BEST BETS: McCormick in the loop at R2Hop2 festival

Nate McCormick is the modern-day equivalent of a one-man band.

Nate McCormick will bring his live looping skills to the R2Hop2 Beer and Music Festival in Dover Saturday. (Submitted photo)

With a musical technique called looping, he can enhance his sound by creating multiple layers to his live music, making it seem as though there is a full band when it’s just him performing with his guitar and various foot pedals laid out before him.

Going one step further, Mr. McCormick uses live looping so everything he loops in, he performs on the spot.

“When I’m out on a gig, I’ll get asked half the time ‘How do you record all of those loops beforehand?’ But I don’t record anything. Everything I do is live. This is all real time — loop by loop, track by track,” said the Newark-born Mr. McCormick, who grew up in Rehoboth Beach, graduated from Cape Henlopen High, spent time in Smyrna and now lives in Havre de Grace, Maryland.

He will perform for those waiting to get in the gates starting at 11 a.m. at Saturday’s sixth annual R2Hop2 Beer and Music Festival at Dover’s Fordham & Dominion brewery off Horsepond Road.

Gates open at noon and the event lasts until 5 p.m.

A veteran of popular Lewes-based jam band Minos Conway in the mid- to late 2000s, Mr. McCormick got the germ of the looping idea when he was asked to perform a solo acoustic show at Arena’s in Rehoboth Beach back in 2005.

“I had a pedal that would produce a five-second delay so I would use it on a few chords for a few Grateful Dead covers but I’m sure the bartenders got tired of that after a while,” he said.

After Minos Conway broke up toward the end of the 2000s, Mr. McCormick struck out on his own, buying more and more equipment to expand his sound.

“The more you have, the more you want. But eventually the gigs started coming and it was easier to go out more and more and not have to hold a 9 to 5 retail job,” said Mr. McCormick who worked at B&B Music in Lewes and Camden for six years, leaving in August of 2015.

Watching him perform, he appears to be doing a choreographed dance as he touches all the right pedals to create his intended sound. He said it wasn’t too hard to master.

“You have to syncopate your choreography like you would while you play guitar or the drums while singing only you do it with your feet. There are no hand-enacted loops,” he said.

His shows are a mix of acoustic-based covers and progressive rock originals with other genres thrown in.

The 30-year-old musician just completed a 10-track solo electric album called “Max Meat,” recorded at Smyrna’s Bass Mitt studio, owned by Duck Hastings, that he hopes to release this summer.

“We’re going to be doing a music video and get new pictures and start promoting myself in a different vein,” he said.

Despite living in Maryland, Mr. McCormick still performs in Delaware, most recently at the Blue Earl in Smyrna and Crooked Hammock near Lewes.

“It’s always nice to play in Delaware but where I live now gets me closer to the bigger cities — Baltimore, Washington, D.C. You’re still close to Philly and New York as well, which is great,” he said.

While he doesn’t dismiss the notion of forming another band, he likes the autonomy that his current situation provides.

“I can trust the gear more than other people,” he joked.

Those at R2Hop2 can expect to hear mostly originals with a few covers sprinkled in.

“I play a couple of hundred covers but I’m a big fan of the not-so well-known tunes. Like I’ll play ‘Into the Mystic’ by Van Morrison but not “Brown-Eyed Girl.’ Or if I play Paul Simon, it will be from an album like ‘Graceland’ rather than his early stuff,” he said.

Along with Mr. McCormick playing early at the gate Saturday, music on the main stage at R2Hop2 will consist of Delaware’s own blues band Barrelhouse at noon Maryland rock band Loose Ties at 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. headliner Lovebettie, a Pittsburgh-based “swagger rock” band that has a big local following, having played a number of shows at the Smyrna Opera House, both for the popular Smyrna at Night event and standalone concerts.

R2Hop2, named after the brewing company’s dry-hopping machine, will see more than 10 beers on draft, along with samplings from Delaware’s Harvest Ridge Winery and Painted Stave Distilling, firkin tappings, photo booth, kids zone, face painting, keg tossing, multiple food options and dozens of local artisans.

VIP tickets are sold out but general admission is still available for $30, which includes a R2Hop2 glass and four beer tickets. A designated driver ticket for $20 is good for unlimited Dominion soda.

For tickets and more information, stop by the brewery at 1284 McD Drive or visit www.fordhamanddominion.com.

Ansel Adams exhibit at Biggs

This week, the Biggs Museum of American Art announced that it will host an exhibition of “Ansel Adams: Early Works” from May 5 to July 30. The exhibition will open to the public with a reception on May 5 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Mr. Adams — photographer, musician, conservationist, naturalist, explorer, critic and teacher — was a giant in the field of landscape photography. This exhibition presents 40 works of this iconic American photographer. His work can be viewed within the Biggs Museum permanent collection including Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Cole.

As a bonus, this exhibition will give an up-close look at cameras and tools that photographers used during the early era of photography.

Biggs Museum Executive Directgor Charles Guerin was responsible for securing the exhibition from a private collector — having been familiar with Mr. Adams’ work while directing the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona.

Photographs from other local collections are on display as well:

The Frank E. Schoonover Archive — featuring photographs this Brandywine School illustrator used to create works in the Biggs Museum’s collection.

The Stargatt Collection of Leonard C. Talley Stereoscopes — highlighting little known 19th century photographer from northern Delaware.

The Sewell C. Biggs Archive — documenting the Biggs Museum founder’s 1937 trip around the world.

This exhibition will be accompanied by a variety of innovative, educational public programming to highlight the career, work and life of Ansel Adams, including “Outside the Studio” artist hikes, a concert, children’s activities and more.

For additional information, visit www.BiggsMuseum.org or call (302) 674-2111. The Biggs Museum is at 406 Federal St., Dover.

‘Johnny Guitar’ this weekend

This is the second and final weekend of “Johnny Guitar: The Musical” at Kent County Theatre Guild’s Patchwork Playhouse in Dover.

With a book by Nicholas van Hoogstraten, music by Martin Silvestri and Joel Higgins and lyrics by Mr. Higgins, the show will be staged today and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online at www.kctg.org, by phone at 302-674-3568 or at the door. Group rates are available for groups of 15 or more.

Jose Bernard, left, plays the title role in “Johnny Guitar,” as he stares down The Dancin’ Kid played by John Muller. Lori Christiansen as Vienna is caught in between.

Directed by Eddie Cohee and Nancy Muller, “Johnny Guitar: The Musical” is the story of Vienna (Lori Christiansen) who owns a saloon in the old west, but with the railroad coming through, Emma (Linda Hyler) and Sheriff McIvers (Steve Caporiccio) want her out. She has hired a mysterious man from her past named Johnny Guitar (Jose Bernard) for help, but will he be enough to stop Emma and her posse?

The show is based on the 1954 film of the same name starring Joan Crawford and Sterling Hayden.

The Patchwork Playhouse is at 140 E. Roosevelt Ave.

Last week, the Kent County Theatre Guild elected the following individuals to two-year terms on the board of trustees: Laini Bernard, Amy Bill, John Muller and Nancy Muller. The board held its regular April meeting following the elections and appointed the following officers and committee chairs: Mr. Muller, chairman of the board, tickets committee chair and communications director; Ms. Hyler, vice chair of the board; Maureen Levine, secretary; Ms. Muller, treasurer, play reading committee chair, house/bar manager; Laini Bernard, membership chair; Amy Bill, at-large board member; Steve Caporiccio, standards for excellence chair and buildings and grounds supervisor; Jeff Bellon, Patchwork Whoopee chair; Jean Downes, accountant; Bill Hartung, buildings and grounds committee member; and Patrice Hartung, Redners’ Receipts supervisor.

Now showing

New in theaters this weekend are the suspense thrillers “Phoenix Forgotten” and “Unforgettable”; the documentary “Born in China”; the action-comedy “Free Fire”; and the romance film “The Promise.”

On DVD and download starting Tuesday are the Oscar-nominated films “La La Land” and “Arrival” and “Underworld: Blood Wars.”

To share news of your entertainment group, venue or event, contact Craig Horleman at 741-8224 or chorl@newszap.com.

Reach features editor Craig Horleman at chorl@newszap.com

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