Acoustic Stage Performers (2017)

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Friday

SHANNON HUNTER

Friday 12:15 PM - 1:15 PM

Shannon Hunter is a local singer-songwriter. She plays both covers and original songs in an acoustic folk-americana-pop style. Shannon has been performing for the past couple of years at talent shows, restaurants, and churches. She just completed her first year at UVA and hopes to take advantage of the music scene in Charlottesville next year!

SEZESSIONVILLE ROAD

Friday 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Sezessionville Road is a four piece Americana Alt Rock Band from the mountains of Western North Carolina. The members include classical and appalachian roots musicians. The band has been compared to Fleetwood Mac, Mates of State, Gillian Welsh and Dave Rawlings and Band of Horses, among others. Their music has tight and intense male/female vocal harmonies sometimes with different complimentary melodies, dirty guitars and fluid rhythms. While together for less than a year, this emerging band is already releasing their second album and plans on releasing a third in early 2018.

DAVID SIMPKINS

Friday 2:50 PM - 3:50 PM

Performing songwriter David Simpkins has been actively entertaining audiences for over 40 years. He spent the first 22 years of his musical career playing in cover bands in southwestern Virginia. When the band called it quits, David set out on his own, bolstered by years of experience and a much clearer idea of who and what he was as a songwriter. He placed as a finalist in the 2000 Appalachian Fair Best Unknown Country Songwriters competition, and was the winner of the Floydfest Showcase Stage Best Song competition in 2002.

He is the 2017 secretary of the Southwest Virginia Songwriters Association of Roanoke, VA, and was president of the organization in 2009 and 2010. A 30-year graphic designer at Virginia Tech's College of Engineering, David is also the designer and publisher of the SVSA Music News, the association's monthly newsletter. Simpkins often performs with his wife, Kathy Acosta, as well as Greg Trafidlo and Britt Mistele. Together, they are known as "David Simpkins and the KGB." Simpkins performs regularly as a solo and with the group

AMERICAN ROOTS

Friday 4:10 PM - 5:10 PM

American Roots is a instrumental and harmony-vocal duo performing regularly in the 6 county region around Blacksburg for about 25 years. Fred and Jon Benfield play and sing "roots" tunes including Appalachian ballads, blues, swing, early country and "folkgrass". "Roots" music has recently been redefined as "Americana Music" and in keeping with that definition. American Roots performs "Americana Music: Carter Family to Gershwin."

WILLIE DE

Friday 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM

Willie DE, a nationally touring young artist based in Central Virginia, blends folk, blues, and a dash of jazz to create a fresh, original sound. Willie has shared the stage with and opened for such top-flight musicians as the North Mississippi All-stars, David Olney & Sergio Webb, Ivan & Alyosha, Alash Ensemble, Eric Taylor, and The Hackensaw Boys. His new sophomore album, Thunder Train, benefits from his recent study of jazz guitar as he merges it into the folk-blues style of his original tunes.

JAVA BROTHERS BLUEGRASS

Friday 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

The Java Brothers Bluegrass Band is from Radford, Virginia. We are progressive, but pretty much only to the extent that we'll play new songs as hard driving bluegrass. We love Bill Monroe, the Stanley Brothers, The Seldom Scene, JD Crowe, Tony Rice, Sam Bush, the Country Gentlemen, the Beatles, the Stones, the Grateful Dead, and all the greats. The Java Brothers have a fun live show that mixes standard Bluegrass and Newgrass with fiery original tunes.

Saturday

JÉMEAUX

Saturday 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

A duality of acoustic ambiance and vocal presence, creating a sound that is easy listening and relaxing. Originally from Toronto Ontario, Jémeaux has been producing music for over a decade, creating soundscapes textured with water and wind. Every performance is unique, creating an intimate space for the audience and artist to share. Jémeaux incorporates acoustic guitar with layered vocal progressions and simple instrumentals producing an airy sound laden with emotion.

JULIET MCCONKEY

Saturday 12:15 PM - 1:15 PM

McConkey is a country/Americana singer-songwriter from Nelson County, Virginia. Music is her favorite thing to do and she has been writing and singing her own songs since about the age of 12. She's also a Hokie, so Blacksburg is very near and dear to her heart. Find her on Facebook @julietmcconkeymusic .McConkey has a self-released EP called "Singin' a Love Song" available on iTunes/Apple Music/Spotify.

KAT MILLS

Saturday 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Solo, soul folk live shows. Layered, collaborative recordings. Kat Mills is a writer, singer, guitarist and seeker rooted in GenX, nodding to 70s troubadours, and openly commenting on the aches and triumphs of the moment.

Kat is based right here in Blacksburg, and has been a favorite on the Acoustic Stage for years. She has recently released her fourth studio album, SILVER, a collection of groovy, original songs featuring an A-Team session band. At a time when we have almost forgotten how to be still, to listen, to reflect and then engage, Kat Mills helps us remember.

KYLIE ODETTA

Saturday 2:50 PM - 3:50 PM

Indie/Soul Singer-Songwriter, Kylie Odetta, is lighting a fire within the underground music scene. With music that is powerful, dreamy, and full of passion she uses the piano & raspy vocals to draw you in. By incorporating elements of studio magic yet keeping the instruments organic, her music will take you on a mellow but all-inspiring journey. Kylie has been called an old soul and penned over 200 songs. Her southern roots make for a unique twist in her vocal character as she emits an iconic sound that is both refreshing and original and emotional. You might call her an indie artist but with hints of jazz, soul and pop influences. Kylie O has become a seasoned performer as she has carried the big stage solo having had the opportunity to open for music artists Gavin DeGraw, Colbie Callait, Mat Kearney, Austin Mahone and Kelly Pickler as well as 100’s of her own shows. Kylie is on a mission to share her music with others and truly connect with people through the lyrics. She notes that people and everyday life and the emotions that we all feel inspire her. "My goal is to create art that moves people deep inside their souls, brings love to light, & enhances the beauty and power of emotion" (Kylie Odetta)

THE RUSTY SEESAWS

Saturday 4:15 PM - 5:15 PM

The Rusty Seesaws are a college Folk/Bluegrass band out Virginia Tech. Established in 2015, TRS now has a brand new lineup of bandmates with lots of new material to help you #GetFolkedUp ! They do fresh-sounding arrangements of traditional American songs, country classics as well as their own original tunes. Check out their tracks at the link below:

CROSSTIES

Saturday 5:45 PM - 6:45 PM

Crossties is: Avery Davis on fiddle, Craig Counts on guitar and vocals, Gerry Skenderian on bass and vocals, Craig Willoughby on mandolin and vocals, Tom Snediker on guitar and vocals, Timmy Mills on banjo and Pete Hastings on harmonica. We play Bluegrass from across the tracks.