Jedd Ferris

Blackberry Smoke stays true to the core of classic rock ‘n’ roll at the Pavilion on June 16. Publicity photo

Blackberry Smoke expands musically on new album

Bands rarely come as well-rounded as Blackberry Smoke. For fans of open-minded Southern rock, the five-piece outfit covers all the bases—pensive highway songs, distorted, arena-ready scorchers and bluesy explorations doused in Dixie grit. The group emerged from Atlanta in the early 2000s, and, as required by independent bands since the turn of the century, hit the […]

Cry Cry Cry featuring Dar Williams, Lucy Kaplansky and Richard Shindell makes a stop at the Jefferson on Saturday. The folk supergroup says this is its last outing together. Publicity photo

Cry Cry Cry embarks on a brief reunion tour

Cry Cry Cry is back together, but not for long. A collaboration between established folk singers Dar Williams, Richard Shindell and Lucy Kaplansky, the harmony-based trio formed two decades ago to release one album before members went their separate ways to focus on individual careers. The project mostly sat dormant until last summer, when an […]

CREDIT: Jacob Blickenstaff - Brooklyn, NY - October 5, 2015 - The Record Company (Alex Stiff, Chris Voss, Marc Carzorla)

Beginning stages: Five acts making a Lockn’ debut

The Lockn’ Festival returns to Arrington this week, bringing four days of music to Infinity Downs Farm from Thursday through Sunday. The jam-friendly festival is largely returning to its foundational roots, with headlining slots featuring Bob Weir and Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead, Widespread Panic, The String Cheese Incident and Gov’t Mule, which will […]

Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Pokey LaFarge headlines the final day of the Red Wing Roots Music Festival on Sunday. Photo by Nate Burrell

Pokey LaFarge gets real on Manic Revelations

“Things might get kind of weird in the background,” Pokey LaFarge says when he answers the phone for an interview in late June. He’s taken the call, despite being stuck on the highway in Ohio, trying to find a way to get to a gig in Cleveland, because his bright yellow tour bus is now […]

The Revivalists will headline the Blue Ridge Bowl at Infinity Downs Farm in Arrington on
Saturday with support from People’s Blues of Richmond and Moogatu. Photo by Travis Shinn

Infinity Downs Farm launches with Earth Day concert

In 2013, Dave Frey and his partner, fellow music promoter Peter Shapiro, started the Lockn’ Festival, a multi-genre musical blowout that takes place in late summer on the sprawling Oak Ridge Farm in the Nelson County town of Arrington. Over the past four years the event has brought an array of heavyweight acts in roots, […]

The Infamous Stringdusters. Publicity photo

Not-to-miss Festy Experience collaborations

The Festy Experience returns this weekend for the seventh straight year, taking place Friday through Sunday at its new home, the Nelson County Preserve in Arrington. Once again, the festival will feature an impressive mix of national acts and local bands—focusing on some of the best in bluegrass, Americana and roots rock. Especially intriguing this […]

Neal Casal may be the hardest-working guitarist on the jam scene. He will play four sets with three different bands over the four-day festival. Publicity photo

A rundown of the top axe masters at Lockn’

For the fourth straight year, the Lockn’ Festival will return to the Oak Ridge Farm in Arrington. Once again, the musical marathon will offer a deep roster of heavyweights in the worlds of jam and roots rock, boasting big sets by Phish, My Morning Jacket, Ween, Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead and Tedeschi Trucks […]

Jason Isbell credits sobriety for his recent award-winning album and a renewed passion for playing live that has grown his audience. He performs at the Paramount on Monday. Photo: Michael Wilson.

Traveling alone: A clear-headed Jason Isbell talks solo success

Jason Isbell is enjoying the afterglow of redemption. The lauded country-rock tunesmith is still touring behind his career-defining 2013 album Southeastern, an effort that earned overdue recognition for an artist who turned his demons into a poignantly captivating sonic statement. Ubiquitously praised by critics, the album led to Isbell taking top honors at the Americana […]

Accomplished singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester led a low-key lifestyle before losing his battle with cancer this spring. “I’d rather just hang in there all the time with good music, slow and steady, and share it, rather than set the world on fire all at once,” he told Rolling Stone magazine in 1970. Winchester’s final album was released on September 16. Publicity photo

Charlottesville resident Jesse Winchester’s last waltz

“I’m dying to find Him, but dying’s my fear. Is there perfection? Will there be pain? Will I see mom and dad again?” With a weathered voice, steeped in the honest emotion of a man facing his mortality, Jesse Winchester seeks answers from his Maker during these poignant lines in the song “Just So Much.” […]

Low-key, influential folk musician Chris Smither has been writing hit songs and touring for over 50 years. He will play a solo retrospective at the Southern on Wednesday. Photo credit: Jeff Fasano

Chris Smither looks back at a 50-year career

Chris Smither has maintained a steady presence as an underground folk icon for the past five decades. His unassuming delivery offers rustic comfort, as he sings in a relaxed, weathered tenor that’s accompanied by front porch foot-tapping and blues-rooted finger-picking. Smither grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana but he left home in 1965 to join […]

Americana musician David Bromberg broke away from a highly regarded career to become a violin maker in the ’80s. He later returned to music on his own terms and is currently playing dates to support his latest release Only Slightly Mad. Publicity photo

Catching up with Americana pioneer David Bromberg

David Bromberg doesn’t take interview calls until 5pm. That’s when the work day is done at his violin retail and repair shop in Wilmington, Delaware. It’s a humble existence for a guy who was once Columbia Records’ second-best recording artist behind Bob Dylan, but a few minutes on the phone with Bromberg reveal that he […]

A student of Joe Satriani, Charlie Hunter has applied his versatile jazz guitar talent to solo work and collaborations that span genres for more than 20 years.

Interview: The ongoing innovation of jazz guitarist Charlie Hunter

Like most great jazz musicians, guitarist Charlie Hunter never gets complacent in his craft. Since emerging from California’s Bay Area in the early ’90s, the innovative ax slinger has defied convention by expanding the parameters of a guitarist’s role. The versatility starts with the ingenuity of his instrument, a custom-made, seven-string guitar that allows Hunter […]

Playing in a duo allows banjo virtuoso couple Abigail Washburn and Béla Fleck to make
touring a family affair.

Interview: Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn bring the family

Restless musical innovator Béla Fleck is known for taking the banjo on a wide range of sonic journeys. The 15-time Grammy winner brought his instrument to the outer limits of improvisational jazz with his lauded outfit the Flecktones and explored its roots in Africa through the documentary Throw Down Your Heart. These days, Fleck is […]

Blast through the midnight hour with the NOLA grooves of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. “We just play music, man, any style,” said baritone sax player Roger Lewis (second from left). Publicity image

Celebrating New Year’s Eve with The Dirty Dozen Brass Band

It’s not likely you’ll find another band that’s opened for both Lionel Richie and Widespread Panic, in the same year no less. Call it a perfect example of the high-energy celebratory versatility of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, a four-decade New Orleans musical institution that’s well known for delivering good time horn-driven grooves. “We just […]

Dave Schools (far left) will take a few notes from his “teachers” and play many with his band Widespread Panic at the Lockn’ Music Festival. Publicity image

Schools in session: WSP bassist gets prepped for Lockn’

Widespread Panic bassist Dave Schools is a Virginia native. When reached for a recent phone interview he sounded genuinely enthusiastic about his old home state hosting the Lockn’ Festival, a high-profile jam band bash taking place at Oak Ridge Estate in Arrington this Thursday through Sunday and featuring Grateful Dead offshoot Furthur, Trey Anastasio Band, the Black Crowes and the String Cheese Incident, among many others.

The genre-jumping songwriter and accomplished guitarist, Anders Osborne, brings his melting pot of rock to the Jefferson. Publicity photo

Down on the Bayou: Anders Osborne’s evolving New Orleans Sound

Through a two-and-a-half-decade career, Anders Osborne has consistently proven to be one of New Orleans’ most versatile musicians. Since releasing his debut album in 1989, Osborne has become a Crescent City mainstay, able to vary his sound from edgy Bayou blues (2001’s Ash Wednesday Blues) to introspective soulful folk-rock (2007’s Coming Down). He’s collaborated with […]