Function at the Junction returns with its summer-long concert series this Thursday night at Depot Park in Downtown Sanford. Presented by Downtown Sanford Inc., the series — free of charge to the public — will feature 11 concerts from now through the end of June and throughout the month of August.

This year’s lineup will feature bluegrass, rock, jazz, a little country and even something for those of you who can’t let go of the 80s. Below is the line-up for the first half of the series (we’ll publish Part II in late July), but before we get there, here’s a few changes to this year’s series:

LATER START: Function at the Junction will begin at 7 p.m. each Thursday night, pushed back an hour from last year’s starting time. A few reasons for this — it gives people a little more time to get to Depot Park after work and it provides a respite from the baking sun, especially during the August portion when the dog days have really set in.

BEER VENDORS: Last year, Function introduced a food trucks to a few of the concerts. Food tucks are lined up again this year, but new to 2017 will be the addition of beer vendors, according to Downtown Sanford Inc. Bear Creek Brews and Bombshell are reportedly on board for a few shows this summer. It’s DSI’s hope more vendors will come along.


May 25: Carolina Tradition
Genre: Bluegrass

“Good Pickin, good harmony and great people.”

Function at the Junction will begin this Thursday with the music North Carolina can call its own. Carolina Tradition is a five-piece bluegrass band out of Benson that has played at venues across the South. From their website: “Each of us share an addiction-level of love and desire for the music and is the catalyst on how we as friends came together as a band.”

June 1: FOG Band
Genre: Rock, classic rock

We don’t know what FOG stands for, but then again, it’s probably none of our business. They’re a North Carolina-based rock trio, first formed in 2007. They play primarily originals composed and recorded by lead guitarist/vocalist Alex Hatcher of Henderson. From their site: “The band features driving rhythms, soulful melodies and nicely blended three-part vocal harmonies.”

June 8: Heart of Carolina Jazz
Genre: Jazz (featuring Latino jazz percussionists)

The Heart of Carolina Jazz Orchestra originated as the “Community Jazz Ensemble” in 1990 when Gregg Gelb was a visiting artist at Central Carolina Community College. The group began June 11, 1990, and has been growing strong ever since. The Orchestra has played for thousands of jazz enthusiasts around North Carolina at schools, arts centers, festivals, dances and concert series like Function at the Junction, where they’ve become annual participants. Their first Function performance of 2017 (they’ll return in August) will feature Latin jazz percussionists — featured in the video above.

June 15: Tuesday Night Music Club
Genre: Classic rock


Sanford born and Sanford favorites. The Tuesday Night Music Club is also an annual participant in Function at the Junction and are regular performers in Downtown Sanford, The Flame and the Roadhouse General Store in Pittsboro. The Club features four full-time members: Jim Powers, Robert Gilleland, Robert Watson and David Spivey. The group plays a number of genres, from classic rock to bluegrass, country music to acoustic. This is typically one of the more well-attended Thursday nights during the summer.

June 22: Gasoline Stove
Genre: Old country, folk, Americana, rock, gospel

Returning participants after making their Function debut last year, Gasoline Stove promises to be one of the liveliest nights of the summer. Based out of Carrboro, Gasoline Stove is a “timeless five-piece band, mixing old country, folk, gospel, americana, rock and roots together to create dramatic but playful blues ballads. Rousing harmonies, accordion, piano and a slapping upright bass lead this storytelling extravaganza.” This one shouldn’t be missed.

June 29: Bad Moon Rising
Genre: Creedence Clearwater Revival tribute band

Led by Sanford’s Chad Spivey and Jeremy Strothers — Bad Moon Rising, as the name suggests, draws a strong influence in their sound from Creedence Clearwater Revival. The group plays CCR covers, as well as originals.


We’ll run down the second half of the Function at the Junction concert series in July. Meanwhile, here’s a quick look at the bands who’ll be performing then.

  • Aug. 3: Kelley & The Cowboys
  • Aug. 10: Heart of Carolina Jazz
  • Aug. 17: 80s Unplugged
  • Aug. 24: Faith Bardill and the Back Row Saints
  • Aug. 31: The Petty Thieves