By Hart Fowler
THE ROANOKE TIMES
Aug 2, 2005
Its been 25 years since Blacksburg began closing off the downtown and inviting folks to step out into the streets to hear the sounds of live music and taste the local cuisine. Coupled with its usual lineup of traveling bands, this year's Steppin Out is showcasing six local acts that have dominated the New River Valley music scene for nearly two decades.
"Part of what I try to do, and would like to do, is to equally present international talent and regional or local talent," said music coordinator Dylan Locke. "Steppin' Out offers a unique platform for some of these local performers to tap into a group of people who may not otherwise get to see them. Once they get that chance, hopefully a connection is made."
Two of these local bands are headlining each day. True Sound, the newest addition, will close the festivities Friday and the Yams from Outer Space, the longest running Steppin Out act, closes the event Saturday.
Eat Middle Eastern fare at the new Kabob House
Hangout at the She-Sha Cafe and Hookah Lounge
Read about the violent act that ended one festival and helped give birth to Steppin' Out.
When: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Where: On College Avenue, Draper Road, Jackson Street and Main Street in downtown Blacksburg
Features: Continuous live music on several stages, more than 150 craft vendors and festival food. Children's activities (including inflatable fun) on Henderson Lawn on Saturday.
Admission: Free. Downtown parking and bus service on Blacksburg Transit is also free of charge.
Paul Clark and the Lonesome Drifters
Paul Clark is playing his fifth Steppin' Out, and he brings his company of cowboy hats and classic country sounds to the main stage for a boot-scootin' rockabilly ball.
When: 5 p.m. Friday
Who: Paul Clark (rhythm guitar and lead vocals), Bob Shew (steel guitar and vocals), Bill Richardson (fiddle and vocals), Larry Houghton (upright bass), Ken Convery (drums), and Casey Elder (lead guitar and mandolin).
Style: "We sound like the country music of the early '50s -- Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Bob Wills -- and we also play some traditional old-time fiddle tunes, and some western swing," Clark said. "We're really at heart a honky tonk dance band. Two step, flat-footing , swing dance; we get a lot of dancers."
On Steppin' Out: "I think its a special gig. People can came out and see us who normally can't because we usually play late at night and in bars," Clark said. "This is a family environment and we like playing it for that reason."
Play it again: Drift over to the Cellar to catch Clark and his boys twang it out all night, beginning at 9:30 Friday night.