BUSKING IN THE GLORY OF STREET LIFE

Clockwise from top left: A Cool Blues Duo, Jeff & Elaine, The Al Wright Unit and Peas & Carrots are among the acts taking it to the streets for Red Bank Street Life, the 2012 slate of which kicks off this Saturday evening.

It happens right about the time that Riverfest sounds the keynote to summertime in Red Bank. The sidewalks, storefronts and greens of the Shore’s favorite beach-free destination town ring out with great evening music every Saturday night in the weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Other towns may stake a claim to being Where Music Lives, but when Red Bank StreetLife returns on June 2, it will transform the Borough of Basie into that place where Music greets visitors who arrive by rail; where Music provides an eclectic soundtrack to shopping and dining; and where Music gets mobile on the streets of the downtown and West Side business districts.

Presented by Red Bank Rivercenter (with funding assistance from the Monmouth County Arts Council), Street Life offers up a shuffle-mix that ranges from acoustic Americana to ethnic, and from sweet-Adeline harmonies to a little bit of harmonic dissonance.

Streetside strings: Don Lee, Mary McCrink and Phred Morris return to the sidewalks of Red Bank in June as part of the new Street Life series. 

Newly announced by RiverCenter, the schedule of performers and locations for June includes a slate that plays out at some of the most popular spots from past Street Life editions (the train station plaza, the front courtyard at the Dublin House, the parking lot adjacent to Danny’s on Bridge Avenue), as well as newer additions like SurfTaco and Temple Gourmet Chinese. It boasts a roster that draws from some of the region’s finest and includes some of Red Bank’s favorite hometown musical heroes — such as Chuck Lambert (joined by Susan Haugenes in A Cool Blues Duo), and the Al Wright Unit, the cool jazz combo whose elegant drummer/leader and vocalist wife Ruth Wright are both veterans of the cosmic big-band Sun Ra Arkestra.

It also represents a sonic smorgasbord whose styles range from “old as the hills” (the Shore Fire Cloggers, the Red Bank Barbershop Quartet) to nu-jazz (the sound sculptures of Eatontown-based experimental guitarist Phred Morris). There’s a capella vocalizing, power pop songcraft, unplugged folk and — in the case of Toms River’s Robert “Dork of Deception” Francis — a dose of comedy street magic.

Here’s the schedule of free entertainments for the five Saturnights of June, with more to come each week through August 25. All listings are subject to change and are presented “rain or shine;” check the RiverCenter website or call (732)842-4244 for updates on July and August happenings — as well as for info on live streetside entertainment during this summer’s Sidewalk Sale event.

SATURDAY, JUNE 2 (6-9pm)

Jeff & Elaine – Bridge Ave. between Two River Theater and Danny’s Grill & Wine Bar

Moon Motel – near Teak, 64 Monmouth Street

Shore Fire Cloggers – near The Dublin House, 30 Monmouth Street

Attractive Nuisenze – near Surf Taco, 35 Broad Street

The Wannabes – near Temple, 91 Broad Street

SATURDAY, JUNE 9 (6-9pm)

A Cool Blues Duo – Bridge Ave. between Two River Theater and Danny’s Grill & Wine Bar

Al Wright Unit – Red Bank Train Station, Bridge Ave. and Monmouth St.

McPeak & the Muse – near Teak, 64 Monmouth Street

Rich Music Ensemble – near The Dublin House, 30 Monmouth Street

Chris Turner & Steel Rail Blues – Broad Street across from White Street

SATURDAY, JUNE 16 (6-9pm)

Clan Suibhne – near The Dublin House, 30 Monmouth Street

Bob Jacques – near Temple, 91 Broad Street

Don Lee – near Surf Taco, 35 Broad Street

Dork of Deception – Broad Street across from White Street

Red Bank Barbershop Quartet – (strolling downtown)

SATURDAY, JUNE 23 (6-9pm)

Chip Robertson – Bridge Ave. between Two River Theater and Danny’s Grill & Wine Bar

Ross the Magic Man – Red Bank Train Station, Bridge Ave. and Monmouth St.

James Dunigan – near Teak, 64 Monmouth Street

Moon Motel – near Temple, 91 Broad Street

Mary McCrink – Broad Street across from White Street

SATURDAY, JUNE 30 (6-9pm)

Phred Morris – Bridge Ave. between Two River Theater and Danny’s Grill & Wine Bar

Chip Robertson – near Teak, 64 Monmouth Street

Peas & Carrots Band – near Surf Taco, 35 Broad Street

Jeanne & Mike Jam – Broad Street across from White Street

Heart of New Jersey Chorus – (strolling downtown)