The 2015 Music Issue 

Richmond’s music scene is thumping. Here are the people cranking up the volume — and who might be next.

click to enlarge Avers bassist and singer, Alexandra Spalding, drawn by Richmond artist Jennifer Kennedy. Read more about how she's capturing the likenesses of local bands here.

Jennifer Kennedy

Avers bassist and singer, Alexandra Spalding, drawn by Richmond artist Jennifer Kennedy. Read more about how she's capturing the likenesses of local bands here.

Momentum Swing

My dad uses sports analogies often. One that I recall is that winning is contagious. You can see it when one player catches fire and the rest feed off the energy. Richmond seems to be experiencing something similar, with its nationally respected food scene, thriving historic neighborhoods and Virginia Commonwealth University coming into its own. The local music scene is no exception.

Led by nationally acclaimed artists such as Matthew E. White, No B.S. Brass, and recent transplant Natalie Prass — whose album has been universally praised as one of the year’s best — the rest of the players are stepping up their game. The band on our cover, Avers, recently scored big at South by Southwest. Women musicians are making it less of a boys’ club. Longtime artists are branching out with new projects. And there’s a healthy club scene where you can hear worthwhile artists nearly every night.

In last year’s music issue, we tackled an alternate oral history of the past 50 years, highlighting lesser-known bands and moments. This year our music writers offer a snapshot of rising artists to watch and intriguing trends. And let’s not forget the music itself: Don’t miss our free, streaming compilation online, featuring a wide sampling of musicians riding the positive momentum and filling Richmond with new sounds.
— Brent Baldwin

The Sounds of Richmond, Vol. 8
Our yearly streaming soundtrack for your RVA lifestyle.

The Zen of Daniel Clarke
The acclaimed Richmond musician makes inroads as a sideman to the stars.

Full Tilt
Richmond’s fiercest lady band, Christi, isn’t asking permission to rock you.

Power of Tones
Jazz composer Ashby Anderson makes music for the African Burial Ground.

Up to Speed
Fresh off success in Texas, Avers gears up for its sophomore album.

New Oldies
Yeni Nostalji delves into Turkish pop of the ’60s and ’70s.

Honky-Tonk Angel
Alison Self is on a mission to build Richmond’s honky-tonk scene.

Kings Court
Multi-talented musician Kelli Strawbridge steps out with a new R&B project.

Baller’s Wit
Richmond rapper Dr. Millionaire sprinkles in the funny.

Steady Movement
The Richmond Symphony expands its season with wages rising to previous levels.

Valient Voice
A well-known North Carolina rocker starts fresh in Richmond.

Sound Auteur
Warren Hixson focuses on making a great album.

Bends and Grooves
An increasing number of yoga teachers use local live music.

Behind the resurgence in local square-dancing parties.

Bright Eyes
Local creators hope their interactive music app could provide benefits for music lovers on the autistic spectrum.

About the Cover Artist



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