Shorefire Roanoke Va

Artist Snapshot: Dan Carrell

Getting out and performing live is an incredible experience. It is pure adrenaline. It’s exciting, yet nerve-wrecking. You rehearse for days/weeks/months in advance. You know the material. You’re ready to get out there and melt people’s faces off. Then the questions begin: Will people dig my sound? Will people even show up to listen to me play? What if I forget the lyrics? These are legit fears. But then the adrenaline kicks in. To play a show and look out in the crowd and see people truly loving it, that adrenaline is undeniable. Watching people sing words to songs we wrote is more valuable than anything money can buy.

My band, Shorefire, blends Reggae, Rock and Funk into something unique. While I can play electric guitar, bass, djembe, and drums, I like to think that my strongest instrument is my voice. Bradley Nowell (Sublime) has had a huge influence on my musical flavor. I also love anything that David Byrne (Talking Heads) touches. But, the people around me are my inspiration to keep playing. I’ve somehow managed to surround myself with incredible musicians. A lot of guys that I grew up with have formed some amazing bands: The Floorboards, Half Moon, Lazy Man Dub Band, Tobacco Apache, Groovascape, Barefoot West, Ripejive, and the list goes on. It’s incredible to be surrounded by such a COMMUNITY of musicians who promote each other’s shows and are genuine fans of the music.

Jason Martin

Martin’s Downtown: Something BIG

It’s a rainy Saturday night in late April. One of those nights you’d expect many to opt to stay dry, tucked away inside. One of those nights where you, yourself go back and forth on should I stay or should I go?

On the weekend, you know if you opt to go out, you can always count on Martin’s Downtown for something good. However, on this drab Saturday evening, I was not prepared for something this good, or rather something this BIG. I knew downtown was the right decision when I opened the Martin’s doors and was knocked over by the scope of the crowd and the blasting tunes. On stage was alt rock band, Big Something, out of Burlington, NC, delivering powerful sounds that fuse rock, funk, and jam band elements into something wholly new.

That night, they were wizards conjuring spirits from the assembled audience members. While some patrons stood stoically grooving to the sounds, many were crushed up near the stage pulsing hard to the sounds of this enigmatic group. It was a mix of dance, light, and sound, that brought the crowd to a frenzy usually seen in the confines of festival gatherings, occurring inside a club on a rainy Saturday night.

Blondie performs in Roanoke

MayDay! Blondie En-“Raptures” Roanoke

The sky threatened rain as local indie rock and opening band, My Radio, took the stage last night at Elmwood Park, but that didn’t stop the masses from once again packing the park for installment number two in the Totally Rad Roanoke ~ Star City Concert Series featuring legendary New York punk rock band Blondie.

With the Blue Ridge Mountains as the backdrop, love was once again in the air as glamourous stilt walkers danced among the crowd, the cold beer flowed, and rock lovers of all ages edged closer to the stage. It was instantly clear that the summer festival season had arrived.

Girls Rock Roanoke This Saturday

A solid drummer is a fundamental component of any great rock band. While there’s a notable list of female drummers, it’s an instrument mostly associated with men. One local group is on a mission to change that.

Girls Rock Roanoke (GRR) is a non-profit, community-based organization that works to empower young women to find their voices through music, creative expression, and collaboration, and to use those voices to be change–makers in their lives and communities. Now in its fourth year, GRR hosts two week-long summer camps where girls ages 8 – 16 come together to write an original song, play, and perform live music. Campers also attend workshops that highlight women in music history, as well as empowering workshops like self-defense, yoga, communicating with confidence, media literacy and more.

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.

Huey Lewis & The News to play Roanoke, Virginia

A Touch of FloydFest Comes to Roanoke for the Star City Concert Series

Tomorrow night The Heart of Rock & Roll is in Roanoke as the first of three rock icons takes the stage at Elmwood Park for the Star City Concert Series. Brought to you by Across-the-Way Productions, this concert series features Huey Lewis & The News on Wednesday, April 20, Blondie on Thursday, May 12 and Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys on Saturday, August 20.

Being billed as “Totally Rad Roanoke,” these shows deliver some of the greatest old school rock bands who are still thrilling audiences with their live performances. Huey Lewis, who’s known for hit singles “Stuck with You,” “The Power of Love,” and “Jacob’s Ladder,” has a series of spring shows scheduled, including Myrtle Beach, Atlanta and Nashville, and is also a regular opener for Jimmy Buffett’s annual tour. Local bluegrass band, Love Canyon, will kick things off at Elmwood Park tomorrow night and an after party is being held at Martin’s Downtown with music by local jam band, The Mad Iguanas.