CHAUTAUQUA - The season finale of Rolling Hills Radio, featuring10,000 Maniacs, John C. Merino, John Latini, Cammy Enaharo and Gary Peters Jr., is scheduled for Sunday at the Chautauqua Institution Amphitheater. It is a free performance that is open to the public.
After hosting its last episode at the Labyrinth Press Co. in April, Rolling Hills Radio took a hiatus until summer came around. According to Ken Hardley, show host, it's the perfect time to pack the Chautauqua Institution Amphitheater.
"We're going to do the same thing we did at the Lab, except in front of a few thousand people," said Hardley.
In the past, the show has hosted individual members of 10,000 Maniacs, but never before the whole band, which is a huge privilege, said Hardley.
"These guys are alt-rock legends who've done some really groundbreaking music, and are continuing to create to this day," said Hardley. "What they represent is a lot of what it is we do, which is to try to tap into genuine, Americana music. So, for them to appear on the show means a lot to Rolling Hills Radio - it's really poetic."
10,000 Maniacs, which currently consists of founding members Dennis Drew and Steve Gustafson, Jeff Erickson, Mary Ramsey and Jerome Augustyniak, are in the process of promoting their latest release "Music From The Motion Picture." The album was released in February after a successful pledgemusic.com crowd-funding campaign.
According to Drew, the band was looking for something to cap off the great year that Rolling Hills Radio and that 10,000 Maniacs have had.
"We've sort of had most of the band in various parts, so to do a whole rockin-thing up there will be a lot of fun," said Drew. "We'll do some songs from our new album, and we'll probably do some old songs too. We'll try to play something from every part of our career."
Drew said it's likely that the band will perform classics such as: "Candy Everybody Wants," "Hey Jack Kerouac," "My Sister Rose," "These Are Days" and "Trouble Me." 10,000 Maniacs' set will also feature accompaniment by Merino and a horn section, as well as an interview with Hardley.
"John plays on the record, and he does this beautiful finger-style guitar on the opening of the song called 'Clouds,' - we're going to try to recreate that moment," said Drew.
The finale show will also feature performances from artists from this season of the radio show including Latini and Enaharo.
"They are both astoundingly talented, and the audience response when we've had them on the show previously has been great - people have asked for both of them to come back," said Hardley.
Latini recently became a Michigan's 2013 Capital Area Blues Brawl Duo Champion with Jamie-Sue Seal, and he will take his bluesy singer-songwriter act to Memphis next year to compete in the International Blues Challenge.
Latini also had a song, "That's My Little Baby," from his most recent album release, "Lovers Liars and Losers," be awarded No. 1 on the Alternate Roots Writers Picks Top 10 chart, thealternateroot.com. Plus, the record won the Detroit Music Award nomination for Outstanding National Small Independent Label Album.
"John never slows down," said Hardley. "His touring is essentially non-stop at this point, and I really view us as being lucky to have him."
Enaharo, who has appeared on the show three times, didn't have a record completed to share with Jamestown during her performance in April. However, the Rochester-based, ukulele-player's record is now finished, and she will come with a box full of them. During the April performance, Enaharo shared the title track from the album, "A Different Kind of Comfortable."
"It's a beautiful Cammy-kind of thing," said Hardley. "She's beginning to pick up and play more and more now in the Rochester area."
In addition to the musical performances, Peters, a local artist who is responsible for the large "I Love Lucy" mural located on the Mayflower building in Jamestown, and who animated 10,000 Maniacs' most recent music video for "I Don't Love You Too," will add some humor to the mix.
"We haven't had comedy on the show before," said Hardley. "We've talked about it, and Gary Peters was exactly the right nut for the bolt here. Gary does improv around town quite a bit, but he's also quite a renaissance man who does art such as murals and cartoons. But, I was really blown away when I first saw him do comedy. He's just a really left-of-center, funny-guy, and is exactly the kind of talent we're looking to have on our stage."
Chautauqua Institution is located at 1 Ames Ave. in Chautauqua. For more information, search for "Rolling Hills Radio" on Facebook, or visit wrfalp.wordpress.com/rolling-hills-radio to stream WRFA's broadcast debut of each show and listen to previous performances.