This is the seventh year for “Down the Line,” an annual concert that raises money for the Embassy Theatre. To celebrate, the theater decided to bring back five alumni bands for “Down the Line: 7 Year Itch.”
The format of “Down the Line” has always been local bands performing tributes to music legends.
“This year's concert is very much an evolution for the Embassy's popular fundraising concert,” said Dana Berkes, Embassy marketing director. “We created shows for six years without repeating bands, a testament to Fort Wayne's musical talent. But with the seventh concert, we wanted to change up the format and see what musical magic the alumni bands could create with all-new legendary cover music. It was time to evolve the event, and we're confident the audience will agree.”
These five bands all have been in “Down the Line” before, but they're covering new artists this time. Here's the lineup:
•Fawn Liebowitz will play the music of the Talking Heads, an '80s rock band.
•The Orange Opera, led by Kevin Hambrick, will play the music of pianist and singer-songwriter Billy Joel.
•Lee Miles and the Illegitimate Sons' set will focus on Paul Simon's career.
•Ty Causey will perform a sampling of Stevie Wonder songs.
•Brother will play the songs of rock band Journey.
In addition to those five, two surprise guests are planned for “Down the Line: 7 Year Itch,” Berkes said. “We're publicizing five bands, but we'll welcome back seven total alumni bands during the evening.”
Lee Miles of Lee Miles and the Illegitimate Sons said the band will do seven Paul Simon songs and one original song he wrote called “Wholesaler.”
The band, which plays in bars and small theaters in the Tri-state area, often plays at the Brass Rail, which Miles said is “our favorite bar, with the most music-hungry crowd in town.”
When the band was approached to play “Down the Line,” band members suggested artists they'd like to do.
“Paul Simon was at the top of the list,” Miles said. “He's one of my all-time favorite songwriters. Lyrically and musically, there are few who can hope to match him.”
Miles said the band has done its own original material for a few years, so learning and performing something new has been a welcome challenge.
“We like to stretch ourselves in order to grow as musicians and performers,” he said.