Friday Night Concert at UI Research Park
The University of Illinois sponsors Friday night concerts during the summer at their Research Park on south campus. We took the opportunity to attend the first concert of the summer last Friday. On the stage were two “bands.” The reason I quoted “bands” is that I would not call the first group to perform a “band” (maybe not even a group), maybe I should say “act”. Called “The Diva and the Dude”, the opening act was Kathy Harden (vocals) and Andy Baylor (guitar). I don’t know much about Andy, but Kathy is a long-time local resident, having been born and raised in Tolono and has performed around here for decades, most recently doing a one-woman show of Patsy Cline music. She has a good voice for Patsy’s music and in her day, probably did much better with Janis Joplin and Grace Slick tunes. Maybe it’s just me, but I have a hard time with singing the songs of those two icons unless you can really put some soul into it, and while Ms. Harden has a fine voice, it’s almost too melodious for two hard rock/blues women that lit up Woodstock.
The second act was a band called “Spuyten Duyvil” from the Younkers, NY area. It is hard to describe their music, but our newspaper described it as Americana/roots music mixing “rural and urban vibes by combining blues, country, stringband and jazz.”. I’m not sure I would go that far, but they were fun to listen to. Oh, according to the paper, the band’s name derives from the Dutch Colonial name for the creek separating Manhattan from the Bronx, and is interpreted to mean “in spite of the devil.” Here’s a few pics of this band – I took the opportunity to get up near the stage for several photos.