Friedrich Nietzsche was a German philosopher who is best known for his incredibly skeptical world view. The founder of the “God is dead” movement rejected all religious and moral principles and concluded that life is meaningless. However, many do not know that Nietzsche was also a poet and composer. The man who found very little meaning in life also was quoted as saying, “Without music, life would be a mistake.”
As today’s column unfolds, I had expected to be writing solely about the headlining groups for Abbey Road on the River. This year’s featured artists have strong threads that make connections with my life and my past. The Buckinghams from Chicago were one of my favorite bands as I was transitioning into my teens. They were most popular from 1966 to 1970. I had a 45 single of “Hey Baby (They’re Playing Our Song)” that I had played so often that the needle marks had literally etched out the sounds in the record.
The Cowsills came onto the scene as the ’60s were changing to the ’70s. I loved the beat and bouncy rhythms of “Indian Lake” and the important meaning of “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother,” their song that resonated with me was their version of the theme from the musical “Hair.” I was the hairy guy — noon and night, hair that’s a fright. I recently posted a picture of our school marching band on Facebook to which my sister marveled that I had more hair than she did.
The Grass Roots were in the height of their popularity between 1966 and 1975. During that time they achieved gold albums and 21 charted singles on Billboard’s Hot 100 list. Songs like “Midnight Confessions,” “Temptation Eyes,” and “Let’s Live for Today” carved their place in rock music’s history book.
Jeremy Clyde was a part of the ’60s music scene when he was with the British musical duo Chad and Jeremy. They began working together in that huge musical transition year 1962. Their first hits came in 1964 with “Yesterday’s Gone,” “A Summer Song” and “Willow Weep for Me.” Jeremy now tours with his old friend, Peter Asher, no stranger to music, himself, as a part of the duo Peter and Gordon. Their biggest hit was also in 1964 with “A World Without Love.”
Standing in line to enter AROTR, three gentlemen walked up the street hoisting guitars on their backs. I may not be Columbo, but as I quickly deduced that these guys were with a band, the people next to me began to shout, “LSB! LSB!” The guys came over to the crowd and offered hugs and handshakes to the folks that recognized who they were.
One of the guys reached out and shook my hand as if we had been long lost friends. His smile was as big as the line waiting to get into the concerts. The name of the group, from the shouts and the shirts, was The LSB Experience. The man that shook my hand also spoke, and his English had a distinct European or British flair to it.
I Googled "The LSB Experience" and discovered several sites mentioning the group and that the group is on Spotify. The touring group is made up of Hans Sligter, Marcel Luntungan and Sjoerd van der Broek and hail from the Netherlands. They have both an English and a Dutch version of their website.
Wandering from stage to stage looking around the site, I noticed the stage where The LSB Experience was setting up for a 3 o'clock performance. With the style and finesse of sub reporter Jimmy Olsen in the old Superman comic books, I introduced myself to Hans Sligter who was incredibly gracious to talk to me a bit before the show. Marcel Luntungan, the bandmember who had shaken my hand, jumped up from his seat and had remembered me standing in line.
This is the eighth year for The LSB Experience to play AROTR. They had arrived the night before and had a get-together at Buckheads. Commenting on the joy of playing cover, Hans said that they love it because they “are playing the future’s classics.”
They remembered the days of the concerts in Louisville and totally love this side of the river. Marcel said they like having everything together and that when they come here “we feel like we are coming home.”
I waited around to hear their concert and had no idea what their sound would be like or what music would be in their set. I was mesmerized. Beginning with the classic “Time We Have Wasted on the Way,” the song seemed to fit like a hand in a glove with the backdrop of the Big 4 Bridge and the meandering Ohio River. Their acoustic guitars were perfect and their tight harmonies made me wonder if Crosby, Stills and Nash had miraculously appeared.
If you are wanting to expand your world music on your iPad to include the Netherlands, but still want your theme to be classic rock, check out these guys. You won’t be disappointed.
These concerts are about the people and I couldn’t pass by “The House of Brisket” without pausing and smiling. The food truck was by far nicer than my first two houses. I spoke with Kable McAlpine, the owner of the truck who calls Vevay, Indiana, home. They do not have a brick-and-mortar location. Though this is their first experience at AROTR, they attend many of the festivals in Southern Indiana. You can connect with them through Facebook and on their website.
The aroma in front of this food truck pierced my normally smell-less sinuses. Kable said they are anticipating a great weekend, though weather is a huge factor in the success or struggle of the vendors.
Musician Bob Marley once said, “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” Here’s to a pain-free weekend!
— Tom May is a freelance writer and educator, and a columnist for the News and Tribune. Reach him at email@example.com.