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Inside Track

Welcome to the local music scene. What do you need to know?



When River City High went on hiatus, James Menefee had a batch of rock songs and no one to play them with. After he demoed five of them at former band mate Pedro Aida's Detached Sound Studio, Long Arms was born. Since then, Menefee says, “I've begged, borrowed and annoyed the shit out of anybody I know who plays an instrument to get them to play on a Long Arms song.” Alan Weatherhead of Maki and Sparklehorse played some leads, Carter Gravatt of Carbon Leaf added banjo and mandolin, and Tracy Wilson of Ringfinger sings a duet. After a few sessions, Prabir Mehta of Prabir and the Substitutes decided to join the band, which also includes Greg Butler and Alex Smith. Two of the ten songs on their upcoming full-length album, due out by spring, were mixed by Paul David Hager who just got done mixing none other than — wait for it — the Jonas Brothers. Butler, Smith and Aida's other group, Roslyn, are also working on new material for their debut record.

Matt Koon (Highway 10) earns a living teaching five different string instruments, but until last year had never attended a single music class or lesson himself. Three “Victor Wooten camps” later, Koon has been “reborn as a musician.” Those life-changing musical experiences inspired him to reform his all-instrumental funk-jazz-blues outfit the Matt Koon Foundation. Witness the effect Wooten and other world-class musicians had on Koon's chops when the band makes its return March 5 at the Camel.

Voted best local band in 2007 and 2009 by two Richmond rock stations, Searching for Timothy continues to turn heads with its spacey post hardcore. The quintet's first full-length album, “The Signal” is set to be released Feb. 27 at the Canal Club.

Searching for something a little different than their previous bands, the members of Strike the Chord and Burn formed to create dark and thunderous grooves that cross over metal, punk and hip-hop. Vocalist Rashad Penn and guitarist Jarod Brumsfield collaborated in Chalkline Beauty, drummer Tim Forrest and guitarist Alex Rodriguez are both from Halo of Locusts and bassist Heath Wilkenson spent time in Damn Dirty Ape and Deviltones. They'll be honing tracks from their first EP when they play as part of the Atticus Metal Tour at the Hat Factory on March 20.

Singer and songwriter and vocalist for the rotating cast of Southern Funk Orchestra, Jerry Joe Reno says his new fuck-rock project with Katana Mantra drummer Bubba Farmer will “twist your toes, flap your cheeks, and make you jump right out of ya skin.” Bump Truck, with Scott Harris on guitar and John Keefe on bass, are currently working on their first CD.

After playing harmonica with more than 500 acts, including the Blind Boys of Alabama, Dickie Betts and Dale Watson, Houston Scott thought he might want to gig on a regular basis with his own blues band. Slide guitarist Jon Barnes of the Jon Barnes Band had a similar goal in mind and quickly signed on. The Houston Scott Band solidified its lineup with Keith Cable of Headstone Circus and King Solomon's Marbles on drums, Nashville's Todd Ellsworth on bass, Chris Staples on keys and Maguire Neblett on lead vocals. For a second time, they have been asked to play the Concert for Connor's Heroes, an organization that fights childhood cancer. That benefit will be March 6 at the National, then the band will gear up for opening day, as it ushers in the Flying Squirrels era at The Diamond on April 17.

Inside Track is compiled by Mike Rutz of “Activate!” on 97.3 WRIR and Jay Smack from “Studio B” on 102.1 the X.


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