The Above Average Garage Band, of Harlan, will kick off this summer's Music in the Park slate Friday night at Kingdom Come, beginning an entertaining venue of family-oriented concerts planned throughout October, including bluegrass, rock, to folk music. The Above Average Garage Band park concert is also being held in conjunction with this weekend's Kentucky Black Bear Festival. Show time Friday night is at 7 p.m.
"Music in the Park began as a casual, laid-back gathering of people who enjoy being at Kingdom Come State Park and who also enjoy good music," said Jennifer McDaniels, who heads up the Friends of Kingdom Come, which organizes the summertime programming. "I think it's the intimate atmosphere that makes Music in the Park unique. It's not like you are going to a show, but like you are a part of the show. It's like a great, big jam session."
That sounds right up Greg Hollins' alley. Hollins, who plays drums for The Above Average Garage Band, said the "laid-back feel" was an atmosphere his group wanted to capture. That's how they came up with the name of their band, too.
"Me and two other members of our group used to have garage bands back in the 1970s," Hollins said. "It was a fun time in our lives, and we wanted to recapture that fun. So, we started getting together, playing music, got our sons involved, and just started having a blast again, like we did decades ago."
They don't jam in Hollins' garage, however. His band's practice sessions take place in his basement. And lately, they've been gathering often in Hollins' basement getting ready for upcoming shows, like Friday night's Music in the Park.
Even though Hollins said they're interested in getting more bookings, the real reason behind their music is for the simple enjoyment of it.
"We do it because it's fun," he said. "Everybody connects to music, especially the old songs like 'Listen To The Music' by the Doobie Brothers, 'Brown-Eyed Girl' by Van Morrison, and 'Stand Back' by Fleetwood Mac."
"We mostly do '70s rock and country music," Hollins said. "We enjoy doing the songs that everybody remembers, along with a few new selections. A laid-back atmosphere? Yeah, I guess you could say that's what we want to create with our music - just everybody having fun and getting into the music."
Members of The Above Average Garage Band include Hollins, who plays drums; his son, Forrest Hollins, who plays bass guitar; Robert Jones, lead guitar; and his son, Matt Jones, on percussion and keyboard; Mike Kelly, rhythm guitar and vocals; and the band's lead vocalist, Brandy Ledford.