2017 Performers

New Mobile-Friendly Site Coming Soon

Visit BlacksburgSteppinOut.com from your phone during the festival for the latest schedule and details.

Main Stage Friday


Friday 3 - 4PM   Chieflow

ChiefLow is a fresh 3-piece 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 4:50 - 5:50PM   Mateo Monk

Mateo Monk

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 - 7PM   The Duskwhales

The Duskwhales

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 - 7:30PM   DJ Charles Sullivan


Friday 7:30 - 8:30PM   The Shack Band

The Shack Band

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 - 9PM   DJ Charles Sullivan


Friday 9 - 11PM   The Southern Belles

The Southern Belles

Acoustic Stage Friday


Friday 12:15 - 1:15PM   Shannon Hunter

Shannon Hunter

"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 - 2:30PM   Sezessionvile Road

Friday 250 - 3:50PM   David Simpkins

David Simpkins

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 - 5:10PM  American Roots

American Roots

"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 - 6:30PM  Willie DE

Willie DE

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 - 8PM   Java brothers bluegrass

Java Brothers

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

Friday 12:15 - 1:15PM  TBD

Friday 1:30 - 2:30PM  VT Hip Hop Studies feat. Flowmigos

Friday 3 - 4PM  Renaissance Music Academy of Virginia

Friday 4:30 - 6PM  Mainstream Music Student Performances


Main Stage Saturday


The Blacksburg Community Band

The Blacksburg Community Band is an all-volunteer community wind ensemble open to musicians of all ages and ability levels from the New River Valley. The band, with 70 active members, rehearses and performs year round. For more information go to www.blacksburgcommunityband.org.


Saturday 1 - 2PM   PANJAMMERS

Blacksburg's 30-piece steel drum orchestra brings the music of the Caribbean to Virginia. The band performs a range of styles, including calypso, reggae, jazz, Latin, and funk, on hand-crafted instruments. Guaranteed to get you dancing!


Saturday 2:30 - 3:30PM  You Knew Me When

You Knew Me When

Outfitted with an array of instruments, You Knew Me When is a husband and wife indie folk-rock duo with a full band sound. Based in Ouray, CO, by way of Nashville, TN, the pair have toured full-time since June of 2012 throughout North America, sharing their collective sound. Now touring in support of their third studio album "Into the Looking Glass", You Knew Me When continue to create and serve up an array of craft brewed compositions coast to coast. Find out more at www.youknewmewhen.com

Saturday 4 - 5PM   GABE MORALES

Gabe Morales

Gabe Morales is a guitarist, musician, song-writer and performer. His music includes elements of blues, jazz, classic rock and influences from Latin American folk music. In addition, his music is energetic, and at the same time invites listeners to reflect on daily challenges, feats, and defeats. When performing the blues, Gabe brings the blues legends of past and present to the stage and stands on their shoulders as he tells their stories and bends the strings of his red SG.

In 2013, Gabe was a featured guest on the internationally touring band Snarky Puppy's live CD/DVD recording at the Jefferson Center: Snarky Puppy Family Dinner Vol. 1. The same album was awarded a 2014 Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance for Snarky Puppy and Lalah Hathaway. Gabe Morales has opened for the Robert Cray Band, The Wooten Brothers (with Jayna Brown), and Tommy Castro and The Pain Killers.


Seph Custer

Saturday 5:30 - 6:30PM   Seph Custer & the papa tom band

Seph Custer & The Papa Tom Band is a collective of local musicians, songwriters, and music instructors, and are quickly one of Southwest Virginia'a fastest rising independent acts. Utilizing roots and influences in blues, rock, alternative, Americana, soul, funk, hip-hop, and jam band music, they put a unique spin on classic handmade music. Notable 2017 appearances include Rock The Blocks in Blacksburg, Floydfest & their On The Rise Competition, Hops For Hope, the Norfolk Folk Festival, and Floyd Fandango.




Saturday 7 - 8PM   Annabelle's Curse

Annabelle's Curse

Annabelle's Curse is an alt-folk band from Bristol, TN/VA. Its members are Tim Kilbourne (vocals, banjo, guitar), Carly Booher (vocals, mandolin), Zack Edwards (guitar), Travis Goyette (percussion), and Tyler Luttrell (bass). As an independent band, Annabelle's Curse's fan support has been instrumental to their success. They have released three full-length albums; the most recent two, Hollow Creature and Worn Out Skin, were fully funded by fans.   Since forming in 2010, Annabelle's Curse has toured extensively, developing a devoted fan base throughout the southeast and mid-Atlantic. Annabelle's Curse has supported acts such as Anderson East, The Black Lillies, HoneyHoney, and Humming House.  


Saturday 8:45 - 9:45PM  Erin and the Wildfire

Erin and the Wildfire

Erin and the Wildfire is an emerging band based in Charlottesville, VA. Their unique brand of soulful rock has helped to establish them as one of the premier up-and-coming acts in Central Virginia's vibrant local music scene. The group's sound combines the raw funk-infused energy of the Wildfire - a rock outfit made up of Ryan Lipps on guitar, Nick Quillen on drums and Matt Wood on bass alongside Jackson Shurlds and Garen Dorsey on horns - with powerful and expressive lead vocals from frontwoman Erin Lunsford.

Acoustic Stage Saturday



Saturday 11:00 - 12:00PM   Jémeaux

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.

Saturday 12:15 - 1:15PM   Juliet McConkey

Saturday 1:30 - 2:30PM  Kat Mills

Kat Mills

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.

Saturday 2:50 - 3:50PM   Kylie Odetta

Kylie Odetta

Saturday 4:15 - 5:15PM   The Rusty Seesaws

Saturday 5:45 - 6:45PM  Crossties


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.




Community Stage Saturday

Saturday 11:30 - 12:15PM  Dance Tech

Saturday 12:45 - 1:45PM  Little Leapers

Saturday 2:15 - 3:15PM  Blue Ridge Mountain Cloggers

Saturday 3:45 - 4:30PM  New River Irish Dance at Holli's Academy of Dance

Saturday 5:00 - 6:00PM  VA Techniques



PETS are NOT Allowed

If you must bring your dog, please leave him/her in the Canine Corral on the Henderson Lawn on College Ave.

Service provided by Prestige Pet Sitting Agencies, 540-961-1710. The Corral will be open 10am - 10pm on Friday and Saturday.

Laureen Blakemore

Tel: 540-951-0454