Jul. 1—The seventh week of Friday After 5 will ring in the Independence Day weekend with their usual fare of street fair vendors, family-friendly activities and a wide range of genres of musical groups and entertainment along with tributes to those who serve or have served for the country.
Under the theme "American Spirit Veteran Night," the event will be filled with patriotic offerings from a presentation of the colors, the national anthem performed by Cathy Heald Mullins and a performance of Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the U.S.A." by Steve Bridgmon beginning at 5:30 p.m. on the Jagoe Homes Riverfront Live Stage at the Holiday Inn.
Special guests for the evening will include the non-profit organization Veterans Empowered Together (V.E.T.), who will be representing local military branches as the sponsor for the main stage and with every stage honoring veterans all along the riverfront.
"It's such an honor to honor the veterans on July 1 and just give them a sense of community passion for the veterans," said Brian Basham, executive director of V.E.T. "We're really excited about this event and — from the start — we've been promoting it and pushing it and we want every veteran in the tri-state area to come out."
The music lineup for tonight will include Nashville-based blues and southern rock Crooked Eye Tommy gracing the Jagoe Homes Riverfront Live Stage at the Holiday Inn from 6-9:30 p.m.
Tommy Marsh, the frontman and namesake of the band, is looking forward to making his way back to Friday After 5 after having a positive experience during his debut last season as one of the featured acts.
"It was a great time; what a great event it is. I was blown away by it," he said. "It's very cool. We do festivals around the country and I kind of knew the area, so it's nice to kind of connect up."
Marsh said that the group is not considered mainstream and is excited to be able to showcase their talents on a large platform.
"We're honored. We're very honored," he said. "We're super stoked."
Marsh, himself, was born and raised in the central valley in California for 57 years and made his way down south about 18 months ago.
Despite the change in environment, Marsh said that the transition didn't prove to be difficult.
"I think one of the things for me that's fortunate is that I'm not a country artist in Nashville; that's a huge, huge thing," Marsh said. "And honestly, I didn't choose Nashville based on the music scene necessarily, but the relatively general area that allows me to travel via car to play a bunch of places that still really appreciate the blues like Memphis, St. Louis and Atlanta."
Marsh will be joined by guitarist Jim Gustin, bassist Joe Bass, and drummer Alphonso Wesby along with special guests: guitarist Tommy Stillwell and 13-year-old blues guitarist Danny Garwood, which Marsh said is a can't miss.
"(Danny's) making an old guy like me sweat," he laughed. "That guy can play guitar and he's just a beautiful young man; great parents, very well-mannered. He just goes out there and tears it up."
Marsh expects the crowd to see a high-energy show in their set while still staying true to what the blues are about.
"Sometimes (the blues) is really quiet and really emotional," Marsh said. "So, it's going to be a rollercoaster ride — we're gonna go up and we're going to go down and we're gonna bring it up; and then hopefully by the end we'll have everyone up on their feet dancing, jumping around and having a good time."
Others on the performance bill include indie pop-rock group Violet Galaxy from 5:30-7 p.m. on the Atmos Energy Amphitheater at McConnell Plaza, rock group Descent jamming tunes from 7-9 p.m. on the Romain Subaru Overlook Stage, bluegrass outfit Mama Said String Band playing from 7-10 p.m. on the Lure Seafood & Grille Patio Stage and cover band The Juice Box Heroes continuing the music from 8:30-11:30 p.m. on the Ruoff Party Stage at the Owensboro Convention Center.
The 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Band, originally scheduled to play at the Atmos Energy Amphitheater at McConnell Plaza, have recently been deployed and will not be performing at tonight's event, according to a press release.
Karaoke will also be hosted by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 696 from 7:30 p.m. to midnight at their facility, 311 W. Veterans Blvd.
Additionally, "First Fridays," the contemporary Christian music concert series hosted by the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum, will make its return for the second time this season beginning at 5 p.m. with the Gospel Music Association's (GMA) Dove Award-nominated group Cochren & Co. playing from 6-8 p.m. on the Michael E. Horn Family Foundation Outdoor Stage behind the Hall of Fame.
Led by singer-songwriter and Indiana native Michael Cochren, the group has amassed new fans and listeners throughout their touring schedule, while their 2021 debut album "Don't Lose Hope" produced hit songs like "Church (Take Me Back)," "One Day" and "Who Can," with the album's title track reaching a mainstream audience after being included in an episode of CBS show "MacGyver."
A free Friday After 5's app is also available on Apple's app store at apps.apple.com/us/app/friday-after-5/id369025843 or Google Play at play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.redpixel.infoapp.m.client.fridayafter5.