Summer concerts begin tonight

SPARTA. Dustin Douglas & the Electric Gentlemen will play at Dykstra Park.

Sparta /
| 05 Jul 2024 | 07:44

The summer concert season, organized by the Sparta Cultural Affairs Committee, will begin Friday, July 5.

Dustin Douglas & the Electric Gentlemen will play blues-influenced rock ‘n’ roll after the opening act, the Outcrops.

The show starts at 7 p.m. and is free. Bring lawn chairs and a picnic to Dykstra Park, 22 Woodport Road, Sparta.

If the weather is bad, the show will be held in the Mohawk Avenue School auditorium, 18 Mohawk Ave.

Fronted by lead guitarist-singer-songwriter Dustin Douglas, the Electric Gentlemen - with drummer Tommy Smallcomb and bassist Matt “The Dane” Gabriel - mix virtuosic musicianship, classic rock spirit and punk rock attitude.

“All I’m trying to do is continue the tradition of the Stones, Zeppelin and the Faces,” Douglas said. “Take the traditional blues spirit, mix it with some heavy rock ‘n’ roll and play it for a new generation.

“But it ain’t your poppa’s blues,” he added. “I listen to Rage Against the Machine as much as I listen to Muddy Waters. That blend of influences is what makes it unique.”

The band’s third album, “Black Leather Blues,” was released last year. It was recorded at Eight Days a Week Studios in Northumberland, Pa., by Paul Smith (Badlees) who engineered and co-produced the album with Douglas.

“Black Leather Blues” follows the band’s 2018 release, “Break It Down,” which charted on the Blues Album Charts, Blues Singles Charts and Blues-Rock Single Charts.

The Central Pennsylvania Music Hall of Fame nominated the band for Blues Rock Band of the Year in 2021 and 2022.

The Outcrops play the music of rock ‘n’ roll, blues, funk and soul legends, often paying homage to artists such as BB King and Aretha Franklin and bands such as the Grateful Dead and the Band. Their original music ranges from gritty blues to upbeat Americana.

The series continues through Aug. 23.

Performing Friday, July 12 will be Danielia Cotton.