Hogwaller Ramblers once again honor murdered ‘cheerleader’ Farrell

One of Charlottesville’s most celebrated defunct bands reunites for one final concert in memory of a local friend and muse. The Hogwaller Ramblers are set to perform Dec. 17 in the dance hall of the Rapture restaurant at a memorial service for 53-year-old author and art provocateur Matthew Farrell, who was shot dead in his home two months ago.

“It just seemed like the right thing to do,” says bandleader Jamie Dyer. “He was our first cheerleader.”

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

“It will 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-school, southern blues feel. Although they performed at Farm Aid in 1999, they remained a mostly local band with regular appearances at defunct venues like Buddhist Biker Bar and EscafĂ©, in addition to their most reliable venue, Fellini’s.

Dyer said the memorial for Farrell will begin at 7 p.m. Saturday.

During a career collecting information for large corporations, Farrell volunteered to promote people in the Charlottesville creative community in the 1990s. He wrote two novels and ran a press for emerging authors.

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

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

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