SEWELL, N.J. – Music lovers will have a chance to catch a wide sampling of new and original tunes from local singer-songwriters at the Gloucester County Songwriter Concert at the James G. Atkinson Memorial Park on Saturday, July 27th, beginning at 1:00 p.m.
When the County decided to bring back songwriter concerts three years ago, they created this concert and then paired it with their yearly Water Fest event. Since it was so well received, this year they made it a stand-alone event to showcase a larger group of artists.
“The County recognizes the talent and dedication necessary to write and perform original material,” Freeholder Jim Lavender Liaison to the Department of Parks and Recreation said. “Far too often these artists do not get the exposure that local cover bands receive. This concert is an opportunity to give those hard working songwriters some much-needed exposure.”
The songwriters were selected by the recreation program department after they visited several local open mic nights. They chose performers who they found had shown something special in their musicianship and songwriting, and that they believed county residents would enjoy.
One of those selected performers, Steve LoCastro, a singer-songwriter from Wenonah, sees such a concert as unifying the whole community. “Getting people together to celebrate local music is therapeutic for the whole community. Writers get their songs heard, and the crowd engages with raw, local, creative expression,” LoCastro said.
Freeholder Lavender believes the concert offers opportunities not only for the singer-songwriters themselves, but for everyone. “Original music is at the core of all music,” he said. “Every hit song was original music at one point. This is a great opportunity for residents of Gloucester County to discover a new local band or musician that they can continue to follow at other local venues.”
Performer Richie Green of Pitman, who has been writing music for nearly 20 years, says a concert like this one gives him a reason to play; however, it’s mostly about the people.
“I enjoy sharing my songs with folks,” Green said.
LoCastro agrees. “I look forward to seeing the people: friends, family, and fellow songwriters. It’s good to rub elbows with the people you care about,” he said.
Concertgoers can expect to hear a variety of musical genres and styles.
“Whether you like pop, country, spoken word, there will be a little for everyone in this show. It is mostly an acoustic concert but we also have a digital/synthesizer performer and some electric guitar performers,” Freeholder Lavender said.
Along with LoCastro and Green, the concert features Chris Nuhfer, Mike Perpetuino, Kara Ferguson, Blue Frances, Country Earl Arnold, Uncan, Dave Armor & Ron Lange, and Caroline Smith.
Atkinson Park is located at 138 Bethel Mill Rd., Sewell. The rain date for the concert is July 28th at 1:00 p.m.