Chelsea Sounds and Sights Festival

Friday at Chelsea Sounds and Sights Festival was packed with outstanding classic cars, art, and stellar music from Big L and Code Blu, Bovine, and Sabbatical Bob.

Sounds and Sights - Bovine

Sounds and Sights

Friday night was the beginning of the end for Chelsea’s fantastic music and art showcase, Sounds and Sights. Downtown Chelsea transforms into a music and arts festival each Thursday night during the summer. Various locations at the major cross streets along Main street host stages featuring country, blues, rock, folk, bluegrass, funk, and more. Various artists and performers take up residence along with shopping specials from downtown merchants to provide the sights.

For the Chelsea Sounds and Sights festival, the Chelsea Area Chamber of Commerce planned a two-day blowout with an art market, chalk art competition, classic car show, food vendors, and a huge social tent with live music. With our Friday night free, we planned to meet friends for dinner in Chelsea and then check out the festival.

Chalk Art

I’m impressed with anyone that can draw or paint. Seeing the works of art that someone can create with chalk is astounding. The artists were just getting started with filling in their creations when we arrived. The actual judging of the finished pieces was taking place on Saturday. However, we got to see some impressive work in progress. 

Sounds and Sights - Chalk Art

Art Market

Outside the Chelsea District Library, shaded by the trees, was the Chelsea Sounds and Sights Festival Art Market. Artists working in clay, painting, photography, textiles, and assorted crafts had their creations for sale. We browsed before dinner, looking for that special gift.

Sounds and Sights - Art Market
Sounds and Sights - Art Market
Sounds and Sights - Art Market

Classic Car Show

I love classic cars. I’m not quite sure why, as I have no talent in anything mechanical. I think the beautiful lines, the colors, and the gleaming metal attracts me. The car show at Chelsea Sounds and Sights festival was off the hook. I heard someone mention that nearly 350 cars were present. The streets just east of Main street were lined with an amazing array of classic automobiles.

I took a ton of pictures; I’m sure Brenda was wondering when I’d finish so we could eat dinner. I’m not sure how anyone could pick just one car as their favorite. I’m going to go with my top five in no particular order. Be sure to run through the gallery as we’ve got a truckload of car photos.

Sounds and Sights - Classic Cars
Sounds and Sights - Classic Cars
Sounds and Sights - Classic Cars
Sounds and Sights - Classic Cars
Sounds and Sights - Classic Cars

Classic jams with Big L and Code Blu

To get your motor running, the band Big L and Code Blu were set up in the middle of the car show. This three-piece band is smoking. They play a mix of classic rock, blues, and soul. Every song was played with intensity and passion. The rhythm section was tight, and Big L can lay it down on the guitar. He also has a stellar voice. I loved the covers of “Pride and Joy” by Stevie Ray Vaughan and “Use Me” by Bill Withers. I’ll definitely be looking for another chance to see this band live.

Sounds and Sights - Big L and Code Blu
Sounds and Sights - Big L and Code Blu
Sounds and Sights - Big L and Code Blu

Dancing in the Social Tent

By the time we wrapped up a fabulous meal over at the Chelsea Alehouse, the social tent was packed. The beers were flowing, and the dancing was in full swing. We grabbed a table in the back and soaked up the tunes.

Sounds and Sights - Social Tent

Bovine

The honky tonk was in full swing when we arrived at the social tent, thanks to Bovine. Some bands may pay lip service to western swing and the Bakersfield sound, but not Bovine. They pay full tribute to the music that laid the foundation for rock and roll music. Songs from the greats such as Merle Haggard, Lefty Frizzell, Faron Young, and George Jones were played with a gusto that inspired the crowd to have a ball. If you love old-school country with a bit of hillbilly boogie, then you need to check out Bovine.

Sounds and Sights - Bovine
Sounds and Sights - Bovine
Sounds and Sights - Bovine
Sounds and Sights - Bovine
Sounds and Sights - Bovine
Sounds and Sights - Bovine

Sabbatical Bob

I’d had the pleasure of catching Sabbatical Bob over at Grove Studio opening for Nina and the Buffalo Riders in 2020 and looked forward to their set at Chelsea. Like the founding big band swing of Lionel Hampton and jump blues of Louis Jordan, Sabbatical Bob is all about the rhythm and the riff. They pull out all the stops letting the horns rip and the snares pop. The funky bass moved your feet while the fleet guitar sang sweet. With inescapable grooves so deep, Sabbatical Bob is a magical musical reprieve.

Sounds and Sights - Sabbatical Bob
Sounds and Sights - Sabbatical Bob
Sounds and Sights - Sabbatical Bob
Sounds and Sights - Sabbatical Bob
Sounds and Sights - Sabbatical Bob
Sounds and Sights - Sabbatical Bob
Sounds and Sights - Sabbatical Bob

Big Thanks

Many thanks to all the volunteers who worked hard to ensure we had a wonderful time at the Chelsea Sounds and Sights Festival. Also, thanks to presenting sponsor Rick Taylor Real Estate and the diamond sponsors Chelsea State Bank, Chelsea District Library, Chelsea Hospital, Eder and Diver Insurance, and Jiffy Mix. Also, a big shout out to the social tent main stage sponsor Smokehouse 52 BBQ, the Art Market sponsors Cleary’s Pub and Crazy Diamond Club, the beverage sponsor Destination Ann Arbor, the car show sponsors Golling Chelsea and The Parts Peddler, and chalk art sponsors DTE, Healthy Smiles Dental Care, O&W, and Reimco.

Sounds and Sights - volunteers
Sounds and Sights - volunteers
Sounds and Sights - volunteers
Sounds and Sights - volunteers

Pictures

We’ve got plenty of pictures in our gallery. Check them out, share them, and then share this post. Let us know if you find a picture you love.

Sounds and Sights - social tent

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