Johnson City Public Library to host Sunday outdoor concert series


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – A bluegrass band from Milwaukee whose style includes “hints of blues, punk and country” will kick off a month-long “front porch” concert series at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Johnson City Public Library (JCPL).

The MilBillies are a five-piece string band. In addition to the punk/blues reference, Bluegrass Unlimited says they “straddle the line between the traditional and progressive schools of bluegrass.”

The concerts will take place on the library’s front steps. JCPL is now open seven days a week, after resuming Sunday hours following Labor Day.

“We have such an eclectic variety of music represented,” JCPL Adult Services Manager Lisa Krekelberg said. “There is something for everyone to enjoy.”

She said director Julia Turpin raised the idea after seeing the success of the Fridays After Five concert series at adjacent King Commons Park.

“It’s just been delightful to see people turning out for that and we thought this would be a good way of extending this,” Krekelberg said.

She said the artists will usually play for one to two hours. Funds are coming from JCPL’s adult services budget, which has been used frugally during the pandemic.

A band called the Sweetwater Troubadours played what Krekelberg called a “one-off” concert on the stairs’ platform pre-COVID and it went well.

“It’s such a beautiful place to gather,” she said, adding that a follow-up series might occur depending on how this one goes.

Following Sunday’s show, the remainder of the series features:

  • Oct. 3 – Daniel Couper
  • Oct. 10 – ETSU Saxophone Ensemble
  • Oct. 17 – Felix & the Side Effects
  • Oct. 24 – Daniel Byrd

Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets to sit on. Concerts will be canceled if rain is forecast.

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