ARTS Pick: Joseph Aaron

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Charlottesville native Joseph Aaron returns to town this weekend to play at the Southern. Publicity image. Charlottesville native Joseph Aaron returns to town this weekend to play at the Southern. Publicity image.

There’s a musical homecoming on the calendar this weekend, and it’s happening outside of the UVA Grounds.  

A former Charlottesville fixture who’s now a Nashville newbie, Joseph Aaron returns to play at the Southern on Friday.  After years of working behind the scenes at local concert venues, Aaron steps into the spotlight to lay down his own brand of (don’t call it southern) rock ‘n’ roll.

He’s touring on the heels of his first release, the September EP, recorded shortly before departing his central Virginia hometown, released in earlier this year.  Aaron’s songs evoke the tough personal choices at stake when you leave behind all you’ve ever known and his piano-driven soul numbers are laden with the clarity that hindsight brings to the heart.  Aaron plays keyboard and performs  in a contemporary style reminiscent of James Blunt.

He toyed with the idea of pursuing a music career for years, but it was the loss of a relationship that became the motivation he needed to move to the center of the singer-songwriter universe.

“I had to go,” Aaron said. “I think many people hear that same small voice and are faced with the same decision: ‘Run in the direction of your dreams, or stay with who and what you love, and the comfort of what you know?’ The right answer probably comes down to what regrets you’re willing to live with.”

With a seat at the piano and his heart on his sleeve, he puts music to this inner voice with passionate results. After all, a broken heart is the impetus for all the best love songs.

Aaron performs the opening set on October 25 at The Southern Café & Music Hall.  Erin & the Wildfire headline the show.

Friday 10/25 $6, 8:30pm. The Southern Café & Music Hall, 103 S. First St. 977-5590.

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