(Cover) boys of summer: It’s a great weekend to hear some of Nashville’s most talented musicians putting out the grooves we’ve come to associate with genre classics and times past. Kicking things off for the 13th season of Frist Fridays is Al (Piper) Green & the Hard Times, from 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. Frist Fridays is featuring musical acts that “celebrate personal style” in conjunction with the summer exhibition, Italian Style: Fashion since 1945. We love seeing Al jump back and kiss himself as he delivers the soul sounds of such artists as Otis Redding, B.B. King and Solomon Burke (Warning: Be ready to sing “Let’s Get it On” with Al if he steps off the stage and starts sharing the mic!)
On Saturday, Vinyl Radio, the “all-things ‘70s classic rock band,” celebrates its fourth birthday hippie style with costume contests, cake, lava lamps and lots of opportunities to dance to such tunes as “Listen to the Music,” “Walk this Way,” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll Hootchie Koo.” And, of course, a mandolin-infused version of “Maggie May” and the tight harmonies of “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” will make the sitting-down portions of your evening memorable as well. From Queen to Yes to Steely Dan to America, the band spins the ‘70s in what we like to call a “live Hippie Radio” show! Follow the tie-dyed banner to the show; the celebration starts at 7:00 p.m. at 3rd & Lindsley.
On Sunday at 7:00 p.m., the WannaBeatles take the stage for this week’s edition of the concerts in Crockett Park. Joining the WannaBeatles (the only tribute band that has been nominated for a Grammy!) is trumpeter Freddie Holt, who puts on quite the Louis Armstrong tribute. The pairing makes sense: After all, Armstrong’s “Hello Dolly” was the first song to usurp a Beatles tune at the No. 1 slot (“Can’t Buy Me Love,” May 1964).
With the famous opening chord to “Hard Day’s Night” in our heads, we also want to note the WannaBeatles for including an original song honoring Betty White on their album “We’re Still Rocking,” released a year after White won the Grammy from under the lads’ noses. (“Bless her heart,” the boys said in unison, as they bopped their heads to the right).
(If you want to hear a couple of rock ‘n’ roll entertainers performing, we suggest Brian Wilson, who’ll be performing with Rodriguez at the Carl Black Chevy Woods Amphitheater Saturday at 7:30 p.m. or Carl Palmer’s Emerson, Lake and Palmer Legacy show at Franklin Theatre Saturday at 8:00 p.m.)
Summer sizzle, Latin funk style!: Grupo Fantasma performs at City Winery Friday at 8:00 p.m. Long-time member and bass-player Greg Gonzalez says he’s excited to be back in Nashville and in like manner, we’re ready for the return of the sensational Latin funk orchestra—for the first time since their two performances at Bonnaroo 2008. The nine-piece ensemble from Austin, Texas, presents a show full of “vibrant fusions that transcend easy classification” (Thank you, WSJ, for a more effective way to say, “outta sight!”). NPR says that the Grammy-winning Grupo Fantasma delivers “an incendiary live show, seamless whenever and wherever they’re on stage.” We second that motion and encourage your attendance. Your eyes, ears and feet will be happy you did.
Taking it to the streets: The inaugural Open Streets Nashville takes place on Saturday from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.. A total of one mile along Division Street and 11th Avenues will be closed to cars and open to walkers, cyclists, skateboarders and hula-hoopers; dogs (on leashes!) also are welcome. The event features a puppet truck (with a “frog princess”!), food trucks, free B-cycle rides, jugglers, breakdancers, mini-fitness classes, and live music—not to mention special deals from Gulch businesses and restaurants. You can ride MTA buses for free between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. by telling the bus driver you are attending the event.
“Market! Market! Market!”: Get the irritating voices of the whiny Jan Bradies in your life out of your head and hear the good news: Your local farmers markets offer opportunities to get your greens, mingle with merchants, and opt for another outside activity while the temperatures are (hopefully!) a tad lower. At the Nashville Farmers Market near downtown, enjoy the Craft & Flea Shed and artisan fare, along with this month’s version of “Turnip the Beets” songwriters open mic (5:00 p.m. start). Saturday, you can catch the Nashville Farmers Market at Richland Park in West Nashville.
While you’re there, you may want to check out the Love Market, on Alabama Avenue at 46th Avenue across Charlotte Pike from Richland Park. The market is open from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. On Saturdays in Nolensville the Amish Market at the Feed Mill offers brunch, and you may shop there all weekend for Amish jams, jellies, meats, cheeses, and hard-to-beat fried pies, pimento cheese and chicken salad. (Hours are 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. Sunday.)