The annual summer affair is programmed by Castle Music Store owner Jamie Castle, who said this year’s lineup relies heavily on the acoustic side. However, there are a few surprises that he hopes will keep audiences entertained. Funcoast.com talked to Castle about the Norwalk Summer Concert Series and its growing popularity.
Funcoast.com: What is the Norwalk Summer Concert Series?
Jamie Castle: It’s the free Norwalk Summer Concert Series. This is our sixth year. It’s every Wednesday throughout the summer with the exception of Huron County Fair week, which is Aug. 14. All together there will 11 shows, absolutely topnotch talent that is easy to listen to and family friendly. There’s free popcorn, a 50/50 raffle and we’ve got water and pop and chips. Plus there’s lots of room to roam around.
Funcoast.com: How has the event changed over the years?
Jamie Castle: I don’t know that it’s really changed much. The talent changed, of course, but the original idea was to have a very family-friendly concert series. Something that anybody with small kids can come out with a blanket or chair and just listen to some good quality music. Nothing that’s going to be offensive. That was the original goal and that’s what we stuck to. It’s always good, easy-listening music.
Funcoast.com: What kind of attendance turns up for the Norwalk Summer Concert Series?
Jamie Castle: The first three or four years it absolutely grew a lot. The last few years it’s been steady. It’s depending on weather, but usually we get from 300 to 600 people. We had a really hot summer last year so there were a couple of times they couldn’t bring up seniors or small children.
Funcoast.com: Taking a look at this year’s schedule, what shows standout?
Jamie Castle: The Womack Family Band on July 10. They’re kind of a classic pop-rock, even jazz-influenced band. I think they’re the best band in Norwalk. They’re a fantastic group, just really good musicians and really good. There is nothing against green mohawks and punk bands, but the Womack Family Band is easy to look at, easy to digest and easy to listen to. Also, Acoustic Scotty is another singer-songwriter acoustic guy who is really well liked around the area. He does a lot of shows, and he’s fantastic. He plays in August.
Funcoast.com: Looking at the lineup, is there one show that’s different from the rest?
Jamie Castle: This year for us it’s probably the North Coast Concert & Big Band on July 31. We never had anything like that at our concert series. There will be 30 to 40 pieces out there as far as band members. They’ll have a drummer and brass and woodwinds.
Funcoast.com: It sounds like no matter who is playing, earplugs aren’t required.
Jamie Castle: No, never. I want this to be nice good sounding and not overpowering concert series. There’s no mosh pit.
The Norwalk Summer Concert Series Grand Finale takes place at 6:30 p.m. at the Norwalk Reservoir Shelter No. 4 on Old State Road in Norwalk. Audience members are encouraged to bring a chair. Here’s a look at this year’s schedule:
June 12 – Sandtown
June 19 - Dan Robertson
June 26 - Matt Kean & Friends
July 3 - Jam Bone
July 10 - The Womack Family Band
July 17 - Jason James
July 23 - Jimmy Bilgen 50's & 60's Classic Music Special Guest - Dan Clark
July 31 - North Coast Concert & Big Band
Aug 7 - Acoustic Scotty
Aug 21- The grand finale with various artists playing two songs with house band Womack Family Band