Yahoo, it's the middle of summer and prime Downtown After Five time. The next show in the free (free!) series kicks off Friday, July 17, with a lineup that ranges from gritty-blues-rock to local quirk-folk. Coverin' all the bases, they are. The show starts at 5:15 p.m. (though you can come right after 5, if you're ready to beer up), with the catchy stylings for local pop-folkies Jen and the Juice. They've been touring regionally, getting great WNCW airplay and are developing a following — frontwoman Jenny Greer writes original songs that are often Asheville-centric, and she's put together a crack backing band.
After that, King Johnson takes the stage at 6:20 p.m. The band spans so many genres they came up with a new term to fit 'em all in: "adultcontemporary-rootsrockbluesjazzfunk." King Johnson plays funky roots music, and they have horns. Notable that bands with horns often inspire the sweat-and-beer saturated DTA5 crowd to really get down, so expect nothing less from this Atlanta-based band.
Closing out the lineup is the monster Hill Country Revue, an offshoot of the popular North Mississippi Allstars. Says Cody Dickinson, the band's frontman (and former all-star), "It's funky. Really nasty, that's the best way to describe it. Gritty, messy, stripped-down." These guys are taking it back to the roots of blues. Their brand of Southern rock has earned them big demand on the festival circuit this summer.
Some how-tos for DTA5: The event's free, but bring cash for beer, food and merch. And bring an ID if you're out to drink. Food is available from this year's vendors: The Lobster Trap, Nick's Sandwiches and Subs, Anderson Davis Hot Dogs, Ultimate Ice Cream, One World Vegetarian Kitchen, Rolling Stone Pizza and Sugar Momma's Cookies.
Xpress is the media sponsor for this DTA5 night, so be on the lookout for our street team. We'll be on the lookout for you! More info at www.ashevilledowntown.org.
Other news to note: This one's a great idea that we hope sticks. Say you live in Asheville but want to head out to Black Mountain for some of their awesome live music (White Horse, Town Pump, Pisgah Brewing, etc.), or vice versa. Now you can do it without the potentially hairy drive back. The brand-new Black Mountain Cab Company plans a shuttle service from the Town Pump Tavern (135 Cherry St.) to Asheville Brewing Company (77 Coxe Ave.) every Friday and Saturday night starting July 10. The shuttle will leave the Pump at 6, 8 and 10 p.m., midnight and 2 a.m. and be out front of the Pizza Co. at 7, 9 and 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. Cost is $12 one way or $21 round-trip, cheaper than a regular cab ride.