By JOSHUA THOMAS
FORT PLAIN — The second summer concert event in Haslett Park couldn’t have been more different from the first. Although Spike and the Boys’ set fell into a different genre than Dick Solberg and the Sun Mountain Band’s performance — as it was a bit louder and more rock-oriented — it was no less melodic and rousing.
Village Clerk Dianne Hoffman said that a major consideration in booking bands each year is to keep the lineup varied. Understanding that not everybody listens to the same genre of music, Hoffman said it’s important to bring in “a variety of good music.”
Spike and the Boys, a five-piece rock band, featuring Spike Brown on vocals and guitar, Dennis Warner on bass, Joe Alberico on drums, Walt Maaser on trumpet and vocals, and Pat Clark on guitar and vocals, have become a well-known local favorite band, regularly playing events in Fort Plain, Canajoharie, Little Falls, Starkville and Herkimer.
As I approached the park, preparing to cross the street, a lively trumpet solo by Walt Maaser, which caused the whole park to bop along, prompted an out of state car that appeared to originally be passing through, to change their directional signal and circle back around the block, parking in Fort Plain’s True Value parking lot to attend the concert.
Witnessing just that small scene, it was immediately apparent how important these annual concerts — for which the line-up and budget takes a full year to coordinate — are not only to locals, but to those passing through. The concerts breed energy and excitement, and that sense of energy is contagious — the shows become something to look forward to.