Year in music: Avett Brothers twice, Lucinda Williams, and the Civil Wars

Despite its small size, Charlottesville has long held its well-deserved reputation as a music town. For its size and scope, the sheer amount of musical talent that resides (and stops through) town is unrivaled, and 2011 saw a rejuvenation of all that made Cville a haven for musicians and music fans, as fresh talent broke out onto the scene, while big names making waves across the world dropped in to enjoy Central Virginia audiences.

In these photographs and capsule reviews, we look back at an excellent year.

Wes Swing, 1/7 at the Jefferson Theater: This cello-and-guitar playing musician blew us away with the intimacy of his album, Through a Fogged Glass. Absolutely breathtaking to hear live.

Wild Nothing, 2/10 at Trinity: Virginia Tech graduate turned online music sensation, Jack Tatum brought his Pitchfork-approved, DIY indie-pop sound to the Corner.

Carl Anderson, 2/18 at The Southern: Local twenty-something singer songwriter broke out onto the local music scene with his first solo release. You might have seen him in the background of various other Cville groups– but seeing him on his own made us wonder "Why did it take so long?"

Carolina Chocolate Drops, 2/25 at the Jefferson Theater: A wildly popular group and a sold-out show– this Grammy-winning ensemble brought their old-timey folk music and carefree attitude to Charlottesville with overwhelming success.

Itzhak Perlman, 4/10 at the Paramount Theater: The Israeli violinist possesses such a mastery of his craft that to say anything about his performance would likely not do it enough justice. Breathtaking.

Joe Pug, 4/12 at The Southern: The poster boy for nice guys brought his straightforward and earnest indie-folk sound and emotional performing style to Charlottesville. And really– this singer-songwriter is the nicest guy on the planet.

Aimee Man, 4/15 at The Paramount: The Richmond native turned folk-pop darling brought her showstopping narrative lyrics (her songs have been used in more than one successful film) and alternative tendencies back to Central Virginia.

Lucinda Williams, 4/25 at The Paramount Theater: The prolific songwriter showcased one of her finest albums for Charlottesville in the gorgeous Paramount Theater– the perfect venue for her detailed style and luscious melodies.

Parachute, 6/4 at The Jefferson Theater: Hometown favorites Parachute, once known as Sparky's Flaw, returned to Charlottesville to take stage at one of the area's most iconic venues. Needless to say, this was a good night.

The Hold Steady, 9/2 at the Jefferson Theater: The indie-rock mainstays brought their latest album– which reignites the group's early recordings and their quasi-religious quandaries– to rock out the Jeff.

Pretty Lights, 9/21 at the nTelos Wireless Pavilion: Colorado-based electronic producer Derek Vincent Smith brought his samples and mixes to light up the Pavilion– literally (his performances include a LED light show).

Wavves & F*cked Up, 9/26 at the Jefferson Theater: Once a solo act, now an ensemble, Wavves is now the poster child for legit punk rock. Needless to say, this show rocked.

The Civil Wars, 12/7 at the Jefferson Theater: Dark and melancholy Americana. This show was a knock-out.



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Man. Nothing about the Arcade Fire, Randy Newman, Neko Case, or Jayhawks shows?

DF... what did you expect, it's the hook?

Was at half of those shows. You missed the best one- My Morning Jacket.

And perhaps most criminal, the Gillian Welch & Dave Rawlings show.

@lookbothways & @DF: When you look at this online version of the story, you might also wanna click through the photos because several of the shows you claim were overlooked were actually right here-- with pictures!---hawes spencer, editor