Alyssa Tyler copy editor
On Sept. 9 at the Evergy Courtyard, singer-songwriter John Calvin Abney performed a free concert for all attendees and gave local businesses a chance to showcase their products. Olive Street Presents formally brought in Abney to perform.
“I am looking forward to the fact that there’s already such a healthy crowd out there and the sound is good. I’m sandwiched between two beautiful historic buildings and everyone who is running the show has been nothing but gracious so I couldn’t ask for anything more than that,” Abney said.
Abney was sponsored by local businesses from around the Block22 area.
“When Block 22 was renovated and developed, this was a natural courtyard between the two buildings and it’s a perfect place for performances. And so, what we’re doing tonight is, that Block 22 is working with three other restaurants, Root, Brick & Mortar, Toast, and partnered with Olive Street Presents to bring in a singer-songwriter who tours the United States and just had an album come out. So, we’re excited to be able to offer this as a sort of a gift to the community. We appreciate the power music has to bring the community together. It’s a lovely late summer and early fall evening and we’re just hoping to be able to unwind with some of our neighbors, friends, and customers and listen to some great tunes,” said Andra Stefanoni, co-owner of Root Coffeehouse.
The concert started at 7:30 p.m, although attendees started setting up lawn chairs around 7 p.m. On Broadway, streets 4th through 5th were blocked off to allow seating to go into the street.
“A free concert isn’t something that happens all too often in Pittsburg so often, so I figured I would come out and see what all the ruckus was about, just to experience something new,” said Cale Chapman, senior in communications.
Abney performed until 9:00 p.m. Throughout his performance, he spoke about inspiration from songs, such as a restaurant off Route 66, or telling a bad car salesman joke to a crowd full of car salesmen. Abney performed with a guitar and a harmonica.
This is also not Abney’s first time performing in Pittsburg, he has been invited before by Olive Street Presents in the past.
“I’ve always loved Pittsburg, Kansas; I’ve lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma for a long time, and I had some friends from high school that went to Pittsburg State right out of Tulsa Memorial. We kept in touch, they always said they loved it and to come up there,” Abney said
Abney is currently on a nationwide tour, and has recently released his latest album, “Tourist.”
“Everyone has been so kind, and you don’t always have the luck or the good fortune to stumble upon good folks. So, when you come down to a town where folks are quick to greet you and have smiles it makes the whole world go round,” Abney said.