The “Boys” of Summer or Singing in the Park     

May 6, 2024 / Comments (0)


Lowry is lucky to have free music in our parks in the summer. Formerly in Bayaud Park, they are now ensconced in the little stage area on the west end of Sunset Park, Thursday nights, from May through October – weather permitting. How do they manage to entertain for free? The secret is they are practicing. And have been for a long time. So welcome to the O’Rourke & Lammens and Friends show.

We’ll start with Bill O’Rourke, one of six kids moved from New York to Montrose, CO, for his father’s legal work. Bill’s Dad was very active in the Democratic party and they once had John F. Kennedy in their living room. His Mom, a doctor, was saving lives and raising six kids. Bill, an athlete, starred in all sporting areas, and yes, he was captain of the football team. While not on the sporting teams, he was following his older brothers into playing a guitar and sitting in while they were practicing. He got his first guitar at 15 at a pawn shop for $25.

When his mom saw he was serious, she bought him a Fender Telecaster (a big deal), and he started playing with high school pals in their Rusty Lids’ band. They only played instrumentals but sang in church with the “guitar masses.” In college and law school, “I had no time to play. I put the guitar in the closet and worked summers in construction to pay my way through school. I didn’t become serious about playing again until I was 40. I went to hundreds of open mic nights around Denver to play, but sometimes you drew your 15-minute time slot for 11 p.m.”

But it was at one open mic show at Michelangelo’s (1st and Broadway, now defunct), Mike showed up. “He was the singer I needed,” said Bill, and they combined talents and their interests and practiced and worked on their music Bill says, “Mike is a deep baritone and had all kinds of obscure music. He was awesome.”

Awesome Mike Lammens is a Long Beach, CA, singer who along with two older brothers, started fiddling around with music at 15. He followed his older brother into music and later into civil engineering in construction. “I always liked singing, but in second grade, a teacher walked behind all the students sitting in a row and listened to them sing. She tapped me on the shoulder and gave me an F in singing – so I thought I couldn’t sing … something I always loved doing. I found out 35 years later that she gave everyone an F.” His shyness kept him from singing in front of an audience, and he still remembers that day and teacher.

Back in school, he worked construction in summers and followed his big brother around the construction industry.  After a few stints at college, Mike earned a BA in earth science at Cal State and eventually earned an MA degree in Construction Management.

He dated a high school student, Janet, but after a summer romance ended, they went their own separate ways. Seven years later meeting at a lunch, pow! They “clicked” and have been married for 48 years. He continued playing and singing and eventually decided to try out an open mic night at Michelangelo’s, and another pow!  Timing is everything.

“Practicing” is what they call their sessions, and because of Covid, they played outside in one of Lowry’s parks near where Bill lives. One afternoon singing and practicing, people started stopping by and sitting in. That was four years ago, and now they “practice” once a week at night varying their play list for Lowry’s lucky residents. They call it a blend of rock and folk music, and are pleased when they look out and see people are listening to them. “Our cup is full,” says Bill. We have enough ‘gigs.’ “

 Mike, an avid tennis player in high school, didn’t play for 25 years. “Then I realized, the best way to learn is to teach, so I restarted my ‘tennis journey” and he has kept up with this sport. Today he is ranked nationally in seniors tennis—55 and older–in the country! He invented a camera that could film a whole tennis game with a camera mounted behind the court. He received a patent for the equipment and eventually sold it. He goes to Naples, FL, for several months in the winter to work on his tennis and music. He is quite the entrepreneur starting with a 3 a.m. paper route at 12. Check out and

Bill has lived here in Lowry for twenty years, and appreciates the chance not to drive to play. He and his wife Becky are well settled in Lowry and enjoy Lowry’s many offerings when he isn’t singing or being a practicing lawyer by day. They especially like Sunset Park because they have their backs to the setting sun and enjoy watching the kids play on the swings to the east.

Together as O’Rourke and Lammens they play and practice and enjoy the company in front of them. Mike says, “If I mess a word or stanza, we just sing another chorus and make it in some kind of a jazz bridge.”  They make it look easy and the sound is incredible. “Singing,” says Mike, “is very pleasing and feels good when the harmony vibrates. It’s quite magical.”

Adding two new members to the group this year has enhanced their options and doubled their voices. Derek Scott has been with them for six months and is the percussionist in the group. He’s been playing for seven or eight years and 10 years with guitar. He’s been with Wild Bill Outlaws and Orchard Road before joining Bill and Mike.

 Kyle Wecher the fourth member knew Bill and also lives here in Lowry. His guitar vocals add a dimension to the group. In real life, he is an accountant and enjoys looking out at his Lowry neighbors enjoying their hour and a half of musical entertainment.

They play every Thursday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Sunset Park (due west of the library) in a glorious setting of families and kids as the sun sets behind them in the west. They play for free since they are only “practicing” but you’ll get your money’s worth on a Thursday night in this glorious Lowry setting. “If music be the soul of life, play on.”

Meet Your Lowry Neighbors is a monthly feature written by our intrepid reporter Sally Kurtzmanwho knows everyone in our community. If you have a suggestion for a Meet Your Lowry Neighbor, please send us an email to