Kris Piemonte Roanoke Virginia musician

Artist Snapshot: Kris Piemonte

For me, songwriting is putting my heart on a platter with a knife and fork. Performing it, is handing that platter to the audience. I love song writing, but performing original music for a crowd is what it’s all about. Trying to recreate the feeling I had when I wrote the song is what I love most.

I play a variety of instruments, but when I am playing out, it’s just me and my guitar. I feel like I started late in life. At 21 I went to see Dave Matthews in concert. I had no idea who he was and was just blown away. After that, I got an old guitar from my mother’s attic, restrung it, and started recreating sounds I heard on early DMB CDs. Once I found those sounds, I was able to take things in new directions. I still play that way. You give me a little taste of a song, and I’ll figure the rest out. Songwriting is similar. I get that feeling, and the writing is underway. There are songs in my head that I’ve been writing for years, then others will bloom in 5 minutes. I love the mystery and challenge of the process.

Welcome to Hoonah, Roanoke Live Music

An Intimate Discussion with Welcome to Hoonah

Cutting through the crowded bar while jubilant dancers hoot and holler, I grab my friend’s hand and pull her closer to the stage. She is immediately mesmerized by the free-spirted performers, and I can tell that their lively playing and raucous sound has transported her to a different time and place.

The ageless, timeless and softly weathered voice of Spencer McKenna rings out over the country-infused chime of his guitar, while Jessica Larsen glows like a Gatsby goddess singing sultry harmonies to his lead. I notice my partner in crime eyeing the washboard whose raspy rhythm cuts through even the loudest dance floors.

Scott Joshway Long Story Short

Artist Snapshot: Scott Joshway

I am very competitive person. For me, every show is a challenge. Performing live is both stressful and rewarding. The stress comes from always wanting to give the best show I can. The reward is seeing the crowd’s reaction to the performance. Nothing compares to feeling like you can hold a room in your hands. I perform for many reasons, and that fan reaction is a big part of it. However, my children are my biggest and greatest fans, and I do this to give them the life they deserve. I truly believe that my music is a talent God gave me, and I plan to use it as long as I am capable.

Rooster Walk: Reinventing a Region

What began as a gathering of family and friends to honor two young lives lost with fellowship and music, has evolved into one of Martinsville’s signature events.

Now in its eighth year, Rooster Walk brings together more than 4,000 people of all ages for a four-day festival of music and arts. In fact, this annual Memorial Day weekend event has become such a hit that it outgrew its original location at the Blue Mountain Festival Grounds and in 2015 moved locations to Pop’s Farm, 151 acres that sit near the Smith River.

Blue Ridge Rocks artist Abe Goorksey

Artist Snapshot: Abe Goorksey

What I love about playing is connecting with other musicians and getting in a groove, whether it be instrumentally or vocally. The feeling that comes from getting to be part of something bigger than yourself. Playing live shows brings another level to that experience, you can really feed off the energy in a room and go places musically that you couldn’t without a good crowd.

Artist Snapshot: Chadwick King

Performing live is an escape from reality. For two to three hours I think of nothing but music. No worries. No cares. It’s one of the few things I can do that keeps my mind from running a thousand miles an hour. I’ve been singing with the Virginia Remnants’ guitar player, Jody Hanshew, for over a decade. We have been in two bands together and played as an acoustic duo.

Artist Snapshot: Paul Heilker

I’ve been playing guitar since I turned 13, so 40 years now. My father was a music teacher, so I played every band instrument under the sun for two weeks. He never gave me any grief when I quit – and quit and quit – which let me keep searching. And when I said I wanted to play guitar, he went out and bought me the black Gibson Les Paul Custom I still play when I go electric.

Artist Snapshot: Jason Davis

When I was young, my dad played guitar around the house and I developed an ear for music early. I had a cheap Yamaha keyboard and could pick out things on the radio, as well as what I heard on television. As an only child growing up in the country, you spend a lot of time alone and music was my outlet.

Artist Snapshot: Chris Eanes

I love what creating music does for my soul. It takes me places spiritually. As does the adrenaline rush I get from being on stage and in front of a crowd. Well, the right crowd anyway. You can tell when people are into the music and that’s when the energy exchange is almost palpable. That’s the moment of performing that keeps me doing it. It’s gratifying for me as well as the audience.