Summer is fast approaching and with it comes those carefree, summer vibes. It’s a time when things slow down a bit and relaxation is much easier to come by. Some folks find it at the beach or lounging in a hammock, others find it listening to some sweet, soulful tunes.
You can always have a bit of both. In the Golden Isles, there are plenty of opportunities to catch music by the water. There are multiple outdoor concert series held locally — from Brunswick to St. Simons and Jekyll islands — that serve up good times and waterside breezes.
First up is Rhythm on the River. Sponsored by Brunswick’s Downtown Development Authority, it is held at 6 p.m. on the first Sunday of the month at Mary Ross Waterfront Park, next to the East River, in Brunswick. Mathew Hill, executive director of the Downtown Development Authority, said the series began in 2009 with the goal of bringing new faces to the city’s historic district.
“The DDA Board was looking to host an event in Downtown Brunswick that would bring people from across the community to downtown,” Hill said. “First-time attendees get to know new people and hear about what’s going on in downtown Brunswick.”
The performances began May 6 and will continue until October. This year’s line-up will feature both new and repeat artists, he said.
“This year’s performers include a new band, Hired Guns; some favorites from past years, Traveling Riverside Band, Complicated Pants, Young Americans and Squirt Gun ... plus some we haven’t seen in a while, Michaele and the Ambiguous and the Blind Spots,” Hill said.
Like her downtown neighbor, Heather Heath is also gearing up for a concert season. The executive director of Golden Isles Arts and Humanities oversees Sounds by the Sea at Neptune Park on St. Simons Island.
Heath said the concert series was the first in the area.
“It’s on a high-tide Sunday once a month, May to September. Originally, the series was Jazz in the Park and it began in 1989. I believe we were the first of the outdoor summer concert series,” she said. “The series serves as a fundraiser for the organization but has certainly grown into a tradition for locals and visitors alike.”
The venue, Heath said, brings families and friends together for an ocean-side evening of music.
“Folks bring picnic suppers and enjoy good company, wonderful music and excellent breezes in a perfect setting,” she said.
This year, Sounds by the Sea, will be featuring audience favorites, many of which are local.
“... Phil Morrison and Ken Trimmins with wonderful jazz standards and original tunes, Jamie Renee and the Walkers brings a folksy rock vibe to the series, and Annie Akins is a dynamic pop, rock and R&B vocalist,” Heath said. “Maggie and Jackson Evans from Savannah have a great sound and are superb musicians and Gwen Hughes and the Kats brings soul and swing to the park. It’s a great line-up this season.”
Also on St. Simons Island, not far from the Sounds by the Sea spot, there’s A Little Light Music. Sponsored by the Coastal Georgia Historical Society, it also began in 1998. Leigh Ann Stroud says the program serves as a way to support the preservation work the society does.
“The concerts raise funds to operate the St. Simons Lighthouse Museum and Historic Coast Guard Station at East Beach,” Stroud, public relations director for the Coastal Georgia Historical Society.
The program will bring a mix of genres, primarily R&B and Motown. All of them, she said, will offer upbeat and entertaining performances. The next concert will be June 10, featuring Loose Chain from Atlanta.
“Their diverse repertoire of popular songs will get any party started, and their incredible talent and energizing stage presence will keep the party going all night long,” Stroud said.
Finally, there’s Jekyll Island — The newest to join the area’s crop of summertime musical offering. The program titled the Beach Music Festival is held on Saturdays and will continue to September.
“We wanted to offer another way to enjoy the island. Live music is popular on Jekyll Island and we’ve had great success with our free Movie on the Green series each summer,” Jessica Scott, marketing communications manager for the Jekyll Island Authority said.
“The oceanfront turtle stage and Village Green are perfect for kicking back and enjoying great music on a summer night.”
Among other performers, the inaugural year will feature locals like the Golden Isles Strummers as well as interesting visitors like the Jacksonville Jaguars drum line.
For a compete listing of shows see below:
• Rhythm on the River, presented by the Brunswick Downtown Development Authority, is a free concert series held from 6-8 p.m. in Mary Ross Waterfront Park in downtown Brunswick. It runs from May to November. The 2018 line-up will feature:
• June 3 — Michaele and the Ambiguous
• July 1 — Hired Guns
• Aug. 5 — Young Americans
• Sept. 2 — Squirt Gun
• Oct. 7 — The Blind Spots
• Sounds by the Sea, presented by Golden Isles Arts and Humanities, is held from 7-9 p.m. during high tide on select Sundays between July and September. Performances are held at Neptune Park on St. Simons Island. Admission is $10 for adults; $5 for children ages 6 to 12 and children younger than 6 are admitted free. Tickets may be purchased at the gate or by calling Golden Isles Arts & Humanities at 912-262-6934.
• May 27 — Phil Morrison-Ken Trimmins Jazz Collective
• June 24 — Jamie Renee & the Walkers
• July 22 — Annie Akins
• Aug. 26 — Maggie and Jackson Evans
• Sept. 23 — Gwen Hughes and The Kats
• A Little Light Music Concert Series, hosted by the Coastal Georgia Historical Society, is held at 7 p.m. on varying Sundays throughout summer on the lawn of the lighthouse at 610 Beachview Dr., St. Simons Island. Individual tickets are $12. Children under 12 and Keepers of the Light are admitted free. Tickets available at the gate or at saintsimonslighthouse.org/music. The group’s Facebook page posts notices on changes to plans, including updates on weather conditions.
• June 10 — Loose Chain
• July 1— Still Cruzin
(No August concert)
• Sept. 3 — The Sensational Sounds of Motown
• The Beach Village Music Series on Jekyll Island is a free concert featuring fun performances in the Beach Village green, next to the Westin, on Jekyll Island. Shows from 5:30-7:30 p.m. through September.
• July 7 — Jaguars D-Line
• Aug. 4 — Katie Fair & Band
• Sept. 1 — Second Chance Band