Lisa Haley and her Zydekats open the season Thursday, July 6

Lisa Haley returns to the Idyllwild Summer Concert Series as its opening act on Thursday, July 6. Haley and her Zydekats are wildly popular with Idyllwild audiences, especially the dancers. Bring on the heat.
Photo by Andy Anders

Ken Dahleen confirmed today, Wednesday, June 14, that the Idyllwild Summer Concert Series would remain on the Idyllwild Community Center site for 2017. ICC representatives notified the press that the two bids submitted for construction were over the “current budget” for the designated components of Phase 1.

ICC’s design team will now review the bids for “appropriateness” for the project. But that process will require time and analysis. In its press release, the ICC board said, “Because that process [of review] must be thorough and the time required can be lengthy, the board has determined that Butterfield Commons on Strawberry Creek will remain open and be available for regular summer activities.”

Those summer activities include the popular concert series, now in its 18th season. And, for the dancers in Idyllwild, having the series remaining on the ICC site also means having a dedicated dance floor for dancers to strut their stuff.

That dance floor will be put to especially good use because wildly popular Lisa Haley and her Zydekats open the season at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 6.

Electricity will crackle, thunder will rumble and feet will stop when Haley and her Kats create bayou musical heat. Their brand of dance contagion is called Zydecosis — the beat intensifies, humidity grows, and the pulse surrounds listeners and drives them to the dance floor. It is very difficult to sit still when Haley bows, sings and struts. There is a musical charge that moves from dancer to dancer, causing smiles, giggling and an irresistible urge to gyrate, dance and celebrate.

Long a favorite of Idyllwild audiences, Grammy-nominated Haley returns with Cameron “Cam” Tyler on drums, percussion and vocals, David Fraser on accordion, keyboards and harmonica, and Kats veteran Andy Anders on electric bass and vocals.

Electricity! That’s what emanates from Haley’s blue violin. Dressed in her signature homespun, and singing and dancing with joyous intensity, Haley is a force of nature.

Opening act Erik Lingren and Friends takes the stage at 6:15 p.m. As they do each year, Dahleen and his board contract for acts and produce the series without sufficient cash to fund it. Dahleen produces the series for the benefit and pleasure of locals. That is why it takes place on Thursday. And locals reciprocate by donating at the concerts and agreeing to become sponsors. Potential sponsors may contact Dahleen at 951-659-2229.

Dahleen wanted especially to thank Jay Johnson and family for offering the Johnson property across from ICC for this season. “Without Jay’s offer, it looked likely that there would be no series this year,” said Dahleen. “His offer was a huge help to us and to the community.”