A guitar prodigy from the age of four, South Texas born Brent Johnson always knew where he wanted his playing to take him. Drinking in the very best of Blues, Jazz, Rock, Punk, Country and World Music, by the time his family moved to New Orleans in his teens, he was predestined towards a career in music.
Writing his own material, Brent formed several bands, then joined ‘Under The Gun’, who built a considerable following on the local live circuit in Louisiana and beyond. As admiring of the style of The Clash, Albert King, Charlie Parker, Jimi Hendrix, Albert Collins or Black Flag and Thelonius Monk, Brent's passion for playing was immediate and intense for his audience.
New Orleans’ legendary ‘Braille Blues Daddy’ Bryan Lee heard Brent's playing and immediately recognized his virtuosity, drive and dedication. At 22, Brent was seconded into Bryan Lee and the Blues Power Band with whom he has recorded and toured nationally and internationally for the past ten years. Brent credits Bryan as an ever encouraging mentor, sharing and expanding his deep love of the Blues and playing guitar; “ playing with Bryan has really helped me open my ears. Bryan always had keyboard players before I joined him – so I had to learn how to play like an organist, like a horn section – how to play rhythm like a group of instruments... instead of solely like a guitarist. I’ve learned how to swing, how to play be-bop and also how to take that aggression that I love and give it room to move – new colors to paint with”.
Brent has played festivals around the world and has shared the stage with legends such as Buddy Guy, Lonnie Brooks, Eddie Shaw, Gatemouth Brown, Michael Burks, David Maxwell, Bruce Katz, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Howlin Wolf associate Hubert Sumlin.
In between tours with Bryan Lee, Brent went out on the road with John Perkins (drums) and Bill Blok (bass) playing Brent's original compositions. They garnered a great response and decided to go into the recording studio, with the inclusion of Wayne Lohr on keyboards.
Brent Johnson and The Call Up released their debut album ‘ Set The World On Fire’ in ‘2014’ through the renowned Justin-Time Records out of Montreal. Renowned musicians Sonny Landreth and Alvin Youngblood Hart guest on several tracks.
“My sound is rooted in the Blues, though I don’t pretend to be a purist, and I don’t want to be” he explains, “I believe there are no limits – I’m going to have fun with this for a long time!”
Starr Hill IPA Jamboree
Join us as we celebrate all things Hoppy! Come taste some of the amazing & EXCLUSIVE IPA's on tour from Starr Hill's IPA Jamboree Festival. We are going to Crozet to hand pick the best of the best and bring them right here to you in Roanoke, at VA's #1 craft beer bar, Blue 5. An array of hops from all sides of the spectrum will be on tap for a sensory overload of flavor. We will also have a few things on for those hop haters among us from the delicious Starr Hill Brewery. Don't miss your chance to taste some history!
Kyle Forry and Justin Arnett
Kyle Forry and Justin Arnett were both born and raised in Franklin County, Virginia. They began playing and writing songs together in high school and have largely shared the same musical journey in the 15 years since. Their music intertwines acoustic roots, Americana, rock, reggae, and soul.
Since Barefoot West began performing in bars, festivals, and venues in Southwest Virginia eight years ago, they haven’t stopped to take a breath. Their numerous public performances and local popularity led to them being voted “Best Local Band” by Laker Magazine every year from 2010 to 2013. They even appeared in Lake Effects, a 2012 film which was shot at nearby Smith Mountain Lake and televised nationally and internationally. Most recently, Kyle and Justin opened for Southern Ground Recording Artist, Levi Lowrey and Zac Brown Band member, Clay Cook on opening night at the Harvester Performance Center in their hometown of Rocky Mount, VA.
Kyle and Justin will also be joined by Josh Lynch on bass.
Balkun Brothers is a psychedelic blues-rock band hailing from Hartford, Connecticut. Originally formed in 2010 by brothers Nick and Steve Balkun, Balkun Brothers has been described as, “Spectacular torch-bearers for rockin’ American blues… The band brings a raw, soulful and energetic personality that is a fresh sound for blues and rock ’n roll.”
Mixing traditional styles of delta and electric blues, with heavy modern rock and funk grooves, the Balkun Brothers are crafting a unique sound and style all their own. Drawing from a vast range of influences, the band’s live shows and in-studio recordings seamlessly transition between blues, rock, funk, jam, psychedelia and everything in-between. Balkun Brothers are becoming known for their explosive live shows and are quickly evolving into one of the United States’ premier blues-rock acts.
Balkun Brothers was voted the ‘2015 Best Overall Band In Connecticut’, along with ‘Best Blues Band In Connecticut’ three years in a row, in 2015, 2014 and 2013, by CT.com and the Connecticut Music Awards. The group also won the 2014 Connecticut Blues Society Band Challenge and the 2013 Massachusetts Blues Society Solo/Duo Competition. As a solo act, Steve Balkun was named the winner of the 2012 Connecticut Blues Society Solo/Suo Competition, as well as being a grand finalist at the 2013 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN. Steve, was also hand selected by blues-rock great, Joe Bonamassa, as a top ten finalist in the 2013 Guitar Center Bluesmasters Competition and played with Joe Bonamassa and his band in Los Angeles, CA.
As Balkun Brothers continues to grow and progress, their following has expanded and an impressive touring schedule has featured them alongside well-know artists such as Johnny Winter, Joe Bonamassa, James Cotton, Popa Chubby, Eric Sardinas, Dopapod, Melvin Seals and JGB, The Mike Dillon Band and many more.
The band released their first full-length studio album, “ReDrova”, in January of 2015. The Brothers released their 2nd studio album, entitled “Balkun Brothers”, on October 13th, 2015 on Dixiefrog Records. The album was produced, recorded, and engineered by Popa Chubby. Balkun Brothers completed a full European tour in Fall 2015 and will be releasing their new album in the United States in Winter of 2016.
Lazy Man Dub Band
Local favorite, The Lazy Man Dub Band, has been laying down the jams all across the state and leaving in its wake an exploding fan base. Members include Wayne Shorter on drums, Adam Beason on guitar, Brad Taylor on bass, Justin Pinckney on saxophone, and Matt Leonard on percussion
Lazy Man relentlessly experiments with their sound, by bringing new and different arrangements to the table each night. No two Dub shows will leave you feeling the same. The Lazy Man Dub Band is bringing roots rock reggae to the masses, one party at a time.
These guys have played with Snarky Puppy, Sol Creech, & Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, and many many 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.