Written by John Face
Photos by John Face & Swingin’ at the Shell Facebook page
July 20, 2022
Not many large communities are blessed with regular live music let alone small communities who have next to none, Albion is the exception to the rule. Albions music scene has become legendary as the Swingin’ at the Shell concert series heads into its 18th year of free music performed at the Band Shell Theatre at Victory Park located in Albions southeast side of town.
The series has been around since 2004. It would be the Dobbins family of Albion and several community members who worked tirelessly to bring summer fun to Albion.
Bill Dobbins has been the official M.C. of the series and his stage enthusiasm represents what his whole family feels when it comes to Swingin’ at the Shell. Excitement and fun.
Music in Albion, anchored by Swingin’ at the Shell has expanded over the years. It now includes Walk the Beat (click this link for Walk the Beat website) concert series in and about Albion. Walk the beat has several concerts year-round that brings in a wide variety of music that includes its day long music festival in downtown Albion on August 27 of this year from 1 – 5 P.M. Then we have Albion Malleable (click this link for Albion Malleable) which has brought in top bands and musicians for year-round special concerts and every Monday except the first Monday of the month as that is dedicated to Blues at the Bohm (click this link for Blues at the Bohm), Albions legendary monthly Blues concert where we see some of the top Blues acts in the United States.
So yes, the above organizations bring great music to Albion, solidifying Albion as the top music destination of the mid-west, but the grand dad of them all is Swingin’ at the Shell (click on this link for Swingin’ at the Shell).
On Wednesday July 20, I sat down with Stephanie Dobbins to discuss the upcoming season of Swingin’ at the Shell. She was excited that the new season was almost upon us here in Albion. Sunday, the kick-off of the weekly series in the park starts with Moon Shot, a group that performed last year and there were many requests to bring them back this year.
Dobbins has been coordinating finding and signing talent for the summer concert series for several years. She, along with her sister-in-law Caroline (Dobbins) Hurteau who has worked tirelessly with finding sponsors expect a big audience turnout for the coming year. She was more than appreciative of the sponsors who have stepped forward to help fund the series. It takes money in the long run to bring in some of the best bands to Albion.
She was happy to announce that the concert series which normally ran for 7 weeks during the summer has been expanded to 8 weeks. If you count the special Swingin’ at the Shell 4th of July weekend show on July 3rd, they are providing 9 weeks of great music.
Dobbins, when asked about this year’s line-up noted that “we have two bands from last year coming back, we had such a positive response to the bands, we felt we could bring them back. Along with Moonshot we have Fleetwood Gold coming back” she said. They are one of the top Fleetwood Mac cover bands on the circuit.
She was really looking forward to the diversity of music they are bringing in this year. Rock, country, and pop are the norm. This year they bring Motor City, showtunes, classical music and ending the summer series with the internationally known Simply Queen tribute band.
The summer concert series will have the Little Lambs of Jesus concessions and of course Mr. Reid and his famous hotdog stand. This summer looks to be one of the biggest for entertainment in Albion. As always you can go to City Watch NEWS website to get all the latest in entertainment (click on the link to see what’s happening in Albion).
Finally, Stephanie wanted to thank the public for your continued and growing support. Sunday is the place to be for entertainment.