SOUND, SUDS, SUMMER: What are the prerequisites for the warmest season? Pop culture would have it that we have to waterski, globetrot, build a patio or other addition onto the house, and occupy a floating pool lounger whenever we're not waterskiing, globetrotting, or patio-building. But summer is the most free of boundaries of all the seasons, with no asterisks, bullet points, or must-dos, save back-to-school shopping come August, if there are students in your household. (We'd also add onto summer requisites the need to "ooh" and "aah" on Independence Day, whether fireworks are in the vicinity or not.) One of the most excellent of summer maybe-kind-of-should-dos, though, is the outdoor summer concert. Nope, we're not talking an out-sized festival nor a single-guitar show in the park (lovely and time-worthy though they both may be). We're talking the shut a street or two down, set up two or three stages, invite some great musicians, sell some comfort foodie eats, and voila: You've got the quintessential summer show. Is this on your wish-I'd-done-it roster for summer 2014? There's still time, and there's a great opportunity to make good just ahead: Downtown Napa is hosting its annual Blues, Brews & BBQ on Sunday, Aug. 24.
THE BLUES? Frank Bey and the Anthony Paule Band, AC Myles, and Kingsborough are three of the acts set to take the three stages dotting downtown near First and Main Streets. The Brews? There are 30 microbreweries representing in the beer garden (it's twenty bucks for seven tasting tickets). And the BBQ? "BBQ chicken, pork, oysters, shrimp and corn" shall be piled onto the plates. And, for sure, there's a rib-eating contest, because the end of August calls for a few think-big, be-outlandish acts before we setting in the more serious-minded autumn. Parking and getting into the fest? Why they're both free, indeedy indeedy. Okay, we're officially adding onto the back-to-school/ohh-aah must-do summer list: Go to a free downtown concert with comfy eats and a couple of stages. That's Summer (tm), truly.