Rock the Park reveals family musical connections

Members of Brothers Tone and The Big Groove rockin’ out at Rock the  Park IV in 2013. Pictured are front row (from left): Paul Roach, Andy Spofford and Karl Smith. Back row: Jim Norwood, Dave Girtz, Tom Lyseng and Gary Tschudy.

Members of Brothers Tone and The Big Groove rockin’ out at Rock the Park IV in 2013. Pictured are front row (from left): Paul Roach, Andy Spofford and Karl Smith. Back row: Jim Norwood, Dave Girtz, Tom Lyseng and Gary Tschudy.

An annual outdoor concert and fundraiser presented by Rudolph Auto Solutions and Great River Arts, Rock the Park is taking place Saturday, Aug. 16, in Maple Island Park. The opening act Bobb Gatts and Kristen Blann will start at 6 p.m. and Brother’s Tone and the Big Groove will take the stage at 7 p.m. continuing until 10 p.m.

Andy Spofford, a Little Falls native, and the lead vocalist for the Big Groove, is looking forward to performing alongside his uncle, Tom Lyseng, for Rock the Park V. Both Lyseng and Spofford are getting ready for a fantastic show!

“This year I am looking forward to the set list that has been selected for the show. It is full of great tunes with lots of energy. The songs will definitely bring tons of excitement to the crowd,” Spofford said.

As in previous years, Rock the Park is featuring music from the 60s, 70s, 80s & 90s that is guaranteed to be a rockin’ good time for friends and family of all ages, say organizers. In the past, the audience has always enjoyed getting up and joining the band as they rock out and sing along to the classic music.

Music has been a part of Spofford’s life for as long has he can remember. Growing up with a family of musicians, Spofford considers music to be an integral part of his life, “My parents and family got me started. Our household and the households of relatives were always full of music,” Spofford said. Having discovered his passion for singing as early as first grade, he has never lost interest in performing for others.

“Seeing the people that come out each year and have a blast at the event is pretty special. The event is a great example of how music and the arts bring people together for a night of fun and fellowship,” Spofford said.

Spofford loves sharing the stage with family, especially with his uncle that he is very close to. Music has been a unique aspect for Spofford and Lyseng’s relationship, and has brought them close together. “It is cool to continue to build our relationship through music,” Spofford said.

Not only does Spofford enjoy creating music with his uncle, but he also admires Lyseng’s gift for music. “His skills and talents are phenomenal, and I am very proud to claim him as a member of the family,” Spofford said.

Spofford and Lyseng are not the only members of the family that have an appetite for music. Spofford’s grandfather (Lyseng’s father) was a band director, and his grandmother played the piano and sang for many years. Both of Spofford’s parents sing, and his mother plays a variety of instruments. In addition, Spofford has three sisters that also sing and play multiple instruments.

Family performance doesn’t stop when Rock the Park is over. “Our family has collaborated to play music for church, weddings, and other events. Family campfires tend to be pretty lively as well. We love to sing and pass guitars and other instruments around!” Spofford said.

Rock the Park’s audience grows with each year, and this year is expected to be no different. Food and beverage vendors will be selling burgers, brats, pizza, nachos, popcorn, beer, wine, and more to go along with the fantastic outdoor concert experience beside the banks of the Mississippi.

As an added fundraiser the Re/Max balloon will make an appeared, provided weather permits. Tethered rides in the 70-foot tall balloon will be offered for a small donation. Proceeds will go toward Great River Arts.

For the full band list, sponsors and complete event details visit www.greatart.org.

 

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