News Column

Short and Justice will play for lunchtime crowd

May 22, 2014

By Tim Preston, The Daily Independent, Ashland, Ky.

May 22--ASHLAND -- The frontman and the foundation of funk for the band Downtown King will stand together alone for a public performance downtown from noon to 1 p.m. Friday as part of the Melodies & Masterpieces concert series by the Arts Council of Northeastern Kentucky.

"Friday is a big day for us," said bassist Chris Justice of Ashland, who will be playing alongside singer/guitarist Jeremy Short of Breathitt County. Justice explained he and Short will be joining the rest of Downtown King for a live television performance on the "Good Morning West Virginia" show that morning, and playing at Charleston's Live on the Levee that evening.

Justice, who is a music teacher at Ashland's 4 O'Clock Rock Guitar Shop, said Downtown King is made up entirely of people who also teach others how to play music, noting Short as well as drummer Steve Barker and guitarist Mike Parker, all teach at Route 60 Music Co. in Barbourville. The band was initially pulled together as a backing group for singer/songwriter Sasha Colette, he said, and backed several other area vocalists before deciding to write original music and perform together as their own band.

It didn't take long for the band of professionals to start being noticed. Justice said the band entered a battle of the bands at Greenbo Lake State Resort Park last year, won the competition despite a lack of rehearsal and had its first paying gig, at the Col. Bill Williams music festival, booked before it had even left the stage.

At the Williams festival, Justice said they booked a show for Russell Railroad Days, also before the band had exited the stage and left. The band is sometimes known to bring a three-piece horn section on stage for shows, although The Urban Def Squad Horns won't be part of Friday's lunchtime show.

Without the horn section, incendiary second guitarist or groove-inducing drummer for Melodies & Masterpieces, Justice said he expects to play a few original songs and "probably a lot" of blues.

"Jeremy is the boss. He calls the shots and I'm right there with him," the bassist said.

Downtown King will also perform during Ashland's First Friday and Downtown Live in June. The band will host a CD release party for the new album "Trying To Get Over" on May 30 at Huntington's V-Club.

For more information, visit the Downtown King page on Facebook, where a link to the recently recorded song "Tightrope Walking" is also available.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at or (606) 326-2651.


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Source: Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

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