By Matthew Saari

Granville will kick off its summer concert season Thursday, July 2 with a crowd-pleasing performance by Whiskey River.

The four-person classic country band will be the first to play in Granville’s annual Summer Concert Series this year.

Lead singer Joe Gero has a voice as smooth as Tennessee whiskey and has opened shows for many major country artists in his career. Lead guitar player Fred Hurley plays note for note what the original recordings sound like with a clean, classic guitar sound, and he sings lead on many songs as well. Multi-instrumentalist George Schacher gives the band that true country sound with his pedal steel guitar and plays fiddle, guitar and harmonica. He also sings lead and harmony. Driving the band with a solid, toe-tapping beat is drummer (and local resident) Bob Tressler.

Each Thursday from early July to the end of August, from 7 to 9 p.m. in Veterans Memorial Park, different acts will perform from the bandstand.

“At this point the summer concerts look like they’re a go,” said village clerk Rick Roberts. “All of the bands have confirmed.”

Hit acts such as Skippy and the Pistons, Grand Central Station and Studio Two will bring classic rock, pop, R&B and even some Beatles covers to the park.

Last year’s concerts drew 300 to 500 people each, Roberts said.

Daryl Magill will also return, performing with the Sass and Brass band.

The concerts are free and there are often activities that run in tandem, such as strawberry socials, free ice cream nights and chicken barbecues.

“We try to reach out to various organizations to make it a community event,” said Roberts.

Although the state is still amidst reopening, following the COVID-19 pandemic, Roberts noted that since the concerts are held outdoors, masks will not be required.

“It’s an outdoor venue, we don’t really feel the masks are a necessary thing,” said Roberts, noting there will be sanitizer on hand.

Fireworks are planned for July 2.

The summer concert series is made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts Decentralization Program, administered locally by the Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council and title sponsor, Great Meadow Federal Credit Union.

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