CLINTON — Finally Friday at the River is quickly becoming a summertime staple in the city of Clinton and as the popularity of the event continues to grow, the organization’s ability to reach a new level of musical talent is also expanding.
What started out as a small concert, showcasing mainly local bands, has now developed into something that larger, more prominent bands want to be a part of and tonight will feature a one-of-a-kind act, the likes of which Clinton has never seen.
The National Guard Sidewinders, a nine-piece musical ensemble composed of active Army National Guard members in the 34th Division Army National Guard Band will perform tonight following the Fry Daddie’s and promises to be the show of the year, according to Finally Friday talent scout Mike Pickney.
”(Tonight) is a special one,” he said.
The Sidewinders are a small Musical Performance Team derived from the larger National Guard marching band that specializes in classic rock, pop and country music.
Though there are other small ensembles made up of members of the 34th Division Army National Guard Band, the Sidewinders have established themselves as a popular rock band and created quite an extensive following in just a few years.
”We’ve traditionally been a marching band and concert band but recently, in the last few years, the Army in general has tried to break away from the concert band, marching band, mold into smaller groups,” Sidewinders drummer and Army Sgt. Bill Braught said. “Our group was probably one of the first to form up because we knew it would be popular because of the music that we play.”
While their musical skills and style were major influences in booking the Sidewinders for tonight’s show, Pickney thinks the National Guard group will be one of the organizations favorite guests for other reasons.