What’s new at Batesville Bash and Sidewalk Sale Days this summer? “Two nights of live music,” up from one, answers Melissa Tucker, executive director of the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce, which is sponsoring the event with the city of Batesville, Batesville Main Street and Batesville Memorial Public Library.
The Indianapolis Jazz Orchestra, brought here by BMPL, performs a Sinatra tribute show Aug. 2 in the parking lot at the northeast corner of Main and George streets (please see box). The group is composed of central Indiana’s leading professional instrumentalists and vocalists, according to www.indianapolisjazzorchestra.org. “The IJO was created to preserve and advance the entire dynamic history of the big band. Patterned after popular bands, both past and present, the IJO is committed to performing world-class musical arrangements based on classic tunes from the Great American Songbook.”
For the Aug. 3 show, “we searched and brainstormed. Mr. Chris & the Cruisers was recommended” and sponsored by the city, Tucker says. The group of 10 or 12 musicians (www.mrchrisband.com), all of whom sing, “presents an oldies-but-goodies show, basically. We have top equipment and some of the most talented people in Cincinnati, if not the Midwest,” reports band leader Chris Branham.
“Kyle Ryan, ... one of the best Elvis impersonators, puts his heart and soul into it.” Other impersonators range from the Blues Brothers to Roy Orbison. Another highlight will be a short segment by the Soggy Bottom Boys. According to Branham, “That’s the funniest act we do ... a high-energy, country, old-timey bluegrass sing-along and dance-along” with tunes from the movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou.” The entertainers “carry on with those crazy costumes bare-footed.”
Both nights, Island Snow will keep the crowd cool by selling snow cones and cotton candy. For whole meals, the director points out, “we have a lot of great restaurants ... You can bring your dinner out and listen to the music or grab a bite to eat” before the shows. Music lovers who want drinks and snacks later in the evening may pack coolers.