Retro Jam returns music fest to Stafford
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Retro Jam returns music fest to Stafford

Jun 17, 2016

As one tradition dies, another is born.

When news broke that the Stafford Fire Department had to cancel its annual carnival on Father’s Day weekend, it was a big disappointment to Pitcher.

Pitcher said he couldn’t imagine being any other place than the Stafford Carnival on Father’s Day.

When a friend found a poster in an antique store advertising the Stafford Carnival and American Music Jamboree in 1978, Pitcher came up with an idea.

“People used to perform over the years at a Father’s Day jamboree, before there was a carnival, so why couldn’t we have a jamboree again,” Pitcher asked.

He contacted the fire department and some local bands, and plans started taking shape for a Retro Jam and Musician’s Reunion on Father’s Day at the Stafford Fire Hall.

Stafford Ladies Auxiliary will serve a chicken barbecue from 11 a.m. until sold out, followed by the jamboree from 1 to 7 p.m.

Residents are invited to bring their lawn chairs and coolers to spend an afternoon socializing and listening to the bands. Hotdogs, hamburgers, French fries and soft drinks will be available.

The event will go on, rain or shine, Pitcher said.

He also stressed the jamboree is more than a gathering of bands. It is a picnic and a musical reunion.

“My children and grandchildren know nothing other than finding me here at the Stafford Carnival on Father’s Day, and this is the next best thing,” he said.

Eight bands have signed up to date – SkyCats, Rock-a-Bully’s, TONK! Brothers, Keith W Does Country, Front Porch Pickers, Bandera, Ghost Riders and Timmy P+.

Pitcher has been playing music since he was 5 years old. He has played with the Ghost Riders and TONK! Brothers, which includes his son Tim and brother Rog.

He calls their style “homegrown hillbilly honkytonk.”

Filling in between the acts will be an old favorite, Joe Colantonio, who plays accordion and keyboard and sings.

Pitcher said the Retro Jam is sure to bring good fans, good families, good friends, good music, good food and a good time.

By Virginia Kroph, Batavia Daily News

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