To celebrate the release of his first full-length album, Bemus Point native Max Garcia Conover returned home for several performances, including The Great Blue Heron Festival and most recently Southern Tier Brewing Company.
"It's so good being able to be here seeing so many people that I grew up with and are from all different parts of my life - it's just awesome," said Conover. "I played three shows at the Heron this year, and they were a lot of fun. I hope to go there for the rest of it."
For the STBC performance, Conover brought with him a guitar from Portland, Maine, where he has most recently been living, to utilize it for only one song during his set.
"Maine is beautiful ... but I never feel like it's as beautiful as this place," said Conover. "I'm not sure what an objective person would say about that, but being home in the landscape where you grew up - there's something grounding about it. I had a few days off this week, and I wrote a song. I just felt so much more surefooted while I was writing it because I was looking out at the yard where I grew up - it's a special thing and it feels good to be back."
Conover performed one of his newer tunes during the set, "So Be Hardened," which is not featured on his first full-length album, "Burrow." I had never heard the song before, and I felt it was one of his better pieces. According to Conover, the song is about developing a hardened skin against negativity.
A nearly half-hour video of the performance is available on The Post-Journal YouTube page at www.youtube.com/PostJournal.
Max Garcia Conover is shown performing at Southern Tier Brewing Company on Saturday.
P-J photo by Dusten Rader
In addition to releasing his Conover's summer tour is also his first major road tour. According to Conover, touring has been sort of surprising because he has been living out of his car while he does it.
"It ends up being sort of meditative and nice - I like touring more than I thought I would," said Conover.
Conover has already performed at several locations such as: the Make Music Festival in Portland, Maine; Burlington, Boston, Washington D.C., Lancaster, Cleveland and Toronto. But, there is much more in store for him as he heads out to a variety of other locations across the East Coast, including: Philadelphia, New York City, Ithaca, Rochester, Corning, Angelica, Montpelier, Vt., Somerville and Cambridge, Mass. He'll also perform at the Finger Lakes Grassroots Music Festival in Trumansburg, which is held Friday through Sunday.
"I'm looking forward to them all," said Conover. "I'm excited for Toronto, because it will be my first international show. And, I'm so psyched for Grassroots."
Conover is a 2005 Maple Grove High School graduate who received his teaching certification at Bowdoin College in Maine. Conover's first full-length album, "Burrow," can be streamed in its entirety at maxgarciaconover.bandcamp.com/album/burrow at SoundCloud.com and at noisetrade.com. The album was released through Clip Records in April, and is available for purchase at maxgarciaconover.com. A portion of the album sales will be donated to Evergreen Health Services, a nonprofit based out of Buffalo with a branch in Jamestown, that works to provide medical services and support to marginalized populations.
For more information search for "Max Garcia Conover" on Facebook.
As per usual, here are the highlights and happenings going on in the area.
JSBA Big City Summer Concert Series Continues Friday: Smackdab will appear during JSBA's Big City Summer Concert Series on Friday.
Presented by Blue Moon Management, Smackdab is a soul and funk band which combines the rhythms of old school R&B, soul, blues and funk. Influenced by the likes of Sly and the Family Stone, James Brown, Prince and Stevie Wonder, Smackdab is comprised of Jonny Johnson, Mark Cooper, Matthew Baxter, Ryan Ecklund and Matt Clark.
Smackdab has been a regular at many bars and festivals throughout the area, including the Great Blue Heron Festival. With the recent release of their new album, guests are invited to come enjoy the band's new "funky fresh" material.
The summer concert series takes place from 7-9 p.m. between Lafayette Street and the patio behind the JSBA. In case of inclement weather, the performance will take place inside the arena at Sully's Irish Pub. The Big City Concerts are free to the public. Food and beverage vendors will also be on-site.
Following each outdoor concert, the party will shift to Sully's Irish Pub for more live music. Located on the track inside JSBA, Sully's will feature a closing act that will play until around 10:30 p.m.
Jamestown Savings Bank Arena is located at 319 W. Third St. in Jamestown. For more information call 484-2624, visit jamestownarena.com or the JSBA Facebook and Twitter pages.
Travis Tritt To Perform At Chautauqua Institution Friday: Multi-Grammy winning American country music singer, songwriter and actor Travis Tritt will appear the the Chautauqua Institution Amphitheater Friday at 8:15 p.m.
With seven platinum albums, five No. 1 singles and having charted the Hot Country Songs charts more than 40 times, Tritt has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville since 1992.
Tickets start at $40. For more information call 357-6250 visit chqtickets.com or travistritt.com.
Pie Baking Contest To Be Held In Fredonia: Festivals Fredonia Inc., will host the first annual Pie Baking Contest during the Fredonia History Days Festival, chaired by Todd Langworthy, which takes place on Friday and Saturday in downtown Fredonia.
Chautauqua County residents will have the opportunity to show off their baking skills in the "Homemade Pie Baking Contest," which is a nonprofessional baking competition that is open to the community. All pies must be made from scratch, including crusts and fillings and submitted in a disposable pie tin. Pies needing refrigeration will not be accepted. Slices of all pies will be sold for $1 per slice, after the judging, with all proceeds to be donated to a local nonprofit organization.
A panel of guest judges will be present to judge the pies based on three categories: "Best Filling," "Best Crust" and "Best Overall Pie." Judging will take place Saturday at 11 a.m. Pies must be delivered to the judging table, located in West Barker Commons Park in Fredonia between 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. Winning pie, first and second runners up will be announced at 3:30 p.m.
Prizes will be given to the winners, including: gift certificates to the Fredonia Farmers' Market, EBC West, tickets for the Historic Trolley Tours that evening and for the Harvest Moon Cemetery Tours that take place in October. Entry forms with complete requirements and rules for the contest will be available at the Fredonia Village Hall, the Water Department Office and the Fredonia Farmers' Market Market Manager's Booth on Saturdays between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. The form may also be downloaded and printed from www.festivalsfredonia.com.
Entry forms must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. All entry forms must be received by 5 p.m. on Friday.
For more information, contact Mary Jane Starks, event coordinator, via email at email@example.com.
To include an upcoming show or event in this column, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 487-1111, ext. 253 by Monday.
Ahira Hall Memorial Library Park Concert Series With the Cassadaga Area Concert Band: 6:30 p.m., Ryckman Park in Brocton.
Mayville And Chautauqua Concert In The Park Series With Deuble And Vogan: 6:30-8:30 p.m., Lakeside Park in Mayville.
Falconer Summer Concert Series With Kokomo Time Band: 7 p.m., Davis Park in Falconer.
Lakewood Gazebo Concert Series With Dirty Mountain Band: 7-8:30 p.m., Richard O. Hartley Park, Terrace and Chautauqua avenues in Lakewood.
Blue Grass Jam: 7-10 p.m., Celoron Legion, 26 Jackson Ave. in Celoron.
Bill Ward And Amanda Barton: 7 p.m., The Pad, 1064 Route 394 in Kennedy.
The Elektra Kings: 7-10:30 p.m, The Vikings Lake Lodge, Route 430 in Maple Springs. Members only, or by invite.
Easy Street: 8 p.m. to midnight, Bellini Lounge, 215 W. Lake Road (Route 394) in Mayville.
Brian Hanna: 9-10:30 p.m., Sully's Pub at Jamestown Savings Bank Arena, 319 W. Third St. in Jamestown.
Cindy Haight: 9 p.m. to midnight, The Witch Kitch, 68 Jamestown St. in Sinclairville.
Matt Homan And Warren Sischo: 9 p.m. to midnight, Webb's Captain's Table, 115 W. Lake Road in Mayville.
Grand Larseny: 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., Peek'n Peak, 1405 Olde Road in Findley Lake.
The Dio Disciples: 2 p.m., Willow Creek Winery, 2627 Chapin Road in Silver Creek.
Doc And Bill: 6 p.m., The Corner Coffeehouse, 54 W. Main St. in Frewsburg.
Bill Ward And Amanda Barton: 6-9 p.m., The Lakeview Hotel and Restaurant,13 Water St. in Mayville.
Busti Gazebo Concert Series Featuring Kokomo Time Band: 7 p.m., Busti Gazebo in Busti.
Deuble And Vogan: 8 p.m. to midnight, The Boardwalk in Mayville.
Happy Days: 8 p.m. to midnight, 7-10 p.m., Celoron Legion, 26 Jackson Ave. in Celoron.
Kris Meekins: 9 p.m. to midnight, Steener's Pub, 322 Route 430 in Greenhurst.
Naked Grace: 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., Peek'n Peak, 1405 Olde Road in Findley Lake.
Bill Ward And Amanda Barton: 6-9 p.m., Hadley House, 3328 Hadley Bay Road in Stow.
Jamestown Municipal Band: 7 p.m., Allen Park Goranson Bandshell in Jamestown.
Live At The Gazebo With Bill Ward And Amanda Barton: 7 p.m., Findley Lake Gazebo in Findley Lake.