OLEAN, NY -- The Larry Lewicki Band will perform in Lincoln Park Thursday as part of Olean’s summer concert series. The free performance is scheduled for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Earlier this week, Larry Lewicki shared a few thoughts with TAPinto Greater Olean about the band and the music world.
TAP: Does playing an outdoor venue present any special challenges for your band?
LEWICKI: The weather is obviously the biggest challenge. If it rains, that diminishes the crowd. If it’s too hot and humid outside, that makes playing difficult on us. I personally can't take the heat and humidity. The accordion keys becoming sticky and standing with that 30-pound box strapped up against your body traps the heat and makes playing difficult. If the temps are cool and no rain, then we love playing outdoors.
TAP: Many types of music are popular for a few years and then give way to the next trend. Polka music never seems to go out of style. Why?
LEWICKI: Polka music is happy music. When you go to a dance or festival, you see people dancing, singing along, clapping their hands, stomping their feet and having just a good ole time. It’s music that's made for a happy time.
TAP: What type of music did you like most when you were growing up?
LEWICKI: I'm 100 percent Polish and grew up in a Polish family with great musicians so I do like polka music. But I also grew up during the ‘70s and ‘80s so I do love that era of music along with the ‘60s. I like listening to a lot of different styles of music as much as I enjoy playing them.
TAP: You don’t limit your sets to polkas. We’ve seen you mix blues, classic rock and oldies into your shows. Do you ever tire of playing polkas?
LEWICKI: We never tire of playing polkas. We also never tire playing other styles of music. The key to a good gig is to mix up different genres of music. Not everyone that attends dances or festivals like polkas or oldies or Latin or country, etc., so the key is to play different styles of music that will appeal to everyone's taste. A misconception is when you go to a polka dance it’s all polkas. That's not true at all. Most of the polka bands mix it up with different styles of music, which you have to do to keep as many people happy as you can.
TAP: What major recording artist you would most like to see in concert?
LEWICKI: I really don't have a major recording artist that I'm dying to see. I've been to a few concerts from Billy Joel to Def Leppard to Styx to Peter Frampton to REO Speedwagon. If one of these classic bands are playing close by, I’ll try to make it a point to be there.
In the event of rain, Thursday's show will take place inside the John J. Ash Community Building on North Barry Street.
The concert series will continue on Thursday nights through Aug. 23. The schedule includes:
- July 26: Coyote Moon
- Aug. 2: Dave Dorson
- Aug. 9: Allegany Alumni & Friends Band
- Aug. 16: Kokomo Time Band
- Aug. 23: Twin Tiers Community Band
All concerts are scheduled for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Lincoln Park.