Tunes n’ Blooms Season Comes to a Close
By ERICA CHIPPERFIELD
Mike Pancost, retired BNSF engineer, organized the Tunes n’ Blooms acoustic jam nights that took place in the garden at the Carnegie Arts Center this summer. He had previously participated in the jam nights at Newberry’s that are hosted by local musician “Pork Chop” Mracek and wanted a venue to perform at during the summer.
“My kids and I performed at Bands on the Bricks. A few minutes before the performance I changed our band name to Big Daddy and the Offspring. That was a lot of fun. One of my greatest fears and greatest goals was to get up and perform in front of people,” stated Pancost. Having recently retired after 39 and a half years of being both a conductor and engineer on the railroad, Mike was looking for something to do in his spare time and participating in open mic and jam nights have been a dream come true.
Tunes n’ Blooms has not only been a venue for local artists but it and jam night at Newberry’s have drawn in artists that travel through Alliance as well. Musician Sam Patton, of Casper, WY, who travels through the area as a salesman for a company that sells truck parts, has been playing at jam nights in Alliance off and on since last October.
“I have been playing music since 1972. My dad taught me a few cords and I picked up playing songs by Gordon Lightfoot. As corny as it sounds he’s kind of my hero, his music, phrasing and songs really speak to me. I’ve had the opportunity to see him in concert a couple of times,” stated Patton.