Dan Stevens and his Fiery Band conclude summer concert series

By Kitty LeShay - ReminderNews
Stafford - posted Thu., Aug. 18, 2011
Glenn Hardy, on keyboard, and F Sharp, on washboard, play a number together during the final concert of the summer series. Photos by Kitty LeShay.
Glenn Hardy, on keyboard, and F Sharp, on washboard, play a number together during the final concert of the summer series. Photos by Kitty LeShay.

The Stafford Arts Commission has once again showcased a varied and talented group of artists in its summer concert series. “I look for quality and unique performers,” said Georgia Michalec, chair of the commission.

The Fiery Band more than fit her criteria. Dan Stevens, on slide guitar, was joined by Chris Damato on guitar, Plunt White on harmonica, Glenn Hardy on keyboard, and F Sharp on drums at the Aug. 14 concert held at the community center.

Stevens sang many original pieces he wrote, as well as songs by Johnny Cash, the Mills Brothers, Elvis Presley and Arlo Guthrie. Hardy played a solo Scott Joplin on keyboard. The pieces represented the American music experience of blues, early jazz, swing, roots and country. Interspersed among songs were personal stories told by Stevens.

Stevens has played with Livingston Taylor, Arlo Guthrie, Charlie Daniels, and Richie Havens, and has been greatly influenced by Mississippi Fred McDowell. “He was a big influence on me, as he was on Bonnie Raitt,” Stevens said. He often tours alone. “I’m by myself a lot because I am often out of state, and some of the players with me tonight are in other bands,” he said.

Stafford is a familiar place to Stevens, who has played in coffeehouses and has offered a workshop on how to play slide guitar.

“Dan has been a huge help to me in promoting musicians for our concert series,” Michalec said. She is already thinking about next year. “We will invite some of the same people back, along with some new musicians. We have a bank of artists we can call on for performing and recommendations,” she said.

The general attendance of the concerts is from 80 to 100 people and is held at Heritage Park in good weather. The commission welcomes everyone to attend. “Art is about encouraging the imagination and thinking outside the box. The more people we can reach, the better,” Michalec said.

“When cultures are remembered, it isn’t business and the economy, but the great works of art which define the times,” added Chris White, a long-time friend of the commission.


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