Local musicians return to the “Free Fridays” Concert Series Friday, Oct. 23, from 8-10 p.m., featuring a tribute concert to Neil Young. Canadian singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Neil Young is described on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website as "one of rock and roll's greatest songwriters and performers.” He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist in 1995, and again as a member of Buffalo Springfield in 1997. He was also a member of the iconic quartet Crosby Stills, Nash & Young.
Mick Marino, who has in past years organized notable “Free Fridays” tribute concerts, including Bob Dylan (2014), The Band (2013), The Rolling Stones (2012) and the Allman Brothers (2010 and 2011), has this year organized the Neil Young tribute as the 2015 “Free Fridays” grand finale Friday, Oct. 23 from 8-10 p.m. Marino will open the show playing one set of music with his band, The Mick Marino All-Stars, and has invited accomplished local musicians Mike Boulware and his band Buffalo Spoonful to play a second set. Boulware has also organized a number of concerts especially for “Free Fridays” including The Hogtown Music Heroes Tribute to local Rock and Roll Hall of Fame music stars (2010, 2011), The New Florida Favorites that explored the roots of popular music (2012), The Dreamcatchers that featured classics from popular singer/songwriters (2013) and an Eric Clapton Tribute concert (2014). Local singer/songwriter Tim Luhrman will perform two acoustic songs in between the two sets.
According to Marino, “Neil Young is, in our opinion, in the top five category of prolific songwriters of all time. His body of work is not only massive, but also some of our generation’s most innovative and creative. Neil was so unique when he first broke into the scene in the late 1960s. You can truly say there is no one just like him. First time I heard, I was hooked.”
The Mick Marino All-Stars includes Mick Marino (guitar/vocals), Mark Miale (guitar/vocals), Cathy Dewitt (piano/vocals) Rob Rothschild (drums), Paul Goble (guitar) and Ron Thomas (bass/vocals). Buffalo Spoonful includes Mike Boulware (guitar/vocals), Brad Bangstad (keys), Tom Holtz (guitar) and Kevin Kennedy (bass).
This Neil Young tribute concert is dedicated to the memory of local musician Bill Lee. Lee was scheduled to play keyboards for the concert with The Mick Marino All-Stars, but recently passed away. Says Marino, “We decided to dedicate our show to Bill and his memory because Bill was such a warm, gentle fellow, and because as a musician, he always gave us his all and added just what we needed every time. He will be missed.”
The Neil Young tribute concert is one of the select “Free Fridays” classic rock concerts that are sponsored by classic rock radio station WIND-FM (92.5, 95.5, 107.9).
The 2015 “Free Fridays” concert series is produced by the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department. While the Bo Diddley Plaza is being renovated, the concerts will play on the city’s new mobile trailer stage each Friday night this year from Friday, Aug. 7 through Friday, Oct. 23 from 8-10 p.m. at Southwest Second Avenue and Southwest Second Street in downtown Gainesville. The public is encouraged to bring chairs, as there is no existing seating at this temporary site. For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact David Ballard at 352-393-8746.