Alive After Five announces 2017 lineup

By Chris Berendt - [email protected]

The 2017 Alive After Five Summer Concert Series has been announced and will feature four shows over a six-month span, including May and June concerts and, following a two-month hiatus, two huge concerts in the heart of Clinton in September and October.

Now entering its seventh year, Alive After Five is a partnership between the Sampson Arts Council, the County of Sampson and the City of Clinton. The 2017 series will feature four public concerts, to be held May, June, September and October, all presented free to the public. All concerts are held at the Clinton City Market located on Lisbon Street. The October show will be held in the courthouse square.

“The Alive After Five Committee is excited and proud to present the 2017 season of the Alive After Five Summer Concert Series,” Ray Jordan, chairman of the Alive After Five Committee, said in a press release. “Since its inception the Alive After Five Committee, along with over 100 sponsors, has produced and presented 34 concerts.”

Each concert is presented free to all citizens and visitors to Sampson County.

“Alive After Five Summer Concerts are family-friendly events that are fun and entertaining for all ages,” stated committee member Ross Kimbro. “Each concert provides attendees the opportunity to catch up with neighbors and old friends, as well as provides a venue for meeting newcomers to the community.”

Food vendors and exhibitors will be on hand offering attendees various food options as well as the opportunity to visit and network with many of the local businesses that sponsor the series, Kimbro noted.

On Thursday, May 18, the local season will kick off with AA5 mainstay Liquid Pleasure, labeled as one of North Carolina’s favorite party and dance bands offering old-school Motown and R&B, as well as a wide variety of today’s hottest contemporary hits.

“When we were still playing the college circuit heavily, with groups like Hootie and The Blowfish and R.E.M. The Spinners were even scheduled to warm up for us once,” said veteran member Melvin Farrington. The band has performed for U.S. Presidents George Bush and Barack Obama.

“People gravitate toward Liquid Pleasure because they are so much more than a band on stage. Every Liquid Pleasure performance is an energetic show. They know how to get people involved and excited. They are the epitome of entertainers,” said Doug Daniel, president and CEO of EastCoast Entertainment.

On Thursday, June 15, Too Much Sylvia and its four lead vocalists will perform. The band, a newcomer to AA5, offers an extensive playlist, from beach to Motown, and the best of the 70s and 80s, with a touch of country mixed in with a few of today’s favorites. They have played with “special guests” ZZ Top, The Jersey Boys, Pitbull and more. Since 2014, Too Much Sylvia has received five Cammy Awards, presented by the Carolina Beach Music Association, including two for Song of the Year.

On Thursday, Sept. 21, AA5 regulars and beach music moguls Band of Oz will take the stage for an encore performance. The Band of Oz was formed in 1967 as a part-time band playing fraternity parties and high school proms all over the South. In 1977 the band went on the road full time. The group has played nearly every major beach music festival in the Carolinas, Virginia and Georgia and has won numerous Cammy Awards over the years.

The band features a dynamic eight-member group complete with a full horn section. The play their own hits, along with the best in beach, R&B, and Motown, as well as some of today’s top 40 hits.

Closing out the season on Thursday, Oct. 5, is The Embers featuring Craig Woolard.

The Embers boast numerous albums and single releases that span decades, since the band’s inception in 1958. Having been inducted into the South Carolina R&B Hall of Fame and most recently the South Carolina Beach Music Hall of Fame, The Embers carry the moniker of North Carolina’s Official Ambassadors of Music. A musical institution, The Embers are widely considered to have laid the groundwork for what has become known as beach music in the Carolinas, Virginias and the Gulf Coast region of North America.

The last concert, on Friday, Oct. 13, will take place on the eve of the 31st Annual Court Square Street Fair & BBQ Cook-off, sponsored by the City of Clinton and the Clinton Main Street Program.

Another AA5 regular, Spare Change will perform for the masses leading up to the street fair. The group got their start in 2002 as a four-piece band of friends and now travels the Southeast as a favorite at various events. The band offers selections from rock, country, beach, funk, rap and classic rock, utilizing diverse instruments from the mandolin to the violin.

The concert will be held on the courthouse square from 6 to 9 p.m.

“The City of Clinton appreciates the excitement that Alive After Five generates,” said City of Clinton manager and AA5 committee member Shawn Purvis, “and how it contributes to a positive quality of life for the residents of Clinton and Sampson County.”

Sponsors sought

The Alive After Five Committee has begun seeking sponsors for the 2017 season and will continue to do so throughout March.

The series is funded through the support of many individuals, companies, corporations and civic organizations, and receives no direct governmental financial support.

“Sponsors are the key component that has led to the success of this series,” stated committee member Robert Stroud. “We are confident, with the impressive lineup of bands, that the 2017 series will draw concert-goers from Sampson as well as surrounding counties and will aid in creating a positive economic impact for our community.”

All sponsors will receive tickets and parking passes to special receptions that will be held during the season along with other benefits associated with the various levels of support. Sponsors will also be recognized on prominently-placed sponsor signs and will also be highlighted on the bright board digital display throughout each concert.

The deadline to become a sponsor is Friday, March 31.

To become a sponsor, contact any committee member or contact Ray Jordan via email at [email protected] or call 910-592-6451. For more information, visit Event attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and sunscreen. No coolers or pets are allowed.

For more information and details about the 31st Annual Court Square Street Fair & BBQ Cook-Off, visit or contact Betty Holland at 910-299-2904.

By Chris Berendt

[email protected]

Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.

Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.