OT: Best Local Blacksburg Music (Current and prior years)

Hey TKP Fam

So today I went down a rabbit hole of listening to Blacksburg/VT bands of years past and my God, the memories. That led me to reconnecting with some of the people I used to go to shows with/play music with and having some great conversations about who were the Best Blacksburg Bands during our time there.

Holy Nostalgia, Batman.

Anyway, I know we have VT and Blacksburg peeps of a wide age range on this site, so I wanted to ask TKP what were the best local bands, rappers, musicians, venues, etc. while you were in town? Or if you're currently a student/in the area I would love to hear some recommendations of good music currently made by the local scene.

DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.


For me I was in BBurg between 1999-2003 and between 2005-2007 so I'll have two different answers. My favorite early 2000s bands that played at VT a ton were Races to April, The Greatest, Jumper KO, Brand New Disaster, Blitzkid was always around and Fighting Gravity played through a lot.

Mid 2000's was a lot of: The Two Funerals, Lee Street Riots, and Facepaint. I still chuckle a little bit when I'm at the Rivermill and see the Gnarwolf sticker up behind the bar.

Also www.getrockedout.com was life.

I found TKP after two rails from TOTS then walking back to my apartment and re-watching the 2012 Sugar Bowl. I woke up the next day with this username.

Holy nostalgia batman, that was a great time for music in Blacksburg. Watching bands like Darkest Hour and Strike Anywhere pressed up against the bands themselves in The Solar Haus will always stick out in my mind. Glad to see that their website is still up as a memorial in time: http://solarhaus.tripod.com/

What happened at The Solar Haus was a real tragedy and what I mark as the downfall of Blacksburg's local music scene. The way the town handled the accident was a bit of an overreaction.

What were some of those other spots? 908 and Brickhouse keep coming to mind as being close but not exactly their names.

Dude that Solar Haus link gives me all the feels.

Let's see, 708, Solar Haus, Brodello were my faves. I think there was a spot called Elks Lodge and some place on Airport Road beside the Middle school there that I can't remember the name of but they were the ones that did the annual Mustache Bash. I know there were many more spots, but I can't remember their names because getting older is one hell of a drug.

Edit: I just remembered Ton 80.

I found TKP after two rails from TOTS then walking back to my apartment and re-watching the 2012 Sugar Bowl. I woke up the next day with this username.

708! That's what the address was, I was never part of the "in" crowd there, but I definitely spent a lot of time in that basement.

I keep thinking of the house in that row of run down houses off Turner that got torn down. Near where Sycamore was originally... I remember thrashing to Ultra Dolphin in that living room and them having "fancy" cocktail parties the next day.

So I completely forgot that Coheed and Cambria played at the Solar Haus until looking on that site. I wasn't at that show but I'm sure it was wild.

I found TKP after two rails from TOTS then walking back to my apartment and re-watching the 2012 Sugar Bowl. I woke up the next day with this username.

I think the place near the middle school was referred to as "The Lodge." I was at VT from 03-07 and Philip Uster and the House Floor started living there along with Jack Tatum from Facepaint at some point during that time. They did the mustache bash.

After Facepaint, Jack started Wild Nothing and has been on Captured Tracks label for about 10 years now. I trained Jack at WUVT as a DJ on the "training wheels" AM station in 05 or 06. It's crazy to see him fronting a pretty well known indie band now.

So, I moved here in 99' and was the guitarist in Friendly User with members of Jumper KO and Lee Street Riots before they formed and know the rest of the bands and played gigs with them. We went through several different versions and even the loss of a friend/bandmate before finally parting ways. I since took up drums playing in The Rosco, Apple Butter Blues Band, and Space Monkey currently. Several small things on the side. The house shows were my favorites. Played Attitudes with Far-Less and He Was Legend some. Pretty cool when Piebald and Brazil came to town. Gnarwolf was always fun in the basement. I honestly can't remember all the spots and shows that I went to. I rarely get out anymore except when we play out now. Cool post. Love going back to getrockedout and looking at all the old flyers.

Brazil was so good. It is a shame they didn't get a bigger break.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

They actually did a second album. Well, a second "mainstream" album. Philosophy of Velocity.

Unfortunately I'm not sure I can name a Blacksburg band other than Running With Scissors. I liked their stuff though.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

I completely forgot about that band. I actually saw them once somewhere in Bristol/Johnson City/Emory and Henry area and they said that they were from Blacksburg and I was mind blown. They had good jams.

I found TKP after two rails from TOTS then walking back to my apartment and re-watching the 2012 Sugar Bowl. I woke up the next day with this username.

My brother was the lead guitarist.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Electric Woodshed was great. The Kind also a solid band from that era - the drummer for The Kind was a good friend....lost track of that dude over the years.


The Electric Woodshed and The Kind for sure. Great Barger Fest performances. The Woodshed rocked South Main - and still plays in Roanoke. Anybody remember the name of the place The Kind played every Wednesday before they moved out to Macado's on Thursdays? Went there almost every week and still blanking on the name.

Out of the Blue, About Time, Eat Wow and Exit 37 are the other names I remember.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Tim Taylor. He was in a band in hawaii last i heard.

My wife takes the kids and leaves the house while I watch my Hokie games.........nuff said

Now finish up them taters; I'm gonna go fondle my sweaters.

The Kind still play

Ironically, I was wearing my only Electric Woodshed T shirt still in semi-wearable condition just yesterday. It celebrated the "Night of the Living Shed". It belonged to one of my dear friends who played harmonica for the 'Shed until his death by motorcycle accident, and I have babied it for many years. Also good friends with Craig Counts, the lead guitar and singer, and also Dan Dunlap, guitar player. Have joined them for a tune or two over the years, and they also played at an outdoor party I had in Giles.
Not Shakespeare and Loose Shoes were also pretty good bands back in the day. My short lived band SNAG (Sensitive New Age Guys) played Steppin' Out and 117 before we fell apart. Sterling Smiley, our drummer, was eventually the harp player I mentioned for the 'Shed before his death, and while I was our harp player and singer, it was well known that Sterling was the best harp player in the band, we just needed a drummer and he was a talented musician.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

My short lived band SNAG (Sensitive New Age Guys) played Steppin' Out and 117 before we fell apart.

I love that name.

I found TKP after two rails from TOTS then walking back to my apartment and re-watching the 2012 Sugar Bowl. I woke up the next day with this username.

I worked at BOJO's (formally Steve's Hot Dogs) and was good friends with Billy Jackson, the drummer for The Shed. He moved to Columbus Ohio around '92 of '93 when his girlfriend went to Ohio State for grad school. Lost touch with him after that......

My wife takes the kids and leaves the house while I watch my Hokie games.........nuff said

My first days at Tech back in the 80's Not Shakespeare was the first band I remember. Also spent a lot of time at Mr. Fooz watching the Janitors "Music for happy feet" - I still have a button. Remember some good Happy hours at Cowboys. Had some great times at 117 South Main - Steady rollin, No Controllin, Bob Margolin. Last couple of years watched a lot of electric woodshed - knew a couple of guys in the band. Daddy's Money, The Barking Shark, The Wave, The Owl, Mr. Fooz, Top of the Stairs, 117, and Ton 80 were frequent destinations. Had an occasional quiet evening at Maxwells. It's hard to recognize the place these days compared to the 80's.....

I've been listening to that Soundcloud link and damn this is really good stuff. Also, great audio quality to be from 1992.

I found TKP after two rails from TOTS then walking back to my apartment and re-watching the 2012 Sugar Bowl. I woke up the next day with this username.

A little OT but, Daddy's Money may be the best bar name ever for a college town.

The guy that opened Daddy's Money, John Dipaola (sp?), went to my high school (West Springfield) and was in my older brother's graduating class. He ended up dropping out of Tech to open the restaurant, which was definitely one of the best places the first few years it was open. I remember doing a marketing research project for the restaurant for one of my business classes. If memory serves and rumors were true, sadly a lot of his profits went up his nose and he ended up selling the place. It's tough to have the discipline to open and run a bar/restaurant in your early 20's...lots of temptations.

Dave Matthews Band played in Pi Kaps and Sig EPS fraternity houses for $1000.00 and played til after 2 a.m. GREAT TIMES! South Main Cafe was a hotspot back then too.

"Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth."

We used to see Dave Matthews Band at South Main Cafe...they'd come every two or three weeks - did so for a couple of years, then they stopped coming....not long after that I heard them on the radio. I guess that's where they went!! Too bad the South Main Cafe is gone. I loved that place. Some kind of taco place there now....


What is this South Main Cafe you speak of.. I only remember 117 /s

'Its easy to grin, when your ship comes in, and you've got the stock market beat,
but the man worthwhile, is the man who can smile, when his shorts are too tight in the seat'

Yeah, my crew still calls it 117, and it'll always be that in my mind, too. Great music venue, I still see me in my mind's eye, hair to my butt, long necked Bud in my hand, bellied up to the stage with Herb West on one side (wearing his headphones, of course) and a buddy or "chick" on the other (yeah, we were dudes and chicks then). Left a lot of brain cells and half my hearing in that bar.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Herb West was the tits. Just never pass him your doobie or else he would inhale the whole thing.

Edit...just googled him and was saddened to find out he just passed away this year......such a nice guy.....RIP Herb.....


My wife takes the kids and leaves the house while I watch my Hokie games.........nuff said

i met Herb in '73 and while we were never close, we also never passed up an opportunity to converse and pass the time of day when we met. I learned of his passing as well, as old time Blacksburg continues to fade away. An iconic figure of the days for many of us, and man, did he love live music.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

It will always be 117 to my crew too. Herb was a constant, that guy up front always getting into it. I think I remember you too. I was the younger guy throwing beer bottles at you from the balcony. Not really, but as much time as I spent in 117 I don't remember a whole lot more than being in the balconey. Still believe I saw Commander Cody there...

"The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. " Rocky B.

MId 80s had Noise Boys and Alias, Steady Rollin' Bob Margolin, and another band I just can't remember. It was either a little before or a little after my time there. I remember seeing the posters, just can't recall the name.

Wait, what?

I'll give you a shout our for Steady Rollin' Bob Margolin. That guy was awesome. Saw him at Howard's Pub on Ocracoke Island a few years after I graduated from Tech.


Howard's pub! Love it.

"And guess what, you've wandered into our school of tuna and we now have a taste of lion." -Allen Gamble, The Other Guys

Anybody remember 'the kind'?

"Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth."

Sure. They were great.


The Kind, downstairs at Champs?

Oh yeah, saw them many times

"I have a PLAN. You just need to have a little goddamn faith, Whit. I just need. more. MONEY." - Justin van der Linde

Hope Hop. Check out the YouTube channel "Eddie Mcclain"

I was in school in the mid-90's and remember seeing Pat McGee Band, Everything, and Fighting Gravity (I think I actually saw them in Radford, but close enough). A band that came through that I wish I saw (hindsight's a bitch) is The Roots.

FG was awesome!

Not local bands, but the Dixie Dregs and the Randall Bramblett Band kicked ass at 117 in the mid-late 70's.

117 was great
Randall Bramlett is still playing some, his day job is a HS principal or teacher up near Athens Ga
You might want to check out the Blacksburg live music page on facebook

One that I always enjoyed, cause I was friends with all of them was Stars Fell On in the early - mid 00's

Now finish up them taters; I'm gonna go fondle my sweaters.

Leg for Stars Fell On. I may be mixing my nights up but I seem to remember Stars Fell On played with I Saved Latin and...maaaaybe The Fatales at the 708 House one night. Well...super long story short I don't drink Jagermeister anymore.

Lots of good memories at 708 south main.

I found TKP after two rails from TOTS then walking back to my apartment and re-watching the 2012 Sugar Bowl. I woke up the next day with this username.

Big names: Dave Matthews, Hootie were both regulars. Egypt played some Frat parties if I remember correctly
The Morgue had great shows though I can't remember all the bands that played there
Local Stuff:
I loved Exit 37 (great local band and local band name)
and Yams from Outer Space

Leg for the Yams. I knew one or two of those guys, too.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Here here for the Yams!!!


Members of the Yams are still playing in Blacksburg too. At least George and Mike Kirby are.

Mid-Late 80's I enjoyed Yams From Outer Space (Great Halloween shows...One year they donned Kiss costumes and makeup and did a really funky Kiss set.) , Exit 37, New Potato Caboose (they were actually from DC, but spent a lot of time in Blacksburg), and Steady Rollin' Bob, of course.

Also, shout out to the band who's name I can't remember with the foxy lady lead singer who played at then Crickets that one time I was severely buzzing... they let me on stage to help out with the singing when they covered Janis Joplin's "Take another Piece of my Heart". (PLOT TWIST - They didn't need my help.)

Leonard. Duh.

Dude! Same time frame as you're talking about. Pretty sure I remember YFOS - how can you forget that name? I guess I did anyway.

But I think I remember a set at Crickets with a band like that. Knew a waitress there who was in the VTCC, so spent some hours there. Only seem to recall seeing that band play once, but we tried to track them down again.

Do you remember a Battle of the Bands one weekend in the 80s on the Drillfield? Or maybe it was Schultz Beach?

Wait, what?


I only saw that band at Crickets that one time. My then girlfriend, now wife, is convinced that I scared them out of town. I'm not recalling a Battle of the Bands... but that doesn't mean a damn thing.

Leonard. Duh.

Jennifer Turner? About 5' 6", tan and thin with long blond hair, sang with several bands, including Out of the Blue, before going on to play on the Tigerlily album with Natalie Merchant to really jump start her own music career? I know she used to sing a pretty good Joplin in Blacksburg in the '88-90 time range.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Holy Shit. My Man.

I think that was her. I think Out of the Blue was the band. My guest appearance on stage would have been April-May '89. Like I said though, I was duck hunting with a rake that night.

Leonard. Duh.

Thanks for sharing. Brings back a lot of memories. She dated my neighbor, and spent hours every day sitting on the floor of one of our apartments learning to play that guitar, wearing either that too long sweater in the video or one just like it.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Was at VT b/t 2010-14. Really was into folk stuff at the time. The Band Concord was in my heavy rotation at the time and continue to put out music. I particularly like their "Live from Blacksburg" album from 2017.

I wasn't local, but my brother was the lead guitarist for Running With Scissors. I had some good times when they opened for the Pietasters at Main Street Cafe. Later they did a cool show with Lake Trout at Attitudes. Before they had improved their sound, we had some good times at Champs.

The guy who originally handled booking for them also tried to run an Avail show at Waterstreet Gallery. That was interesting.

Best show I saw in Blacksburg was Gran Torino at Main Street Cafe/The Library in 98.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Sorry to bump an old thread into Zombie status, but that Avail show you were talking about is actually on Youtube in all of its glory:


I don't think I actually went to this one but I heard it got intense and was just an odd show being really early in the day or something.

I found TKP after two rails from TOTS then walking back to my apartment and re-watching the 2012 Sugar Bowl. I woke up the next day with this username.


FOSTERS: Australian for defense

Captain Jack band in 1981...played some pretty mean classic rock tunes from the 60 and early 70s...some Eddie Money, some Van Halen........lead guitarist Jimmy Carroll pretty much mirrored Gary Richrath from REO in his guitar playin'..."Ridin' the Storm Out" rocked.... good ol' Bill Meyer on guest vocals for a killer version of Bowie's "Suffragette City"... Steven "Stix" Scavo on the drums... Chris Procyk on the bass....Shawn Woods on Piano, synths....myself on sax and rhythm guitar.....Yeah...good times were had! Campus Club, Barking Shark were some steady venues... Thanks PKA frat for providing some free beer and cool gigs as well. My favorite band from that era was "Juice"....awesome!

Long live Rasche Hall

Thinkin' back to the day... "Daddy's Money" was a big music venue back in the early 80s...we played there a couple of times.... "Beached Zebra" and "Not Shakespeare" were also two popular bands that were always gigging.

Long live Rasche Hall

Was there from 89-95. Daniel Bone was one of my favorites. Sadly, my first 4 years were a total blur. Never saw DMB or Hootie. Shame...shame.

A couple bands that come to mind from the mid to late 90s:
2 Skinny Js
The Source

Puttem' in a body bag!!!

Pluto is a planet....

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Utris my dudes and dudettes.

"Two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I am not yet completely sure about the universe.” -Einstein

We had Tex Rubinowitz (DC area Rock-a-Billy artist) at the Sigma Nu basement in the early 80s. That was a rockin' night.
Also, I remember seeing Elvis Costello at Burris. Great Show!

Pain is Temporary, Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever, Let's Go Hokies!!

Electric Woodshed and the Yams from Outer space at the South Main Cafe. Buddy's was a fun place to go and listen to bands also. In Radford there was a place called Lucky's that featured many bands. South Main was my absolute favorite though!!!

Memory lane - sorry I missed this thread 3 weeks ago.

Really liked The Pie tasters at Pedro's and Eddie from Ohio at south main. Also remember seeing the Blue Dogs, babba Seth, and agents of good roots each semester.

And of course Doug Clark and the hot nuts (rip john).

My brother played with Babba Seth. He was the trombone player. He has moved to the left coast now and the band flew him back to Virginia last fall for a one night gig in Charlottesville. Must be nice. They did Steppin' Out and South Main one year for sure.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Intiate thread revival.

Crawford & Power just ended up on my Spotify dug the sound so decided to do some background digging and one of them is a VT Alum looks like they play a bit in the NRV area. They're a country duo pretty solid if you like Luke Combsish music or similar slower almost red dirt country with a bit of twang to it.

(add if applicable) /s

I can't remember most of the band names from when I was there (early 2000s), but I do remember True Sound. Great guys! KC used to work at Rivermills, and Karanja is an excellent person. Got to meet the Wailers when they played in town thanks to them.

"I don't know what a Hokie is, but God is one of them. Go Virginia Tech." -Lee