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June 25, 2008

Going down under in the thick of Bardstown

Bardstown is experiencing a bit of Australian flavor this weekend.

Aussie native singer-songwriter Pauly Zarb has set up camp there and is hosting the sixth annual Zarb Brothers Street Concert on Saturday. The event springs from the idea of brothers Pauly and Matt Zarb to host a concert around the Fourth of July as an Australian/American joint Independence Day celebration.

But today, with Matt back home in Australia, Pauly is driving the bus. For him, the decision to start the Bardstown street concert was not a difficult one. “I was living in downtown Bardstown and (I was) looking down the street and asking what could I do with my music and what can I do for the town,” he said. “It gives an opportunity for musicians to play this stuff and it promotes Bardstown.”

The view from up here: Last year’s Zarb Brothers Street Concert, which takes place Saturday, drew thousands to downtown Bardstown.
The view from up here: Last year’s Zarb Brothers Street Concert, which takes place Saturday, drew thousands to downtown Bardstown.

The event has grown from its 2003 debut, when there were 1,500 attendees, into a huge event that has attracted more than 4,000 in years past. The concert is a lot of work to arrange, especially considering it’s a free show. “When the day comes, the payoff is seeing a bunch of people coming down and enjoying themselves,” Zarb said. Many sponsors are needed, so the city of Bardstown, Budweiser, The Center for Women’s Health and Penn Stations Elizabethtown/Bardstown stepped to the plate to help out.

This year boasts seven acts, including The Pauly Zarb Band, award-winning Aussie singer Nicki Gillis, popular local group 10th Street Blues Band and fingerstyle guitarist Pat Kirtley. Zarb said that in the future, he wants to expand the number of acts, stages and even the number of days the concert is held. He said he sees it morphing into a mini festival, with the street concert as the finale.

Zarb said his own style has grown along with the show, even though he has been surrounded by music his entire life. “It is my life, my dream and my passion to go out and energize the people with music,” he said. He plays piano, keyboard, flute, tin whistle, pan pipes, guitar, percussion and accordion. Zarb recommends you come early and tour the city. “It is a great place to get away for a day and an awesome day to see a great bunch of music, hang out and see a live concert for free.”  


Contact the writer at

leo@leoweekly.com


Sixth Annual Zarb Brothers

Street Concert 

Saturday, June 28

N. Third St., Bardstown, Ky.

(502) 349-3056

www.paulyzarb.com

Free; 6 p.m.