Sunday, July 24, 2016

Map of the Music: The Return of the Virginia Music Column

I'm pleased to announce that, after an absence, I have returned to Virginia Living Magazine as contributing editor and Virginia music columnist.

My first column back is about Richmond disc jockey and musical archivist Carl Hamm and his work in documenting the groovy "Pop Yeh-Yeh" music of Malaysia and Singapore.

Read it by clicking here. And to order Hamm's excellent and well-researched musical compilations, go here.

Below, you'll find an incomplete list of the other topics I have explored over the years in my Virginia Living column, which is still the only statewide music column out there. Unfortunately, most of these pieces are not documented online so you'll have to visit the library (or nearby doctor's office) to read these, or go online and order back issues of the magazine. You can do that here.

The early music of Jamestown
The Blue Ridge Institute and Museum at Ferrum College
John Cephas, Piedmont blues master from Bowling Green
WGH in Norfolk and the legacy of top-40 radio
Swamp Dogg, R&B/soul legend
The Rah-Bras, Richmond punk-pop trio
Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse
Robbin Thompson, singer-songwriter
The Ferguson Center for the Arts in Newport News
Archivist/engineer Chris King and the People Take Warning box set
The legacy of Portsmouth's Ruth Brown
The Lonesome Pine label and the Music of Coal box set
The James River Blues Society
The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities' "Crooked Road" CD series
Hobart Smith, banjo master
Invisible Hand, Charlottesville alt-rockers
Music producer Steve Buckingham
Barky's Spirituals record shop in Richmond
The Mockers, Hampton Roads power popsters
Maura Davis and Ambulette, Richmond alt-rockers
The Patsy Cline museum in Winchester
The Richmond Folk Festival
Special Ed and the Shortbus (now called the Hotseats)
Anousheh Khalili, singer-songwriter
Aside Oceans, Blacksburg hard-rockers.
Paul Shagrue, DJ and host of Norfolk's "Out of the Box"
The emergence of WRIR 97.3 FM in Richmond
Margot McDonald, NoVa singer-songwriter
Billy Ray Hatley, roots rock singer
The William & Mary Hip Hop Archive 
The Last Bison, Chesapeake folk-pop ensemble
The Trash Company, one-man Richmond funk pioneer

(Photo courtesy Carl Hamm)

Saturday, July 2, 2016

By the Time I Get to Henrico: A Talk with Jimmy Webb

Someone left the cake out in the rain, and it was the legendary Jimmy Webb.

The Grammy-winning composer of such iconic tunes as "Wichita Lineman," "Up, Up and Away," "MacArthur Park" and "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," Webb was a small town Oklahoma farm kid who dreamed of writing popular hits, and eventually became one of the most celebrated (and imitated) composers of all time.

We talked about his early days at Motown, his views on songwriting, and his amazing collaborations with the likes of Glen Campbell and the late Richard Harris, among other things. My Richmond Magazine interview the man called "America's Songwriter" can be read here.

And for more on Jimmy Webb and his music, go here.

(Photo: The Press Office)

Interview with Lucy Dacus

My interview with up-and-coming Richmond singer-songwriter Lucy Dacus has been posted to the Virginia Living Magazine website. 

The talented and husky-voiced Dacus has been winning accolades and buzz from the likes of Rolling Stone, NPR and Spin Magazine for her recent debut disc on Egghunt Records. I caught up with her while she was on the road for her first big national tour.

For more on Lucy Dacus and her music, click this spot.