Good tunes said to be key to success of Down on Main Summer Concert Series

TUPELO – At the heart of the Down on Main Summer Concert Series is music.
This year’s series welcomed the Kudzu Kings and Mayhem String Band in July, followed by Blue Mountain and The Benders in August. Thursday’s season finale will bring Paul Thorn and Charlie Mars to the stage.
Each of the Mississippi acts has played, more or less, some kind of roots music – some, like the Mayhem String Band, have had more of a bluegrass flavor, while Blue Mountain favors an Americana sound, and Paul Thorn brings in a hint of blues.
“What we’re trying to do is pick music in a genre that spans demographics. We’re trying to pick music that covers multiple genres, so that it appeals to as many people as possible,” said Chris Root, a member of the Down on Main committee that selects the bands that perform.
Roots music, he said, “covers rock, country and blues, and those three genres really cover a lot of ground, and really, if we’re being honest, covers everything.”
Root said he and the committee chose the bands based on what they listen to and what they thought other music fans in Tupelo would enjoy. The committee also wanted to support acts that presented quality, original music.
So far, that formula seems to be working.
“We have not heard one complaint to date,” Root said. “Everybody’s excited; they can’t believe it’s happening. The biggest concern we’ve heard is that they’re afraid it won’t continue.”
The first two concerts together have drawn about 2,400 people, he estimated. Much of the series’ future – such as next year’s performers – depends on Thursday’s turnout.
“Right now we’re in the planning stages for budgeting and sponsorship drives, so it’s all depending on that, which in turn depends on Thursday. Thursday is such a pivotal day with regards to next year,” Root said. “We’re expecting this one will be the biggest and best of the three so far.”

Concert info
The Down on Main Summer Concert Series wraps up Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in Fairpark with entertainment from Charlie Mars and Paul Thorn.
The event is free and will go on rain or shine.

Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal