Concert series kicks off with Buffett tribute band

COVINGTON -- Parrotheads, rejoice: A1A, the official Jimmy Buffett tribute band, is heading to Covington.

The Atlanta-based group will kick off the 2nd Friday Summer Concert Series in downtown Covington at 7 p.m. Friday, June 8.

In addition to Buffett favorites such as "Cheeseburger in Paradise" and "Margaritaville," the band will play songs by Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Bob Marley and original music from their CD "Road to Paradise," currently available on iTunes, Amazon and cdBaby. The CD will be available for purchase at the show.

"It's what you would expect to hear in Florida or on an island vacation," said Chaz McDonald, the guitar player and road manager for the group.

Led by founder Jeff Pike, A1A has appeared all over the country, in the Caribbean, Mexico, Costa Rica and Japan. The band has opened for the likes of Zac Brown, Johnny Rivers, Jerry Lee Lewis, Micky Dolenz and, of course, Jimmy Buffett, who has sanctioned them as his official tribute band.

This month, A1A will appear in the movie, "What to Expect When You're Expecting;" they recorded and produced two songs for the movie soundtrack.

McDonald said the free concert will have the audience feeling like they're in a tropical paradise.

"They can expect to be dancing to all the island favorites and get the feeling of sand between their toes. It's going to be like a trip to the beach right here in Covington. If they're not able to take a vacation that far, come see us."

Hosted by the Arts Association in Newton County and Main Street Covington, the 2nd Friday Summer Concert Series will take place the second Friday of the month in June, August and September. There will not be an event in July.

On Friday, Aug. 10, country crooner Corey Crowder will headline.

"(Crowder's) from the Covington area and he's made it pretty big time," said Ric Chiapetta, artistic director for the Arts Association. "He's living in Nashville, and he's opened for Willie Nelson. He did a concert for us at The Oaks golf course last year that was very well received. Many people asked us to bring him back."

On Friday, Sept. 14, Uptown Entertainment Band, a Motown band out of Atlanta, will perform. The group has performed at the Atlanta and Charlotte jazz festivals and with Theo Peoples, the former lead singer for The Temptations.

All concerts begin at 7 p.m. and are free.

"We have a very diverse community in Covington and we try to find something that appeals to everybody. The goal is to present a very broad spectrum of music and get people excited about these free concerts and enjoying what I think is Covington's greatest asset, that Square," Chiapetta said.