Jedd Ferris



Accomplished singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester led a low-key lifestyle before losing his battle with cancer this spring. “I’d rather just hang in there all the time with good music, slow and steady, and share it, rather than set the world on fire all at once,” he told Rolling Stone magazine in 1970. Winchester’s final album was released on September 16. Publicity photo

Charlottesville resident Jesse Winchester’s last waltz

“I’m dying to find Him, but dying’s my fear. Is there perfection? Will there be pain? Will I see mom and dad again?” With a weathered voice, steeped in the honest emotion of a man facing his mortality, Jesse Winchester seeks answers from his Maker during these poignant lines in the song “Just So Much.” […]

Low-key, influential folk musician Chris Smither has been writing hit songs and touring for over 50 years. He will play a solo retrospective at the Southern on Wednesday. Photo credit: Jeff Fasano

Chris Smither looks back at a 50-year career

Chris Smither has maintained a steady presence as an underground folk icon for the past five decades. His unassuming delivery offers rustic comfort, as he sings in a relaxed, weathered tenor that’s accompanied by front porch foot-tapping and blues-rooted finger-picking. Smither grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana but he left home in 1965 to join […]

Americana musician David Bromberg broke away from a highly regarded career to become a violin maker in the ’80s. He later returned to music on his own terms and is currently playing dates to support his latest release Only Slightly Mad. Publicity photo

Catching up with Americana pioneer David Bromberg

David Bromberg doesn’t take interview calls until 5pm. That’s when the work day is done at his violin retail and repair shop in Wilmington, Delaware. It’s a humble existence for a guy who was once Columbia Records’ second-best recording artist behind Bob Dylan, but a few minutes on the phone with Bromberg reveal that he […]

A student of Joe Satriani, Charlie Hunter has applied his versatile jazz guitar talent to solo work and collaborations that span genres for more than 20 years.

Interview: The ongoing innovation of jazz guitarist Charlie Hunter

Like most great jazz musicians, guitarist Charlie Hunter never gets complacent in his craft. Since emerging from California’s Bay Area in the early ’90s, the innovative ax slinger has defied convention by expanding the parameters of a guitarist’s role. The versatility starts with the ingenuity of his instrument, a custom-made, seven-string guitar that allows Hunter […]

Playing in a duo allows banjo virtuoso couple Abigail Washburn and Béla Fleck to make
touring a family affair.

Interview: Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn bring the family

Restless musical innovator Béla Fleck is known for taking the banjo on a wide range of sonic journeys. The 15-time Grammy winner brought his instrument to the outer limits of improvisational jazz with his lauded outfit the Flecktones and explored its roots in Africa through the documentary Throw Down Your Heart. These days, Fleck is […]

Blast through the midnight hour with the NOLA grooves of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. “We just play music, man, any style,” said baritone sax player Roger Lewis (second from left). Publicity image

Celebrating New Year’s Eve with The Dirty Dozen Brass Band

It’s not likely you’ll find another band that’s opened for both Lionel Richie and Widespread Panic, in the same year no less. Call it a perfect example of the high-energy celebratory versatility of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, a four-decade New Orleans musical institution that’s well known for delivering good time horn-driven grooves. “We just […]

Dave Schools (far left) will take a few notes from his “teachers” and play many with his band Widespread Panic at the Lockn’ Music Festival. Publicity image

Schools in session: WSP bassist gets prepped for Lockn’

Widespread Panic bassist Dave Schools is a Virginia native. When reached for a recent phone interview he sounded genuinely enthusiastic about his old home state hosting the Lockn’ Festival, a high-profile jam band bash taking place at Oak Ridge Estate in Arrington this Thursday through Sunday and featuring Grateful Dead offshoot Furthur, Trey Anastasio Band, the Black Crowes and the String Cheese Incident, among many others.

The genre-jumping songwriter and accomplished guitarist, Anders Osborne, brings his melting pot of rock to the Jefferson. Publicity photo

Down on the Bayou: Anders Osborne’s evolving New Orleans Sound

Through a two-and-a-half-decade career, Anders Osborne has consistently proven to be one of New Orleans’ most versatile musicians. Since releasing his debut album in 1989, Osborne has become a Crescent City mainstay, able to vary his sound from edgy Bayou blues (2001’s Ash Wednesday Blues) to introspective soulful folk-rock (2007’s Coming Down). He’s collaborated with […]

Joan Baez will co-headline with the Indigo Girls at the Pavilion on June 11. “We’ll definitely be doing songs together on this upcoming tour,” said the folk singing legend. Publicity photo.

The voice: Joan Baez gives old songs new life

Joan Baez still possesses the unwavering ability to make any song her own, even when she didn’t write the lyrics. It comes from her voice, an unmistakable soaring soprano with nightingale soul that took her to the stage of the Newport Folk Festival at the tender age of 18 and still carries a music career […]

The David Wax Museum may be the only band at the Tom Tom Festival to play the quijada, an instrument that makes its sound by rattling the dried out teeth on a donkey’s jawbone. Publicity photo.

ARTS Preview: 5 bands to catch at Tom Tom Fest 2013

Last year, the Tom Tom Founder’s Festival debuted with a bold music line-up. While Josh Ritter delivered a spirited performance to a full house at the Haven, scattered shows by national acts, like the Walkmen and Futurebirds, were underattended. This year Tom Tom organizers are shifting the focus to local and regional bands, and beefing […]

Singer-poet Todd Snider plays on the wild side of folk music, backed by The Burnouts, at the Jefferson on Thursday.(Publicity Photo)

East side story: Nashville anti-hero Todd Snider goes electric

Todd Snider lives on the other side of the tracks from the Music City establishment. It’s in his attitude as much as his address. With a reverence for Americana in its many forms, and a delivery that can mirror the wry wit of early Dylan or the earnest twang of John Prine, Snider tells humorous tales of sketchy characters and uses thought-provoking wisdom from the dive-bar underbelly to rail against what ails him.

The Punch Brothers packs a wallop of chamber music, rock ‘n’ roll, and old and newgrass into its rollicking live show. Photo credit: Danny Clinch.

Beyond bluegrass: Punch Brothers defy genres through collaboration

“We’re always trying to strike a balance,” said Punch Brothers banjo player Noam Pikelny by phone. “We have a reputation for working up covers that surprise people. We love playing our versions of other people’s material and certain songs have become part of the band’s identity. But original music is still the driving force behind this band.”

Photo: Jack Looney

Six reasons to see DMB this weekend

It’s been more than two decades since Dave Matthews Band emerged from Charlottesville and forever altered the pop-rock landscape with rootsy jams highlighted by the juxtaposition of fiddle and sax. While small gigs at Trax and frat parties were the launch pad, the band belongs to the rest of the world now—with 37 million albums […]

Musical couple Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent make their home on the road as Shovels and Rope.

Two hearts, one beat: The love-tinged fury of Shovels and Rope

Fueled by the passion of young love, the wanderlust of the open road and the thrill of chasing the rock ‘n’ roll dream, Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent spend their days covering the highways of America in a Winnebago. At night the married couple takes the stage as Shovels and Rope and delivers raucous, stripped-down […]

Photo: Andrew Zapanta

Charlottesville Track Club inspires new runners

Working out before the sun comes up is never easy. But it helps to have the support of some like-minded friends. That’s the attitude of the members of the Charlottesville Track Club, who meet every Wednesday morning at 5:30 for group speed workouts at the University of Virginia’s Lannigan Field Track. It’s just one of […]

Drive-By Truckers frontman gets personal on new solo album

Drive-By Truckers frontman gets personal on new solo album

The songs of Patterson Hood often tell vivid stories, even if they’re not always about the brightest subjects. Over a decade and a half and nine studio albums later, the Drive-By Truckers frontman has tackled rural economic plight, cancer clusters, and killing a banker to avoid foreclosure. His modern gothic tales are usually enhanced by […]

Bassist John Stirratt (far right) is the only original Wilco member other than front man Jeff Tweedy, but the band’s a happy, well-oiled Americana machine. Feel the love on Thursday at the Pavilion.

Wilco cruises into Pavilion with good vibes

Wilco is in a good place. The band’s near-two-decade slog through the music world has had its fair share of adversity: addiction, line-up shuffles, and a gut-punch rejection from Reprise Records of what turned out to be its most successful album (2002’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot). Now, the band has held the same crew together for […]

Urban outdoors: Charlottesville Triathlon Club makes multi-sport training easy

Urban outdoors: Charlottesville Triathlon Club makes multi-sport training easy

Wet and wild: The Charlottesville Triathlon Club offers weekly swimming practices. (Courtesy CTC) If you’ve ever dreamed of fighting the vicious headwinds of Kona at the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii, the Charlottesville Triathlon Club can put you on the right road. As multidisciplinary competitions, triathlons usually combine running, biking, and swimming, and the amount […]

Preview: From backyard bashes to multiple stages—10 festivals not to miss

Preview: From backyard bashes to multiple stages—10 festivals not to miss

The Festy Experience (Photo by Tom Daly) Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn. (June 7-10) bonnaroo.com Brave the Bonnaroo elements—dust, heat and the crowd of 80,000—and you’ll be rewarded with an incomparable musical overload. The multiple stages on the grounds of the 700-acre farm in Manchester—about an hour southeast of Nashville—feature a range […]

Head of the camp: An interview with David Lowery

Head of the camp: An interview with David Lowery

David Lowery wears many musical hats. He’s best known as the front man of Cracker—the popular alt-rock outfit that hit it big back in the early ‘90s with the platinum-selling album Kerosene Hat. But Lowery’s reach in the business is much greater than Cracker’s ubiquitous radio hits like “Low” and “Get Off This.” Before Cracker, he founded […]

Interview: Luther Dickinson brings The Wandering to the Jefferson

Interview: Luther Dickinson brings The Wandering to the Jefferson

Luther Dickinson (Photo by Brad Hodge) Luther Dickinson is best known as an electric guitar hero, whether he’s shredding hill country blues licks with his own North Mississippi Allstars or delivering gritty solos as lead axe man for the Black Crowes. Earlier this month, the Delta native decided to reveal his acoustic side in a […]