Performers Friday, August 4th, 2017

Play at Steppin' Out 2018!

Please complete the Steppin' Out Artist Submission Survey to be considered for the 2018 festival.

Main Stage


Friday 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

ChiefLow is a fresh 3-piece band based in the DMV area. Sultry vocals, smooth bass and boom bap drums combine with keys and guitar to bring a genre-defying sound to your ears.

Spanning the spectrum from soul, funk, blues, jazzy hip-hop to R&B, this trio is guaranteed to tug your heartstrings and shake your bones.


Friday 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM

The music of Mateo Monk is beyond classification. It is a synthesis of multiple genres of world roots music, heavily informed by the spontaneous freedom of psychedelic jam culture. Mateo performs solo on the guitar, flute, synthesizer, and melodica, utilizing a looper pedal to create fully-textured rhythms, adorned with virtuosic melodic musings, all seamlessly woven into the song form in real time. It's a modern spin on the iconic idea of the "one man band", executed by a one-of-a-kind artist with deep emotional sensibility and dazzling instrumental finesse. Mateo has been performing for 23 years and has worked with many influential artists, including Thievery Corporation, Junior Marvin of Bob Marley and The Wailers, and members of the legendary reggae group Culture.


Friday 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

The Duskwhales are a three-piece indie rock band formed in Manassas, Virginia in 2010. Their sound is reminiscent of 60's groups such as The Beatles and The Doors through prominent use of keyboards and memorable vocal harmonies. While incorporating the best elements of their psychedelic roots, the young trio creates a sophisticated style of their own in both studio and live settings. They have shared the stage with national acts Car Seat Headrest, Diane Coffee, Little Green Cars, and Frankie Cosmos, as well as performed to packed audiences across the East Coast. The Duskwhales are currently touring in support of their latest album Sorrowful Mysteries.


Friday 7:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Local realtor and DJ based in Blacksburg. Charles takes pride in the art of his craft and has been sharing his creativity with community, family, and friends for the past 11 years. Being a versatile DJ with diverse influences, his music selection bridges generations. He showcases sharp transitions, smooth blends, and contagious energy.


Friday 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM

What originally started as an organic, impromptu and free-flowing collection of musicians casually performing in the renovated remains of a dilapidated "shack" in Blacksburg, VA has morphed into what is now The Shack Band. Since 2010, things have changed. The band relocated from Blacksburg to Richmond, VA. A true lineup was established, with four members signing on. The songwriting abilities and sensibilities matured and improved. At the start of 2013, the quartet became a quintet with the addition of a horn player adding more complex arrangements and texture to the band's already well-established sound. But, the one thing that never wavered was The Shack Band's intent to wow new crowds with their off-the-cuff, high-energy live shows melding funky rock 'n' roll and soaring harmonies with a strong emphasis on song-writing.


Friday 8:30 PM - 9:00 PM

Local realtor and DJ based in Blacksburg. Charles takes pride in the art of his craft and has been sharing his creativity with community, family, and friends for the past 11 years. Being a versatile DJ with diverse influences, his music selection bridges generations. He showcases sharp transitions, smooth blends, and contagious energy.


Friday 9:00 PM - 11:00 PM

The Southern Belles are Adrian Ciucci (guitar/vocals), Tommy Booker (keys/vocals), Aaron Zarrow (drums/vocals) and Michael Sallemi (bass/vocals). Playing a high-octane mix of funky southern psychedelic Rock & Roll, the Belles perform shows and festivals all over the county each year. The Southern Belles road-tested sound has earned them a devout following, with fans traveling far and wide to catch the show. With their upcoming album "In The Middle Of The Night," scheduled for August 2017, the Southern Belles are picking up steam and gaining national notoriety for their original compositions and song craft. Their songs are both fun and moving, with lyrical stories evoking familiar emotions and complex musical journeys.

Acoustic Stage


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!


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.


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


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."


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.


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.

Community Stage


Friday 12:15 PM - 1:15 PM

SWVA students participating in this outreach program showcase their fantastic science projects.


Friday 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Experienced DJ Craig Arthur brings a dynamic hip hop culture showcase to the stage.
The Flowmigos, aka the Virginia Tech Bboy (Breakdance) Club, is a dance organization for all bboys and bgirls. We hope to spread hip-hop culture and help people find community and family through our club!


Friday 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

The Renaissance Music Academy of Virginia is the oldest, largest, and most established non-profit community music school in southwest Virginia. Founded in 1993, the RMA offers serious study for ages 2 years old through adult. The RMA is recognized by the National Guild for Community Arts Education for its quality programs.


Friday 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM

Mainstream Music proudly presents another installment of

Students of all ages will share their musical talents, from soloists, duets, trios, and full bands.

These shows never disappoint and often feature original musical compositions by our students.