Evening of excellence: Richelle Claiborne wears many hats. Not only is she an actress, playwright, and published poet, she can also belt it out to the heavens. She charts new territory with her original music and spoken-word poetry, while also drawing upon a diverse array of genres, ranging from gospel to metal. Check it all out at this week’s Fridays After Five, where the opening band is the groovy duo Mojo Pie. - CVille Weekly
"Spoken word is one of those hard-to-please genres, being a relatively small niche compared to others like rock and pop. It's not often that one has their head turned by performance poetry, as keeping a listener's attention, much less inspiring the general public without something accessible and instant, is a challenge in itself. Enter Richelle Claiborne. Performing live, this gutsy woman delivers her R-rated poetry with conviction, humor and passion, conversing well with the groovy backup music that enhances the spirit of her work. Addressing current issues and embracing pop-culture, off-the-cuff musings, her poetry, while sometimes borderline-graphic and surprisingly honest, definitely will leave an imprint in your memory."~ CD Baby
"This. Is. Not. A. Test." Richelle Claiborne belts out those words in her trademark throaty, love-mama style on the homepage of Soul Sledge, the metal band she fronts. They could well serve as the motto for Claiborne herself, a multitalented artist who in the past year has made it clear that her dress rehearsal is over. Singer, songwriter, poet, actress, director, producer, teacher, costume designer-Claiborne has that multihyphenate thing working overtime. She is, as Ronda Hewitt likes to say, a "force of nature." ! She's so good, in fact, that it might just be a matter of time before the brighter lights of the big city lure Claiborne from here. But for now, as she comes into her own, Charlottesville can count itself lucky that ours is her stage.
C-Ville Weekly, Issue #18.