FREEPORT — Blues Traveler and The Wallflowers will be in concert in Maine this summer.
So will Patty Loveless and Asleep at the Wheel.
Not at the Cumberland County Civic Center or the Androscoggin Bank Colisee for half the week’s grocery bill.
These acts and others will perform at L.L. Bean, for free. That’s right, no admission charge.
It’s part of L.L. Bean’s outdoor Summer Concert Series beginning at 7:30 p.m. every Saturday at Bean’s Discovery Park, not far from the big boot.
The series kicks off this Saturday with jazz artist Madeleine Peyroux, a national singer and songwriter on her third album, “Bare Bones.”
Peyroux has what’s been described as a “smoke-and-whiskey” style of singing comparable to Billie Holiday. Peyroux performs some of her songs as well as classics by Bessie Smith and Patsy Cline.
Asked how and why L.L. Bean brings the acts free to Freeport, company spokesman Greg Tucker was modest.
“We feel it’s worthwhile to provide this kind of service for the community,” Tucker said. He declined to say how much the concerts cost L.L. Bean, just that there is a cost, and that L.L. Bean is trying to set Freeport apart as a spot that brings together locals and tourists.
This year is the 11th season L.L. Bean has offered the summer concerts. “We have built up momentum and been able to add national acts,” Tucker said. “We have some pretty well-known acts that people are excited about.”
Blues Traveler (“Run-Around”) and The Wallflowers (“One Headlight” with singer Jakob Dylan, son of Bob) are two of the acts people are buzzing about, Tucker said.
The Bean concerts are unique because they’re outdoors in an intimate setting, he said. “The fans are very energetic and appreciative.”
All kinds of music will be offered this summer, giving something for everyone.
The lineup:
June 27, jazz singer Madeleine Peyroux; July 4, Patty Loveless; July 11, Grammy award-winning children’s entertainers Dan Zanes and Friends, (shows at 4:30 and 7:30); July 18, swing jazz crooner Matt Dusk (his single “Back in Town” was No. 1 on Japanese pop radio charts); July 25, bluegrass Punch Brothers featuring Chris Thile; Aug. 1, Blues Traveler; Aug. 8, pop folk singer Dar Williams; Aug. 15, The Wallflowers; Aug. 22, Maine songwriters’ festival featuring Carol Noonan and other Maine artists; Aug. 29, Cajun music by Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience; Sept. 5, Celtic folk Eileen Ivers and Immigrant Soul; and Sept. 6, country swing Grammy Award-winners Asleep at the Wheel.
Google any of the above artists to learn more about them or to hear their music. For more information about the concerts visit L.L. Bean’s Web site on the shows. Click here.
If you go to any of the shows:
• L.L. Bean has teamed up with two soup kitchens, so consider bringing food or money to donate to feed the needy.
• It’s an outside concert; bring chairs or a blanket.
• Seating is first-come, first-served, so arrive early. For some shows people come hours ahead of time.
• Shows will be called off if it rains. For information, call the concert hot line: 877-755-2326.
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