Category Archives: Music

Music in Virginia

bluegrass

You may know Virginia as a Southern state and therefore expect the majority of the music in the region to be country music, but the Old Dominion is actually a state with a great diversity in terms of music. Everything from country and rock to hip hop and R&B – we literally have it all.

Now, obviously country music does have a long and storied history in Virginia, and it’s probably the kind of music that most people out there associate with the state. A lot of the sounds of country music in general have roots in one way or another in Virginia, and bluegrass in particular is a hallmark of the state that traces back all the way to colonial times and endures today. The style is has influences from all over – from the early music of the British colonialists to the traditional music of the Africans brought over in the slave trade. Bluegrass is characterized by its breakneck pace, and more esoteric instruments like the fiddle, the mandolin, and the banjo are used in conjunction with more common instruments like acoustic guitars to create a distinct sound. In recent years, bluegrass has experienced a resurgence in popularity thanks to the progressive bluegrass sub genre which is catching the attention of hipsters and bearded folk all over the US.

Here’s one of my personal favorite progressive bluegrass/newgrass bands.

Outside of country music, Virginia also happens to be the home of a whole host of Hip Hop and R&B superstars. Obviously Pharrell Williams and his production partner Chad Hugo are legendary as The Neptunes – probably the most successful production team in the past two decades. Missy Elliot and Timbaland are two more very notable and accomplished Virginia natives in the Hip Hop and R&B space. There are also a bunch of less well known up and coming artists from the Virginia area that are worthy of more attention – Clipse is an extremely well regarded hip hop duo, and although the two members are going their separate ways, both artists (Malice and Pusha T) deserve to be more well known as artists.

There’s also a thriving rock scene in a number of cities in Virginia – whether you’re in Richmond or Fairfax, Alexandria or Virginia Beach, you can probably at least find a handful of up and coming bands that will blow you away. There’s also a reasonably prominent heavy metal scene in and around Richmond if you’re into that kind of music (I’m not).

The live music scene is thriving in Richmond and a whole bunch of other smaller cities across the state. Whatever your jam is, you can probably find a bar or club where they play your type of music pretty close by. If festivals are more your thing, there are plenty of those happening in and around the are as well. One of my favorite places for live music in Richmond is Balliceaux – the music there is varied, and on any given night you might find yourself listening to jazz, rock, or just pretty random world music that you’ve never come across before. The food and drinks are also great – if you find yourself in Richmond and you’re looking for a live music experience, you should definitely check it out. As for festivals, FloydFest is a pretty well known festival that features a bunch of pretty high profile bands as well as a ton of great acts that you may not have heard before.

Hopefully, you’ve learned a little something about Virginia and it’s rich musical tradition from the little that I know about it. Now, go to youtube and watch some bluegrass videos or something.

 

Everything that’s going on in Virginia

Norfolk

Hi all,

I’m hoping to develop this site into basically a lifestyle hub for everything to do with Virginia. I hope to cover everything from lifestyle stuff, restaurants, bars and other nightlife. Music, culture and arts, and even outdoors stuff like hunting and fishing in the area. I love this state – and I want to turn this site into a resource for both locals and visitors to the great state of Virginia.

So, what makes me love Virginia so much. First and foremost I was born and raised here, so that’s one obvious reason. But beyond that, I just feel like Virginia has a lot to offer – obviously, it has a rich history, and is and always will be tied to the American history.That also ties into the architecture that you can see around the state – I don’t think any other state has as many well preserved buildings with colonial architecture. We also have a great food culture – obviously, Virginia ham is a well known specialty and is beloved both by locals and by folks in other states, but beyond that, we also have amazing sausages and a bunch of rich, hearty comfort food traditions that outsiders might not know but that locals cherish (everyone should try shoofly pie, it’s crazy good)

We also have a rich tradition of producing great musicians – with country music, this great state has produced notables as Patsy Cline, and the (pretty old school) Statler brothers and Carter Family. Outside of country, the great state of Virginia has also produced Jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald, hip hop/RnB aritsts like Timbaland, Missy Elliot, and music industry legend Pharrell. Jason Mraz, the Dave Matthews band, and Dave Grohl (of the Foo Fighters) all have roots in Virginia as well. We also always have stuff going on in the state in term of concerts and smaller performances – the official Virginia website is great for updates on this front.

Then we have the outdoors. Hunting and fishing in Virginia is probably one of the most satisfying and fulfilling experiences you can get anywhere in the country. We have some really incredibly natural scenery that will take your breath away, and even if you don’t like hunting or fishing, just taking a stroll through the countryside or going on a hike can be really rewarding.

As you can probably tell, I really love this state, and no, I don’t work for the Virginia Tourism board. I just loved growing up here, and I continue to love living here, and I wish that the state would get more recognition as both a great place to visit and an amazing place to live. It offers an excellent balance of everything – no matter what you’re into, you’ll be able to find it here.

So, if you’re a local looking for stuff to do around the state or in your city specifically, or if you’re a planning a visit to Virginia in the near future – be sure to check back here. We don’t have a lot of stuff up yet, but I’m hoping to turn this site into a real resource for anyone looking for stuff to do in the state, and I’ll try to add content on a pretty regular basis to keep abreast of everything that’s going on here.

This is Virginia Beats.