Faith-based concert boasts Clyde quartet

ROCKFORD – Saturday, the Rockford Belle, 135 Market St., Rockford, is to host autoharpist Patrick Briede II of Decatur, Indiana, and Southern gospel singers, The Fishermen Quartet of Clyde. The doors open at 6 p.m. A donation will be accepted.

Forty years ago in Clyde, brothers Larry and Jim Kessler and their friend Max Wright organized what became The Fishermen Quartet. From the beginning, they sang Southern gospel music, a style that conveys a special message for the attentive listener. Additional musicians were added, leading to a full traveling band with piano, bass guitar, drums and lead guitar.

They were like many other groups who stayed together for years, members leaving one by one, and finally disbanding all together. Larry and Max sang in some other groups and finally, not being fully satisfied, resurrected The Fishermen.

The group has welcomed bass Bob Scott of Akron and tenor Dug Conner of Elyria. The quartet has cut seven CDs and a live DVD. Last year, they sang 153 dates and the booking schedule appears to be filling up quickly for 2014. The Fishermen Quartet performs at a variety of venues to spread the word in song.

Better known as Patty Joe, autoharpist Patrick Briede II is to perform for a second time at the Belle and is to open for The Fishermen Quartet. Listeners can learn why the singer-songwriter and recording artist has been called “fibber, faker, fool and dreamer.”

Briede’s instrument of choice is the autoharp, a Southern mountain instrument made popular by Mother Maybelle Carter and June Carter Cash, and percussion. He plans to share his CD demo titled “Lost and Found” with 12 original songs that express his life and faith.

For the past 10 years, Briede has been defining his dirt-folk style of music. His playlist includes the likes of Hank Williams Sr., Johnny Cash and John Prine. He has written in a wide variety of styles from folk, country, Christian and life’s humor. He finds inspiration in the works of John Prine, the late Steve Goodman and the Holy Ghost.

For continued concert updates and communication, follow The Rockford Belle on Facebook. For more information, call Tom Rogers at (567) 644-9993.