Music scene: Hogwallers to stop Sunday gigs
Update/Clarification 8/31/07: The Hogwaller Ramblers are NOT breaking up. While the post below, and the news short that appears in this week's print edition of the Hook seems to suggest the Ramblers have hung up their instruments, that is not the case according to Jamie Dyer.
"We're just giving up our regular Sunday night gigs at Fellini's," he says. "We're not breaking up. In fact, we'll continue to play the last Saturday of every month at Fellini's." Dyers says his feelings about the changing music scene in Charlottesville led to his decision to stop the long-running weekly gigs, but he'll still keep the Rambler's musical fires burning.
Our apologies to the Ramblers and their fans for appearing to post an obituary. #
After 16 years playing Sunday night gigs at The Blue Moon Dinner, EscafÃ©, and Fellini's (long enough for those venues to changes hands a few times), the Hogwaller Ramblers are calling it quits, says frontman Jamie Dyer.
"Charlottesville's not the same town anymore," says Dyer. "We're starting to feel like a tourist attraction."
Indeed, the Hogwallers were a gritty rock/bluegrass/country band long before anyone ever heard of the Hackensaw Boys, and as much a homegrown treasure as another popular local band you may have heard of.
In fact, for historians of that other band's rise to stardom, it's impossible not to recognize the Hogwallers as major players in the mid-'90s local music scene. They played Farm Aid in 1999 and performed on Michael Feldman's NPR radio program "Whaddaya Know," but it was their regular Sunday night gigs at Fellini's back then that made them local legends for the wild fun and debauchery they inspired.
In many ways, the Hogwallers were like a local non-profit support group for musicians. As Dyer told the Hook in 2004, "The band has gone through massive changes in lineup. I'd swear half the town can claim membership in this band at some point or another."
Dyer says the group's final Sunday night gig will be at Fellini's this Sunday, September 2.
Of course, Dyer also cites his full-time job and few gray hairs as reasons to finally call it quits, but it's clear the changing face of our local music scene has informed the decision.
"It's been coming for long time," says Dyer. "This used to be a funner town to play music in. Now it's become so cut-throat. People aren't playing for the music anymore; they're concerned about where it will get them."