THE TRADITION OF ABER DAY

By MICK HOLIEN

It is bound to be the Mission and Flathead valleys event of the summer as our old friends, and some new ones, journey to the banks of the Flathead River in Polson for Aber Day Reunion.

The most iconic mainstay Montana band, the Mission Mountain Wood Band returns for the first time in more than a decade to highlight a bill which includes Las Vegas sensation Sam Riddle, the son of M2WB bassist Steve Riddle, and Andrea Harsell and Luna Roja. Andrea’s Dad, Rod, played the same venue with his own band in the seventies.

With the Summerfest car show downtown and Art in the Park in front of the Lake Country Courthouse, get ready for a wild weekend with also a few surprises in store. Sam Riddle spent his summers in Polson, a mainstay at the 3-on-3 Tournament where his slam dunks thrilled the throng summer after summer.

“It’s been a source of a lot of things I have become, breathing in that air and looking at those (Mission) mountains” he said recently. “It’s my favorite place in the whole world.” But to be on the same bill, sharing the same stage, with his Dad, now that’s quite a different thing but something he couldn’t pass up. “My whole life I’ve known (about) Aber Day,” he said. “I am honored and humbled (and a little overwhelmed) to be part of it.”

Steve Riddle initially hesitated when the prospect of the two bands joining the same menu but after being assured by the band, proud papa relented. Missoula native Harsell, a mainstay of the western Montana music scene, opens the family-friendly show at 3pm.

A quartet that prides themselves on the ability to blend their own music with rock, Americana and R&B, their show is high energy and is guaranteed to smooth the huge stage for M2WB, then Sam Riddle joined by his talented band.

The Aber Day tradition is well documented and the concert of the summer is bound to bring back days of the past and create new memories of your own.

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