The sound of summer in Loveland is music with live outdoor concerts and live music sounding from the rooftops

By Chuck Gibson

LOVELAND, OH (August 13, 2021) – They call Nashville “Music City” and rightfully so with live music in every honkytonk on every corner all around town, but don’t sell Loveland short with several outdoor venues featuring live bands throughout the summer; not to mention the sound of music echoing from the rooftop of Bishop’s Quarter.

Jazz on the Lawn at Loveland Museum Center (Photo Credit Peter Bissman)

It is not hard to find live music in Downtown Historic Loveland; especially during the summer outdoor concert season. You may have already enjoyed one of several Rails, Trails & Ales concerts at Brown’s Crossing at the Jackson Street Market sponsored by Loveland-Symmes Fire Department. Or maybe you rocked it out on the lawn near the fountain for one of the Little Miami River Chamber’s (LMRCA) “Bands & Brews” sponsored by the Brittney Frietch Team ReMax Realty. It could be you chilled out at a Sunday evening Concert in the Park at Nisbet Park compliments of City of Loveland. The Loveland Museum Center got in on the sounds of summer in Loveland with their annual “Jazz on the lawn” concert/picnic in mid-July

“I strongly believe having live music is an important entertainment piece for Loveland,” said Kevin Maloff, owner of Bishop’s Quarter and The Wicked Pickle, where you are sure to find live music every weekend in the summer and all year through.

Sadly, the summer is quickly coming to a close with the first day of school for Loveland Schools in less than a week, Wednesday, August 18. Not to worry though. There is still more to come. You won’t want to miss the music coming up this weekend. Saturday, August 14, features the season finale of the “Bands & Brews” three concert series featuring Frogman Band from 5-7 p.m. followed by Timestamp 8-10 p.m. If that doesn’t quench your thirst for live music, Sunday features another Free Concert in the Park featuring The Whammies 6-8 p.m. in Nisbet Park. Brittney Frietch jumped at the opportunity to sponsor all three of the LMRCA “Bands & Brews” concerts this summer.

Drew and I love live music,” said Frietch. “It is one of our favorite past times.”

Drew is her husband and partner in the Brittney Frietch Team real estate business. The COVID shut down only made them miss their past time more with Brittney saying a televised concert is just not the same.

“We love our small town,” Frietch said. “We love how we get to support and listen to bands maybe some people have not heard of before. Most importantly, we’re excited to bring live music back post-COVID.”

This couple got up and danced during The Harmonics concert at Nisbet Park (Photo Credit Susan Cashwell)

The instant they had the opportunity to help bring it back, they jumped all over it. Frietch said it’s rooted in their desire to bring the past time back to the present time and bring a little bit of the small-town, family feel back. As they prepare for the finale this Saturday, her excitement about the concerts has not waned.

“The feedback has been amazing,” said Frietch. “We, of course, enjoyed every minute of it being the live music lovers that we are. The band selections could not have been any better.”

She talked about the Counting Skeletons concert earlier where they invited kids up on the stage to dance and sing along as an example of the family-oriented music and atmosphere. It felt like a return to some sense of normalcy for her and they enjoyed seeing families have a fun evening seeing and hearing the bands. Cee Cee Collins, CEO for the Chamber, is equally excited about the summer concerts in Loveland.

“We do the Bands & Brews,” said Collins. “I think it’s important to keep people coming down here. You’re hearing two different things. We want to have music, but our footprint really isn’t that large. We don’t need to have music blasting all over the place so you’re listening to some nice jazz in one place and hearing a rock band over here. We have to be careful, plan and work together on that.”

A view from backstage of The Harmonics concert: seen from behind l-r band members Pam King, Joe Russell and Jim Ruthemeyer (Photo Susan Cashwell)

Collins says the band selections are no accident. There is a reason specific bands are chosen for the outdoor concert series Bands & Brews. Part of choosing the bands is trying to highlight local talent, but it goes beyond that.

“I like cover bands because we get such a diverse crowd,” Collins explained. “We’re in an outdoor space, not catering to a certain type. I want it to be a cover band that can cover a lot of genres, can speak to families and to young kids and adults.”

A cozy crowd enjoys Jazz on the Lawn and a picnic at Loveland Museum Center in mid-July (PHoto Pete Bissman)

Summer in Loveland has been filled with the sound of music for sure. A small folksy gathering picnicked under the shade trees on the lawn at the Loveland Museum Center listening to the sound of Dixieland Jazz during “Jazz on the Lawn” concert. People came out in droves for Concert in the Park featuring The Harmonics at Nisbet Park. It’s not over yet, after this Sunday, the City of Loveland Concert in the Park still has two more shows scheduled in Nisbet Park 6-8 p.m. on Sunday’s August 29, featuring Everyday People Band and again September 12, with Rooster Ridge.

Then, when summer cools and the leaves begin changing color as autumn arrives September 22, live music will still be playing in Bishop’s Quarter. Kevin Malone manages Bishop’s Quarter and talked about the music there.

“We’re passionate about live music four days a week,” said Malone. “Right now we’re doing Wednesday thru Saturday almost every week.”

Wednesday and Thursday tend to steer toward featuring local talent and acoustic acts. The goal for weekends is to bring in more recognized acts.

“As we get toward the weekend, then our goal is to book more substantial, more regional popular acts; Billy Rock Band, The Harmonics, The Hot Magnolia, some of these bands that have played down through Cincinnati, all through the region for years and years,” Malone said. “Some of these big bands, we book them for the rooftop, weather pending.”

And there you have it, if the weather is bad Bishop’s Quarter will move the music inside downstairs. They don’t take reservations where the music is due to the great response. They just take first-come, first-served.

“The tables fill up,” Malone said. “It creates a nice ambiance.”

There’s a nice ambiance over at The Wicked Pickle where they go for a Key West vibe. It’s another of the local entertainment sources found right along the Little Miami Scenic River Trail (aka: Loveland Bike Trail). Live music can be seen and heard on the patio throughout the good weather season: spring, summer, fall, but probably not the cold winter. Colton Gates manages the kitchen and in a unique twist also books the music acts.

“I just love music,” said Gates. “I like listening to different bands and finding new people, giving people a chance.”

Colton Gates manages the kitchen and books the acts at The Wicked Pickle where you’ll find a Key West Vibe! (Photo Chuck Gibson)

That’s exactly what you’ll find on the patio at The Wicked Pickle. He especially likes to focus on local bands, young bands making their own music, creating original.

I encourage them to, maybe every five songs, do an original,” Gates said. “There’s this band White Water, four U.C. students from around here. Every time they come, first songs I ask them to play is one of their own.” 

Bands & Brews this Saturday, August 14, on the lawn by the fountain. (Photo Chuck Gibson)

Lots of music, lots of acts have lots of opportunity with three hours of live music on Thursday and Sunday at The Wicked Pickle and four hours on Friday and Saturday.

There is a more scattered schedule of live music on the patio at Cappy’s – you just have to stop over and catch it when it happens. Thus, as the summer wanes and autumn nears, it is clear Nashville is not the only music city, Loveland gives us all plenty of live music options outdoor and indoor.

Don’t forget this Saturday, August 14, “Bands & Brews” on the lawn by the fountain featuring Frogman Band 5-7 p.m. and Timestamp 8-10 p.m.

Sunday, August 15, is the Concert in the Park featuring The Whammies at Nisbet Park 6-8 p.m. (Note: two more concerts are scheduled Aug. 29 & Sept. 12. 

Check Bishop’s Quarter, The Wicked Pickle, Cappy’s, and the Rails, Trails & Ales schedules for additional live music dates and bands still to come