Johnson City Founders After 5 concert series returns Friday, May 12

JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) - Now that the weather is warmer, an all-time favorite is returning to downtown Johnson City. The Founders After 5 Concert Series, a free outdoor concert, returns on Friday, May 12. The event features a lineup of bands from all over the southeast.

Except for First Fridays, Founders After 5 will be held at the Founders Park Amphitheater in downtown Johnson City.

The free concert begins at 6:00 p.m. and runs normally until 8:00 p.m.

The following is a release from Dianna Cantler, Director of Downtown Development:

Founders After 5 Concert Series returns for the spring and summer with a great lineup of bands from all over the Southeast. Last year, the crowd at the concert series grew each week, with many people traveling from throughout the Tri-cities and further to enjoy free music in a beautiful outdoor setting.

Beginning May 12 and continuing every Friday night through September, except for First Fridays, Founders After 5 will be held in the Founders Park Amphitheater in downtown Johnson City and features a wonderful cross section of music genres. The free music series begins at 6 pm and usually runs until 8 pm.

The first group to hit the stage will be The Ragbirds. Trying to define their musical style is a challenge. Led by petite but strong-voiced singer and violinist Erin Zindle, the Michigan-based ensemble adds more than a few outlandish elements of world music into their groove-based rock.

"We have a hard time describing what we do," says Zindle, speaking last week from a soundcheck in Tampa during their latest tour. "Our little catchphrase is 'infectious global groove,' which gives you the idea but falls short of really defining the big picture. In simple terms, we'll say it's folk-rock with a lot of world music influence. Those are general terms, but helps explain how the Celtic, gypsy, African, and Latin influences come into it."

May 19, in conjunction with the new Johnson City Jazz Festival event, will be the Matt Hall Boptet. Hall, a trombonist, performs around the Tri-Cities, Knoxville area, and the Nashville area with various groups such as The Streamliners Big Band, the Nashville Jazz Orchestra, the Diamonds Jazz Group.

Christopher Paul Stelling, will be the artist on May 26. Stelling has been on the move for years now. Periods spent in Colorado, Boston, Seattle, New York City and North Carolina, all interspersed with further destinations to play his songs. His debut record Songs of Praise And Scorn was recorded at a functioning Kentucky funeral home. American Songwriter heard it and proclaimed, "this what a real self-contained, modern-day troubadour looks and sounds

like." NPR Music wrote, "He's a great finger picker, a strong songwriter, listen to his words - you'll love what you hear." Stelling was also featured on NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert.

"Teri Dosher from Willow Tree books our music, " Said Dianna Cantler, Director of Downtown Development. "We challenged her to go a bit farther than typical Americana music this season. She took the challenge and we have reggae, zydeco, rock and blues, added into the American sound."

Other bands lined up for the early spring series include: Time Sawyer, local favorites this mountian and My New Favorites, Fly By Night Rounders, and Chalwa.

Links to all the bands websites can be found at

"Founders After 5 is a great way to begin your weekend", says Robert Williams, JCDA chair. "Invite your friends to meet you at Founders Park and enjoy great music and the company of others who enjoy being in downtown Johnson City."

Each evening, the featured bands will play two sets, music begins at 6 pm with a 15 minute break. You are invited to bring a blanket or chair, pick up a to go order from your favorite downtown restaurant or make plans to dine downtown after the music ends. Beer, soft drinks and water will be available for sale at the event. No outside alcohol is allowed in the City park.

Founders After 5 is sponsored by YeeHaw Brewing Company, Wild Wing Café, and Cherokee Distributing. Eastman Credit Union, Johnson City Chamber of Commerce/Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Johnson City Development Authority also support the event. The Founders Park Amphitheater is located in Downtown on Commerce Street. Parking is available at the Pavilion at Founders, in the public lot between Main and Market by Boone Street and in the Downtown Center Parking Garage.

For more information about Founders After 5, visit


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