If you’re not yet familiar with downtown Lancaster’s Music Friday tradition, tonight is as good a time as ever to get out and hear the music. Held the third Friday of every month, the city’s corridors, cafes and concert halls swell with a variety of acts – from local musicians on up to nationally touring artists – offering a mostly free (some venues require tickets) chance to immerse yourself in live music.
While we wholeheartedly advise you make your way around town and experience as much of it as you can, here are five performances you really shouldn’t miss:
PitchBlak Brass Band (w/opener Joy Ike)
Playing: Tellus360 (24 East King Street)
Time: 7 p.m. doors/8 p.m. music
Cost: $5 at the door
There’s been an eruption of big brass in town, but let’s be clear here: PitchBlack Brass Band does not a traditional brass band make. Hailing from Brooklyn, the 10-piece band offers an eclectic look at the artistic diversity for which the NYC borough is now known. Blending hip-hop and horns – no sample tracks here, folks… real horns! – for a truly cultural experience. More info here.
Playing: Fly Magazine’s very own stage at
the entrance to Steinman Park (20 West King Street) Update: outside Spring House Taproom
Time: 6-8 p.m.
The Elizabethtown-based singer-songwriter has made quite a name for himself on the merit of his slick guitar playing and soulful voice. Think The Police meets Jack Johnson meets Graceland-era Paul Simon meets Stevie Wonder. Yeah. We recommend snagging a seat outside at the Spring House Taproom across the street.
Playing: Court House steps (51 East King Street)
Time: 6-8 p.m.
Heart-on-your-sleeve lyrics abound when singer-songwriter Ben Rothermel gets behind the mic. Whether in a cafe, intimate house concert or on stage – it doesn’t matter. He’s got the ability to go from whisper to a soulful howl and back again without hardly any effort at all. Those Court House steps will provide a nice little seat to catch an amazing songwriter take his craft to the streets, raw and unrefined.
Playing: Binns Park (100 block North Queen Street)
Time: 6-8 p.m.
The rowdy, bearded troubadour and former Green Onions member is looking a little less bearded these days, but that hasn’t affected Corty Byron‘s gristly approach to classic rock-infused Americana. Or, as he calls it, “indie psychedelic swamp hook rock.” The man carries a barroom effortlessly on his own, so you can only imagine what he’s capable with the full band on stage with him.
You! (Or, whoever is playing one of the Keys for the City pianos)
Playing: All around town (click here for a map)
Time: Through the end of September
Now in its fourth year, the Keys for the City exhibit – the brainchild of non-profit Music For Everyone – has once again decked out the downtown section of the Red Rose City with a bevy of upright pianos. Each is sponsored by a local business and dolled up by a local artist, resulting in a unique landscape of art and music. You never know who you’ll find tickling the ivories; here’s a video of Pittsburgh singer-songwriter Joy Ike – who is coincidentally performing tonight at Tellus360 (see above) – playing a little ditty.
Heading downtown? Who are you going to see? Give us your picks in the comments section. Click here for the full schedule.