It will be a reunion and a showcase of area talent on Saturday when The State Theatre’s Return of the Native Sons & Daughters show returns. The event features an array of local artists representing the best in State College independent music.
“This is a very close knit, incestuous music community and there is some amazing original music being produced here,” said local music fixture Ted McCloskey. “Unfortunately, most people don’t get to see and hear a lot of it. Well, here’s an incredible opportunity to see a prime sampler of that songwriting at a beautiful venue.”
McCloskey said he’s grateful for the opportunity to view his peers in their natural state, even if the chance doesn’t come around very often.
“I really look forward to seeing everyone,” he said. “One of the downfalls of playing six nights a week is that I don’t get to see other the artists as much as I like to.”
Natty Lou Race, of Raven and the Wren, agrees with McCloskey.
“Due to similar schedules in the entertainment business, it is not often to have a night off to go and listen to another band,” Race said. “Nights like this are most fun for musicians because we all get to enjoy each other’s performances.”
Race think that this area is conducive to independent musicians.
“The musicians in the area have a wonderful web of support seemingly ‘built in.’ Whether you’re fresh on the scene or a veteran of 40-plus years, all are welcomed, encouraged and befriended,” Race said. “I have personal relationships with many of the musicians on the Native Sons and Daughters bill.”
Noah Figlin, singer and guitarist for The Unbanned, has been a perennial part of the State College music scene for more than a decade and said he feels at home as a “native son.”
“The first show of this kind was in 2007 and it was a blast,” Figlin said. “It was an original showcase and album release party for The Nightcrawlers, The Rustlanders and Ted & the Hi-Fi’s. I believe each band played their entire record to a really appreciative and diverse audience. We all had a great time.”
Beyond being friendly, Figlin believes the local scene is packed with serious talent.
“The State College music scene is pretty multifaceted,” Figlin said. “There are a lot of really talented players and good bands who play a lot of different styles. The cool part is that among players who have been around for a while, almost everyone knows each other and is supportive of each other’s music. There are a fair number of serious artists here who really care about the music they make, and we all have a lot of mutual respect for one another.”
Nate Cushall, of The Tommy Roberts, agrees about the high quality of musical talent in Happy Valley.
“(It’s) a small, but very talented and supportive scene,” Cushall said. “We’ve got world class players here. Somebody good is playing somewhere most nights of the week.”
Cushall, much like his peers, is excited to see the other acts.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone, but I love Miss Melanie and the Valley Rats, and Raven and the Wren,” he said. “Also, I haven’t seen Lemont play under their new name yet, so I’m looking forward to hearing their new stuff. Mark Ross has been a mentor to both Brian (Cleary) and myself. He produced our first album, helped us get into the scene and is constantly after our wallets to buy new amps and guitars.”
The young musician think that anyone who attends the show will have a positive experience and become more interested in the local music scene.
“If you want to have a good time, and get hip to some of the best bands/musicians in State College, this is your all inclusive ticket,” Cushall said. “If you’ve never been to one of these local shows before, or aren’t super familiar with the scene, you will be educated by the time the show is over.”
IF YOU GO
- What: Return of the Native Sons & Daughters
- When: 7 p.m. Saturday
- Where: The State Theatre, 130 W. College Ave., State College
- Info: www.thestatetheatre .org