The calendar tells us summer doesn't begin for nearly a month. But our own inner calendars can't be fooled. We all know summer begins this weekend.
So it's time to get out and soak up some sounds of the season that will last, in varying forms, until the last pool closes on Labor Day.
We will outline a huge lineup of summer concerts abounding throughout the region in Sunday's Life + Arts. But we'll begin summer right now by outlining a trio of holiday weekend shows.
The big local event, of course, will be the Blues Between the Bridges festival (see Page 8). But here is a look at three other performance events (along with a few Louisville alternatives) that will help usher in summertime.
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Hit the Beach
OK, so Mike Love and Bruce Johnston are the only holdovers from the glory days of The Beach Boys. And even they are probably old enough now to collect a pension. But The Beach Boys, still one of the defining summer pop bands of all time, maintain a steady touring schedule. Love and Johnston will bring classics such as Good Vibrations, Surfin' U.S.A., Help Me Rhonda and more to life Friday night at Elk Creek Vineyards, 150 Highway 330 in Owenton. (8 p.m. $45, $55, $65; via Ticketmaster, 1-800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com.)
On a more shamelessly, self-promoting note, we will begin another Summer Album of the Week series online at my blog, The Musical Box, at LexGo.com starting Saturday. Our leadoff entry is one of Brian Wilson's most masterful Beach Boys creations. Stop by for a visit.
Night on the Townies
Few local bands have been in more diverse performance settings this spring than Coralee and the Townies.
They played in the parking lot at CD Central to honor Record Store Day, took the Rock Against Crohn's benefit up to the midnight hour at The Green Lantern, and paid tribute last weekend to His Bobness at the Bob Dylan Birthday Bash, also at The Green Lantern.
On Saturday, though, we get a headlining evening by one of Lexington's finest: the well-seasoned soul/country vocals of Coralee, backed by a pack of fine local vets — guitarists Fred Sexton (who doubles on ultra-tasteful steel guitar) and Smith Donaldson, bassist Scott Wilmoth, keyboardist Jon Grossman and drummer David White — at The Green Lantern, 497 West Third Street. (9 p.m. $5. (859) 252-9539.)
Coralee and company also rock with learned Americana smarts on a fine, self-titled five-song EP produced and recorded by Chico Fellini's Duane Lundy. A personal favorite: a soulful, churchy lament titled Damage Done.
High Score in Louisville
Traditionally, Louisville overflows with music on Memorial Day weekend. This year is no exception.
The annual Abbey Road on the River festival takes over the Galt House and Belvedere Festival Park with scores of Beatles tribute groups (my favorite featured band name: Hard Dazed Knights) through Monday. Go to www.abbeyroadontheriver.com for a full schedule of performance and ticket options.
On Saturday, soul/hip-hop rockers G. Love and Special Sauce perform at Headliners Music Hall, 1386 Lexington Road (9 p.m. $20. (502) 584-8088. www.headlinerslouisville.com), and folk-pop fave The Swell Season plays the Brown Theatre, 315 West Broadway (7:30 p.m. $35. (502) 584-7777. www.kentuckycenter.org.).
But the pick here is the underdog: the return on Saturday of Mic Harrison, who was a regular in Lexington and Louisville haunts during the late '90s with the Knoxville band The V Roys. His current focus is honky-tonk and Americana music with a sure-footed outfit called The High Score. Harrison and company, with Atlanta songsmith Sonia Leigh and Louisville's Yardsale as openers, play the Phoenix Hill, 644 Baxter Avenue. (8 p.m. $10. (502) 636-0405. TicketWeb.com.)