All month long WNRN teams up with NPR Music to spotlight Central Virginia’s music scene for NPR’s Slingshot series. Find out how Harrisonburg’s Blue Sprocket Pressing is putting Virginia on the vinyl map, Central Virginia’s Illiterate Light thinks about sustainability while touring, and how the diversity of Richmond’s music scene helped shape the unique genre-hopping style of McKinley Dixon.
Although McKinley Dixon grew up between Annapolis, Md. and Queens, N.Y., he ultimately found his home as an artist in Richmond, Va. Growing up an avid drawer who loved cartoons, he moved to Richmond in 2013 to pursue animation, but soon discovered that music gave him the best space to communicate. "I loved being transported to other worlds through media," Dixon explains. "But there was a moment where I felt like I had a lot [...]
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state of live music has been in flux, shuttering venues nationwide and bringing touring to a halt. As the music industry continues to navigate the nuances of COVID-19 variants on a global scale, outdoor concerts and club shows have reemerged in modified formats. While necessary, these precautions tend to exacerbate an element that's already inherent to performance — the physical space between the performers and their audience. [...]
Central Virginia has been an incubator of music and culture amidst the Blue Ridge Mountains for decades – look no further than the success of veterans like Dave Matthews Band, the breadth of lo-fi poetry from Stephen Malkmus and David Berman, the deep tradition of bluegrass, or the rise of a new generation of indie stalwarts like Lucy Dacus. Charlottesville, Richmond and the Shenandoah Valley boast no shortage of recording studios and treasured venues, but [...]