Happy 5th of July and a Wiggins Park Freedom Festival recap!
It’s National Bikini Day. (you won’t be seeing any pictures from me! hahaha) It’s National Hawaii Day too. Maholo! And National Workaholics Day. However today, on July 5th, with visions of fireworks still ringing in our heads, I thought instead I’d give a quick recap on last night’s Camden County’s Freedom Festival at Wiggins Park. Driving through Philly on my way to Jersey under a big black cloud I thought this can’t be good. But the river seemed to be the dividing line and it went from ominous to promising on the Ben Franklin Bridge. It was a perfect evening actually with a great breeze coming off the river. For all those who miss our Let Freedom Rock Fests at Cooper River, I actually like the setup at Wiggins better. The river and the Philadelphia skyline provide the perfect backdrop to the stage, there’s a lovely sloping lawn to hang out on (with grass not dirt!), there’s ample parking in the surrounding lots and YAY! food trucks! Since the station broadcast equipment was on stage, I got to stay there for the entire show and experienced the horn-y exuberance of The Royal Brass Band. Trumpets, Trombones and Tubas. Oh my! Ever heard a tuba solo three feet away? I have now. They were a lot of fun and brought in a New Orleans vibe. I was disappointed when we first heard that originally scheduled performer Boz Scaggs had cancelled his tour (shingles….get your shot!) but was elated when I heard that Burton Cummings was booked in his stead. I have been in love with Burton’s voice and songs since I slow danced to These Eyes at the high school fling. If you were listening to AM radio in the late 60’s into the early 70’s, hardly an hour could go by without hearing a Guess Who song. And last night, The Burton Cummings Band delivered with No Sugar Tonight, Hand Me Down World, Laughing, Albert Flasher, Star Baby, American Woman and No Time in a setlist crammed with singalongs. Burton is still in fine voice and his band is stellar. One of my favorite moments was Burton paying tribute to one of my other favorite singer/songwriters/guitarists JJ Cale. Burton and band did a rockin’ version of this song so here’s the original. The fireworks were spectacular and during the soundtrack when Grand Funk’s “We’re an American Band” was playing, I loved that the band’s sound guy yelled out SWEET SWEET CONNIE and then gave a knowing chuckle as if he’d had some experience with that notorious groupie.