Scuffletown brings high energy mischief to the Highland Center Feb 8th
A critic has referred to Scuffletown concerts as shows “full of high energy mischief, laughter and great energy”. And the two performers who comprise Scuffletown, John Whitlow and Marc Carraway, will tell you they are happy with that description. Here’s John Whitlow describing their show vibe.
“I think one of the critical things for us is we always have fun,” he said. “That is a big driver for us. We love American traditional music so we want to honor that in our shows; we want to educate people in our shows, maybe expand their musical experience by playing some songs they typically have not heard and give them the history of the songs. Bottom line we do this for a lot of reasons but one of the primary reasons is we still have a lot of fun.”
Here’s a little more background on these two fine musicians, starting with Marc.
“I did music all throughout my 20s pretty much full time and traveling quite a bit,” said Marc. “And then I went into education in my 30s and I’ve kept this going since then.”
John’s musical journey has been similar.
“For me it’s always been a big part of my life and I started performing in college and have been fortunate enough to perform throughout adult life,” he said.
They’ve been playing music together at house concerts, wineries, and boat docks for over two decades. Which begs the question – is there anything new left to learn about each other or their music?
“You know there’s always something new,” said John. “Life is full of surprises and life takes twists and turns. We’ve been through so many stages together. I think the great thing about our musical partnership is that it very quickly emerged to where we are best friends.”
Marc says there have been some sad changes as well.
“We had a very good friend who was playing bass with us for the last several years and he passed away this past summer,” said Marc. “It’s been a little bit of a rediscovery for John and I, it’s just the two of us again. So, I think we do find some new things when, as John says, we hit these life changes. Different stuff comes up, we bring on different songs or different instruments and there’s always something a little bit new with Scuffletown.”
Marc is speaking about Vaughan Mairs, a beloved musician and friend who passed away in June of 2019 after a battle with cancer. There is a very sweet tribute page about Mairs on the Scuffletown website.
They met while working and playing in Orange County, VA. John had seen Marc playing as a solo musician in the area. John liked Marc’s style and made what Marc considered a bit of an odd request.
“He asked if I wanted to come play in his basement which I thought was a little…odd,” said Marc. “And I found out that he had a house concert series going on in his basement and it turned out to be one of the best shows I’ve played in this area.”
The name Scuffletown actually refers to an area in Orange county. After they’d been playing for a while, they decided to have a band naming contest at one of their concerts, and Scuffletown was the overwhelming choice of the audience.
So, what can you expect to hear at the Scuffletown concert at the Highland Center on February 8th?
“Hmmm…that is a great question!” said Marc. “We do a real variety of types of shows so one of the things we’re looking forward to about this one is the fact that it’s more of a listening show where people will be really kind of dialed in.”
“We’ll tend to do probably more of our original stuff and we’ll go a little bit out of the mainstream. Some will be familiar but we’ll also introduce people to some tunes maybe they haven’t heard before.”
Scufftletown will perform at the Highland Center on Saturday, February 8th at 7pm as part of the Second Saturday at 7 concert series. You can find out more about this concert and other concerts to come at highlandcountyartscouncil.org.