The big event is Dominion Riverrock which goes on all weekend down on Brown's Island. This combination of adventure sports (mud runs, mountain bikes, rock climbing, kayaking, slacklining, air dogs and paddleboarding) and music (see the schedule below) is always a blast. Bring the kids, bring your dog, watch the events and take in some great music. It's free to get in, too, and adult beverages and other food and drink are served. The music headliners this year are Greensky Bluegrass on Friday night, and Blues Traveler on Saturday night. Here's the full music schedule along with little Blues Traveler, the band that started the second wave of jam bands that included Phish, Widespread Panic, and Dave Matthews Band.
The other festival this weekend is Carbon Leaf's Ragtime Carnival at Pocahontas State Park on Friday and Saturday. You can get single day tickets (see the schedule below for prices) or a two-day pass for $35. You can also get a camping pass for the weekend, if you are so inclined. Here's the schedule along with some Carbon Leaf doing the song that gave the name to the festival.
Tickets $25.00 advance/$30 door (general admission only)
Trongone Band will host a Riverrock after party at The Camel Friday night. Trongone Band will play their mix of originals (they'll have some new tunes ready for the show) and jam band/classic rock covers. It's $7 to get in. Doors will open at 8, music should start around 9 with openers Dalton Dash & Rooster Blood. I love when Trongone Band plays this one; the Grateful Dead's "New Speedway Boogie". Here's a great version from Gypsy Sally's in DC last Saturday night:
If you want something familiar but different, head to The National Friday night for Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 and there doesn't appear to be an opener. Tix are $20 for GA on the floor, $25 for a reserved seat in the balcony. The band became a sensation on YouTube with their versions of modern pop music done in the style of say, 20's jazz, New Orleans piano music, Motown or 60's surf music. Here they do Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance"in vintage 1920's style:
Cary St. Cafe showcases Mekong Xpress & The Get Fresh Horns on Friday night. The funk will be drippin'! That starts at 10 PM and it's FREE to get in! The Slank open the show. Here's Mekong taking you to the promised land with "Moses".
Saturday night, legendary Americana/folk singer Iris DeMent is at Tin Pan. Show starts at 8 PM and it's $35 to get in. Emmylou Harris said of Iris, "Her voice is extraordinary, there's nobody like her. Here's Iris' most famous song, "Our Town", with the aforementioned Emmylou Harris helping out on vocals:
The Southern Belles host the post-Riverrock party at The Camel on Saturday night. Tix are $7 in advance, $10 at the door. Doors open at 9, music starts at 10 with the Sam Reed Syndicate opening the show. Get there early to see Sam Reed. She's got a soulful voice that will knock you out. Here's the Belles at Rapture in C'ville last week:
Love Canon, the bluegrass band that plays hits from the '80's, will be at Broadberry Saturday night. It's $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Doors open at 8 and Notch 9 opens. Love Canon is stretching out their danger zone and will be doing a three date residency at Brooklyn Bowl in Brooklyn this summer. And they'll take you to the danger zone too:
Shack Band heads to Tobacco Company Saturday night after their appearance at Riverrock. They'll start at 9:30. Baltimore soul band, Bosley, will open the show. It'll be $10 to get in. Shack Band is right in the middle of a tour taking them from MD to GA. Here's a track from Shack Band's recent show at the US National White Water Center in Charlotte NC.
DJ to the jam band world, DJ Logic, will be at The Canal Club Saturday night. DJ Logic has played with Ratdog,, moe., String Cheese Incident, Medeski, Martin, and Wood, Warren Haynes, Mike Gordon and Stanley Jordan, but he'll be doing his own thing at this show. Tix are $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Doors open at 10 and Blaqtronic (featuring DJ Williams who isn't a DJ but is named like one) open the show and will undoubtedly join DJ Logic for some tunes.. Here's DJ Logic joining Marcus Miller at the Montreaux Jazz Festival in 2008:
Sunday, there is a free show at Hardywood with psychedelic garage pop band Avers (4:30 PM), "world circus folk" band Happy Lucky Combo (3:15 PM), and surf rock band Red Hot Lava Men (1 PM). Doors open at noon and this is a showcase for Bijou Film Center, who are a non-profit, independent art house cinema, cafe and film center coming soon to RVA's downtown arts and cultural district. There will also be beer and food trucks. Here's Avers playing "Girls with Headaches":
Righteous babe and folk singer/songwriter Ani DiFranco will be at The National on Monday night. Tix are $27.50 in advance, $30 at the door. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with That 1 Guy. The night before The National show, Ani will be in DC performing with The Blind Boys of Alabama at the Lincoln Theater for JusticeAid which benefits the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project and Innocence Project New Orleans. The Innocence Project works to correct and prevent the conviction of innocent people. Here's Ani in March performing for KRVB in Boise:
Alt-indie-lo-fi-pop-rock band Beach Fossils are at Strange Matter Monday night. They are the early show so you can check them out and still get home and get some sleep for work in the AM. Did I just say that? Man, I'm getting old. The doors open at 6 PM. RVA's Sleepwalkers and Clair Morgan open. It's $12 to get in. Here's the Beach Fossils' "Adversity":
And that'll do it! See you at Riverrock, Trongone Band, Hardywood and Ani DiFranco. The music never stops!
I'll leave you with this "Tribute" from Tenacious D. See if you can spot Dave Grohl.