Monday, 15 May 2023 10:03

The Guess Who, Firefall, Atlanta Rhythm Section to Headline Harborfest 2023

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Atlanta Rhythm Section Atlanta Rhythm Section Submitted photo

It’ll be a night of some of the greatest hits of the classic rock era when The Guess Who, Firefall and the Atlanta Rhythm Section share the Breitbeck Park stage Friday, July 28 as the headline acts for Harborfest 2023.

The three bands are responsible for more than two dozen Top 40 hits, including “American Woman” from The Guess Who, Firefall’s “Just Remember I Love You” and Atlanta Rhythm Section’s “So Into You.” The 7 p.m. show is free of charge. The concert is sponsored by the City of Oswego, Oswego County Tourism and Generation Bridge.

“We’re thrilled to be able to bring these great performers to Harborfest. It’ll be a memorable night by the lake, singing along to the bands as they play hit after hit. In a year of great entertainment at Harborfest, this is a show that’s not to be missed,” said Dan Harrington, Executive Director.

Visitors may bring lawn chairs to enjoy the show. Food and beverages will be available from many vendors in the park.


As the house lights fade down and the stage spots flare up, the sounds of rock and roll with classic sensibilities and progressive nuances permeate the crowd. At first a familiar chord strikes everyone's attention, then comes a catchy chorus followed by a memorable solo or remarkable moment of improvisation. Such an ear-pleasing arsenal carries into a non-stop evening of precise performance taking fans on a roller coaster ride of electric instrumentation, timeless balladry, unpredictable jamming and the ultimate sing-a-long experience. It's a position held by a troupe of true musical luminaries who over five decades in show business have been loaded with more hits than members can count, record sales well into the multi-millions and more drama than a VH1 "Behind the Music" episode and an E! "True Hollywood Story'' documentary combined.

The name is none other than The Guess Who, a group that's connected with the masses throughout a exultant hit parade spanning fourteen Top 40 hits, including "These Eyes," "Clap For the Wolfman," "Hand Me Down World," "No Time," "Star Baby" and "Share the Land." Add in fellow classics and double sided singles like their #1 rock anthem "American Woman" and "No Sugar Tonight," plus "Laughing" and "Undun," and the Canadian-bred stateside conquerors are amongst music's most indelible treasures who are eternally etched within the very fabric of pop culture history.


The genealogy and musical roots of Firefall run deep into the fertile soil of American rock and folk rock music. It began with Woodie Guthrie and later, Bob Dylan, evolving into the Byrds and the Buffalo Springfield. The genre established by these luminaries continued with Crosby, Stills and Nash, Manassas, The Band, Neil Young, The Eagles, Poco, Loggins and Messina, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Gram Parsons and Emmy Lou Harris, Dan Fogelberg, America and Firefall. Many of these participants mingled in the studio and on tour. Individually and collectively they created a sound that changed the world's musical landscape. Firefall is one of the few surviving bands of this genre, remaining true to its founding vision and roots despite personnel changes over its 40+ year history. The band transcends and embraces many industrial labels – rock, soft rock, country rock, contemporary country, easy listening and Americana.


From their start as the house band at the famed Studio One, to playing for tens of thousands of fans at festivals and arenas, Atlanta Rhythm Section earned their place as one of the top acts in country rock. The original members of ARS came together playing as the house musicians at the famed Studio One, recording home to such country rock greats as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Dickey Betts and 38 Special. The “Champagne Jam” album, released in January 1978, was the breakthrough that marked the zenith of music-making, critical support and popular acclaim for ARS. Eight songs were showcased with the smooth pop production the group had been refining for years. The song writing and musicianship maintained the superior standards the band had established through its previous albums. The songs continued the pattern of blending beautiful melodies with shifting tempos and each of the songs clocked in at a moderate three to five minutes. The album proved to be very popular, hitting the Top 10 and quickly going Gold. The title track was released as a single and "I'm Not Gonna Let it Bother Me Tonight" made it into the Top 20. But it was "Imaginary Lover" that proved to be the band's biggest hit, reaching number seven on the charts. The band rode the wave of success well, producing albums which netted them more Top 40 singles and cemented their reputation as amazing live performers. With 15 albums of outstanding songwriting and performances, ARS embodies all that the phrase “classic rock” implies.


Harborfest returns Thursday, July 27 - Sunday, July 30 with top national and regional acts on its stages, the annual Children’s Parade and performers for young people on a special stage in Breitbeck Park, great food, crafts and carnival rides and, of course, Central New York’s biggest and best fireworks show, synched to music. The entire festival is free to attend.

A diverse slate of nearly 30 regional artists and bands will perform on stages at Breitbeck Park, East Park and River Walk West. The Children’s Area returns to Breitbeck with crafts, activities and performances. The Dreamland Amusements Midway will set up again in front of the Coast Guard station on Lake Street.

Detailed information about Harborfest can be found on its website and Facebook page.

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