The John Train Band

by Joe Tressa

John Train, the country/folk rock band, will close the 65th annual Pastorius Park Concert Series with a performance at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 31.

The band was formed in the mid-1990s when songwriter John Houlon met guitarist Mike Brenner, and the two began performing around the Philadelphia area.

A few years later, Houlon and Brenner added bassist Steve Demarest, mandolin player Bill Fergusson and fiddle player Jay Ansill, who eventually left the band but was replaced by guitarist Mark Tucker and drummer Mark Schreiber.

John Train performs regularly in the Philadelphia area and frequently at Fergie’s Pub on Sansom Street.

The band released its first album in May of 1999, titled “Angels Turned Thieves.” This led to the release of five more albums over the years, with “A Wig and a Wonder” being its most recent release in April of this year. The album “Mesopotamia Blues,” released in 2007, takes as its theme the war in Iraq. Many of the band’s songs are about war and politics. The band also plays cover songs from time to time.

Also on Wednesday, July 31, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in Pastorius Park, the CHCA will hold its 15th Annual Picnic honoring the police, firefighters, and postal workers who serve our community. The picnic is free to honored guests and their families, and also free to children 8 and under. The fee to the general public is $8 a person. To make a reservation, call Noreen Spota at 215-248-8810 by Monday, July 29 or visit

The rain location for each concert will be at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy’s Lower School Auditorium, Cherokee Campus, 8000 Cherokee St. Rain statuses will be posted on by 6 p.m. on the day of the show.

The concert series is organized and produced by the Chestnut Hill Community Association and made possible by donations from the Chestnut Hill Community Fund and Chestnut Hill Hospital. Further sponsorship is provided by WXPN and the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department.

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