Meijer Gardens gives a taste of summer with early concert announcements

St. Paul & The Broken Bones will be on the Meijer Gardens concert schedule this summer. (Supplied Meijer Gardens/David McClister)

By K.D. Norris


The catchline for Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park summer concert series goes something like “It’s how you know its summer.” So it seems appropriate that after an almost summer-like run of weather over the weekend the Gardens gave us a tease of summer with the announcement of three of the acts coming to the Fifth Third Bank Summer Concerts at Meijer Gardens 2017 concert series.


On Monday, Meijer Gardens announced that up-and-coming Southern soul powerhouse St. Paul & The Broken Bones will be in town on June 9; the sweet sounds of Four Voices: Joan Baez, Mary Chapin Carpenter and the Indigo Girls will hit the stage on June 12; and the classic rock (and so much more) music of Jethro Tull by Ian Anderson will make a rare small-venue visit on Aug. 18.


Members of Meijer Gardens members pre-sale period will be April 29 through May 12 this season, with general public sale Starting May 13.


The Four Voices concert, led by the grand-dame of folk music Baez, will undoubtedly be a night of lovely songs and lovely voices in harmony, and just hearing Tull founder and frontman Anderson dancing around with flute in hand will be worth the price of admission on a hot August night.


But the scheduling of St. Paul & the Broken Bones will likely be one of those “I heard them first at the gardens” kind of events.


Led by vocalist Paul Janeway, the Bones gained notice with their single “Call Me” off their debut recording “Half the City” from 2013, but after opening for the Rolling Stones on a few dates in 2015 and the playing the Glastonbury Festival last year, they are really getting a buzz going with their second album, “Sea of Noise”, from last year.


For lack of a better label, the band is often called a  “gospel-tinged, retro-soul garage” band and hailing from Birmingham, Ala., and the sextet certainly has its southern soul credentials in order — including not being afraid to do an Otis Reading cover to two.


The new album also marks a little more depth of music and depth of songwriting for the band and Janeway.


“Sea of Noise,” Janeway says on the band’s website in describing the album, “is not quite a full-blown concept record. It is focused in terms of subject matter — finding redemption and salvation and hope. (The single) ‘Crumbling Light Posts’ comes from an old Winston Churchill quote, in which he said England was a crumbling lighthouse in a sea of darkness. I always thought that was a really interesting concept — that we’re falling anyway. In this day and age, it is the noise that has defined so many things. We’re going to fall to it eventually, but for now we feel like our heads are above water.”


It is likely that the audience at Meijer Gardens will be glad they dove into the deep southern water with the Bones this summer.


For more information on the concert series, visit