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Warmer temps, music unite downtown

POSTED: May 8, 2014 1:00 a.m.

In most places, April showers bring May flowers, according to the cliche.

In Gainesville, however, May brings the Blue Sky Concert Series to welcome in the warm weather.

During the month, the city features an artist or group in a free concert on the square from noon to 1 p.m. each Wednesday. Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets, purchase lunch on the square or bring a bag lunch and enjoy the early entertainment. A limited lunch special will be offered each week at the concert.

“For us, it seemed like May is not too hot and not too cold, schools are getting out or can come out as a day trip, and kids from the schools can walk over,” said Regina Mansfield of Main Street Gainesville. “It’s just a great mid-week break for people.”

The series kicked off on May 7 with the Steve Bryson band, a popular group and one of the original Blue Sky performers. Bryson, ranked No. 2 on ReverbNation, will return in June as part of the First Friday series on the square.

May 14 will bring a new group, The Shadetree Smugglers, to Gainesville. Mansfield noted the group is popular in local restaurants and play a combination of blues, jazz and rock.

Mansfield and others in charge of the series use a variety of methods to find new talent for the shows.

“We generally have folks that call and let us know they’re playing nearby, and we try to stay local, so we will go and scout out a band,” Mansfield said.

The Shadetree Smugglers were scouted by the Blue Sky planners, along with Emily Hearn, who will appear May 21. Hearn of Athens is popular with a college crowd and plays current hits with her own style.

Another popular performer, Monica Spears, will close out the monthlong concert series May 28 with her mixture of jazz and rhythm and blues.


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