Free Spoonful concert headlines Water Ski Days
By Ruth Nerhaugen, contributor
The band’s appearance on Friday night of festival weekend celebrates local connections to the rock ‘n’ roll icons. The band’s drummer, Mike Arturi, and his wife, Lake City native Lauri Neubert, have lived nearby in Red Wing since late 2010.
The Lovin’ Spoonful will perform from 7 to 8:30 p.m. June 27 in the beer tent area. The event is sponsored by Hearth & Home Technologies. Before the band takes the stage, students from Arturi’s Universal Music Center in Red Wing will perform; the Dead Pigeons will play from 9 p.m. until midnight.“Do You Believe in Magic?” was the first of many Top 10 hits released by the Lovin’ Spoonful after the band formed in 1965. Later hits included “You Didn’t Have To Be So Nice,” “Summer in the City,” “Nashville Cats” and others.The band separated in the late 1960s but started up again in 1991 with three of the five original members. Arturi joined in on the drums in 1996 when the original drummer, Joe Butler, switched to singing and playing guitar and autoharp.Also still performing from the beginning is Steve Boone, who had teamed up with Butler and a couple of folk musicians from Greenwich Village to form a band that created its own blend of folk and rock music; they left to pursue their own careers.Jerry Yester, who played piano on the band’s first hit, switched to guitar and vocals in 1967, when the band was turning out hit after hit. Phil Smith joined the band about 11 years ago.The Lovin’ Spoonful continues to tour the country and perform songs audiences never get tired of hearing. A year ago, the band headlined the Rolling River Music Fest in Red Wing and drew a crowd that filled Central Park.Other musical entertainment during Water Ski Days will include Hitchville at 8 p.m. June 28 and Gear Daddies with Six Mile Grove following the parade on June 29, all in the beer tent. There will be a $13 gate fee for those concerts.Water Ski Days highlights will include:June 27 — Family Day at Merriam’s Carnival, 1-6 p.m.June 28 — A half marathon, a pancake breakfast, the Lions Club Classic Car and Tractor Show, arts and crafts in Patton Park, children’s games, paddleboat rides, historical impersonations of Ralph Samuelson and Mark Twain, Shakespeare performances in McCahill Park, and a water ski show.June 29 — Arts and crafts, grand parade at 2 p.m., followed by another water ski show.For a detailed schedule, go online to www.lakecity.org/waterskidays.html