JV1Well before I started RVA Playlist and when I was only starting to pay attention to Richmond’s growing music scene, I was introduced to the musical stylings of Jonathan Vassar. At the time, he was part of a group called the Speckled Bird, which included his wife Antonia on accordion and Chris Edwards on mandolin. Jonathan Vassar’s music was full of imagery and somber, haunting folk melodies. It was after seeing Vassar perform that I knew the Richmond’s music scene was something to take a look at.

While the Speckled Bird is no longer playing together, Vassar continued his solo work and collaborated with many other musicians in groups like Ophelia and the brief Homemade Knives reunion. His latest group, the Badlands, are made up of various amazing musicians I encountered throughout the years: Grant Hunnicutt (formerly of Mermaid Skeletons and River City Band), Nate Mathews of the Richmanian Ramblers and the Moonbees and Curtis Wayne Patton. The group has an EP due out this year.

Jonathan Vassar and the Badlands will play the RVA Playlist 5th Anniversary along with Goldrush and No BS! Brass Band at the Broadberry on June 4th at 7 p.m. Pre-show entertainment includes music from Big Mama Shakes, raffle prizes from area businesses and more. Those who attend the event will receive a special RVA Playlist Anniversary CD featuring exclusive tracks from Richmond bands (supplies are limited). Buy tickets here: https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/816437