February 16, 2013 8:34:29 PM
MERIDIAN -- The Mississippi State University Riley Center's spring and summer concert series is poised to delight ticket holders of all musical preferences when it kicks off Friday, April 12, with a performance by Aaron Neville and his brother Charles.
The Grammy-award winner may treat the audience to selections from his recently released album, entitled "My True Story," which will thrill fans of doo-wop with Neville's take on such classics as "Tears on My Pillow" and "Under the Boardwalk." He's also sure to please with some hits from his five decades of recording and performing.
Also in the month of April are shows featuring Boz Scaggs (April 19) and Jewel (April 26), two singers who aren't afraid to experiment with musical styles. Both are releasing new albums this year. Scaggs' album "Memphis" will release in March, and Jewel will debut a greatest hits album in February. Jewel's concert will feature an acoustic playlist.
Whether you're a fan of the movie or just love an entertaining blues set, "The Official Blues Brothers® Revue" is must-see as it swings through Meridian May 9. The characters of Jake Blues™ and brother Elwood Blues™ take the stage for singing, dancing and comedy as they front an eight-piece band.
On May 17, a veritable country music Hall of Fame comes to town with The Time Jumpers, a super-group consisting of Vince Gill and several other Nashville studio musicians who, collectively, have played with every hit-maker on the country scene.
Blues, R&B and folk are all covered in June as Keb' Mo', Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds, and Don McLean bring their talents to the Riley Center. In his most recent album, "The Reflection," singer/songwriter Keb' Mo' blends blues, jazz, R&B and soul June 1 through collaborations with such artists as India.Arie and Vince Gill. Edmonds, appearing June 7, is known for writing many iconic pop tunes as well as his impressive collection of Grammy awards. And Don McLean's lengthy list of songs and albums can usually be summed up with the ultimately singable 1970s ballad "American Pie." His concert is June 22.
July brings with it a special event highlighting some of the world's best singers and songwriters. "The Heart Behind the Music" tour July 16 treats ticket holders to performances by talented musicians singing their own songs and talking about the stories behind them. This performance features Kim Carnes ("Bette Davis Eyes"), John Ford Coley ("I'd Really Love to See You Tonight"), Gene Cotton ("Before My Heart Finds Out"), and Lenny LeBlanc ("Falling"), as well as special guest Greg Barnhill, a distant relative of Mississippi's "Singing Brakeman" Jimmie Rodgers.
The season will end with a bang Aug. 2, so to speak, as The Hit Men -- the Original Stars of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons -- bring their combined talents to Meridian, singing their own hits from the '60s, '70s and '80s.
"Every musical taste will find something to enjoy in this season's offering," said Dennis Sankovich, executive director of the MSU Riley Center. "The artists we are featuring have all made such an impact in their areas of expertise, and many will give ticket holders a fresh perspective on their musical styles in these shows."
How to go
"Our ticket packages this season are very flexible and great to give as gifts or keep for yourself," Sankovich said.
New season ticket buyers can purchase their packages starting Wednesday, Feb. 20. A "build your own package" option, which includes a discount and early seating, is available for those who wish to purchase tickets to three or more shows. Tickets for these packages can be purchased starting Monday, March 4. Tickets for individual shows go on sale Monday, March 11.
Select shows feature pre-show parties in the Grand Lobby, allowing patrons to socialize and enjoy refreshments as a prelude to the evening's entertainment.
Tickets and information are available by phone or in person at the MSU Riley Center box office Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and one hour before show time on the day of a show. For more information, contact the Riley Center, located at 2200 Fifth St. in downtown Meridian, at 601-696-2200.