Last week Feedback tracked down some Charlottesville music in NYC. This week we’re bringing it all back home (we’ve been on a Dylan kick since the JPJ show) by catching up with some artists that stick around town and keep the local scene hoppin’ nonstop.
The High (Society) Life
We first happened upon Peyton Tochterman when he played with Shannon Worrell, Devon Sproule and Paul Curreri at Gravity Lounge’s fourth anniversary show back in June. We admit we were a little late to the game. He’s been playing around town for much longer than that, releasing both his debut record, The Personals, and an album by his bluegrass trio, Fair Weather Bums, in 2005.
Tochterman gathered some of Charlottesville’s best musicians, including trumpet player John D’earth, mandolin champ Andy Thacker, guitarist Sam Wilson and multi-instrumentalist Matty Metcalfe, to form Peyton Tochterman and High Society.
So what kind of sound comes out when you throw these talented musicians together? “People can’t usually place it,” says Tochterman. “It’s a strange acoustic world.” We can’t argue. Tochterman says he’s influenced by everything from angsty ’80s rockers The Replacements to bluegrass songwriter Norman Blake. Maybe if you mix up those ingredients and channel them through High Society’s trumpet, mandolin and accordion instrumentation, you’ll end up with the group’s sound.
|Not to be mistaken for the famous Bing Crosby musical, Peyton Tochterman’s High Society will celebrate their new album with a CD release show at Paramount Theater on October 12.|
It’s best, though, to hear it for yourself, which you’ll have the perfect chance to do on Friday, October 12 when Tochterman and High Society celebrate the release of their new CD with a show at the Paramount Theater. It’ll be one of the first times that the Paramount has featured local music, and we hope this is a sign of things to come. Sure, the theater is a great place to see Jeff Tweedy or Ryan Adams, but opening its doors to local acts earns the venue lots of Feedback brownie points.
Peyton Tochterman performing "The Personals" at Orbit’s Charlottesville Music Showcase. (video courtesy of J.J. Cohoon and the Charlottesville Music Showcase – Thank you!)
And as if Tochterman’s line-up wasn’t already packed with enough goodness, Richmond drummer Brian Jones (who recently wowed us with his guitar quartet at the Tea Bazaar) will make the trip down I-64 to play drums for the Paramount gig.
|Take a listen to a demo version of Shannon Worrell‘s new song "Drivin’ in the Dark":
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Courtesy of Shannon Worrell – Thank you!
Oh, and did we mention that recently returned songstress Shannon Worrell is slotted to open the show? This is one of those not-to-miss nights, for sure.
If you’re still not convinced, listen to Tochterman play live on the radio this week. He’ll be on 91.1 WJTU at 11am on October 10, on 106.1 The Corner at 1pm on October 11 and on 91.9 WNRN at 8am on October 12.
C’ville 4 Life
Matthew Willner was born in the UVA Hospital and has been spreading sounds around Charlottesville for 18 years (half his life). After first being inspired by seeing local musicians like Tim Reynolds and Greg Howard, Willner picked up a guitar and started playing in Charlottesville bands like Full Flavor, Plutonium and Supertanker.
|To listen to Matthew Willner‘s "Churchfoot" and more songs, visit myspace.com/matthewwillnermusic|
When we caught up with Willner, he told us some good news: He’s been signed! DC-based District Records will start distributing his recently released debut album, and Willner plans on setting up more gigs in DC and New York through this new connection. “I feel really lucky,” he says. “I worked hard to get to this point.”
Willner isn’t one to be pinned down by any specific type of music. He describes his first album as “jazz fusion with a heavy groove and Latin influence,” and he’s already working on a second record that mixes blues, funk and other sounds.
But if you want to really get a taste of Willner’s versatile style, it’s as easy as stepping into a local bar. On Mondays he invites his “enemies” (other local musicians) to jam at Miller’s. His more formal endeavors include Shinola (in which he teams up with the members of B.C.) and the Matthew Willner Blues Thang, and he also assumes bass duties in Darrell Rose and the International Councilors.
Whether getting funky or touting the blues, Matthew Willner fills local bars with inspired grooves.
A busy schedule, indeed. “I play about three times a week,” he says, “but sometimes it’s as many as six nights.” The look on Willner’s face as he strums those strings, though, makes it clear that he’s doing what he loves. Go check out that inspired visage (and Willner’s terrific grooves) this week. Shinola plays at Atomic Burrito on October 12 (head there after the High Society show), the International Councilors play at Fellini’s #9 on the 13th and Willner will host his weekly jam at Miller’s on the 15th.
Duck All Stars
Tochterman and Willner aren’t the only ones collaborating with a wealth of local talent. On Wednesday, October 10, the DJ trio Duck Brothers will host an All Star Jam at Orbit’s Charlottesville Music Showcase. The Brothers include DJ XSV of The Beetnix, and, in addition to their usual spinning and scratching, they have invited members of Man Mountain Jr., The Beetnix and the X-Porn Stars to join in for a night of improvisations. Orbit already has a sweet Wednesday night vibe, so this special show should make things even better.
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