The fabled Aber Day Reunion Concert, held for the past few years in Philipsburg, moves to Polson this year where three bands initiate the new Regatta Shoreline Amphitheater on Aug. 12.
The Mission Mountain Wood Band – a mainstay of Aber Day festivities in the 1970s – again highlights a bill that includes Las Vegas sensation Sam Riddle (the son of M2WB bassist Steve Riddle), and Andrea Harsell and Luna Roja. Andrea’s dad, Rod, played the same venue with his own band in the ’70s.
Sam Riddle spent his summers in Polson, where the former Griz basketball star thrilled the throng at the Flathead Lake Hoopfest summer after summer with his slam-dunks. “It’s been a source of a lot of things I’ve become, breathing in that air and looking at those (Mission) mountains,” he said recently. “It’s my favorite place in the whole world.”
But to be on the same bill, sharing the same stage with his dad was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.
“My whole life I’ve known about Aber Day,” he said. “I am honored and humbled, and a little overwhelmed, to be part of it.”
Andrea Harsell and Luna Roja kick off the family-friendly event on the new stage at 3 p.m. with the foursome’s supple blend of Americana, rock and R&B.
Partnering with Anderson Broadcasting Charitable Foundation for the show are the University of Montana Alumni Association and Missoula Liquid Assets Corporation, which started the fundraiser concert in 1972 to raise money for the UM Library. Proceeds from the Polson concert will be distributed to local non-profits.
The Aber Day tradition is bound to bring back days of the past and create new memories.
Vendors are on site, parking is free and a shuttle bus is available. Tickets are $15-$40 (free for 6 and under); call 883-5255 or visit aberdaykegger.com.
The concert is part of Summerfest on Flathead Lake, Aug. 11-13 in downtown Polson; the three-day community-wide celebration includes a car show, a poker run, food and vendors.
The 46th annual Sandpiper Art Festival, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 12 at the Lake County Courthouse lawn, features original paintings, sculpture, jewelry, photography, woodcraft, printmaking, and pottery by artists and artisans from around the region. Musicians and dancers entertain, and food concessions are on tap. Call 883-5956 or visit www.sandpiperartgallery.com.
– Mick Holien
Flathead Lake Blues Festival
The new Regatta Shoreline Amphitheater is also the new home of the seventh annual Flathead Lake Blues Festival, 6 p.m. Aug. 18 and 4 p.m. Aug. 19. This year’s event kicks off Friday with music by a slew of Montana favorites: André Floyd and Mood Iguana, the Mike Murray Band, Halladay Quist, Ticket Sauce, Off in the Woods, Kenny James Miller Band, Big Daddy and the Blue Notes, Jameson and the Sordid Seeds, and Mudslide Charley.
Saturday showcases “ladies of the blues” with performances by the Michelle Taylor Band, Estelle and the Atomic Jive, Polly O’Keary and the Rhythm Method, and Andrea Harsell and Luna Roja. Tickets are $25 Friday, $30 Saturday or $50 for both, and dry camping is available ($10-$15).
Call 890-9952 or visit flathead-bluesfest.squarespace.com for details.