Virginia Coalition  (VACO)

Pearl Street Warehouse Presents

Virginia Coalition (VACO)

Strong Water

Sat · September 7, 2019

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm


This event is 21 and over

This show is G.A.

Seating will be limited and first come first serve

Tables are meant to be shared

Virginia Coalition (VACO)
Virginia Coalition  (VACO)
Geographically speaking, Virginia Coalition are from Alexandria. Musically speaking, Virginia Coalition
are from a million different places. New Orleans. Liverpool. Memphis. Detroit. Appalachia. Athens,
Georgia. Wherever Paul Simon was on the map, depending on the album. The Caribbean before it got
ruined by Jimmy Buffett. Overnight radio out of DC during the Marion Barry years. Alan Thicke’s cerebral
cortex when he was writing theme music for sitcoms. R and B when Jheri Curl was a thing.  Soundtracks
to John Hughes movies. Workout montage songs from the 80s that always seemed to have the word
“winner” in them. Piano-heavy coffee advertisements. Local car dealership jingles. Junkyard and James
Taylor. REM and EU. The Beatles and Bela Fleck. It’s all in there somewhere and somehow.
The band is a collection of suburban latchkey kids with tons of musical equipment who all came together
in basements and living rooms and clandestine keg parties all over Alexandria. Everybody went to
college. Everybody got a little smarter and a little better and a little more experienced. Everybody came
back and started playing in bars in Virginia, DC, and Maryland. Then they started playing on the
surprisingly lucrative Shenandoah Valley fraternity party circuit. Then clubs. Then bigger clubs. Then
clubs out of town. Then bigger clubs out of town. Then a record. Then tours. Then another record.  Then
more tours. Then another record.  Then more tours, and so on and so on. This sort of schedule isn’t
possible these days, but they haven’t really ever stopped playing, and haven’t been able to figure out
why anyone would. This is actually a lot of fun, you know.
Andrew Poliakoff, Vocals, Guitar, Percussion: Great baritone. Great soul sensibility. Means it when he
sings. Brown Telecaster that weighs 300 pounds. Crushes the congas when necessary, and the band
makes it necessary a lot. Is an attorney.
Steve Dawson, Vocals, Guitar: Great tenor. A little bit Southern-Fried. Alabama roots with Louisiana
seasoning. Blonde Telecaster.  Is also an attorney. Also plays with Karl Straub on occasion.
Jarrett Nicolay, Bass, Vocals, Pretty Much Anything: It’s always the guys who aren’t really bass players
that turn out to be the best bass players. Jarrett is no exception to that rule. He runs a recording studio,
and he looks like a guy who runs a recording studio. He’s also the guy who still finds ways to keep beat-
up Casio keyboards from 1989 running, and somehow make them sound amazing. Is not an attorney.
Also plays with Astra Via and My New Mixtape.
Adam Dawson, Drums: Pretty damn happy to be here, but is out of town a lot. Thinks the best gigs are
the ones you don’t know are going to happen until about two hours before they start. Is not an
attorney. Played with Timmie Metz, Justin Jones, and a lot of random people at the last minute all over
the world.
In keeping with the fine Alexandria musical tradition of getting more musicians in there, Virginia
Coalition has been lucky enough to get the following absolutely amazing players on stage:
Chris Watling, Saxophone, Horn Arrangements: Baritone, tenor, the occasional accordion. Plays with
the Grandsons, King Soul, Last Train Home, and countless others.
Vince McCool, Trumpet: Yeah, that’s his real name. You wish you had that name. Played with Tina
Turner, The Spinners, Jr. Cline, The Blue Rhythm Boys, Rick Whitehead, John Previti, the J Street
Jumpers, and also countless others.
Eli Staples, Piano, Organ, Keytar: Eli can play everything and likes everything except the band Chicago.
He’s has played with Journey, Mya, Ashanti, and Robin Thicke.

Andrew Pfeiffer, Trombone: A fellow Alexandrian and T.C. Williams alumni, Andrew is also a guitarist in
FeelFree. Check them out.
Jay Starling, Lap Steel Guitar, Keytar: Jay is directly responsible for any guitar sounds that might be
described as “sizzling.” He has a serious musical pedigree which he also exercises when he plays with
Love Canon.
Fred Hof, Percussion: Fellow Alexandrian and TC Williams alumni. We couldn’t do these shows without
him. He also plays guitar with Most Savage Gentlemen.

Band photo taken by: Justin Trawick
Strong Water
Strong Water
In 2013, Strong Water lead singer and guitarist Greg Brennan finished his American Literature course with something better than an A: the perfect name, borrowed from the Puritans, for his whiskey drinking, Americana/Folk band.

And like a good shot of its namesake, Strong Water is smooth with a raw, inexplicable bite, garnering inspiration from artists such as Noah Gundersen, Mumford and Sons, and The Lone Bellow, yet remaining unafraid to break the conventions of its genre with a pulsing drum beat or a reggae breakdown. Metaphor-laden lyrics are inspired by the intersection of seeming opposites: love and loss, anticipation and nostalgia, courage and fear, and by the surrounding beauty of the Shenandoah Valley. Their textured sound is, “Complete with howling banjos, two-part vocal harmonies and driving drums” as described by The Burg, a Lynchburg outlet that named Strong Water as one of five acts to watch at music festival Lynchstock 2017.

Originally formed as a duo in Harrisonburg, Virginia’s vibrant college town, Strong Water swelled to a six piece before dropping off to its original founder, Brennan, as band mates graduated and moved away from the “Friendly City.” What could have easily died a nostalgic college memory was reborn with the addition of classically trained fiddle player JJ Hostetter, drummer Evan Hunsberger, and banjo player Tim Cannon.

Strong Water graduated from the term college band after releasing an EP in 2014 that received overwhelming support from Harrisonburg’s thriving underground music community. In 2016, Strong Water responded with a 14 track self-titled album and began touring the Mid-Atlantic on the weekends, gaining attention from larger venues and artists, all while holding down full-time jobs.

Most notably, in September of 2017, they opened for the Grammy-Award winner, The Steel Drivers at a sold-out show at The Hamilton in Washington, DC .

Shortly after, in October they released their single “Bearfoot,” the title track off their upcoming album (released Sept. 21st, 2018), before taking a brief hiatus from touring as three of the band members got married and the album was finalized.
Venue Information:
Pearl Street Warehouse
33 Pearl St SW
Washington, DC, 20024