It’s the middle of summer and the living’s easy—and often outdoors, my friends. There’s plenty to do and see around the city this time of year, so you bet it’s a good time for some live music. This month, you can enjoy performances at outdoor events like the Taste of Independence Food Truck Festival & Fireworks along Harrisburg’s waterfront on July 4. And don’t miss Hydroponic Philharmonic for a night on the river on the Pride of the Susquehanna, as well as free performances twice this month at Italian Lake. Here are a few shows around town of the more traditional variety, ones that don’t require a blanket and insect repellent.
SOUTHERN CULTURE ON THE SKIDS, 7/1, 8PM, H*MAC STAGE ON HERR, $25
We’ve got some of that old-fashioned Americana coming your way with this act. Hailing from Chapel Hill, N.C., SCOTS is made up of guitarist/singer Rick Miller, drummer Dave Hartman and bassist/singer Mary Huff. They got their start in the early ‘80s, and they’ve been rocking together ever since. Their sound is a wild gumbo of genres such as psych, rockabilly, folk, R&B and surf, giving audiences what the Rolling Stone calls “a hell raising rock and roll party.” If you’re a fan of new-wave southern folk stylings, this band has got what you’re looking for. Check out their fifth studio album “The Electric Pinecones,” a 2016 release featuring some new hits alongside a remake of their classic song “Swamp Fox.” SCOTS’ shows are infamously rowdy, riotous and rockin’ in the best way, so catch these songwriting spitfires while ya can!
CHRIS RATTIE & THE NEW REBELS, 7/6, 9PM, RIVER CITY BLUES CLUB
Get ready to jam with Chris Rattie and his band the New Rebels at River City, a great place to catch the hottest indie roots acts in the city. In perfect harmony with his band, Rattie combines country influences with Americana sensibilities. Drawing from his central PA roots, he developed his sound as a drummer, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter throughout the years. From slow and sultry southern stylings to foot-stomping and energetic vibes, this band has an extensive playlist to accompany your night out in the Burg. Take a listen to their latest album, “Porch,” for an idea of their diverse and accessible sound. “A Little Shot Glass from Spain” really displays Rattie’s poignant storytelling style and is definitely worth a listen.
JOE JACKSON, 7/17, 8PM, WHITAKER CENTER, $50-80
Mark your calendars and get pumped for this prominent performer to show Harrisburg his years of entertainment experience. Joe Jackson is well-known as a multi-instrumentalist, long mixing new age, punk and jazz sensibilities in with folk and rock. Check out the 1979 release, “Look Sharp!” an album that earned Jackson acclaim as a Rolling Stones selection for “100 Best” debut albums. He recorded his first hit song in 1979 with the spicy single, “Is She Really Going Out With Him?” and, in 1982, achieved top-10 status with “Steppin Out.” But he doesn’t stop there. With 15 recorded albums and five Grammy nominations, Jackson is not only talented but celebrated in the music industry with a lengthy career to match. If you’re looking for a unique night on the town with a true musical master, this performance might have what you need.
Rob Base, July 6, Club XL;
Apes of the State, July 7, The Underground Bike Shop;
A Night of Doom, July 7, J.B. Lovedraft’s;
Sub-Radio, July 8, Italian Lake;
The Redacted, July 14, River City Blues Club;
Run the Willow, July 22, Italian Lake;
Soulsha, July 27, H*MAC Stage on Herr