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.

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.

Photo credit: Ashley Simmons Photography

Featured Artist: Corey Hunley

The guitar has been in my hands for almost 30 years and the art of writing a song hits me pretty hard. I’m attracted to a well written song and am inspired to better myself every time I pick up my instrument. My songs are generated from real life experiences. I write what I live. Family, Fun, Friends, Heartache, Love, the Bottle…and silliness at its best.