By Sally Gillie
The entertainment lineup for Monroe’s first large-scale music festival on Sept. 7 at Lake Tye Park is coming together.
Promoter Keith Brock said he has solidified commitments for the festival’s closing acts from guitarist Carl Verheyen, best known for his work in Supertramp, and bassist Dave Morotta, who has recorded and toured with artists who include Colbie Caillet, Manhattan Transfer and Kenny Loggins.
Brock said now that the venue and a firm date have been set, he can continue talks with several performers who have said they would like to take the stage here.
A guest appearance by harmonica legend John Popper, of the rock band Blues Traveler, is a strong possibility. “At this time he’s really interested in making a guest appearance,” said Brock, adding that commitment could come soon. Another possibility is Jimmy Paxson, a drummer who has toured with Stevie Nicks.
The music festival is a first-of-a-kind event for Monroe,” said Brock, who lived here as a youngster, attending first the Monroe Christian School, then Salem Woods Elementary and Frank Wagner Middle School. It was those early musical opportunities here, he said, that gave him the background he needed to take his career forward.
Brock began playing guitar at the age of 15, and a few years later moved to Los Angeles where he began his career as a studio musician, learning from fellow musicians including Verheyen. His performing career has taken him around the world, and he eventually turned his attentions to music promotion.
The day-long Monroe event, “Dare to Dream – Follow Your Dream,” is a theme shared by all musicians who just want an opportunity to do what they love, said Brock. “This community helped that dream come true and we want to take it forward,” he said.
“We hope to not only make this an annual event,” he said, “but make the venue a turn-key for other forms of entertainment that can come to the city in the years ahead.”