James Ford



The Whiskey Jar doubles down on its live music offerings with a trio of residencies. Photo: John Robinson.

Reclusive Erik the Red signs on for a residency

When The Whiskey Jar opened in February at the west end of the Downtown Mall, it came as something of a surprise. After all, Escafé had held down that spot for 17 years and several owners, before a recent relocation. Seven months later, The Whiskey Jar has become a reliable regular destination for many Mall-goers. […]

The Bridge PAI explores the art of sound in Audio September

The Bridge PAI explores the art of sound in Audio September

In 2008, The Bridge PAI hosted a month of sound-related programming entitled Audio January. The next year, January seemed unfeasible, so the Belmont-based arts organization followed up with Audio February. The joke amongst Bridge staff was that the annual event would cycle through the months of the year, and for three successive years (including Audio […]

Chris Corsano blurs the borders between jazz and noise

Chris Corsano blurs the borders between jazz and noise

Chris Corsano is one of most restlessly inventive of contemporary improvisers, a jazz drummer reminiscent of Max Roach, whose work is thoughtful and open-minded enough to collaborate with noise and rock musicians as well as more traditional hard bop players. Corsano made his name as part of a loose scene from Northampton, Mass, attracting notice […]

Dan Deacon taps your inner glee through crowd participation

Dan Deacon taps your inner glee through crowd participation

I can vividly remember hearing Dan Deacon for the first time. His debut full-length album, released in the spring of 2007 (with the unfortunate title of Spiderman of the Rings) begins with a dense burst of buzzing electronic harmonies and sampled Woody Woodpecker sound-effects, and I was instantly a fan. Deacon’s music is exuberant and impossible […]

Student work shines at Light House Youth Film Festival

Student work shines at Light House Youth Film Festival

On Friday, September 7th, Light House Studios will present a Youth Film Festival. The festival will showcase a selection of video work made by Light House students over the past year, including the Iranian Job, the winner of last November’s Adrenaline Film Festival (in which the Light House students were the youngest participants). “I’m so […]

“Stay Prayed Up” at the Haven

“Stay Prayed Up” at the Haven

Lift your spirits with a gospel music event at the Haven on Sunday, August 26th. Traditional gospel music — from Louisa County’s Ladies of Praise, Richmond groups the Golden Jubilees and the Sons of Praise (authors of the excellently-titled song “Stay Prayed Up”), and Gum Springs, VA’s Healing Prayer — will be accentuated by gospel comedian […]

Photo: permission of Virginia Craft Brewers Fest

Live Music at the Virginia Craft Brewers Fest

The beloved annual music festival known as The Festy Experience doesn’t get underway until October, but those who can’t wait can get an early taste can do this Saturday, August 25th as the Devils Backbone Brewing Company hosts the Virginia Craft Brewers Fest, where four Virginia bands will play while music-lovers and beer aficionados sample […]

Buena Vista Social Club screens at the Library

Buena Vista Social Club screens at the Library

Documentaries which focus on the process of recording albums or staging concerts are usually only of interest for die-hard fans and completists; it’s not often that one makes musical and political history and gets nominated for an Oscar. But The Buena Vista Social Club is significant for a number of reasons. When Ry Cooder, the […]

Witnessing the massive wreckage at a demolition derby is one way to cure the summertime blues. (Rockingham County Fair)

Summertime thrill-seeking at the demolition derby

Charlottesville has a habit of slowing down during the summer months. Most UVA students and many faculty are on summer break, cutting the population by nearly a third. Some art galleries close, concerts and performances are comparatively sparse, and many local residents take a vacation. It’s true that Charlottesville has a wealth of worthy summertime […]

Photographer Billy Hunt has been snapping up national press with his Screamotron3000. (Photo by Billy Hunt)

Billy Hunt’s scream portraits are all the rage (and joy)

Billy Hunt is a Charlottesville-based photographer who pairs fun, accessible concepts with high-quality image-making. He’s probably best known for his extensive photography of the Collective of Lady’s Arm Wrestling (CLAW) project, as well as a client list that includes Dave Matthews Band, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Post. His […]

Participants in the Charlottesville Parks & Recreation summer camp program connect the dots through The Storyline Project. (Photo by Greg Kelly)

The Storyline Project fosters creative connections

Monticello Road is an odd part of Charlottesville. It was once literally the road to Jefferson’s house, but the construction of I-64 and Route 20 have truncated it to a short stretch that cuts through southern Charlottesville’s Belmont neighborhood. Though it’s only a mile in length, Monticello Road is a cross-section of residential homes, fancy […]

Colin Powell’s poster designs have been a crucial part of the Grits n Gravy aesthetic, and even landed him a gig designing tour posters for the current incarnation of The Impressions. (Colin Powell)

Funk DJs Grits n Gravy want to rock your soul

Robin Tomlin has one of the most recognizable voices in local radio. He barks a mile a minute in a rapid British accent, breathlessly reading back a list of obscure soul and funk songs on The Soulful Situation, his Monday afternoon radio show. Colin Powell (no relation to the former Secretary of State) is comparatively […]

Navigating the labyrinth of local arts influence

Navigating the labyrinth of local arts influence

Sneak Reviews has been a treasure trove for local film fans for almost 20 years. (Photo by John Robinson) Merriam-Webster defines power as “possession of control, authority, or influence over others.” Some kinds, like political or economic, are easy to measure, even if that power is elusive and can shift unpredictably. The recent and ongoing […]

Regional hip-hop as shot by photographer Jared Soares

Regional hip-hop as shot by photographer Jared Soares

Photographer Jared Soares’ inspection of Virginia hip-hop culture is on display at the Bridge PAI for LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph. (Courtesy Jared Soares) Hip-hop is one of the most commercially dominant musical genres of the past 20 years. One reason that it continues to capture our collective consciousness is that hip-hop has always been […]