Wednesdays at Burpee 

Music on the Rock

Quick Details:

  • Wednesdays in Summer 2018
  • On the banks of the Rock River, behind Burpee Museum
  • Amazing Bands; Amazing Location
  • Food and Drink starts at 5:30
  • Music starts at 6:30 (90 minute set)
  • VIP Amphitheater Tickets: $15 for reserved chair & special parking options available upon arrival.  First come, first served.  
  • Lawn Seating is Free to the Public

NEW Member Promo DEAL:  Become a new museum member (or renew your membership for another 365 days)  and get 2 free concert tickets.  Mention Promo Code “MUSIC”

Concert Schedule:

  • June 13: Swingbilly RFD * Note lineup change*
  • June 20: The Howlin’ Brothers
  • June 27: Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers
  • July 11: Kevin Gordon
  • July 18: Chris O’Leary Band 
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What a setting!

On the banks of Rockford’s beautiful Rock River, Burpee’s outdoor concert venue features a natural, relaxing setting for live evening music.  Couple the setting with our fantastic sound engineer and delicious food and beverage options: you have found the summer hot-spot for Wednesday evening.  Reserve your VIP seats today.

Raining?  Burpee museum features a large indoor space as a rain-or-shine concert venue.

Kevin Gordon

Wednesday, July 11


“Dude’s a juke-joint professor emeritus”–Rolling Stone

Kevin Gordon, the Louisiana-born songwriter who’s earned raves from media, musical peers, and fans in equal measure, released his latest, Long Gone Time to critical praise from American Songwriter, Pop Matters, Offbeat, & others. Hitting #26 on the Americana Radio Chart, the album also attracted the attention of NPR’s World Cafe and Folk Alley; Gordon performed live as a featured guest on both programs.

Praised by NPR, The NY Times, & USA Today, Kevin Gordon’s songs have been covered by everyone from Keith Richards and Levon Helm to Irma Thomas and Todd Snider. In his illustrious two-and-a-half decade career, Gordon has shared stages with Snider, John Prine, Leon Russell, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, and the Blind Boys of Alabama among others, played the storied New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival multiple times, and earned the respect and admiration of his peers and a slew of musical icons.



The Chris O’leary Band

Wednesday, July 18


The award-winning Chris O’Leary Band, based in New York’s Hudson Valley region, sings the blues with style. 

Chris’s musical background includes duties as lead singer and front man for rock and roll hall of famer and Grammy award winner Levon Helm’s band, The Barnburners. During the 6 years that Chris and Levon played together they toured across the US and Canada lighting up stages everywhere they went. Chris has appeared on stage with: Legendary Rolling Stones sideman Bobby Keys, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Jimmy Vivino, Jeff Healy, Dan Akroyd, Albert Lee, Dave Edmunds, Dave Maxwell and the great James Cotton to name just a few. Chris has also recorded with Bill Perry and Hubert Sumlin, among others.

The Chris O’Leary Band’s debut CD “Mr. Used to Be” won the 2011 Best New Artist Debut CD Blues Blast Award and was nominated for best new artist debut at the 2011 American Blues Music Awards.

Chris O'Leary Band

Earlier This Season... Music on the Rock 2018

Swingbilly RFD

Wednesday, June 13

This local Rockford group is full of GREAT musicians. They play both kinds of music (Country AND Western) the way it was played 50+ years ago. Come out to Burpee on June 13  and hear songs from Hank Williams, Ernest Tubb, Lefty Frizzell, Webb Pierce, Ray Price, Bob Wills, Loretta Lynn and Patsy Kline, along with some standards from the Great American Songbook thrown in “cause we like playing them and we just love it when folks dance!”

The Howlin’ Brothers

Wednesday. June 20


The Howlin’ Brothers are a Nashville based string band composed of Ian Craft, Dan Swan and Jared Green.  Anchored in a bed of old-time blues and bluegrass, their upbeat shows are heavy with original and traditional music, featuring the sounds of slide banjo, harmonica and old-time fiddle.  Sounding like what would happen if a bunch of Appalachian punk rockers formed a jug-band, The Howlin’ Brothers play with a ferocious energy that drags you in and finds you boogieing along in spite of yourself.

Insurgent Country’s, Johanna B. Bodde states, “Long discussions can be held about the musical style. Blues, country, old-time and more in the most pure format, mixed in with elements of folk, swamp rock, ragtime, honky tonk. This can’t really be labeled, but the few remaining record stores are known to be creative! Let’s try a few comparisons: The Old Crow Medicine Show, Pokey LaFarge, and The Carolina Chocolate Drops.

Although they’re fast becoming famous, they still don’t have any annoying attitude – they’re still your friendly neighbors playing on the porch!”



Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers

Wednesday. June 27


Guitarist Jimmy Thackery has been a driving force in blues for over 45 years, first as a Nighthawk, then as an Assassin. But for the last quarter century, Thackery has fronted the Drivers, a band named after a function he’s never performed in a vehicle. Traveling the globe from big festivals to everyone’s favorite neighborhood bars.  His music reaches people’s lives in personal and profound ways.

Thackery has released 15 albums on the Blind Pig and Telarc labels. Eight of his releases reached the top 15 on Billboard’s Blues charts. After Telarc, Jimmy became independent and started his own label, White River Records, which has released five titles, including his most recent album, “Spare Keys,” an all-original album with six instrumentals and six tunes with vocals.