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Now in its fourth year, this Roanoke showcase just keeps getting bigger and better.
Courtesy Michael Weintrob
The Pimps of Joytime
Courtesy Doug Coombe
“Octopus’ Den,” © 2009 Brian Zickafoose. Acrylic on Panel Board
Courtesy Brent Hoskins
Courtesy Matt Browning
The Floorboards are just one of many acts that will perform Friday and Saturday at Blacksburg's 33rd-annual Steppin' Out street festival.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Down by Downtown keeps growing. An event that started with a handful of places is about to enter its fourth year with 11 Roanoke nightspots and a couple of outdoor stages.
The action begins on Wednesday at Kirk Avenue Music Hall with the Newton Awards, the Roanoke music scene’s celebration of the people who make it work. Afterward, acts will perform at Martin’s Downtown Bar & Grill, The Blues BBQ Co., Corned Beef & Co. and Billy’s.
By the weekend, all the locations will be staging live music from national, regional and local acts. The two days of outdoor shows behind the City Market Building reflect that mix, with Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band and Proverbial hitting the stage Friday, while such Roanoke Valley acts as Tobacco Apache, Dirt Road Travelers and Rutledge will perform on Saturday.
A few blocks away at Martin’s, Pimps of Joytime will headline an outdoor show that should start not long after the Booty Band finishes by the market.
Organizers have more than the music offerings. The DxDT Shakedown on Market, at 10 a.m. Saturday, is an art show by the outdoor stage.
Almost all of it will be free. Almost.
Here is a breakdown of some of the shows with cover charges or ticket prices, and some of the hot free ones.
These picks stood out for us, but you can go to downxdowntown.com to see every listing. By the way, organizers have reported issues with website access and are working on the problem.
DxDT Outdoor Festival & Stage
With Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, Proverbial, The Color J
The Asheville, N.C.-based Booty Band delivers some powerful funk to headline the first night of outdoor shows. Reggae-rocking Proverbial and Roanoke-based soulsters The Color J, featuring keyboardist/singer Jamiel Allen, will warm up the crowd.
Martin’s Spring Block Party
With The Pimps of Joytime, The Color J, Half Moon Band (indoors)
The Color J moves across town to open this event at Martin’s. The Pimps of Joytime, funky heros of FloydFest and Rooster Walk, headline outdoors before the action moves inside for a set from Roanoke’s Half Moon Band.
DxDT Outdoor Festival & Stage
With Dirt Road Travelers, Tobacco Apache, Rutledge, Greg Bates, Emma Leigh
Americana, roots-rock and country will be the focus here. Roanoke Valley acts Dirt Road Travelers and Tobacco Apache are cooking up their own kind of original music. Rutledge mixed nu-country hits with its own originals. Nashville’s Greg Bates got into the country charts last year with “Did It For The Girl.” Emma Leigh is a Shenandoah Valley-based teenager with a big voice.
DxDT Shakedown on Market Art Show
Ripple owner Christy Koren is curating the event, featuring 16 vendors, live painting, hula hooping and balloon archways for what she says will help create a “fun festy” feel. Artists include Brian Zickafoose, Starroot and A’Court Bason.
Details: 10 a.m. Saturday. By the festival stage. 492-9878,
BRING YOUR WALLET
This popular North Carolina band, a former FloydFest Under the Radar contest winner, recently released a fun new album, “Jambands Ruined My Life.”
Allen Thompson Band
Roanoke Valley native Thompson is based in Nashville, Tenn., these days, and he is writing and performing high-quality Americana music.
About five years ago, Gabe “The Ambassador” Lewis, Brent Hoskins and John “Merlot” Spence had the most popular band in Roanoke. Folks packed halls to hear The Seed’s pop/reggae grooves. The act broke up but has reunited occasionally. This time out, the band will even have new songs from an album it plans to release later this year, Hoskins says.
Guitarist John Hill (Electric Chameleon, The Materia Project) and bassist Chris McCorkle (Lazy Man Dub Band) round out the lineup. 81 Productions will be in the house, doing the light show.
James Carter Organ Trio
Saxophonist Carter, who was onstage at the Don Pullen tribute concert at Jefferson Center last year, returns , leading a soul-jazz act that can take its music to the border of freakout madness. Hear a podcast at blogs.roanoke.com/cutnscratch, and read more about Carter in Friday’s Extra section.
I’m With The Band
This Martinsville band provides a live soundtrack for your karaoke pleasure. In other words, go be a frontman or frontwoman with some good players.
Details: 10 p.m. Saturday. Corned Beef & Co. $5. 342-3354, cornedbeefandco.com.
This Burlington, N.C., band brings big grooves, pop-rock melodies and stretchy jams on originals and covers of such tunes as Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)” and Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer.”
Details: 10 p.m. Saturday. Martin’s Downtown. $5 advance; $8 day of show.
With The Sea The Sea
It’s a CD release party for Speace’s newest, “How To Sleep In A Stormy Boat.” A single from that disc, “The Sea and the Shore,” got its debut at Grammy.com, the website of the Grammy Awards.
At the relatively new Sidewinders, this North Carolina band is becoming a favorite.
The Funk Cousins
Multi-talented Sam Lunsford (The Young Sinclairs, Joneski) plays guitar in this horn-soaked band. Lorenzel Wilson handles the bass lines on his keyboard.
Charlie Hamill Group
Hamill’s original songs are in the classic rock vein.
Details: 7 p.m. Wednesday. Corned Beef & Co. reverbnation.com/charliehamillgroup.
Martin, who plays with The Kings and Project 4, goes solo at Sidewinders.
Details: 7 p.m. Thursday. Sidewinders Steak House and Saloon.
Jordan Harman Trio
Harman and his act bring neo-soul and blues, originals and choice covers.
The Fat Tuesdays Band
Former Roanoke Times writer and arts columnist Kevin Kittredge leads this New Orleans-flavored band on vocals, upright bass, even clarinet.
This Roanoke quintet is one of the most intriguing bands on the regional Americana scene, with potential to burst those boundaries.
Elmer Coles and the Gumbo Band
Get more Big Easy-style music at The Quarter from Coles, an excellent trumpeter, and his always grooving band.
Details: 9 p.m. Saturday. The Quarter.
Corey Hunley and Jeff Maiden
Hunley sings strong original Americana songs and covers cool ones, too, while Maiden brings the rhythm.
Details: 10 p.m. Saturday. The Blues BBQ Co. coreyhunley.com.
THE NEWTON AWARDS
6:30 p.m. Wednesday. Kirk Avenue Music Hall, 22 Kirk Ave. Free admission, plus complimentary food and beer.
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