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Monday, June 1, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Guest vocalists turn up heat for Street Music Week

Spokane Street Music Week kicked off Monday to terrific weather if you are a salamander – or Seattle.

Actually, I knew we were in for a drippy Monday morning because all weekend the weather people had been predicting rain showers for late Monday afternoon.

You’d get a more accurate weather forecast reading tea leaves than listening to a quack meteorologist.

Yet 29 performers braved the cold and wet to play on the downtown sidewalks during the noon hour.

We had bluegrassers, an accordion player, two half-crazy singing postal workers … Guitar ace Joe Brasch, my bandmate and buddy, played some hot leads to my rhythm and vocals.

It was the most fun I’ve had since the Larry Craig toilet scandal.

As always, every penny collected goes directly to the 2nd Harvest food bank. Last year’s event raised a record $3,800.

“It was very cool,” said Stan Waltz Jr. of his first time as a Street Music Week volunteer. Waltz played his 12-string guitar by the Parkade. He said he got good results strumming happy songs like “Cotton Fields.”

I’m not perky enough to ever make it as a professional weathercaster, of course, but I do have a prediction to make. No matter what the thermometer reads, the seventh annual Street Music Week will be hotter than ever.

Here’s why:

On Wednesday, Spokane City Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin will reprise her rendition of “Close To You.”

On Thursday, Peter Rivera – former lead singer and drummer of Rare Earth – will sing a few of his iconic hits like “Get Ready” and “Celebrate.”

I know what you’re wondering. You’re wondering: Doug, how can Street Music Week get any more smokin’ hot than Peter freakin’ Rivera?

Well get ready for this.

On Friday, Spokane Mayor Mary Verner will sing “Proud Mary” with yours truly.

In case you’re wondering, we will be doing the Ike and Tina rendition, not the Credence Clearwater version.

(Now that I’ve said that she probably won’t show up.)

Each of the aforementioned singers will perform at 12:30 p.m. at my spot. I’m always right next to Starbucks, across the street from Pottery Barn.

Speaking of star power, on Monday evening the Spokane City Council once again proclaimed Spokane Street Music Week. (This is the closest I ever get to legitimacy.)

I couldn’t help but notice, however, that my proclamation came after the reading of a proclamation for pipeline safety.

Apparently one can get a proclamation for anything these days.

Anyway, Council President Joe Shogan read mine. And other than scolding me for wearing my ball cap and questioning my musical abilities, he did a fine job of proclaiming the virtues of Spokane Street Music Week.

So shove that in your pipeline and smoke it.

Doug Clark is a columnist with The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by e-mail at Read previous columns at

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