C-VILLE Writers

King Tuff plays The Southern Cafe & Music Hall Friday, January 18. Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: King Tuff

Kyle Thomas, known by his moniker King Tuff, hit rock bottom last year—and it was exactly what he needed. With his most recent album The Other, he’s traded in his “party monster” persona for an authentic, vulnerable musician who refuses to stick to one particular sound. His sax lessons come through when he veers into […]

ARTS Pick: Oldest Sea

Haunting vocals paired with gentle guitar strumming define Sam Marandola’s solo project Oldest Sea. There’s no need for heavy rhythms on her self-released LP Sage Burner—it showcases just how effective pure instrumentation paired with melancholy vocals can be. With Winterweeds, Brandon Morsberger, and The Big Drum In The Sky Religion, fingerpicking blues and psychedelic also […]

Catch rising Americana musician Caitlin Canty at the Southern on Saturday night before she outgrows the small venue setting. Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: Caitlin Canty

Caitlin Canty is a weaver—and her threads are folk, blues, and country music. Loyal to no genre, Canty creates listening experiences with her 1930s Recording King guitar, while her “casually devastating” vocals shape dark poetry into dreamy alternative folk tunes. The young but wise songstress’ latest release, Motel Bouquet, features fiddler Stuart Duncan and vocalist […]

Kieran Kane and Rayna Gellert play The Prism Coffeehouse Series Friday, January 11. Photo by Molly Secours

ARTS Pick: Kieran Kane and Rayna Gellert

Dubbed by peers as the “godfather of Americana music,” singer-songwriter Kieran Kane’s roots-oriented bluegrass blends seamlessly with Rayna Gellert’s Appalachian-inspired fiddle playing to form a groovy twist on traditional folk music. The duo released its first album, The Ledges, in 2017, and for its follow-up due in March, listeners can expect more of Gellert’s sultry […]

Gospel singer Cora Harvey Armstrong comes to town for a supper and a show at Mt. Zion Baptist Church on Sunday, January 13. Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: Cora Harvey Armstrong

A popular performer who’s lovingly referred to as the queen of Virginia gospel music, Cora Harvey Armstrong makes every day feel like Sunday. Her songwriting is inspired by her poet grandfather while her mother’s turntable, stacked with Mahalia Jackson and Clara Ward Singers records, influenced her musical style. Fifty years later, Harvey continues to keep […]

ARTS Pick: Mitchell Tenpenny

Nashville native Mitchell Tenpenny writes stories about where he comes from as he navigates the musical landscape that established his love for creating personal connections onstage. The star football player turned country musician’s soulful, edgy vocals combined with his acoustic guitar-playing reflect his influences, which vary from Dustin Lynch and Lynyrd Skynyrd to Michael Jackson. […]

Kelly Lonergan paints with personality and an insight to human relationships in “And Then There Were Two,” opening Friday at McGuffey Art Center. Photo by Martyn Kyle.

First Fridays: January 4

By Sabrina Moreno If you ask Kelly Lonergan, he’s not a figure painter. The figures he paints on 48 by 60 inch canvas—a scale that excites him—are slightly awkward, clunky. But to him, that’s the best part. It gives them a sense of personality for viewers to cling and relate to. In his show “And […]

The married duo performs alongside their band at Glass House WInery on January 4 at 6pm. Publicity photo.

ARTS Pick: Beleza

He was finger-picking in the name of classical guitar and Spanish flamenco in Brazil. She was hitting the keys with her jazzy-blues tones along the East Coast. It’s a modern-day musical romance that culminated in the formation of the band Beleza (above) as well as the duo’s marriage. With the fusing of funk and blues, […]

ARTS Pick: New Year, New Vibes Part 3

Lady Sag, as in Sagittarius, doesn’t follow the average hip-hop path. She’s all about the signs, branching out, and alternating between gospel, ballads, and country songs. As one of 10 featured local artists in New Year, New Vibes with Bam Bam, Sav, Tae Da God, and Tavi, Lady Sag says we can look forward to […]

Little Ozzy performs authentic Black Sabbath live shows The Southern Café & Music Hall on January 4 at 9pm. Publicity photo.

ARTS Pick: Little Ozzy

His middle part is nearly as symmetrical as the real Ozzy Osbourne’s—and with the signature circular sunglasses and a feature in Rolling Stone, Lin Doak, the 4’8″ frontman of Little Ozzy (right), is well on his way to inheriting the crown from the original Prince of Darkness. Little Ozzy’s gained the attention of the original […]

Vivian Leva and Riley Calcagno perform their roots revivalist twist on folk music at The Prism Coffeehouse on January 4 at 7pm.
Publicity photo.

ARTS Pick: Vivian Leva and Riley Calcagno

Vivian Leva and Riley Calcagno (left) push back against the mainstream with a fiddle roots revivalist twist. The duo has spent years honing their rhythmic craft. From Leva’s folk music-filled upbringing in Appalachia, and being one of Rolling Stone Country’s “10 New Artists You Need to Know,” to Calcagno’s years spent fine-tuning his chops on […]

Courtesy DMV

In brief: DMV’s court order, Brown’s abrupt closing, Murray’s lump of coal and more

Driver’s license suspensions under siege A federal judge granted a preliminary injunction December 21 and ordered Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Richard Holcomb to reinstate the driver’s licenses of three plaintiffs who automatically lost their licenses when they were unable to pay court costs and fines. The judge said they are likely to prevail in […]

UVA alum Bruce Kothmann, who was removed from the steps of the Rotunda in May for reading a Bible without permission, tested restrictions again in July by waiving a gay pride flag.

Bruce Kothmann

Come together: Revised UVA speech policy earns high marks

By Jonathan Haynes Despite the controversy over the University of Virginia’s revisions to its right-to-assemble policies, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has awarded the university its highest free speech rating. FIRE, a group that defends the constitutional rights of students and faculty in higher ed, ranked UVA as a “green-light” university, along with […]

Downtown Mall on the A12 anniversary. Photo: Sanjay Suchak

About last year: Looking back at 2018 — News

By Lisa Provence and Samantha Baars Most of the biggest stories we followed this year were fallout from 2017: both the direct effects of the Unite the Right rally, with its continuing arrests and trials, and the continued furor over monuments, free speech, and present-day inequities as our city grapples with its full history. Martial […]

Antony and Cleopatra will be broadcasted live from Sunday, December 30 at 2pm from The Paramount Theater. Image: Johan Persson

ARTS Pick: Antony and Cleopatra

Shakespeare’s tragedies are mercilessly disastrous, but Antony and Cleopatra elevates callousness with political intrigue and brutal battles for power. Caught between two war-torn empires, a Roman general (Ralph Fiennes), and the Queen of Egypt (Sophie Okonedo) find love against the odds—then face heavy consequences. Adopting a creative take on history, the classic play takes a new form […]

Erin & the Wildfire and ADAR, above, perform at Year of the Woman at The Southern Café & Music Hall on Monday, December 31 at 8:30pm. Publicity photo.

ARTS Pick: Year of the Woman

It’s time to wrap up the year with a little glamour in honor of local ladies who pushed the boundaries on music. Year of the Woman is a concert featuring two stand-out performers from 2018: Erin Lunsford leads Erin & The Wildfire with bold, rock-soul blends from the album Thirst, and ADAR is led by […]

Sarah Shot & the Disarmers play its country-rock vocals at The Southern Café & Music Hall on Friday, December 28 at 8:30pm. Publicity photo.

ARTS Pick: Sarah Shook & the Disarmers

The brutal country-rock quartet Sarah Shook & the Disarmers plays with a display of defiance that embodies the outlaw era—and such a biting reputation is not undeserved, but it pays off. The group’s spiteful LP, Years, is full of raw undertones inspired by Shook’s personal life. It received high marks from Rolling Stone as “a […]

Love Cannon performs at The Jefferson Theater Monday, December 31 at 8pm. Publicity photo.

ARTS Pick: Love Canon

In the spirit of tipping the cap to 2018, Love Canon kicks off the new year with a retro-bluegrass bang. Since 2010, the band has pumped out ’80s tunes in the style of Americana and traditional roots music. The group aims to begin 2019 with a touch of nostalgia, and create a musical rewind revolution […]

Billy Strings has become known for such intensity in his craft that he may shatter more than a few strings along the way. He plays The Jefferson Thursday night. Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: Billy Strings

With lightening fingertips and a devotion to American roots music, Billy Strings plays the acoustic guitar with a fury akin  to a hurricane. His passion for traditional psychedelia inspires the electric country vibes of his 2017 album Turmoil and Tinfoil, on which Strings echoes tradition, then tears into it with his own zeal. At age […]