When you grow up in a town of 1,000 residents, you make your own fun. Backyard football. BB guns. Trawling the train tracks. Pushing flaming sofas off of forgotten bridges. You can only walk around Walmart so many times with your couple of good friends punning about products before you put all your restless youthful energy into becoming a prodigious music talent. At least, such was the case for John-Robert of Edinburg, Virginia, who started slaying local open mikes a cappella at age 9 and is now, at 18, launching his career as a proper pop upstart/outsider. On first listen, his is an intimate folk- and soul-driven sound powered by lithe voice, inventive guitar, and real heart. And that's all true, but the perspective is ever so askew—perfectly pleasant bops pushed sideways by sudden distortion, odd effects or the man's wild and often dark imagination.
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$10 General Admission
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