Chris Hillman, left, and Herb Pedersen perform during the opening of Mosquito Serenade. Photo By James Fossen
Cool temperatures and a few drops of rain didn’t dampen the opening of Mosquito Serenade on Wednesday at the Gaia Hotel Amphitheatre in Anderson River Park. It looked like a couple thousand (to my eye) turned out to hear the sweet harmonies and fine pickin’ of Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen.
It was the summer festival’s first show with its raised and remodeled stage, new dance floor, and terraced lower seating area. These were excellent enhancements to what was already a terrific music venue. It really does give you that Britt Festival vibe (as someone commented to me) when you walk up to the amphitheater now.
Hillman, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famer, and his long-time collaborator Pedersen, put on an excellent acoustic show. They played stellar versions of classic Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers and Desert Rose Band material. The Byrds’ hit “Eight Miles High” sounded terrific with Hillman picking out dark and complex lines on his mandolin.
As a Burrito Brothers and Gram Parsons fan, I was thrilled to hear the duo play spirited versions of “Wheels” and “Sin CIty.” The two looked like they were having a great time, mentioning that they were playing songs that would hold off the rain. It worked, it only sprinkled, never making thing uncomfortablly wet.
It’s the 28th year of Mosquito Serenade, the free Wednesday evening series coordinated by the Anderson Parks and Recreation Department. Next Wednesday (June 17) will feature the north state’s own Shasta Blues Revue. I saw the band’s keyboardist Rick Larsen checking out the venue Wednesday.
Jinx Jones and his band will play rockabilly on June 24.
To reach Anderson River Park (from Redding), take the Riverside Ave. exit and cross the freeway heading east. Turn right on North Steet, then left on Stingy Lane and left on Rupert Road.
For more information on the series, click here .