Born, raised, and recorded in the heart of Fredericksburg, Virginia, Karen Jonas's Country Songs is a celebration of music made outside the machine - of songs written in her living room, captured live in the studio just down the street, and sent out to see where it stands in the big, wide world. Releasing October 14, the album is a collection of character, talent and tenacity.
Country Songs is a refreshing mix of classic sounds with new, head-turning country swagger. At times defiant, celebratory, or pining, Country Songs remains intensely personal. It is crafted to be focused on - perhaps alone, while sipping whiskey on a quiet evening - for poetry, story, and nuance. The layered fiddle, steel, and organ are the stage upon which Jonas's stories shine, with collaborator Tim Bray's lead guitar acting as a spotlight. The swanky, two-steppin' title track professes a love of the Bakersfield sound (and Dwight Yoakam's jeans), born out of heartbreak. It isn't quite serious, but isn't quite tongue-in-cheek. "Wasting Time" adds a softer side with a timeless tale of love that won't disappear, while tracks like "Ophelia" and "The Fair Shake" show off the talents of twang-master Bray's big orange Gretsch.
Recorded live in the studio, the collection encompasses both the vibrant local music community surrounding Fredericksburg, as well as the dynamic live feel that Jonas and Bray have spent nearly three years honing while on the road supporting the release of 2014's Oklahoma Lottery. The critically acclaimed album was praised by Rolling Stone Germany, Farce the Music, Saving Country Music, Twang Nation and Country Perspective, among others.
In a time when the country music genre is complicated by competing definitions, Jonas weighs in strongly with her own version of what country music should be. Country Songs may be the self-made duo's showcase of a local sound, but the collection has them poised to take a bow on an international stage. Maybe they'll ask Dwight Yoakam if they can borrow a pair of his jeans.
The Meskos Electric Revue
Brian Mesko has been a professional musician for 18 years, having performed with many groups around the world in such cities as Nashville, Los Angeles, and Istanbul. Raised in a musical family in Little Rock, AR, he formally studied guitar from ages 10 - 18, while simultaneously developing the drums, bass guitar and piano. After completing his Bachelor's Degree in Recording Industry at Middle Tennessee State University, Brian honed his skills performing with high-caliber jazz musicians in Nashville, including organist Moe Denham. As Denham's guitarist, he performed with Les McCann in 2004 in Nashville, TN, and has also performed with jazz legends Dr. Lonnie Smith, Tony Monaco, John Jorgenson, Jeff Coffin, and with blues great Bob Margolin. Mesko currently plays with The Root Downs, Green Earrings, Funk 45, Liz Barnes, The Nicholson Brothers, and BC's Big Rhythm Sound.
Melissa Mesko is a mover and a shaker with a voice that draws from many styles including blues, folk, rock and jazz. Raised in Midlothian, VA, she moved and traveled around the country until 2004, when she met Brian Mesko in Nashville and began collaborating with him musically. Melissa has performed ever since with Brian, as a duo and as a member of such groups as The Sweetbush Revival, The Nicholson Brothers, Funk45, and Downtown Conspiracy.
Mel Melton & Wicked Mojos
This Zydeco-flavored blues band from Durham brings its mojo to Blue 5 for a special show. Melton's trademark zydeco style of harp playing has been influenced from his past in music rich cities as Lafayette (Louisiana), Austin, and Chicago. Melton has played with the great slide guitar legend Sonny Landreth and opened for stars such as Ray Charles, BB King, Dr John, Stevie Ray Vaughan and the Fabulous Thunderbirds. Come down to Blue 5 to experience a show that will make you feel like you are at a big party in the Louisiana bayou....
Jstop Latin Soul
Fiery Latin Grooves & Cool Jazz with Jstop Latin Soul! Enjoy great food, great friends, and you just might find yourself dancing the night away!
Featuring: Joel Stopka on Trombone, Brian Mesko on Bass, Lenny Marcus on Piano, Vladimir Espinosa on Percussion, and Jason Hoffheins on Drums
Blue 5 Weekend Reservations:
On nights we offer music, Blue 5 offers two seatings for our guests:
1) An early seating for guests who do NOT wish to stay for the live entertainment.
2) A late seating for guests who want the option to stay for the live entertainment.
PLEASE NOTE: Early seating reservations have a 2-hour allotment before the seating
following their reservation, which allows plenty of time to enjoy dinner with us.