Virginia country/Americana musician, Brent Funkhouser, is taking it one step at a time with his latest single “We Get By.”
Recorded locally at Crab Shack Studios in Alexandria, Virginia, he seems as poised as ever to make a name for himself with a good-vibes song about staying optimistic through hard times. The song is driven by a sing-song chorus melody that is as easy to pick up as it is to get swept up into. It lifts you off your feet like a gentle, encouraging gust of wind that exists for the sole purpose of keeping the course.
As a community organizer for Virginia’s roots musicians, it makes sense that Funkhauser would be focused on the “we” rather than the “I”. In a way this song is not so much about weathering a hard time – it is about moving through it together. Sharing spirit and resources to help care for the people around us.
With strumming guitars, beautiful backing harmonies, and melodic flourishes from synthesizers, this is one of those songs that just feels good to listen to. There’s not a single confrontational note that can penetrate its warm embrace, and Funkhouser is smart to lean into its natural sense of ease and togetherness. By the end, the song’s title (and mantra) seems to transform from a call-to-action into a state of being that will inevitably ripple out into his community, and even beyond.
Charlie Maybee is a dancer, musician, educator, and writer based in Charleston, South Carolina who currently teaches with the Dance Program at the College of Charleston. His primary work as an artist is with his performing collective, Polymath Performance Project, through which he makes interdisciplinary performance art that centers tap dance as the primary medium of expression and research. He also currently plays rhythm guitar for the Charleston-based punk band, Anergy, and releases music as a solo artist under the name Nox Eterna.
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Flow-bending artist aSanTIS discusses art, culture, and whether sound can solve the world’s problems in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.
My interview with Amy Santis aka aSanTIS began in the most unexpected way. The Maryland-based flow-bending artist and lyrical storyteller came prepared to engage in conversation around questions I had posed – and she also brought one or two of her own thoughtful prompts based on her curiosities around my view of learning.
This practice of taking in her surroundings deeply through observation and inquiry has come naturally to aSanTIS ever since she was a young child. In terms of her early starts in music, she notes that she began as a discerning listener. “Just listening to music from my mom, on the radio, just being a consumer in the world of sound. But I think mainly, my mom has always loved dancing and listening to music, so that was sort of like second nature. We play music at gatherings, we play music in the car, and these songs are sort of like diaries that take us into a specific place.”