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.
Erin & The Wildfire
Rock, blues, folk, and soul had a baby and they named it Erin. She collected three of her most talented friends in 2012 and dubbed them The Wildfire, in reference to the fiery quality of their groove. Erin & The Wildfire is comprised of Erin Lunsford (vocals, acoustic guitar), Ryan Lipps (guitar), Matt Wood (bass), and Nick Quillen (drums). Erin is an award winning vocalist (1st place Winner of Charlottesville’s Paramount Idol 2013) and an award winning songwriter (1st place Winner in the 11th Annual Rapunzel’s Songwriting Contest) with the song “Best I’ve Ever Been.” This past summer, the band won the Rockn' to Lockn' competition and had the honor of playing on the final day of the 2014 Lockn' festival alongside Soja, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Willie Nelson, Wilco, Widespread Panic, and The Allman Brothers. Erin & The Wildfire was also featured in this year's CMJ Conference, The Festy Experience, and The Circus Life Festival.
Erin & The Wildfire has been described as a “local treasure” and their presence continues to grow throughout Central Virginia and up and down the east coast. In 2013, Erin & the Wildfire released their debut self-titled EP, which features poignant lyrics, dynamic energy, and sultry melodies. The EP track, “Best I’ve Ever Been” was also chosen as one of the best new songs of 2013 by WNRN Radio’s LocalMotive broadcast. This November, the band will be releasing three new tracks on the Blame the Rain Single, and will subsequently tour the northeast. The combination of Lunsford’s soulful and striking vocals with the Wildfire’s feverish intensity will start a flame in the heart of any listener.
Don't miss Erin & The Wildfire's triumphant return to Blue 5!
Low Low Chariot
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.
The Nicholson Brothers
Deeply rooted in the blues, The Nicholson Brothers Band also pulls from R&B, Rock and Jazz. Growing up in the mountains of Virginia, brothers Mark and Steve Nicholson began playing music together in 1995. Mark’s guitar style is heavily influenced by the three Kings of Blues (Albert, Freddie, and B.B), and his vocals are reminiscent of Bobby Womack and Gregg Allman.
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.