Live and local: Originality highlights sessions

Ask Sal Milione to describe Acoustic Charlottesville, the monthly gathering of local musical performers that he produces at Live Arts, and he comes up with three words: live, original, and local. Founded in 1997 by folks who were looking for a "musician friendly" environment, the Saturday evening sessions are now in their sixth year. Each performance features four musicians or groups who sing and play original tunes.
"This season will showcase some wonderful new acts as well as bring back our veteran performers," Milione promises.
The first Saturday of each month, September through December, Acoustic Charlottesville will host some of the best-known local musical performers and encourage them to do what they do best. The kick-off evening for the season boasts Josh Mayo, Blue O'Connell, Donald Aielli, and the duo Sara Read and Rob Greenway.
Josh Mayo has been playing guitar and writing for almost three years, but he started in the music business as a drummer for the pop/rock band "Sweet Baby J." He also plays with local rockers "Paul Goes Richter."
Since her arrival in Charlottesville in 1989, Blue O'Connell has been active in the acoustic scene. A renaissance woman, Blue also plays drums in two Scottish pipe and drum bands and studies classical guitar. And she hosts WTJU’s "Eclectic Woman Show" on Thursday evenings.
With plans for a large-scale tour under way, Donald Aielli recently released his debut solo recording, "The Greenleaf Sessions." Born in New Jersey, Aielli began playing guitar at 16 and studied with renowned guitar master Julio Prol, who tutored him in both classical and Spanish guitar styles. Since 1987, Aielli has called the Blue Ridge Mountains home, and he has become an integral member of the local music scene.
Sara Read and Rob Greenway, appearing at Acoustic Charlottesville with friends Meg Madden and Aran Olwell, have spent many late-night sessions playing in kitchens and pubs, giving enlivening the local Irish traditional music scene. Read and Greenway are former members of the group "Roaring Mary," their music explores the sounds of Ireland, Canada, France, Scandinavia, and the United States; they incorporate lyrics and percussive dance as they perform.
"If you enjoy great original acoustic music in a live setting performed by local artists, Acoustic Charlottesville is the place to be this Saturday," Milione says.

Join the gang at Live Arts' LA.B. Space, 609 E. Market St., September 7, at 8pm. $5 at the door. 985-4742 or

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