It’s close to 8AM on a Saturday morning and the sun is just getting over the trees. A few middle-aged gentlemen are already tuning their instruments in the Riverwalk Pavilion near the Dandelion Fountain.
A teenager toting a guitar and a man well into his 60s, armed with a mandolin, stride happily down the naked sidewalk of the early morning; both looking anxious to join the others. They come from all directions, bearing music making tools such as flutes, drums, mandolins, accordions, harmonicas, and so on. They like to call themselves the Naperville Acoustic Pickers.
Russ Swanson has been called the “chief instigator” of NAP, and has recruited about 30 players since May.
Guitar player and singer Terry Schafer tells me, “It’s the most fun I’ve had in years! We get players of all ages and welcome everyone; beginner or expert, any type of instrument.”
Schafer went on to tell me that most folks are local residents, but there have been a few from as far as Bloomingdale and Batavia.
On any given Saturday you might hear the sounds of traditional country, bluegrass, classic rock, folk or blues.
“We try to pick songs that everyone can play and everyone can enjoy. We like to play songs that make us feel good; usually upbeat and positive,” says Schafer.
Well, with all of their donations going to the Naperville Loaves and Fishes food pantry, the Naperville Acoustic Pickers seem to know what “positive” is all about.
Visit the Naperville Acoustic Pickers from 8-11AM on Saturdays at the Riverwalk Pavilion, weather permitting.