Singer-songwriter JD Sutphin toured for years with his rock outfit, Madrone, gaining thousands of fans and even radio support. But even with their success, his maternal grandmother told him repeatedly “Country music is gonna find you.” And one fateful Christmas it did, in a decades old stack of songs unearthed by his family, written by his own grandfather who died on July 4th, 1974, before he could record them.
JD’s grandfather, Jim Freeman, an incredibly accomplished country musician in his own right, toured with bluegrass greats Ralph Stanley and Bill Monroe. JD learned these once forgotten songs. He discovered a storytelling style of music that engulfed him to the point of making a pilgrimage to Nashville. He stood in front of the Ryman with tears and saw a path he needed to take. JD began to write his own songs on his grandfather’s prized Martin guitar. Within the first week he had ten songs unlike anything he had ever written. It was honest. It was simple. It was country.
He formed a band with seasoned players and named it Low Low Chariot, after his grandfather’s single “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”. Now performing live, releasing their first recordings and gaining die-hard fans daily; the Low Low Chariot is ready to continue their story and honor that fate and family that created them.
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....
Ministers of Soul
Hoppie Vaughan leads The Ministers of Soul through some great tunes. Original tunes + Al Green, Bill Withers, Otis Redding, Curtis Mayfield & Much Much More!! You will thoroughly enjoy this show - Guaranteed!!!
Jon Spear Band
The Jon Spear Band can be adventurous in its musical tastes but never strays very far from its blues roots. Nominated by Blues Blast Magazine for the prestigious best Live Blues Recording of 2016 award, all three of the Jon Spear Band’s CDs have charted in the US, France, UK, Spain, and Australia and have been listed on the annual top 100 Roots Music Report Contemporary Blues Chart for the past two consecutive years. Based in Central Virginia, the band's members are Jon Spear (guitar and vocals), Andy Burdetsky (bass), John Stubblefield (drums) and Dara James (lead vocals, guitar, and harmonica).
Groova Scape brings a fresh, powerful vibe to their bluesy shows, which are always packed with fun and surprises. World-class vocalist Brittany Sparks and veteran guitarist Henry Lazenby front this five-piece known for its startlingly good original tunes. Groova Scape has a super solid foundation provided by the spot on and exhilarating drumming of Matt Leonard and tight funky bass grooves provided by Scott Sutton. Ben Hite tops it all off with fresh Jazzy keyboard lines and vocals.
When Sparks turns loose those pipes, audiences sit up and take notice, then howl for more.
“Those guys have written some truly great songs,” says longtime promoter and music scene guru Gary Jackson. All of it adds up to a festival-tested band that is ready to move to the next level after six years and hundreds of shows worth of seasoning on the stages of Virginia, the Carolinas, Maryland and West Virginia.
The products of that experience are blues/rock arrangements that conjure up all sorts of jazzy, funky surprises. Groova simply knows how to find the groove every single night, and they'll do it without assaulting your ears or insulting your intelligence.
In recent years, Groova has opened for top acts such as Dave Matthews’ sideman Tim Reynolds and TR3 (twice), for Zach Deputy; for EOTO; for RAQ, for Thievery Corporation, for Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band, for the Bridge, for U-Melt, for Basshound and numerous others.
Based in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Groova Scape has drawn a strong international following over the internet with especially heavy regular listenership in California, Texas, and North Carolina, plus the United Kingdom and France. The band has made numerous appearances on regional television and traveled to make appearances in the prestigious Crozet Music Festival in Charlottesville, Culturefest and Pink Moon festivals in West Virginia, and the Day-Glo Music Festival in North Carolina, among others.
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.