C-VILLE Writers



When a talent as big as Sarah McLachlan steps onto the stage, it’s a good bet that something profound is about to occur. She performs at the Charlottesville Free Clinic Benefit on Sunday.  Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: Sarah McLachlan

With a voice that pierces through to the soul, Canadian artist Sarah McLachlan delivers an array of songs that pulse with beauty and meaning. Defined by gorgeous ballads that mix intense lyrics with uplifting guitars to create an experience brimming with positivity, McLachlan’s performances offer an unforced, natural bliss that is largely missing from many of […]

Eric Clapton has touted Sonny Landreth as one of the most advanced and under-appreciated guitarists on the planet. See for yourself at the Southern on Saturday. Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: Sonny Landreth

Hailed “The King of Slydeco,” Sonny Landreth’s Cajun-influenced slide guitar style has captured the attention of blues aficionados across the globe and led to collaborations with superstars such as Eric Clapton, Eric Johnson, and Mark Knopfler. With 11 albums under his belt and a passport stamped at gates across the globe, Landreth’s 30-year career has […]

Comedy with a Taste of Jazz Part III will have your toes tapping and sides splitting courtesy of comedienne Liz Miele and a trio of local jazz greats. Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: Comedy with a Taste of Jazz

How many jazz musicians does it take to screw in a light bulb? Find out at the third installment of the Comedy with a Taste of Jazz series featuring two sets of comedy from a hilarious up and coming stand up, paired with two sets of jazz from the Robert Jospe Trio. Super funny cat-enthusiast […]

Café con leche from Café Cubano. Staff photo

Para Coffee buys Café Cubano, and other restaurant news

Two coffee shops become one Last week, the owners of Para Coffee, the homey coffee shop tucked away on Elliewood Avenue where UVA students and professors camp out for hours with lattes and textbooks, announced that they’ve purchased Café Cubano on the Downtown Mall. Para owners Eric Kelley, Brad Uhl, and Brandon Wooten, who founded […]

The Belmont bridge from above.

Council OKs replacement of Belmont Bridge, shoots down underpass

Charlottesville’s City Council voted 4-1 Monday night in favor of replacing the aging connector between downtown and Belmont with an “enhanced bridge” as opposed to an underpass—an option that would have routed traffic below existing rail lines, and enjoyed vocal support from some locals and designers who have criticized the city’s planning process on the […]

Photo credit: Martyn Kyle

ARTS Pick: Shrek: The Musical

Grab some torches and pitchforks and prepare for Shrek: The Musical, when an ogre-turned-hero braves dragon fire and a tiny king to save his beloved Fiona. As Shrek adventures with his faithfully frustrating sidekick, Donkey, storybook creatures, and a musical score, an expert cast recaptures the magic of Long Ago and Far Away. Through 8/10. $16, […]

Scars on 45 bring their soulful tunes from across the pond. Publicity photo.

ARTS Pick: Scars on 45

British crooners Scars on 45 inspire soul-searching with tunes driven by hope and longing and grounded by piano and mellow guitar. Led by the soothing voices of Danny Bembrose and Aimee Driver, the quintet weaves an audio experience that is nothing short of euphoric. Tuesday 7/22. $15, 8pm. The Southern Café and Music Hall, 103 S. First St. […]

Ruckersville-based Solid Ground Shelters marries outdoor charm and indoor comfort with luxury tents. Photo: Solid Ground Shelters

The great outdoors: Camping with a luxurious twist

Weddings and camping go together like…Actually, weddings and camping haven’t traditionally gone together at all. Until now, that is. Welcome to the luxurious, wonderful world of glamorous camping, otherwise known as “glamping.” Think outdoorsy with all the trimmings: heated tents, comfy beds, luxury linens, and upscale furniture, all delivered to the locale of your choice. […]

The most darling of wedding traditions, these flower girls in their Shindig Weddings dresses will scatter petals down the aisle before the bride makes her entrance. Originally, flower girls carried wheat and other herbs to ensure prosperity and fertility, as well as garlic to ward off those pesky evil spirits. The tradition as we know it today evolved from a time when a path of petals would lead from the bride’s home to the church. Photo: Jen Fariello

Petal pushers

Once she’s got a ring on it, one of the first calls a bride makes is to a florist because be it altars, centerpieces, boutonnieres, or the all-important bouquet, flowers are everywhere, making anyone’s big day even brighter and more beautiful. There was, however, a time when those ubiquitous roses, tulips, and calla lilies weren’t […]

Publicity photo.

ARTS Pick: Martina McBride

Country music’s electric star Martina McBride is known for refusing trends and conventions, and with the release of Everlasting, the first album on her own label, she expands beyond country sounds. The Kansas-born artist finds fresh nuances in familiar favorites and songs that range from Motown and Etta James to Van Morrison and Linda Ronstadt. Saturday 7/19. $39-75, 7pm. […]

Photo credit: Michael Bailey

ARTS Pick: Shear Madness

Tight improvisation, audience participation, and sharp-tongued hair dressers deliver new twists every night in Shear Madness, the longest running nonmusical theater production in U.S. history. Set in a unisex salon right here in town, the American adaptation of Paul Portner’s slapstick whodunit asks playgoers to help solve an off-stage murder. Locals can look forward to inside […]

Hardcore Melvins fans should prepare for a departure when Buzz Osborne appears at the Southern to play tunes from his debut solo acoustic album, This Machine Kills Artists. Publicity photo

Melvins’ guitarist goes acoustic

His wife answers the phone. And it takes a bit for Buzz Osborne, the Melvins’ frontman, to pick up at his California home. No rush. A dog’s sporadically barking the entire time. As the most recognizable Melvin, Osborne’s taken a good deal of heat over the years for various developments in the avant-metal band’s music. […]

A felony case against former Glass Haus Kitchen owner J.F. Legault, pictured outside Charlottesville Circuit Court with his attorney Jessica Phillips (foreground), won’t go forward, 
says a prosecutor. Photo: Courteney Stuart

Felony case against former Charlottesville restaurateur dropped

The Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office has dropped its case against a local restaurateur and event planner who faced felony abduction and strangulation charges after the prosecution’s main witness, the alleged victim in the case, failed to show up for a jury trial last week. Jean-Francois Legault, c0-owner of catering and event outfit Glass Haus Kitchen and […]

The one-woman, non-stop, pop music hit-making machine that is Sara Bareilles appears at the Pavilion on Saturday. Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: Sara Bareilles

Don’t ask her for a love song. Grammy-nominated piano pop superstar Sara Bareilles’ upbeat confessionals have sold out shows nationwide for over a decade. Born and raised in California, she now adds 2013’s The Blessed Unrest, recorded with an all-new backup band, to an edgy pop-rock repertoire brimming with jazz and soul influences. Saturday, 7/12. $35-65, […]

The Devil Makes Three is only one of many good reasons to check out the Redwing Roots Music Festival this weekend. Photo credit: Anthony Pidgeon

ARTS Pick: Red Wing Roots Music Festival

Every once in a while there’s reason to get out of town and enjoy the surrounding beauty. This week’s prime option is the Red Wing Roots Music Festival, a three-day gathering loaded with jazz, country, rock, bluegrass, or hip-hop all pieced together by the Steel Wheels who host the annual family-friendly fest in the gorgeous […]

Bethany Puopolo's original rendering of Slate Hill, her home for nearly a quarter-century.

From the editor-at-large: Of the hand

There is a long out of print volume published by Princeton Architectural Press in 1992. Its spare black and white pages brought together a seminal collection of 18 highly individualized and speculative or research driven houses designed entirely by what was then the faculty of the University of Virginia School of Architecture. Now 22 years […]

The Philly-based band bring a bundle of creativity to the Southern Café and Music Hall. Photo courtesy of the Southern

ARTS Pick: The Extraordinaires

Philly’s punk-influenced rock outfit The Extraordinaires take their art seriously. From the quirky intelligent songwriting to the thoughtful limited edition packaging of albums wrapped in silkscreened artwork, accompanied by hand bound storybooks, the band lives a DIY aesthetic—and they get local cred because the new release Dress For Nasty Weather features print work from C’ville-based […]

Melissa McCarthy (left) turns the story of a kooky character on the run into a heartwarming, sentimental tale in Tammy. Photo credit: Warner Brothers

Film review: Tammy turns things around in the end

A lack of new ideas and a surplus of sincerity are not typically good qualities in a comedy. Just think of how forced and unearned the last 20 minutes of any Happy Madison movie are: “I know I’m a slob who screwed everything up while being distractingly racist and homophobic along the way. But I […]

Swinging, sassy blues define the music of Elizabeth Wise and the Shoo Flies at Fellini’s on Friday. Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: Elizabeth Wise and the Shoo Flies

Dance the night away to acoustic blues that swing from Elizabeth Wise and the Shoo Flies. Richmond native Wise updates old classics with funky folk overtones and her smooth vocals run the gamut from soothing to tearing down the bar. This is heat that you can’t escape, so kick your boots up to rollicking original […]