Music in the Park

‘This Old Guitar’ band
to kick off concert series

Guitar signed by Mellencamp
to be raffled at June event

By Tess Worrell
Contributing Writer

(June 2012) – How does a guy from Seymour, Ind., parlay a part-time job into a bustling career as musician and businessman? Larry McDonald found a good start came from spending his teen years playing with John Mellencamp.
McDonald, of This Old Guitar music store and band, said, “I grew up at a time when there was a garage band on every block. John formed a band, and I was his drummer. We played together in Seymour until he left for Detroit. I opted to stay behind.”

Music in the Park
7-9 p.m. at the Broadway Fountain, Madison, Ind.

• June 8: This Old Guitar (light rock)
• July 13: Dust Radio (acoustic and blues)
• Aug. 10: TDark Moll (Irish)
• Sept. 14: Bacchanal (carribean, calypso, reggae, pop)
• Sept. 29: The Doctors Band (rock)

McDonald quickly notes he has never regretted his decision and remains good friends with Mellencamp. While Mellencamp went on to a hugely successful recording career, McDonald pursued his love of music on Seymour’s local scene.
As part of that pursuit, McDonald opened This Old Guitar music store to offer instruments and lessons as a part-time side business. The store took off. Barely able to keep up, McDonald has expanded to offer sales and lessons in more than a dozen instruments as his full-time focus. Customers then started asking McDonald if he knew of a band to play for a wedding reception or party. McDonald pulled together some friends from his garage days and formed The Old Guitar Band.
Like the store, the band kept growing and now features: Larry McDonald (drums), Steve Langlais, (guitar and vocals), John Hill, (bass and vocals), Dave Gray (lead guitar and vocals) and Greg McDonald, Larry’s son (vocals). They play more than 30 concerts per year.
Madisonians will enjoy the fruits of McDonald’s labors as This Old Guitar kicks off Madison Music in the Park. The concert series begins June 8 and runs every second Friday throughout September. Weather permitting, the concerts take place at the Broadway Fountain Park. The rain location is Eggleston Elementary School. A bonus finale concert on Saturday, Sept. 29, is sponsored by the Madison Chautauqua Festival of Art winds up Chautauqua and features local favorite, The Doctor’s Band. All concerts begin at 7 p.m.
Gerry Reilly, site manager for Lanier Mansion and coordinator of the Music in the Park, notes the concert series is part of the larger Madison Main Street Program to promote the heritage and economic prosperity of Madison businesses.
“The relaxed atmosphere creates a family-friendly atmosphere. Attendees simply wander onto the lawn with lawn chairs or blankets and sit to enjoy great music. The open setting allows people to come and go as needed.”
Reilly said he hopes the concerts will bring people downtown for great music and then remind attendees of all the other benefits of living in Madison.
McDonald touts those benefits. “Madison is incredibly beautiful. The people are so kind. We absolutely love playing Madison. It’s one of our favorite venues. We can’t wait to get back there.”
The band plays popular tunes from the 1960s through the present. Favorites include “Your Life is Now,” “Against the Wind,” “Under the Boardwalk,” “Drift Away” – in short songs from every era. “If you stick around, you’ll find you know half the songs we play,” says McDonald. Sometimes the songs reflect the band’s personal history.
A favorite tune, “Fairlane Blond,” written by band member Langlais, recalls his encounter with a beautiful blond during his teen years. In Seymour, teens would “scoop the loop,” spending their summer evenings driving a loop around downtown Seymour. Langlais noticed a pretty, young blond driving a Ford Fairlane and stepped into the road to get her attention. According to the song, she “floored that Ford – a cute blond that tried to run over me.” Evidently Langlais succeeded in getting pretty blond’s attention. She’s now his wife.
In addition to great music, McDonald brings a bonus to the concert. As part of the campaign to promote Madison, McDonald is donating a guitar signed by Mellencamp to be raffled during the intermission of the June 8 concert. Those desiring a chance at the guitar can purchase tickets ahead of time at Art on Main or can purchase them at the fountain the night of the concert. The raffle initiates a “Buy Local” campaign.
Reilly said he hopes the guitar raffle, along with T-shirts, banners and cards to be given away during the concert, will encourage people to support local businesses and keep local economy growing.

Back to June 2012 Articles.



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