Ludrock heads east! All-Stars concert tonight in Scottville.

June 23, 2015
Don Klemm and his daughter, Carrie Klemm, dance to the Lou Thunder Band.

Don Klemm and his daughter, Carrie Klemm, dance to the Lou Thunder Band.

SCOTTVILLE – This coming weekend is the annual Ludrock concert at Ludington Waterfront Park. The benefit show features many Mason County natives performing on stage. Tonight, many of those musicians head east for the All Stars of Ludrock show, which begins at 7 p.m. on the Scottville Clown Band Shell stage. In a sense the musicians will pay homage to Mason County’s longest lasting band, the Scottville Clown Band. 

The free concert is a way for acoustic singers and songwriters to perform classic, well-known songs with the backing of a full band and with their own musical twist.

Ludrock founder, Ed Santarelli said: “I’m always coming up with crazy ideas. This concert will be the kick-off, but it will be different than Ludrock itself.”

Ed has put together, with much help from John Merchant, a house band, that will be playing for each of the acts that will be featured during the evening’s event. John, along with Jason “Harvey” Hargreaves and Dale Horowski will be the members of the house band. John and Ed are coming up with different songs that could push the artists a bit further.

“We got a house band and we want to show off the musicians in a different light,” Ed said. “We want to push them out of their comfort zone. We are basically looking at people you see as a solo or acoustic act and we’re having them doing something completely different that they normally wouldn’t do.”

“For those who attend the Ludrock all stars show, it will be an opportunity to see some of your favorite artists in a different light,” John said. “For me personally it’s an opportunity to learn from some of the most talented people our area has to offer. My motives are selfish, I wanted to hear these artists perform material out of their comfort zone, because I’m a fan.”

“Greatness really could happen,” Ed said. “We want them to step outside of what they are comfortable with. It could really have a magical spark. We want people to walk away saying it was bizarre, yet so awesome.”

With Ludrock being the weekend right after the All-Star concert, Ed hopes that people come out to support the musicians in Scottville, along with the entire series that have been developed there each summer.

“It’s a great series out there,” he said. “Jeremy Verstraete and Mike Luusua have really been a huge part in helping Ludrock as well as the Tuesday night series.”

The Ludrock All-Stars concert will feature all the bells and whistles that Ludrock does. Ed said he doesn’t expect to disappoint and he feels it is a great way to get the week of Ludrock going and a way to promote the mission behind the event as well.

“This is Ludrock’s fourth year,” he said. “We continue to want to give back to the community and we have a great line-up of beneficiaries this year.”

Staircase Youth Services, Ludington Area Student Resource Center, Ludington Area Jaycees, St. Simon’s Food Pantry, Sandcastles Children’s Museum and the Ludington Area Center for the Arts will be the organizations receiving fiscal donations raised at this year’s Ludrock.

“The Jaycees are taking on the beer and food tent this year,” Ed said. “They’re going to take the money they raise to re-do the entire mini golf course down at the beach. St. Simon’s will be joining us for their fourth year, which is very cool. There’s just so much need there, if you look around you can really see it here in the community.”

The arts center will continue to set aside the money it receives from Ludrock to continue its upgrading project of the auditorium. Ed said he is hopeful that with the ability for musicians to show up to the center and have the ability to just show up, plug in and play, the venue will begin to attract a lot larger scale of artists of all kinds.

“Come in, plug in and play, that’s been the vision from the get go,” he said. “It’s an unfinished job, but we are hoping it will turn into a stop over for major acts and art.”

With giving back to community as the major goal of Ludrock as a whole, Ed said he is very excited to get involved with the younger generations of up coming artists and musicians by organizing a Ludrock stage as a permanent fixture at Sandcastles Children’s Museum. The museum will be hosting a fundraiser for the fixture’s development on Friday, June 12 from 7-9 p.m. at the museum. The event is free, but donations will be accepted throughout the event to benefit the installation.

“It will have sound, lighting and even a Ludrock banner,” Ed said. “Instrumental Music and Sound is donating some equipment to help make it a great fixture for the museum. Every kid who steps on that stage and dreams a dream, the museum can say that were part of that.”

Big things continue to add on to the Ludrock event and Ed said he couldn’t ever do it alone. He continues to be thankful for his many volunteers and donators who make the event bigger and better every year.

“As for the Ludrock All-Stars, John Merchant has taken a vision and what can be to the heart,” he said. “It’s not easy to get a group of musicians together and then tell them to be something different than what they’re used to.”

John gives equal praise to Ed for his organization of Ludrock.

“I think it speaks volumes to the type of person Ed Santerelli is and the overwhelming character of each person involved in making the event happen. He and the organizers took this gathering of friends, something that was bringing them untold joy, and shared it with our entire community. That wasn’t enough however, they were compelled to also add a charitable element as well.”

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