It’s springtime in Harrisburg, which means that our hearts warm and our passions reignite. This applies equally in our musical lives. This month, I’ve selected bands that, while differing in genres, share a depth and a passion that show in their music. Be sure to check them out, returning some of the love they offer so abundantly.
JON MCLAUGHLIN, 4/6, 7:30PM, WHITAKER CENTER, $25-35
Pop music is a genre I don’t recommend all that often, but this show promises to be a treat. Jon McLaughlin is an Indiana native who is currently based out of Nashville, the home of some of the nation’s best songwriters. He released his first album, “Indiana,” in 2007, has performed with acts such as Billy Joel and Adele, collaborated and co-written with Sara Bareilles and Demi Lovato, and even performed at the Academy Awards in 2008. His piano playing and singing have evolved over the years, in a career he continues passionately today. This is an artist with a lot of soul to share with his audiences in an intimate setting. If you want to listen to something before the performance, check out his single “Summer is Over” featuring Sara Bareilles on vocals and piano. You can’t deny that it’s catchy.
COLEBROOK ROAD, 4/7, 7:30PM, HARRISBURG SCOTTISH RITE, $15
I first saw Colebrook Road years ago at a bar just outside of Harrisburg with my bluegrass-loving dorm floormates, back before I had moved to Harrisburg. I was initially hesitant to go since I had decided beforehand that I didn’t enjoy bluegrass music. Much to my surprise and pleasure, these guys had an infectious sound that had me dancing by the evening’s end. Even if you think that bluegrass isn’t your thing, Colebrook Road will delight you with their upbeat traditional style and lively performances. Over the years, this band has won “best-of” awards at numerous bluegrass festivals and contests all around the mid-Atlantic region. Or just take it from me—you won’t be disappointed if you attend this show.
SEMPRE DOLCE: A NIGHT OF CHAMBER MUSIC, 4/28, 7:30PM, H*MAC STAGE ON HERR, $10
Back in the day, I used to play flute. I enjoyed playing with an ensemble and creating meaningful and beautiful music with them. So, I’m looking forward to a night of chamber music at H*MAC with Sempre Dolce. This five-piece out of Harrisburg is still relatively new, but, in a short time, they’ve performed widely, creating a buzz. Those who have seen Sempre Dolce speak of their sweet music and passionate, poignant performances. I recently discovered their cover of the opening music for the television show “Game of Thrones,” and, as a fan of the show, I loved the soulful strings and their unique interpretation of the theme. Before the concert, check out their music on Bandcamp, and you may discover the classical sounds you’ve been missing in your life.
Nashville Unplugged, April 5, Whitaker Center
Mountain Road, April 7, H*MAC Stage on Herr
Frenchy and the Punk, April 11, The Abbey Bar
Sweet Maple Singers, April 13, H*MAC Stage on Herr
And The Kids, April 19, H*MAC Stage on Herr
Dr. Slothclaw & Goose, April 20, The Abbey Bar
Bubba Sparxxx, April 27, H*MAC Capitol Room