Anita Overcash

Noah Gundersen gets heavy at the Southern on Saturday. Publicity photo

Noah Gundersen considers the distress of modern times

Noah Gundersen recently saw the world’s largest easel. He says that the roadside attraction, located in Goodland, Kansas, is a whopping 80 feet tall with one of Vincent van Gogh’s sunflower paintings stretched across it. That stop, like many, is just one of the perks of having a good tour manager, he says. There’s little […]

Alicia Bognanno leads the grunge-pop band Bully. Publicity photo

Bully frontwoman talks audio engineering, screaming and Losing

There’s something Alicia Bognanno of the Nashville-based grunge-pop act Bully wants to get off her chest. Her latest album, Losing, released on October 20 via Sub Pop, is not a breakup record. “I want to scream that to the top of my lungs,” says Bognanno, who easily could. The 27-year-old singer/songwriter/audio engineer/producer frequently screams lamenting […]

Joan Shelley teamed up with producer Jeff Tweedy to release her self-titled album about love, life and horses. She performs at The Southern Café and Music Hall on Saturday. Publicity photo

Joan Shelley masters the art of fret finger work

Singer-songwriter Joan Shelley describes her latest self-titled album as being like an oil painting with minimal brush strokes. “I think of it as doing the most with the least,” says Shelley. “It’s trying to do something subtly, but by being able to see the gestures. I don’t like to overwork it.” The album, released in […]

At Lockn’ on Thursday, Nicole Atkins performs songs of heartbreak and resilience. Publicity photo.

Nicole Atkins finds a new muse in Rhonda Lee

Like many creatives, psychedelic indie rock songstress Nicole Atkins had to hit rock bottom to rise to a reawakened level of musicianship. Not only did she move from her longtime home along the Jersey Shore to Nashville, Tennessee, but she faced writer’s block, alcoholism and she literally fell into a sinkhole. Atkins, who will perform […]

Kishi Bashi performs at the Jefferson on April 26. Publicity photo

Kishi Bashi confronts love through new sounds on Sonderlust

Kaoru Ishibashi ditched his violin for samplers, sequencers and electronics on Sonderlust, the third album released under his pseudo name Kishi Bashi. The composer—largely known for his mastery of the violin, which led him to accompanying Regina Spektor, Sondre Lerche and Of Montreal on tours—just couldn’t muster the inspiration to pick up the stringed instrument. […]

Having a daughter didn’t stop husband-and-wife duo Birds of Chicago’s busy tour schedule—they just go slower and experience the journey together. Publicity photo

Birds of Chicago stop and play on the road

Life on the road as touring musicians can be demanding. But long days driving and late nights on stage aren’t the only enduring requirements for the husband-and-wife-fronted Birds of Chicago. JT Nero and Allison Russell decided to bring their 3-year-old daughter along for the ride. The pair started touring with their daughter before she turned […]

Brooklyn’s 79.5 is making a name for itself through ear candy soul and unique musical residencies. The group supports Chicano Batman at the Southern on Friday. Publicity photo

79.5 bandmates are romantic psychedelic soulmates

When 79.5 founder and frontwoman Kate Mattison started her band in 2012 she didn’t envision playing gigs in a setting that looked like something straight out of Pirates of the Caribbean. But, three years later after adding five new members to the band, including vocalists Piya Malik and Nya Parker Brown, guitarist Matty McDermott, bassist […]

While the cello is often seen in an orchestral setting, Natalie Haas (with Alasdair Fraser) and a small number of musicians are leading the revival to recognize its place in traditional Celtic music. Publicity photo

Natalie Haas talks about traditional music comebacks

In the fashion world, LuLaRoe is bringing leggings back, one pop-up at a time. And it could be said that in the music world, Natalie Haas is helping to bring the cello back as a substratum for Celtic songscapes. Over the years she’s embraced the instrument, transforming its sound to complement those by the legendary […]

Newly local, The Last Bison brings a fresh lineup and recently recorded tunes to the Southern on February 19. Photo by Jakob Wandel

The Last Bison forges a new sound

Ben Hardesty is roaming Charlottesville. The frontman of indie folk- pop act The Last Bison moved to C’ville last August. Since then, the musicians that once comprised the band in its former home base of Chesapeake have scattered. Only six months on the new terrain, Hardesty is still trying to discover where he can get […]