5/20/2011 - Downtown After Five steps on gas with Bayou Diesel, Asheville Horns
by Tony Kiss
SO MUCH TO DO IN ASHEVILLE THIS WEEKEND! Take a look at the article below and extra information on what's going on in Western North Carolina's largest city Friday, Saturday, and Sunday!
ASHEVILLE -- The beats are back starting Friday night on Lexington Avenue, as the popular Downtown After Five street shows begin another season.
First up: the bands Bayou Diesel and the Asheville Horns, playing 5:15-9 p.m. on Lexington Avenue, near the Interstate 240 overpass. As usual, the shows are presented monthly through September by the Asheville Downtown Association.
Not much has changed since last year, said Adrian Vassallo, with the Asheville Downtown Association.
"We're sticking with the basics," he said. "Don't bring your dogs. We love them, but dogs don't like crowds. And don't bring coolers."
There's really no need to carry beverages to this party. Several Asheville-area breweries will be tapping their craft ales, including French Broad Brewing, Pisgah Brewing and Highland Brewing. Budweiser of Asheville, will also have Bud and Bud Light beers, plus selections from Asheville Brewing Co., R.J. Rockers, Shock Top, Abita, Starr Hill and Lone Rider. Empire Distributing will be pouring Sam Adams and Sweetwater brews.
If you're drinking, be sure to bring photo ID and buy a $2 wristband, which can later be used to get a 10 percent discount at Lexington Avenue Brewery. Plenty of food will be sold on the streets, or grab something at one of the area restaurants. Lexington Avenue is one of the city's dining hot spots, and there are more restaurants on the surrounding streets.
The season-opening show has a bit of a Louisiana beat to it, harkening back to the old Moonlight Over Downtown shows.
The nine-piece Asheville Horns began as a studio group for hire before evolving into its own act. The group has recorded with a variety of acts, including Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band, the Dirty Dozen and funk star George Clinton. Bayou Diesel, performing since 2006, has built a solid reputation performing Cajun, zydeco and Mardi Gras music in Western North Carolina and has appeared twice at Bele Chere. Bring your dancing shoes and watch out for the Mardi Gras beads the band will toss.
Remember that Lexington Avenue will be closed to traffic near the stage and that street parking will be at a premium. If you find an empty metered space, be sure to feed it until 6 p.m. Don't leave your car in a private unattended lot to avoid being towed. The best parking bet will be at decks on Rankin Avenue and near the Asheville Civic Center.
The series continues June 17 with The Blue Dogs and the New Familiars; July 15 with Woody Wood and the Jonathan Scales Fourchestra; Aug. 19 with the Lee Boys and Lubriphonic; and Sept. 16 with Town Mountain and Bobby Miller and the Virginia Daredevils.
MORE WEEKEND FESTIVALS
The Saluda Arts Festival returns 10 a.m.-
5 p.m. downtown Saluda. About 45 artists will be selling their works, and the festival includes live music by the Swayback Sisters, the Appalachian Brass Quintet and One Leg Up. Jack Roper, TV personality from WSPA/Channel 7, will entertain between stage setups. www.saluda.com/events.html.
The Lure of the Dragons Festival happens
9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday at Lake Lure Town Park, next to Town Hall on U.S. 64/74A. This Southern and Asian-American celebration includes food, drinks, music and children's activities, and is held with Lure of the Dragons boat races on the Rocky Broad River. www.lureofthedragons.org.
Wama Jam -- The West Asheville Music and Arts Festival happens at 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday at Erwin High School Sports Complex, 60 Lees Creek Road. The lineup includes a diverse selection of music, arts and crafts, children's activities and food. It's a fundraiser for the Erwin High School music department. http://erwinwarriorband.webs.com.
The Spindale Goat Festival opens today and continues Saturday in downtown Spindale. The parade is set for
12:30 p.m. Saturday with lots of music through the day. www.goatfestival.com.