What better way to spend a lunch hour in the warm sun than with some sweet melodies filling the backdrop? Such is the case in downtown Klamath Falls, where through August local musicians will be performing for free on Wednesdays at Sugarman’s Corner from 12-1:30 p.m.
The lunchtime free concerts kicked off on Wednesday, July 29 with a performance by Curtis Peoples, and will continue each Wednesday through Aug. 26 at the popular downtown open courtyard hangout on Main Street known as Sugarman’s Corner in honor of the store owner whose mercantile once stood on that same lot.
Coordinated by renowned Klamath Falls-based musician Bill Palmer, who has close affiliation with the Klamath Folk Alliance – a collective of local musicians and booking agents that collaboratively work to enhance the live music scene in the Klamath Basin, each week’s lunchtime show presents some of the best in regional musicianship adding to the lunch hour ambiance.
“We only have half the musicians returning to live music, many still have concerns about being back in public,” said Tom Franks, who in addition to being a performer also handles concert booking for three Klamath venues. “Half the normal roster of musicians will be doing twice the gigs, so it will be good financially for those of us who play, but there’s obviously a lot of concerns amongst musicians who will not be performing this summer.”
The lunchtime free concert concept is not new, but amidst a global pandemic causing cancellations nationwide of public events, the socially-distanced outdoor shows offer a much needed connection to the arts that otherwise have been hit hard by virus-related restrictions.
Other regional venues have found ways to revise operations to once again welcome live music. The Klamath Falls Saturday Market continues to present live performances, while popular venues such as the American Legion Club, VFW, Grocery Pub, and Mia’s & Pia’s have enacted means to welcome performers while adhering to social-distancing mandates.
Upcoming lunchtime Sugarman’s Corner performers include Erin Barker on Wednesday. Aug. 5; Bill Palmer on Wednesday, Aug. 12; Jim Gillam on Wednesday, Aug. 19; and Second Hand Sage on Wednesday, Aug. 26.
“It’s important for our community to return to normal, and live music and community is the heartbeat of this town,” added Franks. “Live music is the icing on that cake.”
Sugarman’s Corner is located at 533 Main St. in Klamath Falls.