Sidewalk Series brings Kentucky band to play

By: Joy Priest

As you were walking to class this semester, you may have heard the sound of a band just playing live, right on campus. In case you were wondering, you were witnessing the launch of a new Student Activities Board program called Sidewalk Series.

Sidewalk Series is a six-act concert series that will feature local and regional artists. The SAB website describes it as a “free concert on your way to class.”

SAB, which always provides students activities for free, thought it would be a good idea to spice up the outdoor atmosphere on campus.

“It adds something unique to your day; it breaks it up,” said Seth Murphy, SAB’s Concert Committee director. “Going to class all the time gets monotonous.”

Murphy said getting the event approved was a big hurdle.

“We definitely have to be respectful to all the classes and the faculty,” he said. “We had to be selective with the artists we picked. They definitely had to tone it down. But we’re real lucky to get some artists to help make the event a success.”

Murphy said he got the idea for Sidewalk Series, which is an outdoor concert, from a program WRFL held a few years back.

“They had it during lunch outside WRFL studios and I took it one step further,” Murphy said. “We have it at a different location every week so students who are used to a certain area can see it. I want all students to be able to experience it, even if it’s just five or 10 minutes while walking to class.”

All of the groups do an on-air interview on 88.1 WRFL on campus before the concert around 11:30 a.m. Groups so far have included The Vespers, Deas Vail and Ford Theater Reunion. This week The Dirt Daubers will be live on the Student Center patio next to the free speech area.

“This week the group is from Kentucky and they’ve actually put out a new album in the past month, and its actually listed in the top 10 on the Billboard Americana charts,” Murphy said.

The Dirt Daubers, from Paducah, Ky. is a three-member band that produces “an eclectic mix of music ranging from Appalachian ragtime to hot jazz standards,” according to SAB’s website.

Next week, Gentlemen Hall, which has performed with LMFAO and has already grabbed a Billboard award, will jam out in the South Campus courtyard, and the following week a hip-hop concert featuring Lexington’s own Devine Carama and Emmanuel Webb will take place outside K-Lair.

“It’s a different approach than anything SAB’s tried to do in the past, as far as concert series,” Murphy said. “Part of the college experience is not limited to going to class, it’s about experiencing new things each day … if that happens then I’d say I’ve accomplished my goal as concert director.”

As for the series’ future, Murphy said it’s up in the air.

“We haven’t passed it yet, but we really want to continue it,” he said. “We really want suggestions from students as to what artists they want to get. We have a limited budget but we definitely have a local and regional focus.”