Fun in the Summer Sun 

Your clip ‘n’ save guide to this summer’s Out To Lunch concerts

Good news, good news, mad dogs and Englishmen: Missoula’s favorite excuse to amble around in the noonday sun is back for its 15th year, every Wednesday now through the end of August! Out To Lunch returns to Caras Park this week to kick off a long hot summer of food, folks and live music! Don’t miss a single day! Here’s a convenient clip ’n’ save guide to this year’s performances! Thank me with a chili dog! Let’s active!

June 7: With a couple of handles like County Line and Swifty Morgan, you know these returning OTL heavyweight champions don’t play no cheese-fisted wimp rock, no how no way, Starchild. A fine bluesy/country way to kick off the al fresco season, with notes of sage and mesquite!

June 14: Hello, what’s this? Cash For Junkers? They let these hooligan mothers out in broad daylight? Well I never! I suspect we’ll hear some honky-tonk tunes played with reckless disregard for tea party etiquette! Good thing the slightly more austere Tom Cats are around to chaperone, otherwise I mighta snuck me a kiss offa my best gal Becky Beckereeno! Pshaw!

Jazz and big band rule the early summer. First, on June 21, a little visit from the Camp Heebie Jeebies Jazz Band on loan from the 18th annual Traditional Jazz Festival. Then, on June 28, the Jodi Marshall Band and the Ed Norton Big Band team up to squeeze us into a time-space wormhole back to the Roaring Twenties. Spiffing, what?

A whiff of the tropics hangs over July 5, with a little uncorking of the Tropical Marimbe to get us all oiled up for the Big Sky Mudflaps! Together for 25 years now, and still rockin’ the crib like their name was Dolomite! Mad international flavor follows on July 12, with visiting musical dignitaries from Denmark to Djibouti representing the International Chorus Festival.

Rather a return to our Montana roots on July 19, with singer/songwriter Frank Bramante and a special presentation of evergreen Fort Missoula musical fave Charlie Russell’s Montana. Raymond Lee Parker and James McNey put on the dog for July 26, and Texas original Tom Catmull shares the stage with the Hot Tamales a week later on Aug. 2.

Conrad country cosmonaut Erik “Fingers” Ray brings his one-man juke joint to the park on Aug. 9, a date he will share with the jerk-sauce rich stylings of the Quartet Caribe. Arr, me heart belongs to the sea, lass. Let me be the salty Caribbean buccaneer to your lady pirate!

Common Ground and the Cocinando Latin Jazz Ensemble grace the noon of Aug. 16. Perilously, the good ship OTL plows into slightly nuttier waters just a week later with the Levitators and country bad boys Bob Wire and the Fencemenders, still unbuilding the proverbial fortress around our honky-tonk hearts. They make it look so easy…and they don’t cuss in front of the kids as much anymore!

Oh, no! Just one week left? Alas, ‘tis true, but Smoke and Nine Pound Hammer will make such sweet sorrow out of parting for another year. That’s Aug. 30, the last Out To Lunch of the year! Don’t hesitate!

Take in some Out to Lunch action every Wednesday at the Caras Park Pavilion, beginning June 7.

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