Merced County Times Newspaper
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It Was A Blast! Locals celebrate Fourth of July at Atwater fireworks show


The old-fashioned small town Atwater 4th of July concert and fireworks show returned from its absence last year due to COVID, and community members had a blast!

The concert before the fireworks show featured The Rob Tracy Band, a group of talented local musicians.  It was their first time performing in the Atwater 4th of July festivities.

Tracy is an accomplished guitarist, bass player, drummer, writer and producer, and the band performs Classic Rock, Traditional Country, R&B, and today’s current hits.

Describing his band, Tracy said, “I am the lead singer and lead guitarist.  Bass guitar is Chris Geier.  On drums is Matt (‘the Hit Man’) Perez.  Rhythm guitar is Rocky Dean.  We have Douglas Clay on keyboards.

“It’s a really great band.  I am so blessed to have guys who really love what they’re doing with every fiber of their being.

“Everyone in our band is from here.

“The guys in the band were excited to be playing again and get to play our home town.”

Describing the concert, he said, “I own The Music Room on Broadway in Atwater, a music school.  One of my vocal and drum students, Mariah Ramirez, sang a couple of songs with us.  At the concert, she opened with the national anthem and then did ‘Firework’ by Katy Perry and ‘Independence Day’ by Martina McBride, one country and one pop song.  She is 12-years-old – – the sweetest thing and a killer singer.  It was really cool for all the kids at the event to see a talented youngster on stage who is fearless.

“We also played live on a float in the Atwater 4th of July parade in the morning, and she was playing with us.”

Tracy has been asked to join some of music’s most elite musicians and groups.

He has also opened for such stars as Vince Gill, Martina McBride, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, and many other popular musicians.

He told the Times, “In addition to opening for these artists, I did a stint on lead guitar with the song ‘8675309 Jenny’ with a bona fide rock star, Tommy Tutone, four or five years ago.  It was an opportunity that just happened when he hired me as a back-up band for a couple shows in the Bay Area.  It was a lot of fun.”

When asked his background, Tracy said, “I grew up in the Salinas area and moved to this area in 2000, and I have been based out of Atwater since 2010.

“My band used to have the house gig at the Saddle Rack in Fremont, but the Saddle Rack was a casualty of COVID.  We had one of the best gigs on the planet, and we now have to start over.

“But we’re really excited to be back in Atwater, and the Atwater 4th of July has been something I’ve wanted to do ever since I moved here.  We were supposed to do it last year, but it was cancelled because of COVID.”

Describing their music, Tracy told the Times, “We do everything.  Most happen to be country tunes, but we also do classic rock, blues, top 40 pop, and we play to whatever our crowd likes.

“When we play events like this, since everyone in the audience likes something different, we want to make sure everyone is hearing things they like.

“In the Atwater/Merced area, we have people who love country, rock n’ roll, hip hop, pop — we have music lovers of all sorts.

“We play everything from Sublime to some really current country stuff, such as Jason Aldean and Chris Stapleton – – everything from Merle Haggard to Metallica.

“Besides lead guitar, I play all the other instruments as well when the other members of the band rotate out, so for example I might play drums, depending on what we’re doing.”

After the concert ended and it was dark, the famous fireworks show started.

Pyro Spectaculars, a long-time favorite for Atwater 4th of July fireworks, put on an amazing and spectacular show.  The show cost in the neighborhood of $30,000 and lasted about 35 minutes.

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