Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Musical Notes: Mature May

Joan Osborne. Photograph by Jeff Fasano.

Ah, springtime in Harrisburg, and the bees aren’t the only thing buzzing around here. We’ve got a lot of events and entertainment for you this month. So, it’s time, dear readers, for you to choose your own adventure.

If you’re looking for lively and local talent, CASA is hosting its annual live show on May 23, featuring junior and senior performances and sharing a theme, “Revolutions: A Lifetime on Repeat.” If a more traditional but still free festival is your thing, Dauphin County Parks and Rec’s Garden Faire on May 5 promises outdoor fun at Fort Hunter, featuring plants and art for sale, as well as music, food, games and more.

If you’re looking to get nostalgic, XL Live is bringing the “Saved by the ‘90s” interactive dance party to the Burg on May 11 with period cover bands, a DJ and costumes. This month, we also feature an extra show below. So, whatever your plans may be, join us in celebrating yet another busy season of songs. Cheers!

Part of the Harrisburg University Concert Series, the new “Music and Vines” lineup features singer-songwriters and focuses on pairing wine with intimate sets by well-known acoustic artists. Hot on the tail of a new EP, “Self-Titled,” Gabriel Kelley is first up, gracing the Greystone Public House for what is sure to be a moving performance. If you have love for some southern roots, this may be the show for you. If you’re looking for a night on the town with some class, this may be the venue for you. If you missed Kelley when he opened for Marcus King at Club XL, this your second chance to catch a performance by this talented musician.

Another musical powerhouse is coming to Whitaker Center, performing the works of one of the most iconic musicians of our time. Joan Osborne shines as a vocalist, tackling and interpreting the lyrically rich songs of Bob Dylan. As a dedicated artist, Osborne became familiar with his works in 2016 while performing two residencies titled “Joan Osborne Sings The Songs of Bob Dylan” at Cafe Carlyle in New York City. Cutting straight to the heart with Dylan’s moving songs and her rich voice, this seven-time, Grammy-nominated and multi-platinum chanteuse is sure to dazzle even the most ardent Dylan fan.

SAVOY BROWN, 5/23, 7PM, XL LIVE, $10-15
If you can never get enough blues, XL Live is bringing what you need. Savoy Brown is an early British blues band that helped to launch the blues movement in the United Kingdom. Their memorable music is credited, in part, in bringing about the ‘70s British rock revolution. Founded by guitarist Kim Simmonds, the band has been through a few lineup changes over the years, but maintains their classic sound. Fun fact: their name came from an American blues label, Savoy Records, and they added “Brown” because members thought that the plainness of the word would balance out the elegance of “Savoy,” better describing their Chicago blues-sounding music.

We’re giving you a special, early head’s up for this epic showstopper, a must-attend for fans of early rock. The “Legendary Performers of Doo-Wop, Soul and Rock N’ Roll” stops by the Scottish Rite auditorium in Uptown Harrisburg, and headlining the event is the insanely talented Bobby Brooks Wilson, son of famous soul singer Jackie Wilson. What a story! Sent out for adoption as a child, Bobby Wilson later discovered his parentage after he had an established career as a Wilson tribute singer in Las Vegas. Sample his soulful sounds as well as appearances by the Duprees, Charlie Thomas’ Drifters and the Classics. It’s a real treat to get this kind of music in Harrisburg, and now that Flagship Productions has teamed up with Scottish Rite and Zembo, expect more amazing shows in the future.


The Clarks, May 3, The Abbey Bar;
Bowie Live—The Ultimate David Bowie Tribute, May 4, XL Live;
The Hollow Roots, May 4, H*MAC Stage on Herr;
Hold Fast, May 4, River City Blues Club;
Marco Benevento, May 11, The Abbey Bar;
Don Johnson Project, May 11, River City Blues Club;
Hands Like Houses, May 16, H*MAC Capitol Room;
Josh Krevsky, May 16, Greystone Public House

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