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Lucky Strikes, High Standards at Friday's Concert on the Lawn



Article Published: Jun. 30, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Lucky Strikes, High Standards at Friday's Concert on the Lawn

The Lucky Strikes bring cool jazz and more to the Jones House porch Friday.

Photo by Frank Ruggiero



mtfrontdesk@mountaintimes.com

At least for a few hours on Friday, the Jones House porch will act as a musical time machine.

Those attending the weekly Concert on the Lawn may be transported as far back as 1930, as well as the not-so-distant time of the 1980s.

Boone's Lucky Strikes and High Standards will serve as guides on what should be an enjoyable ride through the Great American Songbook.

"This week is a bit of a departure from what we've had so far at this year's Concert on the Lawn series," Watauga Arts Council folklorist Mark Freed said. "Part of our intent this year was to keep things changed up."

The Lucky Strikes' specialty is cool jazz, but singer, pianist and bassist Jim Fleri said the group plays a wide variety of classic music. "We play timeless tunes, from jazz, blues and swing to Motown and rock 'n' roll," he said.

Concert on the Lawn attendees who find it hard sit still during a performance will have plenty to move around to Friday.

"We seek those particular songs that make people want to dance," Fleri said. "We want to get people out of their lawn chairs."

Also featuring Doug Brantz on guitar and vocals, Steve Roark on saxophone, keyboard and vocals, and Jamie Blanton on drums, the Lucky Strikes have entertained the High Country at numerous public and private performances since 2007.

"We've all performed with different groups at the Jones House, but this is our first time playing there together," Fleri said. "We're looking forward to being a part of this great summer activity."

The High Standards are also making their debut appearance at the Concert on the Lawn. As their name indicates, the five-piece band performs popular American standards.

Like the Lucky Strikes, the High Standards incorporate some contemporary music into their performance.

"We found when we added some music from the last 40 years, people went nuts," said Steve Frank, saxophonist for the group. "We still do a lot of the crooner music, but we're doing more recent music, too."

Susan Frank and Rhonda Smith are keyboardists for the group, while George Barton serves as drummer. Every member of the High Standards sings, guaranteeing a versatile performance.

The concert is free and starts at 5 p.m. at the Jones House Community Center, located at 604 W. King St. in downtown Boone. Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets for the lawn.

Directly following the Concert on the Lawn, the Jones House will open its Mazie Jones and Open Door galleries for the Downtown Boone Art Crawl.

Celebrating its 19th season, the Concerts on the Lawn Series is sponsored by MPrints, Footsloggers, Stick Boy Bread Company, Melanie's Food Fantasy, Mast General Store and the Downtown Boone Development Association.

Next week's event features gypsy jazz from Boone's Swing Guitars and Americana from Katherine Whalen, formerly of the Squirrel Nut Zippers.

For more information, visit http://www.watauga-arts.org.

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