Mu­sic in the park

Sum­mer Con­certs in the ’Ville to fea­ture trib­ute per­former

The Republican Herald - This Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - BY DANIEL P. PROSICK COPY EDI­TOR Con­tact the writer: [email protected] re­pub­lican­; 570628-6002

Aseries of per­for­mances seek­ing to bloom from in­au­gu­ral to an­nual are set to con­tinue this week­end with an “al­most” star singing his set.

The next in­stall­ment of Sum­mer Con­certs in the ’Ville will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Sun­day at the Lions Club Am­phithe­ater at Gen. Ge­orge A. Joul­wan East Side Park, Pottsville, ac­cord­ing to City Ad­min­is­tra­tor Thomas A. Pala­mar. The con­cert is free, BYOB and open to the pub­lic.

The show is “a re­ally re­laxed at­mos­phere where peo­ple can come out for a few hours with their fam­ily and friends and en­joy some good mu­sic,” Pala­mar said. “Usu­ally, Sun­day af­ter­noons or early Sun­day evenings are a time where it doesn’t con­flict — it’s a day that peo­ple are al­ready rest­ing a lit­tle bit and wrap­ping up the week­end. We’re hop­ing it’s a tra­di­tion we can build ev­ery sum­mer so that peo­ple can look for­ward to a con­cert series on Sun­day evenings in Pottsville for years to come.”

Tak­ing his turn at the venue this time around will be Tom Davis, a Pottsville na­tive who plays un­der the stage name Tom as Garth or Al­most Garth, not just cov­er­ing songs but re-en­act­ing the live per­sona of fa­mous coun­try singer Garth Brooks.

Davis of­fers both acous­tic and con­cert-style per­for­mances and said this show “will cover both — the ma­jor­ity us­ing tracks plus five or six songs with just the gui­tar.”

“I’ve been mak­ing my own back­ing tracks since 1987 af­ter I bought a top-of-the-line drum ma­chine and mul­ti­track recorder,” Davis said. “I make my tracks for Tom as Garth with a con­cert feel and fol­low the Garth live ver­sions, which are some­times quite dif­fer­ent from the record. Tem­pos vary from the recorded ver­sion of the song, and I put in end­ings such as you may hear at a live show. No con­sumer karaoke disc fade­outs or midi files played on a lap­top!”

Davis — who’s played hun­dreds of con­certs in Pottsville and thou­sands from Penn­syl­va­nia to Florida — will be repris­ing Brooks’ tracks such as “Friends in Low Places,” “The Dance,” “That Sum­mer,” “Callin’ Ba­ton Rouge,” “Thun­der Rolls,” “Unan­swered Prayers,” “Shame­less” and “Papa Loved Mama.”

“I will also do some songs that Garth cov­ers in con­cert. ... Some Ge­orge Strait, Billy Joel, etc.,” Davis said, em­pha­siz­ing that he’s not play­ing for the peo­ple — he’s play­ing with them, and hav­ing a blast do­ing it.

“Lyri­cally and mu­si­cally, Garth’s ma­te­rial is mag­i­cal, thought­ful and of­ten just fun!”

Aside from the stage show, there will also be ven­dors, in­clud­ing Here Piggy Piggy, a food truck run by for­mer coun­try club chef Bill Shugars, Pala­mar said.

The idea for the shows came from Pottsville res­i­dent Linda Wy­tovich, who wanted to repli­cate con­certs that were held at her for­mer res­i­dence in Cal­i­for­nia, as well as give the city res­i­dents some­thing to do on a lazy Sun­day.

“Linda came in in Fe­bru­ary and she said ‘What do you think about hav­ing a con­cert; do you think it would go over in Pottsville?’ And we were ex­tremely ex­cited be­cause we’re very proud of the venue, and we were al­ways look­ing for more ways to in­tro­duce more peo­ple to it and to bring peo­ple into Pottsville and show them the po­ten­tial that Joul­wan Park has for con­certs,” Pala­mar said, adding that bands liked the acous­tics and at­mos­phere of the park.

Although only in its in­cip­i­ence, the sum­mer get­to­geth­ers are al­ready look­ing promis­ing.

“There have been so many other bands that have con­tacted her (Wy­tovich) and said ‘I’d love to be part of this next year.’ So we be­lieve this is some­thing that can grow, not only in num­bers of peo­ple who at­tend, but per­haps to the num­ber of con­certs we have or the type of con­certs we have as well. I think that there’s def­i­nitely a lot of po­ten­tial for this con­cert series in the ’ville to grow.”

Play­ing next in the con­cert series will be Sap­phire on Aug. 19, fol­lowed by The New In­di­vid­u­als — who were orig­i­nally set to play July 19 but were post­poned due to weather — on Aug. 26.


Tom Davis, a Pottsville na­tive, will bring his "Tom as Garth" show to the Lions am­phithe­ater on Sun­day as part of the Sum­mer Con­certs in the ‘Ville series. The show will be held from 5 to 7 p.m.

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