Get Rhythm: Scottsville fete makes a big splash

In her book Scottsville on the River, Virginia Moore describes the “front porch era” of her sleepy little town in southern Albemarle in idyllic terms: a place where the Number 10 train arrived every evening bringing the day’s mail and the opportunity for folks to gather and shoot the breeze as they waited for their letters and packages.
By the time Jan Glennie-Smith moved to town, that era had long since passed. Yet this mother of four longed for a similar informal excuse to get together with friends and neighbors to meet, chat, and play. So five years ago, with “hearts bigger than our budget,” as she says, she and another area resident, Lisa Kadick, joined with the Scottsville Council for the Arts to create such an opportunity.
Their efforts have become Rhythm on the River, a free outdoor concert series held in Dorrier Park along the James River in Scottsville. On the first Sunday of the month during the summer (in July the event takes place on the 4th just prior to the town’s fireworks display), popular local bands take the stage, while folks with picnic baskets and coolers lounge on lawn chairs and blankets, enjoying the music and the company of friends. Kids take to the swings and climbing structures at the playground, or get into pick-up games of soccer or Frisbee on the playing fields beyond. Folks can bring their own picnic, but someone often shows up selling barbecue and ice cream. Sometimes there’s even a lemonade stand.
“The bands create a wonderful summer feel,” says Glennie-Smith. “It’s relaxed. It’s laid back. It’s just a mellow family atmosphere.” 
This season’s line-up starts with the traditional up-tempo mountain music of The Hackensaw Boys on June 1, with the bluegrass band Jackass Flats opening the evening. The Jan Smith Band opens on July 4 for Willow Branch, playing traditional bluegrass. August heats up with Corey Harris’ Delta blues, and September eases off with the cool jazz sound of Inner Rhythm.
If you’re longing for the days when you could bring your own basket of goodies, turn the kids loose, and kick back to listen to some great live music on a summer’s evening, Rhythm on the River is worth the trip.

Rhythm on the River takes place on the first Sunday of the month June through September (except in July when it happens on the 4th) at Dorrier Park in Scottsville beginning at 6pm. 286-4958.

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