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Circles Around The Sun
Frank LoCrasto | @The 8x10 | view more info »
Feb
27

Circles Around The Sun

Frank LoCrasto


Thursday Feb 27|doors 7:00 pm|18+
The 8x10|get directions »
10 E. Cross St.
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 625-2000


Circles Around The Sun

official band site »

Los Angeles-based instrumental supergroup Circles Around the Sun returns with the release of their self-titled, third full-length studio album, Circles Around the Sun. The seven-track collection marks a stylistic shift from their previous LPs. It’s an evolution that sees the band embracing a sleeker, shinier, even DANCIER version of themselves – a cosmic disco of the body and the soul, still anchored in the groove, but ascending to the stars. The thing is, their sound isn’t the only thing that’s evolved. Since their last LP, Circles has undergone a transformation internally. It’s a tale of life, death and rebirth, of love and loss, of shedded skin and new beginnings. But let’s start with the new album, shall we?

Recorded by legendary engineer Jim Scott (Wilco, Rolling Stones, Tom Petty) at his studio in Valencia, CA, this new collection began with…a drum machine. The Sequential Circuits Drumtraks™ from 1983, to be specific. The Circles band members—guitarist Neal Casal (Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Ryan Adams), bassist Dan Horne (Cass McCombs, Jonathan Wilson), keyboardist Adam MacDougall (Black Crowes) and drummer Mark Levy—were searching for a sound, something more upbeat than previous releases. Cue the Drumtraks™. “The built-in beats on it are actually pretty janky,” says Horne. “But we knew we wanted to make more of a dancey, groove-driven album that would translate live, to give our shows a more high-energy feel.” Drawing inspiration from P-Funk, Herbie Hancock’s Head Hunters, and Beastie Boys’ slinky instrumentals, the band used the Drumtraks™ driving rhythms as the foundation for each song.

Album opener “Babyman” makes it clear the Circles Around The Sun ride is headed in a new direction, closer to Air’s Moon Safari than the psych-jazz odyssey of their previous LPs, Interludes for the Dead (2015) or Let It Wander (2018).

An origin story, for context: in 2015 Justin Kreutzmann, son of Grateful Dead drummer Bill, invited Casal to compose the intermission music for the Dead’s Fare Thee Well concerts, a victory lap celebrating their final shows. Neal assembled the guys, recorded five hours of jams, and was surprised to find an eager audience and label support from Rhino Records. And Circles Around the Sun was born.

On epic disco jammers “Detroit Dos” and “Land Line Memories,” MacDougall’s sizzling analog keyboards (like the Minimoog Model D and phaser-soaked Clavinet) echo vintage library music and 1978’s crate digger fave Black Devil Disco Club by Bernard Fevre. “This band was never something I thought would get done to a click,” says MacDougall. “But we all talked about it being more of a fun record, so we hung some mirror balls and played a bunch of dance music!”

As it happens, Circles’ new sound was created partly by design, but also partly by tragic circumstance. On August 26, 2019, a week after laying down his tracks for Circles Around the Sun, founder Neal Casal committed suicide. He left behind a note for the group, asking for them to continue in his absence—to continue recording, touring, and playing together. They’ve chosen to honor his wishes. “Our mission is to extend Neal’s musical legacy,” says drummer Levy. “He was a classy dude and had a regal vibe about him. The other side of it is the mental health legacy. Maybe there are people out there in the same sort of darkness Neal was in, who can hear us and say we can work positively on multiple fronts in his memory.”

In this metamorphosis, Circles Around the Sun spans both heartbreak and hope. Doors close; windows open; new directions extend themselves in mysterious ways. But sometimes you know it’s real from the first beat. It just clicks. We’ll see you on the dancefloor, at the festival, at the next jam session, where everyone comes together and all is forgiven. It’s just how Neal would want it. It’s Circles Around The Sun.


Frank LoCrasto

official band site »

Frank LoCrasto has conjured a record of tropicosmic sounds for the endless summer of your inner mind. Entitled ‘Lost Dispatch,’ the collection’s 11 tracks unfurl like a bootleg performance of a cocktail jazz group where it’s always the organist’s turn to solo, and someone spiked the punch bowl. Sunset psychedelia nestles alongside passages of space age jazz and dusty, analog exotica.

“Over the years as I've discovered library music recordings from the 1950s and ‘60s, I found myself getting lost in low-fi tones of the exoticised tropics, which has inspired the record,” LoCrasto says. “The sounds are surrealist; a sonic landscape comprised of analog synths, percussion, woodwinds, and field recordings.”

“Travelogue” sets the album’s intention with swooning island melodies, bird song and percussion that shushes like slow-washing waves, soundtracking a hallucinated world of bedroom rainforests where water droplets slip from waxy leaves, fizzing on overheated amplifiers. “Secret Cove” laps along as woodwinds and synths nudge around each other like eddies in a psychedelic stream. The muted piano of “The Islander” is like the ghost of jazz heard on the leeward breeze of a beach slipping into darkness. Throughout, the record balances serpentine exercises for eyes-closed inner exploration with lush, open-air tropicalia.

“When I wrote “Amazonia,” I was at my apartment in Borough Park and it started raining,” LoCrasto explains. “It was one of those really peaceful weekday afternoon summer rains and I just felt compelled to record it. When I listened back I wanted to play along, so I recorded an organ track and “Amazonia” was born. Not all the songs come about that way. A lot of times the inspiration will come from whatever mood I’m in. It might come from looking at old photographs or sheer boredom. The loneliness of creativity and composing manifests itself all over the record.”

Sketches for the record began eight years ago in LoCrasto’s former Brooklyn apartment, and many of the tracks were recorded during 2013-2016 while he was living nomadically between Texas and NYC. As the 50-minute suite took shape, LoCrasto called upon Robin MacMillan of Faraway Sound studios to produce and play drums and percussion on the album.

“I initially wanted to make a synth exotica record because I love exotica music and have loved the tropics my whole life,” LoCrasto says. “Growing up outside of Dallas, I rarely saw the ocean till I moved to New York. As a kid, my family took a few road trips to South Padre Island and Sarasota but that’s it. There’s definitely some nostalgia to those trips that has stuck. Since then, anytime I’d see a palm tree, or hear a steel pan, or smell Hawaiian tropic, it would resonate. It’s an experience I got a taste of and something I’d fantasize about.”

The Texas-born, Brooklyn-based artist’s fourth record, Lost Dispatch follows When You're There (Maxjazz, 2006), El Dorado (Hundred Pockets, 2011), and LoCrasto (Storytime, 2015). LoCrasto has recorded and toured with Cass McCombs—who once called him “New York’s finest percussionist”—Pat Martino, James Iha, Parquet Courts, Greg Osby, Okkervil River, and Wallace Roney, and has appeared as a sideman on over 40 albums.

With Lost Dispatch, LoCrasto has crafted the perfect sand-and-salt-air soundtrack for warm weather journeying, no matter how close the crashing waves. It’s a sonic love letter to the electrified energy of swingin’ synthesizers, and a sunglasses-on, technicolor trip of third-eye tropicalia, dropping just in time for summer. Sunscreen not required.

 
The Revivalists
Tank and The Bangas | @The Anthem | view more info »
Feb
29

The Revivalists

Tank and The Bangas


Saturday Feb 29|doors 6:30 pm|all ages
The Anthem|get directions »
901 WHARF ST SW, WASHINGTON, DC 20024|p: (202) 265-0930


The Revivalists

official band site »

Some people say luck is the intersection of hard work and opportunity. On Take Good Care - their fourth full-length album and first for Loma Vista Recordings - The Revivalists chronicle, catalog, and capture an unbelievable ride where ten years of tireless hard work would be unexpectedly revved up by the wrongly dubbed “overnight success” of the gold-selling number one single “Wish I Knew You.” Like any enduring band worth its salt, they reacted the best way possible to newfound popularity - by buckling down and turning up with an album chock full of tunes worthy of even greater success. It’s the result of a trip that unassumingly commenced in 2008 with hundreds of underground shows yearly and culminated 10 years later with not only “Wish I Knew You,” but three years of back-to-back sold out headline tours in their biggest venues to date. In life, like rock ‘n’ roll, some questions get answered while others stay unanswered. Our personal backroads tuck, twist, and turn through ups, downs, and everything in between at light speed, sometimes without explanation or a moment for reflection. Mirroring the push-and-pull of the past few years, the boys -- David Shaw [lead vocals, guitar], Zack Feinberg [guitar], Andrew Campanelli [drums], George Gekas [bass], Ed Williams [pedal steel guitar], Rob Ingraham [saxophone], Michael Girardot [keyboard, trumpet], and PJ Howard [drums, percussion] -- deliver a bevy of anthems marked by moments of sonic complexity, celebration, and catharsis.

“As far as the music goes, sometimes I just have a feeling, and it comes through in a song,” says David. “I don’t know what it is, but it makes me feel something. I wanted this album to be simply about that. Making the new music has been a bit of a cathartic process for me -- just to get some of these feelings out, lose myself in the art, and become someone else. Songwriting is the great escape. It’s where I can be who I want to be. It’s been three years of touring our asses off, writing in between, and honing our craft. Then, Wish I Knew You happened. Everything got even crazier. This album basically came together the way we always make records though. It’s simply a collection of songs from where we were at that point in our lives. We didn’t want to divert too much from what we’ve always been, but we wanted to take it to the next level and continue that trajectory of our artistry and creativity.”

Simultaneously, life was rapidly changing around the band, and the music spoke to that.

“Everything going on these past few years certainly informed the direction,” David continues. “I don’t know if I was ready for some of what transpired emotionally. I got personal on some of the songs. I said some things I might not have otherwise. Thankfully, I have a good family network and an amazing girlfriend to balance all of the changes.”

“We were fortunate enough to have this ‘hit’ on the last record, and things have changed,” adds Andrew. “We had to keep pushing forward.”

For the first time, The Revivalists recorded and co-wrote with multiple producers and writers, enlisting the talents of Dave Cobb [Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton], Andrew Dawson [Kanye West, Fun., Sleigh Bells], and Dave Bassett [Elle King, Vance Joy] for sessions in New Orleans and Nashville, which became a hub for the band. They spent three weeks recording at the iconic RCA Studio B, soaking up the aura of one of the most storied studios in music and the city’s great musical history. Additionally, it would be the first record with drummer/percussionist PJ joining the band in the studio.

Bringing sixty songs to the table, the guys whittled the batch down to the best fourteen of the bunch.

Andrew continues, “On the first few records, we were figuring out what our identity is, so we were really involved in the minutia of recording. After all this time, we have an identity, and it’s more based in our songs. We were able to let go and allow these producers to take us into a direction that we wouldn’t go on our own. We got to explore a little more. Being ten years in empowered us to do that.”

“We had the opportunity to work with more people, which was amazing,” David goes on. “The main difference was having this team and the chance to co-write. It really elevated our craft in a way that I don’t think we ever thought about previously. We were all working together in the studio, while keeping the true heart and soul of the band intact through the whole process.”

The first single “All My Friends” – which became an instant #1 Triple A and Top 5 Alternative radio hit and landed the band on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert as well as numerous key Spotify and Apple Music playlists - speaks to that spirit. Driven by swaggering piano, boisterous horns, and bluesy leads, the track swings towards an unshakable chant, “All my friends take good care of me.” Striking, sharp, and soulful, it introduces this chapter with confidence and charisma.

“I actually wrote those verses when I was 27,” says David. “I met up with Dave Bassett in Malibu, where I did some writing sessions, and I brought the lyrics to the table. It’s a bit of a retrospective look back. You’re in your twenties, staying out for three days, not contacting your significant other, and getting into some bad shit. Looking back, I realized, I had an amazing group of friends who stuck by my side.”

“Musically, it bridges the gap between what we’ve been doing and what you’re about to hear,” explains Andrew.

Illuminating their effortless chemistry, the opener “Otherside of Paradise” came to life in just one vocal take with “no trickery or anything” bolstered by fingerpicked clean guitars and cathedral-size harmonies. Elsewhere, the guttural grooves of “Oh No” spiral towards a fret-burning solo as wild and gritty as David’s delivery. “Hate To Love You” hinges on the kind of confessions typically reserved for holy counsel, and current single, the #1 Triple A and Top 15 Alternative hit “Change,” which the band performed on TODAY, climaxes on a raw howl. Written by Andrew, “You Said It All” illuminates the dynamics at the heart of the record.

“I was going through a point in my life where I was thinking about situations with significant others,” Andrew elaborates. “To me, it was the idea that when you’ve come to the end of something and put it all out there, there’s nothing left to say. You’re in that reflective state of being alone.”

On the anti-gun violence anthem “Shoot You Down,” The Revivalists speak out against the overwhelming gun violence problem in our society. Deeply affected by the frequent mass shootings, the band felt compelled to put pen to paper and address this issue. The result is a powerful song that serves as both an emotional balm and, more importantly, a call to action.

"‘Shoot You Down’ is a song that was written straight from the heart earlier this year,” shares David. “It’s an anti-gun violence song meant to bring awareness to a very serious and increasing issue that we currently have in this country. We believe that music has the power to change minds and lives. This is our pledge to survivors and victims. We love you and we are with you. Together we will make a change. Let’s show each other love, compassion and understanding. Hate has no place in our world.”

Representing a vast swath of the country and defying regional pigeonholes, David’s roots are in the Rust Belt, while Zack, Ed, and George hail from the Tri-States and Michael and Rob from the Southwest. Andrew cut his teeth bashing the drums in the DC scene and newcomer PJ made his bones in Chicago. However, the Crescent City would ultimately bring them together. Since forming in New Orleans, the group quietly grinded towards international ubiquity one gig, song, and album at a time. Seven years in, 2015’s Men Amongst Mountains represented a high watermark. Its lead single “Wish I Knew You” became a slow-burning hit, racking up more than 200 million streams and ascending to #1 on Adult Alternative and Alternative radio. On the latter, it clocked a record for “most single-week spins ever at the format” before eventually receiving a gold certification from the RIAA. A mainstream phenomenon, the song found traction at Hot AC and Top 40 and bubbled up on to the Billboard Hot 100 for nine weeks.

The Revivalists have garnered more than 300 million total streams, have drawn praise from the likes of Rolling Stone, Billboard, Buzzfeed, Entertainment Weekly, Salon, USA Today, Forbes, Huff Post, Alternative Press, Uproxx, Flaunt, Nylon, Interview, Paste and more, and have performed on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel LIVE!, Ellen, TODAY and Conan, with an upcoming appearance on Austin City Limits. They were nominated for a Billboard Music Award and two iHeartRadio Music Awards and were named Billboard’s Top New Rock Artist of 2017. Between countless gigs, the musicians also ignited festival stages at Bonnaroo, Governor’s Ball, New Orleans Jazz Fest, Outside Lands, and Pilgrimage, to name a few.

Looking back, David smiles, “It’s been quite the ride.”

In the end, The Revivalists welcome listeners on this journey with them as they set out with a newfound depth and ambition.

“As we went along, we found there are more questions than answers, and we’re all sort of figuring it out,” concludes Andrew. “We’re all doing the same thing. We hope people listen to the record and maybe can go out and keep making connections. That’s what we’re supposed to do. It’s the human experience.”

“We’re in this together,” David leaves off. “We love to take people on an emotional rollercoaster with us. That’s what this record is. It’s who we are. There’s some real magic in that.”


Tank and The Bangas

official band site »

Tank and The Bangas were formed in 2011 at an open mic set in New Orleans, centered at a shot gun house, Jerk Chicken Sam'iches and a drum set. Instantaneously this group knew that they had something that stirred crowds that cried out for original music from them. If you're from New Orleans, you know all the ingredients to make a good gumbo. Your seasonings have to mix well, your roux has to be thick, and your meat has to be cut to perfection. Tank and The Bangas are what you call a great gumbo! Originating in New Orleans, Tank and The Bangas have all the qualities that relates them, to the city that birth them but a flair that separates them as well. Their performances range from being "One of the most energetic shows you'll ever see" to "A gospel tent in Mississippi." Rummaging through their sound like a thrift store hippie, you'll find the Bangas to provoke a musical reference of Rhythmic Soul and Spoken word among other genres such as Rock, Gospel, Funk, and Folk. Combining the various musical technique among the Bangas, coupled with the instilling play on lyrics from the lead vocalist; Tank and The Bangas have quilted a unique sound that singles them as one of the most distinctive groups to come out of New Orleans.

Group members include Tank/ Lead vocalist/Norman Spence on Bass/keyboard, Joshua Johnson/Drums, Merell Burkett/keys/ Nita Bailey/Percussion; and various other Bangas.

 
Circles Around The Sun
Frank LoCrasto | @Union Stage | view more info »
Mar
5

Circles Around The Sun

Frank LoCrasto


Thursday Mar 5|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
Union Stage|get directions »
740 Water Street SW
Washington DC|p: (877) 987-6487


Circles Around The Sun

official band site »

Los Angeles-based instrumental supergroup Circles Around the Sun returns with the release of their self-titled, third full-length studio album, Circles Around the Sun. The seven-track collection marks a stylistic shift from their previous LPs. It’s an evolution that sees the band embracing a sleeker, shinier, even DANCIER version of themselves – a cosmic disco of the body and the soul, still anchored in the groove, but ascending to the stars. The thing is, their sound isn’t the only thing that’s evolved. Since their last LP, Circles has undergone a transformation internally. It’s a tale of life, death and rebirth, of love and loss, of shedded skin and new beginnings. But let’s start with the new album, shall we?

Recorded by legendary engineer Jim Scott (Wilco, Rolling Stones, Tom Petty) at his studio in Valencia, CA, this new collection began with…a drum machine. The Sequential Circuits Drumtraks™ from 1983, to be specific. The Circles band members—guitarist Neal Casal (Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Ryan Adams), bassist Dan Horne (Cass McCombs, Jonathan Wilson), keyboardist Adam MacDougall (Black Crowes) and drummer Mark Levy—were searching for a sound, something more upbeat than previous releases. Cue the Drumtraks™. “The built-in beats on it are actually pretty janky,” says Horne. “But we knew we wanted to make more of a dancey, groove-driven album that would translate live, to give our shows a more high-energy feel.” Drawing inspiration from P-Funk, Herbie Hancock’s Head Hunters, and Beastie Boys’ slinky instrumentals, the band used the Drumtraks™ driving rhythms as the foundation for each song.

Album opener “Babyman” makes it clear the Circles Around The Sun ride is headed in a new direction, closer to Air’s Moon Safari than the psych-jazz odyssey of their previous LPs, Interludes for the Dead (2015) or Let It Wander (2018).

An origin story, for context: in 2015 Justin Kreutzmann, son of Grateful Dead drummer Bill, invited Casal to compose the intermission music for the Dead’s Fare Thee Well concerts, a victory lap celebrating their final shows. Neal assembled the guys, recorded five hours of jams, and was surprised to find an eager audience and label support from Rhino Records. And Circles Around the Sun was born.

On epic disco jammers “Detroit Dos” and “Land Line Memories,” MacDougall’s sizzling analog keyboards (like the Minimoog Model D and phaser-soaked Clavinet) echo vintage library music and 1978’s crate digger fave Black Devil Disco Club by Bernard Fevre. “This band was never something I thought would get done to a click,” says MacDougall. “But we all talked about it being more of a fun record, so we hung some mirror balls and played a bunch of dance music!”

As it happens, Circles’ new sound was created partly by design, but also partly by tragic circumstance. On August 26, 2019, a week after laying down his tracks for Circles Around the Sun, founder Neal Casal committed suicide. He left behind a note for the group, asking for them to continue in his absence—to continue recording, touring, and playing together. They’ve chosen to honor his wishes. “Our mission is to extend Neal’s musical legacy,” says drummer Levy. “He was a classy dude and had a regal vibe about him. The other side of it is the mental health legacy. Maybe there are people out there in the same sort of darkness Neal was in, who can hear us and say we can work positively on multiple fronts in his memory.”

In this metamorphosis, Circles Around the Sun spans both heartbreak and hope. Doors close; windows open; new directions extend themselves in mysterious ways. But sometimes you know it’s real from the first beat. It just clicks. We’ll see you on the dancefloor, at the festival, at the next jam session, where everyone comes together and all is forgiven. It’s just how Neal would want it. It’s Circles Around The Sun.


Frank LoCrasto

official band site »

Frank LoCrasto has conjured a record of tropicosmic sounds for the endless summer of your inner mind. Entitled ‘Lost Dispatch,’ the collection’s 11 tracks unfurl like a bootleg performance of a cocktail jazz group where it’s always the organist’s turn to solo, and someone spiked the punch bowl. Sunset psychedelia nestles alongside passages of space age jazz and dusty, analog exotica.

“Over the years as I've discovered library music recordings from the 1950s and ‘60s, I found myself getting lost in low-fi tones of the exoticised tropics, which has inspired the record,” LoCrasto says. “The sounds are surrealist; a sonic landscape comprised of analog synths, percussion, woodwinds, and field recordings.”

“Travelogue” sets the album’s intention with swooning island melodies, bird song and percussion that shushes like slow-washing waves, soundtracking a hallucinated world of bedroom rainforests where water droplets slip from waxy leaves, fizzing on overheated amplifiers. “Secret Cove” laps along as woodwinds and synths nudge around each other like eddies in a psychedelic stream. The muted piano of “The Islander” is like the ghost of jazz heard on the leeward breeze of a beach slipping into darkness. Throughout, the record balances serpentine exercises for eyes-closed inner exploration with lush, open-air tropicalia.

“When I wrote “Amazonia,” I was at my apartment in Borough Park and it started raining,” LoCrasto explains. “It was one of those really peaceful weekday afternoon summer rains and I just felt compelled to record it. When I listened back I wanted to play along, so I recorded an organ track and “Amazonia” was born. Not all the songs come about that way. A lot of times the inspiration will come from whatever mood I’m in. It might come from looking at old photographs or sheer boredom. The loneliness of creativity and composing manifests itself all over the record.”

Sketches for the record began eight years ago in LoCrasto’s former Brooklyn apartment, and many of the tracks were recorded during 2013-2016 while he was living nomadically between Texas and NYC. As the 50-minute suite took shape, LoCrasto called upon Robin MacMillan of Faraway Sound studios to produce and play drums and percussion on the album.

“I initially wanted to make a synth exotica record because I love exotica music and have loved the tropics my whole life,” LoCrasto says. “Growing up outside of Dallas, I rarely saw the ocean till I moved to New York. As a kid, my family took a few road trips to South Padre Island and Sarasota but that’s it. There’s definitely some nostalgia to those trips that has stuck. Since then, anytime I’d see a palm tree, or hear a steel pan, or smell Hawaiian tropic, it would resonate. It’s an experience I got a taste of and something I’d fantasize about.”

The Texas-born, Brooklyn-based artist’s fourth record, Lost Dispatch follows When You're There (Maxjazz, 2006), El Dorado (Hundred Pockets, 2011), and LoCrasto (Storytime, 2015). LoCrasto has recorded and toured with Cass McCombs—who once called him “New York’s finest percussionist”—Pat Martino, James Iha, Parquet Courts, Greg Osby, Okkervil River, and Wallace Roney, and has appeared as a sideman on over 40 albums.

With Lost Dispatch, LoCrasto has crafted the perfect sand-and-salt-air soundtrack for warm weather journeying, no matter how close the crashing waves. It’s a sonic love letter to the electrified energy of swingin’ synthesizers, and a sunglasses-on, technicolor trip of third-eye tropicalia, dropping just in time for summer. Sunscreen not required.

 
The Soul Rebels
@U Street Music Hall | view more info »
Mar
6

The Soul Rebels



Friday Mar 6|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
U Street Music Hall|get directions »
1115 U Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 588-1880


The Soul Rebels

official band site »

The Soul Rebels are riding high in 2019, receiving national attention with recent performances with Katy Perry and DMX, and featured on NPR’s Tiny Desk series, a debut late night TV appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and a headlining set at the TED Conference. The band continues to expand its international reach touring four continents including Europe, Australia, China, South Korea and Japan. Their explosive stage presence has led to live collaborations with the likes of: Nas, G-Eazy, Robin Thicke, Macy Gray, Portugal. The Man, Robert Glasper, Pretty Lights, Curren$y, Joey Bada$$, Talib Kweli, GZA, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Mobb Deep, Raekwon, Metallica, and Marilyn Manson among many others, and opening forLauryn Hill and Nile Rodgers.

The Soul Rebels started with an idea – to expand upon the pop music they loved on the radio and the New Orleans brass tradition they grew up on. They took that tradition and blended funk and soul with elements of hip hop, jazz and rock all within a brass band context. The band has built a career around an eclectic live show that harnesses the power of horns and drums in a deep pocket funk party-like atmosphere. The Soul Rebels continue to chart new territory as they feature in major films, tour globally, and combine topnotch musicianship with songs that celebrate dancing, life, funk and soul.

Most recently The Soul Rebels wrapped up recording for their upcoming fall 2019 album, Poetry in Motion. The album will put the band front and center and showcase the wide breadth of musical genres and special collaborations that have come to identify the musically chameleon-like band.

“The Soul Rebels, New Orleans’ finest brass ensemble…” – VICE

“The Soul Rebels are the missing link between Public Enemy and Louis Armstrong.” -VILLAGE VOICE

“New Orleans’ top-shelf brass ensemble The Soul Rebels…wind-wielding wizardry of New Orleans’ finest.” – OKAYPLAYER

“Brace yourselves folks, these men are quickly solidifying themselves amongst NOLA’s proud big brass elite… and seem intent to sublimate the homogenoustones of the contemporary urban music landscape with the lush instrumentation of our culture’s root.” – OKAYPLAYER

“The Soul Rebels are rebelling against one, albeit detestable thing: starchy paint-bynumbers music.” – VIBE


 
The Lil Smokies & Joe Pug
@9:30 club | view more info »
Mar
7

The Lil Smokies & Joe Pug



Saturday Mar 7|doors 6:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


The Lil Smokies

official band site »

Drawing on the energy of a rock band and the Laurel Canyon songwriting of the ‘70s, The Lil Smokies are reimagining their approach to roots music on Tornillo, named for the remote Texas town where the album was recorded. Produced by Bill Reynolds (The Avett Brothers, Band of Horses), Tornillo is the band’s third studio album. Formed in Missoula, Montana, The Lil Smokies have built a national following through constant touring, they have performed at Red Rocks, LOCKN’, High Sierra, Telluride, Bourbon & Beyond and more.


Joe Pug

official band site »

Joe Pug’s new record “The Flood In Color” is nearly four years in the making. But that betrays the fact that the making of the album was one of the most natural and rewarding processes of his career. Produced by Kenneth Pattengale of the Milk Carton Kids and engineered by Matt Ross-Spang, the album started with the goal of focusing on the simplicity of musicians playing together, live, in the same room. Recently relocating back to his childhood home in Prince Georges County, Maryland after many years spent in Chicago and Austin, Pug wanted to take a new approach. The partnership with Pattengale proved to be an irresistible opportunity to do just that.

“The past couple of albums haven’t always been the most enjoyable to record. The process can really bring on all sorts of pressures about what you should be doing and how you should be doing it, both internally and externally. Lots of ‘Songs need to be 3 and half minutes long’ and ‘You need something that will work on AAA radio’. And the end result is this strange gravity that just weighs you down.” Pattengale, a fan of Pug’s music since the days so of his 2010 EP “Nation of Heat”, was eager to try a back-to-basics approach.

“So Kenneth and I sort of had the idea to strip all that away. I was just going to write songs. And I was going to do it in a way that came naturally to me, and that I enjoyed. Get rid of all the external bullshit. Look….music isn’t my entire life. Sometimes I want to write songs. But other times I want to read books. I want to play with my kid. I want to cook. A couple years ago I started a podcast. So that’s sort of how I approached this one. I’ll write songs the way I write songs. And when Kenneth and I had a few that we felt good about, we got together and dialed them in a bit further and worked on arrangements. Almost as friends as much as anything. And when we got them to a place we were happy with, we went to Nashville and recorded them. But through the whole affair there was really no timetable I imposed on it.”

In the studio, the relaxed mood continued. “In the past I’ve been guilty of being a bit too intoxicated with the process of recording, and it sometimes took away from the pure joy of making music. This time we didn’t spend weeks hold up in the studio obsessing over minute details. Kenneth put together an A+ group of musicians. And then we sat around a table, talked about the song for a bit, ran through it, and then pressed record. It was a revelation, and all the credit in the world to Kenneth for recognizing how important that would be. As a musician there are so many things that can get in the way of actually making music. What Kenneth did was to methodically strip those things away. “

In 2015 Pug also launched the aforementioned podcast, which has gone on to enjoy tremendous success. “The Working Songwriter” is a monthly hour-long conversation with some of today’s best songwriters. Recent guests have included Josh Ritter, Amanda Palmer, Steve Earle, Brandon Flowers, Craig Finn, Ian MacKaye, Shakey Graves, Anais Mitchell and John Paul White. While its audience has grown, it’s always been more of a labor of love for Pug. “I didn’t hear the podcast I wanted to listen to, so I went ahead and just created it. From the very beginning I had a pretty clear vision of what I wanted it to be. From there it was just a matter of convincing anyone to be on it! This was 2015, so it was still pretty early days for podcasting, so you’d get a lot of confused replies. ‘Wait, you want to interview me for an HOUR???’

“It’s made me reach out to the small community of people that do this for a living and given me a real sense of community. It started out with lots of friends and colleagues that I already knew, but since then I’ve gotten the opportunity to talk to lots of artists I hadn’t met prior. And it has been this absolutely incredible avenue to learning more about artists across genres. And in the process also learning about these very subtle but undeniable common threads that we all share because of our line of work.”


 
The Motet & TAUK
@9:30 club | view more info »
Mar
13

The Motet & TAUK



Friday Mar 13|doors 7:30 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


The Motet

official band site »

Throughout history, unity starts on the dancefloor. From ancient tribal cultures to neon night clubs, beats bring bodies together. Once grinding and grooving in unison, the movement generates friction, sparks, and light. That might just be the purest form of energy on the planet. The Motet harness such energy on their ninth full-length, Death or Devotion. In fact, the Denver septet—Dave Watts [drums], Joey Porter [keys], Garrett Sayers [bass], Ryan Jalbert [guitar], Lyle Divinsky [vocals], Drew Sayers [sax], and Parris Fleming [trumpet]—encode a message in their energetic mélange of boisterous badass funk, swaggering soul, and thought-provoking pop.

In the process, they challenge convention and arrive with a dynamic, diverse, and definitive statement.

“The essence is always going to be the groove, but we wanted to expand the idea of what a funk album could be,” says Lyle. “Of course, you want a driving backbeat. However, with the division that’s going on in this country and the world, I think it’s every artist’s responsibility to create a conversation. That conversation doesn’t have to be political either. It can be about love or an introspective journey. I think the commentary should be on what it’s like to be alive today. By drawing on funk, we create a fun, palatable musical vehicle for the message to go down. Our goal is for you to recognize we’re all dancing on the same dance floor—even though our steps may look a little different.”

Death or Devotion earmarks an important point in the band’s own journey. Since emerging in 1998, the boys have cooked up eight full-length albums and entranced countless crowds. 2016’s Totem saw them welcome Lyle behind the mic and Drew on sax. Shortly after, they kicked off what has become an annual tradition by selling out the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheater for the first time. “It was my six-month anniversary and first show for a hometown crowd,” recalls Lyle. “I’ve got 10,000 people looking at me like, ‘Who the hell is that?’,” he laughs.

That night would be chronicled on the fan favorite Live at Red Rocks. In the meantime, the group maintained a prolific pace of 100 shows per year in support of Totem. Along the way, The Motet started recording Death or Devotion during intermittent sessions at Scanhope Sound in 2017.

For the first time, Lyle, Drew, and Parris (who joined in 2018) worked on a Motet record together from start-to-finish.

“On Totem, the train was already moving, and I was just a train hopper,” says Lyle. “Drew, Parris, and I came onboard within the same year. Now, we’re all bringing our pieces to the puzzle. For me, I brought that R&B style. Funk is the common ground, but the music is a result of different inspirations: namely Drew’s hip-hop and reggae knowledge, Ryan’s psychedelic jamming, Dave with the worldbeat, Joey with his encyclopedic understanding of punk, and Garrett being the best bass player to exist. We found a really cool balance between the funkiness and songs that challenge your emotional headspace more than typical pop.”

The first single “That Dream” showcases the myriad of musical flavors from all seven members. Clean palm-muted guitars bristle against a swaggering beat as the horns enliven each verse, while a vocal call-and-response relays a head-spinning tale.

“I took a nap, and I had the craziest dream I’ve ever had,” he recalls. “In the dream, I’m heartbroken from a nonexistent relationship, so I go out to a bar. I get seduced by this beautiful woman who serves me a glass of wine with poison. I wake up handcuffed and she’s stealing from me and torturing me. It was so dark, but I woke up and thought, ‘That would be a crazy subject to write a party song about!’”

Elsewhere, “Highly Compatible” hinges on an unshakable riff and raucous refrain upheld by sizzling sax. “It’s like that beautiful moment of falling in love where you recognize something as supremely real-life magic,” Lyle goes. “Harry Potter couldn’t conjure a better spell. It’s the magnetic nature of the chemistry. We captured that chemical recognition.”

From the infectious hooks of “Contagious” to the instrumental fireworks on “Speed of Light,” The Motet ultimately propose an important question at the heart of Death Or Devotion.

“What are you going to bring to yourself and the world?”, Lyle leaves off. “Are you going to bring death, or are you going to bring devotion? The choice is yours. When you listen to this record, I’d love for you to walk away feeling a little bit more connected, whether it be to yourself, to your friends, or to your community. Being able to drop all of the vision for a minute, be present, smile, and dance reminds us we’re all going through this together.”


TAUK

official band site »

New York-bred TAUK has been laying down an all-instrumental blend of progressive rock, hip-hop and jazz on stages across the U.S. for the last several years, and recently released several iterations of “Real TAUK”, to document some of the great moments from each tour. Though fans have clamored for each “Real TAUK” release (now up to Volume 3) they’ve also reveled in the deep sonic explorations from the band’s studio forays.

Their most recent studio album Shapeshifter II: Outbreak, offered an unsettling but ultimately exhilarating look at artificial intelligence and its potential to upend our world. With its dynamic sense of tension and cinematic mastery of mood, it proved to be an album that’s both powerfully hypnotic and intensely thought-provoking.

“We’re all very much interested in A.I., and this idea of machines getting out of the hands of the people trying to control them,” notes TAUK guitarist Matt Jalbert, whose bandmates include bassist Charlie Dolan, keyboardist Alric “A.C.” Carter, and drummer Isaac Teel. “This album felt like a good setting to tell that kind of story, but in a way where we could have fun with it and let the listener escape into a whole other world.”

Equally inspired by classic sci-fi like Blade Runner and more recent films like Ex Machina, Shapeshifter II: Outbreak embeds that narrative into TAUK’s most sonically adventurous, emotionally expansive work to date. A continuation of their early-2018 EP Shapeshifter I: Construct, the new album picks up its predecessor’s narrative thread with “Prelude”: a fantastically unsettling intro track whose frenetic keyboard work and chilling vocal samples set the tone for what’s to come. “The idea is that in the EP you’re seeing the construction of this being, and in the album you’re seeing it break out and become something that you can’t ignore anymore,” Carter explains.

Free-flowing yet elaborately composed, Shapeshifter II: Outbreak came to life in collaboration with TAUK’s longtime cohort Robert Carranza—a Grammy Award-winning producer/mixer/engineer also known for his work The Mars Volta, Ozomatli, Marilyn Manson, and Taj Mahal. In a departure from their previous releases (including 2016’s Sir Nebula), the band shunned the typical studio environment and holed up for weeks in a long-abandoned, century-old home that Teel describes as “the Jumanji house meets Addams Family meets Amityville Horror.” Located in their homeland of Long Island, the house turned out to be the ideal spot for their makeshift studio, allowing for a creativity-enhancing seclusion.

Inspired by their work on Shapeshifter II: Outbreak TAUK has taken to broadening their live sonic palette to include a vast spectrum of synth sounds and programmed effects (such as those exquisitely eerie vocal samples heard in “Prelude”)Esteemed musicians who contributed to the album such as The Naughty Horns and Ghost-Note’s Nate Werth (a percussionist who’s also played with David Crosby, Q-Tip, and Snarky Puppy) have also joined the band onstage.

Each Real TAUK release showcases the potent chemistry they discovered in childhood, when longtime friends Dolan, Jalbert, and Carter formed their first band in seventh grade. After playing together in various projects, the trio brought Teel into the fold in 2012, cementing the final lineup. Since then, TAUK have shared stages with acts like Umphrey’s McGee, Widespread Panic, and Lettuce, appeared at festivals like Electric Forest and Bonnaroo, and earned acclaim from major outlets like the Washington Post (who praised TAUK for “creating a hard-charging, often melodic fusion that—thanks to a penchant for improv—offers limitless possibilities”). As Teel points out, the band’s incessant touring over the years has significantly strengthened their musical connection. “The four of us as individuals are all very animated souls in our own right,” he says. “We each have our ideas and our perspectives, and when it all comes together, it creates this collective statement that takes on a life of its own.”


 
The Floozies & SunSquabi
Defunk | @Rams Head Live | view more info »
Mar
14

The Floozies & SunSquabi

Defunk


Saturday Mar 14|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
Rams Head Live|get directions »
20 Market Place
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 244-1131


The Floozies

official band site »

Just outside the jazz mecca of Kansas City springs liberal oasis Lawrence, Kansas—separated only by the waves of wheat from the epicenter of the electronic music revolution in Colorado. From Lawrence, it would logically follow that an act could rise to prominence fueled by the swing of Basie, the birth of Charlie Parker’s bebop, and the wild frontier of electronica. Born in funk and bred in the digital age, live electronic duo The Floozies have burst onto the scene at a time when the industry needed them the most.

Brothers Matt and Mark Hill share the stage just as easily as they share a musical brain. Without a setlist, and without a word between them, Matt’s guitar is in lockstep with the thud of Mark’s kick. Endless looping and production builds the raw scenery upon which palm muted chugs, searing solos, and wobbling bass paint their dazzling array of colors.

Well versed in everything from Chris Cornell to Kavinsky, the sonic vision shared by the brothers eschews contemporary electronic influences in favor of broader, deeper tastes including Zapp & Roger, Lettuce, and Amon Tobin. That wide-angle view of a century of popular music allows the Hills to remix Toto and The Dead—in the music you can hear reverence for the giants of the past, all the while producing wildly futuristic tunes for the masses to dig now.

When the pendulum swung as far as it could away from live instrumentation to laptops, The Floozies rose up to the challenge, swinging as hard as they could in the other direction with neck-snapping, knee-breaking funk so dirty that the gatekeepers stood up, wiped themselves off, and took notice. A bold live show full of sonic exploration and unbreakably deep pocket grooves has landed the brothers on stage with luminaries of the jam world Umphrey’s McGee as readily as electronic elites STS9 and Big Gigantic. Sold out shows across the Country, huge festival appearances at Bonnaroo, Electric Forest, High Sierra, Summercamp, Wakarusa, Camp Bisco, Summerset, Bumbershoot, and headlining Red Rocks shows have continued to cement the duo’s ascent.

The Floozies are bringing the funk back, and they’re right on time.


SunSquabi

official band site »

There’s a place, deep in the cosmos, where jam bands and electronic dance music intersect with rhythm-driven funk. You’ll feel like you’re floating here but not lost completely to the atmospheric elements. Instead, you’re tethered to an avant-garde spaceship with Colorado-based SunSquabi on the frequency. This cosmic wonderland is a melting pot of a variety of musical genres and it represents the future of music.

A three-piece suit - SunSquabi has been catching the eyes and ears of music fans around the world with their ever-evolving sound in the studio and on the live stage. SunSquabi has gained national attention for their unique way of producing music. The band’s live show can be described as an ‘Electronic Hydro Funk Experience’ that is different every single time out. SunSquabi continues to break down and analyze the expectations of what a “Live-Electronic” band should be. The band unveiled their newest album ‘Instinct’ in January of 2019. The 10 track LP finds the band at their highest peak as they have been dedicated to the metamorphosis of capturing elements in their live performances in the studio as improvisational jams have been fleshed out into full-blown songs and staples in their repertoire.

Combining the talents of Kevin Donohue (guitars/keys/production) Josh Fairman (bassist/synth) and Chris Anderson (drums). This project is a disciplined and structured group. It takes a seasoned musician to stay in the pocket for the sake of building well-developed lines and climaxes. To do that seamlessly requires patience and skill. “It’s kinda like breathing, honestly. We can communicate directly with each other both verbally and non-verbally, onstage and off.” That connection will take the music collectively where we all want to go.” – Kevin Donohue


Defunk

official band site »

Hailing from Calgary, Canada, Defunk has taken bass music to a whole new level. Most popularly known for his attention of bringing elements of funk, jazz and blues into heavy bass music, he constantly strives to develop sounds within dance music. Armed with a keyboard and drumkit, he brings live instruments into his performance, ensuring every show is a beautiful blend of well orchestrated track selection and improvisation.

 
Melvin Seals & JGB
@The Hamilton | view more info »
Mar
18

Melvin Seals & JGB



Wednesday Mar 18|doors 6:30 pm|all ages
The Hamilton|get directions »
600 14th Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 787-1000


Melvin Seals & JGB

official band site »

Melvin Seals has been a powerful presence in the music industry for over 30 years with a long-established reputation as a performer, recording artist and producer. Melvin is most revered for his powerful, high-spirited, Hammond B-3 organ, and keyboards in the Jerry Garcia Band. Melvin spun his B-3 magic with the Jerry Garcia Band for 18 years and in doing so helped pioneer and define what has now become "Jam Band Music". From blues to funk to rock to jazz, Melvin Seals serves up a tasty mix with a little R&B and gospel thrown in to spice things up.

Melvin and JGB bring an intuitive, expressive style, soul, spontaneity and remarkable chops to the table. John Kadlecik on lead guitar and vocal duties, John-Paul McLean's savory bass, Pete Lavezzoli’s hearty drums and, of course, a heapin' helpin' of the wizard's magic on Hammond B-3 Organ and keyboards. Along with Lady Chi & Mary-eL on back-up vocals, the result is a most satisfying blend of natural organic grooves that challenges genre boundaries. Their chemistry is the focus from which they create a spontaneous and high art where the sky is the limit musically. They offer an exciting, often psychedelic musical journey that changes nightly and keeps the audience dancing and smiling (and some staring in amazement) for hours.

Adding his rock-gospel-soul-rhythm and blues touch with his funky style of playing, no wonder Jerry nicknamed him "Master of the Universe". Melvin continues to treat music lovers to his unique brand of melodic flavor with JGB. Come see and hear for yourself! MELVIN SEALS & JGB:
Melvin Seals - Hammond B3 Organ, Keyboards & Vocals
John Kadlecik - Electric Guitar & Lead Vocals
John-Paul McLean - Bass
Pete Lavezzoli - Drums
Lady Chi & Mary-eL - Backup Vocals


 
Railroad Earth
Kyle Tuttle Band | @9:30 club | view more info »
Mar
20

Railroad Earth

Kyle Tuttle Band


Friday Mar 20|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 »


CLICK HERE FOR 2-NIGHT PASSES


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!”


Kyle Tuttle Band

official band site »

International Banjo Champion Kyle Tuttle is shredding his way through the jamgrass scene. Since moving to Nashville in 2012 Kyle has shared the stage with many epic performers, most notably as a member of the Jeff Austin Band for 3 years. Kyle has also worked closely with Jamgrass legends Larry Keel, Travelin’ McCourys, Leftover Salmon, Greensky Bluegrass, Billy Strings, and Railroad Earth. In addition to being seen around the jamgrass circuit, Kyle is a studio musician in Nashville, and recently produced the Chain Station album ‘Backroads’.

 
Railroad Earth
Kyle Tuttle Band | @9:30 club | view more info »
Mar
21

Railroad Earth

Kyle Tuttle Band


Saturday Mar 21|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 »


CLICK HERE FOR 2-NIGHT PASSES


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!”


Kyle Tuttle Band

official band site »

International Banjo Champion Kyle Tuttle is shredding his way through the jamgrass scene. Since moving to Nashville in 2012 Kyle has shared the stage with many epic performers, most notably as a member of the Jeff Austin Band for 3 years. Kyle has also worked closely with Jamgrass legends Larry Keel, Travelin’ McCourys, Leftover Salmon, Greensky Bluegrass, Billy Strings, and Railroad Earth. In addition to being seen around the jamgrass circuit, Kyle is a studio musician in Nashville, and recently produced the Chain Station album ‘Backroads’.

 
ALO
Ben Morrison (of The Brothers Comatose) | @Union Stage | view more info »
Apr
1

ALO

Ben Morrison (of The Brothers Comatose)


Wednesday Apr 1|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
Union Stage|get directions »
740 Water Street SW
Washington DC|p: (877) 987-6487


ALO

official band site »

California’s ALO will be releasing their second EP of a series, Creatures, Vol. 2: Weave, on January 10th, 2020. The first EP, Creatures, Vol. 1: Spark, was released earlier this Summer on Brushfire Records. As a sneak preview, the first track from Weave, “Baby Blind Spot”, is available on all digital services.

Weave features four new tracks by founding members Zach Gill (keys, vocals), Dan "Lebo" Lebowitz (guitars, vocals) and Steve Adams (bass, vocals), as well as the band's newest member, Ezra Lipp on drums.

As with the first EP, the new release was engineered and mixed by long-time ALO collaborators Dave Simon-Baker and Mike Cresswell, with additional recording done by the band at home studios. The ongoing series tracks the development of the new lineup with Lipp, while still maintaining that familiar ALO sound. Old school listeners have been raving about the band’s live sets at recent festivals (High Sierra Music Festival, Camp Deep End), and Weave has bottled that energy well. The band can’t wait for fans to hear the new songs. Gill explains, “There are a whole lot of blind spots in our collective sphere of human awareness. Sometimes we crash right into them. Sometimes it’s tragic, sometimes it’s comedic… hopefully it’s at least educational.“

ALO is also excited to announce their 14th annual Tour D’Amour. The first leg will include headlining shows in California, as well as 2 co-headlining nights with Twiddle in the Pacific Northwest. These dates have been added to a tour schedule that includes a previously announced co-headlining show with Leftover Salmon at the Warfield in San Francisco on March 7th, as well as 2 sets at Winter Wondergrass in Steamboat Springs, CO. Ben Morrison of The Brothers Comatose will support on the newly announced headline dates.


Ben Morrison (of The Brothers Comatose)

official band site »

Northern California native Ben Morrison has been compared to a young Kris Kristofferson, a male counterpoint to Amy Winehouse, and Chunky Spicy Peanut Butter. He has spent the last ten years touring the world with The Brothers Comatose, San Francisco’s beloved folk/bluegrass band formed by Ben and his brother Alex Morrison.

His band The Brothers Comatose have performed at such venerated festivals as High Sierra, Merlefest, Mountain Stage, Winnipeg Folk Fest (Canada), Port Fairy Folk Fest (Australia), Outside Lands & Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, and has traveled through China with the State Department’s American Music Abroad program.

Currently, Morrison is touring as a solo artist while working on his debut LP. He is employing musical friends of all sorts to create a full band representation of his songs. Morrison will continue to work with his bandmates in The Brothers Comatose as he simultaneously carves a path all his own.

 
Dumpstaphunk
@The Hamilton | view more info »
Apr
1

Dumpstaphunk



Wednesday Apr 1|doors 6:30 pm|all ages
The Hamilton|get directions »
600 14th Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 787-1000


Dumpstaphunk

official band site »

Dumpstaphunk stands out among New Orleans' best as one of the funkiest bands to ever arise from the Crescent City. Born on the Jazz & Heritage Festival stage, and descended from Neville family bloodlines, these soldiers of funk ignite a deep, gritty groove that dares listeners not to move. Their performances combine ingenious musicianship and complex funk and jazz arrangements with soulful melodies that are simple enough for anyone to enjoy. In Big Easy tradition, dueling baselines from Tony Hall and Nick Daniels III set off one of the dirtiest rhythm sections on the planet, while Ivan Neville lights up the Hammond B3 keys and cousin Ian Neville's funky guitar riffs send the groove into overdrive. The band recently welcomed their newest member, Alvin Ford Jr. to the quintet, a New Orleans born and raised powerhouse drummer. Dumpstaphunk tosses around lead vocals and four-part harmonies the way Sly & the Family Stone did, but with three studio albums under their belt, Dumpstaphunk stands on the merit of their own material. Songs like "Dancin' To The Truth" off their latest record, Dirty Word (July 30, 2013, Louisiana Red Hot Records), offer an escape into the funky sublime, sharing the true spirit of New Orleans with every note.


 
Papadosio
@Union Stage | view more info »
Apr
3

Papadosio



Friday Apr 3|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
Union Stage|get directions »
740 Water Street SW
Washington DC|p: (877) 987-6487


Papadosio

official band site »

Falling somewhere between rock, jazz, and electronic mayhem we find Papadosio striving to create music that is strangely familiar, and calls all walks of humanity to bask in a unique experience celebrating the one constant in an ever-changing world: music.

Papadosio has packed out Red Rocks Amphitheater for headlining shows the past two years running and now they bring their music to smaller stages on a tour of more intimate performances. Characterized as a dynamic progressive rock band, Papadosio creates the sound of new-age technology merging with mesmerizing instrumentation. Between the unfamiliar melodic sound and the element of production, their live show will leave you wanting more.


 
Cris Jacobs Band
Caleb Stine | @Union Craft Brewing | view more info »
Apr
3

Cris Jacobs Band

Caleb Stine


Friday Apr 3|doors 7:00 pm|21+
Union Craft Brewing|get directions »
1700 West 41st Street
Baltimore, MD


Cris Jacobs Band

official band site »

When Cris Jacobs began dreaming about a follow-up to his critically acclaimed 2016 album Dust to Gold, he realized early on he'd have to do things differently this time around. His life had changed drastically since writing those songs: he'd toured extensively and attracted a legion of new, devoted fans; he'd come off the road into a world, with its divisive rhetoric and troubling headlines, he no longer recognized; and, most importantly, he'd gotten married and had his first child. Things had changed, and Jacobs had, too.

Color Where You Are is the work of an artist at an exciting new stage in his life and career, ready to use his talents to share a little beauty with the loved ones and fans who have already given so much to him. The title nods to Jacobs' experience writing the album, which, as he puts it, he had to do "between tours, coming home, changing diapers, fixing things around the house.... You name it." He no longer had the luxury of waiting for inspiration to strike, so he colored where he was.

"It was a new discipline for me and a new level of focus that I think brought out the best work," he explains. "I feel like I grew up a little bit. There are people in my life who I truly care about and things in the world I feel deeply about. That really pushed me in a stronger direction and forced me to feel things on an honest level."

Opening track "Painted Roads," with its soulful groove and clever arrangement, is the perfect encapsulation of just how far Jacobs has come since releasing Dust to Gold. Jacobs is self-assured and confident in his soulful, infectious vocal, while his lyrical craftsmanship shows Jacobs to be a thoughtful songwriter who continuously strives to grow and evolve.

"It's about choosing to live in the present, and see the everyday details of the world, rather than postponing living or paying attention in hopes of some distant prize or destination," Jacobs says of "Painted Roads." "We get so caught up in 'success' and ambition, and are so goal-oriented, that we sometimes lose sight of the beauty in the everyday. 'Color where you are' is the notion of creating beauty now, no matter the circumstance."

"Painted Roads" was one of the first songs Jacobs and the band (who co-produced the album together) recorded for Color Where You Are, with his band mates taking Jacobs' original Tom Petty-inspired arrangement and giving it an off-kilter, syncopated groove. For the first time, Jacobs wrote the bulk of the album's songs in the studio, camping out at Richmond's Montrose Studios to flesh out "germs and ideas that had been floating around" with band members Todd Herrington (bass), Dusty Ray Simmons (drums/percussion) and Jonathan Sloane (guitar).

"I booked the studio time and put a gun to my head and that sometimes works," Jacobs says. "In this case it did. It feels like a specific time period and specific vibe and emotional space that came through in all of these songs. It was a really organic process."

While life as a family man changed Jacobs' perspective (and schedule), current events also had a profound impact on Jacobs' songwriting, with commentary on social and political issues finding its way into tracks like "Afterglow" and "Under the Big Top." Color Where You Are is a hopeful affair, though, with Jacobs employing thoughtful criticism and messages of empowerment instead of wallowing or ruminating.

"The political climate is causing a different sort of energy and angst in me that’s never been there before," he explains. "It’s not a political album by any means, but those forces out there certainly dictated a lot of the writing on this record."

On "Afterglow," Jacobs searches for optimism and healing in trying times. His emotional vocal is buoyed by a passionate, swelling performance from the band, making the track one of Color Where You Are's most poignant moments. "It's about the hope that after the storm we are currently trying to survive in, we will see true light like never before," Jacobs says. "That the constant threats to our foundations will cause us to examine and strengthen them, and come out the other side with stronger hearts and clearer vision. 'There will come horses, there will come voices' -- that we will be forced to show our true hand like never before because of our dire need to defend it."

Elsewhere, on "Under the Big Top," Jacobs channels swampy, gritty rock influences to shine a light on narrow-mindedness and lazy thinking. Crunchy riffs and a fat bass groove make the track, despite its heady message, one of the album's many songs you can't help but move to.

"'Under the Big Top' is commentary on society’s evolution into gullible, easily distracted, lazy-mindedness," Jacobs says. “'Pretty lights junkie like a moth to candle,' always distracted by the brightest, loudest, biggest, rather than remembering how to seek for ourselves and find truth and love. We instead over-consume and are given every opportunity to do so. What we end up with is a circus of sorts, with tricksters and hucksters and loud mouths with no real value taking up all of our attention and ruling us, because we are too easily manipulated."

Grooves abound on Color Where You Are, as on standout track "Rooster Coop," which finds Jacobs and the band sniffing around the henhouse over greasy slide guitar, a deep, deep pocket and a truly funky bass line. "All I knew was that I wanted to write a song that merged country and funk," Jacobs says of "Roostr Coop." "We started out with the main groove of the tune and the first line that popped into my head was, 'There’s something funky in the barnyard.' So naturally, I wrote a song about a scandalous love tryst amongst farm animals."

Spanning rock, folk, soul and funk and drawing from inspiration that runs the gamut from the henhouse to the White House, Color Where You Are is a kaleidoscopic portrait of Cris Jacobs as a songwriter, musician and bandleader. It's the work of a devoted father and an empathetic member of the human race. More than that, it's a reminder that there's beauty to be found everywhere, if you just take a moment to color where you are.

"What am I trying to do with my music?" Jacobs muses. "The simple answer is this: I’m trying to connect with people. To express real-life human emotions and make people feel things. To connect my love of music with my love of writing and conjure up all of the joy and emotions that those things bring to me. To hopefully have people walk away feeling lighter or happier or more inspired to go do something after listening... I want to create a body of work that my family will be proud of one day, and to show that I had compassion to the human condition and wasn’t just a self-indulgent show off."


Caleb Stine

official band site »

The BALTIMORE SUN has called Caleb Stine the “lynchpin of the Baltimore folk scene.” Flying just below mainstream radar, Stine keeps the music honest– hardworking, genuine, and unafraid to tell it like it is.

To date, Stine has released over ten albums, scored music for films, acted Off-Broadway, and played guitar with Vieux Farka Toure. Catch a live show and you’ll leave happier.

 
Papadosio
@Union Stage | view more info »
Apr
4

Papadosio



Saturday Apr 4|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
Union Stage|get directions »
740 Water Street SW
Washington DC|p: (877) 987-6487


Papadosio

official band site »

Falling somewhere between rock, jazz, and electronic mayhem we find Papadosio striving to create music that is strangely familiar, and calls all walks of humanity to bask in a unique experience celebrating the one constant in an ever-changing world: music.

Papadosio has packed out Red Rocks Amphitheater for headlining shows the past two years running and now they bring their music to smaller stages on a tour of more intimate performances. Characterized as a dynamic progressive rock band, Papadosio creates the sound of new-age technology merging with mesmerizing instrumentation. Between the unfamiliar melodic sound and the element of production, their live show will leave you wanting more.


 
Pimps Of Joytime
@The Hamilton | view more info »
Apr
10

Pimps Of Joytime



Friday Apr 10|doors 6:30 pm|all ages
The Hamilton|get directions »
600 14th Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 787-1000


Pimps Of Joytime

official band site »

Pimps of Joytime puts the needle in the groove with its fresh collection of 10 funk anthems ready to put a smile on faces across the globe. An intersection of Brooklyn’s indie music scene, New Orleans funk and San Francisco soul, the Pimps’ new studio release Third Wall Chronicles (Sugar Road Records: March 24, 2017) unites us around a common bond of Peace, Love and Music. The apex of positivity and a solace from the daily grind shines bright as the Pimps of Joytime throw the dance party of the year on Third Wall Chronicles and everyone is invited!

Brian Jay, Pimps of Joytime band leader, is no stranger to working with A-List talent in the studio as he’s produced albums for a “who’s who” of New Orleans heavyweights, including such stars as Cyril Neville (The Neville Brothers), James Andrews, Bernard “Pretty” Purdie (The World’s Most Recorded Drummer), and Corey Henry (Galactic). He’s shared the stage with Art Neville, George Porter and Zigaboo Modeliste (The Meters), Eddie Bo, and he’s currently working on an album with GRAMMY Award-nominated blues artist Cedric Burnside (grandson of legendary blues musician R.L. Burnside). Brian Jay co-produces Third Wall Chronicles with Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin. Co-writers on the album also include Anthony Cole (JJ Grey & Mofro), Nappy G (Turntables on the Hudson), DJ Black Pearl, and Chancey Yearwood.

Third Wall Chronicles is the Pimps Of Joytime’s fourth full-length studio album and features standout performances by fellow Pimps band members Mayteana Morales (vocals/percussion), Kimberly Dawson (vocals), David Bailis (bass/sampler) and John Staten (drums). Pimps of Joytime will headline venerable West Coast venues in February and March 2017 before heading to the East Coast for their national album release event at The Bowery Ballroom on March 25, 2017.


 
Goose
@The 8x10 | view more info »
sold out
Apr
19

Goose



Sunday Apr 19|doors 7:30 pm|18+
The 8x10|get directions »
10 E. Cross St.
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 625-2000
Sold Out


Goose

official band site »

The atmosphere Goose radiates could be likened to a keg party in the woods on a summer night with all of your closest friends. While behind this bonfire-lit gathering, further into the forest, there is a deeper mystery awaiting those looking for it.

The quartet, based in Norwalk, CT, is comprised of Rick Mitarotonda (vocals, guitar), Peter Anspach (vocals, keyboards/guitar), Trevor Weeks (bass), and Ben Atkind (drums). Goose’s music is the culmination of a rich history between friends of differing ages and experiences from the same small town in Connecticut, drawn together through a deep love of music and storytelling.

The band returned to the studio in 2019 for the first time since the 2016 debut LP, Moon Cabin, releasing three new singles, “All I Need”, “Time to Flee”, and “Butter Rum”. Mastered by Grammy Award winner, Emily Lazar, the singles exhibit a developed live band showcasing their studio voice. Following breakout performances at Resonance Music & Arts Festival, Domefest, Summer Camp Music Festival and The Peach Music Festival; the Goose is loose.


 
Ghost Of Paul Revere
@Pearl Street Warehouse | view more info »
May
2

Ghost Of Paul Revere



Saturday May 2|doors 7:00 pm|21+
Pearl Street Warehouse|get directions »
33 Pearl Street
Washington DC|p: (202) 380-9620


Ghost Of Paul Revere

official band site »

"We grew up listening to Radiohead and the Beatles and Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd," says Griffin Sherry, guitarist/singer in The Ghost Of Paul Revere. "Everyone assumed we were a bluegrass band because we were playing these traditional instruments, but we weren’t writing traditional music. We were just writing songs with the instruments we had."

The result is a sound that the Portland, Maine-based band describes as "holler folk," not because it involves a lot of hollering, per se, but because it invokes the rich communal tradition of field hollers, with their call-and-response melodies, sing-along hooks, and densely layered harmonies. That sense of musical camaraderie is essential to everything The Ghost of Paul Revere does, and nowhere is it more evident than their sophomore album, ''Monarch.'

The album builds on the success of the band's 2014 debut full-length, 'Believe,' and their 2015 EP, 'Field Notes Vol. 1,' which was recorded primarily in a single day at Converse's Rubber Tracks studio in Boston. The session was part of a prize package presented by the iconic Newport Folk Festival, which had invited the band to perform at the storied Rhode Island musical gathering earlier that year as part of a lineup featuring everyone from James Taylor and Jason Isbell to The Lone Bellow and Bela Fleck.

"The Monday before Newport we got a message saying to pack our bags and come on down," remembers Sherry. "We hadn't played much outside of Maine or started opening for any big acts yet at that point, and it was a hugely inspiring moment."

Word began to spread about the rowdy pickers from the north. The Boston Globe raved that they "create the type of music for which festivals are made," while No Depression said they "prove that superior roots music can come from anywhere," and Dispatch Magazine wrote that they possess not only "the chops, but the heart to reach their audience and leave an undeniable impression." Hitting listeners straight in the feelings has been the band's M.O. since its inception in 2011, and they've used their powerful stage show to convert the masses at every stop along their long and winding journey, which has included shared stages with artists like The Avett Brothers, The Travelin' McCourys, Brown Bird, The Revivalists, the Infamous Stringdusters, and more. The band sold out Port City Music Hall, Stone Mountain Arts Center, and the Strand Theater multiple times, won Best In Maine at the New England Music Awards, and capped off 2015 with an electrifying headline performance on New Year's Eve at Portland's State Theatre in front of 1,600 enraptured fans.

When it came time to record, 'Monarch,' though, the band knew they wanted to push the sonic envelope beyond the live-in-the-studio setup that had guided their previous efforts.

"Every other record has just been the three of us in a room with microphones until we got a take we liked," explains Sherry. "We approached this one differently. It was the first time we did a lot of arranging and writing in the studio. We decided we'd worry about learning how to present the songs live after we'd recorded everything instead of the other way around."

"It enabled us to get a lot more adventurous with our ideas," adds bassist/singer Sean McCarthy. "We wanted to do something new and explore where we could take the sound while still staying true to who we are."

The album opens with "Little Bird," a playful, infectious foot -stomper that blends blues and soul and roots and perfectly reflects the communal, inviting nature of the band's music.

Banjo player Max Davis takes over the songwriting and lead vocal duties for "Avalanche," an emotional anthem featuring one of the album's most lush arrangements along with driving drums from special guest Tony McNaboe (Ray LaMontagne, Rustic Overtones), while "King's Road" finds the band expanding their sonic palette to include strings and electric guitar, and "Honey Please" channels 60's R&B and Motown through old-school folk instrumentation. At the core of everything The Ghost of Paul Revere does, though, are their powerful, stop-you-dead-in -your-tracks harmonies. On songs like "Wild Child," "Welcome Home," and "Need Somebody," the band conjures up whole worlds of shimmering sonic beauty in the blending of their voices.

"The album follows this arc where it starts very bright-eyed and optimistic and then hits a turning point where it gets really dark," says Sherry, "like a relationship that starts beautifully and then grows sour. As we started to build the record and expand the sound, it had a place sonically and emotionally.”

By the end of the record, the song cycle reveals that traveling through the darkness is in fact a necessary step for positive growth. 'Monarch' closer "Chrysalides" evokes the imagery of metamorphosis, a transformation that represents rebirth and new beginnings.

"It's about what happens in that moment of metamorphosis and change," says Davis. "I was interested in combining different words into a new term that could capture that feeling, so 'Chrysalides' is a play on chrysalis. This was one of the first times that I allowed myself to bite into and really take advantage of that space in the writing."

If there's one takeaway from 'Monarch,' it's that change is inevitable. Lovers, families, friends, instruments, sounds; they all transform with time. The key to thriving and surviving in a challenging world is to embrace those transformations, to accept them not as endings but as fresh starts. What comes next? Only time can tell. One thing's for sure, though: by opening their hearts and souls with such artistic grace and humility, The Ghost of Paul Revere have created a rich, rewarding, passionate community, one that they can count on to join them for every step of the remarkable journey that lies ahead.


 
Liz Cooper & The Stampede
@The 8x10 | view more info »
May
15

Liz Cooper & The Stampede



Friday May 15|doors 7:00 pm|18+
The 8x10|get directions »
10 E. Cross St.
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 625-2000


Liz Cooper & The Stampede

official band site »

There is a collective energy in Nashville, one that Liz Cooper has poured herself into for the past six years. Liz remarks that the energy in Nashville today is akin to that of Greenwich Village in 1960s New York or the Laurel Canyon days in the 1960s and 1970s and is a product of a collaborative approach to music and art. This community has allowed Liz to be a part of many magically haphazard nights, where the movers and shakers of the Nashville music world, such as Okey Dokey, Becca Mancari, Rayland Baxter, Desert Noises, Morning Teleportation, Erin Rae, Brittany Howard, Cage the Elephant, Michael Nau and many more converge to make music and art and lose track of time. Her latest album is a product of that pulsating energy in Nashville that has had some of the greatest influence in her work.

Window Flowers is the culmination of a year where Liz made a purposeful effort to do something creative every day. Whether it was directly related to music or not, this creative process challenged and inspired her to continually put herself in new situations and pushed her to become a better songwriter and guitar player. The tentative newcomer that is present in her early recordings was all but gone in the making of the album. Her absorption into the collaborative community is evidenced by guest appearances on Window Flowers including Will Brown (Michael Nau) on the keys, Michael and Ben Ford (Airpark) bgv’s/ guitar and songwriting, Gianni Gibson (Future Thieves) percussion, Leah Blevins on BGV’s, Emily Kohavi (Kacey Musgraves, Eminem etc.) on violin and Steve Dawson on pedal steel. Liz Cooper & The Stampede and their guests spent five days tracking Window Flowers at Welcome to 1979 in Nashville, Tennessee. TJ Elias, who co-produced the album with the band, sparked the relationship by approaching Liz one night backstage at The Ryman Auditorium after hearing her songs through a mutual friend and musician, Cody Huggins.

Window Flowers is a collection of music that deals with the weight of mundanity, and politely tells it to fuck off. When listening to “Sleepyhead” you hear remembrances of her early Nashville recordings, mixed with the powerful assertion that this is Liz Cooper, a force that will continue to shape and mold her own course of creating music. Whether you see Liz Cooper & The Stampede in a dive bar or a theater venue, you feel like you are being transported to another time and place. People often remark that her music takes them back to the 60s and 70s, when rock-n-roll felt alive, and bigger than oneself. The album will be released on Sleepyhead Records via Thirty Tigers (Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell) August 10, 2018.

Coming off their busiest year to-date, including playing Austin City Limits Festival for the first time in 2017, Liz Cooper & The Stampede have spent the first few months of 2018 touring with Lord Huron, Deer Tick, Rayland Baxter, Ron Gallo and Blitzen Trapper. The band will continue touring this year with Houndmouth, Tyler Childers and will play Firefly Festival and LouFest.

As Liz shakes her tambourine, hair falling in her face, donning a floral jumpsuit, it is hard to believe she identifies as a shy person. “I wanted to grow as a human and a musician so I had to quickly get over being painfully shy. I moved to Nashville as a scared and unconfident 19 year-old so I had to continually challenge myself and put myself out there. Now, as a 25 year-old I feel like I’ve grown so much confidence. Of course I will always be awkward, but I’m learning to love that. What a journey it’s been and will continue to be; definitely a hot puzzle. As I grow, my music will grow. Music is helping me figure out who I am and what the hell my life is all about and at the end of the day it just makes me happy. Isn’t that what everyone is trying to figure out how to be?”


 
Satsang
Will Evans | @Pearl Street Warehouse | view more info »
May
16

Satsang

Will Evans


Saturday May 16|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
Pearl Street Warehouse|get directions »
33 Pearl Street
Washington DC|p: (202) 380-9620


Satsang

official band site »

A Sanskrit word meaning “in the company of truth.”

It’s a beautiful moment when music from the heart and poetry from the soul truly connects with its intended audience. For Satsang lead singer and songwriter Drew McManus, that moment occurred on a 2018 tour through the Midwest, Northeast and Pacific Coast in which two-thirds of the band’s dates sold out. That’s when the truth hits home for McManus that his soulful, reggae-infused blend of folk-rock and melodic hip hop and its message of strength, growth and resilience is his testimony to the world – and the world is finally listening.

Satsang, in its few short years, has headlined or shared the stage with the likes of Michael Franti & Spearhead, Nahko and Medicine for the People, Trevor Hall, Wookiefoot and many more. The quartet is currently enjoying the success of its 2019 release, Kulture, a collection of songs representing the culmination of all the band’s influences.

“In Kulture, you can hear influences from Motown to 90’s hip hop to Tom Petty, but none of it was really intentional,” McManus says. “It was just me finally finding my sound. It’s authentic. It’s the first thing we’ve made that feels 100 percent like us.”

McManus spent most of his life trying to distance himself from his troubled upbringing in Des Moines and Chicago and its cycle of violence, abuse and addiction. McManus, though, would find his peace amid family in the Beartooth Mountains of Montana, an oasis that allows him a warm hearth to recharge from the rigors of the road and practice his other passions – painting, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and social activism.

“Home is my heart,” McManus says. “When I’m not on tour, I’m a stay-at-home dad with four kids – one of them a baby. My music is the self-reflection of that and the touring is the mirror.”

During a month-long backpacking trip in the Himalaya Mountains in 2015, McManus realizes that as part of his recovery from addiction, he must share his life journey in poetry and song to help other lost souls. Songs of surrender, vulnerability and perseverance pour out of him, forming the foundation of Satsang’s 2016 debut, The Story of You, highlighted by "I Am", a fan-favorite hymn of self-love that has surpassed two million listens on Spotify.

“I almost wrote those songs accidentally, not immediately understanding their connection with each other,” McManus says. “Writing I Am was when it all clicked for me – that regardless of my childhood, I was meant to do this.”

Satsang’s follow up, 2017’s Pyramid(s), quickly hit #1 on the Billboard reggae charts and #2 on the iTunes charts, while In Between Another Blink, a six-song EP released in late 2017, also cracked the iTune Top 20 chart. Much of the music on both were written as Satsang toured non-stop in 2016, sometimes before sparse audiences. The songs became a testament to the struggle of sticking to a purpose and believing in the result.

“Pyramid(s) is about building a foundation and not rushing through the difficult parts of growth, accepting that you must learn from all the lessons between the start and finish of the race,” McManus says. “It helped that a lot of my friends who were doing well-playing music during this time kept saying, ‘You got this, man, you got this.’ ”

And then, all those shows sold out …


Will Evans

official band site »

Will Evans has spent the last decade as the primary songwriter and frontman for the New England based Roots Rock outfit Barefoot Truth. After four albums and 50+ million plays on Pandora & Spotify, he embarked on his solo journey – and has since released three additional full-length albums and toured extensively.

His most recent album “Rise” was nominated for three categories by the New England Music Awards: Album of the Year, Roots Act of the Year, and Video of the Year (“Family Tree”). The album features deeply personal topics of humanity, compassion, and a reflection of the current political times.

A lifelong surfer and environmentalist, his songs speak to the importance of connecting with and protecting the earth. At a time when many are looking for words of inspiration and reassurance, “Rise” delivers a collection of socially conscious songs filled with messages of love, possibility, and inclusion.

In 2018 and 2019, Will joined his good friend Trevor Hall as a member of his touring band and as a frequent supporting act. Together they performed to passionate crowds across North America and Europe. Trevor Hall is featured on “Hoka Hey,” the album’s opening song.

In his live performances, Will displays a technical mastery of live-looping skills to showcase his background in percussion mixed with layers of acoustic guitar and soulful vocals.

Will has shared the stage with many top artists including Crosby & Nash, Grace Potter, Bruce Hornsby, Rusted Root, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Trevor Hall, Nahko, Xavier Rudd, Donavon Frankenreiter, Ryan Montbleau, Railroad Earth and members of Dispatch.

 
Anders Osborne
John "Papa" Gros | @The Hamilton | view more info »
May
30

Anders Osborne

John "Papa" Gros


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


Anders Osborne

official band site »

At one point on his 2019 album, Buddha and The Blues, Anders Osborne sings, “Oh, it’s a miracle we still care. Oh, it’s so wonderful we’re still here. We’re still here!”

He’s not going anywhere either…

Osborne’s six-string virtuosity, inventive musicality, and poetic songcraft underpin an ever-expanding three-decade catalog celebrated by fans and critics alike. As a sought-after studio talent, his writing resounds through Keb Mo’s GRAMMY® Award-winning Slow Down, Tim McGraw’s number one “Watch The Wind Blow By,” and covers by Brad Paisley, Jonny Lang, Edwin McCain, Aaron Neville, and more. His output live and in the studio spans working with everyone from Eric Church, Toots and the Maytals, and John Scofield to The Meters, North Mississippi Allstars, and Galactic. His extensive touring history encompasses gigs, collaborations, and performances alongside everyone from Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes, and Stanton Moore to The Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh and Jackie Greene. Not to mention, he lights up the screen on an episode of the HBO hit Treme. Plus, he has garnered acclaim from USA Today, Guitar Player, Relix, Offbeat, and more.

He also gives back whenever possible via the “Send Me A Friend” foundation and through writing music for New Orleans Children’s Museum. A pair of 2016 albums—Spacedust & Ocean Views and Flowerbox—maintained his prolific output at a record pace. Now, 2019’s Buddha and the Blues references the full scope of the creative and personal duality at the heart of everything this maverick does.

“I came up with the title early on, so I knew what the vibe of the record should be,” he explains. “Buddha and the Blues means the duality of our existence.”

As Osborne crafted the music, he pondered an existential struggle we all face. On the one hand, humans do good, but it’s under the expectation of personal gratification. On the other hand, they desire success and wealth, but they attempt to maintain an appearance of humility. This constant push-and-pull led him to write about “not getting lost in a sunken path or idolizing an intangible future, but instead to be present in this moment and to be fully alive.” These thoughts filtered into the words, especially.

He goes on, “The lyrics are supposed to be true, conversational, and uplifting with clean, classic, and thumpin’ sounds. That’s what I set out to accomplish.”

In order to do so, he joined forces with “a world-class ensemble” of Waddy Wachtel [guitar], Bob Glaub [bass], Benmont Tench [keys], Windy Wagner-Cromwell [background vocals], and Chad Cromwell [guitar]. Chad also assumed the role of producer. Like “a big brother” to Osborne, the producer and artist leveraged years of friendship, trust, and creative kinship to “make a record [they] wanted to do for many years.”

“I didn’t have to push,” admits Chad. “It was his idea to let me ‘drive the bus,’ so to speak. That allowed him to focus on songs and his performances. The freer he is to write, play, and sing; the better the record. He really trusted me. To trust someone to help you make a record is an act of faith. It’s a big responsibility to make sure that happens. That’s a mighty thing Anders did, and I appreciate his trust. All signs pointed to this team, this time, and this music.”

The setting proved to be as instrumental as the players did. From the beginning, Osborne envisioned making the album in California, but not the big screen vision of Hollywood. It made perfect sense to zero in on a location just far enough from the city. Ojai felt perfect to siphon the soul of SoCal into wistful sun-soaked soundscapes. You can practically hear Ojai in the aural fabric of the album.

“The Southern California vibe was essential to the record,” Osborne continues. “Early on, Chad and I agreed it had to be tracked out there. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, and we needed to go out there. You can hear the influence. It’s played with a gentle breeze and tight precision. Cutting it in Ojai was crucial to achieving the right atmosphere. I usually write with a location in mind, so it helps me stay focused and guides me to craft a body of tunes rather than individual songs.”

That “body of tunes” kicks off with the dusty dynamics of “Alone.” In the pocket of a steady beat, the twang of clean guitar offsets his gruff delivery as the track unfurls towards a discordant guitar lead highlighted by organ.

“‘Alone’ was a meditative prose I wrote in my backyard,” he says. “It had a circular vibe to it, When I added the music, I wanted it to match the poem: a small word with an epic impression.” Elsewhere, “Escape” captures the tension prior to his California trip with its off-kilter groove and roots-y shuffle. A wail of slide guitar cuts through sunny strumming as an idyllic narrative unfolds on “Traveling with Friends.”

He adds, “I wrote ‘Traveling with Friends’ on St. Thomas, Virgin Islands while on vacation with my family. We had an amazing spot on top of a mountain overlooking a big part of the island, and I felt inspired and really grateful. I had a moment of relief from all of my searching and dissonance. I saw us all for what we are—beautiful, fragile, and in this tumultuous space trip all together.”

He crafted the perfect soundtrack to the trip with Buddha and The Blues, illuminating his own duality like never before. The message ultimately becomes clear in the music.

“Learn to choose,” he leaves off. “Be happy or continue suffering.”


John "Papa" Gros

official band site »

“Sharing New Orleans with the world is my calling,” says pianist and organist John “Papa” Gros. “That's what I have been doing and that's what I’ll do with the rest of my life.”

For over three decades, Gros has brought his city’s celebratory culture to listeners around the globe. Gros mixes all the sounds of New Orleans - funk, trad jazz, brass band, blues - and makes it his own signature gumbo. His new solo album Central City, shows Gros capturing New Orleans’ distinct feel-good charm with help from some of its’ most renowned players.

Gros began playing gigs when he was just fifteen years old but didn’t truly kick off his career until after graduating from Loyola in 1989 with a degree in French Horn performance. During the seminal years that followed, the young man cut his teeth as a solo performer on Bourbon Street while also developing a reputation as a formidable sideman. He backed up some of the biggest names in the Crescent City, such as Meters bassist George Porter Jr. and guitarist Snooks Eaglin. Studying under mentors decades his senior, Gros absorbed a lifetime of lessons in only a few years and quickly became part of the direct lineage of New Orleans music.

Between 2000 and 2013, Gros began his transition into the spotlight by leading Papa Grows Funk, a highly revered group that mixed hard-hitting funk grooves with often unpredictable jazz spontaneity. The band released six critically-acclaimed studio albums, including Needle in the Groove, which was co-produced by New Orleans legend and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Allen Toussaint. The group’s weekly gigs at the world-famous Maple Leaf became a staple for both locals and tourists alike, eventually leading to Gros touring in far off countries like Japan and Brazil.

Hurricane Katrina’s devastation in 2005 caused Gros to reanalyze his role in the world.

“Before Katrina, I was simply a New Orleans musician, but after Katrina, I told my story of what New Orleans meant to me and why it is culturally significant to the world. It was at that point I became a New Orleans cultural ambassador, who happens to be a loudmouth, piano-playing, singer-songwriter.”

After Papa Grows Funk dissolved, Gros briefly returned to sideman work, playing organ for a series of all-star tributes to Dr. John and the Neville Brothers. The 2014 Dr. John tribute, The Music Mojo of Dr. John, was later released as a critically-acclaimed live album that featured Gros playing with Bruce Springsteen, Mavis Staples, Jason Isbell, and John Fogerty. More importantly for Gros, those tribute concerts allowed him to play alongside his two biggest influences: the Doctor and Art Neville, both of whom passed in 2019.

In 2016, Gros returned to the spotlight yet again with his second solo album River’s On Fire, the much anticipated follow up to his 2004 debut Day’s End. Co-produced by Gros and Tracy Freeman (Harry Connick Jr, Rebirth Brass Band, Bonerama), the album’s fiery funk rock showed how Gros had matured as both a songwriter and bandleader. It firmly established Gros’ identity as a solo force.

Now, Gros is preparing to release Central City, his third solo album. The album is a collection of classic New Orleans songs, both new and old, filtered through his decades of dedication to his craft. The album features Gros’ feel good originals alongside his takes on beloved songs by Allen Toussaint, Lloyd Price, and John Prine. Joining Gros on the album are a who’s who in the keepers of the New Orleans tradition, including singer Ivan Neville (Dumpstaphunk), drummer Herlin Riley (Wynton Marsalis), banjoist Don Vappie, guitarist Brian Stoltz (Neville Brothers), trumpeter Mark Braud (Harry Connick Jr.), trombonist Mark Mullins (Bonerama), clarinetist Tim Laughlin, and his former boss George Porter Jr. (Meters). Together, they perfectly exploit the similarities between New Orleans jazz and early rock 'n' roll on songs such as "Yeah Yeah Yeah" and "Personality."

“I’m walking in the same path [as Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, and Art Neville,]” explains Gros. “I’ve been following them my whole life. Now, they’re no longer in front of me. They’ve gotten off the path but the path is still very clear.”

 
Etana
@Pearl Street Warehouse | view more info »
Jun
4

Etana



Thursday Jun 4|doors 7:00 pm|21+
Pearl Street Warehouse|get directions »
33 Pearl Street
Washington DC|p: (202) 380-9620


Etana

official band site »

Etana’s story begins in August Town, a treacherous but culturally rich garrison community in eastern Kingston that has produced such musical talents as Sizzla and Israel Vibration. Growing up, Etana’s home was filled with music, but it was country and western that she recalls leaving the biggest impression. “Every Sunday was country music day,” says Etana. Etana discovered her talent at the age of 6 while singing at home in the backyard for her aunt. Her charming voice beaconed and huge audience of neighbors who gathered to hear “little Shauna” sing. Etana’s backyard singing led to microphones of local sound systems playing in the neighborhood and thats where he love of music began.

Etana’s family relocated to South Florida when she was nine where she started middle school and sang on the school choir, she was chosen to sing the “Star Spangled banner” at school functions but never thought much of having a career in music at that time. Etana began her music career, almost by accident, while studying nursing at a local community college.

However, music would find her there as well, when she was recommended by a friend to fill in as a backup singer for reggae star Richie Spice.“Being on the road with Richie Spice, I was very comfortable being myself, wearing what I wanted to wear,” Etana recalls of her time touring with the “Earth A Run Red” singer. “Nobody had a problem with my afro.” The gig turned into an unexpected opportunity when Etana was asked to warm up the crowd at a show where Spice was feeling ill. “It was nothing rehearsed, just covers,” states Etana. “But people started to ask: ‘Who was the girl?’ Management for Richie Spice kept asking me to do a song, and ‘Wrong Address’ was the first song that I wrote.”

VP Records, recognized Etana’s talents. In 2008, the label released her debut LP, The Strong One. The album, which combined Etana’s reggae sound with aspects of R&B and world music, was embraced by fans as well as the music industry, landing the singer a nomination in the “best reggae” category at the MOBO Awards in England.

After several years touring around the world, Etana returned in 2011 with her second album Free Expressions. The set included the hit “People Talk,” which detailed Etana’s own experiences facing skepticism as a woman in the music industry, as well as favorites like “Free,” an emotional tear-jerker written from Etana’s personal experience of the violent, horrific nature of her community, having to endure days of no sleep unable to go home because of a turf war and fears of being killed in the cross fire. “August Town” a track written in hopes of reuniting her community.

In 2013, Etana partnered with producer Shane Brown for her third LP, Better Tomorrow, recorded at Kingston’s legendary Tuff Gong Studios. The album brought Etana back to reggae’s foundation via vintage sounds and one-drop rhythms, earning praise from the Associated Press for its “mature and confident sound,” “top-notch lyrical content” and “unique vocals.” The same year, Etana held her own at the IRAWMA (International Reggae and World Music Awards) in Coral Springs, Florida.

Etana continues her forward movement in 2014 becoming the first female to achieve a Reggae Billboard #1 in seventeen years with I Rise, album produced by Jamaican luminary Clive Hunt. After Etana’s break away from Vp Records, as an independent artist, she continued on her trail firsts to becoming the first female artist out of Jamaica to receive the number one spot of the Reggae Billboard for the second time with her album “Reggae Forever” which was produced by her own label, Freemind Music, and released on march 8th, 2018. The Reggae Forever LP, was also nominated by the Grammy committee, as one of the best Reggae albums of 2018. This nomination made Etana the first female artist from Jamaica in over twenty-one years to be nominated. The other nominees were Shaggy & Sting, Ziggy Marley, Black Uhuru and Protege. In November of 2019, Etana released an eight track EP “Dimension” that debut at #4 on iTunes and #7 on The Reggae Billboard album charts. Etana is currently created album #6 while keeping busy on her upcoming 2020 World Tour.


 
Star Kitchen
@Union Stage | view more info »
Jun
4

Star Kitchen



Thursday Jun 4|doors 9:00 pm|all ages
Union Stage|get directions »
740 Water Street SW
Washington DC|p: (877) 987-6487


Star Kitchen

official band site »

Star Kitchen burst onto the scene in the last year with breakout sets at Electric Forest, Jam Cruise, High Sierra Music Festival and the Peach Music Festival. They honed their sound through constant rehearsals and headlining shows at small clubs throughout the northeast. Utilizing classics and deep cuts from the last 50 years as a base, the musicians in Star Kitchen cook up improvised remixes pulling from their diverse but overlapping expertise in underground hip-hop, space funk, blues rock, psychedelic R&B and live electronic music. The band will be bringing their recipe to the south and midwest US early this fall. Over 25 other musicians have already been featured as celebrity chefs in the Star Kitchen, and this fall will feature familiar faces and new ones as the band teams up with the New Mastersounds, the Motet, Umphrey’s McGee, Galactic, Jennifer Hartswick & Nick Cassarino. Star Kitchen is Marc Brownstein, Marlon Lewis, Rob Marscher and Danny Mayer.