It was a chilly night last Thursday for the final outdoor concert of the 2020 season at the Pearson Lakes Art Center. Due to the pandemic, the art center staff was forced to leave their acoustically perfect performing arts theatre and hold concerts outdoors. The sound equipment built into the theatre could not be removed to use outdoors. So a fundraiser was held to cover the $10,000 needed for this major expense.
The musicians performing this benefit concert are all outstanding musicians and entertainers. Six guys from two different bands joined forces to form a new group. Some were from a band north of the Iowa/Minnesota border and some from another one south of the border. Thus, they appropriately chose the name Borderline Outlaws.
Steve Samuelson, Scott Dahl, Scott Sorbo, Brian Kittleson, Jon Johnson and Maury Muhm comprise the band. Muhm was unable to play, so another Hall of Fame musician, Terry Klein, very ably sat in with them for the night.
The music was mostly of a country flavor, which seemed to suit the audience very well. There would be as many as a dozen couples dancing to one song or another.
Not only do these musicians play very well, several of them are super vocalists, so the harmonizing was a joy to hear, especially during “Its Four in the Morning.”
The band members obviously respect each other and have a great time on stage together. It was very evident from the teasing they did between numbers. It was funny and highly entertaining for us in the audience. We chuckled all night long.
Kittleson, a very versatile musician, plays a mean steel guitar and that tone adds much to a song. But he also entertained us with his fiddle and his trombone.
We in the audience enjoyed singing along to “Hello Mary Lou” and “Pass Me By.” It didn’t seem to matter whether the song was a waltz, polka or two-step, dancers did their best on a cement floor. Although admittedly the dancing warmed us up, we were out there because the music was so good and extremely danceable.
I have not heard officially how much money was raised, but I do know that a donor had pledged to match dollar for dollar up to the $10,000 goal and $3,500 had been donated by showtime. We all made out donations as we arrived, so I am fairly confident they came very close to meeting their goal.
If COVID continues without a vaccine, there will be more and more outdoor concerts so the equipment will be well used.
Thank you to the Borderline Outlaws for a wonderful evening of music and dancing. It was the perfect way to wrap up the concert season!