Music is in Byron Kuehl’s blood.
He started piano lessons at age 5, like many kids, but that just spurred his obsession with the world of music. He learned to the play the trombone in fourth grade and soon added in the trumpet, baritone and French horn. He decided to teach himself the guitar at age 17 and the drums and saxophone in his 20s.
His focus lies with the guitar today, playing both acoustic and electric guitar to accompany his original songs and the Americana tunes that he covers.
You can hear Sioux City’s troubadour perform live 7 p.m. Saturday, July 11, in the outdoor amphitheater at the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji. Concert tickets cost $7 at the nature center entrance, with children 13 and younger free. The gate will open at 6 p.m. for the 7 p.m. show. Audience members may bring blankets or lawn chairs to sit on as well as picnic dinners, beer, wine or pop to enjoy during the show.
The outdoor venue makes for a relaxed atmosphere, with adults reclining in the tiered amphitheater and children playing nearby. That fits with how Kuehl runs his shows.
“I’m a real campfire-type player, so I like to be very conversational with the audience,” Kuehl said. “I hope they feel a little lighter, maybe appreciate some of the songs they’re familiar with and relate to some of the original songs they hear.”
Kuehl will perform popular tunes by Johnny Cash, John Prine, Neil Young and The Beatles, and he will intersperse that with his own works. It’s music that meshes well with the outdoor venue, which Kuehl is familiar with.
“It’s just more casual,” he said of playing outdoors. “I’m kind of an outdoors guy anyway.”
And Kuehl’s excited to make his way back to Okoboji. An Everly native, he said the Iowa Great Lakes area was his stomping grounds growing up, and he has played at multiple venues in the area.
For more information, visit the nature center's website or call 712-336-6352. Find out more about Kuehl at his website. The show will be canceled in case of inclement weather; check the nature center’s Facebook page for up-to-date information.
The final outdoor concert at the Dickinson County Nature Center this summer will be the South 71 Trio, scheduled to play at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4, during the Bee & Butterfly Festival.