Mary Shea Valliant



Devon Sproule and John D'earth join more than a dozen local artists for Disturbing the Peace: A Benefit Concert for Indivisible Charlottesville at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church-Unitarian Universalist on Sunday. Publicity photos

Local artists perform to benefit Indivisible Charlottesville

When Scott DeVeaux was growing up in New York in the 1950s, he encountered “a lot” of Civil War specters. Several relatives were named after Confederate generals, displayed Confederate figurines throughout their homes and celebrated memorabilia like trading cards commemorating the centennial of the War Between the States. Though he didn’t know what to make […]

Erin & The Wildfire release Thirst at the Southern on October 13. Photo by Tristan Williams

Erin & The Wildfire releases first full-length album

While playing a 30-minute set at Lockn’ in 2014, Erin & The Wildfire guitarist Ryan Lipps broke a string on every guitar he brought, so to cover the lag in the “squeeze-in-as-much-you-can-set,” drummer Nick Quillen told a long, drawn-out joke. “It wasn’t exactly the best thing we’ve ever done, but it was certainly memorable,” Quillen […]

Erin Lunsford performs and emcees at the gender-balanced Festy Experience that includes Ani DiFranco, Joan Osborne and Drive-By Truckers on October 5-8 at Infinity Downs. Photo by Ron Paris

The Festy balances male and female talent

When Erin Lunsford is on the road with her band, Erin & the Wildfire, she’s often overlooked. Because she’s a woman, Lunsford says, many assume she’s a groupie—even though she’s the band’s lead vocalist and it’s her name on the bill. Though it’s initially difficult for her to pick just one, Lunsford recalls a particularly […]

Caitlin Lennon has been with the Charlottesville Ballet for 10 years. Courtesy photo

Charlottesville Ballet kicks it up for 10th anniversary

Ten years ago, Caitlin Lennon received a job offer from a “small startup.” Emily Hartka and Sara Clayborne, co-founders of what would become the Charlottesville Ballet, asked Lennon to join them as a company dancer. Lennon was training on full scholarship with the Richmond Ballet, had never visited Charlottesville, wasn’t sure about her salary and […]

Caroline Spence returns home to play at The Southern with Sam Wilson, Darrell Muller and Brian Caputo on Thursday. Photo courtesy of Laura E. Partain.

Charlottesville’s Caroline Spence resonates on new album

For singer-songwriter Caroline Spence, there’s no debate about where to find the best ice cream on the Downtown Mall. It’s at Chaps, and it’s the banana flavor. “It’s the only good banana ice cream in the entire world,” says Spence, who grew up in Charlottesville and used to open for touring artists like Joshua Radin […]

In his role as the general manager at Sprint Pavilion, Kirby Hutto interacts with some of the hottest acts in the music business.
Photo by Jen Fariello

Takin’ care of backstage business at area music venues

If Gary Green does his job well at the Paramount Theater, nobody will know. As the theater’s audio production manager, he analyzes how sound waves produced by artists will be affected by rising temperature and humidity as audience members fill the space. He knows how voices sound in each microphone, and where the Paramount’s resonance […]

At The Front Porch’s new home on Water Street, founder and executive director Emily Morrison plans to expand programs, partnerships and concerts that welcome musicians and artists of all genres. Photo by Amy Jackson

The Front Porch celebrates inclusivity at new location

The Front Porch’s Emily Morrison wants artists of all backgrounds to find peace at the roots music school she founded in 2015. With help from friends, Morrison began the school in a back room in her home and soon moved into a space at Mountaintop Montessori. Last June the nonprofit moved into the old Michie […]

Jeff Sweatman at 106.1 The Corner tries to program slightly outside of the traditional holiday songs. Photo by Amy Jackson

Local radio stations amp up the holiday content

On December 24, 1906, Reginald Fessenden transmitted the first wireless public radio broadcast. It included Christmas songs, stories and, in Fessenden’s words, his own “not very good singing.” Today’s listeners have many—usually very good—derivatives of Fessenden’s holiday work, and here in Charlottesville the programming at local FM radio stations is no exception. “Our perspective is […]

Charlottesville-based military veteran Derek Questell is raising the bar on men’s fashion with his designer suit business, Tailored Quest. Publicity photo

Marine Special Ops vet makes tailoring his new mission

Men’s fashion and the military have a lot in common, if you ask Derek Questell. After serving in the Marines for 10 years and four deployments, Questell now tailors custom clothing from his Charlottesville home, calling the enterprise Tailored Quest. “It’s in my blood, my Italian heritage,” says Questell. “My dad gave me my first […]

Zack Worrell (pictured) works with Alan Bates and Nick Watson to create handmade knives in his home studio. Their open house is Saturday from 9am to 1pm at The Bridge. Photo by Brianna Larocco

Artisans team up to craft Monolith’s handmade knives

Zack Worrell and his team at Monolith Knives are carving out a name for themselves in the handmade knives market. From a studio on Worrell’s Ivy family farm, once owned by Meriwether Lewis, Worrell, Alan Bates and Nick Watson create culinary and field knives. Recently, they have been “breathing life” into folding knives, as Bates […]

The Farm House provides studio workspace in a historic 1925 farmhouse where artists and community members meet, create and collaborate. Photo by Lauren Stonestreet

Creative community finds support at The Farm House

For Lauren and Stephen Stonestreet, good hospitality runs in the family. As cicadas hum and the neighborhood sounds of 10th and Page reach the porch of their 1925 farmhouse on a Sunday afternoon, the siblings share stories of traveling missionaries and artists visiting their grandparents’ home near Charleston, West Virginia. They say these memories of […]

Jazz musician Gina Sobel comes home to release her new album, World’s Getting Loud, at the Tea Bazaar on Friday at 9pm. “For this [album], I really wanted to capture this vibe I had in my head,” she says. “I wanted to portray that. I think the phrase everyone uses is, ‘We use the studio as an instrument,’ you know?” Publicity photo

Gina Sobel unpacks stories of travel in new album

The sun casts honey-colored hues across White Hall’s stretch of the Blue Ridge Mountains as Gina Sobel plays a gold Stratocaster at Restoration’s summer concert series. It’s too hot to play inside the restaurant, she says, as muddied jazz and rock ‘n’ roll reverberate across the restaurant’s patio. A native of Northern Virginia and a […]