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.
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.
Yeni Nostalji delves into Turkish pop of the ’60s and ’70s.
Alison Self is on a mission to build Richmond’s honky-tonk scene.
Multi-talented musician Kelli Strawbridge steps out with a new R&B project.
Richmond rapper Dr. Millionaire sprinkles in the funny.
The Richmond Symphony expands its season with wages rising to previous levels.
A well-known North Carolina rocker starts fresh in Richmond.
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.