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New Exhibit Chronicles The Golden Age Of Live Music in Charlottesville

A new exhibit is opening in Charlottesville April 5th.  One of the curators says it chronicles the golden age of live music in the central Virginia city.

Think Charlottesville music and you most likely think Dave Matthews Band. Coy Barefoot says there was a thriving music scene that led to DMB. “It is that scene that made the Dave Matthews Band possible.”

The scene to which he refers is a specific time period. “This golden age of live music in the Charlottesville area which really starts in the 70s into the 90s.”

Barefoot says it was a magical time for live music in Charlottesville. “You could just walk down the street from The Corner, from Elliewood Avenue down past the Mineshaft, and Zipper’s and Traxx on into downtown Charlottesville and there was live music just bursting from every window.”

Barefoot is the Executive Director of the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society which is mounting a new show on that music scene.  It’s A Music Town; The Charlottesville Music History Exhibit.

“This new exhibit is inspired by Rich Tarbell’s new book Regarding Charlottesville Music.  He started out to do beautiful photographs of Charlottesville musicians. But then it sort of evolved into them telling their story and telling their most unforgettable music moment. So, the book is not just a photograph but an oral history.”

And, the musicians being featured. “Certainly Skip Castro, The Allstars, Hackensaw Boys, Hogwaller Ramblers.  We’ve got portraits of Christian Breeden, Koda Kerl, John d’Earth; the list goes on and on and on.”

It’s about the musicians, and about where they played.

“It’s also the story of these unforgettable venues where Charlottesville music and was and in some cases still is made. So, we’ve got the story of the Blue Moon Diner, the Basement at Tokyo Rose.  The Mineshaft, Zipper’s, the Pud House, Muldowney’s, A little place south of town called Brin Wanna, which opened in 1958 and was the first integrated live music venue of its kind in this part of Virginia.”

And, it is also about Dave Matthews Band. There is a section of the exhibit dedicated to DMB and Barefoot says the exhibit opening on today’s date has historic significance.

“It was April 5th of 1992 when the Dave Matthews Band took to the stage in a field down in Nelson County for the Van Riper’s Lake Music Festival.  Dave very nervously went up to the microphone and said ‘this is the biggest audience we have ever stood up in front of.’ And this was just when they were getting started. And our exhibit opens on that special anniversary from 1992.  It was the Dave Matthews Band very first big gig.”

It’s A Music Town; The Charlottesville Music History Exhibit opening reception is 5:00 to 8:00 pm today at CitySpace on 5th Street downtown.  After a month there, the exhibit will be installed for a long term run at a location yet to be announced.

Regarding Charlottesville Music by Rich Tarbell

Exhibit Details

Music used in the report:

https://youtu.be/GhswH1bLMy8">Ants Marching-Dave Matthews Band

https://youtu.be/jCbK7C4uj7I">New Dress-Hogwaller Ramblers

https://youtu.be/80jxuunUpFU">Wolves Howling-Hackensaw Boys

https://youtu.be/lzAWpk51TWQ">DMB at Van Riper's

Luke Church
Luke Church hosts Roots Down on WVTF Music.