Lime Kiln 2022 Season Preview!

Recently Lime Kiln Theater‘s Executive Director Spencer McElroy joined WNRN’s Patrick Coman to preview the upcoming summer season at Lime Kiln, which kicks off Saturday May 21st with a performance from singer/songwriter Aoife O’Donovan. Scroll down to hear the conversation and Spencer’s pick from each headlining artist. Conversation has been edited lightly for length and clarity. 

Saturday May 21st – Aoife O’Donovan

We’re very excited to have Aoife back, she’s played with I’m With Her there before, and this is the first time we’ve had her band there, which I think is great. She really has such a Joni Mitchell vibe, and that song definitely brings that out with her phrasing and her vocals and songwriting, it’s gonna be a fabulous show for Lime Kiln.”

Saturday June 4th – Sierra Hull

“She’s been shredding from a young age, I don’t know when she first was on video playing on stage but she was probably five years old, or something. And has played with all the greats, Alison Krauss, she was in My Bluegrass Heart last year, Béla Fleck’s thing, and has been playing recently with Cory Wong.”

On Lime Kiln’s artist selection process:

I think there’s an incredible amount of accessible talent in the roots music scene. And what we go for is the highest artistic quality that we can inside that genre. And it’s been a blast, seeing how the audience has responded to that and the trust that we’ve built, and usually operated at about 95 to 100% capacity, and have a great built-in audience that trusts us and allows us to take some chances on some interesting bands, and those have been some of the most fun, actually.”

Friday June 17th – Shakey Graves

“When he got his start, it was just a one man band. And he could make a lot of noise with one man. I mean he’d have the two pedals going, one with the bass drum, one with the tambourine, and a lot of dynamic out of the guitar. And hat’s cool about the June 17th show is he’s gonna have a six-piece band with him, so he can do a lot with that, that’s gonna be incredible.”

Saturday June 18th – Madison Cunningham

She’s mostly been opening for much larger bands, she did Harry Styles at Madison Square Garden, and then she’s got a number of other big support slots throughout the summer, so not really many headlining shows, we’re one of the few. And I think Lime Kiln is such a great stage for her to be on, as sort of a mixture of a listening room and a medium-sized venue outdoors, it’s the perfect spot to showcase her, but she’s just one of the most incredible up and coming talents.”

Saturday July 2nd – Chris Knight

He’s one of the greatest storytellers and songwriters out there, John Prine was a huge fan of his. He’s been at it for a long time and written some incredible songs and hasn’t played in this area very much, and so we’ve gotten a lot of interest in this show.”

Saturday July 23rd – Tim O’Brien

I took over in 2014, and he hasn’t been there since then, which is shocking cause it’s right in the wheelhouse, we’ve wanted to do it. We were gonna have Tim O’Brien and Darryl Scott together that first year, and it didn’t work out. He’s gonna have a fabulous band with him, he always does.”

Saturday August 27th – Dan Tyminski Band

Incredible guitar player, incredible songwriter and voice, of course, and gained a lot of notoriety with O Brother, Where Art Thou?, as a member of the Soggy Bottom Boys. George Clooney did a damn good job of making it look like he was singing it, but folks, it was Dan Tyminski.”

Saturday September 3rd – Love Canon w/Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley

You asked me earlier in the show how I choose the bands, and what I would buy a ticket to. And cover bands are typically not on that list, I’ve gotta say. Love Cannon is the exception. These guys are heavy, heavy hitters in the bluegrass world, Adam Larrabee, who plays banjo, is a heavy hitter in the jazz world, as well as bluegrass, I mean they’re all incredible, and were all members of Old School Freight Train, which was a fabulous Charlottesville band, and they bring it and our audience loves it. And they don’t play that much anymore, so this is somewhat of a reunion show.”

Saturday September 17th – Milk Carton Kids

It’s another perfect Lime Kiln show, with the show they bring as a duo, and the listening room that Lime Kiln can be for the right band. Like when Gillian Welch played there, you could hear a pin drop with 700 people outside. And I don’t know if you’ve ever seen them live, but their stage banter is also hilarious. It’s sort of like a stand-up comedy.”

Saturday October 8th – The Steel Wheels

The Steel Wheels have made a huge impact on the region, Harrisonburg guys, co-founders of Red Wing Roots music festival, which WNRN’s heavily involved in, and Lime Kiln is huge fans of what they do. And they bring similar roots music to the area and it’s really helped build a scene that we’re all behind.”

2022-05-20T11:47:34-04:00May 20th, 2022|

Erin & The Wildfire get ‘Touchy, Feely’ in studio today at 4pm!

Today at 4pm, Virginia artist Erin & The Wildfire join us live in studio to play songs from new album Touchy, Feely and preview album release shows in Charlottesville and Richmond. For the new album the band refined their sound while embracing a wider sonic palette than debut album Thirst. Hear the group perform stripped down versions of album songs “Ray of Sunshine”, Whatever You Like”, and “Yours Anymore”.

2022-05-19T10:42:43-04:00May 19th, 2022|

Dead Air III at The National August 27th!

WNRN’s 25th anniversary celebration continues with the final edition of our ‘Dead Air’ Grateful Dead tribute trilogy. After two wild nights at the Paramount Theater in Charlottesville and the Academy Theatre in Lynchburg, the biggest baddest edition yet will hit The National on Saturday August 27th with 25 of our favorite Central Virginia artists covering the Grateful Dead to help to support another 25 years of great independent radio in Central Virginia on WNRN! Get yours online or at The National box office (Thursday & Friday 10am-5pm).


Watch Previous Dead Air Performances:

Thanks to our Dead Air III Sponsors:

2022-05-20T11:50:18-04:00May 18th, 2022|

Free Weekly Download: The Afghan Whigs’ “The Getaway”

The Afghan Whigs “The Getaway” is this week’s Free Download at WNRN.org. After five years, The Afghan Whigs return with an album announcement. How Do You Burn? is set to release on September 9.

Fill out the form to receive our Free Weekly Download!

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2022-05-18T10:54:49-04:00May 17th, 2022|

WNRN’s May New Album Previews

WNRN is dedicated to bringing you the best new music. Each month, we’ll be giving you the scoop on new albums coming out from your favorite artists and ones you haven’t heard yet. Plus, some commentary from the artists on the making of or inspirations for their new records. Tune in on the first Friday of each month for the Monthly Album Preview!


2022-05-05T14:28:11-04:00May 6th, 2022|

Sharon Van Etten Shares 4 Songs That Influenced ‘We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong’

During a recent stop in Charlottesville to perform for a packed house at the Jefferson Theater, Sharon Van Etten joined WNRN in studio to play guest DJ. She shared 4 songs that inspired the sound and style of new album We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong and chatted in depth with Amber about its making. Scroll down to read her thoughts on each song and stream the full interview to find out which cinematic classic inspired the new album’s name (hint: it involves Babe Ruth, a giant dog, and s’mores) and more about the album which gets its full release on Friday May 6th via Jagjaguwar.

         1. Cocteau Twins “Cherry-Coloured Funk”

“…this was a song that I referenced for the band when we were starting to go over influences of what I thought the instrumentation and vibe was going to be. I didn’t want to exactly rip from them, but I wanted to give permission for my bandmates, Charlie in particular, who was playing guitar on a certain song on the record, that this is how I want it to feel, so however you interpret that. And the ethereal vocals, she has such a beautiful range, and it’s like dark but uplifting, but even though it’s slow-pulsing you feel it escalating. It’s a beautiful song.”

         2. Scott Walker “Duchess”

“I chose “Duchess” by Scott Walker because his melodies are so beautiful and they’re very classic. And his voice can change from iteration with his other projects, but there’s something very timeless about his storytelling, and he kind of sings in this operatic way sometimes, that can walk a line. But I connect with it as a singer, I feel like he’s a singer’s artist in the way that I want to sing along with him and I find it very cathartic to find those melodies or harmonies depending on how I’m singing along with him. I just like those classic arrangements and the timeless feeling of his voice.”

         3. Joy Division “Atmosphere”

“I remember describing to my drummer Jorge Balbi, my Peruvian drummer Jorge, that I wanted a lot of space in the drums, that it didn’t have to be a constant beat, and that I wanted him to just feel free in the way he played and not feel confined by a beat. Because this one song is very intentional in its space before it develops into the driving part of the song. And he connected with it immediately, and a lot of the scapes on the record are drones, synth meets strings, and mallets and air, and allowing those moments to breathe before the other instrumentation comes in. So this song was an example of what I was trying to achieve.

         4. The Cure “Plainsong”

This one is for my bass player, Devin Hoff, he’s probably the biggest Cure fan I know, and I chose this one because, similar to the Joy Division track, what I’m learning how to do is let my band create the atmosphere for me, to be able to form in. And I wrote a lot of these songs without them, before I asked them to lay down tracks and to help me flesh them out. And so finally being in a room with them again and working on these new songs, I feel like they’re giving me permission to step back for a minute and allow them to create the space for me to perform in, as opposed to them performing on top of me. It’s learning how to perform together again and lean into each other, and again own those spaces. I sing a lot, like the joke is that I have a lot of lyrics, I have a lot of words, and my friend Ben Goldberg from Bada Bing Records who put out some of my earlier work, always said ‘Well, you just have so much to say. That’s why your lyrics are so long.’ But I’m learning to try to say less and also to have moments of just music so that the listener can take a moment to reflect on all the things that I’ve said, but also to hear the layers of what’s actually happening.

2022-05-02T13:06:47-04:00May 2nd, 2022|

Taps & Tunes Continues May 26th at Black Heath Meadery!

It’s the concert series for beer (and cider!) people. Or maybe the cider (and beer!) series for music people? Whichever the case, we’re pretty sure that we’ve got the perfect pairing for you with WNRN’s Taps & Tunes. Join us at some of Virginia’s best craft breweries as we’ll sample new WNRN-themed beverages paired perfectly with our featured artist. Scroll down to learn more!

2022-05-19T12:17:40-04:00May 1st, 2022|

Jon Russell plays new The Head & The Heart songs live in studio!

Jon Russell talks about his Virginia heritage and how it helped shaped songs from the new album from The Head and the Heart Every Shade of Blue on the album’s release date, plus he performs three solo acoustic songs from the new album including the first performance of “Virginia (Wind in the Night)” in the Commonwealth and title track “Every Shade of Blue”.

2022-05-11T10:18:52-04:00April 29th, 2022|

In Studio Session with Old Crow Medicine Show

Virginia natives Ketch Secor and Mason Via of Old Crow Medicine Show stop by the WNRN studios ahead of their performance at the Ting Pavilion in Charlottesville to perform two songs from new album Paint This Town, talk about their Virginia roots, and Ketch Secor talks about his involvement in the making of Ken Burns’ award-winning documentary Country Music.

2022-04-28T16:13:42-04:00April 28th, 2022|

WNRN and Rebel Records Announce Bluegrass Every Morning Compilation

WNRN and Rebel Records announce the release of Bluegrass Every Morning an exclusive 25-song compilation from the Rebel Records archives curated exclusively for WNRN. The track listing features music from bluegrass heavyweights ranging Tony Rice, Del McCoury, and Ralph Stanley whose version of “I’m Willing To Try” has never before been released on CD or digitally. Scroll down to see the full track list and support WNRN with a contribution of at least $10 a month to get an exclusive copy of this limited edition CD or digital download.

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Annual Checkout Link
Annual Checkout Link

Notes From Mark Freeman (Rebel Records):

Rebel Records was founded in 1960 and was the first independent record label devoted exclusively to bluegrass music. Known for innovation and excellence over a 60+ year period now, Rebel has introduced many of the most important artists of the genre. The year that WNRN began was just around the time that Rebel Records relocated to Charlottesville from Roanoke, Virginia. WNRN has been a proponent and supporter of us, their hometown label, from the beginning and we are grateful. Rebel Records is excited to partner with WNRN to celebrate its 25th anniversary!

Notes From Rusty Cempre (Bluegrass Sunday Morning host):

It still blows me away that a radio station would allow an average Joe like me to hand-pick music and host a specialty show for the past 21 years. I was also thrilled when asked to make the selections for this disc. It was not an easy task. The Rebel Records catalog is HUGE. So after several hours on a Thanksgiving morning searching for the best Rebel tracks going back to the 60s to present day, we now have a sweet mix of tunes that shows how far Rebel and WNRN have come. None of this would have happened without the support of our listeners and Mark Freeman and the Rebel Records family. Thanks so much. Enjoy!

2022-04-27T09:32:13-04:00April 25th, 2022|