Martinsville, Virginia


Rives Theatre Announces Spring Lineup

Arts at the Rives Theatre (ART) announced its Live at the Rives spring concert series on Friday, headlined by a VIP kickoff party featuring renowned progressive bluegrass band the John Cowan Trio.

Other bands performing as part of the spring concert series are Moreland & Arbuckle, the Chris Duarte Group and Sanctum Sully. John Cowan, the lead singer of Newgrass Revival and the current bass player in the Doobie Brothers, will perform at the Rives on Feb. 9 as part of the VIP kickoff party. Music fans who purchase a $125 ticket will receive a catered dinner during the Cowan concert as well as a season pass for the 2013 Live at the Rives concert series, which will feature nine concerts not counting the Cowan show.

"We're excited to announce our spring concert dates," said ART President Dean Johnston. "We've got a great collection of rock, blues and bluegrass bands, each of which is known for putting on great live performances. I hope area music lovers will consider purchasing a season pass in advance so they can enjoy a night of great food and music with the John Cowan Trio. Proceeds from the season passes will allow us to book even more great artists for the remainder of the year."

The Rives has also scheduled a special stand-alone show for March 15 that will feature Tim Reynolds, the lead guitarist for the Dave Matthews Band, performing with his TR3 trio. This concert is not included in the season pass and will take place on March 15.

Moreland & Arbuckle are a three-piece Delta blues/rock band from Kansas that will take the stage on March 9. Members play electric guitar, harmonica and drums, and the band logged more than 82,000 miles during its most recent 9-month tour. During that tour, Moreland & Arbuckle shared the stage with the likes of ZZ Top, George Thorogood, Johnny Lang, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray and Los Lonely Boys, according to the band's website.

The Chris Duarte Group, a three-piece power trio, performs a style of Texas blues that many compare to the late Stevie Ray Vaughan. Duarte's music also draws form rock and jazz elements, and he earned his first record-label contract in 1994. One year later, he finished fourth in a Guitar Player's Magazine poll for best blues guitarist behind Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy and B.B. King. The band will take the stage of the Rives on April 6.

Bluegrass/rockers Sanctum Sully will return to the Rives as part of the Rooster Walk Preview concert on May 11th. The Asheville, N.C.,-based band combines numerous catchy original songs with a slew of are-they-really-playing-that covers by artists such as Michael Jackson, The Talking Heads and Corey Hart, among others. The band, a regular at the Rooster Walk Music & Arts Festival each May, features two Martinsville natives in mandolinist Jay Franck and guitarist Win Webster. When Sanctum Sully last performed at the Rives, in March 2012, they drew a capacity crowd of roughly 250 people.

The 2013 season pass will also include entry into an outdoor concert this summer, plus five Rives Theatre concerts that will take place in the fall. Bands have not yet been announced for the outdoor summer show or the fall concerts.

Tickets for ART concerts are sold locally at Studio 107 in uptown Martinsville, as well as Woodall's Music and Sound in Collinsville. Tickets are also available online at

ART is a community non-profit dedicated to preserving the historic Rives Theatre in uptown Martinsville by offering high-quality musical, educational and artistic programming. The volunteer-led board of directors has been working since 2010 to transform the Rives from a movie house into a live-music venue and community space for arts and education. For more information, visit