Carmi rock bands past and present will converge on Burrell Park Saturday, June 28, 2014 for the Burrell’s Woods Boogie, the first of what promises to be a series of concerts to be held at the park. There will be five hours of live music beginning at 5 p.m., as well as cash prizes for hula hooping, frisbee tossing, a dance contest and cornhole tournament. You’re invited to bring a picnic, beverages, lawn chairs, blankets, mosquito spray – anything you need for summer fun.
According to Todd Atteberry, who is helping to organize the event, the idea came from a reunion with his high school band for this year’s Alumni One-Niter. “Back in high school, when we’d practice the police would inevitably come and shut us down, and the mayor finally told us to go out to Burrell’s Woods to practice, which we did. While rehearsing for the One Niter, somebody floated the idea of going out to Burrell’s Woods and playing, I asked Mayor Pollard who basically said ‘go for it.'”
“I moved from Carmi about 1990, and came back about four years ago and I got to wondering, where did all the music go? When I left Carmi there was typically at least one live band playing three nights a week. And now there’s basically nothing, except the local civic groups drag poor Rob Endicott over here to play a few times a year, and there’s music at Corn Day and a few other weekends.”
Luckily there are still several of those same musicians living in or near Carmi, and itching for a chance to play, particularly in a non-bar setting. Over the course of a couple of weeks, eleven musicians offered to volunteer their time and talents.
Mark Doane, now a pastor and living in Centralia, Illinois says “Carmi is the town that really gave me my start in life…As a musician and as a pastor. I have lots of good memories of Carmi and this jam will be a way of connecting old friends and new friends…old memories with new.”
Atteberry continues, “I guess the point of it all is most of us got into music from seeing bands perform in Carmi at one time or another, and the older guys gave the youngsters a hand in getting started. We’ve got all ages covered, from 12 years old to guys in their sixties. If there’s no music, no chance for kids to see a rock band, there isn’t the inspiration for the kids to start their own. And let’s face it, being in a band is about the most fun you can have legally.”
Donations will be accepted for Carmi’s Bicentennial. Atteberry, a member of the Bicentennial Committee said “when Carmi was founded I’m pretty sure there was a celebration of some sort, and as we were a fairly new town at that point, you can bet that it was a celebration that came from the people. I’ve always been amazed at how generous musicians are with their time, whether it was in 1970 or 1870, and in a lot of ways, music is what helps form a community and hold it together. The committee wants the celebration to be community driven, so we thought we’d step up to the plate first.”
The fun will start with Mark Witherspoon’s bluesy group The Recliners at 5:00. About six will be the dulcet metalish tones of Amputee, with Mike Naney, Kip Russell and Shawn Karnes. At seven is psychedelia from the Friday Night Drifters, with Todd Lane, Todd Atteberry and Teelin Atteberry. Mark Doane joins the Todds as Starfire for a set of hard rock seventies style about 7:45. Around 8:30 the whole gaggle convenes as The House Band, playing who knows what.
Additional concerts are being scheduled through October of this year, including:
- July, Jazz Night
- August, Youth Jam sponsored by the Carmi League of Arts and being organized by Luke Nelson.
- September, Unplugged Night featuring local musicians playing acoustic.
- October, Traditional Irish Dance Music, performed by a group of musicians from Indiana and Illinois.
If you’re interested in helping sponsor the concerts, contact Todd Atteberry at email@example.com. In addition to cash for prizes, food, drinks, frisbees and hula hoops will be gratefully accepted.