Music under the stars

Published 7:30 pm Tuesday, May 31, 2016

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    The 30th season of free summer concerts opened Friday at the Times Gazebo on Main Street.

    Anne and I want to extend an invitation to the entire community to join us on Friday evenings. Bring a lawn chair and bring the kids. These are family events.

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    Next Friday, Bobby Blackhat Walters, an a nationally prominent blues singer, will bring his band to the Gazebo. And prior to the 8 p.m. concert, members of the Smithfield High School band will perform on Main Street. (Donations to the Band Boosters Club are welcome.)

    The following week, Damn Janke, an original local rock band, will perform, and on June 17, Americana musician Bob Zentz of Norfolk, will take the stage with his talented daughter Skye and his fiancé Jean.

    The Zentz concert will be particularly significant because Bob will also be celebrating the 50th anniversary of his introduction to a man he knew as Ramblin’ Conrad.

    William Conrad Buhler was a veteran, a wino, a handyman, an ex-con, a backstreet minstrel an a barroom troubadour. In 1974, Zentz immortalized his story on the Album “Mirrors and Changes.”


    When Zentz opened a music store in Norfolk in 1972, he named it for the man who embodied his ideal of the singer and the song. Ramblin Conrad’s became the focal point for folk music in Hampton Roads and its offshoot, the Tidewater Friends of Folk Music.

    The series open Olden Days on Friday, June 24 with a performance by Ocean Breeze, a beach music band that will be performing here for the first time.

    And on July 8, country folk singer Angela Easterling will return to Smithfield. She has performed for the series twice before.

    More on the remainder of the series later, but for now, please join us Friday evenings for an evening of music.