CVBS Jam at Pale Fire Brewing Company
Please join some of Central Virginia's finest musicians as we take our jam to a really nice brewery in Harrisonburg.
This is an open jam, bring your instrument or your vocals and play some blues with us
Geeks Who Drink Trivia at Pale Fire
Get a team together for weekly pub trivia from Geeks Who Drink Pub Quizzes every Wednesday from 8-10pm at Pale Fire Brewing Company.
Free to play and winning teams get cool prizes!
Quizzes cover everything from celebrities in trouble to wordplay to bad television. (New to GWD? Check out a sample quiz here: www.geekswhodrink.com/about/sample)
Each quiz has two audio rounds: a "Name that Tune” style round, and another round comprised of soundbites from movies and TV.
Play in teams of up to six or by yourself if you're some kind of savant. If you want to play but don’t have a team, come anyway. We can usually get single players recruited onto an existing team.
Things get going at 8pm sharp, but come early to grab a table and have dinner delivered from nearby restaurants. (Looking at you Boboko Indonesian Cafe, Foodbarfood Harrisonburg, and Rocktown Kitchen!)
Pale Fire is FIVE!
Celebrate FIVE years with us on Saturday, April 11th!
Beer from us, Brothers Craft Brewing, The Friendly Fermenter, Restless Moons Brewing, and Three Notch'd Valley Collab House. Plus a special 5th anniversary beer - The Pentaverate - a collaboration between all five Harrisonburg breweries.
Party in the tap room AND the roundabout!
Food from Urgie's Cheesesteaks.
Music from DownTown Abby & The Echoes.
Dart Resale and Trade pop up, free caricatures from Daniel Ryman, and more!
DownTown Abby & The Echoes at Pale Fire
DownTown Abby & The Echoes plays Pale Fire as part of our 5th anniversary celebration!
Saturday, April 11th
DownTown Abby & The Echoes
Built around a powerful voice and hard-driving rock ‘n’ soul rhythm section, Asheville, NC’s DownTown Abby & The Echoes has begun to secure a foothold in the Southeast music scene.
Founded by Bailey Faulkner (guitar) and Abby Bryant (vocals, keys), the two formed the band out of distinctly different musical upbringings.
Throughout his youth, Faulkner developed his musical foundation from his parent’s love of The Beatles and guitar-driven classic rock staples. Hailing from the same hometown, Bryant formed her musical intuition at home and church where she began singing at only five years old under the direction of her music minister father. With her ear and voice trained on gospel and hymns and a spiritual connection to music, Bryant set the stage for her future career in music.
First meeting in high school, the future founders of the band combined their unique influences – Bryant embraced new genres and a sultry soul and Faulkner found the voice to front his melody-centered arrangements.
Listeners will find it hard not to hear similarities to some of the artists that inspire the two including currently touring acts Tedeschi Trucks Band, Grace Potter, and Sister Sparrow and The Dirty Birds. At the same time, one cannot deny that even with DownTown Abby & The Echoes’ youthfulness, the band connects to the roots of the music in the members’ hearts. Looking to artists like Etta James, Sam and Dave, and the integral Muscle Shoals sound to light the way, DownTown Abby & The Echoes carries its own soul-shining torch into today.
DownTown Abby & The Echoes kicked off its musical journey with 2017’s debut EP, Leavin’ You, before hitting the road to perform at fan-favorite venues and musical festivals throughout the Southeast. The band’s recent singles, “Roll with Me” (released December 31, 2019) and "Hold Me" (released March 1, 2020), highlight significant growth in songwriting and performance honed from heavy touring.
“Roll with Me” relies on a chorus-driven foundation that hearkens back to the soul classics of yesterday while infusing an R&B airiness and Southern swagger. Faulkner's nimbleness on guitar punctuates when needed, but the band lets Bryant's voice lead the way. Similarly, "Hold Me" places emphasis on Bryant's intimate melodies while featuring a classic Hammond B-3 lead and swelling, harmony-heavy outro.
Tight, robust, and smooth - DownTown Abby & The Echoes have stepped into the big leagues with these tracks and have shown merely a hint of the maturity fans can expect from the band’s upcoming album.
Although a fresh and youthful group, DownTown Abby & The Echoes assures fans that with an already distinctive voice and constant growth, they are just getting started along the path to a long career marked by an ever-developing collection of powerful originals and exciting live performances.
Supporting Bryant and Faulkner, the band's powerful rhythm section consists of Matt Guard (keys, backup vocals) Anthony Dorion (bass, backup vocals), and Clark Eden (drums).
DownTown Abby & The Echoes reached new heights as winner of the FloydFest 19 On-the-Rise Competition, securing the band five performances at FloydFest 2020 - Vision Quest. Building off that success, DownTown Abby & The Echoes kicked off 2020 with authority as it completed its first Colorado tour opening for Leeds, UK-based funk heavyweight The New Mastersounds. The band will round out the year with heavy touring in support of its upcoming album and performances at FloydFest, Mountain Music Festival, Shakori Grassroots Festival, the U.S. National Whitewater Center’s River Jam series, and more.
Jesse Ray Carter at Pale Fire
Jesse Ray Carter Band
Jesse Ray Carter is a revved up high energy band from Roanoke Virginia. Hope you’re ready to dance!
Annabeth & the Larkspur at Pale Fire
Feast your eyes on First Fridays as you feast your ears on the enchanting sounds of Annabeth and her band's indie-folk-pop.
Explore her sounds:
Tough Old Bird at Pale Fire
Brothers Matthew and Nathan Corrigan, together as Tough Old Bird, return with a brand new album!
"The duo of Matthew and Nathan Corrigan draw influences from traditional folk music that maps out dusty and sepia-tinted landscapes with its songwriting, as well as the modern context of rust belt melancholia... they posses the inherent sadness of Iron & Wine’s songwriting, the intricate guitar licks of Milk Carton Kids, and the persistent dancing banjo of the Avett Brothers." - Buffablog
Formed in the small community of Fillmore, New York by songwriting brothers Matthew and Nathan Corrigan, Tough Old Bird plays modern folk music that reflects the landscape it comes from, a place where the last train just pulled out and the carnival is always on its way to the next town.
Since its formation in 2013, Tough Old Bird has released three full-length albums and two EPs, and has taken its music to coffee shops, listening rooms, music clubs, dive bars, campgrounds and front porches across the United States. On June 28th, 2019 the brothers released a new full-length album produced by Brent Martone. Featuring 11 new songs recorded in Buffalo, NY, “The Old Great Lakes” is a culmination of musical ideas that have gathered over years of writing and recording. The new album expands the bands’s horizons past the traditional folk music they had become known for. These new stories and settings, most of which take place along the battered shore line of the rust belt and their newfound home in Buffalo, warranted a new environment to live in.
The core of Tough Old Bird’s sound comes from Matthew Corrigan’s intricate acoustic guitar work, and from the voice and nimble harmonica playing of Nathan Corrigan, who holds a degree in literature and brings a poetic sensibility to the duo’s lyrics. Accents of accordion and waves of electric guitar give Tough Old Bird a sound that is at once modern and ancient.
Corner House at Pale Fire
Thursday, May 14th
7PM doors, 8PM music
“...ferocious fiddle, with a couple of the most talented and exciting young string players in the US right now. Any corners you get to turn with them are going to be unexpected fun.” -Darol Anger
“It’s warm, beautiful, and earthly and feels like it comes straight from the soul.” -Divide and Conquer
“...expertly played instruments and beautifully arranged vocal harmonies. Lilting, high flying and leaving a flutter in your chest.” -Red Line Roots
Abiding by a love for adventure, Corner House finds purpose and solace in the beauty of earth and music. Clinging whole heartedly to studied traditions, the Boston based band tends to write and arrange music liberally comprised of Irish, Scottish, Appalachian Stringband, and Bluegrass influences.
The singular roots music scene of Boston, MA has long been a destination for musicians seeking level footing to build upon. On winter eves most suited for warm tea and blankets, Ethan Hawkins (guitar), Louise Bichan (fiddle), Ethan Setiawan (mandolin), found a musical home in one another. In the autumn of 2017, Corner House debuted at FreshGrass Festival in North Adams, MA, before recording an EP and touring Scotland the following year. Returning from overseas, the three found the illustrious cellist, Casey Murray, living just down the street and invited the contra-dance influenced player to join the fold.
Smart Folks (release date: September 13th, 2019) is the first EP from Corner House that includes Casey Murray on cello and clawhammer banjo, and the second overall from the group. With four originals from the group and two contemporary Irish numbers, the EP is a diverse mix of sounds and textures, songs and tunes. The first cut, a collection of Irish slip jigs (Farewell to Whaley Range and Soggy’s Slip Jig) combines swirling melody and counterpoint. Following that is one of two Hawkins-penned tunes on the recording. Happy Now is a musing on family and depression, brought to life by the band. The title track, Smart Folks, penned by Setiawan, works with odd phrase lengths and a singing melody to create a unique profile, characteristic to his writing. The album closes with a banjo tune by Murray. Through the Snow-Covered Pines evokes the Appalachian stringband side of the band, finishing the album on an uplifting note.
The tunes and songs that make up Smart Folks came to be over a period of several months, before being committed to recordings in March, 2019. After the writing process, the whole band sits down with the music, and every voice is vital to the final product. This collection of tunes is a bright introduction to Corner House, with the promise of much more to come. Corner House has toured across the USA and in Scotland, and festival appearances include Ossipee Valley Music Festival, Red Wing Roots Music Festival, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, and FreshGrass Festival.
Chatham Rabbits Album Release
Chatham Rabbits returns for an album release show!
From one of North Carolina’s most beloved musical outfits, Chatham Rabbits — singer-songwriters Austin and Sarah McCombie — comes The Yoke is Easy, The Burden is Full, their enthusiastically anticipated sophomore album. Out on May 1, 2020, “The Yoke” is an album for those that feel both more connected and out of touch than ever before. Co-written by the married couple and true to Chatham Rabbits roots, the lyrics tell stories of real, raw people, doing the best they can with the life they are living. The McCombies and their band tracked this album completely live in a lakeside cabin in rural Virginia. The title comes from the track "Oxen," a crescendoing reminder that being tethered to another person or a whole community entirely does not negate the hard things in life — but it makes our days achingly beautiful and absolutely worth it.
Strahan & The Good Neighbors + Prince Bellerose
Strahan & The Good Neighbors + Prince Bellerose
7PM doors, 8PM music
$5 at door
"It's nuance and taste, sitting deep in the dirty pocket. These cats are deft. Their swagger is earned." -Kevin Galloway
"Doug Strahan's an old buddy of mine. He's a very versatile picker from blues to funky country to straight up heavy duty rock n roll. He makes guitar look so easy it pisses me off!" -Scott H. Biram
Strahan grew up in Carrollton, IL, a farm town near the Illinois and Mississippi rivers, where the countryside was an expanse of corn fields, ravines, bluffs, and tributaries snaking their way alongside the backroads. His father, Alvin Roscoe Strahan played lead guitar, his grandma, Nina Strahan, played banjo which later in life led to ukuleles, and his grandpa, George Schnelten, had an enduring love for singing and recording songs a capella at home--they all encouraged music in their own ways. When Doug was 12 years old, he was starting to get to some trouble, and so his father decided it was time to start teaching him how to play guitar, with a stylistically broad approach, ranging from rock n roll, to country, to jazz. This carried on in a very loose arrangement through his teens, all the while, Doug was also learning rock and metal tunes with the use of guitar tabs, not to mention writing songs. As kids do, he continued to get into trouble, but the addition of music to his life gave a much needed outlet for that youngster angst and his introverted tendencies. It also gave way to visions of a life outside of a small town. Rock on 20 years to the turn of the millennium, Strahan moved from his college town, Charleston, IL to Austin, TX.
After 13 years of playing lead guitar in various bands, as well as recording and co-leading Austin's strangest boogie-doom-beast, Chili Cold Blood and cosmic country purveyors of funky tonk, The Moonhangers, Doug released his debut solo album entitled “Coal Black Dreams, Late Night Schemes.” As much a stew pot of roots music as CCB and MH's previous albums, the solo record eases on in the direction of Blue-Eyed Soul but finds home on the bar stool of the Dew Drop Inn, The Horse Shoe Lounge, your neighborhood watering hole. It was a different direction for Strahan, much to do with his time playing and writing with The Memphis Strange, but the Gary Stewart-esque vibrato remains.
In 2015, he and Good Neighbors released the sophomore, self-titled album, Strahan & The Good Neighbors. It's country funk at it's finest, with touches of Little Feat, JJ Cale, and The Allman Bros.
For the next album, he set out to feature twin guitars front and center on six songs. The end result, produced by everyone in the band, was Twilight Drifter, released in November of 2017, best described as country rhythm and blues.
An Evening With River Whyless (New Date!)
An evening with River Whyless at Pale Fire Brewing Co.
NEW DATE: Sunday, July 19th
6PM doors, 7PM music
$15 advance, $20 day of show
For many bands, and especially those who’ve been together for several years, recognizing maturation, progress or palpable evolution is a daunting task. Is it continued creative accomplishment that signals progression? Or perhaps it’s profitable commercial endeavors? The answer is often quite unclear. Six years, two albums and countless gigs after first forming as a band, River Whyless, the North Carolina-bred folk-rock outfit has discovered their evolution is a subtler albeit monumentally important one. Deep in the throes of writing and recording their bold new album, Kindness, A Rebel, the four musicians reached a necessary and collective understanding. Namely: this band is their lifeblood, their family and their love. To that end, with unspoken acceptance, the members of River Whyless, each songwriters in their own right, collectively put aside their respective egos, coalesced around each other’s creative vision, and fully embraced the beauty of their enduring partnership.
“It was a feeling of openness and hope and acceptance,” says singer-violinist Halli Anderson of the multi-week sessions with producer Paul Butler (Devendra Banhart, Michael Kiwanuka) that resulted in some of River Whyless’ most dynamic, genre-bending and heartfelt material yet. Creatives regularly waver between honoring their own creation and rallying around larger ideas for the benefit of the group. But with every member of River Whyless now charting a life outside the band, and also writing on their own, when coming together to record Kindness it was never more crucial they be open and honest with each other.
To that end, singer-guitarist Ryan O’Keefe remembers an early brainstorm session that saw all four musicians seated in his living room, each passing around their phones to hear rough sketches of songs the others had written. And while each member acknowledges one of their self-penned songs may not have ended up on the album, working together as a group to land on the best River Whyless songs -- the ones that speak to hope and betrayal, maturation and stalled momentum, the kinds of weighty topics their younger selves could never have taken stock of -- was essential to both create a killer album and, more importantly, move forward as a united band.
“We’ve reached a point where we just understand that the songs are more important than the egos,” says drummer Alex McWalters. Adds O’Keefe bluntly: “This album gets to a deeper area than any of our others before it.”
Working with a dynamic producer like Butler had already pushed River Whyless out of their comfort zone. “He pulled out elements of our writing that maybe we were timid about doing,” O’Keefe offers. But it was the experience of working on one specific track, in particular – the opening “All of My Friends” – that best exhibited how much the band had grown. Having scrapped the electro-driven song when Butler took an initial disliking to it, Anderson “had to do what I call my walk of abandonment,” she recalls. “I tried to accept the fact that this song wasn’t going to make the record. So I let go of the song.” But a few days later, upon discovering a small burbling tone on a synthesizer, their passion for the song was reignited. Says O’Keefe, “It was the first time I felt like we captured a song in the moment of creation. Lyrics were changing in the moment. Melodies were changing in the moment. Singers were changing. It was really difficult and emotionally intense but so gratifying when we were done.” Adds Anderson: “The spirit was revived and the song was reborn in the studio. We were all letting it be.”
Most importantly, the illuminating experience proved to River Whyless that even after many years together they were still making new creative discoveries. Getting to that point, however, was hardly easy. Following 2016’s We All The Light, each member had taken on additional responsibilities in their personal lives: O’Keefe, recently married, and bassist Dan Shearin, engaged, were busy building their first homes; Anderson relocated to Oregon; and McWalters enrolled in grad school to study creative writing.
And, of even greater consequence, after years of pounding the pavement, the band began to wonder if this dream they called River Whyless was strong enough to keep pushing forward. As each band members’ life evolved, however, it was River Whyless, they realized, that served as their anchor and kept them whole. O’Keefe says his awakening on this front arrived spontaneously one night in Santa Fe, NM. Following a tough support-gig tour and just before Anderson was set to move to Oregon, he dropped her off at a motel. “And as we pulled away it felt like an ending,” he admits looking back. Watching her through the window, as the car drove away, “it was as if I removed a pair of tunnel-vision goggles and could see the world and my life for the first time since we started this band. I felt incredibly small, fragile, irresponsible, foolish, at a loss for what to do next and very alone. The reality of what we had been trying to do for a decade came crashing down in an almost laughable way. We didn't talk about it and I don't know if anyone felt the same way but, at that moment, I changed.”
Shuttling between Oregon and North Carolina in recent years, Anderson admits she too found herself struggling with her “core identity” at the time. It was not until she got in the same room with her bandmates last year to write Kindness, A Rebel that she, for the first time in ages, felt completely whole again. “It's strange to say but the only place that I felt completely me was in the making of Kindness, A Rebel,” she says. “There's something about creating music in the studio that allows one to forget the pomp and circumstance and be more present, more instinctual.” Music, and her band, she realized, “remind me of where I belong.”
A year of change was a sentiment Shearin also shared: in the run-up to recording Kindness, A Rebel, he’d seen his life shifting drastically with a host of significant milestones, and perhaps most significantly, the sudden passing of his father. “This rocked me incredibly hard and shaped and colored the rest of the year,” he says, noting that his bandmates and manager "were monumental in helping me through this experience." During this time, Shearin found “a profound peace and beauty in loss -- recognizing the growth that can rise in the place of what is gone.” Later, this was echoed as they wrote the album, as the immediacy of the process forced each member to surrender his/her own vision and trust one another with the bigger picture. As McWalters notes, everybody relied on the collective group to wade through their respective challenges. Trusting each other's creative instinct in the process was a necessary act of “letting go, an embrace of our weaknesses and a celebration of our strengths." He adds that "it was something of a revelation to me to realize that our weakness can be interesting, that imperfection is as compelling as the talent that surrounds it.”
Simply getting in the same physical space with one another to write new material proved challenging. To combat this, last fall all four members retreated to a secluded cabin outside Boone, North Carolina for several days and began brainstorming ideas for their new LP. “It allows you to live and breathe the music... even if just for a little bit,” Shearin offers of this forthright method of creative incubation. It was in that cabin the early seeds of what became Kindness began to take shape. The band bounced ideas off each other, followed inspiration where it might lead. They were so focused in fact that all the musicians were loathe to return to their everyday lives. “We dragged our feet to get there and then we dragged our feet to leave,” says Anderson, who calls the album “a giant massage for my soul.”
What also became apparent during this getaway was that River Whyless was eager to stretch the boundaries of what constituted their sound. Whereas earlier albums centered on a largely beatific brand of heartfelt folk music – seen most prominently on their 2012 debut album, A Stone, A Leaf, An Unfound Door – with encouragement from Butler, the band began to experiment with a more aggressive and innovative sonic palate. “This time it was more like, let’s just see what happens and go with it,” says McWalters, who notes he wanted to embrace “a more straightforward driving feel” to the album’s highly rhythmic percussion. To that end, the band balances its more traditional harmony-anchored leanings as seen on “Van Dyke Brown” and the genteel acoustic lament of “War is Kind,” with more overtly rock leanings like the Middle Eastern-tinged psychedelic scrum of “Falling Farm” and the guitar-and-piano jangle of “New Beliefs.”
This musical diversity is a direct reflection of each band member bringing his or her distinct flavor to the fold. Though, as Anderson admits, the band has never been more cohesive in its creative vision.
“It’s always difficult to have differing opinions on songs and try to find a compromise,” she admits, but “that’s the fun thing about collaboration,” O’Keefe notes. “It becomes something beyond your own self. “And honestly,” Shearin adds, “ if not everybody is onboard to give it their all and get behind an idea then it can end up feeling empty in a way.” Simply put: where River Whyless has previously been distinct songwriters operating under a single banner, they were ready to now explore what it mean to be a true collective.
Not that it required much heavy lifting. “Because we spend so much time together and we live and love one another, even when we don’t think about each other when we’re writing we tend to write about similar sentiments,” Anderson says. “The same types of things are often affecting all four of us.” Concurring, McWalters says when River Whyless plays music “we can almost predict what’s going to happen next and can read each other’s mind.”
“It’s so important to always keep an open mind” when writing, Shearin notes, if largely to leave the door open for the band to veer down unexpected and exciting new avenues.
Despite having never felt more unified in their vision for the future, much as they’ve navigated their freewheeling career to date, River Whyless is choosing to not predict what lies ahead. Allowing their creative union to continue guiding them, they insist, remains their only constant. “It feels like you’re on a journey with your family,” McWalters says of the satisfaction of being in a band like River Whyless. “It’s a beautiful thing.”
Tap Room Hours
Monday1pm - 11pm
Tuesday1pm - 11pm
Wednesday1pm - 11pm
Thursday1pm - 11pm
Friday1pm - 11pm
Saturday1pm - 11pm
Sunday1pm - 9pm