Music

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

Local Concert Benefits U.S. Special Operations Forces  

Written by Heidi Baumstark
Photos by Gracie Withers 

Break out the cowboy boots and hats. That’s what hundreds did at Caliburn Farm in Marshall to benefit The Station Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting the U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) and their families.

Organized by Eagle Café, the inaugural Memorial Day benefit concert was held to raise funds for The Station Foundation (TSF) which provides programs for SOF service members returning home from active duty or those transitioning into civilian life after high-risk missions for rescue and capture, performing reconnaissance deep inside hostile territory, and training regional allies. 

The concert was headlined by country music superstar Randy Houser and also featured music by Makayla Lynn and Liz Davis Slezinger. Auction items were generously donated and awarded to winning bidders with all proceeds going to TSF. In addition to rousing musical performances and a live auction, the evening included a mix of speakers and inspiring video clips of TSF’s programs and activities. 

The Local Connection

Eagle Café is the brainchild of two local horsewomen: Barbara “Barb” Roux of St. Bride’s Farm in Upperville and Gail Dady of Caliburn Farm. Plans are already in the works to make it an annual gathering. Next year’s event is scheduled for May 28, 2023, at St. Bride’s Farm.

Already an advocate of TSF, Roux wanted to do something to bring attention to its mission which Roux and her husband, Dave, have long supported. Dady, another avid supporter with a 20-year naval career, was motivated to host this year’s fundraiser. The generosity of donors covers the cost for the SOF community – warriors, spouses, children, and mentors – to attend TSF’s in-person and virtual programs. These programs have impacted over 1,000 families since 2012 and this number is  still growing. The Eagle Café benefit concert is one big way to build on that momentum. “We wanted it to be an intimate crowd with a country theme,” Roux says. “And casual with cowboy boots and hats!”  

Local vendors added to that country theme and casual atmosphere. Horse demonstrations were provided by Sprout Therapeutic Riding, a car show sponsored by Marshall-based Callaway Classics was on display, and other local collectors displayed American-made “muscle cars” from the 1960s and 1970s on the farm’s lawn. Food and drinks were donated by Mission BBQ, Lost Barrel Brewing, and Dog Tag Bakery. 

How Did TSF Start?

TSF was founded in 2011 by Kevin Stacy who serves as executive director. As a decorated combat leader with 12 international deployments, he spent his career in direct support of the global pursuit of terrorists. While serving as a pilot in the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), Stacy and his wife, Shannon, felt the mounting pressures placed on families within this community. In 2012, he transitioned from the military to focus on life beyond the battlefield and realize the full potential of The Station Foundation. 

“We met Kevin and Shannon ten years ago,” Dady says. “They’re genuine and humble. [They want] to help … because they’ve been there.”

After months of research, TSF presented its first program in October 2012, and in 2015, they secured a facility in Bozeman, Montanna, called Base Camp Jimmy. Stacy shares, “We made a choice to step out and do something. Being a part of this organization means continuing to serve with the same commitment and focus as I did in uniform. It’s showing up every day with purpose and drives me to [be] my very best.”

Stacy named the organization  “The Station,” as a reference to his time at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. As a student there he would take the train on weekends to New York City’s Grand Central Station. “I remember being in the middle of this amazing cathedral-like hall,” he recalls. “I went to a kiosk for help, and the woman behind the counter pulled out a map and gave me [my transportation] options. This is where the true origin of the name hit me: We are all trying to figure out the right track, the right people to join us. Basically, [we are trying to connect] with those who understand. This has been the spirit of The Station since [its] inception. The Station is the ‘kiosk’ helping us to connect. It’s the greatest gift I can give to our SOF community.” TSF’s tagline – A crucial stop on the journey home – perfectly matches its mission.

Left: Classic car display courtesy of Callaway Classics in Marshall. Middle: Barb Roux and Gail Dady, co-chairs of the Eagle Café Event. Right: The event was held at Gail Dady’s sprawling Caliburn Farm.

Programs Offered by The Station

The Station’s core programs include three projects: The Homecoming Project, The Legacy Project, and The Interwoven Outreach Project. The Homecoming Project focuses on both active and retired SOF families. During a seven or ten-day bonding experience, the staff provides families with an excellent starting point to reset and rebuild, walking beside them as trusted guides. The Legacy Project is designed for Gold Star children (children of fallen warriors) and their mentors who are typically teammates of the fallen, so they can share memories about the child’s parent. The Interwoven Outreach Project extends to the SOF community across the nation. Through an online platform, content is shared daily, weekly, and monthly with alumni which helps everyone stay connected.

Comments from TSF Participants

Niko Temple is a participant in the TSF program. His wife, Jillian, remembers, “I was searching for something to help me and Niko.” She began receiving TSF’s e-newsletters and attended their Power of Friendship program which is one of the virtual courses designed to enhance family connectedness. 

She forwarded an email to Niko encouraging him to contact them. Temple recalls, “There was an instant bond and trust. I knew Kevin and Shannon really cared.”

Kristy Willis went to Bozeman in January 2020 to participate in the spouse program and is currently going through a year-long training. Her husband is still on active duty stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. “The needs are very different being a spouse of a Specials Ops soldier and The Station really addresses those needs like none other,” she shares. “They helped me address the pent-up, stressful energy I was carrying watching my husband go to war for 20-plus years. It sounds cliché, but TSF is life changing. It’s hard to put into words, but a few come to mind: powerful, magical, effective. They are experts at what they do.” 

Shannon Stacy remarks, “The spouses are behind the scenes, and they need support. We’ve been able to build a family community that they can lean on when they return home.”

Left: Tristyn Redd, Gold Star son. Middle: The barn was transformed into the Eagle Café. Right: Makayla Lynn, country music singer.

Back On Stage

Kevin Stacy made sure to emphasize that “This [concert] would not [have happened] without these two women [Barb and Gail]. They put together a community who made this event possible.” 

At the end of the benefit, Dave Roux announced that $1.2 million was raised that evening. “We want to put fuel in the tank to commit to giving to The Station [because] no one exemplifies giving more than our Special Operations Forces,” he said. “Mark your calendars for next year: May 28, 2023. It will be bigger and better!” ML

For more information and donation opportunities, visit thestationfoundation.org. 

This article first appeared in the July 2022 Issue.

A New Voice in Music

A New Voice in Music:

BERKLEE GRAD RETURNS TO VIRGINIA TO RELEASE FIRST SINGLE

Story and photos by Jennifer Gray

Hannah Juliette Rutti is a small-town girl from Upperville, Va., with big dreams of where her musical profession may take her. If you hit play on her latest single, “lazy boy,” or another favorite, “Air Supply,” you’ll hear why her powerful voice and pop melodies are meant for bigger things than what this small town has to offer.

Rutti attended Wakefield in The Plains before setting her sites on Berklee College of Music. During the pandemic, Rutti returned to Upperville to finish out her senior year remotely. We caught up with Rutti to find out more about who she is, what she’s listening to, and what’s next for the aspiring young artist.

Can you tell us about Berklee College of Music and what you focused on while you were there?

I graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston with a major in songwriting. I learned about the art of songwriting, how to work in the professional world, the technicalities, and the many ways to earn income as a songwriter.

What was your biggest takeaway from attending Berklee?

Berklee was an amazing school of music with incredible facilities and faculty, but it was a place where you had to network and go above and beyond to get the most out of it. Music is a very competitive field, but there are so many different facets of the music industry, and Berklee was so helpful for students to seek those opportunities out.

Do you think you will relocate for music now that you have graduated?

I am living in Virginia and am pursuing my music career, and if I feel that I get to the point that moving to either LA or NYC will benefit me, I will begin to make the move.

“My style of music is pop music with a very warm, fun twist to it.”

– Rutti

Can you tell us about your performance at Trinity while you attended Wakefield?

My senior recital was at Trinity Episcopal. It was for my music-directed study at Wakefield. I studied with my jazz teacher, Dr. Adrien Re, and my vocal teacher since 12 years old, Professor Emeritus at Shenandoah University, Dr. Janette Ogg. Dr. Ogg and I studied vocal anatomy and classical music history. It was a culmination of my high school musical journey. The recital was a combination of my classical and jazz repertoire.

What do you see as your more immediate next steps in your music career?

I am releasing music and building my social media following, and pitching songs for synch work (tv shows, movies).

How would you describe your style of music?

My style of music is pop music with a very warm, fun twist to it. I often incorporate indie styles and dark pop [into] some of my music.

Do you write your songs?

Yes, I write all my songs.

The lyrics in your songs are fun. Are they about anyone in particular? What inspires you?

Yes, they are about my longtime boyfriend, and [they are] fun-loving, ode[s] to summertime song[s]. I am inspired by so many things: relationships, nature, my feelings, movies, books, music.

What’s your new single about, and where can we listen to it?

It’s about being in the moment and doing nothing with someone who means a lot to you. It is on all streaming platforms. “Lazyboy” came out on August 20, and since then, I have gotten [over] 9,000 streams.

What other artists influence your music?

I am very inspired by Charlie Puth, Elley Duhe, Lennon Stella, Fletcher, Sasha Sloan.

What’s currently on repeat in your playlist?

I am listening to Fletcher’s new single “healing” on repeat and Sasha Sloan’s “hypochondriac.”

If you could fulfill all of your musical career dreams, what would that look like?

I would be a Grammy winner and be a very successful recording artist who has written hit songs for artists and myself, and done big synch movies, tv shows, play live shows, and be able to make a living solely on my music.

Can we expect to see you play a live show in the local area at some point soon, or are your sights set on bigger venues?

I do not have a live show on the books just yet, but I am hoping in the near future to release my next song and do a show next year! ML

This article first appeared in the October 2021 Issue.

Three Bands You Need to See this Summer and Where

Three Bands You Need to See this Summer and Where

Written by Chelsea Moore

As live music makes its return, music lovers flock to local shows with excitement and maybe a little caution. Live music ushers the return of community and many of our favorite things — dancing under the stars, supporting local breweries and wineries, and turning strangers into friends at live shows. Catch these three local bands across the Northern Virginia area this summer. Trust us when we say: You won’t want to miss this.

THE CROOKED ANGELS

Husband and wife duo Amy and Jamie Potter started playing in different bands but decided to combine their musical talents and form The Crooked Angels six years ago. The band’s name is a nod to Emylou Harris and the late Gram Parsons, who created a band called The Fallen Angels.

“It was a cool 70s traditional country with some psychedelic elements,” Jamie said. “[The name ‘The Crooked Angels’ is] not a sinister thing, but I think everybody has real humanity that is good and bad, and we can explore that through music.”

Amy sings and plays guitar, and Jamie plays guitar and the keyboard. While they primarily play local shows, they have performed as far south as Charleston, South Carolina. Their genre spans country, bluegrass, and Americana.

“Music is a universal language,” Jamie said. “Beyond political and religious affiliations, it’s something that cuts across all demographics. You play to your strengths. [It’s] communication without some grand fundamental message. This is what I’m feeling and enjoying, and maybe you connect with that, maybe you don’t.”

Outside of the band, the two have unique and exciting careers. Jamie writes novels for young adults, with newly published “Thomas Creeper and the Gloomsbury Secret” through Regal House Publishing. He was recently interviewed on Good Morning America and ABC News. Amy is a master healer and practices reiki.

“Music is the joy,” Jamie said. “We have our gears going in different areas, and we come together and are in the community. It’s great to come out of the cloister and be in the world again.”

Where To Catch The Crooked Angels This Summer:

Live Music at Lost Barrel Brewing
Fri., July 9, 5-8 p.m.
36138 John Mosby Hwy, Middleburg, Va. Join Lost Barrel Brewing in Middleburg every Friday for live music from 5-8 p.m. Happy hour is from 4 – 6 p.m.

Live Music at Dirt Farm Brewing Fri., July 16, 4-7 p.m.
18701 Foggy Bottom Rd, Bluemont, Va. Meet us at Dirt Farm Brewing for beer and music.

Live Music at Slater Run Vineyard Fri., July 23, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. 1500 Crenshaw Rd, Upperville, Va. Join us at Slater Run Vineyard for wine and music.

Live Music at Slater Run Vineyard Fri., Aug. 27, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. 1500 Crenshaw Rd, Upperville, Va. Join us at Slater Run Vineyard for wine and music.

Learn more about The Crooked Angels and find details on upcoming shows by visiting facebook.com/thecrookedangels.

SHORT HILL MOUNTAIN BOYS

What began as a two-person fiddle and guitar duo has turned into the 5-person Short Hill Mountain Boys. The founders of the band live in Lovettsville and named the group after the Short Hill Mountain. Primarily a cover band, the group plays throwback covers people haven’t heard before.

“Most of our stuff has not been on pop charts ever,” John Bestwick, the band’s co-founder, said. “It’s fresh, new material that people will hear. It’s all fun music. It has a definite bluegrass background and roots. It’s got country, swing, jazz, folk, soul, and Mo-town music.”

The band is composed of John Bestwick, who plays guitar and is lead singer; Joe Hammett, who plays guitar, mandolin, and does vocals; Evan Bell, who plays bass; Erik Burnham, who plays the mandolin, harmonica, and does vocals; and Ben Walters on fiddle and vocals.

“We just love playing music together,” Bestwick said. “That’s the tie that binds us. That’s what I love most: the camaraderie and musicianship with some of my best friends.”

The band members all have full-time jobs, but the band is their creative outlet. “Music is a passion of ours, and we are always going to do this,” Bestwick said.

Where To Catch The Short Hill Mountain Boys This Summer:

Low Country Boil On The Mountain Sat., July 17 from 5-8 p.m.
South Mountain Creamery
8305 Bolivar Rd, Middletown, Md. Bring your friends and family and kick back to the sounds of Short Hill Mountain Boys, who will strum into the night with a blend of bluegrass, old-time, Cajun, classic country, and folk music. Tickets available at southmountaincreamery.com.

Live Music by Short Hill Mountain Boys at Flying Ace Farm
Flying Ace Farm, 40950 Flying Ace Ln, Lovettsville, Va.
Sun., July 18 from 2 – 5 p.m.
Join us for live music by Short Hill Mountain Boys.

Bluegrass on the Half Shell
Sat., Aug. 21
Henway Hard Cider,
18780 Foggy Bottom Rd, Bluemont, Va. Join us at Henway Hard Cider for a full day of local bluegrass bands that will have you flatfooting in no time! Tickets required.

Find the Short Hill Mountain Boys on Facebook, where they share upcoming shows.

SCYTHIAN

Scythian was founded over a decade ago when brothers Alexander and Danylo Fedoryka began singing in Old Town Alexandria as street performers. Since their humble beginnings, they have grown into a successful folk-rock band, performing across Ireland and the United States.

Alexander and Danylo are first-generation sons of Ukrainian immigrants. Scythian, named after Ukrainian nomads, has four band members: Alexander Fedoryka, who plays the fiddle, mandolin, bass, and does vocals; Danylo Fedoryka, who plays rhythm guitar, accordion, and does vocals; Johnny Rees on drums; and Ethan Dean who plays electric and upright bass and does vocals. Their music spans the Americana, bluegrass, country, folk, and world genres, finding its sweet spot in folk-rock.

During COVID, the band live-streamed shows every two weeks to a cumulative audience of over 600,000. To support the band, fans bought t-shirts and sent them money over Venmo. But now, as live music returns, they are eager for fans to come out in person.

For the first time since 2019, they are hosting Appaloosa, their annual music festival, on August 13-15 in Front Royal. The festival has hosted Grammy-award-winning artists and was voted the best music festival in D.C.

“The festival is super family-friendly, but still hip,” Danylo said. “We want people to come out, and we want people to believe in music again, and believe in community,” Danylo said.

Tickets vary in pricing, from general admission to VIP tickets that include luxury chalets for glamping at the festival. This year’s festival will be smaller than previous years, but with 15-20 artists performing, attendees are still in for a treat.

“We are keeping it very affordable because a lot of people don’t feel comfortable because of COVID,” Danylo said. “It’s going to be one of the most reasonably priced festivals out there.”

With ample outdoor space, the festival is the perfect way for people to “dip their toes in the water and get back into social environments” while still being socially distant, Danylo said.

“It’s not a guarantee that live music is going to come back unless people take risks,” he said. “If you ever get in a car accident, you have to get in the car as soon as possible, or it reaffirms that you’re scared. With music, we have to throw these festivals, or otherwise, people are going to get comfortable in their fear.”

He pointed out that before COVID, live music was at an all-time low. He credits the slowness with the ease of Netflix, which provides entertainment without needing to leave the house. But he believes live music is going to come back stronger.

“The type of appreciation people are going to have for live music is going to be a throwback, like the 60s again,” he said. “It’s an electric vibe. It’s kind of my suspicion that this will be our best year.” 

Where To Catch Scythian This Summer:

Music at Arrowbrook Centre Park
Sat., July 17 at 7:30 p.m. Arrowbrook Centre Park, 2351 Field Point Rd., Herndon, Va. Gather with your friends, family, and neighbors to dance till the sun goes down and picnic under the stars as you enjoy this free show.

Appaloosa Music Festival Fri., Aug. 13-15 at 3 p.m. Skyline Ranch Resort, 751 Mountain Rd., Front Royal, Va. Appaloosa will be a joyful weekend that will show the world that live music is not dead. We suggest getting your tickets early.

Learn more about Scythian by visiting scythianmusic.com, and get more details on the Appaloosa Music Festival by visiting appaloosafestival.com. ML

This article first appeared in the July 2021 Issue.

3rd annual Middleburg Music Fest International features Pianists Katerina Zaitseva and Nikita Fitenko

Pianists Katerina Zaitseva and Nikita Fitenko performed their favorite piano compositions On December 2, 2018  in the Greenhill Winery Barrel Room. The program took the audience through selected compositions by Schubert, Chopin, Grieg, Debussy, Tchaikovsky, and Rachmaninov.

This event was part of the Middleburg Music Fest International, now in it’s third year, which has become a beloved yearly tradition for those who love the piano world.
After the concert guests enjoyed a reception to meet the artists and accompanied by wine and delicacies produced at the beautiful facilities at Greenhill Winery.

Dr. Zaitseva (Right) and Dr. Fitenko (Left) performing in the Barrel Room at Greenhill Winery.

About the Performers:

Internationally acclaimed pianist and Yamaha Artist Nikita Fitenko has performed recitals and with orchestras at important venues throughout Europe, Asia, South and North America. He holds degrees from the Saint Petersburg Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory (BM) and from the University of North Texas (MM & DMA). He has also recorded seven commercial CDs for Altarus and Classical Records labels.

Dr. Fitenko has been invited to serve on numerous international piano competition juries. He currently holds the position of Chair of The Department of Music Performance at the Rome School of Music, Drama and, Art and at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.; and he is also the Artistic Director and Co-founder of the Middleburg Music Fest International. Praised by Fanfare magazine as a pianist with an “imaginative and colorful approach”, Katerina Zaitseva has performed at major venues in the United States, Europe and Asia. Her six CD recordings released by the Classical Records label have garnered international acclaim. She is a winner of national competitions and awards including the MTNA Competition, SMU Concerto Competition, Von Mickwitz Prize in Piano as well as the University of North Texas Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award among others.

Dr. Zaitseva holds her DMA degree from the University of Maryland, Master of Music from the Southern Methodist University, Bachelor of Music from the University of North Texas, and Diploma from the Music School under the Moscow State Conservatory in Russia. She is also faculty and the Levine School of Music.

Guests enjoying wine and talking to the pianist after the event. 

This event is made possible thanks to the patronage of Greenhill Winery and the support of the
Town of Middleburg. For tickets information please check the announcement on Eventbrite.com, as well as on
middleburgmfi.org and our Facebook page.
Read about last years event here. 

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