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The Beggarmen to perform at IC Farmers' Market

BY EMMA MCCLATCHEY | JULY 05, 2012 6:30 AM

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Locals have more to look forward to than just fresh produce at the Iowa City Farmers' Market.

The Farmers' Market's free Market Music series at Chauncey Swan Park features musicians at 5 p.m. Wednesdays and at 9 a.m. Saturdays.

On Saturday, the Iowa City-based band Beggarmen will play traditional Irish and original folk music from 9 to 11 a.m. hosted by Market Music, and cosponsored by the University of Iowa Community Credit Union.

This year, musical acts have graced the Chauncey Swan stage since June 6, and the music will continue through Sept. 15. Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department arts supervisor Joyce Carroll said the Beggarmen will add to the array of styles featured at Market Music.

"There's a nice selection and a really nice variety of music," she said. "The Beggarmen has played for years at Market Music, and it has a nice following. Its music is very upbeat and fun, and the people generally come to listen to groups like the Beggarmen."

The band has demonstrated its creative energies for more than 10 years, staying true to the members' beloved Celtic sound.

"My mother's from Ireland, and I grew up playing and listening to Irish music," said Tara Dutcher, the Beggarmen's fiddler and vocalist. "I always have enjoyed Irish music, and I don't really feel like myself when I'm not playing it."

Having performed at Market Music in previous years with success, Dutcher said, the relaxed atmosphere has drawn the band and its fans to Chauncey Swan year after year.

"Our music tends to be interesting for a lot of different ages of people and different kinds of people," she said. "We're kind of lucky in that way that we feel really at home and have been well-received, and we always see a lot of friends and fans at the Farmers' Market."

Tammy Neumann, the city's Farmers' Market coordinator, said the bands' fans aren't the only ones who enjoy the Market Music performances. The program is beneficial for all involved in the Farmers' Market, giving bands work and shoppers an eclectic experience.

"It's sort of a co-promotional," she said. "It provides fun and gives [patrons] a place to sit down and relax. It also provides an additional outlet for the bands to play in a local space, and they bring followers to the market who haven't been there before. And, of course, it brings art to the community."

Carroll said the Farmers' Market and Market Music series has come a long way since the event's inception more than 20 years ago, when the idea of adding tunes to the Wednesday/Saturday markets first occurred to organizers.

"We realized it would be a great environment to have music, where people can sit, and, relax, and enjoy," she said. "Now, it's a full experience, and people from all walks of life come to the market."

"If you're going shopping, why shouldn't you enjoy it?" she said.


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