The Ernie Small Blues Band has been playing for more than 30 years. It will perform for the first time in Owensboro tonight at the patio stage for Friday After 5.
Ernest Small plays guitar and is the lead singer for the Bowling Green-based, eight-piece band. He said they formed during the “Blues Brothers Era” of the early 1980s.
“I had spent some time at the Chicago Blues Fest and really got into that kind of music,” he said earlier this week.
The band continues to play blues and jazz, but has branched out and plays rock, country as well as original tunes.
Small said the group is looking forward to playing in Owensboro, and has heard a lot of good things about Friday After 5 and the venues on the Ohio River.
“What a great event that is that you all have on the river, it’s a beautiful venue,” he said. “To see the river and the bridge behind the stage, it’s just a great setup.”
He had the opportunity to visit earlier in the summer to see a band perform during the weekly concert series, and said he was impressed with the community’s response.
“I’m hoping that we’ll get a good crowd and people will enjoy what we do,” he said, and added that the band has arranged a mix of different kinds of music and material they have collected over the years.
Not to say they won’t play some “Mustang Sally,” he said, but they intend to introduce various varieties.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for us, and I hope that what we do will be appealing to the people there,” he said. “It looks like people there just want to have a good time and listen to some good music.”
This is the second-to-last Friday After 5, and the weather is looking much like it has this week: below 80 degrees and no precipitation.
Kentucky Wesleyan College is sponsoring the event this week and they’re doing something that Friday After 5 Executive Director Kirk Kirkpatrick called extraordinary.
Before the scheduled bands are set to perform, KWC students will be performing at the various stages.
At 5:30 p.m. on the patio stage, the Rashad Brown Band will perform and Sarah-Nell Hibbs and Kerry Showers are performing at 6 p.m. on the courtyard stage.
McLean County High School’s Rock-A-Teens, an early rock ‘n’ roll tribute group, will be playing at 6 p.m. before Gospel on the River begins in the RiverPark Center’s Cannon Hall.
On top of all of that, KWC is going to have every sport they have as part of the street fair, where there will be sports games and members of the teams represented.
“They are unveiling their brand new mascot for KWC Panthers,” Kirkpatrick said. “It’s still a Panther, but it’s a new mascot that will be introduced for the first time at Friday After 5.”
The 2015 KWC freshman class is also invited.
“And that’s a great way to introduce them to Owensboro that have not really spent much time here,” he said.
Also performing on the main stages are Lacy Jean & Ryan with some acoustic variety music in the courtyard, and reggae band Spiritual Rez on The Pier.
Bobbie Hayse, [email protected], 270-691-7315, Twitter @BobbieHayseMI