This year's Starry Nights in Brentwood Summer Concert Series will please music lovers of all types. After last year's cavalcade of tribute and cover bands, Recreation Coordinator Jackie Dwyer made sure to book acts like KIFF and Joni Morris, who will be playing original music.
"They have their own music and their own talent, and I thought it would be something different than just hearing everyone's favorite songs over and over," Dwyer said. "We do have a very wide variety this year. Last year it tended to lean more on the rock side. But now we have some punk and some soul and some country and a little bit of everything."
Morris, a country singer, will kick off the Summer Concert Series on June 15. The weekly concerts will be held on Fridays in City Park starting at 7 p.m.
While Morris will be a favorite for the older generation, the series will offer something for younger listeners as well. On Aug. 24, Starry Nights will host Locals Night, when My Unsaid Everything, a punk band of Liberty High School students, will rock the mike. The group won an earlier Battle of the Bands competition for the right to play in the series.
"I think it's going to appease more people and maybe broaden some people's horizons," Dwyer said of the concerts' variety. "They get to experience (music) in a different environment and maybe they'll grow to appreciate it more."
Starry Nights will boast a distinct Bay Area flavor. KIFF (June 22) is a San Francisco rock band, while the Summerset Big Band (July 6) and The Floorshakers (July 20) both hail from East Contra Costa County.
The idea for the concert series started with former mayor Mike McPoland, who wanted to bring families and other East County residents to downtown Brentwood. "It was a really small idea for summertime and now it's grown into an 11-week concert series that's one of our biggest events," Dwyer said. "It's just a way to get the community together on a Friday night."
Dwyer also pointed out that while the concerts do not charge admission, Brentwood is still benefited by the people who will be familiarized with the city. People who might not normally peruse downtown will get to know the local businesses and the lay of the land.
"We get anywhere between 250 and 350 people every Friday night, which is good for downtown businesses, it's good for us, it's good for everybody," Dwyer said.
Starry Nights features more than music. During intermissions, local poets will step up to the microphone to read some of their best work.