If it’s the start of June, it must be time for the return of Red Bank StreetLife, the summertime Saturday series of live entertainment that commandeers the sidewalks, storefronts and bumpouts of the borough’s business district beginning — and, for the first time in its 17-year history — on the third Thursday of June and July.
Running now through August, the 2017 edition promises to again to enhance the Red Bank shopping, dining and nightlifing experience via a strolling/rolling shuffle-mix of musical acts, purveying everything from acoustic Americana to plugged-in powerpop, from Sweet Adeline harmonies to a friendly dose of harmonic dissonance. And it’s all illuminated by the village-green vaudeville of some of the area’s best known “variety” artists.
Although the series organizers at Red Bank Rivercenter have yet to post a schedule for the season’s inaugural session of busking after dusk, a good deal of the fun is simply the thrill of rounding the corner into that chance encounter with an unexpectedly attention-compelling performance. There’s also the opportunity to fstumble across the Next Big Thing.
Past participants in the StreetLife series have historically included such frequent attractions as Middletown-based pop combo the Wag; family-friendly acoustic duos like Strumberry Pie and Peas & Carrots; downtown bluesman Chuck Lambert; plus a whole sonic smorgasbord of jazz cats, solo folkies, and full-band jams by Kul d’Sack and the Haven. The music makers have been joined as well by street magicians (the Dork of Deception), hula hoopers (Eryka Andrex), and even live-painting visual artists.
Locations have included several high-profile storefronts on Broad, White, and Monmouth streets, as well as the plaza at the Red Bank train station and the Bridge Avenue space between Danny’s restaurant and Two River Theater. Such barbershop/beautyshop organizations as Heart of New Jersey Chorus have even brought their act on the hyperlocal road, by performing as a highly mobile harmonious unit.
All events in the StreetLife series take place between 6 and 9 p.m. Check the RiverCenter website or Facebook page for updated info on the 2017 Street Life series as the season progresses — and watch for announcements on additional street-sound sessions on June 15, July 20, and during Jazz in the Park or the annual Sidewalk Sales.