A Swede Shall Lead Them

Gina Diao

    Outwardly, Dick Johansson’s life is the stuff of male fantasy, swinging as he does two similarly shaped stringed instruments, a rock ’n’ roller’s ax and a tennis racket.
    As a tennis player, he’s a pan-Hamptons pro, giving lessons privately in a land with no shortage of Har-Tru. As a musician, he’s, well, a pro, having racked up years of experience as a singer, songwriter, and guitarist in the studios and publishing houses of Nashville.
    Even his Swedishness is newly cool, Stieg Larsson having bestowed noirish overtones on the designation in place of dreary bureaucracy and socialism.
    Lately he’s taken on the task of making the Sag Harbor Whaling Museum a happening place with a summer music series designed to rattle some bones in Mrs. Russell Sage’s former “summer cottage,” maybe spur the storied philanthropist to turn over in her grave and tart up with red lipstick and dancing shoes.
    In addition to producing the event, he fronts the Highlanders to form a kind of house band for the series of shows, joined each time by a guest artist or two. On Saturday starting at 5 p.m., that means the Complete Unknowns, a Bob Dylan cover band, and Red, Light, and Blue, which features a number of Mr. Johansson’s fellow Sag Harborites. The players are Mariann Megna, a keyboardist and singer, Bruce Beyer on drums, Brett King on bass, Randolph Hudson III on lead guitar, and Cynthia Daniels, who runs the MonkMusic recording studio in East Hampton, on guitar and vocals.
    Other shows in the series are Caroline Doctorow on July 9, a songwriters in the round gathering on Aug. 6, and the Wyoming singer-songwriter Inda Eaton on Sept. 9.
    Tickets cost $10, and there is a cash bar.