On Saturday, April 2, two different musical acts performed at The Garage in downtown Charlottesville to play a free show for the community. Whetherman, a solo musician from Jacksonville, Florida, started the night, followed by Matt Curreri and the Exfriends, a local Charlottesville band.
It was a chilly night for April, but The Garage kept the atmosphere outside cozy. With twinkle lights lining the stage and blankets provided for the audience to use on the grassy hill, the guests enjoyed the music with comfort and warmth. Whetherman, or artist Nicholas Williams, brought his soulful style of folk music to the stage first.
Whetherman began his musical career in 2007, and since then has released six albums, the most recent titled Seeds for Harvest. With his laid-back guitar style and occasional interludes of harmonica, his sweet songs were raw and captivating. Whetherman also incorporated stories into his performance, explaining between songs the origins of his lyrics and creating a much more personal experience for the audience. Living on the road and touring as a type of grassroots artist across the country for the past few years, Whetherman’s music has a natural allure with breezy melodies—perfect for a venue as unique as The Garage.
Following Whetherman was Matt Curreri and the Exfriends, a band that has its roots in both Charlottesville and San Diego. The band’s folk-rock style is influenced by Curreri’s original lyrics meshed with arrangements created by the rest of the band. Curreri described the band’s sound in an interview with NPR as “pretty classy, pretty rocking, kind of nerdy.” The music was fun and lighthearted, with clever lyrics that fully engaged the listeners. All the artists on stage possessed a unique presence that made their set gripping and entertaining, with their big personalities filling the small stage.
The Garage itself is a lesser-known gem of Charlottesville, that provides a link between the community and art, music, poetry, and more. With its location directly across from Lee Park, central to all the action of downtown Charlottesville, it brings together an open feel with a more intimate setting.
According to The Garage’s website, the space is meant to value “community, creativity, collaboration, and accessibility,” and works to examine what it means “to be creating and facilitating art in a ‘public yet private’ context.”
The Garage will be host to many more public events in April, including Daniel Markham and John Abney on April 6, a youth poetry workshop on April 17, Frances Luke Accord with Michael Coleman on April 21, and The Maker Series on April 22.