The cool green lawn, shade trees and covered stage in the Phelan Park provided everything audience members and musicians needed for an enjoyable concert last Sunday evening. As Phelan Chamber of Commerce President Charlie Johnson welcomed the audience of several hundred, he was spot-on in declaring the success of the 1st Annual Concert in the Park, presented by the Chamber, would undoubtedly create the momentum for future Fourth of July celebrations.
The event featured three hours of music from the High Desert band “Caliente” with beverages and smoothies prepared by Maui Wowi, and delicious barbequed entrees grilled by Up In Smoke BBQ. While most adults were content to enjoy the music from their lawn chairs, teenagers who became restless played basketball and smaller children headed for the swings and playground equipment.
Congratulations go the Phelan Pinon Hills Community Services District for years of planning in developing the park, which contained elements for all ages and clear lines of sight for parents to monitor their children. Everyone had their own space, the music could be heard everywhere, and occasionally all ages joined together to dance on the lawn.
Musicians in the band Caliente included Elisa Urmston on lead vocals and percussions, Chris Urmston on keyboards, trumpet and vocals, Demetrius Staten on vocals and percussion, and Satoshi Kirisawa playing drums. Musical selections included plenty of rhythm & blues, top-40 hits, Latin, hip-hop dance music and an occasional big band favorite.
The concert began with Elisa singing the Fleetwood Mac song Dreams with crisp and strong vocals. As the sun backlit her purple shawl that billowed in the wind, the visual image was much like Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac. Following that, Demetrius sang lead vocals for the R&B classic I’ll Be Around by The Spinners and Patsy Cline’s Walking Past Midnight while Elisa and Chris sang vocal harmonies.
After several more songs, the set ended with Chris singing the Kurt Weill/Bertolt Brecht classic Mack The Knife. Although this writer grew up with the Bobby Darin version, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett introduced older folks to the song. For his performance Chris chose to emulate Armstrong with a raspy jazzy voice, while Satoshi delivered a pronounced drumbeat.
Highlights for the remainder of the concert included many more dance tunes with Demetrius singing lead vocals and Elisa playing Congo drums as kids frolicked and danced to the pulsating beat. Overall, the one song that resonated with adults was Chris singing You Make Me Feel So Young by Frank Sinatra.
The 1st Annual Concert in the Park was sponsored by McDonalds of Phelan, Mills Hardware, Phelan Express, Pizza Factory, Tri-Community Kiwanis Club, The McNamara Group, and Tri-Community News Plus.
Red Barn Opry Thrills Audience
By Michael Palecki
Following a hiatus in 2015, Red Barn Opry returned to Wrightwood last Saturday evening with three dynamic musical acts and tumultuous applause from the large crowd of music fans. Produced by David & Madelyn Cimino to promote appreciation for country and bluegrass music, the concert was held in the red barn, Wilkensville Theatre, at the rustic Americana complex created by John Wilkens.
After members of Boy Scout Troup 351 presented the American Flag and led the Pledge of Allegiance, famous rock and roll drummer Cimino acknowledged his wife Madelyn and commented “She turned me onto country music at the Palomino Club in North Hollywood.”
Cimino introduced Wrightwood musician Brittan Egnozzi who opened the concert with crisp vocals and guitar playing, performing Trisha Yearwood’s She’s In Love With The Boy. After that, Egnozzi sang her own composition entitled High Heels, I Feel Lucky. Continuing with a song she learned as a child from her mom, she sang Midnight Girl/Sunset Town, written by Don Schitz for the Sweet Hearts Of The Rodeo album. The set also included songs from Janis Joplin, Kenny Loggins and Gordon Lightfoot.
In the second set, a band called High-D Boys mixed folk, country and theatrical music with four part vocal harmonies and standup comedy dialogue. Musicians included Robert Blomker on lead vocals, Phil Clevinger on washtub bass/trumpet/bassoon, Mike Kelly on banjo, and Dan Reyes playing guitar.
The set began with Louis Prima’s Jump Jive An’ Wail featuring a boisterous and syncopated vocal introduction followed by a lively washtub bass solo. After that, When The Saints Go Marching In was punctuated with mid song vocal scatting and harmonies. In a mood of farcical, Clevinger played trumpet for Summertime while Blomker sang in a melodramatic falsetto voice to a calypso beat. Johnny Cash’s Fulsome Prison Blues careened off the tracks when the lyrics “I hear that lonesome whistle…” morphed into the Beatles Can’t Buy Me Love. The audience was delighted and High-D Boys are a must see act when they perform in Apple Valley and the Inland Empire.
Concluding the 2016 Red Barn Opry, the Wimberley Blue Grass Band totally amazed music fans with their impeccable musicianship and dynamic interpretation of traditional standards, as well as original bluegrass compositions. Forming the band were college age siblings Mark Wimberley on acoustic guitar, older sister Danielle on mandolin, younger brother Michael on fiddle and twin brother James on banjo, with everyone singing.
Highlights from the set of 20 songs, which were all played with flawless precision and frenetic energy, so much so that James broke a banjo string and Michael frayed his fiddle strings, would be an exercise in long running script.
There were covers of Glen Campbell’s Gentle On My Mind and The Dillards’ song There Was A Time, and an awesome fiddle solo for Rocky Top and “Orange Blossom Special. The Wimberleys performed Mark’s originals, A Few Miles Down The Road and My Chevy Truck And Me, and East Texas Rain and Saddleback Hill written by Michael with Mark.
There were also songs of the late Dr. Ralph Stanley and Buddy Holly. The audience favorite for a standing ovation was the Bob Wills song My Window Faces The South. Go To www.wimberleybluegrassband.com for additional information on these talented musicians.
Golden State Water adjusts conservation standards Wrightwood customers
Golden State Water Company (Golden State Water) today announced an adjusted conservation standard for customers served by Mountain-Desert District, including Wrightwood, water systems. Effective immediately, customers may water outdoor landscapes up to three days per week, and state-issued conservation mandates have been replaced with a 20 percent voluntary reduction target.
The adjusted conservation standard permits local addresses ending in an even number (0, 2, 4, 6, 8) to water on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday; odd addresses (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) may water landscapes on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. All outdoor irrigation must occur before 8 am or after 7 pm, and should not exceed 10 minutes per station. Restrictions do not apply for trees or edible vegetation watered solely by drip or microspray systems.
“Our customers have done a tremendous job reducing water use during this drought, and we encourage our communities to remain diligent with their conservation efforts,” said Perry Dahlstrom, General Manager of the Mountain-Desert District for Golden State Water. “It’s important that we keep our existing conservation momentum, as the state will likely consider new conservation regulations in 2017. While some parts of the state received much-needed relief from dry conditions during the winter and spring months, California remains in a drought emergency and we must make efficient water use a way of life to protect our state’s vulnerable water supplies.”
Additionally, customers are reminded that the following practices that waste potable water are prohibited in California, per Governor Jerry Brown’s Executive Order issued on May 9, 2016:
• Hosing off sidewalks, driveways and other hardscapes.
• Washing a motor vehicle with a hose, unless the hose is fitted with a shut-off nozzle.
• Operating a fountain or decorative water feature, unless the water is part of a recirculating system.
• Watering outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes excess runoff, or within 48 hours following measurable precipitation.
• Irrigation with potable water of ornamental turf on public street medians.
Please visit gswater.com for additional information on local conservation standards, drought updates and conservation resources, or call Golden State Water’s 24-hour Customer Service Center at 800-999-4033. Customers can follow Golden State Water on Twitter @GoldenStateH2O for real-time information about the drought and local water service.
Fresh produce grant benefits growers, shoppers
By Terri Hill
Rowena McDermott, of Moonstruck Farms and the Phelan Farmers Market announced that the market Match Grant program has been a great success. “The growth is four digit percentage points,” Rowena reported in an email at the end of June.
Market Match is California’s healthy food incentive program, which matches customers’ federal nutrition assistance benefits, like CalFresh and WIC, at farmers’ markets.
McDermott commented, “Farm-fresh veggies and fruits are available to members of the community who might not otherwise be able to afford them. The community gets healthier and the local farms benefit as well.”
Phelan Farmers Market is held each Monday, 2pm-6pm at the Phelan Community Center.
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