NEWS – Rooster Walk Music & Arts Festival

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RW10 Preview Video!

Live For Live Music: Marcus King & Billy Strings To Join Forces For ‘Kings & Strings’ Set At Rooster Walk

Marcus King and Billy Strings, two of the country’s hottest guitar players, will join forces this May for a first-time-ever collaboration at the Rooster Walk Music & Arts Festival in Martinsville, Va.

King, a southern rock/blues star, will sit in for the full show with progressive bluegrass ace Billy Strings and his band on a midnight-2 am “Kings & Strings” set at Rooster Walk 10. The pairing of two guitar-shredding icons, each age 25 or younger, is sure to be a showcase of frenetic fretboard work, improvised from start to finish.

In addition, legendary drummer Jeff Sipe (Aquarium Rescue Unit) will sit in during the latter portion of the set to give a little extra backbone to the big finish.

“I’ve never met Marcus, but I really love him, and I love his band, and I love what they’re doing,” said Billy Strings, a 25-year-old Michigan native. “It’s just awesome. I’ve seen that guy come up so quick, you know what I mean? That band, they’ve been out there touring relentlessly and just killing it at every show. And I think that’s incredible.“

Click Here To Read The Full Story on Live For Live Music


RW9 Review: Bullet Music

‘Rooster Walk Is Grassroots Festival Perfection’

A cluster of smiling faces met me at the entrance to Rooster Walk in bright yellow t-shirts welcoming me and handing over parking passes and credentials. “Is this your first Rooster Walk?” was one of the first questions asked to me, but it wouldn’t be the last time. I answered, “Yes it is, and I’m so excited to be here!”

“Well it won’t be your last” an immediate and almost afterthought response followed combined with a grin that spread wider on the man’s face as he opened the door to the car.

No sir, it definitely won’t be.




Live For Live Music is running a six-part series looking at the process and craft of songwriting. Each story in the series features a band leader who will perform at Rooster Walk 9. The fourth story focuses on Anders Osborne.

From the story:

Despite touring roughly nine months a year, Osborne is an ardent proponent of daily writing as habit.

“You’ve got to be grabbing at the stuff every single day, or I do. I have to grab at it every day, because I think the way I look at it is that inspiration and the muse is always dancing. And ideas are always out there. And if you miss it on a Thursday in February, I don’t think it shows up again, you know, in August. I think you missed the opportunity to write that song,” he said.


RW9 Band Schedule Announced!

RW9 Band Schedule Announced!

The hourly stage schedules for Rooster Walk 9 are now available on the Band Schedules page. Hop on over and take a look so you can start planning your weekend in detail!

If you still need tickets to RW9, don’t forget that prices increase May 1st. Grab yours now to save some cash and lock in your Memorial Day weekend plans! Check out the Buy Tickets page for info and pricing.

Rooster Walk 9 will feature nearly 50 amazing bands, plus food, craft beer, kids’ programming, a 5K trail race, plus arts, crafts and beautiful on-site camping. Rooster Walk was named one of the Top 5 Festivals in Virginia last year by the Richmond Times-Dispatch. 



Live For Live Music is running a six-part series looking at the process and craft of songwriting. Each story in the series features a band leader who will perform at Rooster Walk 9. The third story focuses on Marcus King of The Marcus King Band.

From the story:

Perhaps no Rooster Walk artist has seen his popularity rise quicker in the past 12 months than 20-year-old Marcus King, and certainly no artist interviewed for this story likes to write on a quicker timeline.

“I’m pretty hard-headed when it comes to that. As far as the bare bones of the song, I want to finish it within the first day that I come up with the idea. That’s the goal,” he said. “A long one for me would be a week-long process. That would be a crazy amount of time.”


The Beers of Rooster Walk unveiled!

The Beers of Rooster Walk unveiled!

We’re delighted to feature a slew of amazing craft breweries, plus cider and wine, at Rooster Walk 9! Check out the BEERS!!! page to learn more details about the beers that will be poured by Miller Lite, New Belgium Brewing, Foothills, Founders and Lagunitas. We’ll also have Angry Orchard Cider and Potter’s Craft Cider, plus a variety of Black Box wines.

The Jamwich: Rooster Walk preview story

‘The Jamwich’ previews Rooster Walk 9

Our friends at The Jamwich have a story previewing Rooster Walk 9. From the article:

These two headliners could not be more distinctly different in their own ways, a smart move by Rooster Walk in my opinion.  Give the people variety, praise Jah! The music never stops!  Rooster Walk has done it again, a mixed-bag lineup that makes me think, “Grass and brass!”  Bluegrass, Americana, rock and folk groups mixed right in with that NOLA soul, funk, blues and beats.  Anders Osborne, Pimps of Joytime, Eric Krasno, The Nth Power, The Motet, and Empire Strikes Brass will be dropping the funk and soul.  Hot licks and cool bass lines are on the menu from this impressive list of musicians that are sure to keep things loose during the weekend.   Marcus King Band, Anderson East, The Trongone Band round out the rock groups for the weekend.  These folks will leave it all out on stage and should not be overlooked!

Click Here to read the full story.

Live for Live Music’s ‘Road to Rooster Walk’ story series

Road to Rooster Walk: Lyle Divinsky of The Motet talks Songwriting

Live For Live Music is running a six-part series looking at the process and craft of songwriting. Each story in the series features a band leader who will perform at Rooster Walk 9. The first story focuses on Lyle Divinsky of The Motet.

From the story:

When lead vocalist and hype-man-extraordinaire Lyle Divinsky got approached about joining The Motet a year and a half ago, his audition had little to do with stage presence or singing ability. Those were skills the band had already verified. Instead, Divinky’s tryout was largely about putting lyrics to a pair of instrumental songs the band had already demoed . . . before he’d met a single member of the group.

“It was kind of a fun challenge to know that this was my audition for the band, to write for them, and to know that and to just get excited about how much fun their music was,” Divinsky said. “The Truth’ was the first song that I wrote and that one, I wrote most of it in three hours of sitting down. And then took, I think, a day or two to just kind of sit with it, make sure it was exactly what I wanted and just kind of fine tune a couple things. And then, ‘Fool No More’ was the second song that I wrote, and that one was pretty quick, as well. That one might have even been just a day.”

Click here for the full read.

RW9 band lineup is complete!

RW9 band lineup is complete!

Mandolin Orange, Pimps of Joytime, Mountain Heart and more than 20 other bands have been added to Rooster Walk 9, completing the Memorial Day weekend festival’s band lineup. Progressive stringband Greensky Bluegrass and legendary reunited reggae band The Wailers were announced in early January as overall headliners of the festival.

Rooster Walk, scheduled for May 25-28, 2017 at the idyllic Pop’s Farm festival venue just outside of Martinsville, Va., was named one of the Top 5 festivals in Virginia by the Richmond-Times Dispatch last year.

With more than 40 bands performing on five different stages, an eclectic roster of great music guides the Rooster Walk experience. In addition to four days of amazing music, the family-friendly festival offers a wide variety of kids’ activities, craft beer, great food, arts and numerous opportunities to enjoy Virginia’s great outdoors with a 5k trail race, yoga, a disc golf course and beautiful on-site camping.

Other new band additions include: The Nth Power (funk/soul; New Orleans), Love Canon (bluegrass tribute to 1980s rock; Charlottesville), Mipso (Americana; Chapel Hill, N.C.), Jon Stickley Trio (bluegrass/jazz; Asheville, N.C.), The Commonheart (R&B/soul; Pittsburgh, P.A.), Stop Light Observations (rock; Charleston, S.C.), Empire Strikes Brass (brass band; Asheville, N.C.), Sanctum Sully (progressive bluegrass; Asheville, N.C.), Mason Via Funk Band (funk/soul; Danbury, N.C.), After Jack (folk; Rocky Mount, V.A.), Mighty Joshua (reggae; Richmond, V.A.), South Hill Banks (progressive bluegrass; Richmond, V.A.), Violet Bell featuring Lizzy Ross (folk; Durham, N.C.), Disco Risqué (funk/rock; Charlottesville, V.A.), GOTE (rock; Roanoke, V.A.), Monster Atlantic (rock; Roanoke, V.A.), The Fernandez Sisters (bluegrass; Durham, N.C.), Rex McGee & John Garris (bluegrass/jazz; North Carolina), Martinsville-Henry County Praise Band (Gospel/praise; Martinsville, V.A.), ShadowGrass (youth progressive bluegrass; VA & NC), The Delics (teen rock/punk; Collinsville, V.A.), The Bucket Brothers (youth jazz; Chapel Hill, N.C.), The Wildmans (youth bluegrass; Floyd, V.A.) and The PHCC Jazz Band (big-band jazz; Martinsville-Henry County, V.A.).

“Booking a festival lineup is a lot like working a jigsaw puzzle,” said Johnny Buck, a co-founder of Rooster Walk. “We’re really proud of the way this one turned out. It’s a really fun combination of bands that features a good mix of genres, as well as a variety of first-time Rooster Walk performers and returning, ‘fan-favorites.’”

Mandolin Orange, a critically acclaimed folk band from Chapel Hill, N.C., first performed at Rooster Walk in 2010. Since then, the band has built a groundswell of national support through countless miles on the road and appearances at numerous festivals, including Newport Folk Festival, Austin City Limits Fest, and Telluride Bluegrass. In addition to Rooster Walk 9, Mandolin Orange is booked to perform at Bonnaroo and Red Rocks this summer.

Based in Brooklyn, N.Y., the Pimps of Joytime are known for their infectious, dance-inducing brand of funk/soul music. The band has created a devoted following across the country and in the state of Virginia, in particular, with past performances at Rooster Walk and FloydFest, and countless club gigs.

Led by vocalist, piano player and Bassett native Josh Shilling, Mountain Heart has been fearlessly revolutionizing the way acoustic music can be presented and played. Mountain Heart or its members have been nominated for Grammy’s, ACM and CMA awards. The Nashville-based band has appeared on the revered stage of the Grand Ole Opry in excess of 130 times, and has shared the stage with acts ranging from Lynyrd Skynyrd, Montgomery Gentry, Merle Haggard, George Jones and Brad Paisley to Alison Krauss, Tony Rice, The Avett Brothers, Yonder Mountain Stringband, The Punch Brothers, Levon Helm, John Fogerty and many more.

Rooster Walk Inc. is a community-nonprofit dedicated to promoting music, arts and education in its home of Martinsville/Henry County. A portion of festival proceeds go to the Penn-Shank Memorial Scholarship as well as the Rooster Walk Music Instrument Program for entry-level band programs in Martinsville/Henry County public schools. The festival is proud to have Bassett Furniture return as its title sponsor once again.

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