The Floorboards, Roanoke, Virginia Band

Uncovering The Floorboards

The Floorboards took the stage on an unseasonably cold spring evening, leading off with a penetrating song that demands the crowd’s attention. With a strong voice, and a powerful acoustic guitar, frontman Matt Browning quickly plants the flag of the Floorboards, making it clear that this is a band to be reckoned with. They exude a confidence and comfort with themselves, each other, the music, and their audience.

Watching The Floorboards perform is a study in contrasts. The first impression is one of serious intensity, performing songs like “Muscadine Wine” which features gritty guitar licks, and darkly personal lyrics. Two songs later, they slide easily into a fun cover of John Prine’s “Spanish Pipedream,” that has the crowd joyfully dancing and singing along. At this point the audience is fully committed, the band is in control. They can take the audience wherever they choose.

Fans at FloydFest

Fandom Firsthand

Music is my therapy.  It alters my mood and my mind. It picks me up, spins me around. and changes my perspective. Through music I am able to relive a special memory, laugh, cry, dance, and become empowered.

Nothing quite compares to seeing a band play live. Each is a new experience and little compares to the energy and vibe. There is also the social aspect; the connections you make at shows and festivals are special.  There are kindred spirits everywhere.  I’ve had powerful friendships stem from the bond of music.   

Artist Snapshot: Cierra Mills

When I was younger, I wanted to be a marching snare drummer more than anything. I finally got my chance during my junior and senior year at Pulaski County High School. It was during that time that my grandmother purchased my first drum kit, a maroon Ludwig. I still play it to this day.

In high school, I started playing the drum set with my best friend who lived up the street from me. Our friendship began when we noticed one another beating on the back of the bus seats with the same brand of drumsticks. From then on, we spent a lot of time in my grandmother’s basement polishing our skills and recording ourselves covering our favorite songs. We would critique each other and push ourselves to try new things.

Brian Mesko jazz blues funk jefferson center

Artist Snapshot: Brian Mesko

A 2005 transplant to the Roanoke region, Brian Mesko has managed to build quite the local reputation. A quick listen to any one of his half dozen bands and it’s easy to see why this jazz, blues, funk, soul guitarist is a central figure in the local music scene.

Blue Ridge Rocks wanted to make sure that all its followers knew exactly who Mesko was too, so we did a brief Q & A session with this well-versed musician.


How long have you been playing?

Since I was eight years old, so 28 years. I started with piano, then guitar at age 10, and picked up drums and bass as a teenager. While completing a bachelor’s degree in Recording Industry at Middle TN State, near Nashville, I had the opportunity to play with such international jazz greats as Les McCann, Tony Monaco, Dr. Lonnie Smith, John Jorgensen and Jeff Coffin.

My music has been heavily influenced by George Benson, BB King, John Scofield, John McLaughlin, Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, and Jimi Hendrix.