Live Review: Stiff Little Fingers w/ The Avengers @ Black Cat — 10/23/19

Stiff Little Fingers

Stiff Little Fingers perform at Black Cat on Oct. 23, 2019. (Photos by Chester Simpson; Words by Mickey McCarter)

Belfast punk legends Stiff Little Fingers visited the Black Cat recently to play through their debut album Inflammable Material and to celebrate 40 years of publishing music. And the Irishmen brought along with them California punks The Avengers for a rousing good evening of rock.

Continue Reading

Around Town: 155th Anniversary Reenactment of the Battle of Cedar Creek @ Middletown, VA — 10/18-10/20/19

Battle of Cedar Creek-10-19-19-233
Greg and Shirley Pituch with their medicine wagon, supplied with medications, dressings, and amputating table. (Photo by Chester Simpson)

Oct. 19, 1864  — 155 years ago, the last and largest Civil War battle in the Shenandoah Valley was held on the original battlegrounds in Middletown, Virginia. General Jubal Early of the Confederates launched a surprise attack on the Union Army and pushed three corps from their positions. Union General Phil Sheridan arrived and counterattacked, driving the Confederates back. This battle helped Abraham Lincoln win reelection in November 1964.

Continue Reading

Live Review: Sleepy Creek HarFest @ Sleepy Creek [Berkeley Springs, WV] — 10/4-10/6/19

DangermuffinMama Corn

Dangermuffin performs at Sleepy Creek HarFest 2019. (Photos by Chester Simpson; Words by Michael Tucker)

Sleepy Creek HarFest: The Place Where We Belong

Each time I go to Sleepy Creek, it feels like coming home. Although I attend a few bigger festivals each year featuring the bleeps, bloops, and synth-knob twiddling of Jamtronica I love so much, Sleepy Creek owns my heart. It’s like that favorite worn in pair of jeans that fit just right or a pair of super comfy pajama pants perfect for lounging at home. Just as importantly, the truly wonderful people who run, staff, and attend Sleepy Creek Presents events create the perfect environment for family, fun, creativity, connection, enjoyment of musical artistry as diverse as the American landscape, and, perhaps most importantly, Sleepy Creek gives festival attendees a place where they can be themselves.

During my weekend adventure at HarFest 2019 in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, on Oct. 4-6, I saw a bumper sticker on an RV that sums up my experience; it read: “There is no alternative to being yourself” — and Sleepy Creek is exactly that: a place where we can be ourselves, a place where we belong.

Continue Reading

Snapshots: Watermelon Park Festival @ Watermelon Park (Berryville, VA) — 9/19-9/21/19

Larry Keel Experience and Friends
Larry Keel performs at the 2019 Watermelon Park Festival on Sept. 20, 2019. (Photo by Chester Simpson/ Rock-N-RollPhotos.com)

The 16th Annual Watermelon Park Fest a three day music festival, was held at the Watermelon Park Campground near Berryville, Virginia. It’s located on the banks of the beautiful Shenandoah River on Sept. 19-22 with music, camping, as well as canoeing, kayaking and inner-tube floats and late night jam sessions around the campfire. Nothing better!

Continue Reading

Snapshots: Pasture Palooza Music & Arts Festival @ Berryville, VA — 9/13-9/14/19

Pasture Palooza-9-14-19-077
Big Something headline the Pasture Palooza Music & Arts Festival on Sept. 13, 2019. (Photo by Chester Simpson)

Pasture Palooza Music & Arts Festival is an annual weekend festival and camp out held in a field off Minniewood Lane west of beautiful Berryville, Virginia. It started as an outrageous party and has turned into a festival, which celebrated its 10th anniversary on Sept. 13-14, attracting from 750 to 900 people.

Continue Reading

Snapshots: Appaloosa Festival @ Skyline Ranch Resort — 8/30-9/1/19

5th Annual Appaloosa Roots Music Festival

Jessica Willis Fisher performs at Appaloosa Festival over Labor Day weekend. (Photo by Chester Simpson)

“There are no strangers here, only friends who have not yet met.” — William Butler Yeats.

That quote from Yeats opened the program for the 2019 Appaloosa Festival, which invited friends of all stripes to Skyline Ranch Resort in Front Royal, Virginia, over Labor Day weekend for a gathering of bluegrass, folk, Americana, Celtic rock, and more! Parklife DC’s Chester Simpson captured the action on film.

Continue Reading

Snapshots: Red Wing VII Roots Music Festival @ Natural Chimneys Park (Mt. Solon, VA) — 7/12-7/14/19

Red Wing Roots Festival VIIRed Wing Roots Festival VIIThe Steel Wheels pose for a picture at the seventh annual Red Wing Roots Music Festival. (Photo by Chester Simpson)

The Steel Wheels presented the 7th annual Red Wing Roots Music Festival at Natural Chimneys Park and campground in Mt. Solon, Virginia, last weekend. It was three days across five stages with 40 bands performing along the North River, under the Natural Chimneys, known as the Cyclopean Towers.

Continue Reading