Yarn At 5 Points Music Sanctuary

Words by Jam Band Purist

After my recent visit to 5 Points Music Sanctuary in Roanoke Virginia, I was graciously invited back, this time to cover Yarn‘s recent performance at the magnificent venue. With a great lineup of jam and rock acts coming up, I know I will be spending a lot more time at 5 Points. In my recent Pink Talking Fish recap, I touched on the Sanctuary’s contributions to their surrounding community. As an advocate for special needs and former special-education teacher, these programs are close to my heart. I support this cause and want to inform readers about these exclusive music therapy programs that benefit the local Virginia community.

Passed around at the Yarn show was a backpack, called the Subpac, which allows the user to experience the music through vibrations. When the bass pounds on stage, you feel it in the backpack. This technology is one of the many examples of the opportunities Tyler Godsey and his team are bringing to 5 Points Music Sanctuary. The story of 5 Points is an amazing example of strength and opportunity. With programs like the Subpac Initiative, the sanctuary is truly striving to keep the power of music alive for everyone.

I had never experienced Yarn, the Brooklyn alt-country band, but I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of their musicianship and songwriting originality. Yarn is a vibrant mix of country, rock, and rockabilly sprinkled with some bluegrass, folk, and stitched together with a touch of grunge. There were times when there was improvisation and the band started to jam, but Yarn stayed true to the standard old country feel. Song themes ranged from traveling down south, breaking up, and drug use; themes I think most of us can relate to in one way or another. The crowd was with the band the entire time.


Tour seasoned, Yarn has been riding out troubled times and rolling with the changes, releasing a new album, This is The Year. With the songs, “Carolina Heart” and “This Is The Year” highlighting the album. It does seem a different direction than the previous sound Yarn has cultivated. With lyrics like, “This is the year, we’re gonna make that change/this is the year, we start all over again/This is the year, we’re all gonna come out swingin’/we’re gonna raise a glass to a new beginning,” the band is obviously looking to change things up and push their music into high gear.

The sound in the Sanctuary certainly complements this type of music and the band was tight and constructed while still remaining loose and fluid. Bass player Rick Bugal, drives the rhythm of this band forward, always in the groove and ready to take the music further. Lead guitarist Rod Hohl, reminds me of a hired gun, ready to unload when the time is right with a country and western picking style that is smooth and unstoppable. Always staying steady like a train engine, drummer Bobby Bonhomme, is the heartbeat of Yarn. While lead vocalist and guitarist Blake Christiana is the lifeblood, reminding me very much of Todd Snider, a vagabond storyteller with an old soul that leaves his heart written in the lyrics. I look forward to catching Yarn again this summer at Roosterwalk Music Festival and if you haven’t listened to Yarn and you enjoy country–rock check them out.

To learn more about 5 Points and their live shows and music therapy programs, click here.


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