Jonathan Vassar offers up hushed singing, easy strumming and occasional harmonica-playing for Jonathan Vassar and Speckled Bird, his year-old folk band that made its Kennedy Center debut in January. Catch him at the Artist Underground Café on Feb. 28.
Margaux LeSourd , a singer/keyboardist, fronts the funky Bungalow 6 and her own group, which has a smaller lineup and more of a Fiona Apple/Jill Scott vibe. She plans to record her first solo album of jazz-influenced pop this spring.
Mark Ingraham , a trumpeter and singer, started writing songs for his nine-member Bungalow 6 back when he was studying jazz at VCU. Two years later, the band has an album, Radio Ready, and lively monthly gigs at Siné.
David Shultz and his band The Skyline's 2007 acoustic-rock album Sinners Gold is quietly addictive. The singer-guitarist and the band recently recorded an album he hopes to shop to big labels. See the band Feb. 21 at Plaza Duckpin Bowling's "Lebowski Night."
Ryan Waste and the other three members of Municipal Waste recently returned from headlining a UK tour. The 8-year-old band mixes old-school hardcore, punk and heavy metal. Last summer, their "Sadistic Magician" video debuted on MTV2's Headbangers Ball.
Wes Tatum is the lead singer and guitarist of 4-year-old Against Grace, a band that sounds more Southern California pop-punk than anything coming out of Richmond. In September they released their first full-length CD, Monroe. See them March 5 at Toad's Place or May 18 at the Canal Club.
Prabir Mehta has been leading his harmonizing-pop band, Prabir and The Substitutes, since 2005. Their third release, Five Little Pieces, was named a Top 10 album of 2008 by an All Music Guide editor. See them at "Lebowski Night," on Feb. 21, at Plaza Duckpin Bowling.
Dani Ahart stands front and center with her keyboard, belting out country-rock tunes with her group, The Hotdamns. Their second EP, … and Justice for Y'all, was released in December 2008. Catch them on Feb. 6 at Mojo's or opening for Wrinkle Neck Mules at Toad's Place on Feb. 20.
Scott Clark has steered the three other members of Ilad through diverse musical territory; tapping out the rhythms to lonely indie-rock, rolling almost-bluegrass sounds and spacey, atmospheric tunes. Their third album, Here There, comes out this spring. Catch the CD release show March 6 at The Camel.
Dickie Woods leads the 5-year-old twang-rock band The Atkinsons. Their rock opera American Gothic was released in 2007, and they've been playing every second Saturday at Café Diem for the past three years.