The Louisville Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization is the official non-profit charity organization of the festival and will receive a portion of the proceeds from the Macie and KC shows. Since its inception in 1982, Komen for the Cure has invested over $1.5 billion in the fight against breast cancer. Louisville is one of its 124 affiliates worldwide that make up the Susan G. Komen Affiliate Network, and its annual Louisville Race for the Cure is set for October 9.
Komen for the Cure is not just about research and development; it's also an organization in which patients and survivors can gain encouragement, feel support, and celebrate life. So, it seems fitting that a band whose fame was achieved by writing and performing feel good songs that help you forget your worries and enjoy yourself would be the headliner for the launch of the River Crossing Festival and Concert for the Cure. You go to see KC and the Sunshine Band, and a party breaks out.
Although the band have released two albums of new material since 2001, it's probably a safe bet that Harry Wayne Casey and the rest of his festive entourage will use a setlist heavy on favorites from the 70s. And can you really blame them? Even the staunchest of wallflowers would at least like to get up and dance to Shake Your Booty or That's The Way I Like It. And there's an almost certainty in the prediction that the Sunshine Band, a name derived from their native Florida, will be playing a song with "boogie" in the title.
While the band may no longer be making hits or finding itself in the national spotlight, KC is often on the road, touring the US and abroad heavily, averaging an estimated 200 shows a year. While band personnel has been a revolving door since its core line-up in the 70s, the constant has been Casey's vocals, keyboards, and name recognition. He remains a showman and realizes most of his songs, no matter how dated, still hold a place of endearment for many people. But he has also managed to stay above the radar despite a lack of label promotion for his last two studio albums. For instance, he performed on the results show of American Idol in April, 2009.
Disco skeptics from 1978 who may have predicted there would be no staying power for the band's music have certainly been proven wrong. That is in part because the band's sound is more soul/funk/ RNB than it ever was disco and because - like them or not - the hits were undeniably catchy.
"Undeniably catchy" is also an apropos term for Louisville band Lucky Pineapple who will play as part of the Homegrown Music Experience on Friday night. They are unlike any other band, and one view of their Moment in an Empty Street video proves that. This year they made their debut performance at the South By Southwest Music Festival, and they are currently performing in support of The Bubble Has Burst in Sky City. And while Lucky Pineapple may be punk-theater for the classically trained ska fan, Dangerbird is a bit more easier to describe. The four-piece plays straight ahead rock and rock big on guitar riffs. Although influenced by classic rock, they are no nostalgia show, but they do offer up some good party music.
Johnny Berry and the Outliers rounds out the lineup for the Homegrown Music Experience, bringing original honky tonk music to the RiverStage. New songs like All the Whiskey in Kentucky and Who Shot Sam? have a Buck Owens feel. Older tunes like Roanoke on the Run sound a lot like Junior Brown. Berry's lyrics and vocal inflections also may hint at Johnny Cash, but despite all of these apparent influences, Johnny Berry and band offer up their own, original twist to the classic country sound.
In addition to the concerts, the festival will include a VIP kickoff reception, family funday, a classic car show, and a Celebrity Scribbles silent auction, featuring autographed headshots and drawings by celebrities that will be donated to the Komen organization. The concerts and events are open to all ages, but Macie's 7:30 and 9:30 P.M. Tickled Pink comedy shows at Kye's on Thursday September 23, are for ages 18 and over.
Tickets for KC and the Sunshine Band's 7:00 P.M. Saturday show are $20. You can catch the Homegrown Experience show for only $5 Friday at 7:00 P.M. on the RiverStage. The Family Funday & Classic Car Show-Sunday, September 26, is free. Note that all RiverStage events are general seating. You can bring chairs, but the first rows of the concerts will be standing room only. You can't, however, bring coolers, blankets, personal audio, film, or video recording devices.