Musical acts ready to Rock! Piqua

PIQUA – Sounds from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s will fill the downtown during the kick-off Rock! Piqua event this weekend in Lock Nine Riverfront Park.

Hosted by Mainstreet Piqua and Piqua Arts Council, the Saturday event will include a 3 p.m. car show and a 7 p.m. concert by two regional bands, Slick Willie & the Kentucky Jellies and The Avalons.

Playing Piqua for the first time, Slick Willie & the Kentucky Jellies will entertain the crowd with rockabilly, classic rock and blues. Their playlist will include hits from Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry, as well as some early country-rock.

“All of us have been interested in what we call ‘roots-oriented’ music, for example, going back to the Hank Williams Sr. era. We all enjoy that era of music,” vocalist-guitarist Will Weigand said. “Among other things that have influenced our music is Brian Setzer with the Stray Cats, and of course, Elvis Presley.”

Weigand will be joined by Ken Kimbrell on bass and Oscar Bernal on drums.

Also taking the stage will be The Avalons, formerly known as Sh-Boom. Members of the group have been performing together for the past 31 years, according to Tom Caldwell, one of Sh-Boom’s founding members. After a brief breakup, when Caldwell formed The Avalons in 2000, the group decided to “stop competing” and come back together about seven years ago, he said.

Rock! Piqua concertgoers will be treated to a variety of oldies hits from artists like Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, the Beach Boys and the Temptations, among others.

There also will be lots of costumes, comedy and audience interaction, Caldwell said. “We try to have fun with the crowd,” he said.

In addition to Caldwell, the Avalons include Greg Couch, Gary “Rock and Rolls” Royse, and Gary “Squeaky” Thompson.

The evening also will include food trucks with soft drinks, water and beer available for purchase. No outside food or beverages are permitted.

The remaining dates for 2018 Rock! Piqua concerts are July 21 and Aug. 18.

Rock Piqua is sponsored by French Oil Mill Machinery Company, Francis Cricket Wireless, Kettering Health Network, City of Piqua, Emerson Climate, Vectren and Polysource. For more details about parking and future performers please visit