: RANGER & THE RE-ARRANGERS
Seattle Gypsy jazz band Ranger and the Re-Arrangers evoke the spirit of a Paris cafe and the raucous energy of a Gypsy campsite with their version of Gypsy jazz. The band’s repertoire includes swing standards, traditional Gypsy melodies and more.
AUG. 3: UNCLE FUNK
& THE DOPE 6
Hailing from all reaches of the country, members of Uncle Funk & the Dope 6 were selected in 2013 to form the ultimate party/dance band. Members have shared their blues, funk, R&B and soul with everyone from Little Feat and Prince to Los Lobos and Willie Nelson.
AUG. 10: ROOSTER CROW
Rooster Crow is dedicated to telling stories of the American struggle, the American dream and all the love and pain those involve with its country rock and acoustic ballads. The band has played in bars and festivals and at house shows around the Pacific Northwest since 2014.
AUG. 17: SOLVENTS
& FAMOUS LUCY
Local music duo Solvents is influenced by everyone from Gram Parsons to Hüsker Dü, from Beat Happening to The Beatles, from Nirvana to The Cure and everything in between. Famous Lucy presents Western soul with powerful vocals and songwriting, passionate fiddle and trumpet lines, as well as steady and stable stand-up bass and drums. Band members include Megan Trenary, Jonathan Isenhower, Cameron Dalsimer, Jon Parry and Leif Gearhar-Hall. Special guest: Kiwanis’ Stars of Tomorrow winner Madison Boyd performs during the set break.
AUG. 24: THE HIGH COUNCIL
The High Council blends rock, reggae, folk and jam. Tight vocal harmonies are interspersed with soaring psychedelic jams, world rhythms and funky rock grooves. Members include lead guitarist Zeke Wakefield, rhythm guitarist Ryan Philappart, bass player Ben Sharp, keyboardist Zack Olson, drummer Conor Sisk and percussionist Jeff Pang.
AUG. 31: KEVIN MASON AND THE PT ALL STARS
Kevin Mason and the PT All Stars play rock, soul, Motown, rhythm and blues. The band features Mark Paris on bass; Doug Noltemeier, lead guitar; Kevin Mason, lead singer; special guest Chris Flowers on keyboard; guest drummer Ricky Lynn Johnson; and backup singer Robin Abb.