Musings on folk, Americana, country, bluegrass and newgrass

After Jack performs at Rooster Walk 6

Give yourself a gift: Go hear After Jack perform at the Rives Theatre on Saturday, Dec. 20

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After Jack, a Franklin County-based “hot folk” trio, is scheduled to perform at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 20, at the Rives Theatre in uptown Martinsville, Va., as part of The Bluegrass at the Rives Concert Series.

If you missed the all-female group’s sweet harmonies at Rooster Walk 6, this is your chance to hear the band that won the Local Roots Band Competition at the Red Wing Roots Music Festival in Solon, Va., in July 2014. After Jack topped 10 other Virginia-based bands in the contest that was judged by members of the festival’s host band, The Steel Wheels, as well as other festival organizers.

After Jack, which is scheduled to perform at Rooster Walk 7  over Memorial Day weekend, was named the 2014 Americana vocal band of the year by the Appalachian Cultural Music Association and competed in the 2014 Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Competition in Telluride, Colo.

Formed in 2011, After Jack is a musical celebration of togetherness, according to the band’s promoter Johnny Buck. With expressive songwriting, captivating vocals and a unique take on traditional mountain music, the trio combines a modern sensibility with a distinctly old-time energy to mix bluegrass, gospel and folk elements. After Jack consists of Mary Allison, Emily Blankenship-Tucker and Rachel Blankenship-Tucker. The band takes its name from the hero of beloved mountain folk-tales, whose quick thinking and good fortune always brought him out on top.  Learn more at or listen to the band here.

The Bluegrass at the Rives Concert Series, presented by the Lions Club of Martinsville and Henry County, brings bluegrass concerts to the Rives Theatre the third Saturday of each month. The line up consists of many familiar favorites that music lovers have grown to love. Doors open at 5:30 with the Pot Luck Band followed by After Jack. Tickets are $5.

Other upcoming shows at the Rives Theatre include:

Decembersongs Saturday, Dec. 13, at 7 p.m. Decembersongs features Martinsville natives Doug and Telisha Williams as well as Amy Speace and Rod Picott. The band will perform some great new Christmas songs as well as some sentimental favorites with a lot of laughter thrown in, according to the website. Picture The Bob Hope Christmas Special but hosted by some alt-Americana/Roots/Folk songwriters who aren’t afraid to put “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” right next to their original song “I Won’t Be Home For Christmas” with a touch of “Dradle, Dradle, Dradle.” All tickets are $15. Online tickets here.

Brass 5 presents “A Toast to Christmas”, Friday, Dec. 19, at 7 p.m. Established in 1982, Brass 5 has performed more than 3,900 programs in America and Europe. They will be performing a special Christmas-themed concert at the Rives. Tickets: $8 in advance from Woodall’s or the Daily Grind. $10 on show night. Online tickets here.

Day After Christmas Party! The Kings of Belmont on Friday, Dec. 26, 2014 at 8 p.m.  The Rives Theatre’s annual Day After Christmas Party is always a veritable high school/family reunion … with dancing! This year’s show will be no different. Join  reigning Rooster Walk rockstars the Kings of Belmont, the Charlottesville band that’s been “meltin’ faces on a regular basis” since 2006. Doors open at 8 p.m. Advance tickets $8; door tickets $10. Online tickets here.

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