No fun things to do mid-week? Wrong.

New and old music venues offer summer options even during the week

By Denny DyroffStaff Writer, The Times

procol harum gary brooker

Procol Harum (including lead singer Gary Brooker, pictured) headlines at Sun Center’s “Starlight Summer Concert Series” July 17, just one of many great music opportunities available mid-week.

There are a lot of things to like about summer. If you’re a music fan, you’re sure to appreciate the expanded schedule of live music in the area — from shows at outdoor venues to heavier mid-week schedules at area indoor venues.

There is a brand new outdoor venue in Aston called the Sun Center

(63 Concord Road, Aston, 610-492-7722, http://www.suncenterconcerts.com) — a venue that has already established itself as a prime destination for live music.

One of top acts slated to perform as part of the Sun Center’s “Starlight Summer Concert Series” is Procol Harum. The British band will perform on July 17. On July 16, the stage will belong to the vocals-oriented band Straight No Chaser.

Procol Harum burst onto the music scene in 1967 with the song “Whiter Shade of Pale.” The tune, which featured unusual organ work and the very distinctive voice of Gary Brooker, allowed Procol Harum to enjoy a meteoric rise to the top of the international charts.

The band, which also introduced guitar virtuoso Robin Trower, also scored hits with songs such as “Homburg,” “A Salty Dog” and “Conquistador.” The current line-up, which includes Brooker and lyricist Keith Reid (who was a founding member), has been together for more than 20 years.

The show, which starts at 7:30 p.m. and has a ticket price range from $59.50-$75.00, also features Carl Palmer as the opening act. Palmer is familiar to fans of classic rock as the drummer for the 1970s supergroup Emerson, Lake and Palmer. He also has been the drummer for Asia, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown and Atomic Rooster

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Straight No Chaser performs at The Sun Center, Wednesday night.

Straight No Chaser is an a cappella group that got its start in 1996 at Indiana University. The group’s initial claim to fame was a 1998 video they made featuring “The 12 Days of Christmas.” The comic video has received more than 20,000 internet views.

The group, which has always recorded for Atlantic Records, has four albums — “Holiday Spirits” in 2008, “Christmas Cheers” in 2009, “With a Twist” in 2010 and “Under the Influence” in 2013. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. and tickets range from $39.50-$59.50.

A great way to enjoy the summertime glut of music is to take a short ride into Delaware. On July 17, Market Street in Wilmington will be the site of major musical festivities on July17 with the 2014 Ladybug Music Festival.

The Third Annual 2014 Ladybug Music Festival (theladybugfestival.com) is like a block party on steroids — or maybe estrogen — or maybe both.

The free event, which will be held in the 2nd & LoMa neighborhood along Market Street downtown Wilmington on July 17, is a block party that will run from 5-10 p.m. and feature 40 talented music acts — all female. The event is being presented by Gable Music Ventures, 2nd & LOMA, and ShopRite.

This year, Third Street and the outdoor courtyard of Del Tech will also have vendors and live music. The music will begin around 5:30 p.m. and will be nonstop on multiple stages until 10:30 p.m.

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Rachael Sage headlines at this week’s Ladybug Festival in Wilmington.

The festival’s headliners are Rachael Sage and Angela Sheik along with Sweet Leda and Grace Bernicker.

Sage is like a modern-day Renaissance woman — singer-songwriter, ballerina, pianist, poet, record label owner, actress, organist, writer, record producer and performer. She has released 10 albums since and recently has issued two EPs — “Haunted By You — the Acoustic EP” in 2012 and “New Destination” this year.

Sheik crafts her unique music by playing instruments live and using loops. Her list of instruments includes voice, loop pedal, flute, keyboards, autoharp, theremin and synths.

Sweet Leda is a new-school funk, soul and pop band fronted by Julie Cymek. Bernicker is a new country-pop singer from nearby Havertown.

The roster of acts other acts slated to perform at the event includes Nalani & Sarina, Danielle & Jennifer, Hadar, Kira Alejandro, Nadjah Nicole, McKinley Short, Kaleigh Baker, Dani Mari, Acacia Sears, Beth Goldwater, Leslie Carey, Black Dress Jess, Paige Allbritton, Angela Michele Walker and Jessica Cayne.

Also featured will be Jerzy Jung, Sarah J, Alexa, Crys Matthews, Emily Danger, Danielle Cuoco, Andrea Nardello, Rachel Schain, Aberdeen Green, Kate Mills, Evangelina, Emma Cullen, Minerva, Hanna Melba, No Stringz Attached, Lauren Kuhne, Michelle Ley, Adryelle, Megan Knight, Every Heard, Erin Magnin and Grace Bernicker.

Ardmore Music Hall (23 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, 610-649-8389, www.ardmoremusic.com) hosts the “BVTLive! – Dance Party!” on July 15 and BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet on July 16.

The “BVTLive! – Dance Party!” is a free event that gets underway at 7 p.m. with Strangers. Other acts on the bill are Contagious at 7:40 p.m., Back2Life at 8:20 p.m. and the Sid Miller Dance Band at 9 p.m.

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BeauSoleil is at The Ardmore, July 16.

The BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet concert starts at 7:30 p.m. on July 16 with tickets priced at $20 in advance and $25 day of show.

Since forming in 1975, Grammy Award winners BeauSoleil have claimed their undisputed role as the music world’s best Cajun group. BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet take the rich Cajun traditions of Louisiana and artfully blend elements of zydeco, New Orleans jazz, Tex-Mex, country and blues into a musical gumbo all its own.

On July 16, the Sellersville Theatre (24 West Temple Avenue, Sellersville, 215-257-5808, www.st94.com) will showcase the talents of two contemporary singer-songwriters — Tony Lucca and Tyler Hilton — along with special guest Anna Rose.

Hilton is a promising young songwriter who also has been faring well as an actor. He plays the role of Chris Keller on CW’s “One Tree Hill” and played the role of Elvis Presley in the movie “Walk the Line.”

Lucca began his entertainment career in the early 1990s with “The Mickey Mouse Club” and spent several years after that as an actor prior to turning to music. He was a contestant on “The Voice” in 2012 and has recorded nine albums since 1997.

Anna Rose is a rocker from New York’s East Village who fronts her own band. She has two previous albums — “Anna Rose” in 2009 and “Nomad” in 2010 — and a new one coming soon called “Behold a Pale Horse.” Tickets for the concert are $15 and show time is 8 p.m.

Also on July 16, Burlap & Bean Coffeehouse (204 South Newtown Street Road, Newtown Square, 484-427-4547, www.burlapandbean.com) will present an evening with Delco Story Slam.

The Delco Story Slam is a new monthly storytelling event brought to you by the same folks who created the popular West Chester Story Slam.

Anyone can hop on stage and tell a five-minute “true as you remember it” story based on the theme of the night — “Good Intentions!”

No notes, no props, and no music are allowed – just the storyteller and a microphone. Each month’s winner earns a berth in November’s “Grand Slam” which determines the “Best Storyteller in Delco!

dennis deyoung

Dennis DeYoung, the former lead singer of 70s pop/rock power Styx, headlines at the Keswick Theater, July 17.

On July 17, the Keswick Theater (291 N. Keswick Avenue, Glenside, 215-572-7650, http://www.keswicktheatre.com) will have a concert by Dennis DeYoung. Show time is 8 p.m. and tickets are $47.50 and $57.50.

If you’re familiar with any of these songs — “Come Sail Away,” “Lady,” “Babe,” “Too Much Time on My Hands” or “Best of Times” — then you’re familiar with DeYoung’s singing. He was the lead singer of Styx and wrote seven of the band’s eight Top 10 singles.

Also on July 17, the American Music Theatre (2425 Lincoln Hwy East, Lancaster, 800- 648-4102, http://www.amtshows.com) will present a performance of its original stage show “Music of the Night — The Songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber.”

The American Music Theatre Orchestra, Singers and Dancers will reprise the most popular songs from a number of the playwright’s Broadway hits such including “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Cats” and “Evita.” Tickets are $32 for adults and $16 for children.

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Tags: Ardmore Music Hall, Dennis DeYoung, Keswick Theater, Ladybug Music Festival, Procol Harum, Rachael Sage, Straight No Chaser, Styx

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