By Marianne Campbell

The 2018 “HOT SUMMER NIGHTS” series will open on Thursday evening, June 7th, featuring HURL and FRIENDS, making their 3rd annual appearance in the French Art Colony Pavilion. This weekly series will continue every Thursday night, throughout June, July and August, with local musicians appearing as live entertainment.

Hurl and Friends features John Hurlbut, who goes by his childhood nickname, Hurl, along with three very talented musicians, all of whom have  extensive musical backgrounds.  They include Skott Brown on mandolin and violin, Terry Douds on upright bass and Mike McGannon on banjo and guitar.  The group has been together and performing for the past three years.

Their music is considered “Americana”, and is a blend of blues, folk, country, bluegrass and some rock and roll.  The band primarily utilizes acoustic instruments and also likes to incorporate harmony vocals.

Before forming the group, John Hurlbut played with numerous bands, all out of the Columbus area, including The Swimmers, The Hurling Stones and The Cowboy Angels.   Each of these groups enjoyed regional success in the Ohio area.

Hurlbut has served as Ranch Manager at Jorma Kaukonen’s Fur Peace Ranch, in Meigs County, for the past 20 years.  As he says, “The Ranch is my main focus and priority. However, I still love to get out and play, when I have an open weekend and I couldn’t be happier with the guys I get to play with in Hurl and Friends.”

Skott Brown has been playing viola since he was 9, later learning guitar, mandolin and violin.  For over a decade, he has been playing music with various groups, including Bell Acoustic, KrisB’s Midnight  Railroad and 99 Spirits.  The mandolins played were built by a friend, Greg Bell, out of old pianos.

Terry Douds is the Broadcast Operations Supervisor for the WOUB Center for Public Media at Ohio University in Athens, as well as an Adjunct Instructor in the Electronic Media program at OU-Lancaster.  A graduate of OU and OSU, he performed on four award winning albums with the OSU Jazz Ensemble.  With the Woody Herman Orchestra, Glenn Miller Orchestra and Carmen Cavallaro, he toured the United States, the Dominican Republic, Europe, Asia and much more.  Currently he is bassist with the Famous Jazz Orchestra, The Local Girls, Word of Mouth Jazz Band, and operates a recording company in Lancaster, Cojazz Recordings, Ltd.

Michael McGannon began studying clarinet and playing banjo in grade school.  Acoustic and electric guitar soon followed. He played professionally with the McGannon Stockwell Duo, then began touring with the Americana Brass.  In the 1970s, he moved to the East coast and was guitarist, and later conductor, for the million selling recording group, The Angels. He also played on numerous TV and radio jingles for McDonalds, Pet Daines, Ideal Toys, Richard’s Wines and many others.  He has served as guitarist for Athens based The Local Girls, for more than 30 years.

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The entire 2018 Hot Summer Nights  series is scheduled for every Thursday evening in the French Art Colony Pavilion.  Following the June 7th opening night, will be:

June 14       Devin Henry

June 21        New Jasper Station (Mark Ward and Jenny Walker)

June 28       Cee Cee Miller

July 5           Deep Creatures

July 12        Paul Doefinger

July 19        Brent Patterson

July 26        Sam Stephens

August 9      Ben Davis Jr.

August 16   String Benders

August 23   Micah Kesselring

August 30   Paul Doefinger

Gates open at the French Art Colony at 6 p.m., with food available for a donation, along with legal beverages for purchase.  Music will begin at 6:30 pm.  A large crowd is expected for opening night, so those attending are urged to come early.  Admittance is $5.00 per person for non-members, and French Art Colony members attend free, as a member benefit.

For additional information call the FAC at (740) 446-3834.