Go outside for great music

  • By Sharon Wootton / Special to The Herald
  • Thursday, August 11, 2005 9:00pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

The summer concert season is heading down the home stretch, with Everett’s Music in the Parks series featuring File Gumbo on Sunday, Brian Waite on Tuesday and Little Big Man on Thursday.

Expect Louisiana-style music from File Gumbo, which has delivered since 1987. Think zydeco, Cajun, swamp rock and R&B, with musicians on accordion, washboard, fiddle, harmonica and other instruments.

Brian Waite and his band deliver original music, classic children’s tunes, positive messages, comedy, dances and games for the family.

Little Big Man delivers rhythms, great harmonies and a message of peace, love and unity, a combination that came out of the musicians’ background of Hawaiian, reggae, jazz and funk.

Rebecca Helmer: The singer-songwriter’s new album (“Intrigued”) was co-produced by Roger Fisher, founding guitarist of Heart. Helmer, who performs tonight in Everett, has moved from a solo act to fronting a band. She’s performed at Oregon State University and Experience Music Project.

Smilin’ Scandinavians: The band started with a group of friends at Cornish College of the Arts. The band, which performs Sunday in Edmonds, has three albums on Lutefisk Records. It mixes Midwestern polka, Scandinavian folk and traditional country-western.

David Gray: The hoarse-voiced Welsh singer-songwriter proves that poetry from the soul, when packaged with an acoustic guitar, is still a good combination, whether delivered in a pop, rock, punk or folk format. He performs Sunday in Seattle. His last album, “The One I Love,” will soon be complemented by “Life in Slow Motion,” out next month.

Missy Higgins: While she was still in high school, her song “All for Believing” got national airplay after it won a demo competition. After her Australian schooling was finished, she backpacked around Europe, then signed with Warner Bros. Higgins performs acoustic-driven songs Monday in Seattle, some reflecting her jazz background, all with emphasis on lyrics.

Lizz Wright: One of 2003’s promising new voices (People magazine) is still simmering. She’ll perform Wednesday in Seattle. Wright first came to attention in 2002, when as a virtual unknown, she performed a series of tribute shows to Billie Holiday. She’s touring behind “Dreaming Wide Awake.”

File Gumbo: 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Forest Park, Everett; free.

Brian Waite: Noon Tuesday, Legion Park, Everett; free.

Little Big Man: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Port Gardner Landing, Everett; free.

Smilin’ Scandinavians: 3 p.m. Sunday, City Park, Third and Pine, Edmonds; free.

David Gray: 8 p.m. Sunday, Moore Theater, 1932 Second Ave., Seattle; $35; 206-628-0888.

Missy Higgins: 8 p.m. Monday, Century Ballroom, 915 E. Pine, Seattle; $12; 206-325-6500.

Lizz Wright: 8 p.m. Wednesday, Century Ballroom, 915 E. Pine, Seattle; $15; 206-325-6500.

Michael Burks: 7:30 p.m. Monday, Triple Door, 216 Union St., Seattle; $12, $14; 206-838-4333.

Natalie McMaster: 7 p.m. Saturday, Marymoor Park, Redmond; $20, $29.50; 206-628-0888.

Garage a Trois: 9:30 p.m. Monday, Neumo’s, 925 E. Pike St., Seattle; $18, $20; 206-709-9467.

Michael Burks: The powerhouse guitarist-vocalist continues to make an impact in the blues world, this time with “I Smell Smoke.” He performs Monday in Seattle. He’s a third-generation musician who, with his siblings, once helped his father build a 300-seat juke joint in Arkansas.

Natalie MacMaster: It’s hard to get too much of this Celtic fiddler and her musicianship, which has been honored by two Junos and several Canadian Country Music awards as Fiddler of the Year. She performs Saturday in Redmond. MacMaster is in a creative phase, turning out her own compositions at a much faster pace than ever before.

Garage a Trois: Jazz/funk/R&B trio performs Monday in Seattle, having recently created the soundtrack to the French film “Outre Mer.” The band includes eight-string guitar master Charlie Hunter.

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