By SCOTT WEISSER
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Music: This month, it’s the main thing.
“Live & Local” is the theme for the March First Fridays in Goshen. Local and regional musicians will be performing in a host of downtown venues.
“The closure of The Goshen Theater forced us to be a little bit more creative, because we don’t have the community gathering space like we did before,” Downtown Goshen Inc. Director Gina Leichty said of this week’s event. “So we turned to the downtown stores and asked them if they would be willing to host the entertainment this month. And a number of stores had stepped up to the plate, so we’re excited to have music all around downtown this month. So it’s definitely worth coming and just checking out some local musicians who are very talented.”
Performers and performance spots will include:
• Noisy Plow Boys, Maple City Market, 314 S. Main St. — The group will perform jazz, bluegrass and folk music from 5 to 9 p.m.
• Sadie and Friends, Goshen City Church of the Brethren, 203 N. Fifth St. — Goshen College music major Sadie Gustafson-Zook and friends will be in concert from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Frosted cookies and green punch will be served.
• Dog & Pony, Ignition Music Garage, 120 E. Washington St., 6 to 7 p.m. — What does the band sound like? “As a four-piece, everyone has a very clear role,” bassist Geoff Lesar told Ralph Heibtuzki for a Michianaentertainer.com piece. “There’s a lot of rhythmic dynamics throughout those songs. It’s rhythmically-driven, melodic music, with a powerful female vocalist at the helm.”
• Bailey Williams, Ignition Music Garage — The vocalist/guitarist is scheduled to perform from 7:15 to 8 p.m.
• James and the Drifters, Ignition Music Garage, 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. — James and the Drifters is a folk rock band that got together in Huntington. According to the ensemble, “We are deeply connected in community and we seek to bring joy and love into the world through our music and actions.”
• Drop the Dawg, 212 S. Main St. (second floor) — The local trio will perform from 6 to 8 p.m. at the grand opening of The Exchange. Drop the Dawg plays a mix of acoustic “newgrass,” pop, jazz and gospel music. The trio is made up of Jim Shenk, Duane Gundy and Mike Hoover.
Additional activities during the March First Fridays include:
• A book signing by author Sally Roth from 6 to 8 p.m. at Better World Books, 215 S. Main St.
Roth has written several books, including “The Backyard Bird Feeder’s Bible” and “The Backyard Bird Lover’s Field Guide,” and is a contributing editor to “Birds and Blooms” magazine. She is a frequent writer for magazines including “Organic Gardening.”
In an e-mail to The News this week, Roth said her newest book — the one she’ll be signing at Better World — is her favorite. That work is “An Eye on the Sparrow,” a look at the natural behavior behind every mention of birds in the Bible.
“Why might a dove bring an olive leaf back to the Ark?,” Roth wrote to The News. “Why did a rain of quail fall upon the sleeping, starving Israelites? Why would ravens carry food to Elijah? Might it be possible, I wondered, that every mention of a bird in the Bible is based on science? On the true nature of that bird? And might the true nature of each bird have something to teach us about the Bible? A better understanding of the verses, once we know the habits and behavior of those birds? Turns out, the normal behavior of birds in their natural surroundings is one of the keys to understanding these Scriptures — and these Scriptures are one of the keys to understanding birds.”
At it’s heart, according to its author, “Sparrow” is a bird book.
“Because, at my heart, is a love of birds,” Roth wrote. “And a love of looking for the answers whenever I wonder ‘Why?’”
• The “Goshen Commons Intersections” project is planned at Better World Books from 6 to 8 p.m. First Fridays attendees are invited to find out what they have in common with other Goshen residents.
“Take a seat at Goshen Commons’ Intersection at Better World Books,” reads First Fridays online material. “Meet your neighbors, ask them questions and make a friend. Take a photo together, and you may find yourself and parts of your conversation on GoshenCommons.org.”
First Fridays is a monthly event designed to highlight the artistic, cultural and commercial offerings of downtown Goshen.