The Everly Set will perform Friday, Aug. 2 at 7 p.m. as part of the Fountain Park Summer Music Series. (Photo submitted)
The Everly Set will perform Friday, Aug. 2 at 7 p.m. as part of the Fountain Park Summer Music Series. (Photo submitted)

VAN WERT – Inspired by The Everly Brothers, Jack Skuller and Sean Altman came together to play what was supposed to be a one-time Everly Brothers show in 2017. The show was widely successful and loved by fans and as they say, “the rest is history.” On Friday, Aug. 2 at 7 p.m. Skuller and Altman will bring their popular tribute, The Everly Set, to Van Wert as part of the Fountain Park Summer Music Series.

Altman said he and Skuller and their rhythm section will perform two dozen of “the greatest songs ever written” including “Bye Bye Love,” “Wake Up Little Susie,” “Cathy’s Clown,” “All I Have To Do Is Dream,” “When Will I Be Loved,” “Crying In The Rain,” and more.

“We stay true to Phil and Don’s vocal arrangements while taking subtle liberties with the orchestration to best suit our lean’n’mean combo,” said Altman. “We’ll also tell the Everly Brothers’ story and demonstrate their lasting influence on rock’n’roll, particularly with respect to The Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel.”

Despite having more than 30 years between them, Skuller and Altman have bonded through their mutual love for music and respect for The Everly Brothers. The pair met in 2010 when Skuller was 14-years-old, and they were paired to sing Simon & Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson” at a tribute concert in Manhattan.

When Skuller was 19 and when Altman “had become an official card-carrying member of the AARP,” as he puts it, The Everly Set was formed.

“We are huge fans, and the music is absolutely timeless,” said Skuller. “I’ve seen people of all ages get up and bop to the Everly songs we play. A lot of things about the show feel relatable. We perform as ourselves, playing the music that inspires us.”

Skuller and Altman noted that their age difference has actually worked to the benefit of chemistry on stage and they have been able to learn a lot from each other.

“Jack teaches me about social media things like Faceboot, Instabran, and Snapcrap; and I teach him about cholesterol, arthritis, and salt intake,” mused Altman. “Seriously, though, the three-decade-plus age disparity is an endless source of amusement to us and our audience. Jack has me hooked on intermittent fasting and I have him intrigued by intermittent reading.”

“And boy, have I learned a thing or two about salt intake! Sheesh,” added Skuller. “Yes, the numerical difference has indeed been an endless source of amusement - but Sean and I seem to meet in the middle somewhere. I’ve always felt I could relate to Sean through our career experiences. I remember performing with Sean when I was 14, and our stage banter with each other was so much fun. I think our friendship formed onstage.”

Music has been a long-time passion for both Altman and Skuller. In the 90s, Altman formed Rockapella and within a few years the band was on The Tonight Show, guesting with Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden, and were stars of the PBS series “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? Altman even wrote the show’s theme. After years of performing original songs, Altman eventually transitioned back into singing other people’s material when he formed the tribute to The Everly Brothers.

“There is something extremely freeing about singing someone else’s great material; there’s no ego attached or fear that the songs aren’t good enough,” said Altman. “The Everly Brothers songs are some of the best songs ever crafted.”

Skuller started performing and playing music professionally at a young age. At age 16, he was touring the United States with Radio Disney. Recently he completed grad school and has been writing music at his home studio in New Jersey when he is not performing with The Everly Set.

“It is a full-on music life, and I am very grateful to be able to do what I love,” Skuller noted.

The group will help wrap up the final weeks left of the Fountain Park Summer Music Series on Friday. Altman invites the audience to “like” The Everly Set on Facebook to stay in touch.

“Folks who grew up with the Everlys will be instantly transported back to their teenybopper youth, courtesy of these wonderful songs and our obvious joy in performing them,” said Altman of Friday’s show. “Those who’ve never even heard of the Everly Brothers will be charmed by Jack’s youthful good looks and guitar wizardry, and my gift-of-gab and high cheekbones.”