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Hogwaller Ramblers return to honor slain 'cheerleader' Farrell

One of Charlottesville’s most celebrated defunct bands is getting together for one last concert in memory of a local friend and muse. The Hogwaller Ramblers plan to perform at Rapture restaurant’s dance hall on December 17 at a memorial service for 53-year-old author and arts provocateur Matthew Farrell, who was shot to death two months ago at his residence.

"It just seemed like the right thing to do," says band leader Jamie Dyer. "He was our first cheerleader."

The Hogwaller Ramblers went through multiple lineup changes over a multi-decade run that began in 1991 and ended about decade ago. Dyer says that most of the original members including David Wellbeloved and Rick Jones have indicated that they’ll return for this memorial.

"It’ll be the first time in 24 to 25 years with this lineup," says Dyer.

Named for the area around the Charlottesville Livestock Market, the Hogwaller Ramblers had an old-time, southern blues feel. Although they performed at Farm Aid in 1999, they remained a mostly local band with regular gigs at such defunct venues as Buddhist Biker Bar and Escafé in addition to their most reliable location, Fellini’s.

Dyer said that the memorial for Farrell begins at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Amid a career in information-gathering for large companies, Farrell voluntarily promoted people in Charlottesville’s creative community in the 1990s. He wrote two novels and ran a press for up-and-coming authors.

On the morning of October 25, first responders were called to his residence on Stony Point Road. There, his lifeless body was discovered in bed.

A live-in companion, Shawna Marie Nicole Murphy, 38, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. She remains jailed without bail at Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail.


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