artist

Local Singer and Songwriter Celebrates Her Return to Music 

Written by Will Thompson
Photos by Callie Broaddus 

“Performing, especially when you’re performing your own music, is getting to connect with people and getting to feel the difference that  [your music] makes in another person,” says Juliet Lloyd, singer-songwriter and frequent Middleburg-area performer, while discussing her jam-packed schedule of local shows.

Lloyd has been busy propelling the resurgence of her music career after finding initial success as a celebrated independent artist in the mid and late 2000’s. This July she released a new album titled “High Road.” She was recently named the winner of the 2022 Bernard/Ebb Songwriting Competition which recognizes the best songwriting talent in the Capital region, and her live performance schedule shows no signs of slowing down with upcoming gigs across Hunt Country including Lost Barrel Brewing and 50 West Vineyards.

At her performances, Lloyd’s spot-on cover tracks get the crowd moving while her original tracks afford audiences the opportunity to connect with her through heartfelt melodies and lyrics plucked from relatable moments in her own life. 

“High Road,” the title track on Lloyd’s new album, is a wistful pondering of why doing the right thing can sometimes feel so wrong. Delivered by Lloyd’s considerable vocal power over a melancholic piano and guitar accompaniment, “High Road” leaves listeners with a reflective mix of empowerment and regret. The track effortlessly weaves in drums and a rousing electric guitar solo to build to a crescendo of self-vindication that candidly laments the lost opportunity to indulge in conflict. “Over You” lightens the mood with a fun, melodic breakup song that’s a flippant attempt at assuring the world of being over a partner while being anything but. And from Llyod’s previous full-length album, “Come Tomorrow”is a sincere, hopeful song that highlights  the eventuality of gaining optimism through pain. It’s like a warm hug from a friend on a bad day. 

It was “Come Tomorrow,” from Lloyd’s 2007 album, “Leave the Light On,” that led the Boston Globe to proclaim that Lloyd was on “on the cusp of stardom” after the song was featured on television shows including “The Real World” and “The Hills” in addition to being added into rotation at more than 175 radio stations across the country. 

Juliet Lloyd, guitarist Steve Quintilian (left), and percussionist Oscar Mulford (right).

Lloyds success can be attributed to her lifelong passion for singing and performing. “I learned by singing along with Mariah Carey in my basement every day after school,” laughs Lloyd, recalling her earliest days as a self-taught singer. Though Lloyd went on to work through an undergraduate degree in economics, she kept singing as a hobby. Her first professional foray into music came after college when she resolutely set out to be a singer-songwriter. “Thankfully when I sat down to actually try to write, my first songs weren’t the worst in the world,” Lloyd jokes. As she ventured deeper into music and songwriting, Lloyd began to make her mark as an independent artist with original albums and songs such as “Leave the Light On.”

Even with modest musical success, Lloyd still  had the desire to exercise her degree in economics and find success in a corporate ecosystem. Lloyd took a step back from music professionally just over a decade ago to begin a career in communications consulting. But she never lost her love for music, her flair for songwriting, or her passion for performing.

Things changed for Lloyd at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The difficult experience of the pandemic and lockdowns reawakened her drive to put emotions into words and melodies. As venues slowly reopened, Lloyd began to perform and write again, eventually making the decision to concentrate on music full-time. “Even though it’s the second time around, it feels like a huge leap of faith,” says Lloyd, recounting this decision.

Left: Juliet Lloyd jams out on the keyboard during a recent performance at Farm Brew LIVE in Manassas. Middle: Lloyd and the band play covers, old favorites, and new originals. Right: Lloyd’s merchandise.

That leap of faith has resulted in numerous live shows andthe release of “High Road,” her first original content after a more than ten-year hiatus from songwriting. The album is unique for Llyod because of its distinct country music influence, stylistic growth that she credits to performing in the Middleburg area, taking requests for country cover songs, and becoming part of the community. “Because I perform so consistently in Loudoun County, I recognize a lot of people now. Every time I play, a few more people have come back to see [me] again. I’ve gotten to know so many people in the community, and they’ve been such amazing supporters of my music,” Lloyd says. 

As her reputation expands and her audiences grow, belief in the power of music will always be at the heart of what Lloyd does. “My favorite performances, whether there’s a lot of people or there’s two people, are when somebody says ‘Oh my gosh, that song really speaks to me,’ or ‘I went through something similar.’” ML

More information about Juliet Lloyd along with samples of her music and performance schedule can be found at julietlloyd.com.

This article first appeared in the August 2022 Issue

Hollywood Meets Hunt Country: Inside the Weiss Family Mural

Written by Shayda Windle

Ever since Monica Weiss and her husband, Michael, have known each other, she’s endearingly been known as “Hollywood” to him. So, when the couple decided last February that it was time for a home renovation, it’s no surprise that Monica enlisted the most talented remodelers, designers, and artists in the area for help. Their 1823 Victorian-style home in Hamilton had already undergone several renovations when they purchased it in 2006, but after many years of hosting guests for Thanksgiving and other special events, the pair decided it was time to expand the space a bit more. 

Image Above: Patricia Taylor Holz explains the process of rendering sketches from Deb Morrow’s photographs. Photo by Shayda Windle.

            Monica says prior to the renovation, they never had a foyer so when the opportunity to decorate came along, she wanted to make it special. She knew she wanted something that was reminiscent of Hunt Country, and thought she’d be able to find it with new wallpaper. She set out on a mission to the Paint and Paper Place in Purcellville hoping she would find it there. When the salesperson told her they didn’t have what she was looking for, she asked if they knew anyone that painted murals. To her luck, local multi-media artist, Patricia Taylor Holz, was working at the store that day. 

           It turns out Monica struck gold upon meeting Taylor Holz, whose body of work includes clients from Disney, MTV, CBS, Phillip Morris, and Jim Henson, just to name a few. As a multi-talented set designer and artist whose experience with large-scale art spans every industry imaginable, it was clear Monica had found the perfect person for the final addition to her home renovation project: a mural that would depict the family’s love of Hunt Country, and the attributes that make this area so unique. It was also important to Monica that the mural would be personalized and include the ones they love the most — their dogs. 

           Taylor Holz visited the Weiss home to discuss Monica’s vision in more detail and quickly noticed the home had an antique aesthetic, with a wide variety of old-fashioned books, furniture, and décor on display. It was then that Taylor Holz began envisioning a historic equestrian and hunting scene reminiscent of the Civil war era with sepia and neutral tones to give it the right look and feel.  

Image Above: The final mural; photo by Shayda Windle.

           One caveat to the project was that it needed to be completed in advance of the next family event in a month. Taylor Holz knew the job would require more than one person so she enlisted local artist Penny Hauffe, whom she met through the local art community, for help to complete the job. Taylor Holz says she wanted to work with someone who “had positive energy, because, there is a lot of emotion that goes into artwork that’s put on display in your home and projected out to the viewers.” Taylor Holz says she considers her projects to be a “labor of love” and that she wanted to work with a “midwife who would help her deliver a bundle of joy” to their new clients. Hauffe was naturally the best fit for the role. 

           Hauffe already had street credibility with murals completed at The Leesburg Auto Wash, Leesburg’s King Street, One Life Fitness building in Brambleton, and the private dining room at the Goodstone Inn in Middleburg. The added bonus for Taylor Holz was Hauffe’s cheerful disposition and positive energy that she brought into the process. 

           The two began the creative process by searching for inspiration in photographs. Luckily, Taylor Holz had met local equine photographer, Deb Morrow, when she came into Western Loudoun’s art scene and they were Facebook friends. It was by chance that Morrow posted some of her recent work on Facebook and let her friends know they were free to use it for their artistic endeavors with her permission. 

Image Above: Patricia Taylor Holz (on left) and homeowner Monica Weiss (on right). Photo by Shayda Windle.

           When Taylor Holz began sifting through Morrow’s work, she realized her equine photographs would be key in creating the hunt scene the Weiss’ were looking for. From there, she gathered the photo sources – from sidesaddle photographs by Morrow to photos of the Morven Park Mansion, Bluemont Vineyard, and Bear’s Den, and began working on the renderings for the mural. 

           She then created a concept of a 19th-century hand-colored sepia illustration on parchment with “just hints of opaque brown, black, red and white on the riders, animals, and dogwoods,” Taylor Holz says. She goes on to say that she wanted a transparent, aged quality to the whole mural, “like ink fading & flaking off old parchment,” and used a variety of mediums and techniques to achieve the look, including a palm sander for the distressed aesthetic. She also used a monochromatic underpainting technique called “grisaille” on the horses and riders, which she says, “involves lightly sketching a form, glazing it over completely, and then sculpting dimension by removing highlight areas with a rag or brush.”

           The final result has ended up to be nothing short of fascinating, so much so, that Monica tells us “it feels like you’re walking into the land of Narnia.” Guests have been so amazed by its intricacies that they will sit down with a glass of wine to stare at the scene for hours.  Upon entering the foyer, viewers are presented with a winter scene of two Victorian-styled ladies riding sidesaddle, which wraps around to a larger scene that includes more riders on horseback, overlooking the hills and vineyards of Hunt Country with the Weiss family dogs looking down from Bear’s Den. At the very end of the mural, Taylor Holz and Hauffe included a vintage, old-fashioned painting of the Morven Park Mansion in spring with Virginia’s state flower, the dogwood, in bloom. 

Image Above: Deb Morrow’s sidesaddle photo, shown top left. The rendering process, top right. The murals (bottom images). Photo by Patricia Taylor Holz..

           With so much talent to be shared between these women, there has been no shortage of interest in their work. Taylor Holz and Hauffe enjoyed their first collaboration together so much that they’ve continued working together on another mural for the Masters of Foxhounds Association of North America. Be on the lookout for an upcoming story about their next big project with the MFHA. ML

To view more of Patricia Taylor Holz’s work, visit her website at pthvisualarts.com. For more about Penny Hauffe, visit pennypaint.com. To see more of Deb Morrow’s photography, visit deborahmorrowphotography.smugmug.com.

This article first appeared in the June 2021 Issue.

The Artists in Middleburg invites you to the 2018 Fall Benefit

The Artists in Middleburg (AiM) invites you to its Fall Fundraiser

 Enjoy a tapas buffet, bubbly to sip, art to purchase, and raffles galore!

When: Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018 from 3-6 PM

Where: Wendy Lind Andrew’s, Fox Meadow Farm, 22330, Sam Fred Road, Middleburg, VA, 20117

Attire: Business Casual

Ticket Cost: $75 per person

Tickets available through ticketleap.com, by phone (540) 687-6600, or via mail. Visit our website, theartistsinmiddleburg.org for more information.

RSVP: with ticket purchase by Friday, September 7

X