The Fruitful Darkness Tour
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The Whiskey Strings Tour
Billy Strings & Whiskey Shivers
@The 8x10 | view more info »
Sep
19

The Whiskey Strings Tour
Billy Strings & Whiskey Shivers



Tuesday Sep 19|doors 7:00 pm|18+
The 8x10|get directions »
10 E. Cross St.
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 625-2000


The Whiskey Strings Tour
Billy Strings

official band site »

Whether sharing stages with acoustic music royalty, crisscrossing the nation playing as a solo artist or performing high-energy, jaw-dropping sets at festi- vals, the reaction to Billy Strings tends to come in two varieties: “Who is this guy?” and “That kid can play!”

Raised in Michigan and based in Nashville, Strings — real name William Apostol — learned music from his father, who had learned it from his father, and his father before him. Maybe that’s why at 24, Strings’ songs, his articula- tion, his entire approach, sounds so authentic and steeped in tradition. Consider him the next in line of an Americana thread, not some upstart or bandwagon jumper.

While Strings’ profile as a guitarist and singer in the acoustic/bluegrass scene continues to grow, he has already earned some landmark achievements. He has been invited to play on stage with Del McCoury, David Grisman, Larry Keel, Sam Bush, Greensky Bluegrass, The Infamous Stringdusters, Leftover Salmon and more. He’s landed coveted slots at festivals like Pickathon, Merlefest, DelFest, High Sierra Music Festival, Grey Fox to name a few and he’s shared bills with popular touring acts Greensky Bluegrass, The Infamous Stringdust- ers, Yonder Mountain Stringband, Leftover Salmon, Cabinet and more. And the industry has taken notice: He just won IBMA 2016 Momentum Awards Instrumentalist of the Year for guitar, banjo and mandolin and was voted #1 in, scene tastemaker, Bluegrass Situation’s Top 16 of ’16.


Whiskey Shivers

official band site »

Barefoot, sleeveless and sweaty, Whiskey Shivers frontman and fiddle master Bobby Fitzgerald never stops smiling on stage. "All right! Let’s kick this thing in the face!” he barks, as the band tears into their stringed instruments at breakneck speed.

It's almost impossible to watch him perform more than a song or two without cracking a smile yourself. His exuberance is contagious, and it bleeds through into the music. Whether they're playing at a backyard house party in Texas, a punk-rock dive bar or a sprawling country music festival, crowds take notice. People put down their phones, pick up their drinks and start dancing.

“Whiskey Shivers isn't just the five of us on stage, it’s everybody in the room," Fitzgerald says. "We try to bring everybody into the moment and get them to realize there's no wall between us and the crowd. We're all in this together, and we're all here to have a good time. We'll do our best to facilitate it, but it takes all of us to make it happen. When you start to feel that, you can't help but feel a little attachment and become invested in the show. You realize, 'Oh, I'm here to have good time too!’”

Despite their joyful demeanor, the guys in Whiskey Shivers aren't pretending that life is always easy. Far from it, Fitzgerald explains.

It's in the contrast where Whiskey Shivers' music shines. They infuse their songs with punk rock energy and a darkly comical light-heartedness, stretching the bluegrass genre to fit whatever they feel is right. For them, being happy is a conscious choice, and making fun of life's struggles is part of their philosophy.



 
Beats Antique
ASADI | @Rams Head Live | view more info »
Sep
24

Beats Antique

ASADI


Sunday Sep 24|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
Rams Head Live|get directions »
20 Market Place
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 244-1131


Beats Antique

official band site »

It’s impossible to describe Beats Antique using just a single genre. One listen to their forthcoming album, Shadowbox (released on their own Beats Antique Records imprint), and their unique hybrid of sound makes perfect sense; their ability to blend so many different kinds of music in to an incredibly vibrant, distinctive and peerless album is what this band has been doing for the past ten years.

Sidecar Tommy, David Satori and Zoe Jakes make up Beats Antique, who is releasing their 10th album on October 5th to commemorate their tenth year as a band. They’ve mounted a larger-than-life cross-country tour that will take their vision to theaters across America. “Shadowbox is both the title of our new album, the theme of our tour, and our new store front in Berkeley CA. We decided to bring it all together on this release.“

Mostly recorded at their studio in Oakland (which has been around since the 50s), the Bay Area band also recorded in Russia and Israel. “We were lucky to record in both Moscow and Tel Aviv, because we had shows there and wanted to connect with the local artists. We had amazing sessions in both locations; In Moscow we recorded on the outskirts of the city in a wild Industrial complex. We ended up going through strange corridors into this plush bamboo-floored-Hare-Krishna-owned recording studio with state of the art gear. When we were in Tel Aviv, we gave a call to a local legend Yossi Fine and he helped us get time at Pluto Studios, which is one of the best in the city. We recorded with Talya Solan and her amazing group of musicians. We used elements of the Tel Aviv session to create our track “Bdna Salam,” which is raising money for Syrian refugees.” Along with Talya other features on Shadowbox include Lafa Taylor, Alam Khan, Tatiana Kalmykova, brasshouse trio Too Many Zooz (who are touring with Beats Antique), Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Dana Elle, Madoline Tasquin and Medium Troy Orchestra.

Shadowbox is a retrospective of sorts, with Beats Antique pulling from all of their previous work as almost a homage to the first ten years of their career. “This will be our first full album produced in Beats Antique’s recording studio/dance performance space. We feel like Shadowbox touches on all our styles from down-temp Middle Eastern influences to cinematic orchestral arrangements. The songwriting process is also different for every song. Sometimes David will come in with a melody and Sidecar will add the bass and beats, and vise versa. One thing that always makes the songwriting process unique is that Zoe creates and arranges music based around stories she wants to tell though dance, so sometimes the performance aspect influences the creation of the music.”

In June, the group premiered the first single, “Killer Bee,” featuring Lafa Taylor, on Billboard.com. The track is “about standing up to prejudices. Just because someone calls you a killer bee, doesn’t mean you need to kill. We want people to define themselves and not be defined by what people think they should be.” In addition to being a ‘killer’ track, with a compelling music video directed by Kyrian Bobeerian, Beats Antique donated a percentage of the proceeds from their July 1st show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre to The Honeybee Conservancy, a non-profit dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of bees.

An enthusiastic touring band, a new album also means a new tour, and since Beats Antique is all about the ‘concept,’ Shadowbox (the album and the idea) is another opportunity for them to get the creative juices flowing for the live shows. The band plan to use shadows, light, Indonesian shadow puppetry, custom-created lanterns, dance, story telling, crowd participation and more to make sure this is an unforgettable visual spectacle for their audience.

Shadowbox, an album that is an amalgamation of the history of Beats Antique, merged with a tour that will both tease and excite the senses, shows off what this band does best – transform, innovate and revolutionize what you think you know about music.


ASADI

official band site »


 
The Fruitful Darkness Tour
Trevor Hall
East Forest | @9:30 club | view more info »
Sep
26

The Fruitful Darkness Tour
Trevor Hall

East Forest


Tuesday Sep 26|doors 6:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


The Fruitful Darkness Tour
Trevor Hall

official band site »

Trevor Hall realized at a very young age that music was more than just a passion. As an eleven year old, playing harmonica beside his father in the cradle of the weeping willows of South Carolina, music quickly became his most intimate companion, guide and creative outlet. In his elementary years, he began to write his own songs and perform them locally.

At sixteen he recorded his first record, and the following year he left South Carolina to study classical guitar at Idyllwild Arts Academy, an international boarding school east of Los Angeles. There, Trevor was introduced to yoga and certain spiritual practices found in India, which greatly influenced his music and his life journey. During his senior year, Trevor signed a record deal with Geffen Records and his career as a musician formally began.

Trevor quickly broke through the music scene, with such early accomplishments in his career as having a song recorded on the Shrek the Third soundtrack, as well as joining a series of sold-out tours with artists such as Steel Pulse, The Wailers, Jimmy Cliff, Matisyahu, Michael Franti and Colbie Callait. Trevor’s quick rise on the scene, however, was ripe with challenges that conflicted with his spiritual life and devotional practice. In order to parallel his life’s path with the messages in his music, Trevor moved into a traditional Hindu ashram in Southern California in 2008. When not on tour, he lived as a monk and devoted his days to spiritual practice and service. His involvement with the temple affected his music and his music quickly became his practice.

Trevor Hall’s music – an eclectic mix of acoustic rock, reggae and Sanskrit chanting – echo with the names and teachings of divinities, while maintaining an incredibly and refreshingly universal message. While on the road, Trevor sees the stage as his moving temple, a place where he can share in the experience of his spiritual journey with his audience. Trevor’s annual trips to India also continue to serve as a source of creativity and motivation for his music. The precious lessons and experiences that he has harvested from his journeys East have moved Trevor to return a service to those whom have colored his music and his life so beautifully. Trevor uses donations collected at his live shows to help support an ashram in Allahabad, India, the home of his Guru, where underprivileged and orphaned boys and girls are given the chance at a better life and a traditional Vedic education.

Trevor’s self-titled debut album debuted on Billboard’s Heatseeker chart at #7 in 2009. It featured the single “Unity,” written and performed with his longtime friend, Matisyahu. Trevor was named one of the Top 20 New Artists by Music Connection magazine and in 2010 MTV named him one of the twenty emerging artists.

His follow up album, Everything, Everytime, Everywhere, was released in 2011 and debuted on the iTunes Rock Chart at #3, iTunes Top Albums at #12 and #8 on Amazon Movers & Shakers. The featured single, “Brand New Day” was used as the music bed for the CBS This Morning Show.

In 2013 at the age of 26, after touring consistently for ten years, Trevor decided to take a break from the stage and go on an extended pilgrimage to India. There he spent many weeks studying under a classical Baul musician born and trained in the villages of Bengal. Trevor returned from his trip and retreated deep into the green mountains of Vermont and Maine where he spilled all that he had learnt onto the page and into song, resulting in the release of Chapter of the Forest in 2014. It debuted at #3 on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter Chart and #17 on the iTunes Top Albums Chart.

His latest album, KALA, written in Hawaii and recorded in LA, was released August 21, 2015. It debuted at #2 on the iTunes singer/songwriter chart. KALA marks the final chapter in a trilogy that chronicles Trevor’s spiritual and musical journey over the past few years. “It’s a graceful amalgam of styles by a musician who loves to embrace the music of the world.” (Popmatters)


East Forest

official band site »

Armed with a live show that is continually evolving, the music of East Forest is “a revelatory excursion in sound” (Under The Gun) that invites listeners to “go on a journey of self discovery” (Earmilk). East Forest’s “blissful” (NPR) brand of music for old souls blends achingly emotional wordlessness, ambience, and contemporary classical touches with a influence of pop sensibilities and electronic flavors. Originating as the solo project of Trevor Oswalt, his interest in sound healing spurred his own research; eventually, his explorations and talents on the matter led to his own TED Talk in 2015. Oswalt’s music blends his life experiences as a performing pianist for a dance troupe, playing music in a hospice, as well as time spent with shamans in Amazonian jungle and backpacking throughout the mountains of the U.S. searching for inspiration. The project has made appearances including Mysteryland, Gillette Stadium, Grace Cathedral, Summit At Sea, SXSW, Google and toured throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe performing with artists including Moby, Crystal Bowersox, and Bluetech. His latest collaborative album Ritual Mystical hit #1 on the iTunes electronic charts (August 2016); his piano focused LP Held, was be released on December 16, 2016 on 1631 Recordings and recently, Held / Kindred — a collection of b-sides and remixes — was released as part of “Piano Day” 2017.


 
Atlas Road Crew
The Artisanals | @U Street Music Hall | view more info »
Sep
29

Atlas Road Crew

The Artisanals


Friday Sep 29|doors 6:30 pm|all ages
U Street Music Hall|get directions »
1115 U Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 588-1880


Atlas Road Crew

official band site »

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

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

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

Riding the momentum of the record release, Atlas Road Crew’s constant touring led them to a 6 week European tour in early 2016 followed by an aggressive US club and festival run. Aussie rock ‘n’ roll blog 100 Percent Rock sums it all up nicely in their review, saying in no uncertain terms “This is EXACTLY the sort of music we should be listening to right now: bands taking old favourites and adding new directions, writing great songs, delivering ace performances. This is the good stuff.”


The Artisanals

official band site »

Newly formed rock band from Charleston, SC.


 
Eric Krasno Band
Midnight North | @The Hamilton | view more info »
Sep
29

Eric Krasno Band

Midnight North


Friday Sep 29|doors 6:30 pm|18+
The Hamilton|get directions »
600 14th Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 787-1000


Eric Krasno Band

official band site »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Midnight North

official band site »

In June of 2017 Midnight North is slated to release their third studio album: Under the Lights. On this full length record, Midnight North left it all on the court. Recorded by David Simon-Baker (Los Lobos, ALO, Jackie Greene, Mother Hips) at the Greene Room and Allegiant Studios, Under the Lights features their 11 best new tunes. Expect flares of country on tracks like “The Highway Song” and “Greene County”, tinges of soul on the likes of “Back To California”, but mostly good solid rock and roll. With strong melodies and stronger harmonies, for this band it comes down to one thing: the song.

Immediately after their last studio release, 2015’s Scarlet Skies, Midnight North – fronted by lead songwriters Elliott Peck & Grahame Lesh with lush Hammond B3 organ, lead guitar, and harmony work from Alex Jordan and stomping bass lines from Connor O’Sullivan – began touring the country in earnest, visiting the East Coast and the Midwest for the first time in Summer 2015. The band wrote the majority of Under the Lights in the following months, and the lyrical road themes – the initial excitement, the longing for home, and the inherent need to keep moving – shine through.

“Under the Lights is the perfect title for this collection of songs,” said O’Sullivan. “These songs and lyrics are about being a band of musicians on the road away from home. Songs literally performed and tested under the lights at countless venues across the US.”

Last year, while work in the studio continued, the band’s stream of amazing live shows and festival appearances sped by as the band jammed with heavyweights like Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Tom Hamilton, Mihali Savoulidis, and more. Hitting the road night after night and building their fan base has proved a lot of fun and every time they come back to a city the venues and crowds get bigger while the songs get tighter. “On the road you have an opportunity to dig into what the band is capable of and learn where your limits as a group are and aren’t,” said Jordan. “It was a wonderful opportunity to capture a sound on this album that is identifiably our own.”

In addition to all the touring, Midnight North is on year five of holding down Sunday nights at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael, CA. To celebrate the occasion, they released a free live album, Live at Terrapin Crossroads in 2016, where Relix Magazine took a shine to “the group’s powerful three-part harmonies.” Performing weekly for a hometown crowd allows a chance to continuously test new material. “I feel like I’ll come to the band with this raw idea and watch it totally come to life,” said Peck.

2017 will continue the growth for Midnight North, as the exciting release of Under the Lights helps point the way for more and more fans to discover the band. “These songs tell our story, at least up to this point,” said Lesh. “Our job is to sing you these stories as honestly as we can and transport you into our world for an hour or two.”


 
Jeff Austin Band
The Dirty Grass Players | @Gypsy Sally's | view more info »
Oct
1

Jeff Austin Band

The Dirty Grass Players


Sunday Oct 1|doors 6:00 pm|21+
Gypsy Sally's|get directions »
3401 K St NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 333-7700


Jeff Austin Band

official band site »

“When I’m writing a song, it’s not about the hot licks, it’s about the voice and how it can be showcased from song to song,” says musician Jeff Austin. His focus is on transporting his audience by way of his vocal: “It’s the direct communication with the crowd — not just asking them how they’re feeling, but bringing something out of them.” For Austin, the act of speaking to people through his art really means using his voice.

The career of the Colorado-based artist has already seen him break through jam and bluegrass scenes, play stages from The Fillmore Auditorium to Red Rocks Amphitheater, and outdoor events like Telluride Bluegrass Festival and Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, among many others. But with the launch of his solo career in 2014, Austin is now building on the foundations of previous ventures while honing his own sound and charting new courses.

“I’ve learned a lot from the people I’ve played with,” says Austin who has shared stages with such luminaries as Del McCoury, Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, Earle Scruggs, Jon Fishman, and Phil Lesh. And it’s artists such as these who have helped crystalize Austin’s idea of what he wants to do as he moves forward with his eponymous project. “From both the rock side and the bluegrass side,” he explains, “I’ve learned a lot about song structure, solo ideas, playing with guts, and being who you are.”

Although he considers the Jeff Austin Band his primary focus, the mandolinist and singer is also known for embracing collaborations. In 2004, he released a full-length album with Chris Castino (The Big Wu) that featured guest appearances by Noam Pikelny, Darol Anger, and Sally Van Meter. Just two short years later in 2006, Austin teamed with Keller Williams and Keith Moseley to record a live album of bluegrass takes on Grateful Dead covers. The project, released under the name Grateful Grass, benefited the Rex Foundation. And most recently, Austin revived 30db - his project with Brendan Bayliss of Umphrey’s McGee.

In truth, Austin only began playing the mandolin a few years before co-founding progressive bluegrass outfit Yonder Mountain String Band, a group with whom he parted ways in 2014. And, picking prowess aside, Austin has always considered his voice to be his first instrument. He was drawn to singing from a young age, pursuing musical theater in high school and college. That passion is still evident in his approach to song craft.

Austin draws from those varied roots and readily admits to still loving musicals, being fascinated by Madrigal singers, and tuning-in to a wide range of vocal powerhouses. He channels all of these influences into his solo career, while also seeking personal innovation. For his newest project, Austin sought out musicians on the cutting-edge of the acoustic and jazz music circles. Artists proficient in theory and technique, but not afraid to lend themselves to some “far-out arrangements.” The result is some of Austin’s most structured, yet exciting, compositions to date with an approach that fits within his own evolving journey and personal motto, "The work continues."

Although there is a strong undercurrent of momentum and innovation that course through Austin’s newest project, there is also a connection to the past with the bandleader revisiting selections from his back catalog. Offerings include “Dawn’s Early Light,” “Snow in the Pines,” and others dating back to the 1990s. What matters, Austin points out, is that those songs evoke strong emotional responses both from the audience and himself. Played by this new ensemble, those songs feel revitalized and fresh.

When it comes to dynamics and structure, Austin taps the variety of sounds and styles he's absorbed from theater, jamming, nearly twenty years of performance, and his love of experiencing live music as a fan. It’s that inner concert enthusiast that binds him to his own audience and a powerful exchange between the stage and the crowd. “I hope they take with them exactly what I hope they leave with us,” he says. “And that’s inspiration.”


The Dirty Grass Players

official band site »

Turning heads while showcasing original bluegrass and newgrass tunes such as “Mohegan Sun”. The Dirty Grass Players bring a solid performance from a group of musicians that come from diverse backgrounds, but have one similar interest in playing for the love of music.


 
Kitchen Dwellers & Horseshoes & Hand Grenades
@Gypsy Sally's | view more info »
Oct
6

Kitchen Dwellers & Horseshoes & Hand Grenades



Friday Oct 6|doors 6:30 pm|21+
Gypsy Sally's|get directions »
3401 K St NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 333-7700


Kitchen Dwellers

official band site »

Bozeman, MT-based bluegrass quartet Kitchen Dwellers are riding the wave of their sophomore release, Ghost in the Bottle, an album produced by Leftover Salmon’s Andy Thorn. The album also features Twiddle’s Mihali Savoulidis?, who joined the band in the studio to record the album’s first single “Vision of More.” The band continues to relentlessly tour the country, captivating audiences with their own unique style, dubbed “Galaxy Grass.”

Formed while attending college at Montana State, the group has burst onto the bluegrass scene sharing the stage with acts such as Railroad Earth, Greensky Bluegrass, The Infamous Stringdusters and Twiddle. In recent years the band has begun to tour nationally, hitting notable venues and festivals around the country including The Brooklyn Bowl, The Fox Theatre, Delfest, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Northwest String Summit, and The Frendly Gathering.


Horseshoes & Hand Grenades

official band site »

In 2010, the five Wisconsinites that make up Horseshoes & Hand Grenades found themselves in a living room in the college town of Stevens Point, WI, holding acoustic instruments and enjoying a hodgepodge of fermented beverages. Music and revelry ensued that evening and, while many of the party guests eventually bid their goodbye well into the morning hours, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades wasn’t ready to let the get-together fade. Many years later, the music still hasn’t stopped and the party is still going strong, from the mountain west to the river towns of the Midwest that the quintet calls home, and all across America.

While strongly rooted in bluegrass, old-time, and folk music, the band produces a sound that draws on the vaults of music collectively and individually enjoyed throughout the course of their lives thus far. The music doesn’t lend itself well to categories or boundaries. One could possibly be formed, but the boys seem to generally prefer fishing a river, or enjoying the company of friends and barley beers.

With their music well-defined or not, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades has begun to form a place in the American music scene, gaining recognition on both a regional and national scale. The band took 3rd place at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival’s Band Competition in 2012 and has since shared the stage with Trampled By Turtles, The Travelin’ McCourys, Railroad Earth, Merle Haggard, The Infamous Stringdusters, Yonder Mountain String Band, Marty Stuart, and many more. The group’s third full-length Middle Western was released in March of 2015 and another record is expected in 2017. Being mostly inspired by rivers, valleys, good friends, and good drink, this five-piece is as sturdy as any Midwest riverbed and will make your toes tap from sundown to sunrise.



 
Magic City Hippies
Second Self | @The 8x10 | view more info »
Oct
8

Magic City Hippies

Second Self


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


Magic City Hippies

official band site »

Magic City Hippies began as a one-man band playing for the co-ed party scene on the streets of Miami -- serenading the 20-somethings with a mix of old- school hip-hop covers and breezy pop originals.

After months of stealing electricity and stirring up crowds of passers-by with his loop-based setup, Robby Hunter was given an ultimatum by the local police: to cease and desist from street performance or to get a gig at a “real bar.” Finding sanctuary in the neighborhood dive, Hunter enlisted the support of multi-instrumentalists Pat Howard (drums) and John Coughlin (guitar) for a regular Friday night gig (that paid, of course, in free beer).

The trio dubbed themselves Robby Hunter Band and released a self-produced, widely acclaimed debut LP in 2013 entitled Magic City Hippies, which included the beachy Hype Machine-topper "Corazón" alongside indie blog hits ”Hard On Me" and "BUST.”

Encouraged by the international reach and positive reception of their debut, they decided to expand their sound and approach under the better-fitting moniker Magic City Hippies (after the title of their debut LP). In July of 2015, the Magic City Hippies released the Hippie Castle EP, with the lead-off track "Fanfare" hitting #1 on both Spotify's Global Viral Top 50 and Hype Machine’s popular chart. The EP has accumulated over 10 million Spotify streams to date.

After the release of two follow-up singles, “HUSH” and “Heart Wants” in 2016, 2017 has already seen a 2-month national tour opening for Hippo Campus and festival spots at SunFest in May and Bonnaroo in June. Magic City Hippies are currently in the studio working on their next full-length album, with a slew of national dates planned for Fall and Winter.


Second Self

official band site »

SECOND SELF is a psychedelic and experimental quartet that intricately bridges the chasm between rock and funk. With melodic guitar riffs, elaborate bass lines and feverishly measured drumming, balancing the jam and metal scene never sounded as exquisite and universally appealing. They create and play original music that showcases their ability to transition between tight arrangements and flowing improvisation. Unique, amicable and musically passionate, Jimmy Hunter (guitar), Brett Tozzi (guitar), Nick Stampone (bass), and Jeff Hunter (drums) intertwine to form a single inspiring entity, a Second Self.


 
The Main Squeeze
Squaring The Circle | @The 8x10 | view more info »
Oct
11

The Main Squeeze

Squaring The Circle


Wednesday Oct 11|doors 8:00 pm|18+
The 8x10|get directions »
10 E. Cross St.
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 625-2000


The Main Squeeze

official band site »

The Main Squeeze, with deep musical roots sprouted in the Midwest, have scored their lives at each twist and curve. While starting out as a party band at Indiana University, their forthcoming April 28th release “Without a Sound” illustrates their increasing musical maturity and creativity inspired by their new home in Los Angeles.

If maturity comes with experience, “Without a Sound” reflects this. The Main Squeeze has spent several years building their foundation since being championed by producer Randy Jackson: they have played Red Rocks; shared the stage with The Roots, Aloe Blacc, Jane’s Addiction, Umphrey’s McGee, and Trombone Shorty; and performed at music festivals like Bonnaroo, Electric Forest, Summer Camp, and High Sierra.

The Main Squeeze is a blend of soul and hip-hop, funk with rock. They know their sound is “soulful, powerful, and unique” (Newman). Rolling Stone agrees in their recent critique of a live show: “Lead singer Corey Frye’s powerfully soulful vocals forms the foundation of an energetic set.”

These underpinnings are important yet The Main Squeeze’s true focus will always be to “strive to reach people” through their beat loving heart in their music. “We are devoted to making great music for people to get lost in and to feel real emotion and love, and also to dance and enjoy life. And it’s only just the beginning” (Newman). Billboard believes they have touched on this goal: “Funk runs deep in their DNA. Dare you not to two-step.”

The beats on “Without A Sound” are plentiful and it is balanced with emotion, a mix of vocals, and instrumentation of the band. Their vibe is simultaneously timeless and futuristic as they are inspired by the greats, yet have found a way to infuse their own genius into the mix.

The Main Squeeze appeals to your head, heart and body.


Squaring The Circle

official band site »

Squaring The Circle, hailing from Baltimore, MD, is an organic original Jazz, Blues, and Funk quartet with a taste for the experimental jam.

Featuring musicians from Freedom Enterprise, Lake Trout, and Sol Frequency, Squaring The Circle takes the musical lessons learned from countless miles on the road and forms a formidable musical amalgamation of all our former bands along with the masters of Jazz, Blues, and Funk. Seeing Squaring The Circle Live is a feel good, free spirited, danceable, fun time with old friends and those you will meet for the very first time!! Our live performances are high energy parties blended with technically proficient and purpose-laden musical statements.

Currently, STC is in the process of expanding our original catalog while continuing to learn covers from such greats as Frank Zappa, Grant Green, Beatles, Stanton Moore Trio, and Soulive.


 
The Main Squeeze
Box Era | @Gypsy Sally's | view more info »
Oct
12

The Main Squeeze

Box Era


Thursday Oct 12|doors 7:00 pm|21+
Gypsy Sally's|get directions »
3401 K St NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 333-7700


The Main Squeeze

official band site »

The Main Squeeze, with deep musical roots sprouted in the Midwest, have scored their lives at each twist and curve. While starting out as a party band at Indiana University, their forthcoming April 28th release “Without a Sound” illustrates their increasing musical maturity and creativity inspired by their new home in Los Angeles.

If maturity comes with experience, “Without a Sound” reflects this. The Main Squeeze has spent several years building their foundation since being championed by producer Randy Jackson: they have played Red Rocks; shared the stage with The Roots, Aloe Blacc, Jane’s Addiction, Umphrey’s McGee, and Trombone Shorty; and performed at music festivals like Bonnaroo, Electric Forest, Summer Camp, and High Sierra.

The Main Squeeze is a blend of soul and hip-hop, funk with rock. They know their sound is “soulful, powerful, and unique” (Newman). Rolling Stone agrees in their recent critique of a live show: “Lead singer Corey Frye’s powerfully soulful vocals forms the foundation of an energetic set.”

These underpinnings are important yet The Main Squeeze’s true focus will always be to “strive to reach people” through their beat loving heart in their music. “We are devoted to making great music for people to get lost in and to feel real emotion and love, and also to dance and enjoy life. And it’s only just the beginning” (Newman). Billboard believes they have touched on this goal: “Funk runs deep in their DNA. Dare you not to two-step.”

The beats on “Without A Sound” are plentiful and it is balanced with emotion, a mix of vocals, and instrumentation of the band. Their vibe is simultaneously timeless and futuristic as they are inspired by the greats, yet have found a way to infuse their own genius into the mix.

The Main Squeeze appeals to your head, heart and body.


Box Era

official band site »

Risen from the ashes of keg-fueled house parties and sweaty bars of College Park, MD, Box Era has planted itself as a staple in the up-and-coming DMV music scene. Creating a jam-inspired electro-pop and funk blend, Box Era’s music arms you with every tool necessary to go talk to that special someone you’ve been eyeing up. You’ll find yourself dancing the night away, shaking hands with CEOs, and experiencing the juiciest sweet-and-sour jamwich of your life.

With a debut EP right round the corner, Box Era is gearing up for an explosive 2017. From word of mouth alone, the band has already supported national headliners and conquered renowned venues across the region. The party is only going to grow. There’s a saxophone, a talkbox, and two pairs of glasses. There’s magic, youth, and the most unique sound you’ve heard since The Bangles. Box Era is the story of five boys wandering the halls of Xanadu, forever in search of sweet cream.


 
Runaway Gin
A Tribute To Phish | @Gypsy Sally's | view more info »
Oct
13

Runaway Gin

A Tribute To Phish


Friday Oct 13|doors 7:00 pm|21+
Gypsy Sally's|get directions »
3401 K St NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 333-7700


Runaway Gin


A Tribute To Phish

official band site »

With over 245 shows performed, Runaway Gin is the World's Most Active Phish Tribute Band. They play Sundays whenever possible in their hometown at the Charleston Pour House and tour often. On July 4th, 2015, after the second show of the Grateful Dead GD50 run, Runaway Gin sold out the Hard Rock Cafe in Chicago and catapulting them from a Southeastern regional act onto the National scene.

The members of Runaway Gin are long time Phish fans who have united with the goal of creating musical moments inspired by Phish. The band's song list is constantly growing and their improvisational and communication skills are constantly developing independently and together. Like Phish, Runaway Gin will never play the same show or jam the same way twice making every show a unique experience and every moment pure artistic creation.


 
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
Vintage Trouble | @The Anthem | view more info »
Oct
15

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue

Vintage Trouble


Sunday Oct 15|doors 6:30 pm|all ages
The Anthem|get directions »
901 WHARF ST SW, WASHINGTON, DC 20024|p: (202) 265-0930


Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue

official band site »

Trombone Shorty's new album opens with a dirge, but if you think the beloved bandleader, singer, songwriter and horn-blower born Troy Andrews came here to mourn, you got it all wrong. That bit of beautiful New Orleans soul—"Laveau Dirge No. 1," named after one of the city's most famous voodoo queens—shows off our host's roots before Parking Lot Symphony branches out wildly, wonderfully, funkily across 12 diverse cuts. True to its title, this album contains multitudes of sound—from brass band blare and deep-groove funk, to bluesy beauty and hip-hop/pop swagger—and plenty of emotion all anchored, of course, by stellar playing and the idea that, even in the toughest of times, as Andrews says, "Music brings unity."

As for why it's taken Andrews so long to follow 2013's Raphael Saadiq-produced Say That to Say This, the man simply says, "I didn't realize so much time passed. Some artists don't work until they put a record out but I never stopped going." Truly. In the last four years, Andrews banked his fifth White House gig; backed Macklemore and Madonna at the Grammys; played on albums by She & Him, Zac Brown, Dierks Bentley, and Mark Ronson; opened tours for Daryl Hall & John Oates and Red Hot Chili Peppers; appeared in Foo Fighters' Sonic Highways documentary series; voiced the iconic sound of the adult characters in The Peanuts Movie; inherited the esteemed annual fest-closing set at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in the tradition of Crescent City greats like the Neville Brothers and Professor Longhair; and released Trombone Shorty, a children's book about his life that was named a Caldecott Honor Book in 2016.

Adding to that legacy, his Blue Note Records debut Parking Lot Symphony finds Andrews teamed with Grammy-nominated producer Chris Seefried (Andra Day, Fitz and the Tantrums) and an unexpected array of cowriters and players including members of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Meters, Better Than Ezra, and Dumpstaphunk. Considering Andrews' relentless schedule, it's all the more surprising that this LP began with him in a room, all alone, back in New Orleans.

"I had two weeks at home so I went to the studio and set up the 'playground,'" he recalls. "I had everything in a circle: tuba, trombone, trumpet, keyboard, Fender Rhodes, Wurly, B3 organ, guitar, bass, drums—and me buried in the middle." He recorded an album's worth of ideas and then, well, walked away for a year. Not because he was too busy, but because he wanted to hit the road and see how the music changed on him. When Andrews came back with a full band, the songs came to life.

Take the album's two covers, a pair of NOLA deep cuts: there's "Here Comes the Girls," a 1970 Allen Toussaint song originally recorded by Ernie K-Doe that here (with Ivan Neville on piano) sounds bawdy and regal, like something from a current Bruno Mars album; and The Meters' lovesick "It Ain't No Use," which swirls a vintage R&B vibe with resonant choir vocals and upbeat guitar from The Meters' Leo Nocentelli himself to transport the listener to the center of the jumpingest jazz-soul concert hall that never was.

The story there is almost too good. The session band—guitarist Pete Murano, sax men Dan Oestreicher and BK Jackson, and drummer Joey Peebles with Dumpstaphunk's Tony Hall in for Orleans Avenue bassist Mike Bass-Bailey—were in the studio to lay down "It Ain't No Use." Hall even had the vintage acoustic he bought from Nocentelli years ago, which was used on the original Meters session. On the way to the bathroom, Andrews saw Nocentelli coming out of a different tracking room: it was meant to be.

But that's not unusual for a man raised in one of the Tremé's most musical families. Andrews got his name when he picked up his instrument at four ("My parents pushed me toward trombone because they didn't need another trumpet player," he laughs). By eight, he led his own band in parades, halls and even bars: "They'd have to lock the door so the police couldn't come in." Promoters would try to hand money to his older cousins, but they'd kindly redirect them to the boy. In his teens, Andrews played shows abroad with the Neville Brothers. Fresh out of high school (New Orleans Center for Creative Arts) he joined Lenny Kravitz' band.

Across that time, three Trombone Shorty albums and many collaborations since, Andrews nurtured a voracious appetite for all types of music—a phenomenon on fluid display with Parking Lot Symphony. On "Familiar," co-written by Aloe Blacc, they practically mint a new genre (trap-funk?) while Andrews channels his inner R. Kelly to spit game at an old flame. Meanwhile, the instrumental "Tripped Out Slim" (the nickname of a family friend who recently passed) bends echoes of the Pink Panther theme into something fit for James Brown to strut to. And if you listen closely to "Where It At?," written with Better Than Ezra's Kevin Griffin, you may even hear a little Y2K pop. "I know it wasn't cool to listen to *NSYNC or Britney Spears in high school," says Andrews, "but those bass lines and melodies are funky." They pair astonishingly well with all the Earth, Wind & Fire that bubbles beneath these songs.

It's worth noting that Andrews' vocals sound better than ever (he credits Seefried for that), because Parking Lot Symphony might be the man's most heartfelt offering yet. The breezy title track, which Andrews wrote with Alex Ebert (Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros), is as much about walking the Tremé, being uplifted by the music that seems to seep from every surface, as it is about moving on from a broken heart. And the shuffling, bluesy "No Good Time" reminds us, with a world-weary smile, that "nobody never learned nothin' from no good time."

But Andrews is clear that this isn't some kind of breakup record. "It's a life record," he says, "about prevailing no matter what type of roadblock is in front of you." That message is clearest on "Dirty Water," where over an easy groove, Andrews adopts a soft falsetto to address just about anyone going through it—personal, political, whatever. "There's a lot of hope turning to doubt," he coos. "I've got something to say to them / You don't know what you're talking about / When you believe in love, it all works out." Amen. Now let the horns play us out.


Vintage Trouble

official band site »

Over the past few years, Vintage Trouble have wowed audiences across the globe by opening for The Rolling Stones in London’s Hyde Park, touring North America and Europe with The Who, and playing sold-out headline shows worldwide. Now, on their debut album for Blue Note Records, the Los Angeles-based foursome — singer Ty Taylor, guitarist Nalle Colt, bassist Rick Barrio Dill, and drummer Richard Danielson — channel the vitality of their live show into a fresh and urgent take on guitar-powered rhythm & blues. Produced by Blue Note president Don Was (a three-time Grammy Award-winner known for his work with the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Al Green, and Iggy Pop), 1 Hopeful Rd. finds Vintage Trouble building off the groove-fueled sound that Yahoo! once painted as “James Brown singing lead for Led Zeppelin” and blending blues, soul, and riff-heavy rock & roll with joyfully gritty abandon.

Recorded at L.A.’s East West Studios and mixed by Tom Elmhirst (Mark Ronson, U2, The Black Keys), 1 Hopeful Rd. borrows its title from the album’s opening number and lead single “Run Like the River.” With its foot-stomping rhythm and gospel harmonies, “Run Like the River” embodies the infectiously irrepressible mood that runs throughout 1 Hopeful Rd. and gives even the album’s most pained moments an electrifying edge. The follow-up to Vintage Trouble’s debut album The Bomb Shelter Sessions — a self-released effort praised by Paste magazine as “the stuff the best soul ’n’ roll is made of” — 1 Hopeful Rd. matches that emotional intensity with a raw yet sophisticated musicianship that’s prompted BBC Radio 6 to crown the band “the heirs of rhythm and blues.”

After kicking off with the bluesy snarl of “Run Like the River,” 1 Hopeful Rd. rolls on to offer up everything from lovesick ballads (the falsetto-laced “From My Arms”) to fired-up anthems (the thrillingly frenetic “Strike Your Light”) to stripped-back soul-folk tunes (the sweetly breezy, acoustic-guitar-driven closing track “Soul Serenity”). On the world-weary but determined “Doin’ What You Were Doin’,” Vintage Trouble slips into a soul-soothing melodicism and lyrics that gently plead for reflection and renewal (“Why don’t we allow ourselves to be the legends while we’re living?” asks Taylor in his show-stoppingly smooth vocals). And with “Angel City, California,” Vintage Trouble lay down a dirty and glorious, -rock-inspired ode to their hometown and all its sleazy charms.

Longtime devotees of incendiary artists like Ike & Tina Turner, Little Richard, and Chuck Berry, Vintage Trouble possess sharply honed instincts for rhythm and groove and unabashed showmanship. Now based in L.A.’s Laurel Canyon neighborhood, the band first played together in 2010 and soon brought their high-energy brand of soul to weekly residencies at local venues like the Edison and Harvelle’s Blues Club. As they steadily amassed a following, Vintage Trouble eventually drew the attention of Doc McGhee (a legendary music manager best known for working with KISS, Bon Jovi, and Mötley Crüe). Once under McGhee’s wing, the band set their sights overseas and — by 2011 — had taken the stage at Britain’s influential TV show Later...with Jools Holland, delivering powerful performances of “Blues Hand Me Down” and “Nancy Lee” (a stirring serenade to Taylor’s mother, penned from his father’s perspective).

After joining Queen guitarist Brian May on tour in May 2011 and Bon Jovi on tour that June, Vintage Trouble put out The Bomb Shelter Sessions and quickly saw the album hit the UK Top 40. Also charting as the No. 1 R&B album and No. 2 rock album on Amazon UK, The Bomb Shelter Sessions had its U.S. release in April 2012 and fast earned acclaim from such outlets as NPR, The Wall Street Journal, and Billboard. By the end of the year, in the pages of the New York Times, critic Val Haller had hailed Vintage Trouble as a modern-day answer to Otis Redding (“Like Otis Redding,” Haller remarked, “Vintage Trouble makes music that is a little bit of everything”).

Along with appearing on Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The View, Conan, and Jimmy Kimmel Live! — as well as at major festivals like Bonnaroo, Coachella, and Glastonbury, Vintage Trouble, under the management of Doc McGhee, has kept up a grueling touring schedule; This has included opening for such artists as The Who, The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Lenny Kravitz, Paloma Faith, Joss Stone and Willie Nelson. At a hometown gig at the El Rey Theatre in summer 2013, Don Was caught the band live for the first time and found himself floored by their explosive performance. “Half of the songs were brand new and totally unfamiliar to the audience…yet the place was rocking from the first notes straight through to the final encore,” recalls Was. “Do you know how hard it is for a new band to pull that off? It requires tremendous charisma, thundering power, incredible grooves, and top-notch songwriting.” By the following spring, Vintage Trouble had inked their deal with Blue Note Records, and set to work on 1 Hopeful Rd.

With Vintage Trouble fiercely dedicated to constantly playing and creating new music — including a 2014 fan-only EP called The Swing House Acoustic Sessions, in addition to 1 Hopeful Rd. — Don Was isn’t the only music legend struck by the band’s passion and musical prowess. Admirers also include Prince (who name-checked Vintage Trouble in an early-2014 interview with MOJO) and Lenny Kravitz (who noted that the Vintage Trouble live experience bears the same feeling as “being at the Monterey Pop Festival of 1967”). When describing their own sound, Vintage Trouble use the term “formatted recklessness”: a fantastically paradoxical phrase that captures the spirit of a band whose music is wildly unhinged but rooted in real musicality, gut-punching but thought-provoking, steeped in the heritage of old-school soul but utterly and irresistibly timeless.

It’s that kind of passion, together with hard work, talent and luck, that are taking Vintage Trouble right where they deserve to be: on our radios and our televisions, in our headphones and our cars, at our favorite venues and on the soundtrack of our most memorable moments in life.


 
JJ Grey & Mofro
The Commonheart | @9:30 club | view more info »
Oct
20

JJ Grey & Mofro

The Commonheart


Friday Oct 20|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


JJ Grey & Mofro

official band site »

From the days of playing greasy local juke joints to headlining major festivals, JJ Grey remains an unfettered, blissful performer, singing with a blue-collared spirit over the bone-deep grooves of his compositions. His presence before an audience is something startling and immediate, at times a funk rave-up, other times a sort of mass-absolution for the mortal weaknesses that make him and his audience human. When you see JJ Grey and his band Mofro live—and you truly, absolutely must—the man is fearless.

Onstage, Grey delivers his songs with compassion and a relentless honesty, but perhaps not until Ol’ Glory has a studio record captured the fierceness and intimacy that defines a Grey live performance. “I wanted that crucial lived-in feel,” Grey says of Ol’ Glory, and here he hits his mark. On the new album, Grey and his current Mofro lineup offer grace and groove in equal measure, with an easygoing quality to the production that makes those beautiful muscular drum-breaks sound as though the band has set up in your living room.

Despite a redoubtable stage presence, Grey does get performance anxiety—specifically, when he's suspended 50 feet above the soil of his pecan grove, clearing moss from the upper trees.

“The tops of the trees are even worse,” he laughs, “say closer to 70, maybe even 80 feet. I'm not phobic about heights, but I don't think anyone's crazy about getting up in a bucket and swinging all around. I wanted to fertilize this year but didn't get a chance. This February I will, about two tons—to feed the trees.”

When he isn't touring, Grey exerts his prodigious energies on the family land, a former chicken-farm that was run by his maternal grandmother and grandfather. The farm boasts a recording studio, a warehouse that doubles as Grey's gym, an open-air barn, and of course those 50-odd pecan trees that occasionally require Grey to go airborne with his sprayer. For devoted listeners, there is something fitting, even affirmative in Grey's commitment to the land of his north Florida home. The farms and eddying swamps of his youth are as much a part of Grey's music as the Louisiana swamp-blues tradition, or the singer's collection of old Stax records.

As a boy, Grey was drawn to country-rockers, including Jerry Reed, and to Otis Redding and the other luminaries of Memphis soul; Run-D.M.C., meanwhile, played on repeat in the parking lot of his high school (note the hip-hop inflections on “A Night to Remember”). Merging these traditions, and working with a blue-collar ethic that brooked no bullshit, Grey began touring as Mofro in the late '90s, with backbeats that crossed Steve Cropper with George Clinton and a lyrical directness that made his debut LP Blackwater (2001) a calling-card among roots-rock aficionados. Soon, he was expanding his tours beyond America and the U.K., playing ever-larger clubs and eventually massive festivals, as his fan base grew from a modest group of loyal initiates into something resembling a national coalition.

Grey takes no shortcuts on the homestead, and he certainly takes no shortcuts in his music. While he has metaphorically speaking “drawn blood” making all his albums, his latest effort, Ol’ Glory, found him spending more time than ever working over the new material. A hip-shooting, off-the-cuff performer (often his first vocal takes end up pleasing him best), Grey was able to stretch his legs a bit while constructing the lyrics and vocal lines to Ol’ Glory.

“I would visit it much more often in my mind, visit it more often on the guitar in my house,” Grey says. “I like an album to have a balance, like a novel or like a film. A triumph, a dark brooding moment, or a moment of peace—that's the only thing I consistently try to achieve with a record.”

Grey has been living this balance throughout his career, and Ol’ Glory is a beautifully paced little film. On “The Island,” Grey sounds like Coleridge on a happy day: “All beneath the canopy / of ageless oaks whose secrets keep / Forever in her beauty / This island is my home.” “A Night to Remember” finds the singer in first-rate swagger: “I flipped up my collar ah man / I went ahead and put on my best James Dean / and you'd a thought I was Clark Gable squinting through that smoke.” And “Turn Loose” has Grey in fast-rhyme mode in keeping with the song's title: “You work a stride / curbside thumbing a ride / on Lane Avenue / While your kids be on their knees / praying Jesus please.” From the profane to the sacred, the sly to the sublime, Grey feels out his range as a songwriter with ever-greater assurance.

The mood and drive of Ol’ Glory are testament to this achievement. The album ranks with Grey’s very best work; among other things, the secret spirituality of his music is perhaps more accessible here than ever before. On “Everything Is a Song,” he sings of “the joy with no opposite,” a sacred state that Grey describes to me:

“It can happen to anybody: you sit still and you feel things tingling around you, everything's alive around you, and in that a smile comes on your face involuntarily, and in that I felt no opposite. It has no part of the play of good and bad or of comedy or tragedy. I know it’s just a play on words but it feels like more than just being happy because you got what you wanted — this is a joy. A joy that doesn’t get involved one way or the next; it just is.”

Grey's most treasured albums include Otis Redding's In Person at the Whisky a Go Go and Jerry Reed's greatest hits, and the singer once told me that he grew up “wanting to be Jerry Reed but with less of a country, more of a soul thing.” With Ol’ Glory, Grey does his idols proud. It's a country record where the stories are all part of one great mystery; it's a blues record with one foot in the church; it's a Memphis soul record that takes place in the country.

In short, Ol’ Glory is that most singular thing, a record by JJ Grey—the north Florida sage and soul- bent swamp rocker.


The Commonheart

official band site »

With gritty vocals over rock riffs and horns, The Commonheart delivers an emotion-packed, soulful sound that lights up any stage. Frontman Clinton Clegg is a powerhouse who commands full attention with his limitless onstage energy and vocal range. The new album “Grown” is a remarkable display of each member’s talent interlacing heavy blues, soul, and gospel influence across trumpet, saxophone, keys, guitar, and singers. The Commonheart’s sound is a true testament to the past while completely holding its own as one of today’s most promising acts.


 
Moon Hooch & Marco Benevento
@9:30 club | view more info »
Oct
21

Moon Hooch & Marco Benevento



Saturday Oct 21|doors 10:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


Moon Hooch

official band site »

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

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

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


Marco Benevento

official band site »

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

Marco Benevento’s latest studio LP, The Story of Fred Short, and its companion live release, The Woodstock Sessions, is some of his finest and most adventurous work to date—a maestro making "bold indie rock" says Brooklyn Vegan, while the LA Times raves, “Benevento continues to straighten his twisted sound into the guise of an indie-rock singer-songwriter, harnessing his inventive sonic palette into rewardingly bite-size pop songs that touch on disco and soul." Honing his psych rock and late night dance party sensibilities, the recordings find the pianist citing everything from Harry Nilsson, Manu Chau and Gorillaz as inspiration.

As anybody who's seen Marco Benevento perform can attest, with eyes closed, smile wide across his face and fingers free-flowing across the keys, he's a satellite to the muse. With a devout and growing fan-base, Benevento is an artist whose story is only beginning to unfold.



 
Moon Taxi
Too Many Zooz | @9:30 club | view more info »
Oct
21

Moon Taxi

Too Many Zooz


Saturday Oct 21|doors 6:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


Moon Taxi

official band site »

The five-piece band hailing from Nashville has released three albums: Cabaret (2012), Mountains Beaches Cities (2013) and Daybreaker (2015). They have appeared on Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and Conan. Their music has also been featured in multiple commercial and TV placements including BMW, Nashville, MLB, NFL, and HBO Sports to name a few. A festival favorite, the band has performed at Bonnaroo, Coachella, Governor's Ball, Hangout Festival, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, Outside Lands and more. Daybreaker was recorded at Blackbird Studios in Nashville and produced by Jacquire King (Kings Of Leon, Modest Mouse, Tom Waits, James Bay). Fans can expect a new album from Moon Taxi this summer.


Too Many Zooz

official band site »

With the snowballing trend towards electronic instrumentation in music, it's easy to forget where it all first started: on street corners with real instruments, playing for tips, that is until you've heard Too Many Zooz. Too Many Zooz is a three-piece "BrassHouse" band comprised of Matt Doe, Leo P, and King of Sludge. The group found their voice playing for change on New York's subway platforms, honing extremely danceable rhythms and melodies.


 
Melvin Seals & JGB
Sweet Leda feat. Ron Holloway | @The Hamilton | view more info »
Oct
27

Melvin Seals & JGB

Sweet Leda feat. Ron Holloway


Friday Oct 27|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. With acoustic and electric ingredients and unique combinations of Zach Nugent’s guitar and vocals, 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 Shirley Starks and Cheryl Rucker 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!


Sweet Leda feat. Ron Holloway

official band site »

Powered by Julie Cymek’s sultry, commanding vocals and electrifying stage presence, Sweet Leda is taking the diverse mid-Atlantic music scene by storm as one of the most exciting and accomplished live acts on the rise. In fact, Lou Plaia (co-founder of Reverbnation) describes them as “the highlight of every festival they play.” With its rich blend of new school funk, psychedelic rock, soul and pop, Sweet Leda’s heartfelt original music can best be described as a female-fronted, soul-based, Zeppelin meets Chili Peppers!

Joining Sweet Leda is Ron Holloway, who is one of the busiest tenor saxophonists on today's music scene in any genre! Recently, Ron toured extensively with The Warren Haynes Band, in support of two critically acclaimed releases on the Stax Records label. Holloway is a frequent guest of Gov't Mule, Tedeschi Trucks Band and The Allman Brothers Band. Over the years, he has been a member of an eclectic roster of groups, including; The Warren Haynes Band, the Susan Tedeschi Band, theDizzy Gillespie Quintet, Gil Scott-Heron and Root Boy Slim.


 
I.M.P. Presents
Primus
Clutch | @The Anthem | view more info »
Oct
28

I.M.P. Presents
Primus

Clutch


Saturday Oct 28|doors 6:30 pm|all ages
The Anthem|get directions »
901 WHARF ST SW, WASHINGTON, DC 20024|p: (202) 265-0930


I.M.P. Presents
Primus

official band site »


Clutch

official band site »

Neil Fallon: Vocals/ Guitar
Jean-Paul Gaster: Drums
Dan Maines: Bass
Tim Sult: Guitar

It's the parabolic motion of projectiles. Or, as Isaac Newton stated, what goes up must come down — that is, everything except Clutch.

Earth Rocker created an insurmountable peak. But Psychic Warfare has altered laws of physics by elevating the smart songwriting and impressive performances of that last album, setting an even higher benchmark as their now-definitive album to date.

The eleventh Clutch studio album Psychic Warfare goes straight for the throat with “X- Ray Visions” and never lets go. Working again with acclaimed producer Machine, this time in Texas, the concise arrangements that made Earth Rocker so assertive is the same harness for the combustible musical energy on Psychic Warfare. Harder, faster... let the rhythm hit 'em.

Formed in 1991, the Maryland-based band's ability to absorb different musical styles and fabricate them into a distinct Clutch sound continues to be their forté. “A Quick Death In Texas,” overstocked with signature “Clutch heavy” Tim Sult riffs and lonesome guitar licks, and the funk undercurrent of “Your Love Is Incarceration,” color Psychic Warfare with articulate musicality and comfortable familiarity.

The overall intensity of Psychic Warfare would be self-consuming without the pressure valve of a canny rhythm section. Drummer Jean-Paul Gaster and bassist Dan Maines have an intuitive sense of dynamics that gives weight and contrast to the forcefulness of the vocals, steering Clutch into the straightaway out of tight, exhilarating corners.

“I listened closely to the rhythm of Neil’s vocals this time around.” Gaster explains. “The rhythms he sings, are very syncopated. It was my goal to articulate these rhythms on the drums while keeping the pulse of the music strong.”

Psychic Warfare is cinematic, a soundtrack to the plot of singer Neil Fallon's imagination. The narrative of “The Affidavit” sets the scene for an album of gunslingers, energy weapons, paranoid neurosis, and the occasional three-legged mule. It's an episodic lyrical landscape populated by abstract characterization, nuance, and clever peculiarity.

“I spent a lot of time doting over the lyrics,” Fallon says. “It was fun because I have a great luxury that I'm a professional liar — that's what a storyteller is. Or at least that’s what I try to be. It's the one socially acceptable way to completely deceive people, and that's what they want. If you sing it with enough conviction, people won't question it. I just love that escapism, the fantasy aspect of it. And fantasy doesn’t necessarily equate to dragons and wizards. It can be seedy hotel rooms and sketchy hitchhikers.”

Gaster says the band knowing Earth Rocker was such a high water mark put them in a position of needing to follow up with an exceptional album. “Looking back on the process, one thing that sticks out in my mind is the amount of rehearsal the band put in. We started each pre-production day by writing out a new album sequence and then playing that sequence straight thru as if it were a set list. I think this allowed us to get inside the songs in a way we had not done before. When it came time to record drum tracks, I had a clear idea of how I wanted to play each song.”

In the past, Clutch consciously made each album conspicuously different from the last one. “We had a sadistic fear of repeating ourselves,” Fallon admits. “But over the last few years, we've realized our strengths and what it is that people like about us. Why deny it? Clutch is Clutch, embrace what you are.”

The bar is set higher, laws of physics be damned. Psychic Warfare is the new adventure, and it has no limit.


 
Cabinet
@9:30 club | view more info »
Nov
3

Cabinet



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


Cabinet

official band site »

Cabinet is a band with roots firmly planted in the Appalachian tradition. They wear their influences like badges, honoring the canon of roots, bluegrass, country, and folk, weaving these sounds into a patchwork Americana quilt. But this music isn’t romanticizing or rehashing the past. Cabinet makes it mark on today. The steady aim of their harmonies soar straight onto target each time, the soaring vocals giving voice to the story of each song. Their music takes the long way home, treating its listeners like passengers on a ride through scenic back roads. Their live shows are inclusive, celebratory, and community-building. Members Pappy Biondo (banjo, vocals), J.P. Biondo (mandolin, vocals), Mickey Coviello (acoustic guitar, vocals), Dylan Skursky (electric bass, double bass), Todd Kopec (fiddle, vocals) and Josh Karis (drums, percussion) all live and love music, and aren’t afraid to show it.

Cabinet formed in 2006, bringing together players from various musical and personal backgrounds. Some of the members were barely old enough to drink legally, but their thirst for older music was unquenchable. Whether its rustic "American Beauty"-era Grateful Dead or old-timey bluegrass, Cabinet has digested it all. But that is not to say that Cabinet recreates older styles. No, this is music that might have its roots in the past, but it is current and vibrant, with a sense of celebrating the now.

The band's 4th studio record, Cool River, is slated for a 10/13/17 release. This 8 song effort as recorded in late 2016 and early 2017 with renowned producer, Ben Collette at the helm. Fans can expect a much more electric energy from this record.



 
TAUK
Broccoli Samurai | @Baltimore Soundstage | view more info »
Nov
3

TAUK

Broccoli Samurai


Friday Nov 3|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
Baltimore Soundstage|get directions »
124 Market Place
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 244-0057


TAUK

official band site »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Broccoli Samurai

official band site »

Since forming in the Rustbelt of Cleveland, OH in 2010, Broccoli Samurai has been taking the club and festival scene by storm. The band's synth-laden, drum and bass influenced, progressive electronica has been thrilling audiences throughout the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast markets, winning them a massive and fiercely loyal fanbase. Eager fans pack dance floors and late-night festival sets with smiles across their faces, waiting to get lost in the band's ambient soundscapes, anticipating every bass drop that will force them to move with reckless abandon. Broccoli Samurai's line-up includes founding member Ryan "Bruce" Hodson on keys and synth, and Cameron Bickley on drums and percussion. Accomplished bassist Zach Wolfe anchors the rhythm section, while guitarist Michael Vincent weaves in and out, exploring new sonic territory.

The band has played countless festivals such as Peach Music Festival, Electric Forest, Catskill Chill Music Festival, Aura Music and Art Festival, The Werk Out, BIG What?!, Domefest, Paradise Music and Art Festival, Rootwire, The Mad Tea Party Jam, The Ville, SummerDance, Disc Jam, Night Lights Fall Music Festival, The Gathering At Chaffee's, Utica Music and Art Festival, and Hyperion Fest. Broccoli Samurai has directly supported and toured with many known bands including Dopapod, Papadosio, Lotus, Conspirator, The Werks, Ozric Tentacles, BoomBOX, Big Gigantic, Rusted Root, O.A.R., Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Aqueous, and BIG Something. Broccoli Samurai's extensive tour schedule has them playing high profile venues and major cities regularly, and the band will be increasing the number of performances and expanding their reach into the West Coast and Southern markets in 2015. This band is making big moves and the time to take notice is now.


 
The Movement & New Kingston
Little Stranger | @Gypsy Sally's | view more info »
Nov
4

The Movement & New Kingston

Little Stranger


Saturday Nov 4|doors 7:00 pm|21+
Gypsy Sally's|get directions »
3401 K St NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 333-7700


The Movement

official band site »

The Movement’s new single “Siren” (feat. Stick Figure) was released June 30 on Rootfire Cooperative, and debuted at #1 on the iTunes reggae chart. This is the followup to 2016’s #1 Billboard reggae album, GOLDEN, and is the band’s first collaboration with producer Johnny Cosmic.

Formed in 2003 by a trio of Sublime and Pixies fans, Joshua Swain, Jordan Miller, and John Ruff, aka DJ Riggles, launched The Movement with their "alternative reggae" debut album, ON YOUR FEET. In 2008, the group met Chris DiBeneditto, a Philadelphia-based producer who had worked with like-minded acts such as Slightly Stoopid and G. Love & Special Sauce. Relocating to Philadelphia, they recorded SET SAIL at DiBeneditto’s Philadelphonic Studios. The Movement expanded with the addition of Jason "Smiles" Schmidt on bass and Gary Jackson on drums. In 2012, they released SIDE BY SIDE, debuting at #2 on the Billboard Reggae Chart. In 2014 The Movement released BENEATH THE PALMS, a surprise acoustic album as a free gift to their fans. Shortly thereafter they began working on what would become their finest album to date, GOLDEN, which hit #1 on iTunes and Billboard Reggae charts and was voted 2016 Album Of The Year by Surf Roots Radio. Keyboardist Ross Bogan joined the group in Spring of 2016.


New Kingston

official band site »

New Kingston is best described as a Progressive Reggae group. Since 2006, the band of brothers – Tahir (keys), Courtney Jr. (drums), and Stephen (guitar) – have harnessed their dual identities, in order to craft an entirely unique sound that pays homage to their roots. This band of brothers, under the watchful eye of their father (and bassist) Courtney Panton Sr., dubbed themselves New Kingston, to appropriately reflect the combination of their Jamaican heritage and their present lives in New York City. It is the fusion of these two identities, both their cultural roots and their current home, that guides their musical and stylistic direction.

The band has grown considerably since their beginnings of covering Bob Marley, Dennis Brown and Earth, Wind & Fire in their Brooklyn basement. Their relentless drive and unwavering passion led to their placement on tours, supporting other major acts on the reggae scene. These tours allowed the band to develop an undeniable stage presence, while giving them the opportunity to expand their growing fan base and sharpen their own original material.

New Kingston self-released their first two full-length albums: In the Streets (2010) and Kingston University (2013) before signing with popular New York-based record label Easy Star Records. The band’s third studio album, Kingston City (2015), was met with praise from fans and critics alike, peaking at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Reggae Albums chart. Most recently, the band released their stellar Kingston Fyah EP on July 29, 2016, hitting the road with a national tour of the same name.


Little Stranger

official band site »

Born and raised in Philly and crash-landed in Charleston, John and Kevin Shields are the core members of the quirky indie hip-hop group Little Stranger. Whether performing as a duo or with a 5-piece band, Little Stranger is a fresh hybrid of John’s singer-songwriter magnetism and Kevin’s hard hitting, in-your-face delivery. Stylistically reminiscent of Gorillaz and Twenty One Pilots, Little Stranger inhabits a relatively unex- plored niche at this point in time. They’re all about originality, every song is a separate work unto itself with all the strangeness that their name implies.

Though the band is relatively new, John and Kevin Shields bring years of experience to the table. With previous bands, they’ve played with names like Slightly Stoopid, Del the Funky Homosapien, Grace Potter, Papadosio, The Heavy Pets, and John Brown’s Body. Little Stranger was quickly recognized at home, named “Hip-Hop Act of the Year” in the 2016 Charleston City Paper Music Awards and listed jointly as one of “17 People to Watch in 2017” in the Charleston Indie blog, Out of the Wood- work. They’ve toured up and down the East Coast and recently released a string of eclectic music videos to their fans. With an ever-increasing arsenal of new tunes, Little Stranger is poised and ready to make 2017 a big year.


 
Elephant Revival
Joe Pug | @The Hamilton | view more info »
Nov
8

Elephant Revival

Joe Pug


Wednesday Nov 8|doors 6:30 pm|18+
The Hamilton|get directions »
600 14th Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 787-1000


Elephant Revival

official band site »

A haunting sound, at once evocative and mysterious, ushers in Petals, the latest album by Elephant Revival. Notes rise and suffuse the silence; are joined by a deep bass drone, a quiet pulse of cello and a percussive tick: daybreak made music.

That first sound on the lead track, “Hello You Who,” is a steel guitar, and its cinematic swell foreshadows the exploration of new territory by this beloved Rocky Mountain ensemble. A new band member and the introduction of instruments like the pedal steel and the cello into their already impressive treasure trove of strings and percussion are just the beginning. Petals embodies a deepening, as the quintet dives into themes of loss and rebirth, time and memory, love unbound by body or farewell. “Hello you who moves with me in a dance/Hello you who moves me like the sea/…Who loves me Love loves me just to be.” This hello is both a celebration of unconditional love and an invitation to join Elephant Revival in its wayfaring.

The death of a close friend having left its indelible mark on the band, many of the songs on Petals represent what guitarist Daniel Rodriguez calls “an honoring and a coping.” But this is not an album about despair or darkness; it’s a thanksgiving and a prayer for what endures and returns. “She thanks the sky, and she walks the earth/…To the broken-hearted, to the burdened, too/To everyone, peace tonight” (“Peace Tonight”). This idea is embodied in the very name Elephant Revival: moved by the separation and subsequent death of three elephants at the Chicago zoo, bass and mandolin player Dango Rose was inspired to busk in front of what was once their enclosure. Not just a gesture, but a true endeavor to create meaning and grace from loss. Petals, the band’s fourth album, is, in fact, a revival.

As ever, Nature is both a real and metaphorical touchstone in Elephant Revival’s work, from the petals pressed into the book of memory in the title track (“These petals intended for giving release”), to the seasons spinning through death and rebirth in “Season Song.” There are intimations too, of the ominous vulnerability of Nature to our darker impulses. In “Raindrops,” Bonnie Paine sings, “Raindrops on the rooftops he said/Just stop and listen/Constant as the earthquakes.” She is both warning of the real effects of fracking and reminding us that a remedy may lie in deep listening—to each other and to the earth itself. The band’s commitment to community and the environment remains at the core of their music.

Elephant Revival’s music maintains its roots in American and Celtic songcraft, but on Petals, they achieve a compositional maturity that in moments can evoke the modern classical ensemble. Spare, almost conversational strings punctuate the rhythmic momentum in songs like the title track and the almost archetypically stark Celtic narrative, “Furthest Shore,” a continuation of the story told in the song “Currach” from their first 2008 self-titled release. The icy drama of the North Sea inhabits those percussive strings and resounding drums. This kind of intensity recurs in other songs, like “When I Fall,” a Dango Rose-penned shout-out for transcendence through trial, whose unison power chorus brings to mind Pink Floyd’s The Wall.

Passion arises from compassion on this album; tenderness and wildness go hand in hand. Dan Rodriguez’ voice on wholehearted folk songs like “On and On” and “Home In Your Heart” is a gentle counterpoint to Paine’s vocal intensity, and the songwriting overall describes a wide arc. Just follow Bridget Law’s expressive fiddle through the course of the album to hear the moan of the blues, the lyricism of the folk ballad, the elegant bones of the chamber piece, the bluegrass punch. All the earthy rhythms, eclectic influences and the rich instrumental brew that Elephant Revival fans cherish are here. But eclecticism, though a key feature of their sound, has never been the point. For these multi-instrumentalists, these singers and writers, sound and song serve one another: the play between instrumentation, composition, emotion and restraint is an organic unfolding. Paine, for example, has never recorded or performed on the cello before this album, but she’s written songs on it for years, so if her throaty cello somehow sounds like a deep extension of her voice, it is. And if new band member Charlie Rose’s magnetic pedal steel conjures ghosts—of love, of landscapes—it’s because Petals is haunted by those things.

Elephant Revival’s is the music of connection—kin-folk—and the message of Petals, their most intimate album to date, is not how life is about loss, but rather how much life there is in loss, how much potency, how much love. The ghost of the beloved in the final track “Close As Can Be” is not, after all, far away. “…I feel you near/You’re lifting the leaves/Saying to me/We’ll be close as can be.” The hello of the first song has gone on a musical odyssey and found in the end, in goodbye, its mirror image: the promise once more of unending and unconditional love.


Joe Pug

official band site »

If the opening notes on Joe Pug’s new LP “Windfall” are a bit disorienting, his fans won’t likely be surprised. The Austin, TX singer songwriter has made a habit of defying expectations so the piano-driven “Bright Beginnings” and the atmospheric rumination of “Great Hosannas” are just further indication that he’s quite comfortable stepping outside of the guy-with-a-guitar trappings of the genre.

His rise has been as improbable as it has been impressive. After dropping out of college and taking on work as a carpenter in Chicago, he got his musical start by providing CDs for his fans to pass along to their friends. This led to a string of sold out shows and a record deal with Nashville indie Lightning Rod Records (Jason Isbell, Billy Joe Shaver). As he toured behind “Messenger” (2010) and The Great Despiser (2012) it was with a band that looked as much like a jazz trio as an Americana band. “I never quite found a live band that captured what I was aiming for until I connected with Greg [Tuohey–electric guitar] and Matt [Schuessler–upright bass]. It was an arrangement that maybe didn’t make a ton of sense on paper but 10 minutes into the first rehearsal I knew this was going to be my band.” The following years would have them on the road for over four hundred shows, including stops at Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, and The Newport Folk Festival.

The relentless grind of four years of nonstop touring had taken its toll though, and by late 2013 he was ready to call it quits. The tour that fall was a runaway success but his personal and creative lives were a different story. “It was this surreal dichotomy. Everyone kept congratulating me on how well the tour was going, and the mood was probably the best it had ever been on the road. We finally got two hotel rooms in each city instead of one. We’ve got this incredible group of die-hard fans that somehow make each show bigger than our previous trip through town. Meanwhile my relationship was in shambles and creatively I was at a dead end. There was absolutely no joy left in playing music. So we walked off stage after a particular show when I played terribly, and pulled my manager aside in the green room and told him to cancel the rest of the tour dates and that I was essentially through.”

But studio time was already scheduled and deadlines had been set for a new record, so after a few weeks Pug was back to the business of writing songs. “In retrospect, I was in a very unhealthy place. I was sitting in a room with the blinds shut and a notebook, forcing out words that weren’t there and drinking astonishing amounts of bourbon. I was looking at it as a job….as a business obligation, and that is a very slippery slope.” At that point he decided to make good on his promise from the previous tour. The album was put on indefinite hold. “I just needed to start behaving like a human being again. I needed to reconnect with my girlfriend. I needed to eat healthy food. I needed to go enjoy live music as a fan. I really needed to make sure I still loved making music, because I really had my doubts at that point.”

The resulting layoff paid dividends in spades. When Pug set up camp in Lexington KY in 2014 to record, he did so with some of the best songs he has ever written. The agenda was much simpler than previous albums. “The aim on this one was very straightforward. We wanted to capture the music just the way we play it, with minimal production. It was a very back to basics approach because ultimately that’s what I love about music, and that’s what I love about making music. I wanted to record these songs the way they were written and put them out in the world.” The result is a collection of songs that are as close as we’ve gotten to a road map to Pug’s ambitions. He has collected plenty of the requisite Dylan comparisons over his young career but on this record it’s easier to hear the sway of more contemporary influences like Josh Ritter, Ryan Adams and M.Ward.

The theme of resilience plays a central role throughout Windfall. The weary protagonist in “Veteran Fighter” wills his way further down the highway despite the gloom that seems certain to overtake him. “The Measure”, a song inspired in part by Frederic Buechner’s novel Godric, marvels at “every inch of anguish, laid out side by side” but ultimately finds that “All we’ve lost is nothing to what we’ve found.” “I never really write songs with a specific narrative in mind,” Pug explains. “When you’re sort of pushing through a dark period of your life it’s probably inevitable that some of that is going to find its way onto the page. But in the same way, by the time we were in the studio the process had become very effortless and joyful. And hopefully you can hear a lot of that on the record as well.” This duality appears perhaps most overtly in the album-closing stunner “If Still It Can’t Be Found”, which features Pat Sansone of Wilco guesting on mellotron.

If it’s not around this corner it’s around the next
If it’s not beyond this river it’s beyond the next
And if still it can’t be found
It’s prob’ly for the best

As the saying goes, “All’s well that ends well.” Joe Pug didn’t call it quits after all. He’s engaged to be married and still drinks bourbon on occasion. His new album, Windfall, will be released March 10, 2015 on Lightning Rod Records in the US and Loose Music in Europe.


 
Orgone
@U Street Music Hall | view more info »
Nov
10

Orgone



Friday Nov 10|doors 6:00 pm|all ages
U Street Music Hall|get directions »
1115 U Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 588-1880


Orgone

official band site »

Orgo?ne (Or-go?ne). Noun. 1. A universal life force. 2. A cosmic unit of energy, the creative force in nature. 3. A soul music juggernaut with 8 heads and one heart.

Now and always, Orgo?ne delivers dirty, organic, California soul with heart; music that grabs you by the collar, pulls you to your feet and shoves you wantingly onto the dance floor. It all started with two kids from the San Fernando Valley, whose shared affinity for gritty soul records of the 60s and 70s collided with the colorful music cultures brewing in Los Angeles during the late 90s. That friendship sparked a movement, and Orgo?ne has been delivering nothing but gold to the funk faithful ever since.

“We intend our music to have an inhibition-canceling effect,” founding guitarist Sergio Rios explains. “It speaks to those who may have wallflower tendencies encouraging everyone to own the freakiness that lives inside them, and enjoy the spotlight for a little while. Sometimes it takes a nudge to let go and get on the dance floor. And sometimes it takes a big 'ol push... a love shove, if you will. And we're well versed in those."

Fearless vocalist Adryon de Leo?n elevates the octets soulfulness to intoxicating new levels on Orgone's latest studio album, Beyond The Sun. Dubbed "stank face inducing glory" by Okayplayer, the record is a lightning rod of inspiration for a new generation of funk music lovers. Following the 45 release in April of “I Sold My Heart to the Junkman” featuring Cyril Neville, Orgone plans to drip steamy new singles one by one into the world throughout 2017.



 
John Mclaughlin & Jimmy Herring
Meeting of the Spirits-Mahavishnu Orchestra Music | @Lincoln Theatre | view more info »
Nov
11

John Mclaughlin & Jimmy Herring

Meeting of the Spirits-Mahavishnu Orchestra Music


Saturday Nov 11|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
Lincoln Theatre|get directions »
1215 U St NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 888-0050


John Mclaughlin

official band site »


Jimmy Herring

official band site »


Meeting of the Spirits-Mahavishnu Orchestra Music

GUITARIST JOHN MCLAUGHLIN REVISITS THE LEGACY OF MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA ON HIS FAREWELL U.S. TOUR WITH GUITARIST JIMMY HERRING

In a career that spans over five decades, John McLaughlin, one of music’s most influential and prolific guitarists, composers, and bandleaders, will begin his farewell U.S. tour on November 1 in Buffalo, NY. McLaughlin will be joined by Jimmy Herring, who has been in the creative forefront of the American rock-jam movement for 25 years. The Meeting of the Spirits tour will hit 23 cities before ending in Los Angeles on December 9.

Highlighting this musical adventure will be John McLaughlin revisiting the pioneering music he introduced with his genre-defying Mahavishnu Orchestra. In addition, McLaughlin is expected to release a new album just before the tour launches. More details to be announced.

McLaughlin’s first extensive U.S. tour in seven years, The Meeting of the Spirits also marks his first extended exploration of the Mahavishnu Orchestra material from seminal albums such as Inner Mounting Flame, Birds of Fire, Between Nothingness and Eternity, Visions of the Emerald Beyond and more since the band’s original heyday in the 1970s.

Jimmy Herring, best known for his inspired contributions to the Aquarium Rescue Unit, The Allman Brothers, Widespread Panic, The Dead, and others, will be co-headlining each show with his new band ‘The Invisible Whip,’ comprised of Jeff Sipe-Apt Q258 (drums), Matt Slocum (B3 and Clavinet), Jason Crosby (Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer) and Kevin Scott (bass).

On The Meeting of the Spirits tour, separate sets by Herring and McLaughlin will be followed by the two joining forces for an expansive closing jam based on classic Mahavishnu Orchestra material. The tour will feature the first extended collaborations between two of world’s foremost guitarists. McLaughlin will be backed by his current band, the 4th Dimension – Ranjit Barot (drums), Gary Husband (keyboards, drums), and Etienne M’Bappe? (bass) – each an established composer and recording artist in his own right. Expect special surprise guests to be added when available.


 
Campfire Caravan
Mipso - The Brothers Comatose - The Lil Smokies | @9:30 club | view more info »
Nov
12

Campfire Caravan

Mipso - The Brothers Comatose - The Lil Smokies


Sunday Nov 12|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


Campfire Caravan

official band site »

“Campfire Caravan” featuring The Brothers Comatose, Mipso, and The Lil Smokies hosts three of today’s foremost emerging indie Americana bands as they trek across the United States. Americana, bluegrass and country music genres are in-the-midst of a renaissance. In all corners of the country, artists are making a name for themselves with remarkably refreshing takes on traditional genres; efforts that are redefining the music beyond simple categorizations. The Brothers Comatose, Mipso, and The Lil Smokies are of this ilk. Each reside in different parts of America – The Brothers Comatose from the West Coast, Mipso from North Carolina’s Triangle region, and The Lil Smokies from the Rocky Mountains. Bringing their own unique interpretations of, and inspired contributions to, the evolution of traditional American music, each act sets a new bar with their compelling live performances. Together on one stage – music fans will be treated to charismatic singers, virtuosic string-slingers, complex and nuanced songwriting and compositions, and more.

With each band quickly rising the ranks, “Campfire Caravan” is a nod to the musicians’ early days playing music, when they’d perform for friends and family in basements, living rooms, and around campfires. “Campfire Caravan” celebrates the American tradition of gathering communities around music. In an untraditional format, all three bands rotate in the lineup with no single ensemble acting as the tour headliner. A completely different show will be presented in each city with spontaneous collaborations amongst the groups taking place between sets.


Mipso - The Brothers Comatose - The Lil Smokies

Mipso
OFFICAL BAND SITE >>

Chapel Hill’s indie Americana quartet Mipso are influenced by the contradiction of their progressive home and the surrounding rural southern landscapes. Currently celebrating the release of their new album Coming Down The Mountain (April 7, 2017), Mipso ventures further than ever from their string-band pedigree to discover a broader Americana where classic folk-rock and modern alt-country sounds mingle easily with Appalachian tradition. Adding drums and electric instruments to their intimate four-part harmonies and powerful acoustic meld, Mipso’s music is lush and forward moving, with words that sear and salve in turn. Hailed as “hewing surprisingly close to gospel and folk while still sounding modern and secular.” (Acoustic Guitar), and recently recognized by Rolling Stone as a favorite 2016 festival performance, Mipso brings a distinctly unique sound- full of wistful beauty, hopeful undercurrents, and panoramic soundscapes.


The Brothers Comatose
OFFICAL BAND SITE >>

Whether traveling to gigs on horseback or by tour bus, Americana mavens The Brothers Comatose forge their own path with raucous West Coast renderings of traditional bluegrass, country and rock ‘n’ roll music. The five-piece string band is anything but a traditional acoustic outfit with their fierce musicianship and rowdy live shows reminiscent of stadium rock concerts. In fall 2017, “Campfire Caravan” featuring The Brothers Comatose, Mipso, and The Lil Smokies hosts three of today’s foremost emerging indie Americana bands as they trek across the United States to more than 30 cities. “Campfire Caravan” honors the musicians’ early days playing music, when they’d perform for friends and family in basements, living rooms, and around campfires. “Campfire Caravan” celebrates the American tradition of gathering communities around music.


The Lil Smokies
OFFICAL BAND SITE >>

With their roots submerged in the thick buttery mud of traditional bluegrass, The Lil Smokies have sonically blossomed into a leading player in the progressive acoustic sphere, creating a new and wholly unique, melody driven sound of their own. The quintet, from Missoula, MT, has been hard at work, writing, touring and playing to an ever-growing fan base for the past 6 years. The fruits of their labor recently culminating with wins at the 2016 International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Momentum Award for Best Band and at the 2015 Telluride Bluegrass Festival band competition. In 2013 the band also won The Northwest String Summit Band Competition. With a unique blend of traditional bluegrass, newgrass, innumerable unique originals, sheer raw energy, and exquisite musicianship, The Lil Smokies weave seamlessly through genres, leaving behind melodies you’ll be singing to yourself for days and a jaw you’ll have to pick up off the floor. This five-piece bluegrass ensemble features Andy Dunnigan (dobro), Scott Parker (upright bass), Matt Cornette (banjo), Jake Simpson (fiddle) and Matt Rieger (guitar).


 
The Revivalists
Southern Avenue | @9:30 club | view more info »
Nov
15

The Revivalists

Southern Avenue


Wednesday Nov 15|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


The Revivalists

official band site »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Southern Avenue

official band site »

Southern Avenue is a Memphis street that runs from the easternmost part of the city limits all the way to Soulsville, the original home of Stax Records. Southern Avenue is also the name of a fiery young Memphis quintet that embodies its home city's soul, blues and gospel traditions, while adding a youthful spirit and dynamic energy all their own. “If Memphis is a genre, this is it!” proclaims American Blues Scene and Rock 103FM calls Southern Avenue - “The most talked about band in Memphis.”

Their self-titled debut album is a breath of fresh air with its own unique blend of gospel- tinged R&B vocals, roots/blues-based guitar work and soul-inspired songwriting. And Southern Avenue’s upcoming release on the fabled Stax label is a testament to the young combo's talent and vision.


 
The Revivalists
Mt. Joy | @9:30 club | view more info »
sold out
Nov
16

The Revivalists

Mt. Joy


Thursday Nov 16|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930
Sold Out


The Revivalists

official band site »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Mt. Joy

official band site »

Mt. Joy is an Indie Folk band from Philadelphia, currently recording their first full-length album in Los Angeles, CA.

Matt Quinn (Vocals/Guitar) and Sam Cooper (Guitar) met in high school and started performing songs together in 2005.

After heading off to separate colleges, they continued to bounce song ideas off each other when they could. However, when it became clear music wasn’t going to pay the rent, Sam went to law school in Philadelphia and Matt moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in music management. In Matt’s words, “When I moved to LA I knew I still wanted to write songs, but the realities of life made that dream seem pretty impossible.” A year later in early 2016, Sam followed a job opportunity to Los Angeles. While both were working long hours, they began working on music together in their spare time. The pair recorded 4 original songs with producer Caleb Nelson in the spring of 2016 in Caleb’s living room. They chose the name “Mt. Joy” as an ode to a mountain in Valley Forge National Park near Sam’s childhood home.


 
Yonder Mountain String Band
The Last Revel | @9:30 club | view more info »
Nov
17

Yonder Mountain String Band

The Last Revel


Friday Nov 17|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


Yonder Mountain String Band

official band site »

Yonder Mountain String Band’s first new album in two years, LOVE. AIN’T LOVE is undeniably the Colorado-based progressive bluegrass outfit’s most surprising, creative, and yes, energetic studio excursion to date. Songs like “Chasing My Tail” and “Alison” are rooted in tradition but as current as tomorrow, animated by electrifying performance, vivid production, and the modernist power that has made Yonder one of the most popular live bands of their generation. Melding sophisticated songcraft, irrepressible spirit, and remarkable instrumental ability, LOVE. AIN’T LOVE is a testament to Yonder Mountain String Band’s organic, dynamic, and intensely personal brand of contemporary bluegrass-fueled Americana.

“I think this is our best album yet,” says Adam Aijala, guitarist.

Yonder founding members Aijala, banjo player Dave Johnston, and bassist Ben Kaufmann reconfigured Yonder Mountain String Band as a traditional bluegrass instrumental five-piece in 2014 with the recruitment of new players Allie Kral (violin) and Jacob Jolliff (mandolin). The reconstituted group debuted with 2015’s acclaimed BLACK SHEEP, but truly gelled as they toured, the new players’ personalities seamlessly blending and elevating the intrinsically tight Yonder sound. Yonder made certain to show off the current roster’s growing strength with the 2017 release of MOUNTAIN TRACKS: VOLUME 6, the first installment in their hugely popular live recording series since 2008.

“This lineup just keeps getting better,” Aijala says. “The more gigs you get under your belt, the better you get. Obviously. But the confidence I have in these individual musicians, I’m amazed at some of the places we go together on stage.”

LOVE. AIN’T LOVE is produced by Yonder Mountain String Band and longtime collaborator John McVey, with the majority of the album recorded at Coupe Studios in Yonder’s home base of Boulder, CO. Aijala and McVey handled all of the album’s mix and engineering at their respective home studios and while Yonder was on the road – the second time a Yonder member has taken on the technical task.

“John taught me a lot when we worked together on our last album,” Aijala says. “So this time around, I felt a lot more confident.”

Like virtually all aspects of Yonder Mountain String Band’s unlikely artistic methodology, LOVE. AIN’T LOVE is a fully collaborative effort, its original songs credited to the core founding trio of Aijala, Johnston, and Kaufmann, regardless of combination or specific input.

“I think it removes the jockeying for songs on a record,” says Aijala. “We’re all of the mind that even if one of us wrote a great song, if not for Yonder, would anyone get a chance to hear it? It works better this way. All three of us grew up playing team sports so we’re team players – everyone wants what’s best for the band.”

Laced with interstitial dialogue, music, sound effects, and other overlapping ephemera, LOVE. AIN’T LOVE is by design Yonder’s most ingenious studio collection thus far. Songs like “Take A Chance On Me” and the heavy metal-inspired breakdown, “Fall Outta Line,” see the quintet touching upon FM pop, country rock, funk, world music, and so much more; adopting traditional sonic and lyrical idioms to mask deeper and darker personal truths.

“It’s a little more eclectic,” Aijala says. “None of us grew up with bluegrass so there are always other influences in there. I think this record is a bit more reminiscent of our live show, with different genres and different types of songs.”

Indeed, “Last of the Railroad Men” plays like a lost narrative country classic while the unprecedented “Groovin’ Away” closes LOVE. AIN’T LOVE with a summery sense of joyous optimism. Yonder’s first-ever original reggae song, the track stands out as yet another shining example of the band’s lifelong commitment to anything-goes artistic freedom.

“There are no limits to what we do” says Aijala. “We’ll try anything, if it feels good, we’ll try it again.”

In addition to the founding trio’s songwriting efforts, Jolliff – who arrived to play on BLACK SHEEP sessions and never left – contributed a pair of fiery instrumentals and also lends vocals to a delightful cover of King Harvest’s eternal “Dancing In The Moonlight.”

“Allie sang a song that we wrote on BLACK SHEEP,” Aijala says, “so we wanted to showcase Jake’s vocals on this album. We’ve been playing ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’ in our live shows and whenever we play it people just light up. We always enjoy playing it, the harmonies are really good and Jake sings the hell out of it so we thought, why not put it on the record?”

2017 will see Yonder continue its seemingly endless touring, leading towards next year’s 20th anniversary of their initial coming together, an irrefutably momentous occasion.

“When we were first starting, our creativity was rooted in rebelliousness. Now, there’s a greater conscious awareness and attention to detail that we’re bringing to our writing and recording. Our nature and instincts remain progressive. We’re just doing it in a way that’s sharper, more musical, and way more satisfying,” says Ben Kaufmann.

With its melodic flair, expert technique, and forward-thinking fervor, LOVE. AIN’T LOVE is a strikingly assured and well-crafted manifestation of Yonder’s matchless musical vision. Nearly two decades in, Yonder Mountain String Band is still utterly unto themselves, a one-of-a-kind, once-in-a-lifetime combo whose inventiveness, versatility, and sheer imagination shows no sign of winding down.

“We’ve talked about this,” Aijala says, “and we all feel like we could play in Yonder until we can’t play anymore. As long we still have new ideas, as long as we’re still creating something that’s fresh to us, I don’t see any reason to stop.”


The Last Revel

official band site »

From the budding music scene of the Upper Midwest comes the cutting edge Front Porch Americana soundscapes of The Last Revel. This powerfully talented trio of multi-instrumentalists from Minneapolis, Minnesota so naturally blends the genres of Folk, Rockabilly, Old Time String-Band and Rock to create a sound that is as equally original as it is timeless.

The Last Revel trio utilizes their multi-instrumental abilities to bring the acoustic guitar, upright bass, fiddle, 5-string banjo, harmonica, kick drum and three-part vocal harmonies together to consistently deliver “Bombastic live performances", as well as delicate and haunting folk ballads.

Having released their third album Hazard & Fate in April of 2017, The Last Revel further demonstrates their ability to create rich and delicately textured recorded material with a modern “tip of the hat” to the storied history of American folk music.


 
The Infamous Stringdusters
Cris Jacobs | @Rams Head Live | view more info »
Nov
18

The Infamous Stringdusters

Cris Jacobs


Saturday Nov 18|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
Rams Head Live|get directions »
20 Market Place
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 244-1131


The Infamous Stringdusters

official band site »

Unlike rock 'n' roll, bluegrass music's boundaries are often defined in very narrow terms and that has caused some bands to carefully consider their place within the genre. But, in order to survive, everything must evolve... even bluegrass. Enter the Infamous Stringdusters, the very model of a major modern bluegrass band.

“At a certain point in our career, there was hesitation in calling us a bluegrass band,” guitarist Andy Falco admits. “These days, we’re much more comfortable with that label.” Banjo man Chris Pandolfi echoes the point: “We love bluegrass, but we have been influenced by other genres as much, if not more. When it comes to making music, we always try to be a blank slate and give new songs whatever they need to come to life. We just try to make something good, something that is true to who we are.”

On Laws of Gravity, that's exactly what the Infamous Stringdusters — Andy Hall (dobro), Jeremy Garrett (fiddle), and Travis Book (double bass), in addition to Falco and Pandolfi — have done. Their seventh studio set further proves that the band's collective whole is far greater than the sum of its individual parts, as the song selection and pitch-perfect performances weighs the Stringdusters' appeal to traditional fans against their musical quest to attract new listeners. It's a balance that comes naturally to the band.

Here, trad-leaning tunes like “Freedom,” “A Hard Life Makes a Good Song,” “Maxwell,” and “1901: A Canyon Odyssey” pick hard and soar high, letting trade-off solos and layered vocal harmonies work their magic. As it continues on, Gravity reaches its roots deep and wide, but never sacrifices the wings of the band, as exemplified in tracks like “Back Home” and “This Ol' Building” which pull from the blues and R&B strands of the Stringdusters' musical DNA.

“The specific feelings in those songs lend themselves to a soulful sound,” Hall explains. “The longing of 'Back Home,' the passion of 'This Ol' Building.' Slowing things down a bit, but still having a real edge and passion is the essence of that. And probably a bit of maturity on our part brings out a more authentic soulful sound.”

Indeed, the Stringdusters have worked hard to become the band they are or, perhaps, the band they wanted and knew themselves to be — a self-discovery process to which Laws of Gravity bears witness. “Once you start to move out of that, a lot of good things happen,” Pandolfi says. “You know who you are, and how to do your thing with confidence and experience. This colors the songwriting process as much as anything. We work so hard on the music, but it's not hard work. It's really the payoff, and it comes more naturally with time.”

Letting the past inform and the present propel, the Stringdusters' style and substance are uniquely Infamous. Since 2007, the band's ever-evolving artistry and boldly creative collaborations — including Ryan Adams, Joss Stone, Bruce Hornsby, Joan Osborne, and Lee Ann Womack — have pushed them past the edges of traditional acoustic music and carved out a musical niche all their own in the hearts of fans and critics, alike. Over the past couple of years, they released 2015's Undercover, a covers EP, followed by 2016's Ladies & Gentlemen, an album featuring multiple female guest vocalists. Those projects may have seemed like artistic tangents, but they actually proved to be a pretty direct route from there to Gravity.

“Being singers and songwriters, we were really ready to put some of our own songs out with us singing them,” Falco says. “In the same way solo projects can take you away to be able to come back and feel refreshed, the last two records have done that and we were ready to hit the studio with our songs sung by us.”

“We had much more of a vision for how we wanted this album to come together than we did with past projects,” Pandolfi adds. “We got the music, including all our individual parts, to a place where we knew we could go into the studio and just let it happen live. We are a band. We play live together and, more than any one song or achievement, this is what we do. Now we have an album that captures that.”

Part of Gravity's vision involved not road-testing and adapting the songs before taking them into the studio. That's a new step in the Stringdusters' process which starts with filtering through and whittling down a wealth of material to the best of the batch. “We take those 20 or so songs and take them to the next level as a band,” Pandolfi explains. “So much gets accomplished in this writing/arranging stage. It's where songs become Stringduster songs. In the end, we share the songwriting credit because of all the collective work that goes into this (and every other) aspect of being in a band.”

“We may try the song in a number of different feels before landing on something that works for the sound of the band. If a song is good, it usually comes together fairly quickly,” Halls says, adding, “But we’re writing more diverse stuff these days, so some experimentation is always welcome.” While the new record boasts a single instrumental track, “Sirens,” where the five fellas really cut loose on their respective strings, the vocals across the other dozen tracks tie this music to the bluegrass tradition in an even more profound way. “Singing is a big part of bluegrass music,” Falco says. “It’s an important part of the sound and I think that part of music gets overlooked a lot. The singing should convey the emotion of the song. That's what we aim to do. One could argue that it's more important than the playing.”

Out beyond Laws of Gravity, the Infamous Stringdusters have an even broader vision. “We just want to keep making original music, keep evolving as people and musicians, and continue to help our amazing community of fans grow and enjoy this experience together,” Pandolfi says. “When we hear from people that our music or the community around our music has helped them find joy in life, it makes everything seem very worthwhile.”

Falco adds, “We love playing together and that’s the reason we’ve been doing it for as long as we have. We want to able to do this until we’re old and grey. That’s really it — making music together and continuing to evolve our brand of bluegrass music.”


Cris Jacobs

official band site »

Whether alone with just the guitar and his voice or surrounded by a full band, Cris Jacobs enchants listeners with his inspired, poignant songwriting, virtuous guitar playing, and soulfully transcendent voice. Artists across the board have discovered Jacobs’ musicianship and supple versatility, resulting in an impressive variety of formats in which he has played over the last few years. After a decade, five records, and 200 shows a year as principal songwriter and frontman for beloved Baltimore-based band The Bridge from 2001-2011, Jacobs wasted no time continuing to write music of his own and exploring different configurations for his craft. He released his debut solo album, Songs for Cats and Dogs, in 2012, and continued to perform relentlessly, both with his new band and as a solo artist. In doing so, he quickly garnered the admiration of a variety of predecessors and peers: rock legend Steve Winwood saw Jacobs perform in 2014 and soon invited him to open his national tour. The following year, Sturgill Simpson extended the same invitation. Never limited by genre, Jacobs and New Orleans heavyweight Ivan Neville recorded a collaborative album under the band name “Neville Jacobs”, which will be released in 2017. As an adapting, evolving, versatile musician who has survived on his own merit, Jacobs continues to win over audiences of many tastes, as he brings his characteristic authenticity and soul to every set.

Jacobs feels there are common threads across many genres of music, and he has harnessed over a decade of trans-genre exploration on his second solo album, Dust to Gold, released in 2016, from American Showplace Music. The album is a soul-stirring expression of the current chapter of his creative evolution, featuring twelve well-crafted songs that masterfully weave through the sweet and rugged landscape of soul, country, folk, blues, gospel, and rock and roll. Through every turn, one can easily feel Jacobs’ reverence to his influences, but the result is an original, eclectic record with a sound that is authentically his. In a given moment, Jacobs’ guitar playing is gritty, soulful, rich, and lyrical. It’s subtle, yet adventurous. His voice is at once sweet and sultry, with a honeyed whiskey croon that delivers his thoughtful, expressive lyrics.


 
The Mavericks
@Lincoln Theatre | view more info »
Nov
18

The Mavericks



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


The Mavericks

official band site »

The genre-defying Mavericks are declaring their independence and stepping out on their own with Brand New Day, the first studio album released on Mono Mundo Recordings, the label they founded in 2016. Brand New Day is the follow-up to the widely praised albums Mono (2015) and In Time (2013).

Flashing the same exhilarating, beyond-category style that has defined the Mavericks, the new album introduces a collection of taut, energetic, economical songs sure to be embraced by both original fans of their top-10 albums and hit singles of the ‘90s and a new generation of listeners who have joined the party since their triumphant 2012 reunion. It is the mature and timely work of an exciting and underestimated American band that has embraced its own destiny.

“This is the first studio record on our own label, and it is an important component in the band’s history,” Malo says, “but the real goal was just to make a great record.”

The new collection – co-produced like its immediate predecessors by the band’s golden-voiced singer Raul Malo and Niko Bolas (Neil Young, Warren Zevon, Melissa Etheridge), who is partnered with the band in the new Mono Mundo imprint – features the core members of the group since their reformation: Malo, drummer Paul Deakin, guitarist Eddie Perez, and keyboardist Jerry Dale McFadden, along with auxiliary members “the Fantastic Four” filling out the set’s brawny sound with their signature accordion and horns.



 
Keller Williams' Thanksforgrassgiving
featuring Larry & Jenny Keel, Jeremy Garrett, Danny Barnes, Jay Starling | @9:30 club | view more info »
Nov
25

Keller Williams' Thanksforgrassgiving

featuring Larry & Jenny Keel, Jeremy Garrett, Danny Barnes, Jay Starling


Saturday Nov 25|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


Keller Williams' Thanksforgrassgiving


featuring Larry & Jenny Keel, Jeremy Garrett, Danny Barnes, Jay Starling

official band site »

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

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

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


 
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong
Ripe | @Rams Head Live | view more info »
Nov
25

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong

Ripe


Saturday Nov 25|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
Rams Head Live|get directions »
20 Market Place
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 244-1131


Pigeons Playing Ping Pong

official band site »

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong brings end-of-the-world enthusiasm to their high-energy psychedelic funk. Their infectious electro-funk grooves, undeniable live energy and contagious smiles have their rabid fanbase “the Flock” growing exponentially. Based out of Baltimore, MD, this animated quartet has been scorching up the country with their explosive performances and danceable peaks... and they're loving every minute of it.


Ripe

official band site »

Ripe is a Funk/Pop band out of Boston, MA that was born as a result of its seven members' uniting over one belief: with enough passion and honesty, music can still make the earth shake. With one eye looking back to the inception of both funk and psychedelic music, and the other looking forward with a modern concept of what makes people move, Ripe seeks both to honor musical history as well as to make it. The perfect fruit is equal parts past and present, and this is the approach of the Ripe sound.

With a strong devotion to consistently creating an unforgettable live experience, Ripe has kept the groove going touring nationally from coast to coast. With a recently released sophomore EP, Hey Hello, and plans to start recording a full-length album in the coming year, Ripe is shifting into overdrive with every intention of taking this to the stratosphere. The Ripe family asks you to get loose, get down, and get ready. The party is just getting started.


 
Ghost Of Paul Revere
@Jammin' Java | view more info »
Nov
30

Ghost Of Paul Revere



Thursday Nov 30|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
Jammin' Java|get directions »
227 Maple Ave E
Vienna, VA|p: (703) 255-1566


Ghost Of Paul Revere

official band site »

"Mumford & Sons meet the Avett Brothers with a twist of bluegrass. Old Crow Medicine Show with three-part harmonies. The Band for millennials... The Maine-grown, foot-stompin' holler-folk quartet create the type of music for which festivals are made." -- The Boston Globe

Born on the banks of the Saco River, brothers in all but name, the Ghost of Paul Revere is Maine's holler-folk band. A powerful, energetic, non-traditional American folk band that's renowned for harmony fueled, heart-pounding performances full of songs with unique identities that remain undeniably the Ghost of Paul Revere.

Formed around childhood friends Max Davis, Sean McCarthy, and Griffin Sherry, joined by Matt Young on harmonica, the Ghost of Paul Revere played their first show together in 2011 at a tiny bar in Portland, Maine. Now, they play across the nation, bringing holler-folk into houses, bars, and music halls. They have shared the stage with the Avett Brothers, The Travelin' McCourys, Brown Bird, Spirit Family Reunion, Darlingside, as well as members of Greensky Bluegrass, the Infamous Stringdusters, and Old Crow Medicine Show.

Their critically acclaimed, Billboard charting full length album Believe, as well as their two EPs North and Field Notes Vol. 1, have continually been the top selling local albums in Maine and New Hampshire for more than four years. The Ghost of Paul Revere has since sold out Port City Music Hall, Stone Mountain Arts Center, and the Strand Theater multiple times, won Best In Maine at the 2014 New England Music Awards, were an official showcase artist at Folk Alliance International 2015 and made their Newport Folk Festival debut in August 2015. They 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.

In 2016, amidst touring nationally, they returned to the studio to craft their second full length album, engineered by Jonathan Wyman at Halo Studios and mastered by Adam Ayan of Gateway Mastering. The album is expected to be released in early 2017.



 
Dark Star Orchestra
Recreating Grateful Dead's 6/14/91 RFK SHOW | @The Anthem | view more info »
Dec
2

Dark Star Orchestra

Recreating Grateful Dead's 6/14/91 RFK SHOW


Saturday Dec 2|doors 6:00 pm|all ages
The Anthem|get directions »
901 WHARF ST SW, WASHINGTON, DC 20024|p: (202) 265-0930


Dark Star Orchestra


Recreating Grateful Dead's 6/14/91 RFK SHOW

official band site »

Performing to critical acclaim celebrating their 20th anniversary year in 2017 and over 2600 shows, Dark Star Orchestra continues the Grateful Dead concert experience. Their shows are built off the Dead’s extensive catalog and the talent of these seven fine musicians. On any given night, the band will perform a show based on a set list from the Grateful Dead's 30 years of extensive touring or use their catalog to program a unique set list for the show. This allows fans both young and old to share in the experience. By recreating set lists from the past, and by developing their own sets of Dead songs, Dark Star Orchestra offers a continually evolving artistic outlet within this musical canon. Honoring both the band and the fans, Dark Star Orchestra’s members seek out the unique style and sound of each era while simultaneously offering their own informed improvisations.

Dark Star Orchestra offers much more than the sound of the Grateful Dead, they truly encapsulate the energy and the experience. It's about a sense of familiarity. It's about a feeling that grabs listeners and takes over. It's about that contagious energy... in short, it's about the complete experience and consistent quality show that the fan receives when attending a Dark Star Orchestra show.

Dark Star Orchestra has performed throughout the entire United States, plus Europe & the Caribbean touching down in seven different countries. DSO continues to grow its fan base by playing at larger venues for two and even three night stands as well as performing at major music festivals including Bonnaroo, Milwaukee’s SummerFest, The Peach Music Festival, All Good Festival, Gathering of the Vibes, Mountain Jam, and many more.

In addition to appearing at some of the nation’s top festival, Dark Star Orchestra hosts its own annual music festival and campaign gathering, titled the ‘Dark Star Jubilee’, currently in its sixth year where DSO headline all three nights and are joined by a mix of established and up and coming national touring acts. Beyond the shores of the United States, DSO has taken its internationally-acclaimed Grateful Dead tribute to the beaches of Jamaica in the dead of winter for the past five years, with their event appropriately titled ‘Jam in the Sand’. Featuring an ocean-side stage, DSO sets up camp to perform shows for four nights along the tropical sands of an all-inclusive resort, selling out the event each year for hundreds of lucky attendees.

Fans and critics haven’t been the only people caught up in the spirit of a Dark Star show. The band has featured guest performances from six original Grateful Dead members Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, Donna Jean Godchaux- MacKay, Vince Welnick, Tom Constanten and even toured with longtime Dead soundman, Dan Healy. Other notable guests have included Mike Gordon and Jon Fishman of Phish, Keller Williams, Warren Haynes, Steve Kimock, Peter Rowan, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot and many more.


 
Dopapod
Deaf Scene | @Gypsy Sally's | view more info »
Dec
14

Dopapod

Deaf Scene


Thursday Dec 14|doors 7:00 pm|21+
Gypsy Sally's|get directions »
3401 K St NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 333-7700


Dopapod

official band site »

The Boston born, now generally Northeast based, but ever on-the-go Dopapod has come a long way from their college basement, DIY party roots. While maintaining to be as grassroots as their humble beginnings, the group has earned praise from taste making critics like Huffington Post, Jambase, and Relix, all the while tending to their ever expanding community of devoted listeners. The past 4 years have individually held the weight of about 150 shows, and included numerous festival appearances like Wakarusa, Summer Camp, Electric Forest, Camp Bisco, Peach Fest, & Gathering Of the Vibes.

All of this time on stage together has given the band the opportunity to explore the wide variety of influences that has impacted them to be the players they are today. But, don’t be quick to think that the no holds barred openness to experimenting is unguided. While the brush in their hand uses every color, it’s the stroke on the canvas that gives Dopapod a distinct voice in the way of crafty songwriting.

That calculated compositional mindset and restless nature to never sit too still is what has allowed Dopapod to fully realize their fourth studio release, Never Odd Or Even. Guitarist/vocalist Rob Compa giddily tells, “We really felt that the material this time around represented a big leap forward, not just in the way we’ve been interacting as a band, but in the way our focus has become sharper in paying attention to things like melody, theme, lyrical imagery, and structure – all the elements that make a great song.”

Determined to have that maturity translate in the studio, the band enlisted friend and producer Jason “Jocko” Randall to both engineer and produce the record. Keys/vocalist Eli Winderman couldn’t be happier about how things went. “We lived at his studio for about a month for these sessions and it just clicked right away. Jocko immediately became another member of band in many ways. With his attitude and approach to the recording process, we were able to really dial in the sounds we wanted, get those perfect takes we were aiming for, and have a blast the whole way through.”

Dropping on November 11, in the midst of an extensive Fall Tour, Never Odd Or Even is the spark that the band plans to ignite while in full stride of capping off an exciting year and launching them into the next.


Deaf Scene

official band site »

Baltimore's own Deaf Scene is quickly becoming recognized as a standout band on a regional and national level, bringing a powerful blend of Post-Rock, Grunge, Progressive Metal, and Jazz-Fusion to their songs and live shows. This ever-evolving instrumental power-trio has consciously embraced walking a musical road-less-traveled since their inception in 2010. Along the way they have cultivated a dedicated following with their sonically-expansive live performances and their solid studio work. Straddling a gray area between the progressive cacophonies of Tool, ethereal soundscapes of Explosions in the Sky, and the sludgy twinge of Primus, Deaf Scene has forged a sound that is uniquely their own. Dave Fullerton’s effects-laden guitar melodies cascade over thick layers of looped sounds, while Eric Courtney’s intricate bass runs and Brett Schatz’s precise whirlwind of drumming give structure and groove to the chaos. What they're able to accomplish on stage, as a three-piece band with no vocals, often surprises listeners who have never seen Deaf Scene in concert. The band works together beautifully through seamless sets of original songs, intersected by ambient samples and drones, generating “a sound that you would never imagine could come from three dudes” (89.7 WTMD).


 
Victor Wooten Trio
featuring Dennis Chambers & Bob Franceschini | @9:30 club | view more info »
Dec
16

Victor Wooten Trio

featuring Dennis Chambers & Bob Franceschini


Saturday Dec 16|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


Victor Wooten Trio


featuring Dennis Chambers & Bob Franceschini

official band site »

Victor Wooten announces tour dates with an all-star lineup in the 2017-2018 season.  Featuring legendary drummer, Dennis Chambers; and renowned saxophonist Bob Franceschini.

Victor Wooten
Victor Lemonte Wooten is a unique human being. Born the youngest of five boys, he began learning to play music at the tender age of two. He started performing in nightclubs and theaters as the bassist with the family band at age five and at age six was on tour with The Wooten brothers opening shows for legendary soul artist Curtis Mayfield.

Fast forward a few decades, and we know Wooten as a 5-time Grammy Winner, a founding member of the Grammy award-winning band Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, the only multiple winner of Bass Player Magazine’s reader’s poll (3 times), voted one of the top ten bassists of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine, and having won just about every award awarded to a bassist, but this only represents a portion of who Victor Wooten really is.

Many know Victor the musician, but it should also be known that, in his youth, Wooten organized a 2 year student run safety patrol to help rid his high school of violence, and upon graduation, expanded the organization to help the neighboring cities. He received a special award for being one of the top graduating African American students in the Tidewater area of Virginia, and was also offered a scholarship to play soccer at a local college.

Currently, Wooten is a published author, an acclaimed teacher, a naturalist who enjoys teaching about the world we live in, a sought after lecturer, runs a non-profit organization, and is an entrepreneur among other things. A few years ago, Victor and his wife purchased nearly 150 acres of land near Nashville, TN and built a retreat center with the sole purpose of helping kids and adults improve their lives. A few years later, in order to be in complete control of his own music, Wooten formed a record label called VIX Records. In addition to all of this, he continues to record and perform with artists such as Béla Fleck, Chick Corea, The Dave Matthews Band, SMV (Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller, Victor Wooten), and his brothers, as well as with his own band - The Victor Wooten Band.

Wooten, a loving husband and father of four, is a person dedicated to using what he has achieved to help those around him. He credits his parents and brothers with given him not only the skills to reach success but also the mindset necessary for successfully dealing with it, as well as the wisdom and aspiration to help others achieve their own successes.

In response to multiple requests for Victor to write a music instruction book, Wooten took a different approach by writing a story instead. His novel, The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music (Berkley Publishing Group/Penguin USA Inc.), has quickly become a “must-read” book for musicians worldwide. Through this book, which shares his unique outlook on music and life, Wooten has helped educate and inspire thousands of people of all ages whether they are musicians or not, teachers or students, professionals or novices. The Music Lesson offers a natural path to music, life, and creativity and has been translated into four additional languages.

Victor Wooten’s Center for Music and Nature (vixcamps.com) is a not-for- profit organization through which Wooten holds music, nature, and other educational programs throughout the year. Wooten Woods (wootenwoods.com), a retreat center near Nashville, TN, is the home for all of Victor’s camps. Wooten Woods contains nearly 150 lush picturesque acres and is situated alongside the scenic Duck River, one of the world’s most bio-diverse rivers.

As well as teaching and inspiring people through his books, camps, videos, and workshops, Victor was hired in 2015 by Berklee College of Music as a Performance Scholar in Residence. Now, as one of the newest faculty members, Wooten teaches at the school every month and is the co-director of the Victor Wooten/Berklee Summer Bass Program, which runs every summer.


Dennis Chambers
Chambers began drumming at the age of four years, and was gigging in Baltimore-area nightclubs by the age of six. He was recruited in 1981 by the Sugar Hill Label to be their "house drummer." Dennis plays on many Sugar Hill releases including, "Rapper's Delight." In 1978 (at 18 years old) he joined Parliament/Funkadelic, and stayed with them until 1985. In 1986 he joined the John Scofield band. Since then he has played with most of the major figures in jazz fusion music. 

Dennis Chambers is an American drummer who has recorded and performed with John Scofield, George Duke,Brecker Brothers, Santana, Parliament/Funkadelic, John McLaughlin, Niacin, Mike Stern, CAB, Greg Howe, and many others. Despite a lack of formal training, Chambers has become well known among drummers for his technique and speed.  Chambers is particularly regarded for his ability to play "in the pocket" but can also stretch very far out of the pocket which is also a hallmark of his technique. Chambers exhibits a powerful style that is technically proficient, yet highly musical and groove-oriented. He can play in a wide variety of musical genres, but is perhaps most notable for his jazz-fusion, funk, and Latin music playing. He is mostly known for his fast hands and triplets on the bass drum.  


Bob Franceschini
Saxophonist, songwriter, and arranger Bob Franceschini has appeared on more than 200 albums for artists of many idioms including Mike Stern, Paul Simon, Willie Colon, Celine Dion, Bebe Winans, Tito Puente, Tower of Power, Victor Wooten, and Tom Browne. In addition to composing and arranging, Bob has performed as a touring musician with Mike Stern, The Yellow Jackets, Chaka Khan, Victor Wooten, George Benson, Paul Simon, Eddie Palmieri, Tom Browne, Willie Colón, and many others.


 
SOJA
with special guests Twiddle | Footwerk | @The Anthem | view more info »
Dec
29

SOJA

with special guests Twiddle
Footwerk

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


SOJA

official band site »

"I want to speak for people who don't have microphones," Jacob Hemphill says. "Our goal as a band is to stick up for the human race. We see the world and we try to make it better in the limited time we have here."

This is the philosophy behind SOJA's music, a simple statement that has driven the D.C. area band, who blend reggae, go-go, D.C. hardcore, Latin, rock and hip-hop. Originally formed by a group of friends while still in middle school and has built a massive, dedicated fanbase around the world since. In the years following, SOJA has sold more than 200,000 albums, headlined shows in over 20 countries around the world, generated over three million Facebook fans, and 65 million YouTube views. The band has toured with Dave Matthews Band, Incubus, 311 and appeared at major festivals including Bonnaroo where they attract an almost Grateful Dead-like international fan base along the way, with caravans of diehards following them from city to city. After the release of their 2012 album "Strength To Survive," the musicians started writing material for what would become their fifth full-length album, "Amid the Noise and Haste."

For Hemphill, who pens the lyrics, chords and melody, each song starts with an experience: meeting someone, reading something, experiencing something that seems pertinent to the human condition. On this album, the songwriter is suggesting that "all of life's problems, and all of life's answers are within us. We've been conditioned to accumulate, compete and break others down around ourselves -- not inherent to the human condition, but rather taught. Those things can be untaught. The real us is in there, somewhere." All of this is translated into short, sweet packages of music.

The writing and recording process for "Amid the Noise and Haste" stretched out over a year and a half, mostly because the musicians kept finding new collaborators and new ideas along the way. The aim was to engage as many guest artists as possible, with each working on a song that had a legitimate connection to them. The album was produced by Supa Dups (Bruno Mars, Eminem, Rihanna, John Legend) and recorded at Circle House Studios in Miami and Lion & Fox Studios in Washington D.C. throughout 2013. Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley appears on "Your Song," a buoyant, hopeful number that asks fans to remind the band why they got into music by singing along, while "I Believe" brings Michael Franti and Nahko together to offer thoughts on how to control your own destiny. Collie Buddz, J Boog and Anuhea are also featured on various tracks. "We wanted to bring together people who would help demonstrate each song," Jacob says. "We wanted people who could either relate to or convey the message. The whole album is about the human race relating to itself and connecting with itself."

For SOJA, whose live show is an explosion of energy and positivity, music is a means of helping people relate in a more affirmative way. It also asks people to look inside themselves and really ask what it is they want to do with their life and how they can be happy. SOJA's music is about finding that happiness and peace we all deserve and helping others do the same, something "Amid the Noise and Haste" aptly conveys in its songs.

"I put words in my songs that I believe to be true," Jacob says. "The point of the album is reconnecting people to the power inside themselves, getting them to fall back in love with life again. Look around, take a deep breath. All the answers are there."


with special guests Twiddle

official band site »

With roots at Vermont’s Castleton State University, Twiddle began their extensive touring career in 2005. Over a decade later, the foursome has composed an eclectic catalogue spanning three studio albums of originals, in addition to many live releases. Currently the band is digging in at the studio composing PLUMP Chapter Two, the second half of their acclaimed third album. Having performed at a multitude of international festivals, Twiddle’s trajectory shows zero sign of slowing. Look for them to pack prominent theaters throughout 2017, as they truly break through to the next level.

Footwerk

official band site »


 
Turkuaz
Pimps Of Joytime | @Rams Head Live | view more info »
Dec
31

Turkuaz

Pimps Of Joytime


Sunday Dec 31|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
Rams Head Live|get directions »
20 Market Place
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 244-1131


Turkuaz

official band site »

Turkuaz is a 9-piece “Powerfunk” outfit from Brooklyn, NY, whose modern take on the classic funk sound has established them as leaders in the funk revolution that’s currently taking place in the genre. Blending elements of Pop, R&B, and Soul with their distinct aggressive funk core, Turkuaz sounds like the musical love child of Sly & the Family Stone and Talking Heads.

With the release of their new album Digitonium, Turkuaz’s sound is more accessible than ever and poised to break out to a more mainstream audience. With a playful feel that evokes the best of 80s dance music, Turkuaz’s tightly arranged songs are built on thick grooves, driven by powerhouse rhythm and horn sections, as well as four distinct vocalists.

The group’s constant coast-to-coast touring since 2012 has earned them a passionate and dedicated national fan base that’s consistently growing. A dance band at their roots, Turkuaz’s live shows are high-energy, floor-shaking, visually appealing events filled with colorful clothing and choreographed dance moves that always leave attendees wanting more.

Turkuaz’s crossover appeal has never been more evident-- from a recent video performance going viral and receiving over 2 million Facebook views, to their music providing the soundtrack to New York Knicks games at Madison Square Garden, to constant rotation on Sirius XM Radio, Turkuaz is, as Relix Magazine says, “on the verge.”


Pimps Of Joytime

official band site »

When it comes to throwing a party, the Pimps of Joytime raise the bar with swagger to spare. Rhythms and textures drawn from New Orleans funk, 90s club house, 60s salsa and hip-hop all collide and fracture upon one another on their new LP, Jukestone Paradise. Dubbed “raucous and captivating” by Okayplayer, their album cuts play like the soundtrack for a ride through Brooklyn’s diverse neighborhoods, where the group’s sound materialized.

And the Pimps’ live experience only takes it higher.

Over the past decade, the group’s grassroots following mobilized from the underground club scene in New York to sell out historic venues like the Fillmore in San Francisco and earn top billings at music festivals across the US and Europe. Quite simply, the Pimps’ dancefloor is magnetic. But word spreads to the wise when you pair high-caliber musicianship with melodies and beats that are as universally enticing as they are unconventional.

The Pimps of Joytime’s first album High Steppin’ caught NPR off guard when it dropped in 2007, as its editors raved, “It has it all: soul, funk, punk, afrobeat, rap. I’ve not heard anything quite like it.” The group’s 2011 release Janxta Funk! extended their movement even further into the mainstream circuit, with the title track seeing more than 1 million plays on Spotify to date.

Guitarist and singer Brian J is the mastermind behind the Pimps’ evolving mosaic of mixes and remixes, producing all of the bands’ records as well as other solo records for New Orleans legend Cyril Neville and Corey Henry of Galactic. His genius is only elevated by bassist David Bailias, who doubles as DJ, subtly weaving EDM club beats and synth keys throughout the Pimps live show. Over top comes drummer John Staten’s funky break beats, which land in sync with the live percussion and siren-like vocals of Mayteanna Morales and Kim Dawson.

You might accurately call the them a ‘post-genre’ band; a group whose sound—even within a single song—mirrors the diversity of our generation’s musical tastes. It all goes into the Pimps’ soulful roux, built on a foundation of rhythm and groove.