Erin O'Hare



Alec Spidalieri at Junction is shaking things up for Virginia Spirits Month with the Chai Tai, made with dark chai spice rum from Culpeper’s Belmont Farm’s Kopper Kettle, and the Other Woman, featuring rose-infused Belle Isle premium moonshine. Photo by Amy Jackson

Show some love for Virginia-made libations

Bottoms up, y’all. It’s Virginia Spirits Month here in the commonwealth, sponsored by the Virginia Distillers Association and meant to spotlight Virginia-made spirits. Many local bartenders do so all year ’round, but there are a few special cocktails this month that are worth sidling up to the bar for. Junction’s Alec Spidalieri is shaking things […]

High-Dollar Gospel is the latest from blues musician Eli Cook, who says he’s “always trying to diversify his sound in order to appeal to the guitar geeks, the blues fans and the singer-songwriter listeners alike.” He performs at Durty Nelly’s on Friday and at the art, music and food festival ARTCHO on Saturday. Publicity photo

Eli Cook plays with tradition on High-Dollar Gospel

Eli Cook picked up the guitar one fortuitous summer when his older brother went to baseball camp. Cook’s brother had been taking lessons and left an electric guitar—which actually belonged to their older sister—behind in Nelson County. “It seemed cool,” says Cook of the idea of playing guitar. He picked up the instrument and worked […]

“Black theater is raw and painful at times,” says Eric Jones, who plays Booster in August Wilson’s Jitney at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center September 15-24. Photo by Eze Amos

Jitney is fueled by authenticity and emotion

Lights go up on the wood-paneled stage in the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center auditorium to reveal the inside of a jitney cab station in Pittsburgh. It’s early fall 1977 and the Hill District, a group of neighborhoods that have long been the cultural center of black life in the city—full of black-owned homes, […]

The resident DJ for the Rugged Arts hip-hop showcase at Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar, DJ Double U keeps the beat for a slew of local and visiting artists each month.  Photo by Eze Amos

Local DJs put their own spin on the music scene

From jazz at Miller’s to indie rock at the Southern and big names pulling up to the Pavilion, Charlottesville’s music scene is undoubtedly vibrant. And while it’s true that we have a treasure trove of bands—both local and touring—there’s more to Charlottesville music than songwriters. We have DJs aplenty, and they’re manning turntables and sound […]

Sweet Tooth’s Kevin Davis, Greg Sloan, Paige Naylor and Ryan Maguire express their feelings on the band’s new, yet-to-be-named EP, due in October. Get a live preview at The Bridge on Friday, or the encore at Trash House on Gordon Avenue later that evening. Photo by Tom Daly

The magical, emotional orbit of Sweet Tooth

On a recent weeknight, rainy and surprisingly chilly for early September, the four members of Sweet Tooth set up their instruments in the warm red and violet lights of the Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar. The venue’s small stage couldn’t contain Sweet Tooth—there’s a drum kit, a guitar, two amplifiers, four synthesizers, four microphones and a […]

Ira Wallace, co-founder of the Heritage Harvest Festival, will serve more than 100 varieties of heirloom tomatoes and a few dozen varieties of other vegetables and fruit in the tasting tent from 10am-4pm. Photo by Eze Amos

Food is the focus at this festival

There’s always something new to learn about food, and for the past 11 years, the Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello has been one of the best ways to learn a lot about the history of what we eat in a little bit of time. On Saturday, chefs, farmers, culinary historians, purveyors and foodies from all […]

Photo courtesy of Doug Berndt.

Convolution evolution: Updated “Pip & Twig” at Live Arts

Adult identical twins Pip and Twig live an insular, codependent existence. Wearing identical pajamas, they wake in their shared bed at the same time every morning and eat identical breakfasts before going about their daily childlike, tandem routine, clothed in identical dress-and-sweater outfits. So begins The Convolution of Pip and Twig, a play created from […]

UVA President Teresa Sullivan says students should have alerted the university that white supremacists were going to march on Grounds.
UVA Students United

President Sullivan’s candid reply

In a Facebook Live video posted to the UVA Students United Facebook page Sunday evening, a student who was present at the Rotunda on Friday, August 11, approaches President Sullivan to ask a few questions about administrative inaction the night of the white supremacists’ torchlight march. “Where were you Friday night? And why were you […]

Woody Guthrie’s protest song “This Land Is Your Land” is “arguably more popular than our national anthem” according to American Songwriter magazine. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress

They doth protest: Listen to Charlottesville’s protest songs

Everyone knows at least one protest song. There’s Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land,” which American Songwriter magazine says is “arguably more popular than our national anthem”; Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On”; Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit”; Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come”; Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi”; Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ In The Wind”; […]

Caitlin and John Terry were married November 6, 2016, at St. Paul's Ivy. Photo: Sebastian Orr

Keep calm and marry on: How to manage wedding stress

A lot happens between the moment couples say “Yes!” and “I do!” There’s choosing a date, finding the perfect venue, crossing your fingers that the perfect venue is open on that chosen date, cake tastings, dress fittings, suit tailoring, picking a DJ (or do you want a band?). Even something seemingly inconsequential like choosing cloth napkins—ivory, […]

Ashley Florence’s “Manger-au-Lit” is one of the pieces on view at her “Body and Bread” show at Studio IX this month. Courtesy of Ashley Florence

First Fridays: July 7

First Fridays: July 7 Photographer Ashley Florence experiments with materials, situations, emotions, narratives and curiosity in her show “Body and Bread,” on view at Studio IX this month. From a chromogenic print of Florence herself sitting in a traditional Madonna pose and wearing a full-body suit sewn out of blue book linen, to 19 Polaroids […]

Scholar and performer A.D. Carson appears on Friday at the Telemetry Music Series at The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative. Photo courtesy of Amy Jackson.

UVA hip-hop professor contemplates the work ahead

When A.D. Carson was in fourth grade at Durfee Elementary School in Decatur, Illinois, his teacher asked the class to write a paragraph about a picture hanging on the wall. The picture was of children playing, and Carson asked his teacher if he could make his paragraph rhyme. She agreed—encouraged him, even—and soon after gave […]

Comic Ayanna Dookie looks for, and usually finds, humor in everything, from adopting a cat to being catcalled. Publicity photo

Ayanna Dookie has something funny to say

Ayanna Dookie got her start in comedy by talking shit in the Black Engineers Society student lounge at the University of Maryland. She’d sit around at lunch, telling jokes and poking fun at fellow students who found her so entertaining they’d come to the lounge, sometimes bringing friends from other departments, hoping to catch her […]

Sarah White will play songs from her forthcoming record, High Flyer, at the Southern on Friday, June 23. White says the album is a collection of her 11 best songs so far—some old, some new, some borrowed, some blue. Publicity photo

Sarah White reaches new heights with High Flyer

It’s a warm June afternoon in Richmond, and Sarah White relaxes onto a wooden bench underneath a verdant tree in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts garden. A slow breeze rustles garden life and pushes lethargic cotton candy clouds through the cerulean sky. “Isn’t she amazing?,” White asks, tucking a wisp of hair behind her […]

Drugsong’s nurse offers a special potion that leads to a transcendent, operatic scene within the play. Photo courtesy of the artist.

‘Drugsong’ crosses new thresholds in stage performance

A mysterious woman named Iz arrives at a sanatorium-cum-medical spa, completely mute. She’s brought in by her husband who explains that one night, while putting their son down to sleep, Iz stopped singing mid-lullaby and hasn’t uttered a word since. Everyone at the sanatorium/spa finds Iz—and her silence—compelling. So begins Drugsong, theater and performance artist Jennifer […]