Strongbow, Hot Air Affair and One Truth at The National | Covington Rock

I was psyched to get down to the National to see Hot Air Affair (then known as To Be Found) open up for DNA. The National is a stunning space to create images in and Hot Air Affair just keeps upping themselves at each show!  Somehow each one is the best show!  So I knew that I had to see them rock on The National’s stage.

When I got there, the door man said that they were already on stage and almost done with their set!  I have never gotten a camera set up that quickly before.  Huge relief to rush in and not see a familiar face on the stage.  They had them confused with the band that went first.  I got to catch the last bit of Strongbow‘s funky rock set.

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& then it was time for Hot Air Affair & they brought it.  They pulled the crowd in.  Everyone was up front and dancing.  They play with the energy and enthusiasm that combined with great music makes for one helluva show!

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I was just getting ready to skedaddle when JC of One Truth played some operatic cords and started singing.  I was at the back saying my goodbyes with my camera gear all packed and I think that I stopped mid sentence to turn around and stare at the stage.  Passion and emotion and longing and excitement and joy and sadness, a kind of musical opera.  Nothing that I was expecting to hear that night and I grabbed my gear and went up to listen to the story!  Lots of talent in this band, I was hooked.

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Fear of Music at Sound of Music | Covington Rock

When I got the call that Fear of Music was going to be recording video footage at Sound of Music, I was psyched.  This band is awesome.  I mean, everyone who plays in this band is pretty much a top badass of the RVA Music scene and then you combine that with the music of the Talking Heads what else can you get but awesome?  I showed up and they had transformed the front room into house party feel complete with a ton of christmas lights.  The band sat in the dark for a few fun shots and then they went to town.  By the end of the shoot, everyone was on everyone else’s instruments.  Can’t wait to see the video.

Jackass Flats, Sturgeon City and Tarrant rock The Broadberry | Covington Rock

I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating!  The Broadberry is EXACTLY what RVA has been needing.  It is the perfect spot for anything from a birthday party to a fashion show to a night of rock!  I was very excited to finally see some live music play the big stage, especially with one of my forever favorite bands, Jackass Flats headlining.  The place was packed and everyone was smiling.  How can you not?  They have candied bacon.  & it is as delicious as you think it is!

The Broadberry, Candied Bacon

Another great thing about The Broadberry is the incredibly long bar and awesome staff.  There are great people behind the bar AND a lot of them!  What other venue in town can you actually get to the bar and order a drink easily during a packed show???

The Broadberry Staff


Tarrant started the evening off right with their Americana Rockin’ style.  I adore Jordan Tarrants voice, rich and emotional, he weaves a story that pulls you right.  The band is made up of all star players in Jared Pool, Chrissie Griffith, Dusty Ray Simmons, Craig Harmon & Russell Lacy.


Next up was Sturgeon City.  They had played a softer version of their rocking string grass set for The Broadberry’s ‘soft opening.’  On this night,  on the big stage in the back, their set got a whole lot louder, more rambunctious and rocking.

The first two bands had everyone at The Broadberry pumped!  Have I mentioned what an awesome space it is yet?  Haah.  The Broadberry brings the happy!

Everyone was pumped for Jackass Flats and they brought all the badassery that makes the crowd want to dance about in jubilance and glee.  Their rocking, mischievous bluegrass sound makes it impossible to stand still, you have to dance.  Have to.  It is hard for me to stop for a moment to make a good image.

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Another Round of RVA Musical Things | Covington Portraits

2/8/14  was an epic night of music in the RVA.  The adventure started with The Big Payback at The Bull & Bear Club for the third annual Bootleggers Ball, which is  a fantastic celebration of the Prohibition Era.  Everyone in RVA came dressed in their vintage and feathers to  The Bull & Bear Club to dance the night away.  
The Big Payback a Tribute to James Brown
, well, what can I say about TBP !!??!! other than – they are finely tuned perfection.  I mean, this is about as real as you can get, until you invent a time machine to go back to an actual funkified James Brown heyday throw down.  Seriously, they are everything in a perfectly executed tribute MACHINE.  I can’t get enough and I’ve never seen a crowd that could either.  The sounds, the moves, all just makin’ ya git down to the Get Down.

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I left the crowd tearing up the dance floor and headed to The Camel for The People’s Blues of Richmond, another of my fave RVA bands.  This night had all the bases covered, music to dance and do nothing but have a great time too.  & all the people that go to those shows are kickass.  Fun people who just want to get down and enjoy.  These bands will have every crowd dancing every time, without fail.

So I made it to PBR in time for the last sweaty, high energy, funky, rocking set.  Everyone in attendance was ripe for every dang thing they were delivering.  The crowd might get a little mosh mayhem sometimes but a guitar surfing above them brought back the focus from the edge of utter chaos at just the right moment.    

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It is hard to stop a night of music when that many musicians end up at shows together at the end of the night.  I love that in RVA, the musicians go out and support other bands shows.  It makes for a great community and a base for collaboration.  That night Jordan Tarrant created a spot for the music to continue.
RVAHang-20140209-06-CovingtonPortraits jordan tarrant

A few nights later I met Nate of Porter Street Productions up at Balliceaux for the RVA Big Band to snap some pics while he filmed.  We got their early and I’ve got to take a moment to say…wow….   If you dropped me blindfolded in the middle of there, never in a million years, would I guess it for the old Bogarts.  The old comfortable backroom, that dark woodend room that embraced you and held you in the music was gone.  Not that Balliceaux isn’t fantastic.  It is beautiful and big and very classy.  I just will always be wistful for the old Bogarts or perhaps the memories of the nights of the old Bogarts.
This was my first time seeing The RVA Big Band, a 17 piece music ensemble of awesome that features a long list of the A Team players of RVA, including some that carry over from the long ago Monday nights of The Devil’s Workshop at Bogarts.  The RVA Big Band plays every Monday night and I highly recommend going and checking them out.

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Working for a spell at The Virginia Moonwalker is grand on many levels, one of the tops being that I never know who I will find when I show up to prep gear for a night.  This particular afternoon, I found Russell Lacy laying down a track for Ben Butterworth with Corey Wells, Matt KuesterRaphael Katchinoff.  I love the honest sound that comes out of The Virginia Moonwalker.  There is just something some raw and pure about the way it is being done out in this country studio.

YEAH!  Finally a Chelsea Temple show!!  Chelsea started the evening at Cary St Cafe with her soulful originals mixed with covers.  This girl can sing.  Seriously, the RVA songbird.  She’s got emotion and power and one of those purely beautiful voices.

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The end of the latest Round of RVA Musical Things kept me at Cary Street Cafe for Mekong Xpress & The Get Fresh Horns.  The place was packed and VDAY love intoxicated all with their all encompassing funky fresh sounds.  😛


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speaking of Things…. if you still haven’t sampled Todd Herrington’s Things you are missing out.  Just get the whole album, you will be silly happy you did.

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