The Charissa Morrison Project: an Artist on the Rise

Singer, songwriter, guitarist, Charissa Morrison is a hard working solo act putting in the stage time in our region, building a growing fan base with her beautiful voice, original compositions, and unique interpretations of modern songs. We caught up with her to discover the passions and motivations that keep music at the center of her life.

My biggest inspiration comes from the people in my life. I have incredible family and friends who give me unending support and push me to keep going.”

“Music has always been a part of my life. I grew up in the Roanoke Valley in the church, as a pastor’s kid, and so I began singing at a very early age. I loved performing, and would hop up on stage and grab a microphone whenever I could! Singing was always my focus, and once I got to middle school I joined choir and stuck with that all the way through high school. In my teens, I picked up guitar and began playing and accompanying myself. I went on to study music in college and performed in a band during my time there.”

New Album Alert: “Believer” by Low Low Chariot

After three years of playing together, Roanoke-based country band, The Low Low Chariot are about to release their much anticipated full LP, titled “Believer”, an album that lead singer, JD Sutphin, said has been years in the making. Sutphin, who was previously in rock band Madrone, said the switch to playing country music was an easy transition. “I found a stash of my grandpa’s songs that he had never recorded. I learned the songs, and it completely changed my life”. Sutphin’s grandfather was a touring country musician and it seems he may be a follower of those footsteps, a believer in those beliefs.

That’s the power of music. At certain points in life, a certain genre of music may define your tastes, but as life changes and evolves, so does the music we grow to love. And it seems like the evolution from rock to country has been a valuable deviation for the former rocker. “Chariot has been all about writing songs, less about business, and we’ve had more success in three months than I had in three years with Madrone.” The process of songwriting also changed. “Writing rock songs was always about cathartically getting over something. Country can be happy. Country can tell a story.” Sutphin, like country-great Dwight Yoakam, wrote most of the album while driving in the car; “I’d start with a vocal idea, sing the guitar melody, and go back later and try to figure out what I wanted to say”.

Go Fest

Go Fest 2017: Combines Adventure with Local Music Goodness

This weekend more than 30,000 athletes, adventure seekers, music lovers, and craft beer enthusiasts will converge in Roanoke’s River’s Edge Park for the 7th Annual Anthem Go Outside Festival, which kicks off Friday night and runs through Sunday, Oct. 13 – 15, highlighting the best of our region’s outdoor recreational activities.

This year, the festival organizers, the Roanoke Regional Partnership and Roanoke City Parks and Rec, continue the partnership with Across the Way Productions, to bring in top-quality musical acts. This year’s lineup promises to showcase some of our best regional acts, and is bringing the guitar phenom Marcus King to the stage Saturday night.

Nick Andrew Staver: Live On the Dock

While he may receive his mail in Shippensburg, PA, Nick Andrew Staver has made a home on the road for much of the last five years, bringing his bluesy steel guitar and heartfelt lyrics to venues large and small throughout the country. Currently promoting his fifth independent release, YOPE (2017), Staver visits our region for a stint “On the Dock” at Vinton’s Twin Creeks Brewing Company. We caught up with him to learn a bit more about the itinerant singer songwriter in the lead up to his Saturday show.

We all want the same things. It’s just a matter of how we get there. I use music. And I use it as a tool to communicate to people around me.”

“My sound is centered around blues music but it’s much more than just blues. The core is blues, but you hear drops of jazz, R&B, rock n’ roll, folk, and country. Playing that music live is the most thrilling, fun, free thing I’ve ever done in my life. There is something special that happens on stage, and every night that “something” differs from the night before. Words can’t describe that feeling when a musician finds their “zone”, and the search and discovery of that “zone” in itself is priceless. Music is like a confession for me, it lifts a weight off my shoulders and makes life melt away for a few minutes during a song.”