Summer concert series kicks off Saturday at The Links at Worthington

  • Carla Cooke will be performing at The Links at Worthington on July 2. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

  • Jim Messina will be playing at The Links at Worthington on June 25. CONTRIBUTED/SKOLNICK PHOTOGRAPHY

Staff Writer
Published: 6/23/2022 3:03:48 PM
Modified: 6/23/2022 3:03:29 PM

WORTHINGTON – The Links at Worthington golf course will be hosting several prominent artists this year as part of its summer concert series, including former Buffalo Springfield member Jim Messina and Carla Cooke, a daughter of the legendary Sam Cooke.

Last year, The Links at Worthington hosted Jon Pousette-Dart, of the famed Poussette-Dart Band, in concert.

“That was so successful,” said Dave Pollard, who owns the course with his wife Helen. “That led to a series of concerts this year.”

The first of these five concerts will be held Saturday, June 25 at 7:30 p.m., and will feature Jim Messina. Messina played in Buffalo Springfield, founded the group Poco, and was once part of the duo Loggins and Messina alongside Kenny Loggins.

“Mr. Messina’s a legend in this industry,” Pollard said.

Messina said that it’s been years since he played in western Massachusetts, but that he played all over the state during his Poco days.

“I am enjoying performing more than I ever did,” Messina said. “I’ve got a great band.”

He also said that touring as an older adult is more relaxing and enjoyable.

In addition to performing some new songs, Messina said people can expect music from Buffalo Springfield, Poco, and Loggins and Messina at the concert including the songs “Watching the River Run,” “Danny’s Song,” “Kind Woman,” “You Better Think Twice,” and “Your Mama Don't Dance.”

Messina spent his time earlier in the pandemic redoing his studio, which he said was great creatively but not so good financially. He lives with his wife in the country in the Nashville area where the couple have a large number of farm animals. 

“I don’t need an alarm clock anymore,” Messina said.

Next up will be Carla Cooke on July 2 at 7 p.m. Cooke is the daughter of legendary soul singer Sam Cooke, and she will be playing her versions of a number of her father’s songs including “A Change Is Gonna Come,” and “Summertime.”

“That’s going to be a party,” he said.

Cooke, who splits her time between Michigan and Los Angeles, said that this will be her first time visiting western Massachusetts.

“I’m very excited about playing in Worthington,” she said.

As for what people can expect, Cooke described her show as a tribute to her father.

“Mostly it’s my father’s music,” she said. “His music still influences people today.”

Sam Cooke died in 1964, a few months after Carla Cooke was born. However, she said that performing his music connects her with him.

“I feel him every time I’m on stage,” she said.

She also cited “You Sing Me” and “A Change Is Gonna Come,” as two of his songs that she enjoys performing.

“I really enjoy them all,” she said.

Pure Prairie League will be playing on Aug. 12 at 7 p.m., while The James Montgomery Band and The Joe Louis Walker Band will play on Aug. 28 at 5 p.m. and Tom Rush accompanied by Matt Nakoa will play on Sept. 4 at 7:30 p.m.

“They’re going to rock the place,” Pollard said, of Pure Prairie League.

Tickets to any of these shows can be purchased at the golf course’s website at worthingtongolfclub.com/.

Bera Dunau can be reached at bdunau@gazettenet.com.

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