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COUNTRY ROUNDUP

Twilight Concerts Add Charm to Sizzling Summer Weekends : Two free evenings of music offer the perfect opportunity to relax and have a picnic.

July 28, 1994|ROBYN LOEWENTHAL | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

If I were still a kid living in the Midwest, chances are I'd spend these warm weekend evenings in some park with my cousins, swatting mosquitoes and chasing fireflies under the watchful eye of grown-ups too gorged on s'mores to help us.

Given the Ventura County climate, I can't help you in the lightning bug department, but I can steer you to two outdoor twilight concerts perfect for a relaxing country time.

On Friday from 6 to 8 p.m., Sweet Country will play its brand of traditional and new country music for Oxnard's Heritage Square Summer Concert Series. There will be plenty of free lawn seating for the whole family, so don't forget picnics, blankets or lawn chairs. If you'd rather travel light, chairs are available in plaza seating for $1 per person on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Then on Sunday from 6 to 8 p.m., the Cache Valley Drifters, a Central Coast-based band, will serenade folks with traditional and contemporary bluegrass music. The concert will be in Arroyo Vista Community Park, behind Moorpark High School. The entertainment is free. All you need are some low-back chairs and a picnic to round out the evening. And if you don't feel like packing a meal, refreshments will be sold at the site.

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If you can't stay up for K-HAY radio's request show, Santa Fe Cafe, which airs weeknights from 10 p.m. to midnight, you might try the All Request Lunch Bunch--Mark James' weekday noon request and dedications show. James starts taking calls at 11:55 a.m. (650-5429 or 656-5429).

And if you want to hear the station's call letters in Bryan Austin's current hit, "Radio Active" or Ronnie Milsap's song, "True Believer," you'll have to request the airplay cuts. You won't find K-HAY mentioned on store versions of these records. That's because the K-HAY part was digitally "punched in."

"The station is the largest in its market size so they send us special copies," said James, who is also K-HAY program director. The record companies, he said, only customize the first verse and then the station expands it.

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SAVE THE DATES: If you'd like to see new country artist Bryan Austin perform "Radio Active" in person, he'll do two evening shows at the Crazy Bull in Camarillo on Aug. 22. Darlene O'Connell & the Dixie Flyers will open the show. The price hasn't been set yet.

And to take the hassle out of attending the California Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles, catch the K-HAY bus Aug. 6. Arrive by 12:45 p.m. to leave by 1, with deejay escorts Mark James, Matt Michaels and Dave Lawrence. Judging from a previous fair trip with Lawrence on board, I'm willing to bet you'll be well entertained.

The $60-per-person price includes transportation, admission to the fair, the Alan Jackson concert and some back-stage meetin' and greetin.' Tickets are available between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays at the station, 3897 Market St. in Ventura. For details, call 642-8595.

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CLUB SCENE: Rumors have been circulating about changes at the Borderline in Thousand Oaks. When I called, I discovered that the club changed managers and that the Monday night live band format has been put on hold for awhile. But everything else is business as usual so you can still enjoy the Saturday afternoon two-step and waltz workshops and Sunday swing jams. Dance fans will be delighted to know remodeling is in the works to expand the dance floor and add a patio. But the doors will remain open during construction.

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Fans of the defunct band, Caught Red Handed, which featured Troy Robinson as lead vocalist, are probably confused when they read that the band is playing gigs again. But the players are really the current lineup of Sky King, with Robinson sharing the vocal spotlight with Rob Wilson.

During an identity crisis at the Frontier Club a few months ago, one of the fellas said, "Just call us 'Sky-Caught Red Handed-King with Troy Robinson.' " Club owners, it seems, like cashing in on the following of Caught Red Handed.

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