Musings on folk, Americana, country, bluegrass and newgrass

New ways to ring in the new year in North Carolina, Virginia

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On New Year’s Eve, more than a million people will gather in New York City’s Times Square to watch a crystal ball drop and more than 100,000 people are expected to gather in Nashville’s Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park to watch the musical note drop. But if big crowds aren’t your idea of a party, here’s some musical alternatives to ring in the new year:

  • Mason Via Funk Band and Violet Bell (featuring Lizzy Ross & Omar Ruiz-Lopez) are performing at the historic Rives Theatre in uptown Martinsville, Virginia.
    Tickets are $15 advance and $20 day of show. (No season passes accepted).
    The Mason Via Band brings an intoxicating mix of booty shaking, foot-moving funk to the stage. Via, the college freshman who’s been playing festivals and venues for more than five years, has an all-star cast including guitar, drums, bass, keys and pedal steel. His funk band performed most recently in Martinsville at Rooster Walk 8.
    Violet Bell, featuring Lizzy Ross and Omar Ruiz-Lopez, make music you can feel in your bones. Their recent live album Violet Bell captures the magic and tells the story of their love for music in the best possible medium: song. Lizzy Ross made a name for herself in North Carolina and beyond with her stirring original songs and a voice like cigarettes and the smoothest whiskey you’ve ever tasted (Stephen Markley, Chicago RedEye). Omar Ruiz-Lopez (Jonathan Byrd, Crystal Bright, the Durham Symphony Orchestra) elevates the music with violin, guitar, cello, mandolin and stellar vocal harmonies. Tickets available locally at Woodall’s Music, Daily Grind and online here:
  • The Avett Brothers will cap off a year that included two Grammy nominations and the release of their studio album, “True Sadness,” with a New Year’s Eve show at Charlotte’s Bojangles’ Coliseum. The band teamed with CID Entertainment to offer travel and VIP packages, details of which can be found here. Also in Charlotte,
    the Futurebirds will offer indie rock with a country tinge. This Georgia band is a fixture on the festival circuit, releasing their last studio record last year. The band is joined at the Visulite Theatre with Charleston’s The High Divers. More live music options in Charlotte can be found here.
  • Greensboro native and former Carolina Chocolate Drop Rhiannon Giddens will perform with the Winston-Salem Symphony at Reynolds Auditorium (note this show is sold out). Her latest album, “Freedom Highway,” will be released Feb. 24. Learn more here.
  • And back in Virginia, The Harvester Performance Center in Rocky Mount is hosting the Franklin County New Year’s Eve Harvester Bash

    at 9 p.m. with Kerosene Willy, Barefoot West and Mason Creek. Tickets are $27 advance and $32 at the door. Find more events in and around Roanoke here.



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