Shonathin Hoskins opens at the season’s first Levitt Amp music series in Soldotna Creek Park on Wednesday, June 2, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

Shonathin Hoskins opens at the season’s first Levitt Amp music series in Soldotna Creek Park on Wednesday, June 2, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

Levitt AMP roster set for Soldotna music series

26 artists will perform across 13 weeks, from June 7 until Aug. 30

The Levitt AMP Music Series will return to Soldotna Creek Park for its fourth year next month.

Last week, the lineup and poster for this year’s series was published to Facebook, promising performances by 26 artists across 13 weeks, from June 7 until Aug. 30.

Organizer Mary McCubbins said the purpose of the Levitt series is “to create community through the power of free live music.”

To that end, she said they work each year to bring a lineup with a variety of acts and a variety of genres — to bring at least someone for everyone.

Now that it’s an established event, McCubbins said they’ve got national talent reaching out to be a part of the series — in addition to existing relationships with a lot of great Alaskan talent.

The logistics and financial realities of bringing an act to Alaska from the Lower 48, McCubbins said, has long been the biggest obstacle to attracting talent. Relationships with other entities like Salmonfest and the Seldovia Arts Council have helped to lower that bar and “sweeten the pot” as performers can add additional performances to their visit to the state.

On June 7, the first show of the year will be headlined by Blackwater Railroad Company, a band out of Seward who McCubbins said are celebrating 10 years of bringing music to Alaska. She said that makes them the perfect start to the season.

The series will close on Aug. 30 with the Derek Poppin Band, who McCubbins said filled in last year on a rainy day. This year she said she’s hoping to see them take the stage to a sunnier sky and a bigger crowd.

Several other acts have local ties, like the Riverfront Gang, members of whom have histories in the Kenai music scene that stretches decades. Free Creatures is a three piece from Oregon, but their bassist and vocalist grew up in Kenai.

Each week, the music starts at 6 p.m., but McCubbins said that the hour before will have other activities, like a color run the first week, community tie-dye the second, and live music making with headliner Connie Brannock’s Tiny House of Funk on the Summer Solstice.

The full roster is available at facebook.com/LevittAMPSoldotnaMusicSeries, and McCubbins said now is the time to start checking out the bands.

“Look at our roster and go check out the bands,” she said. “The bands have their original music available online … it gives people a nice space to know which shows they absolutely don’t want to miss.”

Levitt AMP Soldotna Music Series

June 7 — Blackwater Railroad Company, opening with BenJammin and the Jammin Band

June 14 — Dennis Johnson & The Revelators, opening with Curt Hahn

June 21 — Connie Brannock’s Tiny House of Funk, opening with Wasabi Black

June 28 — Todd Griebe & Cold Country, opening with HWY9

July 5 — Ava Earl, opening with Appalaskan Jess

July 12 — Diggin Dirt, opening with Ellie Nelson

July 19 — Bunny Swan Band, opening with Ridgeway Rounders

July 26 — Free Creatures, opening with Sam Tenhoff

Aug. 2 — Tom Rigney and Flambeau, opening with Mike Morgan

Aug. 9 — Jackie Venson, opening with Robb Justice Band

Aug. 16 — Pipeline Vocal Project, opening with Luna and Ursus

Aug. 23 — Riverfront Gang, opening with Hot Mess

Aug. 30 — Derek Poppin Band, Opening with Sue Biggs & Jack Will

Reach reporter Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.com.

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