Little Sin, big sound, cool beer

Richmond blues rock band Vexine unleashes sinful new record with a special beer

Photo by: PJ Sykes

Rock and roll has always been considered a sinful behavior. Richmond rock band Vexine intends to keep it that way with its newest record.

Little Sin is the third release by the local blues rockers and was recorded at The Shed (by Paul Pearce and Brian Fahquar) and Montrose Studios (with Bruce Olsen).

“It is a sexy, super-charged collection of songs that will slap you in the face then kiss you to make it better,” says vocalist Sarah Gleason. “The songs are about sin and the consequences thereof. The title track, ‘Little Sin’ is a sultry little number with gypsy rhythms pounding out the panic of a terrible secret.”

“On this record we tried to capture the energy of our live show,” says guitarist and vocalist Paul Pearce. “Not a lot of frills. Just guitar, bass, drums, and that sultry singer of ours.”

A popular song played at Vexine shows, “Tantilla Gardens” speaks of the Richmond dance hall landmark that once was the “South’s Most Beautiful Ballroom” before being demolished in 1977 (it’s just a parking lot now). Gleason says she grew up hearing stories from her grandmother about the venue where couples danced beneath the stars.

There’s also a song about zombies. No, really. It’s a crazy zombie love story called “Only One Left,” because “zombies need love, too,” according to Pearce.

Vexine plays regularly at Center of the Universe Brewing Co. in Ashland, so it’s only fitting that the band will be celebrating the new record’s release with a show there ‪on April 30th‬.

But listeners will need something cool to drink while they enjoy the music, so in an added twist to the special day, Center of the Universe will also be releasing a special “Little Sin” beer created just for the release.

“We teamed up with Center of the Universe on a lark,” Pearce says. “We played a bunch of shows there and love the beer. We thought we’d just ask them about this beer idea and to our great surprise, they were all over it.”

Center of the Universe Taproom Manager Tom Porter worked with the brewmasters to come up with the type of beer that would best fit Vexine and its style of music. The beer will be an Irish Red Ale with Rose Hips.

“I think I might be the inspiration for the Rose Hips,” Gleason says. “Cute story, COTU has been playing our music for the beer while it was in utero. That beer has heard its mama sing to it this whole time.”

Vexine releases Little Sin (the album and the beer) ‪on ‬Saturday, April 30th at Center of the Universe Brewing at 4:00 PM.

Listen to “Hornet’s Nest” below.

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Andrew Cothern

Andrew Cothern is the founder and editor of RVA Playlist, a music site that showcases events, concerts, album, show reviews, and opinion pieces that focus on the vibrant local music scene in Richmond.

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