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July 03. 2013 5:49AM

Folk veteran

Jonathan Edwards bring a little 'Sunshine' to Seacoast


JONATHAN EDWARDS 

PORTSMOUTH — Jonathan Edwards, the veteran folk singer and songwriter whose 1971 tune “Sunshine” helped define a pop-culture era, will play the Americana Festival this weekend.

The showcase is set to run from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 6, as part of the Prescott Park Arts Festival.

Edwards started his career opening for the likes of the Allman Brothers Band and B.B. King. Over the subsequent years, he collaborated on albums with Emmylou Harris, Jimmy Buffett and Christine Lavine, got a gig narrating the PBS travel series “Cruising America's Waterways” and took the lead in the Broadway musical “Pumpboys and Dinettes.”

But he remains best known for “Sunshine,” which, with its upbeat tempo but sombre lyricism, became synonymous with a mounting sense of disillusionment during the Vietnam War and Nixon era.

Also on the lineup Saturday will be Slaid Cleaves, whose recent releases include “Sorrow & Smoke: Live at the Horseshoe Lounge”; Joy Kills Sorrow, a Boston-based string band; and fiddler and singer Laura Cortese, who has made appearances with Band of Horses, Pete Seeger, Patterson Hood and Michael Franti.

In addition, the 18th annual Tommy Gallant Jazz Festival takes the stage from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, July 7. The Seacoast Big Band, set to play at 4:30 p.m., is older than its members, event organizers joked. A Seacoast staple for more than 30 years, the band's evolving roster represents freelance performers, college and high-school educators and professionals from fields such as law and medicine. The current lineup, led by Dave Seiler, includes Charlie Jennison and Mark LaForce on sax; Craig Skeffington on trumpet; Jim Robins and Brandon Newbould on trombone; Jim Butka on piano; John Hunter on bass, and Ken Clark on drums. Also on the jazz festival lineup will be Ted Casher and the Irregulars at noon; the Dominique Eade Quintet at 1:30 p.m., and Mike Tucker and Eric Bloom Quartet at 3 p.m.

Admission is by a suggested donation of $5-$10. For details, call 436-2848 or log onto prescottpark.org.


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