Stellar Seaside Summer Series Starts June 6, 2012

May 28, 2012 by SoWal Staff

South Walton locals and visitors have learned over the past few years that some of the best music available anywhere plays right in the heart of SoWal during the Seaside Summer Concert Series.

This year's series returns to the Seaside Amphitheater on Wednesdays beginning June 6th through August 15th. The concerts are free and open to all, and a great way to experience some of today’s up-and-coming artists in a beautiful setting.

All performances begin at 7 p.m. and free parking is available around Central Square, Quincy Circle and Smolian Circle. Below are the bands scheduled to perform in Seaside during the month of June.

June 6: Nic Cowan – Many young musicians have parents who are less than supportive when artistic aspirations are announced. It’s understandable. After all, becoming a doctor, lawyer or accountant are safe career bets. Donning a guitar, writing songs and pounding on club doors for gigs? Not so much.

But Nic Cowan never had that worry. When the native Texan and transplanted Atlantan decided to get serious about his musical career, he turned to the professional musician he knew best—his dad, a drummer who regularly gigged with folk, country and jazz ensembles. As an aspiring frontman and solo artist, the younger Cowan wanted dad’s ideas on what it would take to be successful. And dad, who’d played behind more than a few frontmen - good, bad and indifferent -  was more than happy to lay aside his sticks to drop some wisdom.

“He said the key is to be completely original,” Cowan recalls. “Don’t do something that people can categorize easily. You want them not to be able to put a label on you. You can be an amazing singer, amazing player, amazing songwriter, but if you sound like something that’s already out there, then you’re not going to get far.”

Cowan clearly took that advice to heart. His Southern Ground debut, Hard Headed, is  winsomely crowd pleasing but unclassifiable—neatly mixing southern rock, country, soul and R&B without being hewing to any single style. Cowan’s gritty, soulful voice—redolent of whiskey, cigarettes and dues paid—completes the package, announcing the arrival of an artist ready for bigger stages.

June 13: Humming House – It’s fitting that a song about Django Reinhardt, the father of gypsy-jazz, kicks off the self-titled debut by Humming House. The band members certainly embrace the gypsy spirit, having come from varied corners of the country with all types of instruments and styles to find each other in Nashville. Out January 17, 2012, and produced by Grammy winning Mitch Dane (Jars of Clay) and Vance Powell (Raconteurs and Buddy Guy) the record reflects other eras – utilizing everything from parlor guitar to clanging electric guitar, viola to B3 organ, and even a singing saw.

The joyous, swing-infectious romp “Gypsy Django” was also the genesis of the band and the album. When coproducer Mitch Dane first heard them play, he cemented their decision to record together by putting them in the studio with his own resources to record that first track. The result was so unmistakably meant to be that plans for the album were undertaken immediately.

Humming House’s mingling of swing, rockabilly, and Irish music, along with clanging electric guitars and surprising lush layers and harmonies, set them apart from growing legions of roots-influenced artists. They have drawn early support from STETSON’s Center Stage, local Nashville radio, and NPR’s All Things Considered.

June 20: Ingram Hill – Memphis-based rock trio Ingram Hill would probably love to have it look as if their latest album, "Look Your Best," was as easy-breezy to create as the lyrics suggest, but lead singer/guitarist Justin Moore says it was made with a great deal of hard work,  determination, and grit.

"I think it felt like we were in a place in our career where we really were going through a stressful time," says Moore of the period after parting ways with their former major label home, Hollywood Records.

"We were trying to get our stuff together, and we spent a lot of time and effort trying to make this as great as possible. It's not like we haven't done that with all of our records, but this one felt like there was a lot more weight on it, on the process of making it. We gave it everything we had. It
seemed like an appropriate title. We were putting on our best for our audience, for our fans."

June 27: Jacob Jeffries Band – Jacob Jeffries is a 23-year-old, gifted pianist that gives a refreshing taste to the music generation of today. He is a singer/songwriter playing all original music alongside drummer, Eric Jackowitz, and lead guitarist, Jimmy Powers V; they are recognized by the way they captivate an audience in their live performance.

Jacob Jeffries started playing the piano at the age of five. By ten he was writing original music, and at the ripe age of 17, Warner Chappell offered him a publishing deal. At age 20, Jacob began recording with Grammy Award-winning producers Sebastian Krys and Dan Warner and haven't stopped working together ever since.

After Jacob won the Florida Grammy Showcase for Best New Artist he continued to stay on the fast track with his career by playing at SXSW, Wanee Music Festival, as well as opening for A-list musicians such as Sugar Ray, Gin Blossoms and Dashboard Confessional.


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