By Beth Hanning
“Thank goodness for the weathermen,” said no one this summer. A few weeks ago, gale force winds were predicted for the entire day so my husband and I were debating our plans. As we were discussing what to binge on Netflix that day, we saw the sun starting to break through the clouds. We went back and forth, and the final decision was that we would not go too far out in the boat in case the weather shifted. We then sent out a text and spontaneously invited a few friends on the boat and had, as my dad used to say, a ten day.
The same thing went for last Friday when we had tickets to a concert at Jones Beach. The entire week called for storms and rain. All week, we again questioned: “Should we go?” “Should we bail?” So we gambled with the weathermen gods and decided to go, and we brought our windbreakers in case it rained. Well, once again the sun was shining as we drove into the parking lot. I did not even bring my windbreaker into the venue! The evening was delightful with a beautiful breeze coming off of the Atlantic Ocean.
I am glad that we decided to attend because live music and concerts to me are like an elixir that makes you feel young. That night, we saw three artists and one was better than the next. The singer ran around the venue, and like a kid, I ran to the barrier and the singer high fived me. I felt 16! The next day, we attended a party that had the local band The Knobs. Another great day on the water listening to live music. To me, the Knobs are playing the soundtrack to my youth. Everyone brings back a hint of nostalgia. I believe the weathermen predicted rain all day and we only had a spotty shower!
I know Rockaway has enjoyed live music for years. I even had the famous John Rafferty in my house multiple times, and my friends have hired him and others to play in their backyards. But, I want to give a shout out to all of the local bars and restaurants who seem to have stepped up their game with the live music selection. I have randomly stopped by so many places this summer to have lunch or dinner, and found a new artist that sets the ambience of your meal.
Shout out to all of the local bands that have been entertaining us for years, and shout out to all of the young people coming up honing their craft. Keep rocking on and making us all feel young!
This column would not be complete if I did not mention one person in particular who has worked so arduously to bring talent to Rockaway: Stephanie Wagner of Country Swag. Some of the people she has brought to Rockaway via the Bungalow Bar and The Rockaway Hotel are recording artists Russell Dickerson, Jake Owens and Hunter Hayes. All three are top country recording stars with successful careers.
Keep rocking everyone, see you out wherever there is live music!