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: Bun E. Carlos Band
  • June 20: The Howlin’ Brothers
  • June 27: Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers
  • July 11: Kevin Gordon
  • July 18: Sam Llanas
rentals amphitheater 2

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.

Bun E. Carlos and Monday Night Band

Wednesday, June 13

The Monday Night Band formed out of the ashes of The Monday Night Bumper Pool Club, a musicians gathering at The North Main Tap. Dan McMahon and Andy Scarpaci of The Rusted Hearts joined up with Dave “Doc” Ketner, Kevin “Kevlar” Holden and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drummer, Bun E. Carlos.

Bun E explains:  “When The North Main Tavern was tore down I told the other guys we could drink beer and learn songs instead of drink beer and shoot bumper pool.”  In 2016 members Dave Ketner and Bill White left the band and Rick Pemberton joined the band.

Aside from the rare special gig elsewhere, the band plays once a month at Mary’s Place Bar and songs range from Rock and Blues to Country and Western.

Bun E 2

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.


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.



Sam Llanas (former Bodean)

Wednesday, July 28


Sam Llanas is an iconic American singer, acoustic guitarist, and songwriter. Best known for his unique and distinctively soulful voice, Llanas burst onto the national scene in 1986 as part of The Bodeans. Their debut album Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams, which was produced by T Bone Burnett, became one of the most critically acclaimed records of that year. His voice was the cornerstone of their sound and was the heart of their tight harmonies.

In early 2018, Llanas released Return of the Goya-Part 1. The title refers to his beloved guitar that was stolen in 1987. “ROTG” marks his emergence back into the light with 11 songs that harken back to his deepest roots. Most of the songs showcase his long love of classic country music. The songs on this CD are a loving tribute to that style of music and is proof that after 30 years, Llanas is at the top of his formidable game.