Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Musical Notes: Leap Year Listen

Some of you might have noticed that this month is pretty special.

February features an extra day for leap year, adding the 29th to end the month. I re-learned recently the reason for this—the sun takes six extra hours, on top of our usual 365 days, to make a full revolution each year. So, this extra day is added every four years to realign the calendar with Earth’s period of orbital revolution.

That had me thinking about realignment in general and how to better organize myself and my routines for the coming spring. Naturally, it also had me thinking that an extra day of the month means more opportunities for music events.

One special event that caught my eye is a showing of the silent film, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” at St. Stephen’s Cathedral on Feb. 22. This collaboration with local favorites Midtown Cinema is a part of the “Music by the River” series and features conductor/music educator Peter Krasinski on the organ, providing the film with live improvisational organ. In addition, popular alt-rock group Citizen Cope is coming back to the Burg to play at Whitaker Center on Feb. 16, having just played back in July.

You’d best believe we have more music to ring in the leap year, so dive in and see what’s going on in February.

I may have mentioned this before, but my parents raised me on classic rock and a lot of Pink Floyd, so this show sounds extra exciting to me. Echoes is a 10-musician act with a great passion for the music of the legendary band. Setting out to create the ultimate experience for fans, Echoes was built to highlight Pink Floyd’s unique vocals, harmonies and killer instrumental solos. Everything is covered, such as the vocal solo on “The Great Gig in the Sky,” the ringing clocks on “Time,” the screaming guitar on “Echoes,” and the barking dog on “Seamus.” No sound is left out, and no corners are cut. The show promises to be one heck of a live performance with recreated sound effects, video content and a light show to boot. However, the band wants to emphasize that its focus is on the quality of the music. “Light shows and videos are great, but Pink Floyd is first and foremost about music,” says the band on their Facebook page. “If the music isn’t performed well with energy and passion, no amount of lights and lasers will help.” Hear and experience that passion at the stunning Scottish Rite Cathedral.

Bluegrass and folk have made their way back into my musical repertoire lately, and this band is perfect for someone also looking for that fix. This group, hailing from Duluth, Minn., is made up of Dave Simonett on guitar/lead vocals/harmonica, Tim Saxhaug on bass, Dave Carroll on banjo, Erik Berry on mandolin, Ryan Young on fiddle and Eamonn McLain on cello. Apart from lead vocalist Simonett, the rest of the band adds backup vocals, providing a vivid, folksy soundscape. People may know their song “Wildflowers” or “Wait So Long,” but check out their newest EP released earlier in 2019, “Sigourney Fever.” Not only is it a great album name, but the music’s pretty great too.

Whitaker Center is bringing more soul to Harrisburg with their “Unscripted Jazz Series,” meant to showcase iconic music. This iteration features the music of Nina Simone with killer vocals and instrumentalists to commemorate this musical idol. Vocalist Carol Riddick and bassist Gerald Veasley head up the ensemble for an evening of vibrant musical energy. Titled “I Got Life,” this powerful celebration explores four parts of Simone’s songbook: quest, passion, fury and hope. Messages that held true back then speak to our current generation through Simone’s passionate and hopeful lyrics, performed honestly and with great appreciation by Riddick. This moving musical show has sold out all over the country, so don’t miss it while you have the chance.


All Time Low, Feb. 1, XL Live
Misterwives, Feb. 7, XL Live
Lovers of Music, Feb. 8, River City Blues Club
Jazz is Phish, Feb. 8, The Abbey Bar
Switch Fu, Feb. 15, Midtown Tavern
Valentine’s Day Bloodbath, Feb. 15, J.B. Lovedraft’s
Citizen Cope, Feb. 16, Whitaker Center
The Sweet Life, Feb. 22, H*MAC Stage on Herr
Knitebitch, Feb. 22, The Abbey Bar
“The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” Feb. 22, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Cathedral
Wesley Stace: A Tribute to John Wesley Harding, Feb. 23, Note Bistro

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