You know about Friday night: end of the week, beginning of the weekend, the day millions of workers all over the nation indulge in happy hours, the night where if you have nothing to do, you can pretty much consider yourself a loser. Well, even if you don't have a date, a place to guzzle two-for-one drinks, or even a job to run the hell away from the moment the clock strikes five, Friday can still be a fun day, especially if you happen to be in North Miami. Recently known for its support of a controversial plan to plunk a Home Depot on its fringes, the town now seems poised to compete for the title of Music City, U.S.A.
For many months tunes have wafted through the air twice a month in the city. The second Friday of each month offers a concert series called Music at the Plaza. The fourth Friday highlights Jazz at MoCA. Now thanks to North Miami city manager Lee R. Feldman, the third Friday will be devoted to folk. While driving along in his car one Saturday afternoon, Feldman, who claims he's “not particularly” a fan of folk, tuned into the WLRN (91.3-FM) show hosted by long-time folk-head Michael Stock and realized “there just isn't a venue for folk music.” The city's sometimes lonely civic plaza quickly came to mind. Hence Folk Friday, debuting this week with vocalist Grant Livingston and Homestead-based duo Rivergrass, featuring Scottish guitarist/singer Murray MacLeod and fiddler Elizabeth Crisfield.
Feldman plainly admits the concert series is a deliberate way to introduce people to the delights of North Miami. But it's also a great way to spend some time outdoors. One person who'll be glad to get outside is Livingston. Often referred to as Florida's historian-in- song for his repertoire of tunes that includes references to mangoes, melaleucas, and manatees, he'll perform his classics as well as songs from his upcoming album. Titled Let Me Off the Leash, the CD is currently being recording in a Nashville apartment. Don't ask.