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Saturday August 23rd 2014

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Awesome Mondays Get More Awesome

by James Hagan

Since opening last year, 5 ½ Bar — located at 5 E. Garden St., and attached to Vinyl Music Hall — has become an upscale hot spot for downtown Pensacola. More recently, 5 ½ has hosted the weekly Awesome Mondays, featuring drink specials, music and works of local art. In an effort to branch out, however, on Sept. 19, 5 ½ will feature Canadian songstress Billy the Kid and the Southside Boys performing a free concert.

Called “one of Canada’s rising stars” by See Magazine, Billy the Kid (real name Billy Pettinger) will be making her first appearance in Pensacola. The Vancouver native, currently on a tour of the United States, expressed her excitement about the upcoming show. An old friend of Vinyl talent booker Chris Wilkes, Pettinger stated that the show will be a gigantic reunion of old friends.

“If anything it should be just a huge jamboree hangout.”

Having previously fronted pop-punk outfit Billy the Kid and the Lost Boys, this is Pettinger’s first tour with the Richmond, Va., based Southside Boys, whose members she claims to have stolen from two Richmond-based bands she liked.

Touring in support of her latest CD “Ours,” Pettinger seems to embody a decidedly D-I-Y aesthetic. She sings, plays guitar, piano, drums, bass, and harmonica. She credits her influences as the singer-songwriters who set out to describe the trials and tribulations of the everyday person. She described her music as “coming from a person who likes Ryan Adams, Neil Young, Springsteen and The Band, if that means anything.”
In an effort to thank fans for their support, Pettinger has made her latest CD “Ours,” which she credits as entirely friend funded and supported, free for download at www.billythekidonline.com.

As far as future goals, the 29-year-old Pettinger expressed contentment with the direction of her career, and looks forward to future recordings.

“If life continues to go as it is going, that’s really all I could ever want,” she explained.  “We’ll make a record every year, play around, then I get to go back to my Bat Cave of a room and write all over the walls (I seriously do this).”

The 21+ show will feature the usual Awesome Monday drink specials, as well as live music from Brooks, and art from Evan Levin. Billy the Kid and the Southside Boys are scheduled to perform from 8-10:30 p.m.

Billy the Kid at 5 1/2′s Awesome Mondays
WHEN: Monday, Sept. 19
WHERE: 5 ½ Bar, 5 E. Garden St.
DETAILS: billythekidonline.com