Gainesville gets patriotic with music this weekend

Gainesville's 6th Street Rhythm and Blues Review will play its jump-style blues at the University of Florida's Flavet Field on Saturday. (Courtesy 6th Street Rhythm and Blues Review)

Published: Thursday, July 1, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 at 11:32 a.m.

This past Saturday, the United States was heartbreakingly ousted from the World Cup by Ghana in the first round of the knockout stage.<0x000A> It was a wild ride for soccer fans and American sports fans alike, with all the necessary ingredients for cardiac arrest: last-minute goals, controversial calls and slow starts with fast finishes.<0x000A> Now you may be asking yourself, what does an international soccer tournament have to do with Gainesville music? Well, at the root of it all, nothing. But I think America's gave-it-their-all quest has left our countrymen feeling a little extra patriotic this Fourth of July.

The people of Gainesville, for instance, might be more likely to attend Friday night's "All American Song Fest" at the Bo Diddley Plaza, which will feature various local artists singing songs about America, present and past. The set-list will include songs that have shaped our country's musical landscape by artists such as Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan. There will be traditional folk songs and modern homages to the Stars and Stripes. Typically people are a little weary of listening to music that screams "rah-rah America." But I've noticed an injection of patriotism in everyone since this World Cup started. Fans really believed in the country's soccer team. People went to bars for the games, watched live from their phones and skipped work - all to be a part of the action. So, naturally, I feel like Friday night's concert will be partly an annual celebration of the history of our country, but it also could be a celebration of the pride we felt for those 11 guys who played so hard in South Africa. Songs about our country tend to be more fun to sing when we've got something to be proud of.

At 7 p.m. Saturday, there will be a free concert as part of "Fanfares & Fireworks" at the UF Bandshell, the new and improved UF Bandshell, I might add. Once again, I can't stress enough the things this community does to try and give people free, enjoyable music at great venues. It may be a little hot, but with a blanket or chair and a little moonlight, the bandshell will be a great place to watch some great jump blues and jazz. The 6th Street Rhythm and Blues Review, a band that was voted to represent Central Florida last year at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, will have everyone reelin' and rockin' with their uptempo, Louis Jordan-style blues.

The music is based in the blues, but that's more of a structural reference because there's very little sadness in this music. They make you want to dance, sing and have a good time. Also, neo-jazz artists Hartley Leacock and the Collective Format Band will be performing along with the Gainesville Community band. Come out and enjoy a night under the stars, and check out the new bandshell if you haven't seen it.

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Also taking place this weekend will be The Ex Boogeymen's record-release show at the Atlantic on Saturday night with Waylon Thorton and the Heavy Hands. And the nationally touring punk-band, Off With Their Heads, will be playing the Atlantic on Sunday night. The Minneapolis-based rockers are veterans of local festivals like the Harvest of Hope Festival and The Fest.

Contact Dante Lima at

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