By Kellen M. Quigley
Folkgrass band The Probables will kick off the new Thursdays, Downtown concert series in Springville’s Heritage Park on Thursday, June 6.
With a new lineup, The Probables features lead singer and songwriter Steve Johnson; Matt Gronquist on accordion, fiddle and vocals; Adam McKillip on mandolin and vocals; Ryan Ecklund on bass and Nick Campbell playing drums. Their blend of bluegrass instrumentation with a rock underpinning has increasingly brought them notoriety at music festivals.
Johnson is well known to many concert goers in Western New York as the lead singer and main songwriter for the popular jam band Big Leg Emma. The band’s sets at Town Ballroom, Nietzsche’s, Club Infinity and other venues earned them many fans.
After Big Leg Emma went on hiatus in 2015, Johnson picked up the pieces and created The Probables. When writing material for the band, he stayed true to his rock, folk and bluegrass influences. Now with an EP, full-length album and a few band member changes, The Probables appear to be firing on all cylinders.
The group’s name was given during an exchange with the organizer of the annual Great Blue Heron Music Festival in Sherman. The band had not yet chosen a name when they expressed interest in making a debut at the annual festival. The organizer of the festival responded, “I’ll probably book you, so I guess we should just call you The Probables.”
At 6 p.m., Steve Bell will introduce African drumming before the main concert. Bell leads a Monday-night drum circle in Heritage Park and will provide several instruments so visitors may join in.
Parents with young children can watch the concert while children are engaged in art making. With funding from the Springville-Griffith Community Education Foundation, Springville Center for the Arts will bring their popular Spark! creativity program outdoors. Preschool and early elementary school students can stop at the Spark in the Park tent for free activities.
Food will be available from Jake and The Fatman BBQ. A small farmer’s market will be set up with beef and maple from Kwilos Farms, fresh produce and hemp products from Farm and Peace, and eggs and produce from Crown Hill Farm.
Thursdays, Downtown is a partnership between the town of Concord, village of Springville and Springville Center for the Arts. Future concerts include Volver on June 13, Canal Street String Band on June 20 and Buffalo Silver Band June 27. The series runs every Thursday through August 22.
Heritage Park is located on Factory Street, Springville. Main acts begin at 6:30 p.m. The park is handicap accessible and bathroom facilities are available.
In the event of rain, the concert may be moved to the Mongerson Theater at Springville Center for the Arts, 37 North Buffalo St. For details or more information on vending, contact the arts center at 592-9038.