“Free Fridays” Concert Series Presents The Shakedown on June 15


The “Free Fridays” Concert Series, as part of its celebration of June as African-American Music Appreciation Month,  presents The Shakedown Friday, June  15 from 8-10 p.m. at the Bo Diddley Plaza.
The Shakedown is a five-piece, Gainesville-based band specializing in contemporary blues with a rock and classic soul edge. The band is comprised of stage veterans well-seasoned in a variety of musical genres, but who have a special affinity for the unique expression of heart and grit that blues music offers. The band has some of its greatest influences from blues greats such as Albert King and Koko Taylor to the newer stylings of artists like Walter Trout, Susan Tedeschi, Eric Clapton and Danielle Nicole.

The Shakedown’s featured vocalist, Michelle “Velvet” Banfield, is “a vocal powerhouse who can rip the paint off the walls with her blistering full bodied voice and then stir you to your core with her soulful, emotional performances.” During her singing career, Banfield has enjoyed success and recognition as lead singer in a funk band, a jazz ensemble, and a classic rock group, but fondly describes singing the blues as “coming home.”

The Shakedown also features veteran Gainesville musicians Sean Crowley (percussion), Frank Bougher (lead guitar), Keith Ladd (bass guitar) and Randy Hensley (keys / rhythm guitar).

“Free Fridays” is presented by the City of Gainesville, and is funded in part by a Tourist Development Tax Grant from the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners, in conjunction with the Alachua County Tourist Development Council and Culture Builds Florida. The entire “Free Fridays” 2018 schedule can be viewed at The Bo Diddley Plaza is located at 111 E. University Ave. in downtown Gainesville. For general information, contact Russell Etling, cultural affairs manager, at or 352-393-8532. For more information about this event, please contact David Ballard at or 352-393-8746.