Luther summer concerts series opens with performance by country band The Bristol Flats

LUTHER — Downtown Luther was filled with music on May 27 as the band The Bristol Flats put on a show for residents of the area. They are the first of 15 performers who will play in the community as part of a summer concert series.

Focusing mainly on country music, these concerts have been hosted by Luther since 2004 and have become a mainstay of the town's summer experience.

"What makes it all worth it is getting the opportunity to listen to some good local music here in town," said Roger Peel, chairman of the Purchase Pavilion. "Plus, it give a lot of our local bands a chance to play."

The Bristol Flats were among the first acts Peel hoped would be able to play this summer. The band is made up of Michigan natives Gordy Jacobson, Roger Sova and Jerry Stahl. They play a mix of country, rockabilly and gospel music, which went over well with the Luther crowd.

"We've been playing together for 12 years, playing around the country, but mostly here in West Michigan," said Jacobson. "We're just three guys who like to pick up a guitar and play. We just hope there are some people who like it, too."

The band said their performance was also done in honor of fellow musician Roger Purchase. The Purchase Pavilion was named after Purchase, a Luther resident who achieved success as a country musician. Although he died, the summer concert series is largely put on in his honor.

"This whole community came together around Roger Purchase years ago," said Peel. "This is something he always wanted to do, so this is sort of in memory to him."

Purchase's band, The Country Playboys, played all around Michigan and went on to gain success in Nashville.

"I knew Roger Purchase and he was a heck of a picker," remarked Jacobson. "I know he wanted to give Luther a place to get some live music so that's what we're doing today."

The concert series will continue through Sept. 2, with performances each Wednesday night from 6 to 8 p.m. All shows will be at the Purchase Pavilion unless there is rain, in which case they will be moved inside the North Bar in downtown Luther.

Upcoming shows at Purchase Pavilion in Luther:

  • June 3: Mulligan Stew
  • June 10: Pair of Jacks
  • June 17: John Pomeroy
  • June 24: The Whitfords
  • July 1: John Quigly
  • July 15: Guitar College
  • July 22: The Whitfords
  • July 29: Mike Schmuck
  • Aug. 5: Oak Grove Band
  • Aug. 12: Fonda Starr
  • Aug. 19: Duck Soup
  • Aug. 26: TBA
  • Sept. 2: TBA