Dec
10
Stop Light Observations

all good news

 
Atlas Road Crew
Stop Light Observations | @Gypsy Sally's | view more info »
Dec
10

Atlas Road Crew

Stop Light Observations


Saturday Dec 10|doors 7:00 pm|21+
Gypsy Sally's|get directions »
3401 K St NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 333-7700


Atlas Road Crew

official band site »

South Carolina rock 'n' roll shot with southern soul accents. Formed in fall of 2011, Atlas Road Crew is rapidly building one of the most loyal fan bases on the East Coast, packing venues to capacity from South Carolina to New York City, and expanding quickly to major US cities in between.

The overwhelming positive response to the band’s latest recorded effort Halfway to Hopkins,produced by Grammy Award winning producer Rick Beato, has this young band quickly becoming the South East’s “must see” live act of 2015.

Halfway to Hopkins is a sonic blast from start to finish, bringing swampy southern accents to fresh, contemporary tunes while managing to capture the band’s blistering live show prowess on tape. The title refers to a small community outside Columbia where the band lived for several years after graduating from the nearby University of South Carolina. “That house, which was halfway between Columbia and Hopkins on the southeast side of town, was where we really began to come together,” Says drummer Patrick Drohan. “We knew then we wanted to become more than just another bar band.”

Riding the momentum of the record release, Atlas Road Crew’s constant touring led them to a six week European tour in early 2016 followed by an aggressive US club and festival run. Aussie rock ‘n’ roll blog 100 Percent Rock sums it all up nicely in their review, saying in no uncertain terms “This is EXACTLY the sort of music we should be listening to right now: bands taking old favourites and adding new directions, writing great songs, delivering ace performances. This is the good stuff.”


Stop Light Observations

official band site »

Home-grown Charleston, SC band Stop Light Observations (a.k.a. SLO) started playing together at the age of 13 when songwriter and pianist John Keith "Cubby" Culbreth asked guitarist Louis Duffie the iconic teenager boy question, "Wanna start a band?" His response was, "Yes." The young years were spent writing songs with captivating melodies and meaningful lyrics. The duo picked up childhood friends Luke Withers and Will Blackburn to "play dem' drums and sing dem' songs!" Over time they added Coleman Sawyer on bass and fiddle and Wyatt Garrey on lead guitar, which formulated the powerful six-piece band known today as Stop Light Observations. SLO has been described as Southern-Retro-Electro-Rock with influences of Classic, Revival, Psychedelic, Garage, and Arena Rock, with Indie, Motown, Hip-hop and Folk flares.

 
The Main Squeeze
Aztec Sun | @The 8x10 | view more info »
Dec
13

The Main Squeeze

Aztec Sun


Tuesday Dec 13|doors 7:00 pm|18+
The 8x10|get directions »
10 E. Cross St.
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 625-2000


The Main Squeeze

official band site »

Seamlessly blending funk, soul and rock ‘n’ roll, The Main Squeeze promises to keep your body moving with their infectious, feel-good musical gumbo. The Chicago-based band has been winning fans over with their unique musical blend since their formation a few years ago.

Ben “Smiley” Silverstein (keys) and Max Newman (guitar), the two founding members of The Main Squeeze, first began writing music together after meeting at a sleepaway camp in upstate New York. The two then went on to study in Bloomington, Indiana, where they formed The Main Squeeze during the summer of 2010. Now based in Chicago, The Main Squeeze is completed by frontman Corey Frye, drummer Reuben Gingrich and bassist Rob Walker.

In the five years since the band’s inception, The Main Squeeze has attracted a remarkably loyal and ever growing national fan base. The rabid following is no surprise as the band boasts a unique sound that is equal parts soul, funk and rock ‘n’ roll - think Stevie Wonder meets Red Hot Chili Peppers. Further, their high-energy live shows that showcase each member’s virtuosic talent -- with soulful vocals, intricate jams, tight grooves and powerful solos -- always leave their audiences awestruck.

The Main Squeeze has released two albums – an EP entitled First Drops and a self-titled sophomore effort that met with great acclaim. In addition, the band placed first at the International Jazz and Blues Competition in Macau, China, put their stamp on the Rolling Stone Super Bowl XLVI Pre-Party and graced the stages at some of the country’s biggest music festivals, including Bonnaroo, High Sierra, Electric Forest, North Coast, Phases of the Moon, Summer Camp and Gathering of The Vibes, among many others.

Having shared the stage with artists like The Roots, Jane’s Addiction, The Meters, Aloe Blacc and Trombone Shorty, the band continues to catch the ear of industry giants, like legendary producer, Randy Jackson, who was the producer on The Main Squeeze's upcoming sophomore full length album, Mind Your Head, due out in September 2015.


Aztec Sun

official band site »

AZTEC SUN is an 8-piece, “Funk with Soul” band that blends a strong sense of groove and eclectic improvisation into their music and live performances. Their upbeat and infectious melodies inspire high-energy, soulful dance parties no matter the venue. Since its inception in 2013, AZTEC SUN has been captivating audiences in Washington DC and breaking into the surrounding markets in New York City, Baltimore, and Richmond. With a studio E.P. set to release in December of 2016, AZTEC SUN will look to make a name for itself in 2016 and will continue to push the mantra behind their infamous live performances - “Whatever makes you dance”

 
Action House Vape and All Good Presents...
Big Something & Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band
Bencoolen | @9:30 club | view more info »
Dec
29

Action House Vape and All Good Presents...
Big Something & Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band

Bencoolen


Thursday Dec 29|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


Action House Vape and All Good Presents...
Big Something

official band site »

A 6 piece powerhouse with a sound that is both unique and timeless, BIG Something fuses elements of rock, pop, funk, and improvisation to take listeners on a journey through a myriad of musical styles. It's no secret why this group has quickly become one of the most exciting new bands to emerge from the Southeast. Soaring guitars, synths, horns and alluring vocal hooks rise to the top of their infectious collection of songs and represent a sound that has caught the ears of such revered Summer circuit stalwarts as Galactic, moe., Robert Randolph, and even The B52s who have all tapped Big Something as direct support.

The group's most recent release and 3rd full-length studio album - Truth Serum – was recorded with the help of Grammy-nominated producer John Custer. Cut almost entirely live in the studio, Truth Serum, is a great snapshot of the magic the band is capable of creating on stage. The album, which also features an appearance from DJ Logic, was named 2014 Album of the Year by The Homegrown Music Network, which makes Big Something the only band ever to win this award 3 times with 3 different releases (2010, 2013, and 2014). Truth Serum is available to stream for free in its entirety at: www.bigsomething.bandcamp.com


Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band

official band site »

Funk is more than a musical genre, it’s a way of life. And since that mindset is what Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band embodies every day, the collective titled its fourth studio album Funk Life.

The new record is as sassy and self-possessed as lead track “24/7,” a fearless plunge into contagious rhythms and bold horn hits. Recorded at Echo Mountain Studios in the Booty Band’s hometown, Asheville, N.C., Funk Life paired the musicians with engineer Julian Dreyer(Band of Horses, Avett Brothers, Zac Brown Band). The band was still arranging a couple of songs when tracking began, leaving room for the element of surprise. That spirit of excitement is captured on tracks like “Quick E,” an instrumental with plenty of swagger and vintage cool; the bold, woman-power manifesto “Mama Feelgood”, originally recorded by Lyn Collins; and “Wake Yo'Self,” a caffeinated dance track that builds to a keys-driven crescendo.

Funk Life is as modern as it is rooted in time-tested textures. The album was conceived in the back seat of a 1972 Impala while listening to a mix tape of P-Funk, Sly and the Family Stone, Buddy Miles, Aretha Franklin, Tower of Power, and James Brown. So pervasive are those influences that the track “Living the Dream” came to keyboardist/vocalist Mary Frances-Mama Funk when, in a sleep-charged vision, George Clinton and Garry Shider of P-Funk taught her the melodic riff. But as much as Funk Life offered the Booty Band a chance to zero in on the roots of funk music, it also reflects the band’s never-ending quest to deliver its vision of funk and where the genre is heading. For trombonist Derrick Johnson, the album presented an opportunity to use different techniques and sounds in creating a full horn section. “I think the process illuminated some concepts that will continue to be Booty Band staples as the band moves forward,” he says.

Innovation aside, the group has a keen sense of immediacy. “When you walk away from a show, you want to remember something,” says Mary Frances, and that’s why the Booty Band focuses on contagious choruses. Funk Life’s title track is as much an anthem as a deep groove, at once choreographed and organic. It’s the kind of song that has fans singing along on first listen.

In fact, the Booty Band takes its cues from the crowd: “When the ladies are dancing, that’s when you know the vibe is right,” says Mary Frances. The band not only infuses its funk aesthetic with sparkle and buoyancy, but maximizes its onstage entertainment value. During a Booty Band show you might find band members in the crowd, on top of a bar, and definitely in yo face!

Adding to the Booty Band’s crowd-pleasing prowess is a knack for selecting prime cover tunes. Deep cuts and songs by female artists make the list, as do unexpected hip-hop offerings. “They fit in our ecosystem,” says Lee. “We grew up with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, but they sample P-Funk, the Isley Brothers and classic funk. It’s a nice mixture.” Plus, there are nods to Crescent City favorites like Dirty Dozen Brass Band because, as Mary Frances says, “Everybody likes to be taken to New Orleans.”

With the release of Funk Life, the Booty Band continues its exploration of past, present and future funk sounds. “It’s a constant evolution,” says drummer Lee Allen. But the band isn’t too worried about defining that mix: “For me, it’s more of a feeling,” Lee says. “If it makes my head bob, it’s usually gonna make people dance.”

The band, which formed in the college town of Boone, North Carolina, in 2002, has shared stages with the likes of Parliament Funkadelic, Galactic, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk, Maceo Parker and Bootsy Collins. They’re in high demand on the festival circuit, putting in appearances at Wakarusa, Bear Creek, Jam Cruise, Telluride Blues & Brews Festival, Aura Fest, Floyd Fest, DeLuna Festival, Jazz Aspen, Center of the Universe Festival, Purple Hatters Ball, Camp Barefoot and Trinumeral, among others.

True musical road warriors, their live show is an absolute must see! A musical experience rather than simply a band, Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band is all facets of funk wrapped into one deliciously deviant package.


Bencoolen

official band site »

Known for their live act, Bencoolen defines their sound as maximalist rock with soaring vocal lines, massive guitar tones, and swift saxophone solos. The band was credited as the best Washington DC college band of 2015, was featured in USA Today, closed an Arlington Virginia festival, and opened for Cold War Kids.

 
Keller Williams Grateful Gospel & Keller Solo
John Kadlecik Band | @Rams Head Live | view more info »
Dec
31

Keller Williams Grateful Gospel & Keller Solo

John Kadlecik Band


Saturday Dec 31|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
Rams Head Live|get directions »
20 Market Place
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 244-1131


Keller Williams Grateful Gospel

official band site »

Definition: The spiritual side of Grateful Dead/Jerry Garcia songs performed in the style of black gospel music.

“I pitched the idea of this project as a Sunday morning set to the Lockn’ festival in 2013 and they went with it, so I rallied my Richmond “More than a Little” crew, added two more female singers and convinced John Kadlecic, from Further, to join us on guitar and Grateful Gospel was immaculately conceived. It’s the gospel of Jerry. Awe man. WARNING: this is not a Christian act.” – Kw


Keller Solo

official band site »

Definition: ADM (Acoustic Dance Music), solo acoustic guitar and voice with every other song walking the line of electronica. If you need a title to file under try electro-hippie acoustic downtempo.

“What kind of definition is that? It’s the kind of definition that will take you actually going to a show to decide for yourself and put it to your own words. This element of my life is what I refer to as my day job. Which is essentially me finding new ways to entertain myself on stage in front of an audience. Using technology and a technique, described by Dr. Didg, as live phrase sampling or looping, I am able to entertain myself for two sets. Nothing is prerecorded and all sounds and beats are created live by layering loops on top of one another and then singing or soloing over top if all if it.

See what I mean? Only being there can explain it. The thousands of hours on YouTube cannot describe the feeling and vibe of one of my solo shows…..at least the feeling that I get. Drawing from almost 2 dozen releases as well as a ridiculous amount of covers, hours are spent on set lists that often get abandoned for requests from the audience. So much fun, it should be illegal and in some counties it is.” –Kw


John Kadlecik Band

official band site »

John Kadlecik is a singer, songwriter, and musician based in the DC-area who can play most string instruments, but is primarily known for being a guitar-slinging sideman to Grateful Dead members Phil Lesh and Bob Weir in the band Furthur. An original co-founder of the group Dark Star Orchestra, John has been performing improvisationally-oriented shows regularly since the late 1980's and touring nationally for the last 20 years. His work also includes several studio releases of original music, and he is currently active with his own group, The John Kadlecik Band, as well as "supergroup" the Golden Gate Wingmen and occasionally Phil Lesh & Friends.

 
Lettuce
TAUK | @9:30 club | view more info »
Jan
6

Lettuce

TAUK


Friday Jan 6|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


Lettuce

official band site »

For more than two decades, Lettuce have brought a new vitality to classic funk, matching their smooth and soulful grooves with a hip-hop-inspired urgency and mastery of beat. Now, on their fourth studio album Crush, drummer Adam Deitch, guitarists Adam Smirnoff and Eric Krasno, bassist Erick “Jesus” Coomes, keyboardist Neal Evans, saxophonist Ryan Zoidis, and trumpet player Eric Bloom deepen that sound by channeling the sonic freedom and infectious energy of their incendiary live show.

Produced by Lettuce and recorded/mixed by Joel Hamilton at Brooklyn’s Studio G, Crush first came to life on the road, with the band developing new material and testing it out live as they toured. “We’ve all noticed that our music goes into a lot of different directions onstage, and we wanted to capture that in a way that we never really have before,” says Coomes, who names classic psychedelia and ‘90s hip-hop among Lettuce’s key inspirations on Crush. “It’s definitely more wide-open in terms style, but it still stays true to the funk.”

The follow-up to 2012’s Fly, Crush finds Lettuce brilliantly infusing their psychedelic and hip-hop sensibilities into bass-heavy funk. With its spidery guitar work and hypnotic beats, “Phyllis” is a delicately sprawling epic that embodies what Deitch refers to as “a chill-hop vibe that’s kind of the flip-side of all that powerful uptempo funk that people might expect from us.” On “Get Greasy,” Lettuce give a nod to the groove-fueled EDM subgenre known as future funk, building off its highly danceable rhythm with a blissfully loose and horn-laced arrangement. And on “He Made a Woman Out of Me,” guest vocalist Alecia Chakour lends her bluesy growl to a scorching take on Bobbie Gentry’s 1970 country-soul classic.

According to Lettuce, that sense of unity and togetherness has much to do with a camaraderie that’s only intensified over the lifespan of the band. Formed in 1992, when several band members attended a summer program at Boston’s Berklee College of Music as teenagers, Lettuce was founded on a shared love of legendary funk artists like Earth, Wind & Fire and Tower of Power. After returning to Berklee as undergrads in 1994, Lettuce started playing in local clubs and steadily built up a following that soon extended to cities across the country and then throughout the world. Releasing their studio debut Outta Here in 2002 and its follow-up album Rage! in 2009, the band dedicated the coming years to balancing their frequent touring with involvement in a host of other musical endeavors (including Evans and Krasno’s role as founding members of acclaimed soul/jazz trio Soulive).

In recent years, Lettuce have watched their fan base expand as they’ve hit bigger and bigger stages and earned their name as a can’t-miss festival act. And in making Crush, the band had no trouble harnessing the spirit of their explosive live show. “Some of these shows we’ve played over the past couple years have been so amazing, it’s like you go home a different person,” says Coomes. “I’m sure remembering those moments in our minds and our hearts helped bring out something special when we were recording these new songs.”

So while Crush offers everything from all-out party jams to headphone-ready journeys into space funk, each track was born from an unabashed joy and love of live performance. “That energy we get when it’s prime time and we’re about to go onstage and we’re just excited beyond belief—that all came out on this new album,” says Deitch. “There’s a feeling that the band is rising, and it’s a really beautiful thing.”


TAUK

official band site »

On their third studio album Sir Nebula, TAUK tap into their singular chemistry to elevate and expand their all-instrumental blend of funk, hip-hop, progressive rock, and jazz. Revealing both their refined musicality and unbridled creativity, the Oyster Bay, New York-bred rock-fusion four-piece (guitarist Matt Jalbert, bassist Charlie Dolan, keyboardist/organist Alric “A.C.” Carter, and drummer Isaac Teel) push into new sonic terrain and build entire worlds within each richly textured soundscape.

From the hazy atmospherics of “Time’s Up” and soaring riffs of “Program Select” to the urgent rhythms of “Shenanigans” and sprawling melodies of “Where You Are,” Sir Nebula finds TAUK introducing a cosmically inspired element to their music. “The album ended up taking on a more ambient kind of vibe than anything we’ve done before—there’s a spaciness in the songs that lets you get lost in the sound,” says Dolan. And while the album is endlessly hypnotic, TAUK also deliver the dynamic tension-and-release jams that have helped earn them a devoted following while drawing critical acclaim (the Washington Post, for one, praised TAUK for “creating a hard-charging, often melodic fusion that—thanks to a penchant for improv—offers limitless possibilities”).

Throughout Sir Nebula—the follow-up to their 2015 live double album HEADROOM—TAUK allow a more free-form, instinct-guided approach to steer their music into bold new directions. “With this record, we felt more comfortable in the studio and got to a new level where we were able to constantly feed off each other, so there was a lot of spur-of-the-moment improvisation that really helped shape the album,” says Jalbert. Adds Carter: “We made a point of trying to express ourselves freely and take risks even when that felt challenging and scary, instead of holding ourselves back and possibly taking something away from the songs.” At the same time, TAUK sharpened their songwriting to craft more intricately layered arrangements and powerfully intense grooves.

As with their past four releases, TAUK created Sir Nebula in collaboration with Grammy Award-winning producer/mixer/engineer Robert Carranza (The Mars Volta, Ozomatli, Jack Johnson, Taj Mahal). But in a departure from their previous work, the band made the album in one concentrated period rather than spacing the recording sessions out in between tours. Holing up at the Solar Powered Plastic Plant in Los Angeles, often pulling 12-hour workdays, TAUK ultimately found the revamped recording process hugely beneficial. “Everything just happened so naturally this time around,” says Jalbert. “I can’t think of one moment where it felt like anything was forced. We were all just completely focused and in the same mindset, which made it this incredibly fun and smooth experience.”

TAUK’s creative connection traces back to childhood, when longtime friends Dolan, Jalbert, and Carter formed their first band in seventh grade and held practice in their school basement. After playing together in various projects over the years, the trio brought Teel into the fold in 2012, cementing the final lineup. “We gelled pretty quickly as friends and as musicians, and now there’s a connection onstage that’s unspoken,” notes Teel. “You just feel it from the energy within the band and from the response coming from the crowd—all these people in the same exact headspace.”

Since their formation, TAUK have shared stages with an impressive list of bands (including Widespread Panic, Umphrey’s McGee, Lettuce, and Tim Reynolds & TR3), in addition to appearing at festivals like Electric Forest, Bonnaroo, and The Allman Brothers’ Peach Music Festival. That rigorous touring schedule has gone a long way in strengthening their chemistry, according to Carter. “We’re doing 140 shows a year and we pretty much live with each other, so there’s a healthy respect and trust and love happening there,” he says. “We all have a common goal and an understanding that this is something we’re compelled to do, and that’s definitely brought us close together.” It’s also helped TAUK develop a reputation as a masterful live act: “TAUK is unstoppable,” raved Live for Live Music. “If you haven’t see them, dear God, go.”

Now on the road again (with upcoming dates including a two-night stint at the Brooklyn Bowl and spots on the Hangtown Music Festival, North Coast Music Festival, and Catskill Chill Music Festival), TAUK also have plans to widen their output by composing scores for film and television. In the meantime, the band is focused on instilling their live show with the same kinetic energy and boundless passion that powered the making of Sir Nebula. “Growing up together as musicians and collectively going on this journey—that’s what makes this experience really special,” says Jalbert of TAUK’s continued evolution. “It’s like everything we’ve learned over the years has been funneled into this band, and now it’s taking shape in a really exciting way. We all love what we’re doing, and the band just feels like home.”

 
Lettuce
TAUK | @9:30 club | view more info »
Jan
7

Lettuce

TAUK


Saturday Jan 7|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


Lettuce

official band site »

For more than two decades, Lettuce have brought a new vitality to classic funk, matching their smooth and soulful grooves with a hip-hop-inspired urgency and mastery of beat. Now, on their fourth studio album Crush, drummer Adam Deitch, guitarists Adam Smirnoff and Eric Krasno, bassist Erick “Jesus” Coomes, keyboardist Neal Evans, saxophonist Ryan Zoidis, and trumpet player Eric Bloom deepen that sound by channeling the sonic freedom and infectious energy of their incendiary live show.

Produced by Lettuce and recorded/mixed by Joel Hamilton at Brooklyn’s Studio G, Crush first came to life on the road, with the band developing new material and testing it out live as they toured. “We’ve all noticed that our music goes into a lot of different directions onstage, and we wanted to capture that in a way that we never really have before,” says Coomes, who names classic psychedelia and ‘90s hip-hop among Lettuce’s key inspirations on Crush. “It’s definitely more wide-open in terms style, but it still stays true to the funk.”

The follow-up to 2012’s Fly, Crush finds Lettuce brilliantly infusing their psychedelic and hip-hop sensibilities into bass-heavy funk. With its spidery guitar work and hypnotic beats, “Phyllis” is a delicately sprawling epic that embodies what Deitch refers to as “a chill-hop vibe that’s kind of the flip-side of all that powerful uptempo funk that people might expect from us.” On “Get Greasy,” Lettuce give a nod to the groove-fueled EDM subgenre known as future funk, building off its highly danceable rhythm with a blissfully loose and horn-laced arrangement. And on “He Made a Woman Out of Me,” guest vocalist Alecia Chakour lends her bluesy growl to a scorching take on Bobbie Gentry’s 1970 country-soul classic.

According to Lettuce, that sense of unity and togetherness has much to do with a camaraderie that’s only intensified over the lifespan of the band. Formed in 1992, when several band members attended a summer program at Boston’s Berklee College of Music as teenagers, Lettuce was founded on a shared love of legendary funk artists like Earth, Wind & Fire and Tower of Power. After returning to Berklee as undergrads in 1994, Lettuce started playing in local clubs and steadily built up a following that soon extended to cities across the country and then throughout the world. Releasing their studio debut Outta Here in 2002 and its follow-up album Rage! in 2009, the band dedicated the coming years to balancing their frequent touring with involvement in a host of other musical endeavors (including Evans and Krasno’s role as founding members of acclaimed soul/jazz trio Soulive).

In recent years, Lettuce have watched their fan base expand as they’ve hit bigger and bigger stages and earned their name as a can’t-miss festival act. And in making Crush, the band had no trouble harnessing the spirit of their explosive live show. “Some of these shows we’ve played over the past couple years have been so amazing, it’s like you go home a different person,” says Coomes. “I’m sure remembering those moments in our minds and our hearts helped bring out something special when we were recording these new songs.”

So while Crush offers everything from all-out party jams to headphone-ready journeys into space funk, each track was born from an unabashed joy and love of live performance. “That energy we get when it’s prime time and we’re about to go onstage and we’re just excited beyond belief—that all came out on this new album,” says Deitch. “There’s a feeling that the band is rising, and it’s a really beautiful thing.”


TAUK

official band site »

On their third studio album Sir Nebula, TAUK tap into their singular chemistry to elevate and expand their all-instrumental blend of funk, hip-hop, progressive rock, and jazz. Revealing both their refined musicality and unbridled creativity, the Oyster Bay, New York-bred rock-fusion four-piece (guitarist Matt Jalbert, bassist Charlie Dolan, keyboardist/organist Alric “A.C.” Carter, and drummer Isaac Teel) push into new sonic terrain and build entire worlds within each richly textured soundscape.

From the hazy atmospherics of “Time’s Up” and soaring riffs of “Program Select” to the urgent rhythms of “Shenanigans” and sprawling melodies of “Where You Are,” Sir Nebula finds TAUK introducing a cosmically inspired element to their music. “The album ended up taking on a more ambient kind of vibe than anything we’ve done before—there’s a spaciness in the songs that lets you get lost in the sound,” says Dolan. And while the album is endlessly hypnotic, TAUK also deliver the dynamic tension-and-release jams that have helped earn them a devoted following while drawing critical acclaim (the Washington Post, for one, praised TAUK for “creating a hard-charging, often melodic fusion that—thanks to a penchant for improv—offers limitless possibilities”).

Throughout Sir Nebula—the follow-up to their 2015 live double album HEADROOM—TAUK allow a more free-form, instinct-guided approach to steer their music into bold new directions. “With this record, we felt more comfortable in the studio and got to a new level where we were able to constantly feed off each other, so there was a lot of spur-of-the-moment improvisation that really helped shape the album,” says Jalbert. Adds Carter: “We made a point of trying to express ourselves freely and take risks even when that felt challenging and scary, instead of holding ourselves back and possibly taking something away from the songs.” At the same time, TAUK sharpened their songwriting to craft more intricately layered arrangements and powerfully intense grooves.

As with their past four releases, TAUK created Sir Nebula in collaboration with Grammy Award-winning producer/mixer/engineer Robert Carranza (The Mars Volta, Ozomatli, Jack Johnson, Taj Mahal). But in a departure from their previous work, the band made the album in one concentrated period rather than spacing the recording sessions out in between tours. Holing up at the Solar Powered Plastic Plant in Los Angeles, often pulling 12-hour workdays, TAUK ultimately found the revamped recording process hugely beneficial. “Everything just happened so naturally this time around,” says Jalbert. “I can’t think of one moment where it felt like anything was forced. We were all just completely focused and in the same mindset, which made it this incredibly fun and smooth experience.”

TAUK’s creative connection traces back to childhood, when longtime friends Dolan, Jalbert, and Carter formed their first band in seventh grade and held practice in their school basement. After playing together in various projects over the years, the trio brought Teel into the fold in 2012, cementing the final lineup. “We gelled pretty quickly as friends and as musicians, and now there’s a connection onstage that’s unspoken,” notes Teel. “You just feel it from the energy within the band and from the response coming from the crowd—all these people in the same exact headspace.”

Since their formation, TAUK have shared stages with an impressive list of bands (including Widespread Panic, Umphrey’s McGee, Lettuce, and Tim Reynolds & TR3), in addition to appearing at festivals like Electric Forest, Bonnaroo, and The Allman Brothers’ Peach Music Festival. That rigorous touring schedule has gone a long way in strengthening their chemistry, according to Carter. “We’re doing 140 shows a year and we pretty much live with each other, so there’s a healthy respect and trust and love happening there,” he says. “We all have a common goal and an understanding that this is something we’re compelled to do, and that’s definitely brought us close together.” It’s also helped TAUK develop a reputation as a masterful live act: “TAUK is unstoppable,” raved Live for Live Music. “If you haven’t see them, dear God, go.”

Now on the road again (with upcoming dates including a two-night stint at the Brooklyn Bowl and spots on the Hangtown Music Festival, North Coast Music Festival, and Catskill Chill Music Festival), TAUK also have plans to widen their output by composing scores for film and television. In the meantime, the band is focused on instilling their live show with the same kinetic energy and boundless passion that powered the making of Sir Nebula. “Growing up together as musicians and collectively going on this journey—that’s what makes this experience really special,” says Jalbert of TAUK’s continued evolution. “It’s like everything we’ve learned over the years has been funneled into this band, and now it’s taking shape in a really exciting way. We all love what we’re doing, and the band just feels like home.”

 
An Evening with
Lotus
@9:30 club | view more info »
Jan
13

An Evening with
Lotus



Friday Jan 13|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


An Evening with
Lotus

official band site »

Having built a massive fanbase over the years, Lotus tours heavily selling out headline shows across the county and playing festivals such as Bonnaroo, Outside Lands, Ultra, and more. Whether you catch Lotus in outdoor amphitheaters, the country’s best theaters, intimate clubs or a variety of festivals, you can expect to have an experience of the senses. The band's new album, Eat the Light, is a first for Lotus - an album with vocals on every song. Guest singers appear throughout ranging from soulful to indie and electronic to rock. The tracks bubble with contagious dance energy and blast into orbit with sing-along choruses. The tightly produced yet raw grooves recall sounds of The Talking Heads, Jamiroquai, and LCD Soundsystem.


 
Lotus 2-NIGHT PASS
@9:30 club | view more info »
Jan
13

Lotus 2-NIGHT PASS



Friday Jan 13|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


Lotus 2-NIGHT PASS

2-Night Pass for Lotus @ 9:30 Club
Friday, January 13 & Saturday, January 14


 
An Evening with
Lotus
@9:30 club | view more info »
Jan
14

An Evening with
Lotus



Saturday Jan 14|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


An Evening with
Lotus

official band site »

Having built a massive fanbase over the years, Lotus tours heavily selling out headline shows across the county and playing festivals such as Bonnaroo, Outside Lands, Ultra, and more. Whether you catch Lotus in outdoor amphitheaters, the country’s best theaters, intimate clubs or a variety of festivals, you can expect to have an experience of the senses. The band's new album, Eat the Light, is a first for Lotus - an album with vocals on every song. Guest singers appear throughout ranging from soulful to indie and electronic to rock. The tracks bubble with contagious dance energy and blast into orbit with sing-along choruses. The tightly produced yet raw grooves recall sounds of The Talking Heads, Jamiroquai, and LCD Soundsystem.


 
SUSTO
Heyrocco | @The 8x10 | view more info »
Jan
18

SUSTO

Heyrocco


Wednesday Jan 18|doors 7:00 pm|18+
The 8x10|get directions »
10 E. Cross St.
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 625-2000


SUSTO

official band site »

SUSTO is the brainchild of Justin Osborne. It was born out of collaboration between Osborne & various colleagues including but not limited to Johnny Delaware, Wolfgang Zimmerman,Nicholas Scott Woodley, Jordan Hicks & Camilo Miranda. These collaborations took place between 2011 & 2013 in Charleston & Havana.


Heyrocco

official band site »

Charleston, SC's Heyrocco (est. 2014) embraces the early 90’s alternative boom with a sound that contains the melodic sensibilities and hard driving guitar sounds that gave that era a refreshing burst of authenticity that made it distinctive from the proceeding decade. This can be heard throughout their debut September 2015 full length release “Teenage Movie Soundtrack”. The album transports listeners back to the era when alternative, guitar driven music ruled the airwaves and the subculture.

 
The Infamous Stringdusters
The Brothers Comatose | @9:30 club | view more info »
Jan
27

The Infamous Stringdusters

The Brothers Comatose


Friday Jan 27|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


The Infamous Stringdusters

official band site »

Tradition and innovation provide the interlocking roots of bluegrass and its descendents, a lively dance of elements skipping comfortably from ancient jigs to radio ditties to spacious experimentation. THE INFAMOUS STRINGDUSTERS joyously embody and carry forward the spirit of Bill Monroe, John Hartford, Earl Scruggs, David Bromberg and other originators in their skilled embrace of this music’s twin gravitational pulls, moving dexterously between homespun legacy and creative expansion, a band firmly grounded in what has come before as they grow strong into tomorrow.

“What we do is a hybrid of the improvisational and bluegrass worlds. We take a lot of pride in that. While our music is our own concept, hopefully it does justice to the amazing components of the bluegrass world,” says Stringdusters Chris Pandolfi. “We love to present what we do but we always call on the bluegrass world of chops, technique, and traditions.”

GRAMMY-nominated The Infamous Stringdusters - Andy Hall (Dobro), Andy Falco (guitar), Jeremy Garrett (fiddle), Travis Book (double bass), and Pandolfi (banjo) – are as comfortable at a dirt road pickin’ session as they are on an amphitheatre stage, a collection of talents that can whisper and roar as the circumstance demands, responding in real time to their surroundings, working the angles as they ply their craft and raise their sinewy voices with limber grace.

Equal parts old school cats and modern operators, the Stringdusters’ latest album, Ladies & Gentlemen (arriving February 5th on Compass Records) spotlights the band’s gift for incorporating guests into their world by rolling out the red carpet for an eclectic array of female singers lending their pipes to a dozen original Stringdusters compositions.

Highlighting the group’s instrumental and compositional prowess, the new set opens up fresh spaces including the drum-boosted contemporary country bounce of “Listen” with airwave vet Joan Osborne, the classic Dolly Parton feel “See How Far You’ve Come” with Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek, Watkins Family Hour), the slow jam slink of “Have A Little Faith” with nu-soul belter Joss Stone, the contemporary folk breeze of “I Believe” with Lee Ann Womack, the rousing Americana soar of “Old Whiskey Bottle” with Celia Woodsmith, or the exhilarating style stew of “Hazosphere” with Jennifer Hartswick (Trey Anastasio Band). Elsewhere Mary Chapin Carpenter, Aofie O'Donovan (Crooked Still, Sometymes Why, The Goat Rodeo Sessions), Celia Woodsmith (Della Mae), Sarah Jarosz, Nicki Bluhm, Claire Lynch and Abigail Washburn weave their voices into one of the group’s strongest song cycles to date.

“Something unifying carries across the different tracks despite the diversity. All of the ladies really brought something special, often melodically, to each song,” says Andy Falco. "They took liberties with what we gave them, which is wonderful. They adapted the material and made it their own, so the finished track was truly a merger of the Stringdusters and each unique collaborator.”

“The lineup crosses all these interesting lines, from genres to relationships to different generations. It brings all these different things together,” says Pandolfi. “It has us playing with people that are new to us, playing with people from our scene, and playing with legends. When making a new Stringdusters album the challenge is finding the mojo - the heart of the matter - and this project has so much heart and mojo coming from all sorts of directions.”

Ladies & Gentlemen, the Stringdusters’ sixth full-length studio release, follows on the heels of Undercover, an EP of inspired cover tunes that reflect the variety of interests and influences in the Stringdusters, tapping the catalogs of Pink Floyd, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash and The Highwaymen. It’s another sign of the band’s desire to stretch and innovate even as they fully understand and honor the legacies they engage. “It’s a challenge we’ve embraced over the years. We’re a band that’s all about original music AND our own approach to old songs,” says Pandolfi. “It’s always been our thing to find a new way to do this.”

A resounding feeling of rock-ribbed authenticity and charming sincerity infuses every aspect of what the Stringdusters do.

“You can’t fool an audience,” says Falco. “There’s a yearning for real stuff in our time right now. Pop music is so perfect today but it’s sterile and the feeling inside it is being lost. When I listen to The Band, the background vocals aren’t perfectly lined up but it’s perfect in its imperfections. That’s what you want to hear. That’s where something grand unfolds. That’s grandma’s spaghetti and meatballs. When you’re younger you think you want the Spaghetti-Os but really you want what grandma is cooking up. As we grow as a band, we reach for more of those home cooked moments in the studio, in concert, in everything we do.”


The Brothers Comatose

official band site »

Expansive, uplifting, and just downright beautiful, City Painted Gold is one of the most anticipated records of the coming year – at least amongst the loyal fans The Brothers Comatose had won while touring across the country in support of their past two releases. Infused with a sense of relaxed, experienced confidence, The Brothers Comatose offer a southwestern-tinged, rowdy stringband sound that might just make this your new favorite record before you turn it over to side B. Walking lockstep with their undeniable top-flight musicianship is an easy humility. “It’s just one, big, extended Morrison music party,” they say. Brothers Ben and Alex Morrison, guitar and banjo, and lead vocalists, front this rocking string band that has become a West coast headliner and national touring act in a mere handful of years. With bassmaster Gio Benedetti and stellar accompanists Philip Brezina on fiddle and Ryan Avellone on mandolin, their high energy, audience engaging shows have caught fire with fans from San Diego to Seattle to Salt Lake to Silk Hope, NC and beyond.

 
Eric Krasno Band & The Marcus King Band
@The Hamilton | view more info »
Jan
29

Eric Krasno Band & The Marcus King Band



Sunday Jan 29|doors 6:30 pm|all ages
The Hamilton|get directions »
600 14th Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 787-1000


Eric Krasno Band

official band site »

For nearly two decades, Eric Krasno has been an omnipresent figure in popular music. We've heard his virtuosic, innovative guitar playing with Soulive and Lettuce (both of which he co-founded), seen him onstage supporting the likes of the Rolling Stones and The Roots, watched him take home multiple GRAMMY Awards, and benefited from his deft, behind-the-scenes work as a producer and songwriter for everyone from Norah Jones, Tedeschi Trucks, and 50 Cent to Talib Kweli, Aaron Neville, and Allen Stone. Krasno's rousing new solo album, 'Blood From A Stone,' reveals a previously unknown and utterly compelling side of his artistry, though, inviting us to bear witness as he both literally and metaphorically finds his voice.

"I’ve been writing songs with vocals for other people for a while," explains Krasno, who sings for the first time on 'Blood From A Stone.' "With these songs, we initially wrote them thinking others would sing them, so when I was in the studio with different artists, sometimes I'd introduce one of the tracks and they'd record it, but it wouldn't necessarily work out. Eventually, I realized it was because I'd written these songs for myself."

It might sound strange hearing Krasno discuss the idea of "finding his voice" so deep into a career already chock full of remarkable songwriting, but as he sees it, there's something new, something intimately personal about this album that urged him to step up to the microphone for the first time. And though so much about this album feels like uncharted territory, in some ways, it brings him all the way back to his musical roots.

"Growing up, I listened to Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and the Grateful Dead, along with a lot of hip-hop," remembers Krasno.  "When I linked up with Soulive, we played instrumental music, and that's the path I’ve mostly been on ever since. This record loops back to those initial bands and songs I loved, but with the added experience and influence of the past 20 years."  

When it came time to begin formal work on the album, Krasno left his home in New York City to join Dave Gutter from Rustic Overtones in Maine for the first writing session, which turned out to be so productive that the two had penned most of the album in just a few days. In a shift from the looser, jam/funk spirit that has marked Krasno's previous work, the songs for 'Blood From A Stone' took shape as tight, infectious, highly structured blues and R&B-based tracks. Krasno and Gutter commiserated over recent relationship turmoil and their shared love of music like Bobby “Blue” Bland's ‘Dreamer’ and Muddy Waters' ‘Electric Mud’ to create a sonic palette at once classic and modern, deeply personal and totally timeless. Deciding to strike while the iron was hot, the duo headed into Gutter's barn along with Ryan Zoidis (Lettuce) to lay down what they envisioned to be demos, but in fact turned out to be the backbone of the album.

"We set up an old tape machine and pieced together gear and borrowed microphones and cobbled a little studio together," remembers Krasno. "It was one of those things where, once people heard the songs we were coming up with, every musician in town started coming by with gear and helping out. We didn't realize we were actually making the record, so there was no pressure, and that let us experiment in really cool ways. There's a lot of rawness to the recordings, and that really bled into the performances and my vocal delivery."

It's apparent from the first moments of the funky, Hendrix-esque album opener "Waiting On Your Love" that Krasno's voice has been an ace up his sleeve this whole time. Rich, warm, and full-bodied, his tone blends earnest sincerity with casual swagger and, much like his guitar playing, taps into a deep vein of emotion. On "Torture" and "Jezebel," he sings as a bruised survivor of love-gone-bad, while the slow-jam of "Please Ya" channels Otis Redding soul, and "On The Rise" builds off a bass-and-percussion groove with psychedelic samples and gorgeous harmonies. The album has its lighter moments, too, from "Unconditional Love"—inspired by the spirit-lifting arrival of Gutter's daughter after school every day—to "Natalie"—a romantic ode to an automobile originally written during Krasno's Soulive days. It's an eclectic collection, to be sure, but it's all tied beautifully together through Krasno's understated vocals and skillful songcraft, which always leaves enough room for him to stretch out on his six-string.

As brilliant as Krasno's guitar work is throughout the album, though, Derek Trucks arrives as a special guest on "Curse Lifter"—a hypnotic instrumental that lands somewhere between Santana and the Allman Brothers—to give him a real run for his money.

"Derek is my favorite guitar player in the world," says Krasno. "I've known him for close to 20 years, because the first national tour Soulive ever did was with the Derek Trucks Band, and we've been super close ever since. I've watched him progress into the best, and it was really important to have him on this record."

The track's gorgeous, evocative guitar harmonies are a fitting way of bringing things full circle for Krasno, who's so often utilized his guitar in the service of others. In the end, he may not have drawn blood from a stone, but Krasno discovered deep wells of soul and untapped reservoirs of talent by recording this album, and he opened up entirely new worlds for himself as an artist in the process.

"It's something I didn’t know was there," he concludes. "I would have been totally content just being a guitar player and writing songs for other people, but this inspiration just happened, and I'm really glad it did, because it's changed things. I didn't know I had this in me.”


The Marcus King Band

official band site »

Songwriter. Guitarist. Singer. Bandleader. At only 20 years of age, Marcus King’s dazzling musical ability is evident throughout The Marcus King Band, the young phenom’s 2nd full-length LP and first for Fantasy Records. Operating within the fiery brand of American roots music that King calls "soul-influenced psychedelic southern rock," the album highlights King’s gorgeous, rough-hewn vocals, soaring guitar work and heartfelt songwriting all amidst a group of masterful musicians who, together, are quickly becoming one of the country’s most sought after live acts.

Raised in Greenville, South Carolina, King was brought up on the blues, playing shows as a pre-teen sideman with his father—bluesman Marvin King, who himself was the son of a regionally-known guitarist—before striking out on his own. Going beyond the sonic textures of his acclaimed 2015 debut album, Soul Insight; The Marcus King Band broadens his sound, touching upon everything from funky R&B to Southern soul and Americana in the process. His band gets in on the action too, stacking the songs with blasts of swampy brass, a lock-step rhythm section and swirling organ. Ever the multi-tasker, King bounces between several instruments, handling electric and acoustic guitar — as well as pedal and lap steel — while driving each track home with his soulful, incendiary voice.

Having spent the past year tirelessly playing ever-larger venues and festivals to a burgeoning fan base, The Marcus King Band was written on the road and recorded during a series of live takes at Carriage House Studios in Stamford, CT. The album captures the energy of the band's blazing live show, as well as the talent of a rising young songwriter reaching well beyond his years.

"The majority of our songs are specific to situations I've lived," King explains. "I write as a form of therapy, to release my emotions into a musical expression. I want people to know they're not the only ones going through that pain. Music is the true healer. And when we perform, we want the audience to leave feeling as tired and as emotionally freed as we do. It's all about getting the stress of the day off your chest. It's like therapy."

The Marcus King Band features Jack Ryan on drums and percussion, Stephen Campbell on bass, Matt Jennings on keys and organ, Dean Mitchell on saxophone, and Justin Johnson on trumpet, trombone and backing vocals. Joining the band on the new album are a number of mentors and collaborators, including Derek Trucks (who plays guitar on "Self-Hatred").

No guest plays a bigger role than Warren Haynes, though. A longtime champion of King's songwriting and guitar prowess, Haynes produced every track on The Marcus King Band (and contributed his trademark slide guitar on "Virginia"), expertly capturing the group's live sound for a cohesive collection reflecting the band's expansive explorations.

"Marcus is the first player I’ve heard since Derek Trucks to play with the maturity of a musician well beyond his age," Haynes says. "He’s very much influenced by the blues, but also by jazz, rock, soul music, and any timeless genres of music. You can hear the influences, but it all comes through him in his own unique way. He has one of those voices that instantly draws you in, and his guitar playing is an extension of his voice and vice versa.”

A childhood introvert who leaned heavily on music as a way of expressing himself, King fills The Marcus King Band with a mix of biographical tunes and fictional story songs. "At the time I wrote 'Self-Hatred,' says King, "the girl I was seeing really hurt me. Broke my heart, took all of my insecurities and used them against me…she told me she hated herself for what she had said and done to me. I told her I knew exactly how it feels to hate yourself. 'Self-Hatred' is within you and me."

"Devil's Land" is loosely based on his grandfather, who worked on a farm during his younger years, while the story behind the track "Rita Is Gone" was inspired by the television show Dexter. Meanwhile, songs like "Guitar In My Hands" peek into King's personal life — a life filled with highway mile markers, truck stops, and a nightly rotation of stages, all waiting to be filled with the sound of a genre-bending band on the rise.

"This album is a big melting pot of different kinds of music," says King. "It's the sound of everyone taking their own influences and collectively coming together as a group. We're all really hungry to play, and we're so passionate about this music. I want people to feel the same thing we feel — to leave the show feeling some sense of release. It's almost like the show ends, and everyone can take a deep breath together."


 
Moon Hooch
Honeycomb | @U Street Music Hall | view more info »
Feb
1

Moon Hooch

Honeycomb


Wednesday Feb 1|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
U Street Music Hall|get directions »
1115 U Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 588-1880


Moon Hooch

official band site »

“I‘m realizing more and more every day that you can make anything happen for yourself if you really want to,” says Moon Hooch horn player Mike Wilbur. “You can change your existence by just going out and doing it, by taking simple actions every day.”

If any band is a poster child for turning the power of positive thoughts and intention into reality, it’s the explosive horn-and-percussion trio Moon Hooch. In just a few short years, the group—Wilbur, fellow horn player Wenzl McGowen, and drummer James Muschler—has gone from playing on New York City subway platforms to touring with the likes of Beats Antique, They Might Be Giants, and Lotus, as well as selling out their own headline shows in major venues around the country. On ‘Red Sky,’ their third and most adventurous album to date, the band uses everything they’ve learned from their whirlwind journey to push their sound to new heights, bringing together the raw, transcendent energy of their live performances and the sleek sophistication of their studio work into a singular, intoxicating brew that blends elements of virtuosic jazz, groovy funk, and pulse-pounding electronic dance music.

“I think ‘Red Sky’ is more focused than any of our past albums,” reflects McGowen. “We practice meditation and yoga, and I think that we’re more evolved as people than we’ve ever been right now. That evolution expresses itself as focus, and through focus comes our energy.”

It was two years ago that the band released ‘This Is Cave Music,’ an exhilarating thrill ride that earned rave reviews from critics and fans alike. NPR hailed it as “unhinged” and “irresistible,” praising each musician’s “remarkable abilities” and naming their Tiny Desk Concert one of the best in the prestigious series’ history. The album followed their 2013 debut, which had Relix swooning for their “deep bass lines, catchy melodies and pounding rhythms,” while the Wall Street Journal celebrated their “electronic house music mixed with brawny saxophone riffs.” Though the band—whose members initially met as students at the New School—turned heads in the music industry as relative unknowns with a charismatic, unconventional sound (they play with unique tonguing techniques and utilize found objects like traffic cones attached to the bells of their horns to manipulate tone, for instance), they were already a familiar and beloved sight to straphangers in New York, who would react with such joy and fervor to their impromptu subway platform sets that the NYPD had to ban them from locations that couldn’t handle the crowds. NY Mag once referred to their sound as “Jay Gatsby on ecstasy,” while the NY Post fell for their “catchy melodic hooks and funky rhythms,” saying they had “the power to make you secretly wish that the short [subway] wait becomes an indefinite delay.”

While the band’s busking days are behind them now, the lessons they learned from all those platform parties helped guide their approach to recording ‘Red Sky.’

“What we discovered playing in the subway,” McGowen explains, “is that the more focus and the more energy you put into the music, and the more you listen to everything around you and integrate everything around you into your expression, the more the music becomes this captivating force for people.”

Recorded at The Bunker studio in Brooklyn, ‘Red Sky’ is nothing if not captivating. The album opens with the tribal urgency of the title track and proceeds, over the next 45 minutes, to utterly demolish any and every possible barrier that could stand between your ass and the dance floor. On ‘Shot,’ Wilbur sings a stream of consciousness vocal line over an airtight groove, while “Psychotubes” channels the apocalyptic fire and brimstone of death metal, and the staccato intro of “That’s What They Say” gives way to a gritty, late-night come-on of a saxophone line that’s far more suggestive than any whispered words ever could be.

Though the band is heavily inspired by electronic music, they made a conscious effort to use as little in the way of “studio tricks” as possible on ‘Red Sky,’ aiming instead to capture the sound of their live show, which has evolved significantly from their days underground.

“When we were playing in the subways, we were playing entirely acoustic,” explains Wilbur. “It was just two saxes and a drum set. Then Wenzl acquired a baritone sax and we all started getting into music production and incorporating electronic music into our live shows.”

At their performances, the band now plays through what they call a Reverse DJ setup, in which the live sound from their horns runs through Ableton software on their laptops to process recorded effects onto the output. In addition, to flesh out their sound on the road, the band began utilizing Moog synthesizers, an EWI (an electronic wind instrument that responds to breath in addition to touch), and other more traditional instruments like clarinets. Wilbur added vocals to his repertoire on some tracks (something the subway never allowed him to do), and Muschler, meanwhile, traveled halfway around the world to expand his percussion skills.

“I went to India, and the first morning I woke up, it was like 5am, and I followed this music along the banks of the Ganges,” he remembers. “I eventually ended up finding this amazing tabla player, and after his performance, I asked him for lessons. He agreed, and I went for daily lessons with him and another guy for the next two weeks. After that, I took a train to Calcutta, where I met with the guru that I’d studied with in New York, and I did morning lessons with him and practiced throughout the day. It was an incredible musical immersion experience.”

The band members all speak reverently of meditation and consciousness and the role it plays in their music (McGowen believes his introduction to it, spurred on in part by Wilbur and Muschler, saved his life), but equally close to their hearts are the environmental causes they champion. Moon Hooch tries to live up to their green ideals while traveling as much as possible, playing benefit shows, supporting local farmers and co-ops, participating in river cleanups, filming informative videos for their fans, and more. The band even runs a food blog, Cooking In The Cave, in which they highlight the healthy, sustainable, organic recipes they utilize with their mobile kitchen setup on tour.

For the members of Moon Hooch, commitments to consciousness and environmentalism and veganism and philosophy and peace aren’t separate from their commitment to music, but actually integral parts of it. It’s all tied into that same core approach that led to their discovery on the subway platform: try, even if it’s just a little bit every day, even if it’s just with the power of your mind, to make the world less like it is and more like you wish it could be.

“I’d say all of our songs express the essence of that kind of energy,” concludes McGowen, “because before you can even think any thoughts, there exists the energy that drives those thoughts, and that energy is intention. I feel like we’re putting the intention of positive change constantly into our music. While we’re playing, I often see the future emerging: skyscrapers getting covered in plants, frowns turning into smiles, fistfights into hugs. I can see the energy of love and collaboration and trust replace the energy of fear, hatred and violence.”

It’s an ambitious vision, to be sure, but considering the band’s track record at turning their thoughts and dreams into action and reality, perhaps it’s only a matter of time.


Honeycomb

official band site »

Currently based out of Massachusetts, the vocal cord conductor known as Honeycomb has quickly risen to the top of the food chain of northeast beatboxers, placing 13th in the 2015 American Beatbox Championships. With a unique approach as an equally versed music producer, and a frequent collaborator in both the live and studio settings, Honeycomb has built a sound fan base for himself through original productions and ear popping performances.

In the studio, Honeycomb has collaborated with Liquid Stranger, Moon Hooch and Space Jesus; as well as frequent partner in crime, Tonio Sagan. Aside from swaying audiences with his own material, Honeycomb has further embedded himself in the rapidly growing festival culture by joining a diverse array of artists, from bass DJs, to funk and jam bands, to rappers-on stage, bringing their sets to new heights.

 
Greensky Bluegrass
Fruition | @9:30 club | view more info »
Feb
2

Greensky Bluegrass

Fruition


Thursday Feb 2|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


Greensky Bluegrass

official band site »

Greensky Bluegrass is Anders Beck (dobro), Michael Arlen Bont (banjo), Dave Bruzza (guitar), Mike Devol (upright bass) and Paul Hoffman (mandolin).

For more than a decade and a half, the members of Greensky Bluegrass have created their own version of bluegrass music, mixing the acoustic stomp of a stringband with the rule-breaking spirit of rock & roll. They redefine that sound once again with their sixth album, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted.

Like the band's own name, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted is a collection of opposites, full of dark psychedelic swirls, bright bursts of acoustic guitar, soundscapes, solos, freethinking improvisation, and plenty of sharp, focused songwriting. It's wild and wide-ranging, showing off the diversity Greensky Bluegrass brings to every live show. At the same time, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted is unmistakably a studio album, recorded during two different sessions — one at Echo Mountain Studio in Asheville, North Carolina; the other at the Mountain House Recording Studio in Nedarland, Colorado — that comprise the band's longest block of recording time ever. The result is an 11-track album whose songs cast a wide net, mixing the full-throttle energy of a Greensky Bluegrass concert with the nuanced approach of a band that's still eager to explore.

"You can call us an acoustic ensemble, or a drum-less rock band, or a rock & roll bluegrass band," says mandolin player Paul Hoffman, who, along with guitarist Dave Bruzza, handles most of the album's writing duties. "All of that shifting identity has taught us to cover a lot of ground. There's a flow to this album, just like there's a flow to our setlists. There are some aggressive, rocking moments. Some bouncy, funky moments. An acoustic think piece or two. It's a balance of moods and textures that we create as a band, almost like a mix tape."

Formed in 2000 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Greensky Bluegrass kicked off their career playing living rooms and open mic nights across the Midwest. By 2005, they were touring nationally, and by 2006, they were playing the first in a long series of appearances at the annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Bandmates Hoffman, Bruzza, dobro player Anders Beck, banjoist Michael Arlen Bont, and upright bassist Mike Devol spent most of the following decade on the road, fine-tuning a live show modeled not after the toned-down production of traditional bluegrass music, but the full-on spectacle of rock.

"We play two sets of music every night with a big light show, and really care about creating a large scale production," notes Bruzza, adding that, "the goal isn't just to play important music. We want to cultivate an experience, where people can escape from their everyday lives for a minute and put their worries aside."

Playing as many as 175 shows per year, Greensky Bluegrass have graduated to headlining status at some of the country's most iconic venues, selling out amphitheaters like Red Rocks and world-class auditoriums like the Ryman. They've become a regular name on the festival circuit, too, adding Bonnaroo, the New Orleans Jazz Festival, Austin City Limits, Forecastle, and Outside Lands to their touring schedule. Supported by a grassroots audience whose members often travel for hours to see the band, Greensky Bluegrass are still a proudly independent act, enjoying the success of a major-label act — including a Number One debut on the Billboard Bluegrass chart for their fifth album, 2014's If Sorrows Swim — without giving up complete control of their own business.

Released on the band's label, Big Blue Zoo, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted kicks off with "Miss September," a song that splits its focus between Hoffman's mid-tempo melodies and the band's instrumental solos. Most of the album's tracks strike a similar balance, showcasing a group whose vocal hooks and flat-picking skills share the spotlight equally. Meanwhile, the guys stretch their legs on "Living Over" — an improvised, seven-minute knockout that's already become a live staple — and show surprising restraint with "While Waiting," a slower song whose ebb-and-flow arrangement often finds no more than two bandmates playing at once. "Room Without a Roof" features some of the group's most layered production to date, with electric instruments adding some thick sonic padding, while "More of Me" cranks up the drama, with Hoffman singing about heartache over a bed of minor-key guitar arpeggios.

"We tend to have a darker sense to ours songs than most acoustic bands," Bruzza adds, "but we still have light moments, too. We're trying to explore the textures and sounds we can make, while still having the instrumentation of a bluegrass band. There aren't many rules. We'll run a dobro though an amp on a song like 'Past My Prime.' We can get pretty epic. This album is a crazy carnival one minute, and it's a psychedelic Pink Floyd jam the next."

Equal parts dark, driving, and dynamic, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted is Greensky Bluegrass at their best, fusing the fiery fretwork of their live shows with the focus of a true songwriting outfit.


Fruition

official band site »

The first time they ever made music together, Fruition’s three lead singer-songwriters discovered that their voices naturally blended into beautiful three-part harmonies. In the eight years since that impromptu busking session, the Portland, Oregon-based quintet has grown from a rootsy, string-centric outfit to a full-fledged rock band with an easy but powerful grasp of soul, blues, and British Invasion era pop.

On their new album Labor of Love, Fruition shows the complete force of their newly expanded sound, matching their more daring musicality with sophisticated, melody-minded song craft. The album subtly imparts the sense of being swept along on a journey, one reflecting an open-hearted spirit that sets in from the first notes of the dobro, mandolin and electric guitar driven title track, carries on to the sleepy soul of “Santa Fe,” and unfolds into the epic balladry of “The Meaning.”

“A common theme for all three songwriters is trying to embrace being out on the road all the time, but also feeling like you’re missing out on the everyday lifestyle that most people get to have,” says Leonard. Embedded within that tension is a wistful romanticism that imbues many of the album’s songs. “Most of the love songs are very much about those rare moments of getting to be with the people you love,” says Anderson. “And then other songs are about coming back to the people you love, and trying to deal with the strange ways things change because of being apart.”

After releasing their debut EP Hawthorne Hoedown in 2008, Fruition moved from busking on the street, to scraping their way onto the lower levels of festival lineups, to opening tours for bands like ALO and Greensky Bluegrass and onward, to being invited to play bigger festivals with ever bigger billing on those lineups.

Last year saw them appear at Bonnaroo, Northwest String Summit and Telluride Bluegrass where Rolling Stone cited their artful choice of covers and “raucous originals filled with heartfelt lyrics and stadium-worthy energy.” This year will see them share a Red Rocks bill with JJ Grey and Mofro and The Infamous Stringdusters, along with a full headline tour of the United States.

That breadth of touring experience has steadily reshaped the band and ultimately allowed them to achieve a sound they’ve long aspired toward. “We all tend to write on acoustic guitar and let things start in the same stripped-down, folky sort of way that we always did,” says Naja. “So where the songs come from hasn’t really changed much at all. What’s different is where we let them go from there.”

 
Greensky Bluegrass
Fruition | @9:30 club | view more info »
Feb
3

Greensky Bluegrass

Fruition


Friday Feb 3|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


Greensky Bluegrass

official band site »

Greensky Bluegrass is Anders Beck (dobro), Michael Arlen Bont (banjo), Dave Bruzza (guitar), Mike Devol (upright bass) and Paul Hoffman (mandolin).

For more than a decade and a half, the members of Greensky Bluegrass have created their own version of bluegrass music, mixing the acoustic stomp of a stringband with the rule-breaking spirit of rock & roll. They redefine that sound once again with their sixth album, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted.

Like the band's own name, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted is a collection of opposites, full of dark psychedelic swirls, bright bursts of acoustic guitar, soundscapes, solos, freethinking improvisation, and plenty of sharp, focused songwriting. It's wild and wide-ranging, showing off the diversity Greensky Bluegrass brings to every live show. At the same time, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted is unmistakably a studio album, recorded during two different sessions — one at Echo Mountain Studio in Asheville, North Carolina; the other at the Mountain House Recording Studio in Nedarland, Colorado — that comprise the band's longest block of recording time ever. The result is an 11-track album whose songs cast a wide net, mixing the full-throttle energy of a Greensky Bluegrass concert with the nuanced approach of a band that's still eager to explore.

"You can call us an acoustic ensemble, or a drum-less rock band, or a rock & roll bluegrass band," says mandolin player Paul Hoffman, who, along with guitarist Dave Bruzza, handles most of the album's writing duties. "All of that shifting identity has taught us to cover a lot of ground. There's a flow to this album, just like there's a flow to our setlists. There are some aggressive, rocking moments. Some bouncy, funky moments. An acoustic think piece or two. It's a balance of moods and textures that we create as a band, almost like a mix tape."

Formed in 2000 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Greensky Bluegrass kicked off their career playing living rooms and open mic nights across the Midwest. By 2005, they were touring nationally, and by 2006, they were playing the first in a long series of appearances at the annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Bandmates Hoffman, Bruzza, dobro player Anders Beck, banjoist Michael Arlen Bont, and upright bassist Mike Devol spent most of the following decade on the road, fine-tuning a live show modeled not after the toned-down production of traditional bluegrass music, but the full-on spectacle of rock.

"We play two sets of music every night with a big light show, and really care about creating a large scale production," notes Bruzza, adding that, "the goal isn't just to play important music. We want to cultivate an experience, where people can escape from their everyday lives for a minute and put their worries aside."

Playing as many as 175 shows per year, Greensky Bluegrass have graduated to headlining status at some of the country's most iconic venues, selling out amphitheaters like Red Rocks and world-class auditoriums like the Ryman. They've become a regular name on the festival circuit, too, adding Bonnaroo, the New Orleans Jazz Festival, Austin City Limits, Forecastle, and Outside Lands to their touring schedule. Supported by a grassroots audience whose members often travel for hours to see the band, Greensky Bluegrass are still a proudly independent act, enjoying the success of a major-label act — including a Number One debut on the Billboard Bluegrass chart for their fifth album, 2014's If Sorrows Swim — without giving up complete control of their own business.

Released on the band's label, Big Blue Zoo, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted kicks off with "Miss September," a song that splits its focus between Hoffman's mid-tempo melodies and the band's instrumental solos. Most of the album's tracks strike a similar balance, showcasing a group whose vocal hooks and flat-picking skills share the spotlight equally. Meanwhile, the guys stretch their legs on "Living Over" — an improvised, seven-minute knockout that's already become a live staple — and show surprising restraint with "While Waiting," a slower song whose ebb-and-flow arrangement often finds no more than two bandmates playing at once. "Room Without a Roof" features some of the group's most layered production to date, with electric instruments adding some thick sonic padding, while "More of Me" cranks up the drama, with Hoffman singing about heartache over a bed of minor-key guitar arpeggios.

"We tend to have a darker sense to ours songs than most acoustic bands," Bruzza adds, "but we still have light moments, too. We're trying to explore the textures and sounds we can make, while still having the instrumentation of a bluegrass band. There aren't many rules. We'll run a dobro though an amp on a song like 'Past My Prime.' We can get pretty epic. This album is a crazy carnival one minute, and it's a psychedelic Pink Floyd jam the next."

Equal parts dark, driving, and dynamic, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted is Greensky Bluegrass at their best, fusing the fiery fretwork of their live shows with the focus of a true songwriting outfit.


Fruition

official band site »

The first time they ever made music together, Fruition’s three lead singer-songwriters discovered that their voices naturally blended into beautiful three-part harmonies. In the eight years since that impromptu busking session, the Portland, Oregon-based quintet has grown from a rootsy, string-centric outfit to a full-fledged rock band with an easy but powerful grasp of soul, blues, and British Invasion era pop.

On their new album Labor of Love, Fruition shows the complete force of their newly expanded sound, matching their more daring musicality with sophisticated, melody-minded song craft. The album subtly imparts the sense of being swept along on a journey, one reflecting an open-hearted spirit that sets in from the first notes of the dobro, mandolin and electric guitar driven title track, carries on to the sleepy soul of “Santa Fe,” and unfolds into the epic balladry of “The Meaning.”

“A common theme for all three songwriters is trying to embrace being out on the road all the time, but also feeling like you’re missing out on the everyday lifestyle that most people get to have,” says Leonard. Embedded within that tension is a wistful romanticism that imbues many of the album’s songs. “Most of the love songs are very much about those rare moments of getting to be with the people you love,” says Anderson. “And then other songs are about coming back to the people you love, and trying to deal with the strange ways things change because of being apart.”

After releasing their debut EP Hawthorne Hoedown in 2008, Fruition moved from busking on the street, to scraping their way onto the lower levels of festival lineups, to opening tours for bands like ALO and Greensky Bluegrass and onward, to being invited to play bigger festivals with ever bigger billing on those lineups.

Last year saw them appear at Bonnaroo, Northwest String Summit and Telluride Bluegrass where Rolling Stone cited their artful choice of covers and “raucous originals filled with heartfelt lyrics and stadium-worthy energy.” This year will see them share a Red Rocks bill with JJ Grey and Mofro and The Infamous Stringdusters, along with a full headline tour of the United States.

That breadth of touring experience has steadily reshaped the band and ultimately allowed them to achieve a sound they’ve long aspired toward. “We all tend to write on acoustic guitar and let things start in the same stripped-down, folky sort of way that we always did,” says Naja. “So where the songs come from hasn’t really changed much at all. What’s different is where we let them go from there.”

 
Greensky Bluegrass
Fruition | @9:30 club | view more info »
Feb
4

Greensky Bluegrass

Fruition


Saturday Feb 4|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


Greensky Bluegrass

official band site »

Greensky Bluegrass is Anders Beck (dobro), Michael Arlen Bont (banjo), Dave Bruzza (guitar), Mike Devol (upright bass) and Paul Hoffman (mandolin).

For more than a decade and a half, the members of Greensky Bluegrass have created their own version of bluegrass music, mixing the acoustic stomp of a stringband with the rule-breaking spirit of rock & roll. They redefine that sound once again with their sixth album, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted.

Like the band's own name, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted is a collection of opposites, full of dark psychedelic swirls, bright bursts of acoustic guitar, soundscapes, solos, freethinking improvisation, and plenty of sharp, focused songwriting. It's wild and wide-ranging, showing off the diversity Greensky Bluegrass brings to every live show. At the same time, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted is unmistakably a studio album, recorded during two different sessions — one at Echo Mountain Studio in Asheville, North Carolina; the other at the Mountain House Recording Studio in Nedarland, Colorado — that comprise the band's longest block of recording time ever. The result is an 11-track album whose songs cast a wide net, mixing the full-throttle energy of a Greensky Bluegrass concert with the nuanced approach of a band that's still eager to explore.

"You can call us an acoustic ensemble, or a drum-less rock band, or a rock & roll bluegrass band," says mandolin player Paul Hoffman, who, along with guitarist Dave Bruzza, handles most of the album's writing duties. "All of that shifting identity has taught us to cover a lot of ground. There's a flow to this album, just like there's a flow to our setlists. There are some aggressive, rocking moments. Some bouncy, funky moments. An acoustic think piece or two. It's a balance of moods and textures that we create as a band, almost like a mix tape."

Formed in 2000 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Greensky Bluegrass kicked off their career playing living rooms and open mic nights across the Midwest. By 2005, they were touring nationally, and by 2006, they were playing the first in a long series of appearances at the annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Bandmates Hoffman, Bruzza, dobro player Anders Beck, banjoist Michael Arlen Bont, and upright bassist Mike Devol spent most of the following decade on the road, fine-tuning a live show modeled not after the toned-down production of traditional bluegrass music, but the full-on spectacle of rock.

"We play two sets of music every night with a big light show, and really care about creating a large scale production," notes Bruzza, adding that, "the goal isn't just to play important music. We want to cultivate an experience, where people can escape from their everyday lives for a minute and put their worries aside."

Playing as many as 175 shows per year, Greensky Bluegrass have graduated to headlining status at some of the country's most iconic venues, selling out amphitheaters like Red Rocks and world-class auditoriums like the Ryman. They've become a regular name on the festival circuit, too, adding Bonnaroo, the New Orleans Jazz Festival, Austin City Limits, Forecastle, and Outside Lands to their touring schedule. Supported by a grassroots audience whose members often travel for hours to see the band, Greensky Bluegrass are still a proudly independent act, enjoying the success of a major-label act — including a Number One debut on the Billboard Bluegrass chart for their fifth album, 2014's If Sorrows Swim — without giving up complete control of their own business.

Released on the band's label, Big Blue Zoo, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted kicks off with "Miss September," a song that splits its focus between Hoffman's mid-tempo melodies and the band's instrumental solos. Most of the album's tracks strike a similar balance, showcasing a group whose vocal hooks and flat-picking skills share the spotlight equally. Meanwhile, the guys stretch their legs on "Living Over" — an improvised, seven-minute knockout that's already become a live staple — and show surprising restraint with "While Waiting," a slower song whose ebb-and-flow arrangement often finds no more than two bandmates playing at once. "Room Without a Roof" features some of the group's most layered production to date, with electric instruments adding some thick sonic padding, while "More of Me" cranks up the drama, with Hoffman singing about heartache over a bed of minor-key guitar arpeggios.

"We tend to have a darker sense to ours songs than most acoustic bands," Bruzza adds, "but we still have light moments, too. We're trying to explore the textures and sounds we can make, while still having the instrumentation of a bluegrass band. There aren't many rules. We'll run a dobro though an amp on a song like 'Past My Prime.' We can get pretty epic. This album is a crazy carnival one minute, and it's a psychedelic Pink Floyd jam the next."

Equal parts dark, driving, and dynamic, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted is Greensky Bluegrass at their best, fusing the fiery fretwork of their live shows with the focus of a true songwriting outfit.


Fruition

official band site »

The first time they ever made music together, Fruition’s three lead singer-songwriters discovered that their voices naturally blended into beautiful three-part harmonies. In the eight years since that impromptu busking session, the Portland, Oregon-based quintet has grown from a rootsy, string-centric outfit to a full-fledged rock band with an easy but powerful grasp of soul, blues, and British Invasion era pop.

On their new album Labor of Love, Fruition shows the complete force of their newly expanded sound, matching their more daring musicality with sophisticated, melody-minded song craft. The album subtly imparts the sense of being swept along on a journey, one reflecting an open-hearted spirit that sets in from the first notes of the dobro, mandolin and electric guitar driven title track, carries on to the sleepy soul of “Santa Fe,” and unfolds into the epic balladry of “The Meaning.”

“A common theme for all three songwriters is trying to embrace being out on the road all the time, but also feeling like you’re missing out on the everyday lifestyle that most people get to have,” says Leonard. Embedded within that tension is a wistful romanticism that imbues many of the album’s songs. “Most of the love songs are very much about those rare moments of getting to be with the people you love,” says Anderson. “And then other songs are about coming back to the people you love, and trying to deal with the strange ways things change because of being apart.”

After releasing their debut EP Hawthorne Hoedown in 2008, Fruition moved from busking on the street, to scraping their way onto the lower levels of festival lineups, to opening tours for bands like ALO and Greensky Bluegrass and onward, to being invited to play bigger festivals with ever bigger billing on those lineups.

Last year saw them appear at Bonnaroo, Northwest String Summit and Telluride Bluegrass where Rolling Stone cited their artful choice of covers and “raucous originals filled with heartfelt lyrics and stadium-worthy energy.” This year will see them share a Red Rocks bill with JJ Grey and Mofro and The Infamous Stringdusters, along with a full headline tour of the United States.

That breadth of touring experience has steadily reshaped the band and ultimately allowed them to achieve a sound they’ve long aspired toward. “We all tend to write on acoustic guitar and let things start in the same stripped-down, folky sort of way that we always did,” says Naja. “So where the songs come from hasn’t really changed much at all. What’s different is where we let them go from there.”

 
The Wood Brothers
T Sisters | @9:30 club | view more info »
Feb
11

The Wood Brothers

T Sisters


Saturday Feb 11|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


The Wood Brothers

official band site »

The cover of The Wood Brothers' gorgeous new album, 'Paradise,' is adorned with an illustration of a mule staring at a carrot dangling just inches in front of its mouth. The carrot, though, is hanging from a stick affixed to the mule's own head. "In some ways, he's already got it," explains guitarist Oliver Wood. "And in some ways, he'll never have it." That paradox is at the core of 'Paradise,' an album about longing and desire and the ways in which the pursuit of fulfillment can keep it perpetually out of our reach. It's a beautiful collection, the band's most sophisticated work to date and also their most rocking, with bassist Chris Wood playing electric on tracks for the first time. Recorded at Dan Auerbach's Easy Eye studio in Nashville, 'Paradise' captures the latest chapter in the ongoing evolution of a band—and a family—navigating the joy and challenges of a life in music.

Dubbed "masters of soulful folk" by Paste, The Wood Brothers released their debut studio album, 'Ways Not To Lose,' on Blue Note in 2006. You'd be forgiven at the time for expecting it to be something of a side project. Chris Wood already had legions of devoted fans for his incomparable work as one-third of Medeski Martin & Wood, while his brother Oliver toured with Tinsley Ellis before releasing a half-dozen albums with his band King Johnson. Almost a decade later and with drummer Jano Rix added as a permanent third member, it's become quite clear that The Wood Brothers is indeed the main act.

'Paradise' follows the band's acclaimed 2013 release 'The Muse,' which was recorded almost entirely live around a tree of microphones in Zac Brown's Southern Ground studio. Hailed previously by the New York Times for their "gripping" vocals and by the LA Times for their "taught musicianship," the brothers found the live setting to be a remarkable showcase for their live chemistry and charismatic magnetism. But when it came time to record 'Paradise,' their fifth studio album, the band knew the music called for a different approach.

"For this album, we wanted to have a more up-close and dry sound," explains Chris. "I worked on another record at Easy Eye and I just loved the room. Dan's studio is cool because it's not old, but it feels that way when you walk into it. It reminds me of Sun Studios. It just has that feeling of a small room with natural compression, and I think you hear that in the sounds on the record." The decision to record in Nashville was no coincidence either, as this marks the first album written with the entire band living in Music City.

"Oliver and I spent a lot of hours just in a room together writing songs," says Chris. "That's really never happened before. All the music in the past was written long distance or over the course of touring. It's definitely the most collaborative album we've ever made."

"It was kind of a luxury to be able to play together not just at a soundcheck," adds Jano. "It was a different starting point. Rather than people bringing in compositions that were relatively finished, we were starting from the ground up as a group." The album opens with "Singing To Strangers," which sets the tone for what's to come both musically and thematically. "Singing to strangers is something we do every night," explains Oliver, "and there's some satisfaction about singing to strangers. It's this weird thing that I think we get addicted to. It's not that we need attention as much as we need connection. On a good night, when we're singing to strangers, everybody in the room bonds, and you have this amazing sense of connection."

That desire for connection permeates the album, from "Touch Of Your Hand"—a song about what Chris describes as "the most basic human need that there is"—to "Two Places"—a track about longing for home and family while on the road—to "Never And Always," which examines the fundamental emotional experiences of loneliness and belonging. "Snake Eyes" and "American Heartache" both explore the dark side of longing, how the constant need for more in our consumer culture can engender a perpetual dissatisfaction with never having enough, while on "Without Desire," they find the beauty and the magic that the titular emotion can bring into our lives.

"Desire gets a bad rap sometimes," explains Chris, "and people think it’s the root of all of our problems. We wanted a song that said, 'Maybe it's not, maybe we need it.' What would it be like if we didn’t desire all those good things in life?" In addition to Chris's electric bass, which appears on two tracks, the album also showcases Jano's "shuitar," a portmanteau for "shitty guitar." The name belies the instrument's complexity, though. It's actually an acoustic guitar that Jano has rigged up with noisemakers to function as an easy-to-travel-with drum kit. "I made one in The Wood Brothers because we needed a portable drum set we could take to play on sessions and on the radio," he explains, "but then we've been using it so much live, we started writing for it and not wanting it to even sound like a drum set anymore. We wanted to let it be its own thing."

It turns up prominently on "Heartbreak Lullaby," which also features guitar playing from Oliver inspired by field recordings of African folk musicians. There's more to Jano than percussion, though, as he sits down at the piano on several tracks on 'Paradise,' including album closer "River Of Sin."

"That song imagines how when people get baptized in a river, it's supposed to wash away their sins," explains Chris. "But what happens to the water? Where do the sins go? And what if you live downstream from all that baptizing?" "A lot of the songs are dealing with these themes of longing and desire," adds Oliver, "but the album finishes with 'River of Sin' because it's a positive and empowering message, which is that you can't really do anything unless you're persistent. The narrator is humble and understands that there are all these things larger than him and he's just trying to understand them and he's determined to do better and be as good as he can. And he recognizes the only way to do that is to keep trying."

It's a fitting, lovely, gospel-tinged ending to an album that traces both the darkness and the beauty in our nature, the perpetual hope and the futility of it all. The quest for the carrot often blinds us to the fact that we already possess it, and that's the irony of desire.

"He who is not contented with what he has would not be contented with what he would like to have.” Socrates said that. "I can't live without desire / If I didn’t want anything / Why would I rise? / Why would I sing?" The Wood Brothers said that.


T Sisters

official band site »

The T Sisters, born and raised in California and now based in the creative hub of Oakland, embody harmony. It’s in their blood, bones, and history. Erika, Rachel and Chloe have been singing and writing music together since childhood, and the lifetime of practice shows.

The three sisters’ inventive songwriting is supported by their own acoustic instrumentation as well as upright bass (Steve Height), mandolin/guitar (Andrew Allen Fahlander), and drums (Marlon Aldana). Their sound represents a continuum of music, from traditional to pop influences, moments of breathtaking a cappella to swells of energetic indie Americana.

In the last two years, they’ve been honored to support such acts as Amos Lee, Todd Rundgren, The Waybacks, Laurie Lewis, ALO, Elephant Revival, The California Honeydrops, and more. Notable performances include Merlefest, Kate Wolf Music Festival, High Sierra Music Festival, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass (support role), Sisters Folk Festival, Strawberry Music Festival, Americana Music Association Festival, Music City Roots, and Garrison Keillor’s ‘A Prairie Home Companion’.

In 2014, the T Sisters released their debut full-length album Kindred Lines under the production of folk/bluegrass legend Laurie Lewis, and they look forward to the release of their new full-length album recorded at the legendary Barefoot Studios in LA in 2016.

 
An Evening Of Talking Heads and Assorted Love Songs featuring
Psycho Killers (Talking Heads Tribute)
Marco Benevento | @Rams Head Live | view more info »
Feb
11

An Evening Of Talking Heads and Assorted Love Songs featuring
Psycho Killers (Talking Heads Tribute)

Marco Benevento


Saturday Feb 11|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
Rams Head Live|get directions »
20 Market Place
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 244-1131


An Evening Of Talking Heads and Assorted Love Songs featuring
Psycho Killers (Talking Heads Tribute)

official band site »

Psycho Killers are a group of die-hard Talking Heads fans that were Born Under Punches in Baltimore, MD. Once in a Lifetime (not during wartime), they will take you to the river with Nothing But Flowers, and you’ll think, This Must Be The Place. They’ll set the Houses in Motion (and then burn them down) with a Listening Wind that will make you Crosseyed and Painless.


Marco Benevento

official band site »

For more than a decade pianist Marco Benevento has been amassing an extensive body of work. His studio albums and live performances set forth a vision that connects the dots in the vast space between LCD Soundsystem and Leon Russell, pulsating with dance rock energy, but with smart, earthy songwriting to match. It has led to numerous high profile appearances, ranging from Carnegie Hall to Pickathon, Mountain Jam to Bonnaroo, while headlining shows coast to coast.

Marco Benevento’s latest LP, The Story of Fred Short, is some of his finest and most adventurous work to date—a maestro making “bold indie rock” says Brooklyn Vegan. The collection is the follow-up to 2014’s Swift, which found Benevento singing for the first time and honing his psych rock and late night dance party sensibilities. The Story Of Fred Short is a continuation of this exploration with Benevento citing everything from Harry Nilsson, Manu Chau and Gorillaz as inspiration.

 
The Werks
Moogatu | @Gypsy Sally's | view more info »
Feb
11

The Werks

Moogatu


Saturday Feb 11|doors 7:00 pm|21+
Gypsy Sally's|get directions »
3401 K St NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 333-7700


The Werks

official band site »

Beloved Ohio jam rockers The Werks have responded to tragedy and transition by solidifying the strongest lineup in their decade of existence. They’re ready to launch 2017 with an 8-week coast-to-coast run in support of this effort, their fifth full studio release entitled “Magic”.

It all kicks off with a 2-Night Event in early February in Columbus, OH, the “Winter Werk Out Music and Arts Festival”, which is a sister showcase to the band’s 8th Annual Werk Out Festival, returning next August to Legends Valley in Thornville. Count on two big nights with hometown heroes The Werks plus a host of national rock and electronic acts.

Tour then heads to major cities in the Northeast like New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, DC, before a swing through the South, including favorite stops in Asheville, Atlanta & Charleston. After that, they’ll hit the Colorado ski resorts as well as Denver, where the band will host their first ever “Werk Out West Music & Arts festival” over 2 nights, featuring multiple shows with The Werks and many other acts.

They’ll continue West through the Rockies with visits to Utah, Montana, and the Treefort Festival in Boise, before landing on the Pacific Coast and two weeks of shows throughout Washington, Oregon, and California. The tour then concludes with the band’s debut visit to Phoenix.

Catch their sensational blend of rock and deep electronic funk beloved by fans across the musical spectrum, as The Werks visit a town near you with special guests like Cure for the Common, Moogatu, and many more to be announced soon.


Moogatu

official band site »

Moogatu has planted the first seeds for a unique blend of funky, shreddy progressive rock just outside of the nation's capital in bucolic northern Virginia. Soaring dual lead guitars and a pulsing rhythm section bring the quintet's inviting songcraft and creative improvisations to an audience that grows at every club and festival. Moogatu is carving its niche with high energy sets that keep people grooving long into the night. Moogatu is: Brian Raubacher (guitar, vocals) Chris Lee (guitar), Brian Zupruk (bass, vocals), Jeff Hunter (drums).

 
Leo Kottke & Keller Williams
@Lincoln Theatre | view more info »
Feb
18

Leo Kottke & Keller Williams



Saturday Feb 18|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
Lincoln Theatre|get directions »
1215 U St NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 888-0050


Leo Kottke

official band site »


Keller Williams

official band site »

This winter, Keller wants everyone to “Shut the Folk Up and Listen”! Starting in January, Keller will continue his 2016 collaboration with Leo Kottke by bringing his newest project, “Shut the Folk Up and Listen” to 24 cities around the country! For this tour Keller goes back to his roots, with just an acoustic guitar, he’ll share the stage with one of his musical idols, flat picking six and twelve string guitarist Leo Kottke. This unique evening of music features solo sets by both artists and spontaneous collaborations between the two.


 
Dead Man Winter
John Mark Nelson | @The Hamilton | view more info »
Feb
25

Dead Man Winter

John Mark Nelson


Saturday Feb 25|doors 6:30 pm|all ages
The Hamilton|get directions »
600 14th Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 787-1000


Dead Man Winter

official band site »

Furnace marks a whole lot of firsts for the accomplished songwriter. It’s his first time putting his long-running, popular string band, Trampled by Turtles, on hiatus to focus all of his efforts on a more personal project. It’s his first time speaking so plainly and literally about something happening in his private life. And it’s his first time dedicating an entire record to a single topic — a topic so significant and intimate that he questioned whether or not he should even release it into the world.

“I'm not even that big of a fan of breakup records, myself,” he says. “I mean, there's some I really love. Like Blood on the Tracks, fuck, I love it. But it was just kind of a necessary — that's the only way I know how to let it out. It would have been pretty hard to write about anything else at the time.”

There is palpable sadness and moments of poignant reflection, to be sure, but Furnace also propels Simonett forward with an undeniable sense of newfound freedom. At some points, like on the upbeat third track, “Red Wing Blue Wing,” you could describe the music as downright rollicking.

Like many of his contemporary songwriting peers, Simonett turned to his art to process the feelings that were swirling inside of him. “Right when we split up I went on this huge creative tear, and wrote a bunch,” he remembers. “And then as everything kind of settled in and the process started moving, life got really complicated, and it shut down for a long time. So I did something I've never done before: I went on a writing retreat. In the middle of winter, last winter, I went to this cabin in Finland, Minnesota, just like me in this little cabin for the week, with snow up to the windows and 20 below the whole time, and just wrote. And when I got to that place, I couldn't stop it.”

Ultimately, Simonett found the relief he was hoping for when it came time to make the record. Unsatisfied with the piecemeal approach that he used to cobble together the first draft of the album, Simonett rounded up his longtime friends from the Minneapolis roots rock scene — drummer JT Bates, guitarist Erik Koskinen, bassist Tim Saxhaug (also of Trampled by Turtles), and pianist Bryan Nichols — to record the album live to tape. The five of them holed up in the historic Pachyderm Studio in Cannon Falls, Minn., a ski chalet-like studio nestled deep in the woods where legendary albums like Nirvana’s In Utero were recorded.

“Making the album was this one great week — we just shut ourselves off in Pachyderm. We lived down there for the time. I don’t think I checked my email for like five days, it was awesome,” he says. “The vibe was just to make it feel like we’re playing in a room together. That can be a really joyful way to record. And then I had to go back to my lawyer’s office, you know? So I really treasure that.”


John Mark Nelson

official band site »

 
Tribal Seeds
Raging Fyah | Nattali Rize | @9:30 club | view more info »
Feb
26

Tribal Seeds

Raging Fyah
Nattali Rize

Sunday Feb 26|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


Tribal Seeds

official band site »

From San Diego, California, award-winning reggae group Tribal Seeds have become known for their spiritually driven, refreshing rock vibe they have infused with the roots style of reggae music. Originally started by two brothers, Steven Rene Jacobo (lyrics, lead vocals, guitar) and Tony-Ray Jacobo (producer, keyboards, vocals). Tribal Seeds now boasts six members, including: Carlos Verdugo (drums), Victor Navarro (bass), E.N Young (keyboards, vocals) & Ryan Gonzo (guitar, vocals).

Tribal Seeds’ unmatched musical talent and authentic sound has brought them to the forefront of the reggae rock genre, as their art form has reached people of all ages across the United States, and worldwide. The band’s debut, self titled album “Tribal Seeds” was released in 2008 with their second album “The Harvest” following, June of 2009. iTunes named both albums “Best Of” in the Reggae genre, for their respected years. Their debut album helped garner them the “Best World Music” title at the San Diego Music Awards in 2008, and “The Harvest,” which contained fourteen new and original songs, debuted at the number 5 spot on the Billboard Reggae Charts. The tracks, written and produced by Tribal Seeds, were recorded and mixed by Alan Sanderson at Signature Sound Studios in San Diego, and mastered by Erik Lobson at Universal Mastering.

On July 19, 2011, Tribal Seeds gave listeners a brand new EP entitled “Soundwaves,” which peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Reggae Charts. The band notes that the album was inspired by their life experiences, being on tour, and their desire to inspire youth to raise their voices and seek a higher consciousness.

Tribal Seeds released their highly anticipated fourth album, “Representing” on May 13, 2014. The new album debuted at Number 1 on the Billboard, iTunes & Amazon Reggae charts, and cracked the Top Billboard 200 at Number 114 overall. The album contains 12 original recordings and features some of the genres favorite stars: Don Carlos, Mykal Rose, Kyle McDonald (Slightly Stoopid), Vaughn Benjamin (Midnite), New Kingston and the band’s own, Maad T-Ray and lead guitarist Gonzo.

Tribal Seeds have toured throughout the United States, as well as internationally (Mexico, Guam, Tahiti & Aruba). They have shared the stage with artists such as Dave Matthews Band, Jack White, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jane’s Addiction, Skrillex, MGMT, Cee Lo Green, Jason Mraz, Matisyahu, Sublime with Rome, Taking Back Sunday, O.A.R., Pretty Lights, Steel Pulse, The Wailers, Pepper, Collie Buddz, Julian Marley, Stephen Marley, Gregory Isaacs, SOJA, Rebelution, and many more.


Raging Fyah

official band site »

Regarded as one of Jamaica’s most promising young acts, the band Raging Fyah makes music that is tethered to their island’s enduring, much emulated roots rock reggae tradition yet is distinguished by an expansive vision that propels their musical journey forward. The five piece band from Kingston, Jamaica, received critical acclaim for the intricate harmonies, nuanced musicianship and impressive songwriting skills showcased on their previous self-released albums, Judgement Day (2011) and Destiny (2014), earning comparisons to legendary reggae outfits including England’s Aswad and Steel Pulse, and Jamaica’s beloved Third World.

Nattali Rize

official band site »

NATTALI RIZE – Ask her where she comes from, she’ll tell you “All Directions”. In line with her philosophy she claims not to belong to any nation state but to the ever evolving community of conscious thinkers and creators anywhere & everywhere. Of mixed global heritage, with dominant Native American and Samoan roots, Nattali Rize has been known around the world for her work fronting epic roots band Blue King Brown as well as for her unwavering commitment to using her voice and music for the global struggle toward the realization of Full Freedom and the movement of Truth and Justice over the systemic exploitation of the people and our planet.

 
Railroad Earth 2-NIGHT PASS
@9:30 club | view more info »
Mar
10

Railroad Earth 2-NIGHT PASS



Friday Mar 10|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


Railroad Earth 2-NIGHT PASS

2-Night Pass for Railroad Earth @ 9:30 Club
Friday, March 10 & Saturday, March 11


 
Railroad Earth
@9:30 club | view more info »
Mar
10

Railroad Earth



Friday Mar 10|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


Railroad Earth

official band site »

There’s a great scene in The Last Waltz – the documentary about The Band’s final concert – where director Martin Scorsese is discussing music with drummer/singer/mandolin player Levon Helm. Helm says, “If it mixes with rhythm, and if it dances, then you’ve got a great combination of all those different kinds of music: country, bluegrass, blues music, show music…”

To which Scorsese, the inquisitive interviewer, asks, “What’s it called, then?” “Rock & roll!”

Clearly looking for a more specific answer, but realizing that he isn’t going to get one, Marty laughs. “Rock & roll…”

Well, that’s the way it is sometimes: musicians play music, and don’t necessarily worry about where it gets filed. It’s the writers, record labels, managers, etc., who tend to fret about what “kind” of music it is.

And like The Band, the members of Railroad Earth aren’t losing sleep about what “kind” of music they play – they just play it. When they started out in 2001, they were a bunch of guys interested in playing acoustic instruments together. As Railroad Earth violin/vocalist Tim Carbone recalls, “All of us had been playing in various projects for years, and many of us had played together in different projects. But this time, we found ourselves all available at the same time.”

Songwriter/lead vocalist Todd Sheaffer continues, “When we started, we only loosely had the idea of getting together and playing some music. It started that informally; just getting together and doing some picking and playing. Over a couple of month period, we started working on some original songs, as well as playing some covers that we thought would be fun to play.” Shortly thereafter, they took five songs from their budding repertoire into a studio and knocked out a demo in just two days. Their soon-to-be manager sent that demo to a few festivals, and – to the band’s surprise – they were booked at the prestigious Telluride Bluegrass Festival before they’d even played their first gig. This prompted them to quickly go in and record five more songs; the ten combined tracks of which made up their debut album, “The Black Bear Sessions.”

That was the beginning of Railroad Earth’s journey: since those early days, they’ve gone on to release five more critically acclaimed studio albums and one hugely popular live one called, “Elko.” They’ve also amassed a huge and loyal fanbase who turn up to support them in every corner of the country, and often take advantage of the band’s liberal taping and photo policy. But Railroad Earth bristle at the notion of being lumped into any one “scene.” Not out of animosity for any other artists: it’s just that they don’t find the labels very useful. As Carbone points out, “We use unique acoustic instrumentation, but we’re definitely not a bluegrass or country band, which sometimes leaves music writers confused as to how to categorize us. We’re essentially playing rock on acoustic instruments.”

Ultimately, Railroad Earth’s music is driven by the remarkable songs of front-man, Todd Sheaffer, and is delivered with seamless arrangements and superb musicianship courtesy of all six band members. As mandolin/bouzouki player John Skehan points out, “Our M.O. has always been that we can improvise all day long, but we only do it in service to the song. There are a lot of songs that, when we play them live, we adhere to the arrangement from the record. And other songs, in the nature and the spirit of the song, everyone knows we can kind of take flight on them.” Sheaffer continues: “The songs are our focus, our focal point; it all starts right there. Anything else just comments on the songs and gives them color. Some songs are more open than others. They ‘want’ to be approached that way – where we can explore and trade musical ideas and open them up to different territories. But sometimes it is what the song is about.”

So: they can jam with the best of them and they have some bluegrass influences, but they use drums and amplifiers (somewhat taboo in the bluegrass world). What kind of music is it then? Mandolin/vocalist John Skehan offers this semi-descriptive term: “I always describe it as a string band, but an amplified string band with drums.” Tim Carbone takes a swing: “We’re a Country & Eastern band! ” Todd Sheaffer offers “A souped-up string band? I don’t know. I’m not good at this.” Or, as a great drummer/singer/mandolin player with an appreciation for Americana once said: “Rock & roll!”


 
Railroad Earth
@9:30 club | view more info »
Mar
11

Railroad Earth



Saturday Mar 11|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


Railroad Earth

official band site »

There’s a great scene in The Last Waltz – the documentary about The Band’s final concert – where director Martin Scorsese is discussing music with drummer/singer/mandolin player Levon Helm. Helm says, “If it mixes with rhythm, and if it dances, then you’ve got a great combination of all those different kinds of music: country, bluegrass, blues music, show music…”

To which Scorsese, the inquisitive interviewer, asks, “What’s it called, then?” “Rock & roll!”

Clearly looking for a more specific answer, but realizing that he isn’t going to get one, Marty laughs. “Rock & roll…”

Well, that’s the way it is sometimes: musicians play music, and don’t necessarily worry about where it gets filed. It’s the writers, record labels, managers, etc., who tend to fret about what “kind” of music it is.

And like The Band, the members of Railroad Earth aren’t losing sleep about what “kind” of music they play – they just play it. When they started out in 2001, they were a bunch of guys interested in playing acoustic instruments together. As Railroad Earth violin/vocalist Tim Carbone recalls, “All of us had been playing in various projects for years, and many of us had played together in different projects. But this time, we found ourselves all available at the same time.”

Songwriter/lead vocalist Todd Sheaffer continues, “When we started, we only loosely had the idea of getting together and playing some music. It started that informally; just getting together and doing some picking and playing. Over a couple of month period, we started working on some original songs, as well as playing some covers that we thought would be fun to play.” Shortly thereafter, they took five songs from their budding repertoire into a studio and knocked out a demo in just two days. Their soon-to-be manager sent that demo to a few festivals, and – to the band’s surprise – they were booked at the prestigious Telluride Bluegrass Festival before they’d even played their first gig. This prompted them to quickly go in and record five more songs; the ten combined tracks of which made up their debut album, “The Black Bear Sessions.”

That was the beginning of Railroad Earth’s journey: since those early days, they’ve gone on to release five more critically acclaimed studio albums and one hugely popular live one called, “Elko.” They’ve also amassed a huge and loyal fanbase who turn up to support them in every corner of the country, and often take advantage of the band’s liberal taping and photo policy. But Railroad Earth bristle at the notion of being lumped into any one “scene.” Not out of animosity for any other artists: it’s just that they don’t find the labels very useful. As Carbone points out, “We use unique acoustic instrumentation, but we’re definitely not a bluegrass or country band, which sometimes leaves music writers confused as to how to categorize us. We’re essentially playing rock on acoustic instruments.”

Ultimately, Railroad Earth’s music is driven by the remarkable songs of front-man, Todd Sheaffer, and is delivered with seamless arrangements and superb musicianship courtesy of all six band members. As mandolin/bouzouki player John Skehan points out, “Our M.O. has always been that we can improvise all day long, but we only do it in service to the song. There are a lot of songs that, when we play them live, we adhere to the arrangement from the record. And other songs, in the nature and the spirit of the song, everyone knows we can kind of take flight on them.” Sheaffer continues: “The songs are our focus, our focal point; it all starts right there. Anything else just comments on the songs and gives them color. Some songs are more open than others. They ‘want’ to be approached that way – where we can explore and trade musical ideas and open them up to different territories. But sometimes it is what the song is about.”

So: they can jam with the best of them and they have some bluegrass influences, but they use drums and amplifiers (somewhat taboo in the bluegrass world). What kind of music is it then? Mandolin/vocalist John Skehan offers this semi-descriptive term: “I always describe it as a string band, but an amplified string band with drums.” Tim Carbone takes a swing: “We’re a Country & Eastern band! ” Todd Sheaffer offers “A souped-up string band? I don’t know. I’m not good at this.” Or, as a great drummer/singer/mandolin player with an appreciation for Americana once said: “Rock & roll!”


 
The Revivalists
@Rams Head Live | view more info »
Mar
23

The Revivalists



Thursday Mar 23|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
Rams Head Live|get directions »
20 Market Place
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 244-1131


The Revivalists

official band site »

In rock ‘n’ roll, you’ve got to walk the well-trodden path of the genre’s forefathers one step at a time. Each gig under your belt makes for another fan, while every record serves as the next totem for your legacy. It’s a proverbial rite of passage, and there’s no skipping to the end. The Revivalists didn’t take any shortcuts.

Since forming in 2007, the seven-piece New Orleans roots-driven rock band logged countless miles on the road, cultivating a high octane live show and a studio presence equally steeped in instrumental virtuosity and charismatic vocal magnetism. Following two independent releases, 2010’s Vital Signs and 2014’s City of Sound, that time and dedication came to a head on the group’s third full-length album, Men Amongst Mountains [Wind-Up Records]. As much as it’s the culmination of their work thus far, it opens up a new chapter for the band—David Shaw [vocals], Zack Feinberg [guitar], Ed Williams [pedal steel guitar], Rob Ingraham [saxophone], George Gekas [bass], Andrew Campanelli [drums], and Michael Girardot [keys, trumpets].

“The title sums up our collective feeling,” says Shaw. “We started to find ourselves on festival bills with our idols and in front of huge crowds. We thought, ‘We’re amongst these giants, but we’re holding our own.’ We felt like we stood up and met the challenge by simply being who we are as The Revivalists.”

That honesty turned both fans and critics into believers. Upon release, Men Amongst Mountains debuted at #2 on the Billboard Alternative Albums Chart and Top 10 on the iTunes Alternative Albums Chart while quickly racking up nearly 2 million plays on Spotify all through word of mouth. Rolling Stone, NPR, Nylon, and more would sing their praises as they launched a headline tour that sold out dates across the country. It all comes back to the group’s sound though.

“Everyone adds his own unique imprint to it,” Shaw goes on. “There’s always an element of surprise, because it’ll be groove-oriented, but unconventional. We lock in, and something different happens.”

Whether it’s Ed’s show-stopping pedal steel fireworks, Zack finger-tapping out bluesy licks on his fretboard, or Rob and Michael’s horns adding just the right touch of bombast, Men Amongst Mountains consistently surprises. In order to capture that unpredictability, the band recorded the album live on tape in just 21 days at the iconic “Studio in the Country” [Stevie Wonder, The Afghan Whigs, Nine Inch Nails] in Bogalusa, LA with producer Ben Ellman.

“We had been playing a good amount of the songs live,” explains Shaw. “We had a feel for them, but we also had a few new ones. Ben was a breath of fresh air in the process. There are seven people in the band and a lot of strong personalities, to say the least. Ben guided us through our ideas. With his encouragement, we’d work it until we felt that magic.”

The magic certainly courses through the album opener and lead single “Keep Going,” which shot into the Top 25 on the Triple A Chart. Driven by Shaw’s heavenly urgent croon, the track builds into a swinging refrain propelled by shining keys, funked-out guitar, and booming horns. “It started out as an acoustic song I’d written,” he goes on. “I showed it to the band, and they brought it to life. I was pretty road-worn at the time and tired from touring. That’s what the opening line is all about. It’s that message to just keep going.”

Elsewhere, “Wish I Knew You” delivers a wistful desire with stunning jamming and southern R&B swagger. “Monster” reels back into pensive lyrical poetry within a canvas of ethereal instrumentation, and “All In The Family” confidently explodes on a jaw-dropping guitar solo. The soulful “It Was A Sin” showcases Zack’s fret tapping bolstered by Ed’s cinematic pedal steel. “Zack and I wrote that one together,” remarks Shaw. “You can really hear everything we do as a band in there.”

Ultimately, The Revivalists are quite far along on their own path now, and there’s no turning back.

“All that matters is that the art makes you feel something,” the singer concludes. “I’d love for it to take you away into the mood we felt when the song was actually created. I hope you can feel the general vibe of a song and have it be an escape—whether you’re listening to it at home or in the crowd at a show.”


 
Twiddle
Aqueous | @9:30 club | view more info »
Mar
25

Twiddle

Aqueous


Saturday Mar 25|doors 10:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


Twiddle

official band site »

Twiddle, a Vermont based quartet, spins tall tales over an intricate soundscape of hi-def shred. Their fresh multi-genre approach conjures up jazz, classical, and bluegrass, but above all, masterfully blends reggae and funk. Obliterating laws of improvisation, their complex arrangements never fail to leave crowds lusting for more. With sage songwriting and unmatched variety, Twiddle’s thrilling infancy will surely exceed all expectation.


Aqueous

official band site »

Tearing out of Buffalo NY, rock/groove powerhouse Aqueous has built a name for themselves nationally, following years of touring and high profile sets at festivals like Summer Camp, Peach Festival, Moe.Down, Catskill Chill, The Frendly Gathering, and countless others. Aqueous has built a reputation for bringing high energy and tireless effort to their craft, and fans rave about the uniqueness and power behind every performance. Featured as one of Relix Magazine's "On The Verge" artists and having shared the stage with the likes of Umphrey's McGee, Lotus, Papadosio & more, there seems no limit to the quartet's journey to the top.

 
JamBase and All Good Presents...
The Motet
Reed Mathis & Electric Beethoven | @9:30 club | view more info »
Apr
14

JamBase and All Good Presents...
The Motet

Reed Mathis & Electric Beethoven


Friday Apr 14|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


JamBase and All Good Presents...
The Motet

official band site »

The future of funk is clear on The Motet’s new self-released studio album, Totem, which hits streets July 8, 2016. The 12 tracks on Totem, all originals, cover a lot of ground stylistically while never losing sight of the groove. Produced by Lettuce and Soulive guitarist Eric Krasno, Totem was written collectively by the seven members of the band. Each song is steeped in The Motet’s signature style that slaps you in the face with sounds that are fresh and unique.

The recent addition of singer Lyle Divinsky, who joined the band in early 2016, fans the flames of this already hot band. His sinfully soulful voice and rich lyrics are powerfully prevalent throughout Totem. “There was a month and a half between the time I joined the band and when we went into the studio,” explains Divinsky. “I wound up writing the lyrics and melodies to four songs, and re-wrote the lyrics to two. It gave me and the band an opportunity to really connect musically. We’re deeply proud of this album and it’s very exciting to have this new material to push out as we begin this next phase of The Motet’s journey.”

The brilliance of The Motet is that they do not mimic bands of the past, but rather create new, authentic sounds in a language from the past. One might explain the difference like the process of writing a poem in Old English or Aramaic: first, you have to learn the language by digging into the past, then you can express yourself in the present - and say anything you want - using that language.

No matter how you choose to express funk, you can’t fake it - and you sure as hell can’t play it - if you don’t know where to find it.

Just how did The Motet find the funk? Simply put, they dissected it. “We have put together funk-themed Halloween shows for the past fifteen years, where we pay tribute to a particular artist or play a ‘Mixtape’ set of music culled from a certain year,” shares Dave Watts.

Past Halloween cover sets have included tributes to Herbie Hancock, Earth, Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Parliament-Funkadelic and many others. Recent tribute shows have celebrated a particular year in music, with ‘Mixtape’ sets from 1975, 1977, and 1980. “Preparing for these shows are intense, and we take it very seriously. Each year it gives us an incredible opportunity to not just learn, but to understand, the art of funk – both as individual players and as a band.” These shows, which have become a beloved live music tradition and sell out each year, have also offered a unique (and rowdy) opportunity for the band’s fans to join them in their ongoing exploration of creative, live dance music.

The Motet began in 1998 in Denver, Colorado, where the band’s then-rotating cast of musicians amassed an enthusiastic and loyal throng of hometown fans. The Motet took their infectious dance parties on the road about three years ago, and their national fan base has been growing exponentially ever since. Today their shows sell out from coast to coast at such venues as Red Rock’s Amphitheatre, Brooklyn Bowl, Chicago’s Park West, The Independent in San Francisco, Tipitina’s in New Orleans, Portland’s Crystal Ballroom, and Variety Playhouse in Atlanta. A favorite along the festival circuit, The Motet has performed at Electric Forest, Summer Camp, All Good Music Festival, High Sierra Music Festival, Bonnoroo, Peach Fest and many others.

The Motet are Lyle Divinsky (vocals), Dave Watts (drums), Joey Porter (keyboards), Garrett Sayers (bass), Ryan Jalbert (guitar), Gabriel Mervine (trumpet), and Drew Sayers (saxophone).


Reed Mathis & Electric Beethoven

official band site »

After cutting his teeth in Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey and Tea Leaf Green, bassist extraordinaire Reed Mathis established himself in the Grateful Dead world with membership in Billy & The Kids, The Rhythm Devils, Mickey Hart Band, Steve Kimock Band and the Golden Gate Wingmen. But Mathis' first love was always Ludwig van Beethoven. With his new Electric Beethoven project, Mathis did the unthinkable and fused all of his worlds together, bringing old world masterpieces by Beethoven to today's premiere musical improvisers — an elite class of live performers who have individually made names for themselves in every genre except classical: jazz, funk, folk, blues, and jam rock.

Enlisting a total of 14 musicians, Mathis traveled to their various hometowns, recording each “movement” as a trio, with his unusual approach to the bass filling the same sonic space as virtually an entire traditional string section.

The result goes far beyond genre and brings this music back to the emotional realm that Beethoven was composing from when he initially brought these two symphonies to life. It’s music of the moment, even if that moment has been happening for more than 200 years.

The “Beathoven Orchestra,” as they appear on the album, features Reed Mathis in trio formations with: Joe Russo and Luke Bulla, Andrew Barr and Steve Pryor, Stanton Moore and Jared Tyler, Matt Chamberlain and Mike Dillon, Page McConnell and Jason Smart, Mike Gordon and Joe Russo, Marco Benevento and Matt Chamberlain, Brad Barr and Andrew Barr, Stanton Moore and Robert Walter.

Beathoven will be released by Royal Potato Family records on September 30, on double-vinyl, CD, and digital formats.

Look for Reed Mathis and Electric Beethoven to bring these symphonies of sound to worldwide audiences, festivals, events, and happenings beginning this fall.

 
Hurray For The Riff Raff
Ron Gallo | @9:30 club | view more info »
Apr
23

Hurray For The Riff Raff

Ron Gallo


Sunday Apr 23|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


Hurray For The Riff Raff

official band site »

Hurray For The Riff Raff is Alynda Segarra, but in many ways it's much more than that: it's a young woman leaving her indelible stamp on the American folk tradition.

Segarra, a 29-year-old of Puerto Rican descent whose slight frame belies her commanding voice, grew up in the Bronx, where she developed an early appreciation for doo-wop and Motown from the neighborhood's longtime residents. It was downtown, though, that she first felt like she found her people, traveling to the Lower East side every Saturday for punk matinees at ABC No Rio. "Those riot grrrl shows were a place where young girls could just hang out and not have to worry about feeling weird, like they didn’t belong," Segarra says of the inclusive atmosphere fostered by the musicians and outsider artists who populated the space.

The Lower East Side also introduced her to travelers, and their stories of life on the road inspired her to strike out on her own at 17, first hitching her way to the west coast, then roaming the south before settling in New Orleans. There, she fell in with a band of fellow travelers, playing washboard and singing before eventually learning to play a banjo she'd been given in North Carolina. "It wasn't until I got to New Orleans that I realized playing music was even possible for me," she explains. "The travelers really taught me how to play and write songs, and we'd play on the street all day to make money, which is really good practice. You have to get pretty tough to do that, and you put a lot of time into it."

Hurray for the Riff Raff had four alt-country albums under its belt, with the last one, Small Town Heroes, featured “The Body Electric,” a song that NPR’s Ann Powers called “The Political Song of the Year” in 2014 and says the album, "sweeps across eras and genres with grace and grit." Yet even though her musical career had begun by running away from home, busking for survival and honing her craft through dreams of Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Memphis Minnie, and Woody Guthrie, Segarra realized she a Puerto Rican kid from the Bronx with a different story to tell.


Ron Gallo

official band site »

When you are at a Ron Gallo show leaning against the bar whining to your roommate about last night you will probably get called out and like it, you might get accidentally whacked by a guitar headstock or your phone punted, you might find yourself succumbing to the internal animalistic feelings you've been suppressing all week and you might even leave a slightly better person. It is a confrontational show with good intention, like a final punch before everything goes to shit. If you say hello afterwards, you might be shocked to be greeted by a genuinely friendly and grateful person that 5 minutes ago looked like a terrifying spastic red-faced maniac.

Formerly the frontman of Philadelphia based rock and roll band, Toy Soldiers, Gallo has gone through the return of Saturn and the wringer of life over the last couple of years and has come out the other side a person that dances where the infuriated fighter-of-the-good-fight and the observational jokester hang out. Like some big-haired spiritual punk raised in the 90s, Gallo is well-informed of the 20th century roots of American music and obsessed with the NOW in a time where people are drugged by distraction, bullshit and mediocrity. On Gallo's second solo record,HEAVY META(out early 2017), he candidly tackles the heavier topics and dark experiences he lived through during these transformative years.

From his personal ideology on refraining from drug and alcohol use, self-empowerment, domestication, dead love, not knowing someone or yourself, having a stalker, the "struggle" of being an "artist" in 2016, to the disastrous cycle created by terrible parenting, mental illness and post-apocalyptic tales of a world where "all the freaks have gone to bed," this record reflects its subject matter drenched in aggression, fuzz, and walls of Gallo's unconventionally primal approach to the guitar. It is a lyrically driven album laid upon a bed of electricity attempting to wake you up with each listen.

Gallo does not enjoy sitting still so has spent a good portion of the last few years and will spend the foreseeable future on the road backed by Joe Bisirri on bass and Dylan Sevey on drums: Coming to a hole in the wall, night club, backyard, theater, basement, Hardee’s, Sleepy’s Mattress Store, or arena near you. Gallo has appeared at Bonnaroo, SXSW, CMJ, Audiotree, Daytrotter and has received praise from renowned publications such as The FADER, Under the Radar, BrooklynVegan, PASTE among others.

"HEAVY META" will be released at some point in early 2017, but the "RG3 EP" is currently available on American Diamond Recordings, a record label run by Gallo out of his room in the Bordeaux neighborhood of Nashville, TN as of new years day 2016. The mission statement of American Diamond (as well as Gallo himself) is, "ROCK AND ROLL ISN'T DEAD... YOU ARE."