Billy Hallquist - Thanks
It's over. And the truth is plain to see. This was the best year ever. The addition of Scarlet Rivera lifted an already high flying assemblage of musicians to even loftier heights. Some of the best musical moments of all time emanated from the stages of Town Green, Veterans Memorial Amphitheater and The Dakota. Scarlet inspired and compelled accomplished musicians to travel far beyond their comfort zones to discover talents even they were not aware they possessed. A pleasure to behold. The rock solid backbone of the group Stan Kipper, Chico Perez and Ralph Dacut were nothing short of phenomenal. Gary Lopac provides some of the most solid, yet melodic bass lines you will ever hear. He sings as well, or better than anyone anywhere. And he is the owner of The Amazing Technicolor DreamShirt. Compliments go out to the tremendously talented keyboard team of Matt Fink and Jim Steinworth. Twenty fingers. No waiting. More sounds between them than The New York Philharmonic, The Boston Pops, a New Orleans jazz band, a marching band, a Dixieland group and an accordion orchestra combined. Ain't nobody plays guitar better than Lonnie Knight. Might be one or two out there that can hold their own. Not one better. As for our guests. Patty Peterson is a commanding presence. May she stay Forever Young. Barbara Meyer personifies the joy music can bring. James Loney is, hands down, one of the area's elite, spurred to excellence by the harmonious background provided by Colleen O and Edie Rae (aka The Ghostettes). Hats off to Arne Fogel for his brilliance and dedication to music past/present/future. Barry Thomas Goldberg's unique and powerful presence is a trip and a half. Dan Israel always brings something unique our way. This year, it was harp master Suave Steve Carr and Jubilant Jeff Victor who iced Isis. Steve Grossman, the human dynamo, exuded energy as always. Gene LaFond's connection with Scarlet, Larry Keegan and those Dylan Days is truly special. Kool Kenny Krona came to town and took it to the limit. Marc Lamoine was at the right place and time as always. We'd be lost if not for "Magic" Marc Percansky. Thanks to the many volunteers who helped the cause. Neil Schloner, Sam Bisbee and Don Olson for capturing the images of a most unique moment in time. George Vondriska for portraying the heart behind Guitars For Vets. Nelson French and John Bushey made it all the way from Duluth on behalf of The Historic Duluth Armory. Deb Coss, Lisa Abernathy, the stage crew and everyone who attended, tuned in. Thank YOU!! Until next time
- Billy H.