Spotlight on Local Music Scene

May 18, 2007

Charlottesville is a small city in terms of population, but not in terms of music. From aspiring local acts to bringing in big names, the city is becoming a big star on the musical map.

"You know, it's the right combination of southern roots and a lively, intellectual community. The music scene is really good, a lot of good bands," said James Wilson of Sons of Bill.

Charlottesville is quickly building a reputation around the region and around the country as a hotbed for new bands and lots of them.

"I think it's something about here. It's easy to live, and there are so many great places to play. It's easy to build a great fan base that will come and see you every time you play," said Sam Wilson of Sons of Bill.

Sam should know. Sons of Bill is composed of a group of brothers. They played a show about a year and a half ago by chance, and now regularly play sold out shows here and in cities like Baltimore and New York.

It's not just a scene for the locals. You can see the impact of Charlottesville's regional and national reputation right on West Main Street .

"I think people are starting to come here from other towns. I've noticed for central Virginia, this is the town to play, and so we're seeing that development," said Jamie Sisley of Red Light Management.

With venues like Starr Hill, the Pavilion and the award-winning John Paul Jones Arena, Charlottesville plays host to national acts like Chris Daughtry, Dwight Yoakim and Justin Timberlake.

"It even helps the local music scene because we can put them underneath these national acts and they can get that exposure," said Sisley.

It's the unique combination of local talent, national acts and enthusiastic crowds that contribute to Charlottesville's strong music scene. If the crowds keep coming out and the acts continue to play, Charlottesville's star will to continue rise in the musical sky.

Charlottesville is also home to Red Light Management, one of the few music companies that is growing in the digital music age.

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