Richmond Folk Festival, Baroness & Toward Space: Sound Check

by | Oct 8, 2023 | MUSIC

With the Richmond Folk Festival going up this weekend, there will be nonstop music for three days down at Brown’s Island to usher the fall weather in earnest to Richmond. Although it is not exclusively folk music down at the festival — which has been known to host everything from gospel groups to jazz — there are a number of shows in the city this week for the more rock leaning population, and we’ll cover it all for you here on this week’s SOUND CHECK.

If you’re a band with new tunes, or a listener with suggestion, reach out to

Local & Regional Festivals

Richmond Folk Festival
Friday – Sunday, October 13th – 15th @ Brown’s Island
Doors: 10/13 – 6:30 pm 10/14 – 12:00 pm 10/15 – 12:00 pm

In case you, like me, get busy in the summer and tend to miss out on the bulk of festival season, fear not, for there is one more major festival that has goes up in our city every year for decades; the Richmond Folk Festival. Fall for me sounds like two specific genres for me; Jazz and Folk. So, whenever this festival graces the street of Richmond with dozens of folk acts from all over the world, you bet that I am down there every second that I can to experience the intersection of all these unique cultures and identities. There are far two many artists to try to name all of them, with Saturday featuring seven stages running simultaneously, so you can check out the list HERE, and rest assured that there is something hyper specific that will catch your attention. It might just be the festival that this city does best, it is for sure one of the largest in the region, and did I mention by the way that it’s 100% free? At three days long you should have chance to get down to Brown’s Island and experience this hotbed of folk culture from around the world.

Richmond Folk Festival
Map of the stages at Richmond Folk Festival

Out of town acts to see

Saturday, October 14th @ The Canal Club
Doors: 6:00 pm

The music at The Canal Club, despite its reputation for a haven of Richmond’s punk and metal scenes, can offer some surprises. Hot off the release of their eighth album, The Canal Club will be welcoming the music of Baroness. Veterans of the scene, Baroness is sure to put on an energetic performance characteristic of their high octane music. This does not mean their latest tracks lack any dynamics however, as their latest album entitled STONE begins innocuously enough with a plucked acoustic guitar, but when the dissonant harmonies enter is when listeners are cued into the true nature of this monstrous album. What follows is an album packed with songs varying in length from one minute to almost eight, and a range in tone that has to be listened to to be believed. Evoking early metal records of the early 70s that often meander into acoustic guitar led psychedelic breakdowns, STONE is a timeless piece of heavy rock and roll that is worth your time and your ears.

Baroness Richmond Show
Poster for Baroness show at The Canal Club

My favorite tracks from STONE

  • “Last Word”
  • “Magnolia”

A Giant Dog
Friday, October 13th @ Get Tight Lounge
Doors: 7:30 pm

At the end of the summer A Giant Dog released their 6th studio album under the name Bite. An undeniable punk album, A Giant Dog, along with their humorous name, have a way of keeping their sound fresh without really changing the formula two much. What permeates much of this record is an underlying synth tone that provides an almost 80s glam pop vibe introducing an nteresting juxtaposition against the harsh vocals and power chords. In a world where punk music has seemingly exhausted what it is capable of, it is these artsy groups that keep the vision alive in the younger generation. Give the record a listen this week and then make your way out to Get Tight Lounge to catch this band on tour before it’s too late.

My favorite tracks from Bite

  • “Welcome to Avalonia”
  • “Different Than”

Local & Regional Releases

Toward Space
“Female Trouble” (Single and Music Video)

Local punk outfit Toward Space will not slow down. Just six months after the release of their third studio the group is putting out new tunes. This time, with the release of their new single “Female Trouble,” the group have put together another strange and shocking video to go along with their new track. The video follows a group of demonic cheerleaders as they engage in increasingly more satanic activities that ends in spectacular fashion (not to spoil anything). The music itself continues in the vein of what listeners might be used to with this group; a sick guitar driven sound with tone dialed in to perfection by David Pahtoon, the powerhouse that is Ben Rosenstock holding down the rhythm with propulsion and power, all underneath the deep and husky voice of Seyla Hossaini. The band is sticking to what they know, and it’s working. If you want to catch this group sometime soon they will be at Get Tight Lounge this Friday opening for A Giant Dog (see above).

Toward Space “Female Trouble” Music Video

What I’m listening to

Bridgette Calls Me Baby
“Impressively Average”

This Chicago outfit has not been the easiest group to follow, but I can not stop listening to the music of Bridgette Calls Me Baby. I first heard their stuff earlier this year where they had far more releases than what is currently on their Spotify, but they seemed to have taken them off and reissued them. Either way, this group’s single “Impressively Average” (which now claims it was released just a few days ago on October 3rd) is a triumph of indie-rock. With an enormous sound generated from their five piece ensemble, a rarity among indie rock bands where four piece groups reign supreme. The instrumental by itself is of the highest quality. Defined by distant and haunting guitar tones, a powerful and expressive bass that is even allowed moments of melody during interludes, and a simple drum part that only appears so until you notice the subtle flams on the low tom that give the piece a depth of character. But, what truly catches the ear is the voice of the band’s lead singer. With a deep baritone and a vocal quality reminiscent of an early Elvis, his voice enters into the track in the very first second and drives this piece of music with a full voice spitting out cries of multidirectional existential dread. A powerful track that has been dominating my speakers for months, and I encourage you to give it a spirited listen.

Top photo courtesy of Baroness

Andrew Bonieskie

Andrew Bonieskie

But you may call me Bones. I'm the Associate Editor of RVA Mag, and a writer and musician living in Richmond, Virginia. After graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in music and a minor in creative writing I have gone on to score feature and short films, released a book of poetry, an album of original music, and perform lead vocals with the band Pebbles Palace.

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