"If you get a nice night down there it's special," he says. "What I enjoy the most is observing everybody enjoying the night. They hear the music, but it also becomes a social event. That's great. Sometimes you get wrapped up in your life and don't get a chance to see people and talk to them. An awful lot of that does go on down there and that's great."
New to the series at Myers this year is Bad JuJu and The Guilty. Bad JuJu is a rock band that blends the old and the new.
"It's traditional rock -- old school, new school stuff," Colt says. "Shannon Rae and Marty Flynn are also the Shannon and Marty duet scheduled for the Ludlowville Park series on July 25th. They are really good musicians. I'm getting a lot of good feedback about them and I am anxious to hear them down there. In that venue with their following they'll do very well that night."
The Guilty is a Country band with some blues mixed in. Between the two of them Colt expects good crowds.
"A lot of folks really enjoy Country. Some of our best turnouts are for Country bands," he says. "If you based it just on the gate count, Country and 50s/60s rock and roll are probably two of the biggest draws. We've had excellent talent. Sometimes you may not get the draw because a genre may not be somebody's cup of tea. But from a musicianship standpoint I think we've had really good talent. We're really glad for that."
Other dates feature southern rock, rockabilly, dixieland, R&B and latin, swing and funk, and classic 70s and 80s rock.
"We like to stay diversified with our music choices," Colt says. "We try to keep it diversified. It would be easy to have seven weeks of the same thing. You have to keep it fresh and keep the genres diversified so you can reach out to more people."
Colt is always looking for something new. He says he is considering adding a dance floor at some point. He is working on a smaller venue indoor concert for the Fall. For the Myers series he is thinking about facing the stage toward the park, rather than toward the lake to accomodate and with growing crowds. To do that he is working on an idea to add a removable thrust stage that would cover the stairs at the front of the bandstand.
"Last year we had a combination of a the Destination Band, a really popular group, and a perfect weather night," Colt says. "The crowd was huge. We could have flipped it that night and had them play down the center of the park. Because the bandstand is in the round a lot of these bands might have more people on the sides of them than in front of them because people get comfortable where they like to be in the park and they sit there."
That would certainly work for Iron Horse, which opens the Myers series this year, or Steve Southworth and The Rockabilly Rays.
"Steve Southworth is a guy that's been at it for a long, long time," Colt says. "This guy grinds out hit after hit from the 50s and 60s. It's nothing for him to start at 6:30 and play until 8:30 or 9 o'clock and never take a break. His song list has got to be like a New York City phone book -- it's big! They give you a show. Last year we had a little iffy weather, but he stayed. When the storm passed they played anyhow."
Colt attributes the growing size of concert crowds to great musicianship, but says that many of the bands have loyal fans so they bring new people to Myers Park. When they get there they like what they see and are likely to return for other activities.
"Some groups have their own following," he says. "They'll follow a group wherever they're playing. That group will set up and play down there and you see a lot of people you don't recognize. It's great, because it's exposure to the park. You get comments about how nice it is and how people want to come out and visit it again."
Admission to both concert series has always been free, but donations are accepted. Colt says that concert goers have been so generous that donations accepted at Myers Park concerts completely cover the cost of both concert series.
Colt says there is so much good area talent that he can mix up the lineups from year to year. He tries to represent a variety of genres every year, and wants to provide something for everybody.
"If I had to pick a personal favorite -- I'm a big jazz enthusiast," he says. "But I don't play favorites and we don't have a jazz band this year. You try to bring groups that draw well, that play well. I like groups that people enjoy. I am open to new groups and suggestions. You rotate bands out and bring them back in."
2014 Myers Park Thursday Concerts:
Ludlowville Park Friday Concerts