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KVMR to hold Summer of Love 50th Anniversary Festival
KVMR community radio is presenting its “Summer of Love” festival from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, July 8, at Pioneer Park in Nevada City. Four bands will play more than 50 songs and there will be booths for food, drinks and groovy stuff to buy, a “crash pad” to relax in and special activities for the kids.

The Summer of Love 50th Anniversary concert is a family-friendly event where generations can revel in the music from the summer of 1967. It was a violent time. The Vietnam War was heating up as protestors hit the streets around the country. Race riots ignited in more than 100 U.S. cities. A half-million American soldiers were in harms way.

But all that chaos spawned an amazing counter-revolution of music. The psychedelic sound of San Francisco bands like the Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead, the crossover of rhythm ‘n’ blues led by artists like Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding, the release of the Beatles Sgt. Pepper album and the continued British Invasion, all coalesced into what became “The Summer of Love.”

KVMR has lined up local and regional groups, headlined by the Sgt Funky band, to play five hours of psychedelic, rock, old-school R&B and folk.

No Hands Bridge, an acoustic folk-rock duo from Nevada City, opens the festival. Andy Witek and Diane McIntire, on guitars and vocals, have been playing at local venues and for private parties since 2005.

Jupiter’s Child, a quartet from the greater Sacramento area, will perform songs by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Joe Cocker, Steppenwolf, Eric Burdon and the Animals, and the Youngbloods. They will also bring on special guest Sue Legate who will perform two songs by Janis Joplin.

The band includes Waylin Carpenter, known for his fiery guitar pyrotechnics as a member of Steel Breeze that toured nationally with Hall and Oates and The Who; Larry Casserly, a bassist, promoter and KVMR broadcaster; Leo Boots, a guitar stalwart within the Sacramento-based blues music scene; and drummer Paul Wells, a studio player throughout Northern California.

Next up is Love Train, a husband-wife team of Jonathan Lyerly on guitar and Karel Hendee on bass playing a high energy set of old-school rhythm ‘n’ blues songs, complete with a horn section. They also form the vocal and rhythmic core of the Sgt Funky band and play with a number of acoustic bands. Lyerly is a photographer and also plays guitar with Jimi Accardi’s Action Zone, while Hendee plays electric and upright bass, banjo and guitar. She also gardens, dances and creates artwork.

Headlining the Summer of Love will be Sgt Funky, a six-member rock band specializing in psychedelic, British Invasion, and the “San Francisco sound” of bands like the Jefferson Airplane, and It’s a Beautiful Day. The band has played throughout the region for nearly 10 years, most recently with the DeadBeats at the Miners Foundry Mardi Gras party, and has performed at all the major local venues.

For Sgt Funky, Lyerly will switch to his very far out “Fillmore poster” drum set, while Hendee will stay on precision bass. They will be joined on keys by Marty Dinwiddie a classically trained musician who has been with the band from the beginning, Michael Bremer, on electric “acid” banjo and guitar who also plays acoustic banjo with Buffalo Gals and other old-timey bands, and Tristan Berlund on vocals and harp, a retired conservation biologist who now spends time playing in the band, gardening and going on adventures. Lead guitarist Michael Young will strap on a 1961 Fender Jaguar electric guitar with a contingent of “stomp box” sounds to bring back those early days of psychedelic. The band will be joined by go-go dancers and a light show.

KVMR FM89.5 (KVMR.org) is the premier station in the greater Sacramento area for music that listeners won’t find on commercial stations.

“We play an eclectic range of music from the obscure and independent to old school and contemporary hits,” said Adela Wilcox, KVMR board member and festival organizer. “It only makes sense that some of our best broadcasters who were around during the Summer of Love bring us their renditions of the timeless pieces that defined a generation.

“We encourage everyone to dress in their favorite tie-dye or other hippie outfits. We will have henna, astrology readings, tie dye, and handcrafts available for purchase.”

Tickets for the event are $10 and available at the gate. Flower children 15 and under are free, and Vietnam veterans are half price.

The event is a benefit for KVMR’s building fund. The four-level building attached to the nearby Nevada Theatre in Nevada City contains radio studios, a community room, offices and the theater’s backstage.
Completed just three years ago, it has already become a landmark for its gold-rush-era exterior filled inside with modern radio technology.

“All the producers and musicians at the ‘Summer of Love’ are performing either for free or at a reduced rate to keep the ticket price down,” said Julie Chiarelli, KVMR general manager. “It’ll be a chance to meet your favorite KVMR broadcasters, staff, volunteers and board members.

It’s a family affair so bring the kids and grandkids,” she said. “There’s plenty of room to roam, toss a Frisbee or organize a baseball game.

Bring the family. Tell your friends.”
Photo by Johnathan Lyerly
Sgt Funky, a rock band specializing in psychedelic, British Invasion and the “San Francisco sound,” will headline the Summer of Love festival on July 8 in Nevada City.