Richie & The Wildlife bring soul music with a shot of rockin' blues. They rip and shred, croon and wail.
Founder and lead guitarist, Richie Ursomarso, has been studying guitar for 20 years, and playing professionally for the last ten. He plays with The Aliens, Soul Good Family Band, and The Emily Brass Band. Richards guitar style is funky, bluesy and soulful. His vocals are pure growling soul, deep and powerful.
The Wildlife performs an array of music: Soul, R&B, songs about life and love. Soul stirring vocals and guitar work wrap around grooving rhythms and original compositions. The Wildlife is influenced by Jazz, Motown, West African drum rhythms, B.B. king, Al Green, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Wooten. The Wildlife comes together to create a diverse soundscape for the nightlife of our time.
Lenny Marcus Quartet
Lenny Marcus hails from Washington, D.C., beginning his jazz career studying with Ray Bryant, then moving to New Orleans where he worked for many years, studying with legends Ellis Marsalis & Alvin Batiste. He then went on to record with a host of stellar jazz artists, including David “Fathead” Newman, Charlie Byrd, Herb Ellis, Lou Donaldson, Frank Foster, Sonny Fortune, Brian Lynch, Jane Powell and many others. His band is a well schooled jazz group. “Their jazz is infectious!,” Jazz Times magazine.
Lenny has recorded 22 albums as leader to date, performed in several international jazz festivals, three New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festivals, and has had his music featured on radio and TV, including song placements on CNN’s Hero’s series, the National Weather Channel (many songs over several years), NPR’s ALL that Jazz and ALL Songs Considered. Two of his songs were finalists in the ISC international song writer’s competition, and he’s received rave reviews for “The Jazz Of Beethoven” from both JAZZ TIMES and CADENCE magazines. His album, SUN RAY- A Tribute To Ray Bryant, is a heartfelt homage to his first piano teacher and family friend. SUN RAY has been rated among the top jazz albums on the National Jazz Charts for radio airplay in the USA/Canada, reaching #4 on the charts in June 2012, and being listed by JAZZ TIMES Magazine contributor Owen Cordle as #9 in the TOP 50 Jazz albums of 2012. The music of SUN RAY- A Tribute To Ray Bryant, and THE JAZZ OF BEETHOVEN were showcased at Blues Alley in DC in January 2013 and “brought the house down!” His latest albums, TONK and PEACE FOR BEETHOVEN – A Jazz Of Beethoven Companion, were both released in April 2013 sparking another Fall Tour in 2013. The trio played their innovative jazz arrangements of Beethoven Masterpieces up and down the East Coast, then they were invited back to Blues Alley to feature “TONK,” gathering more fans and receiving standing ovations.
Lenny’s music goes from modern high energy to a more contemplative, meditative approach.
Lenny is a highly trained jazz pianist who also plays flute and adds vocals. His compositions are refreshing and uplifting, and he has been compared to Vince Guaraldi, Oscar Peterson, Keith Jarrett, McCoy Tyner, Mose Allison-type vocal style, Ray Bryant, and many others. His original melodies and harmonic counterpoints have also been used for film/TV soundtracks.
Nick Moss and the Flip Tops
Nick Moss is a master of the Chicago blues sound. He has released eight albums to date, all on his own Blue Bella Records label. He has played alongside or with Buddy Scott, Jimmy Dawkins, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Jimmy Rogers and The Legendary Blues Band; as well as fronting his own group, Nick Moss and the Flip Tops.
Nick is sure to impress! Prepare to be amazed by Nick's mastery of the harmonica and electric guitar.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.