An evening of eclectic jazz promises to vibrate Crute Stage for the June 19th installment of this summer’s Main Street Music series. Richmond’s own Butcher Brown, a quartet of multi-talented artists who have a flare for the funky, will be heard resonating through Farmville Downtown. Opening the concert will be Live from Mad Cat Alley Jazz starting at 6pm.
According to Anthony Dean-Harris of NextBop, Butcher Brown has been described as “one of the most uproariously good bands to break onto the [music] scene in recent memory… This group is good, too good, like if Madlib’s solo-jazz project, Yesterday’s New Quintet, suddenly sprouted three more heads. They’re cool without trying. They’re funky but not cheesy. They sound like a jam session in a cloud.”
The group’s distinctive sound comes as lead sound and keyboardist Devonne Harris, known professionally as D.J. Harrison, glides his fingers across the keys while bassist Andrew Randazzo subtly creates an audible, caramel-like flavor. Harrison and Randazzo are complemented by Keith Askey’s melodic guitar riffs while drummer Corey Fonville’s focused beat keeps the band cool and smooth.
Live from Mad Cat Alley Jazz is composed of locals Jay Coward (keyboards and Tenor Sax), bass player Max Doss, and drummer Spencer Smith. The group has high reviews from Longwood University’s music professor Dr. Charlie Kinzer. Kinzer recognized the group’s talent during gigs the group played on the Longwood campus. The quartet regularly plays at The Fishin’ Pig and will make their Main Street Music debut on Crute Stage the third Thursday of June.
The Main Street Music series is sponsored by WFLO; Mainly Clay; Real Living Cornerstone; Virginia Credit Union; Fourth Street Motor Company; and Terri Atkins Wilson, Attorney & Counselor-at-law. Organized by a committee of the Farmville Downtown Partnership (FDP), the series has acquired the help of Poplar Hall Café to cater a thematic menu for the concerts, including local food and flare from the Tri-county area. Poplar Hall Café also happens to be the event’s rain location, a spot that became useful during the May Main Street Music Series Concert.
As the rain began to fall on the afternoon of Thursday May 15th, Poplar Hall Café opened its doors to the series and began making accommodations for the performance. Approximately 75 people took over the café’s seating and spilled onto furnishings in the antique center as Chas Stetson and The Café at Poplar Hall staff served dinner for music fans of all ages who braved the 7.44” rainfall to enjoy hearing their favorites perform.
Opener Sean Kimmel kicked off the evening followed by The Buffalo Band led by Buffalo Creek Guitar Company’s Gary Hickman and featuring Jon Garner of Allen’s Mill Blue Grass Band. Topping off the night was local favorite Los Carleenos with intermission entertainment provided by belly dancers Amena Sims and Ashley “Hoopgirl” Russell.
“It was a great test of the rain location at The Café at Poplar Hall,” Main Street Music Chair Spencer Conover stated. “People had a really good time and recognized the potential for indoor music performances in non-traditional locations in Farmville Downtown. We really appreciate the support of owners Dianne and Nathan Bozarth, Poplar Hall Manager Jess Lehman, and Chas Stetson making it possible for the show to go on despite the torrential downpour.”
Main Street Music concerts are from 6-9 pm the third Thursday evening of each month May – September. Fans are invited to bring lawn chairs, quilts, or blankets to enjoy the show from the lawn at Crute Stage. The venue is located on the corner of N. Main and Fourth Streets in Farmville Downtown.
For more information about Main Street Music and the work of Farmville Downtown Partnership, please contact Executive Director Helen Person at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 434-392-3060. You may also check out the downtown revitalization group on www.farmvilledowntown.com or on Facebook at www.facebook/farmvilledowntown.
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