The Davis Arts Council is presenting a show filled with folk memories from the '60s.
With two groups representing Simon & Garfunkel and Peter, Paul & Mary, respectively, the audience at Layton's Kenley Centennial Amphitheater will be serenaded with such classics as "Leavin' on a Jet Plane," and "The Sound of Silence" on Saturday, July 14.
We spoke with the leaders of the two groups that are performing to get a feel for the performance, and why they like saluting these particular acts.
John Diehl leads Code Blue, a Salt Lake City-based band that plays a variety of classics. David Townley performs as Paul in the Las Vegas-based Peter, Paul & Mary Tribute.
John Diehl, Code Blue (Simon & Garfunkel tribute) -- This Salt Lake City band also includes Mark Milligan and Scott Flox.
"This is kind of ironic, because last year, we started talking about doing a Simon & Garfunkel tribute that we might take from venue to venue," said Diehl. "We were even kind of developing the show, designing scrims and stuff."
Last year, after Code Blue played a Sunday night concert and appeared in Show Layton Your Talent, Davis Arts Council executive director Kirt Bateman approached the band about doing a tribute show honoring Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel's collaboration.
"We were able to say, 'We're working on that right now,' " said Diehl.
This will be the group's debut of the Simon & Garfunkel show -- or at least an hourlong excerpt of what is eventually planned as a two-hour program.
Said Diehl: "We thought this was a natural, because we did some research and the people we heard doing their music were good, but we didn't hear anyone who could really harmonize. What made their music great was those tight harmonies -- along with Simon's songwriting, of course."
Code Blue not only focuses on kinfolk-close-sounding harmonies, but actually came together originally over a Simon & Garfunkel tune, "The Boxer."
"I was sitting in the park playing that, and Mark (Milligan) came over and listened to us for a minute. He pulled me away, and said, 'You're not doing the harmony quite right -- can I show you?' About 45 minutes later, we tweaked the harmony, and we went back and sang it together. People stopped to listen."
Diehl said that the harmonies are not the only hard thing about delivering Simon's beloved tunes. His imaginative lyrics and phrasing also challenge at times.
"We have worked as hard on the dynamics of the song as much as anything, to make sure to get the message across when we really need to. We might have the music go down, for emphasis, so people feel what we are singing, as well as hear it."
David Townley (Peter, Paul & Mary tribute) -- Townley plays the part of folk singer Paul Stookey in this Las Vegas-based tribute outfit. Rick Lucchesi and Patti Lucchesi, husband and wife, sing the parts of Peter Yarrow and Mary Travers.
Townley splits his time between the Salt Lake City area and Vegas, playing music in both places.
"I didn't know too much about the group except for a couple classics, like 'The Wedding Song' and the other big hits," said Townley. "I've played in other bands around here, in a band called Rebound in Northern Utah, and I have also played in a bluegrass outfit. But this is a different thing. For one thing, I normally sing tenor, and this is more of a baritone range. It challenges me a little, and that is part of the fun."
Townley believes a big part of making this tribute act work is creating a passionate atmosphere similar to the times when these songs were first sung.
"These songs came to be in times of war," he said. "They were talking about trying to keep centered, about reaching for a type of patriotism that is about collective unity in times of uncertainty."
In its heyday, the trio was labeled as liberal by some, Townley said.
"I don't know, though. For me, today, the messages sound pretty conservative and patriotic. But it is a very passionate message. The biggest challenge for us is making sure we emote the message with the fervor they did -- with the same enthusiasm and excitement and energy they brought to their performances."