Music in Marion: 8 Opportunities for Music Lovers this Summer

Whether you love a good beat on the electric guitar or hanker for a throwback to simpler times with the unique sound of a dulcimer, our county won’t disappoint.

This summer, if you can’t keep that itching foot from tapping a beat, travel on up to Marion County for some show-stopping tunes and history-making blues.

Explore all we have to offer your ear on the music scene:

1. Pattyfest

9 a.m. – 9 p.m., June 4, East Fairmont High School  

Patty Looman

While the hills of Appalachia may look a little different than they did 100 years ago, the music of these enchanted mountains remains, thanks in large part to a little lady named Patty Looman.

This hammered dulcimer legend from Mannington taught students up and down the East Coast to play the old-time songs of the mountains, and she never charged a cent! In her memory, folks from all around will gather their strings, tin whistles and drums to play together and teach others the music she treasured.

You won’t want to miss this day of mountain music in Marion, with workshops, an open stage and jammin’ sessions with other musicians to tunes from the past!

2. 5th Annual Accordion Concert

7- 9:30 p.m., June 11, Knights of ColumbusMarion-County-is-hosting-the-4th-annual-accordion-concert-Saturday-from-7-930-pm-@-the-Knights-of-Co

Speaking about old-time music with a mission, why not bring the whole family for an amazing accordion treat?

For 5 years, our Marion County musicians have joined with accordion masters from across the country to provide a feet-stamping, heart-pleasing, crowd-rousing time! This year’s show will feature Hannah Jane Robbins, an accordionist with a high-energy performance, and other players who will leave you begging for more.

So when the kids complain there’s nothing new to do, bring them on out to enjoy a musical festival with amazing instruments they never knew about!

3. Johnnie Johnson Blues and Jazz Festival

July 9-10, Palatine Park

Johnnie Johnson

Just not into the old-time swing? Why not swing to the smooth sounds of the “Father of Rock n’ Roll?”

The legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Johnnie Johnson, master of blues, jazz and rock’n roll, grew up in the small city of Fairmont, but you can hear his music all over the world!

For 15 years, folks have been gathering together to celebrate the beautiful music of Johnnie, a man who didn’t see fame or fortune, but saw all musicians as family.

At the festival, you will hear blues and jazz, but don’t be surprised if you catch a country strain or a reggae beat coming from the stage. Johnnie celebrated all kinds of music, and this growing festival will take you to his favorite place— a place filled with musicians from all over, celebrating the diversity of American music together!

Pricketts Fort-Grkmania4. Grkmania Polka Band

7-8:30 p.m., July 29, Pricketts Fort

If you haven’t satisfied those tapping feet yet, don’t despair! Just throw on your dancing shoes and head on out to hear a family full of polka players happy to delight! This special group includes 3 generations of Grkmans, including proud patriarch Joe Grkman, an inductee into the Polka Hall of Fame.

What’s distinct about this multicultural music? The band plays Cleveland-style polka, blending traditional Slovenian folk with American beats and words. It makes for a lively show! So if you can’t seem to corral the kids’ energy this summer, why not let them dance, swing and sway to the songs of polka?

5. MC Rocks Rock n’ Roll Tribute

1:30-9pm, July 30th, Palatine Park

Palatine Park

Love all the different styles of music Marion has to offer but still longing for some classics? Want to dust off the blue suede shoes in your closet from childhood?

This summer, Palatine Park will pulsate with a tribute to the greats of rock n’ roll, including the king himself. Our bands will belt out Elvis, The Eagles, Pink Floyd and others of your favorites, all in the family-friendly environment of the park.

Be prepared to jump, dance and rock to the tunes of the century with your fellow rockers as you pay tribute to American music-making history.

6. First Fridays

4:30-9 p.m., Veterans Square

First Friday at Veteran's Square Plaza

First Friday at Veteran’s Square Plaza

If our yearly festivals weren’t enough motivation, we also have monthly music on our calendar just for you!

Every first Friday of the month, downtown Fairmont’s Veteran’s Square comes alive with the sounds of local artists lighting up the streets with Marion’s best in musical talent. Enjoy styles like country, funk, Latin and whatever else you can think of. It’s  not just a listening feast, but a visual treat as well!

Local artists also sell their work while you sing along to the groovy beats floating along Fairmont’s streets.

Come back every month, because you never know what you will hear or see!

7. Sagebrush Round-Up

End-your-weekend-on-a-high-note-at-Sagebrush-Round-Up-with-a-special-Sunday-concert-starting-at-200This country music bonanza will have the whole family stomping, clapping and whistling to the twanging tunes you love. They have an open stage in addition to the booked bands.

Don’t come only expecting to experience a little slice of country heaven, because at the Sagebrush Round-up, country is big! So big, in fact, that it’s where you’ll find the West Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame!

If you want a weekly retreat with fellow country music folk, plus dinner for both your stomach and your soul, come on out for this Marion County musical tradition!

8. Assumption Records

After all these concerts, you may feel like your extrovert meter is Assumption Recordsrunning on empty. Don’t worry! You can still get your music fix with a bit of home listening.

Assumption Records has a huge selection of collectible and new vinyls to  encourage you to dust off that record player!

From popular artists to local artists to obscure music you can feel smart talking about with your music-loving friends, this store has every artist you crave and more. If not, they can order online from their stock.

Other music opportunities this summer include the Bluegrass Feast, the Fourth of July concert at Palatine; Nikki Talley at Pricketts Fortand the monthly Back Roads & BBQ at the Round Barn in Mannington.

So if you’re ready to start your summer soundtrack, head on over to Marion County to discover a music medley worth the trip!

Rachel Ellis

Rachel Ellis

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