all good news

 
Kendall Street Company
Moogatu | @The 8x10 | view more info »
May
30

Kendall Street Company

Moogatu


Thursday May 30|doors 8:00 pm|18+
The 8x10|get directions »
10 E. Cross St.
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 625-2000


Kendall Street Company

official band site »

From late night jam sessions at the University of Virginia to the main stages of venues throughout the East Coast, the Company has broken out of the college bubble and into a world that loves to groove to a great live show. The band was founded in the early months of 2013 by guitarist/vocalist Louis Smith and saxophonist Andrew Drehoff. The duo had been playing together for some time in the greater Virginia Beach area, joined by a rotation of talented musicians who performed behind Louis as the Louis Smith Band. After moving to Charlottesville in late 2012 to attend the University of Virginia, the pair began putting together a group of student musicians, adding Brian Roy on bass/vocals and Ryan Wood on drums/percussion in early 2013. Since then, the band has added Andrew King on keyboards, Ben Laderberg on the electric guitar, and Jake Vanaman on saxophone.

Kendall Street Company performs regularly along the East Coast, maintaining a central presence around the state of Virginia. While the Company's music is influenced by a variety of musicians and styles, the group has been described as "psychedelic," "alternative," "jammy," "rock," "indie," and "ska". Their recent performance at the 2017 Lockn Music Festival was praised by Relix magazine as having "[raised] the crowd's energy with frontman Louis Smith and guitarist Ben Laderberg's acoustic/electric interplay and lively, technical breakdowns". It is not uncommon for guest performers to join the group on stage for extended jams.


Moogatu

official band site »

In late 2010, Moogatu planted the first seeds for its unique blend of funky, wompy prog rock just outside of the nation's capital in bucolic northern Virginia. Soaring dual lead guitars and a pulsing rhythm section bring the quintet's inviting songcraft and creative improvisations to an audience that grows at every club and festival. Moogatu is carving its niche with high energy sets that keep people grooving long into the night.


 
Circles Around The Sun
@Gypsy Sally's | view more info »
May
30

Circles Around The Sun



Thursday May 30|doors 7:00 pm|21+
Gypsy Sally's|get directions »
3401 K St NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 333-7700


Circles Around The Sun

official band site »

Let It Wander is the second album from Circles Around the Sun, but the quartet agrees that in many ways it feels more like their first.

By now, the band’s unconventional origin story is well known. Three years ago, guitarist Neal Casal formed the band with keyboardist Adam MacDougall (his bandmate in the Chris Robinson Brotherhood), bassist Dan Horne and drummer Mark Levy to record some Grateful Dead-influenced instrumentals to be played during the set breaks at the Dead’s “Fare Thee Well” concerts. “That was supposed to be the end of it,” Casal says.

Instead, there was an album, Interludes for the Dead, followed by several acclaimed live performances. The response was so positive, and the band was having so much fun making music together, that they agreed to keep it going, MacDougall says. “The chemistry the four of us had was instant and undeniable. It felt like we’d barely scratched the surface of what we could do, which is why we wanted to get back in the studio.”

It took nearly three years, but Circles Around the Sun – usually shortened to CATS – finally returned to Castaway 7 Studios in Ventura, California earlier this year. After the long wait, they made the most of their two weeks together, recording and mixing seven new instrumentals, enough to make Let It Wander a double album.

The players and the studio were the same, but Horne says the band’s approach to the music was completely different. “We were chasing a particular sound the first time around, so the process was slightly more structured. For this record, that map was gone, and we were on our own.”

Embracing their newfound freedom, CATS responded with seven focused performances filled with imaginative musical turns. Horne and Levy form a veritable groove machine that knows intuitively when to tighten up and when to stretch out. They expand and collapse the rhythmic pocket around Casal and MacDougall, who pass melodies back and forth in an elaborate game of musical tag as they take turns adding color and shade from a seemingly endless kaleidoscope of cosmic sounds.

Unlike the first album, Levy says there was enough time to go back and add some overdubs to the basic tracks. “We tried not to get too crazy building up the sound, but we experimented with different things, like Neal doubling up his guitars on ‘One For Chuck,’ and Adam creating a Minimoog symphony on ‘Immovable Object.’ We also had my friend Jeff Franca add percussion to ‘On My Mind’ and ‘Electric Chair (Don’t Sit There),’ which really added another dimension to those songs.” One of the highlights from Let It Wander has to be “One For Chuck,” which was the first track the band finished. While they were in the studio playing back the song, Casal says Chuck D – the charismatic leader of the legendary rap group Public Enemy – unexpectedly stopped by. “When the track was over, he said: ‘You guys are real, organic musicians. You can’t be replaced. Don’t ever forget that.’ It was amazing to get that kind of encouragement from an artist we all love. We asked him to record an intro for the song and he was kind enough to do it. That’s how the song got its name.”

The other song titles are more enigmatic, but according to the band they do have their own internal logic and sense of humor. “Tacoma Narrows” started out as the bridge in a different song, so they named it after the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington State. “Immovable Object” is a reference to the melody that MacDougall plays on the Rhodes electric piano at the start of the song. Even as the chords change around it, the melody line stays the same for the entire song. The ancient city of Halicarnassus was home to a beautiful mausoleum that was named one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The song “Halicarnassus” is played in 7/8 time, which means there are seven beats in every measure. “A little time signature humor to make the music nerds smile,” MacDougall jokes.

Even if you’re not a music nerd, there’s plenty to smile about on the new record, from the easy-going groove that keeps “On My Mind” grounded, to the celestial symphony that sends “Ticket To Helix” into orbit. “More than anything, what you hear on this album is a band growing into its own sound,” Casal says.



 
FREE SHOW!
The Rad Trads
Blackfoot Gypsies | @Pearl Street Warehouse | view more info »
Jun
7

FREE SHOW!
The Rad Trads

Blackfoot Gypsies


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


FREE SHOW!
The Rad Trads

official band site »

The gentlemen comprising the Brooklyn-based five-piece The Rad Trads distinguish themselves in ways few bands can. Already drawing lines around the block at home, the globe-trotting group’s singular take on rock n roll mixes punk rock energy, horn drenched soul, and jazz precision, all with a lighthearted but sincere delivery. It’s a sound and show that is gaining steam world over as The Rad Trads continue to tour in support of On Tap, out now from Hornblow Recordings.

Challenging but humorous, at times The Rad Trads bring to mind Springsteen and his “Big Man” Clarence Clemons, Dylan’s Blood On The Tracks-era vocal style, and Wilco’s epic guitar breakdowns. All of this sonic goodness is only upstaged by the fact that the guys in The Rad Trads manage to exist as five distinct songwriters and singers in a band that still sounds powerfully egoless, familial, and cohesive. And none of them even planned on being vocalists!

Meeting at New York University in 2012 as conservatory-trained instrumentalists looking to play with NYC’s best musicians, twin brothers John (Drums, Vocals) and Michael Fatum (Trumpet, Vocals), Michael Harlen (Bass, Vocals), Alden Harris-McCoy (Guitar, Vocals), and Patrick Sargent (Keys, Saxophone, Vocals) were, at that time, just “a bunch of buds looking to play the bars and drink for free,” according to John Fatum. “The Rad Trads started off with a bastardized jazz repertoire that was modified, on stage, into whatever seemed to get the audience moving.” The band quickly developed a loyal connection with its audiences. Michael Fatum agrees: “It felt amazing.”

It was at this time that each band member’s individual forays into original songwriting began, coinciding with the discovery that what its followers were enjoying most was the band members’ personal connections with each other. This, even more than the music itself, was making crowds come back for more. As the band’s live sets began to be filled more and more with original songs which all stuck to the “if you write it, you sing it” formula, the fans remained enthusiastically engaged.

With all of that energy flying around, The Rad Trads could have simply been perceived as just a party band, but the band’s booking agent realized that with those expert chops, there might also be a niche within the jazz festival scene for The Rad Trads, and he was right. Harlen explains, “It turns out that every jazz festival in the world needed a fun band to hold down the late night parties, and so we went to Europe for the first time.”

This initial excursion has turned into nearly ten trips to Europe for The Rad Trads, in addition to performances on four continents, in 15 countries, 41 states, and as of this writing, a string of dates in China. The diverse list of artists that the band has performed with in that time includes Lake Street Dive, Charles Bradley, Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal, and The Lone Bellow, among others. “We’ve loved every second of traveling and seeing the world,” John Fatum says.

Fatum is the composer and vocalist of “On Tap” album opener “Good Luck Unto Ya,” a soaring anthem with wall of sound-level overdubs, recently described by American Songwriter as a “funky kiss- off track with a killer guitar solo and plenty of horns.” It’s a stunning way to jump start the record, and for the uninitiated, will quickly bring to mind visions of what The Rad Trads’ race-out-of-the-gate live show must be like.

The album is bookended by closing number “Wishing Well,” which is, incredibly, the first song that Sargent ever wrote. “We played the song live for almost a year before recording it, so it had a chance to evolve organically before being put to tape,” he explains to MAGNET Magazine, which in its full- throated praise of The Rad Trads, also asserts, “We’ve been racking our brains trying to think of another band that has five leader singers, but we couldn’t come up with any.” Obviously, while the songs on On Tap are exceedingly original, the band’s story is, too. Or maybe surviving the story is what’s most fascinating. As a group comprised of conservatory trained instrumentalists, it’s actually five individual writers and singers that glue The Rad Trads together, the sound of five artists that have found a common voice.

“Our unconventional process keeps The Rad Trads fresh for us, always,” Harris-McCoy explains. “The fact that our egos have not taken us down is somewhat of a modern miracle!”


Blackfoot Gypsies

official band site »

The Blackfoot Gypsies have unleashed a set of original roadhouse rockin' tunes with To the Top, on Plowboy Records. The Nashville, Tennessee based powerhouse quartet demonstrate raucous energy and soul on this collection delivering their take on white-knuckled rock'n'roll.

Across the 15 tracks of To the Top, the Blackfoot Gypsies fuse their influences -- swamp blues cool, downhome hillbilly funk and homegrown punk panache -- into a lean, mean machine invoking such classic musical malcontents as the Rolling Stones, the Faces and Mott the Hoople, while sparking and spitting 21st-century fire. It's the type of record that could only come from a band that learned to rock the old-fashioned way -- one sweaty, full-throttle live performance at a time.

The band's brew of rock, hillbilly and blues began in 2010 when Oregon native, guitarist and singer Matthew Paige moved to Nashville and hooked up with drummer and Music City native Zach Murphy. The pair wanted to form a full band, but the urge to rock could not wait.

"We were doing just what we wanted to do," Paige says, "but making enough noise to fill out the sound was a challenge. I started playing through two amps to make the most sound."

The pair spent the next two years building a reputation through raucous live performances and two self-released EPs, Blackfoot Gypsies (2010) and Dandee Cheeseball (2011), and their first LP, On the Loose (2012). Hard touring followed the album's release as the duo bashed across the US through hard-won club dates. After three years, they were ready to expand their sound.

"There's really only so much you can do with a two-piece," Murphy says. "You have to do everything in extreme. I think we were too much for some people -- just a violent onslaught of noise."

They soon completed their expanded line-up when bass player Dylan Whitlow and harmonica master extraordinaire Ollie Dogg arrived within weeks of each other. Whitlow, a Gettysburg, Pennsylvania native and a veteran of several Nashville rock bands, had crossed paths with Paige and Murphy before, but Nashville native Ollie Dogg was new to the rock 'n' roll scene. He was a longtime veteran of Nashville's blues community and a regular at many blues jams, but joining a band full time was a new experience.

"My cousin told me about the band," Ollie Dogg says. "I met them a couple of weeks later, and played with them. They just told me to be loose. That's how I like to play, loose -- just take it and make it work. I've been playing with them ever since."

With the line-up complete, they entered the studio and laid down ten tracks of butt-shakin' country-blues rock. Released in April 2015 by Plowboy Records, Handle It delivered a mix of juke joint blues, front porch pickin' and snotty-nosed rock 'n' roll, positioning the group as inheritors of a fine pedigree, from Bo Diddley to the Black Crowes. Long nights tearing up the road followed as the band shared bills with the Alabama Shakes, Drivin' N' Cryin', the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Trampled by Turtles and many others. They toured throughout the US and wowed European audiences on their first international tour.

After sharpening their sound through hundreds of live performances, the band headed for Electric Kite Studio in Madison, Tennessee. Working with engineer Matt Stager and armed with 15 original tunes, the Blackfoot Gypsies self- produced their new album, To the Top. They also recruited some notable musical assistance from some of Nashville's finest musicians, including backup vocals from red-hot country queen Margo Price, Spencer Cullum, Jr. (Steelism) on steel guitar, Micah Hulscher on piano, Alexis Saski on background vocals, Taylor Powell and Shannon Pollard assisting on drums, and Paul Thacker, Diego Vasquez and Joe Hunter supplying horn section support. The album was mixed by Joe Funderburk at Creative Workshop.

To the Top wastes no time making it perfectly clear that the Blackfoot Gypsies are locked and loaded to rock. The album opens with a powerful statement of purpose in a trio of pedal-to-the-metal rockers. "I'm So Blue," "Everybody's Watching" and "Promise to Keep" all roar with an explosive energy worthy of the early ' 70s Rolling Stones or the Faces, while demonstrating that the Blackfoot Gypsies wear their inspirations on their sleeves without falling into the trap of pointless imitation.

The band slows things down a bit with "Potatoes and Whiskey," a rough -- cut slice of honky-tonk featuring Margo Price on backing vocals. Next they hop on a sanctified express train for the balling-the-jack anthem "I Had a Vision," followed by the Big Easy groove of "Back to New Orleans," a song perfect for second-line dancing anytime or anyplace.

Hitting their stride midway through the record, the Blackfoot Gypsies alternate rockers ("Lying Through Your Teeth," "I Wanna Be Famous," "She Was Mine" and "Warning") with songs demonstrating the band's versatility, with the hillbilly swing of "Velvet Low Down Blues," the Dylan-esque country ruckus of "Woman Woman" and the sublime juke joint jam of "I Got the Blues."

Wrapping up with the primal kick and Bo Diddley beat of "Gypsy Queen" and the lightly glam-seasoned back-to-basics haymaker "Why Should I Cry," the disc is a complex and masterful blend of rock, blues and hillbilly stomp sure to please the most discriminating palate and send the most reluctant feet to the dance floor.


 
Motherfolk & Wylder
Jonny Grave | @The 8x10 | view more info »
Jun
9

Motherfolk & Wylder

Jonny Grave


Sunday Jun 9|doors 7:00 pm|18+
The 8x10|get directions »
10 E. Cross St.
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 625-2000


Motherfolk

official band site »

MOTHERFOLK HAS BEEN REVERED AS "THE BEST BAND EVER" BY ALMOST ALL OF ITS CURRENT MEMBERS. WHAT STARTED IN 2014 AS A WRITING PROJECT BETWEEN TWO COLLEGE FRIENDS HAS GROWN INTO A PHENOMENON THAT HAS CAPTURED THE HEARTS AND SOULS OF DOZENS OF PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD.

WITH TWO FULL LENGTHS AND A FEW SINGLES UNDER THEIR BELT, MOTHERFOLK HAS TOURED HEAVILY ALL OVER THE COUNTRY AND HAS MADE A NAME FOR THEMSELVES WITH THEIR HIGH-ENERGY PERFORMANCE. CURRENTLY IN 2018, THEY CONTINUE TO TOUR REGULARLY AND ARE SPENDING THE TIME IN BETWEEN IN THE STUDIO WORKING ON WHAT'S NEXT.

DON'T SLEEP ON THIS BAND, SLEEP ON A BED.


Wylder

official band site »

Wylder writes rhythmic, haunting and lyrically-driven indie-folk with a penchant for strange, foreboding storytelling about family and loss.

First formed in Virginia by singer/guitarist Will McCarry, the group quickly grew to include Lonnie Southall (guitar/mandolin), Mike Pingley (drums), and Jackson Wright (bass/piano). Wylder’s unique blend of indie-rock and chamber-folk combines the spirit of alternative rock giants like Arcade Fire and The Shins with the intimate, harmony-laden sounds of Fleet Foxes and Radical Face.

Their debut album, Rain and Laura, was released in April of 2016, and was met with enthusiastic reviews from fans and critics alike. They are currently in the midst of recording their next full-length album.


Jonny Grave

official band site »

Jonny Grave is a guitarist, songwriter, singer, bandleader, teacher, musical historian, and photojournalist from Washington, D.C. Growing up in a musical family, Jonny Grave was introduced to the sounds of American traditional folk music early on. At age fifteen, he found himself learning slide guitar techniques from old Blues records, and by seventeen he was performing them live. Grave has performed at hundreds of venues all over the world from the red dirt floor of Gip's Juke Joint, to the red carpet of the Kennedy Center.


 
Sinkane
Bassel & The Supernaturals | @U Street Music Hall | view more info »
Jun
12

Sinkane

Bassel & The Supernaturals


Wednesday Jun 12|doors 6:30 pm|all ages
U Street Music Hall|get directions »
1115 U Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 588-1880


Sinkane

official band site »

Sinkane music -- every note of it -- comes straight out of a generosity of spirit. Never has that spirit been on more vivid display than on the uplifting new album Life & Livin' It. This is feel-good music for trying times, celebrating what makes life good without ignoring what makes it hard.

By the time they finished touring for their acclaimed Mean Love album in late 2015, Ahmed Gallab and the band had spread the gospel of Sinkane to the world, playing 166 shows in 20 countries. During the same period, he had also led The Atomic Bomb Band -- the highly celebrated 15-piece outfit that played the music of elusive Nigerian electro-funk maestro William Onyeabor. The band included David Byrne, Damon Albarn, members of Hot Chip, LCD Soundsystem, The Rapture, Jamie Lidell and legendary jazz musicians Pharoah Sanders and Charles Lloyd, and they played all over the planet, including making their TV debut on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. "Those 14 months really changed my life," Ahmed says. "Not only did I learn how to put on a bigger show, but all that touring brought Sinkane closer as a band."

As Ahmed got into the depths of writing for Life & Livin' It, he had a clear goal; to conjure the ups and downs of a universal experience, and have fun while doing it. "I would listen to my favorite records, like Funkadelic's America Eats Its Young, and realize how great they made me feel. That carefree, light and fun feeling I was getting while writing this record is what I want everyone to feel when they listen to it."

Ahmed soon brought the band in to help with the material, testing the songs at a four-show residency of sold-out shows at Union Pool in Brooklyn where the audience's reception fed the creative process. They toured throughout the summer before setting up shop at Sonic Ranch Studios in El Paso, Texas. Once again produced by Ahmed with lyrics and help from longtime collaborator Greg Lofaro, the album draws from the best elements of Sinkane's previous records: the slinky funk and soul grooves are there, so are the sparkling melodies with roots in sub-Saharan Africa. With basic tracking played together live, the fun and immediacy of Sinkane's live show is a central feeling of the recordings. Each one of the four members of Sinkane -- bassist Ish Montgomery, drummer Jason Trammell, guitarist Jonny Lam and Ahmed -- sing and contribute additional parts on the album, with Trammell contributing lyrics to "Theme from Life & Livin' It," and Lam helping with arrangements. Jas Walton and Jordan MacLean of Daptone recording artists Antibalas contributed horns.

In making a record that feels like this, Ahmed's primary intention was to make music that is joyous, but also socially conscious when you scratch beneath the surface. The songs "U'Huh" and "Theme from Life & Livin' It" conjure up the simple pleasures of hanging with friends, but there are heavier vibes in there. Ahmed says, "I remember listening to Bob Marley as a child. Dancing with my family in our living room and then my mother telling me what issues he was addressing, and that it was important to remember those things while listening. It made the music even better because it became about something more."

"Favorite Song" came about from Ahmed's experiences DJ'ing in New York. "As a DJ you're always paying attention to the collective energy in the club. When you play a song that everyone knows, everybody is connected, lost in the music." That song, along with "U'Huh," has lyrics sung in Arabic, Ahmed's native tongue. "Kulu shi tamaam!" means "everything is great!" while "ya zol ya zain!" is a Sudanese term of endearment meaning "my beautiful friend." "It's really easy to understand the tone of those words," Ahmed adds. "They just feel good, you don't have to know what they mean. It's kind of like listening to Caetano Veloso or Jorge Ben -- you don't have to know Portuguese to feel what they're saying."

True to its name, Life & Livin' It is an album about all kinds of experiences. When Ahmed Gallab sings, he sounds unafraid yet vulnerable. But while he once sang of feeling like he was on the planet Mars, Ahmed is now firmly grounded on Earth. He's no longer searching for his home -- he has created a home for himself. There's a party there, and Life & Livin' It is playing on the stereo. You are invited.


Bassel & The Supernaturals

official band site »

Bassel & The Supernaturals combines soul & funk with captivating lyrics about love, loss, and a war in Syria that has affected Bassel Almadani’s family along with 10,000,000 others.

The soulful Syrian-American vocalist and his ensemble donate over 20% of their merchandise proceeds to humanitarian relief through the Karam Foundation, including $3,000 from the preorder campaign for their full-length album, Elements (2017). Their latest album - drawing inspiration from artists such as Snarky Puppy, Jamiroquai, and Steely Dan's "Aja" - was premiered by Noisey (Vice), and led to their involvement in the nationally-acclaimed SXSW 2017 showcase 'ContraBanned: #MusicUnites' featuring artists from the diaspora of countries targeted by the travel ban. They've since been featured on PRI, Al Jazeera, Reuters, Paste Magazine, Huffington Post, NowThis, and many others.

Bassel co-produced the multi-genre humanitarian tour 'Amplify Peace' in collaboration with several other Arab-American artists from predominantly Muslim countries impacted by war. Highlights from their debut tour in October 2017 included performances at the John F. Kennedy Center, the Arab American National Museum, and a feature by the Associated Press. The program features a dynamic, multi-genre performance by socially conscious artists along with a variety of educational packages featuring lectures, interactive workshops, and a Q&A.

Averaging over 60 tour dates per year across the US and Canada with internationally touring artists such as Youssou N'Dour, Brother Ali, Aesop Rock, Emancipator, The Dandy Warhols, Sinkane, and many others - Bassel & The Supernaturals is preparing to release another full-length album, Smoke & Mirrors (2019).


 
theNEWDEAL
@Union Stage | view more info »
Jun
13

theNEWDEAL



Thursday Jun 13|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
Union Stage|get directions »
740 Water Street SW
Washington DC|p: (877) 987-6487


theNEWDEAL

official band site »

theNEWDEAL is back
Toronto-based live electronic trio returns with new drummer Davide Di Renzo

With over 1400 legendary late nights, sold-out clubs and triumphant festivals under their belts, theNEWDEAL returns with a passion in 2019 with ‘TND3’ – the third incarnation of the renowned live electronica trio: Jamie Shields (keyboards), Dan Kurtz (bass), and new drummer Davide Di Renzo.

The band’s evolution through three drummers has now brought theNEWDEAL closer to its original direction. “With Davide, it’s a bit like ‘coming back home’, as he was the drummer that inspired our original direction back in 1998 when the three of us played an impromptu gig together in Guelph, Ontario. Each of the band’s drummers has brought something unique to theNEWDEAL, and with Davide we’re reaching back to move forward with the organic-infused improvisation that has long-inspired a big part of theNEWDEAL sound,” explains keyboardist Jamie Shields.

theNEWDEAL first began in Toronto in 1999, quickly gaining support from Toronto’s underground club scene as pioneers in electronica, recreating the DJ experience with live, improvised music. Soon the band brought their interpretation of Electro House, Trance, Breakbeat and Drum & Bass to the US, where they were embraced by the crowds at NYC’s Wetlands Preserve and cultivated a loyal following in the American jam scene.

After twelve years of touring, theNEWDEAL took a hiatus in 2011; Dan spent much of the next few years touring the world with Electropop band Dragonette. When theNEWDEAL returned to stages in 2014 they brought on board a new drummer in Dragonette’s Joel Stouffer. For three years, Dan, Jamie, and Joel enjoyed another successful round of touring and recording, and in 2017 Joel amicably parted ways to pursue other musical interests.

In 2018, theNEWDEAL welcomed drummer extraordinaire Davide Di Renzo into the fold. After several months of shedding in the studio, the band released the first taste of new music in March 2019 with “Halo Drive”, an epic 16-minute live improvised studio jam – recorded and mixed in the moment without any overdubs. The band plans to release more of these live studio improvisations and will be launching a podcast as 2019 continues – plus a long anticipated return to the touring and festival circuit



 
Moon Hooch
Nathan-Paul & The Admirables | @U Street Music Hall | view more info »
Jun
14

Moon Hooch

Nathan-Paul & The Admirables


Friday Jun 14|doors 6:30 pm|all ages
U Street Music Hall|get directions »
1115 U Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 588-1880


Moon Hooch

official band site »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Nathan-Paul & The Admirables

official band site »

HAILING FROM THE FUNKY RUST BELT TOWN OF CLEVELAND, OHIO, NATHAN-PAUL & THE ADMIRABLES HAVE CREATED A LIVE EXPERIENCE THAT IS ALL ABOUT GOOD VIBES! GOING TO AN ADMIRABLES SHOW IS A PARTY BOLD AND FUNKY EARTH TONES FROM THE SAXES AT THE FRONT LINE LEAD THE BAND THROUGH DYNAMIC TWISTS AND TURNS. HYPNOTIC GROOVES FROM THE RHYTHM SECTION GET HEADS BOBBING AND BODIES MOVING. AN ADMIRABLES SHOW IS A HEALING AND EXCITING EXPERIENCE WHETHER THE ADMIRABLES ARE JAMMING ON A TRAP GROOVE OR LAYING DOWN THE FUNK, THEIR #1 GOAL IS TO GET YOU MOVING. THE BAND CALLS UPON MANY OF THE FEEL-GOOD MUSES OF GROOVE MUSIC SUCH AS KOOL & THE GANG, J-DILLA, JAMES BROWN, ERYKAH BADU, MILES DAVIS, HERBIE HANCOCK, PLUS MANY MORE.

AS THE OLD ADAGE GOES MUSIC IS FOOD FOR THE SOUL THE ADMIRABLES WILL GET YOU FED!


 
Ghost-Note
@Pearl Street Warehouse | view more info »
Jun
15

Ghost-Note



Saturday Jun 15|doors 7:00 pm|21+
Pearl Street Warehouse|get directions »
33 Pearl Street
Washington DC|p: (202) 380-9620


Ghost-Note

official band site »

HEADED BY SNARKY PUPPY’S MULTI-GRAMMY–WINNING PERCUSSION DUO OF ROBERT “SPUT” SEARIGHT AND NATE WERTH, GHOST-NOTE IS AN EXPLOSION OF SOUND. WITH AN EXPANSIVE ROSTER OF NEXT-LEVEL MUSICIANS—REPRESENTING MEMBERS OF PRINCE, SNOOP DOGG, ERYKAH BADU, HERBIE HANCOCK, KENDRICK LAMAR, MARCUS MILLER, TOTO, JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, AND MORE—THE BAND IS PUSHING FUNK MUSIC INTO THE FUTURE, BUILDING ON THE UPLIFTING, PIONEERING FOUNDATIONS LAID OUT BY THE LIKES OF JAMES BROWN AND SLY & THE FAMILY STONE AND INFUSING THEIR FRESH TAKE WITH TASTES OF AFROBEAT, HIP-HOP, PSYCHEDELIA, WORLD FOLKLORE, AND MORE.

WITH THE RELEASE OF 2018’S SWAGISM, GHOST-NOTE HAS MADE THEIR MISSION CLEAR. THE ALBUM PUTS RHYTHM AT THE FOREFRONT, WITH IRRESISTIBLE, HEAVY-HITTING BEATS UNDERLYING THE GROUP’S WILD, RICH MUSIC. FEATURING NUMEROUS GUEST COLLABORATORS, INCLUDING KAMASI WASHINGTON, KARL DENSON, BOBBY SPARKS, NIGEL HALL, TAZ, AND OTHERS, SWAGISM SHOWCASES THE BAND’S STUNNING ABILITY TO MELD AND AMPLIFY SOUNDS, ULTIMATELY ADDING TO GHOST-NOTE’S SHARP, COMPLEX COLLABORATIONS.

FEARLESS, BOTH IN SWAGISM’S SONIC DEPTH AND CONSCIOUS SOCIAL COMMENTARY, THE BAND EASILY TRANSLATES THIS ADVENTUROUSNESS IN A LIVE SETTING. GHOST-NOTE’S LIVE PERFORMANCES ARE BOLD AND IN YOUR FACE, WITH THE GROUP OFFERING UP NONE OF THE TIGHT-LACED PRETENSES FREQUENTLY ASSOCIATED WITH THE BAND’S JAZZ ROOTS. FOCUSED ON CREATING SEDUCTIVE DANCEABLE GROOVES AND A CONTAGIOUS FEEL-GOOD ENERGY, EACH SHOW IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO LET LOOSE AND CONNECT, FOR BOTH FANS AND THE MUSICIANS ALIKE.

AFTER FORMING IN 2015, GHOST-NOTE HAS ALREADY BEGUN TO TAKE THE WORLD BY STORM. THE GROUP’S TWO STUDIO ALBUMS—2018’S SWAGISM AND 2015’S FORTIFIED—HAVE EARNED CRITICAL ACCLAIM AND POPULAR SUCCESS AROUND THE GLOBE, WITH BOTH ALBUMS HITTING THE #1 SPOT ON THE ITUNES JAZZ CHARTS. FURTHERMORE, THE EVER-GROWING FAMILY OF MUSICIANS HAS MOUNTED SUCCESSFUL HEADLINING TOURS IN THE UNITED STATES, CANADA, AND JAPAN AND PERFORMED AT HIGH-PROFILE INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVALS AND EVENTS.



 
God Street Wine
@Gypsy Sally's | view more info »
Jul
3

God Street Wine



Wednesday Jul 3|doors 6:30 pm|21+
Gypsy Sally's|get directions »
3401 K St NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 333-7700


God Street Wine

official band site »

God Street Wine -- Lo Faber (lead vocals, guitar), Aaron Maxwell (lead vocals, guitar), Dan Pifer (bass), Jon Bevo (keyboards), and Tom "Tomo" Osander (drums) -- formed in New York in 1988. In helping to form the early jam band scene, they played alongside bands like the Black Crowes, Dave Matthews Band, Blues Traveler and the Spin Doctors. They joined the H.O.R.D.E. Tour traveling festival in the '90s, recorded five studio albums, and performed more than 1,000 shows in their 11 years together.

After experiencing several lineup changes in 1998, God Street Wine split up the next year, playing a three-night farewell engagement at the Wetlands Preserve in New York. Selected performances from these final shows were compiled into the posthumous live album "Good To the Last Drop" in 2000. The original five members reunited publicly in September 2001 for a farewell show to the Wetlands, as the celebrated venue was closing that month, then disbanded for nearly a decade.

After almost a decade apart, God Street Wine reunited privately in 2009 to honor an old friend who had passed away. A year later they joined together on the public stage for four New York concerts benefiting the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and in 2011 played on the Jam Cruise. Since then GSW continues to get together every now and then. They have played at Bob Weir's TRI Studios and Sweetwater Music Hall, rambles with Phil Lesh at Terrapin Crossroads, and various shows in the Northeastern US.



 
The New Mastersounds
@Union Stage | view more info »
Jul
11

The New Mastersounds



Thursday Jul 11|doors 7:30 pm|all ages
Union Stage|get directions »
740 Water Street SW
Washington DC|p: (877) 987-6487


The New Mastersounds

official band site »

In the late 1990’s, guitarist and producer Eddie Roberts was promoting a club night in Leeds called “The Cooker.” When The Cooker moved into a new venue with a second floor in 1999, there was space and the opportunity to put a live band together to complement the DJ sets. Simon Allen and Eddie had previously played together as The Mastersounds, though with a different bassist and no organ. Through friends and the intimate nature of the Leeds music scene, Pete Shand and Bob Birch were added on bass and Hammond respectively, and The New Mastersounds were born. Though it was raw, and more of a boogaloo sound at first, it was powerful from the start. Their first rehearsal was hot enough for Blow it Hard Records to release on two limited-edition 7” singles in 2000.

Fast-forward 19 years, and the band’s recorded catalogue boasts 24 more 7” singles, 13 studio albums, 3 live albums, 1 remix album and 3 compilation albums, released variously in UK, Japan, and USA - where they continue to tour extensively. Joe Tatton, another veteran of the Leeds scene, joined back in 2007, replacing Bob Birch on organ and piano.

As a band, and as individuals, they have collaborated with an impressive array of musicians, DJs and producers, including: Lou Donaldson, Corinne Bailey Rae, Quantic, Carleen Anderson, Keb Darge, Kenny Dope, Mr Scruff, LSK, Lack of Afro, Page McConnell, Grace Potter, Karl Denson, Melvin Sparks, Idris Muhammad, Fred Wesley, Pee-Wee Ellis, Maceo Parker, Bernard Purdie, George Porter Jr, Zigaboo Modeliste, Art Neville, Ernest Ranglin.

During a 2018 US tour, a sit-in by Atlanta-based vocalist Lamar Williams Jr turned heads, and the fit with NMS was so right that they pledged to make a record together. The resulting album was written and recorded in Denver, CO in December of that year and will be released in Fall 2019 on Eddie Roberts’ own Color Red label.

As an example of the respect this band commands, Peter Wermelinger - DJ, collector, and author of the crate-diggers’ bible The Funky & Groovy Music Lexicon - places the 2001 NMS track ‘Turn This Thing Around’ in his all-time top-ten tunes, along with the likes of Eddie Harris, Funkadelic, and Herbie Hancock. The New Mastersounds are at the very top of an elite selection of acts that bring the true soul out of funk.



 
Kendall Street Company
@Union Stage | view more info »
Aug
10

Kendall Street Company



Saturday Aug 10|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
Union Stage|get directions »
740 Water Street SW
Washington DC|p: (877) 987-6487


Kendall Street Company

official band site »

From late night jam sessions at the University of Virginia to the main stages of venues throughout the East Coast, the Company has broken out of the college bubble and into a world that loves to groove to a great live show. The band was founded in the early months of 2013 by guitarist/vocalist Louis Smith and saxophonist Andrew Drehoff. The duo had been playing together for some time in the greater Virginia Beach area, joined by a rotation of talented musicians who performed behind Louis as the Louis Smith Band. After moving to Charlottesville in late 2012 to attend the University of Virginia, the pair began putting together a group of student musicians, adding Brian Roy on bass/vocals and Ryan Wood on drums/percussion in early 2013. Since then, the band has added Andrew King on keyboards, Ben Laderberg on the electric guitar, and Jake Vanaman on saxophone.

Kendall Street Company performs regularly along the East Coast, maintaining a central presence around the state of Virginia. While the Company's music is influenced by a variety of musicians and styles, the group has been described as "psychedelic," "alternative," "jammy," "rock," "indie," and "ska". Their recent performance at the 2017 Lockn Music Festival was praised by Relix magazine as having "[raised] the crowd's energy with frontman Louis Smith and guitarist Ben Laderberg's acoustic/electric interplay and lively, technical breakdowns". It is not uncommon for guest performers to join the group on stage for extended jams.



 
Joe Russo's Almost Dead
@The Anthem | view more info »
Sep
28

Joe Russo's Almost Dead



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


Joe Russo's Almost Dead

official band site »

Joe Russo's Almost Dead is Scott Metzger, Tommy Hamilton, Dave Dreiwitz, Marco Benevento & Joe Russo.

"Not only does this quintet play tight and vicious versions of some of the most complex songs in the Grateful Dead's repertoire, but they play them with a rawness & energy absent from the stage since the 'Live' Dead era. More importantly, all of the jams are wild and incredibly adventurous. Russo's a beast behind the kit who's in the peak of his career. Metzger is a criminally underrated guitarist who has a chameleon-like ability to alter his sound to compliment any situation. Dreiwitz's intensity is unmatched by anyone, while Benevento spouts these crazy tones and layers of sound that mix the best of what each keyboardist in GD history brought to the band. Finally, add Hamilton, whose voice and biting leads help push this ensemble over the top." - Scott Bernstein, Jambase 9.12.13



 
Nahko And Medicine For The People
Ayla Nereo | @Lincoln Theatre | view more info »
Sep
29

Nahko And Medicine For The People

Ayla Nereo


Sunday Sep 29|doors 6:30 pm|all ages
Lincoln Theatre|get directions »
1215 U St NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 888-0050


Nahko And Medicine For The People

official band site »

Nahko And Medicine For The People continue to gather dedicated members of their global Medicine Tribe of likeminded fans as they spread their positive and powerful musical message around the nation on their Take Your Power Back headline tour this fall. Fans and critics alike praise the group's worldly blend of rock, hip-hop, and alt-folk with OC Weekly calling the group "empowering" and "powerful”, while The Huffington Post compared Nahko to Bob Marley and called him a "musical prophet". The October 2017 album ‘My Name is Bear’ premiered at #1 on iTunes and debuted on a number of Billboard charts, and the headline tour in support of the album boasted multiple sold-out dates throughout the USA and Europe. ‘My Name Is Bear’ is a 16-track collection that reflects the soul, authenticity, and spirit that Nahko And Medicine For The People’s Medicine Tribe has come to know and love. Their previous album ‘HOKA’, which was released in June 2016, sold over 8,000 units in its first week in the U.S. and debuted at #6 on the Billboard Alternative Albums Chart. The album went on to win Record of the Year at the Native American Music Awards later that year.

Nahko And Medicine For The People are firm believers in using music as a tool of empowerment to protect and preserve all of creation. They aim to inspire others to take a deeper role in protecting and preserving our planet, people, and the spirit in all of creation.

The band is thrilled to release new music in 2019 and continue their world tour this summer in advance of the Take Your Power Back fall headline tour, including stops at Bonnaroo, Glastonbury, Woodstock 50, Lockin’ Music Festival and more!


Ayla Nereo

official band site »

So sings the luminous singer, songwriter, poet and producer Ayla Nereo, who is spearheading a revolution within the new-folk and indie-electronic music communities, opening the hearts and minds of devoted audiences around the world with the clarion call of her powerful voice.

Every live performance with Ayla is its own inspired journey. Sometimes alone with an acoustic guitar and minimalist electronic accompaniment, other times armed with an array of loop-pedals and bandmates, Nereo is known for building layers upon layers of intricate vocal melodies into fierce, sweeping harmonies, weaving in syncopated threads of guitar, kalimba, piano, percussion, strings, celtic beats, even hip-hop wordplay.

Her timeless, genre-melding lyrical imagery is both authentic and anthemic. Mantras of hope and self-acceptance, odes to nature, healing and of course, love, her songs call us to listen deeper, to connect to ourselves, each other and the planet. Often compared vocally and lyrically to Joni Mitchell, her arrangements and stage presence are something more modern and fierce, a realness, energy and innocence closer to Aurora or Imogen Heap.

Raised with a spirit of wonder and a connection to magic, Nereo was "unschooled" by her music-loving parents in northwest Sonoma County, California until the age of 13. "My imagination was kept safely intact," Nereo says. Exposed to a wide variety of musical influences -- from Cat Stevens, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell to ABBA to Beethoven and Tchaikovsky, at age 9 she was already a proficient Suzuki method pianist and taught herself classical songs on piano by ear.

"I fantasized about making songs and singing," Nereo says, "but I had a strange paranoia I was tone-deaf, so I wrote it off as impossible, and stuck to dancing, filmmaking, and writing poetry and stories."

The nature-based experiential learning of her youth fostered her childlike wonder and creativity, but when she entered the school system, the former free-spirit found herself grappling with the stress of grades, body image issues and mental health. Ultimately that led her to study psychology at Stanford, from which she graduated with her BA in 2006.

After 8 years in the standard school system, Nereo had almost forgotten about her creative pursuits. Then she discovered Bob Dylan, listened to his lyrics "for hours and hours on end," and her poetry and songwriting were awoken. "Songs began to simply pour through," she says.

Terrified of singing for much of her life, "I had such a journey through fear and self-doubt about being seen and heard by others," says Nereo, "I know now this is a very deep pattern in most women, that fear of being hurt or killed for being powerful, because of the incredible trauma in our history when millions of women were burned for being healers and leaders." Luckily, those around her kept begging her to sing. "So I kept singing," she explains. "My voice emerged from hiding ... and slowly the fear was released."

A decade later, she's performed at festivals across the nation and internationally, including Symbiosis (OR), Lightning in a Bottle (CA), Rainbow Serpent (Australia), Beloved Festival (OR), ARISE (CO), Blessed Coast (Canada), Envision (Costa Rica), Unifier (MA), What The Festival (OR), Enchanted Forest Gathering (CA), Unify (NM), Imagine (WA), Sonic Bloom (CO), Lucidity (CA), Serenity Gathering (CA), and at Red Rocks Amphitheater.

She's also released ten albums: five solo albums, two Wildlight albums (the collaboration project of Ayla and The Polish Ambassador), one collaboration album with Mr Lif and The Polish Ambassador, and two albums with sibling project Beatbeat Whisper.

"Many of my songs are about trusting ourselves, allowing our innate power and beaming brightness to shine through," Nereo explains. Her songs also touch deeply on human beings' connection to -- and sometimes tragic disconnection from -- the natural world. A devoted ally of the planet, Nereo considers herself an earth guardian and "voice for the voiceless -- trees, animals and creatures, children, women who are silenced, the elements, and the unseen realms." Her most recent album, The Code of the Flowers, came in a vision, and is a spellbinding dedication to the plants and waters of the earth.

"I'm here to receive these songs and share them into the world," she says, "to be the vehicle for them to ignite the hope, wonder and fierce love needed to evolve in these times."

Ayla collaborates in music and life with her partner of 5 years, electronic music composer David Sugalski, aka The Polish Ambassador. They live off-grid on land in the mountains of northwest California, with their dog and two cats. She is currently working on two music videos and a new full-length album.


 
Jimmy Herring and The 5 of 7
@The Hamilton | view more info »
Oct
1

Jimmy Herring and The 5 of 7



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


Jimmy Herring and The 5 of 7

official band site »

Guitarist Jimmy Herring is no stranger to adventurous new environs: The North Carolina native has fearlessly honed his now-formidable technique via stints with some of the giants of improvised music -- from his earliest days in the van with Col. Bruce Hampton and the Aquarium Rescue Unit to high profile gigs with the Allman Brothers, The Dead, Project Z, Phil Lesh and Friends, and his ongoing role as lead guitarist in Widespread Panic. He recently collaborated with iconic guitarist John McLaughlin when Herring’s band The Invisible Whip joined McLaughlin’s 4th Dimension for an acclaimed run of shows celebrating the legacy of the Mahavishnu Orchestra. This fall, Herring unleashes his latest visionary concept upon the world: Jimmy Herring and The 5 of 7.

While the Invisible Whip focused on the instrumental side of Herring’s musical persona, the newly assembled The 5 of 7 places his uniquely probing, responsive fretwork in the context of a vocalist-fronted, song-driven ensemble. At once accessible and provocative, The 5 of 7 finds Herring joined by bassist Kevin Scott, drummer Darren Stanley, longtime collaborator Matt Slocum on keyboards (Hammond B3, clavinet), and vocalist and guitarist Rick Lollar. “Rick, Matt, and Kevin had a band together called King Baby,” explains Herring from his home in Atlanta, “and I heard their record...I couldn’t help but think, man, if I could get together, play some of Rick’s songs, some of my songs, some covers, and maybe write a few things together, we may be on to something…”

“In addition to being a fine guitar player, Rick is a really powerful singer,” Herring continues. “Some of his favorite singers are Donny Hathaway and Stevie Wonder, and those are some of my favorites, too.” Supporting Lollar’s soulful vocals, Herring, Scott, Slocum, and Stanley provide a roiling sonic undercurrent drawing from all walks of their respective musical journeys -- with one common thread: “We all have the Atlanta, Col. Bruce Hampton connection with each other,” Herring says, acknowledging their shared roots in Hampton’s spontaneous, dynamic, and challenging groups. “That’s important to me because it’s such a different thing -- if you’ve been through that school, you want to play with people who have been through that too...you understand how to think on your feet and exist in the moment.”

From fatback, roadhouse R&B to more expansive, jazz-inflected explorations, The 5 of 7 demonstrates Herrings chops not just as a musician, but as a bandleader and catalyst. The novel vocal element is just one more texture at his disposal. “With instrumental music,” he reflects, “people expect to hear your solos, but they’ve just heard you play the melody! You can overexpose your voice. With Rick, I can play behind him, then step out with a solo, and give a fresh feeling to the song -- take it to another place.”

Setting out on the road this September, Jimmy Herring is typically modest when describing what audiences can expect from The 5 of 7: “There’ll be vocals, there’ll be instrumentals. There will be funk and rock and roll, with some songs leaning towards more sophisticated harmony...but, to me, it’s just music.”



 
Perpetual Groove
@9:30 club | view more info »
Oct
11

Perpetual Groove



Friday Oct 11|doors 10:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


Perpetual Groove

official band site »

Rising out of Savannah, GA in 2001, Perpetual Groove has grown quickly into a formidable international touring organization. Now based in Athens, GA, the band continues to ride an unending wave of momentum buoyed by an enthusiastic fan base and international critical acclaim. Fans of Perpetual Groove (or PGroove, as the fans like to call them) are known to follow the band from state to state, night to night, to experience their euphoric live show that features an ever changing set-list. Perpetual Groove's music has evolved into a genre-bending, highly original sound that touches upon jazz-rock, neo-psychedelia, R&B, trance electronica, progressive rock, and anthemic arena rock. Their large catalog of original music offers something for everyone, but the band is also known for their eclectic range of covers; including everything from Michael Jackson's "Thriller" to Rage Against The Machine's "Bulls On Parade". The addition of an intense, retina burning, intelligent light show creates an atmosphere unlike any other, assuring fans they'll get a highly polished, yet different show each night.

Perpetual Groove released their first album, Sweet Oblivious Antidote, in 2003 on Harmonized Records after their first year of solid touring. Besides being the top seller for The Home Grown Music Network that year (it out-sold releases by Phish, Widespread Panic, and others), it was also voted HGMN Top Fan Pick for 2003. The buzz only got bigger on the 2004 follow-up record, All This Everything, which was produced by Grammy award-winner Robert Hannon.

LiveLoveDie, their third record was released in March of 2007 and represents a significant evolutionary departure in style for Perpetual Groove. Teaming up once again with Hannon and Tree Sound Studios, the band set forth to create a darker sonic landscape without sacrificing too much of that "PGroove quality" thanks in part to Butler's warm, soaring vocals. HEAL, released in 2010, firmly established Perpetual Groove as more than a jamband with its focus on well-crafted songs. Honey Cuts, an EP released later in 2010, is the most accurate representation of the band's current sound, especially on the track "Cairo."

Perpetual Groove continues to tour relentlessly throughout the United States and is a staple in the US festival scene with performances at All Good Music Festival, Gathering of the Vibes, Wakarusa, Bonnaroo, Jam Cruise, High Sierra, Jazz Fest, Riverbend and their own annual gathering, Amberland. The band has also made appearances at International events such as Jam in the Dam and Caribbean Holidaze. Perpetual Groove continues to push the envelope in the music industry, touring behind the first ever 5.1 surround sound system and producing the first album to be completely offset by renewable energy credits.



 
Lettuce
Antibalas | Ghost-Note | @The Anthem | view more info »
Nov
22

Lettuce

Antibalas
Ghost-Note

Friday Nov 22|doors 6:00 pm|all ages
The Anthem|get directions »
901 WHARF ST SW, WASHINGTON, DC 20024|p: (202) 265-0930


Lettuce

official band site »

LETTUCE is (a) the prime ingredient in a salad, (b) a slang for cash, (c) a green herb that can be smoked, (d) a genre-busting six-member funk/jazz/soul/jam/psychedelic/hip-hop/art-rock/ambient/ avant-garde/experimental collective formed in 1992 by four alumni of the prestigious Berklee College Of Music, or (e) all of the above.

If you answered “e,” then you’re on to the ever-changing musical palette and all-inclusive goals of LETTUCE’s sixth studio album, Elevate, and its ongoing re-interpretation of the band’s name as “Let Us.” In their earliest days as students, they would roam the cities of the Northeast, and implore others to “Let Us play.” Starting with their 2002 debut album, the phrase has been affixed to their first four albums, as in (Let Us) Outta Here (2002), (Let Us) Rage! (2008), (Let Us) Fly! (2012) and (Let Us) Crush (2015). Elevate (2019) is the band’s first studio album since 2016’s Mt. Crushmore and the follow-up to its 2017 live effort, Witches Stew.

Recorded at Colorado Sound outside of Denver, near the home of New York transplants and band co-founders, guitarist Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff and percussionist Adam Deitch, with legendary engineer Russ Elevado (D’Angelo, The Roots, Erykah Badu), Elevate shows LETTUCE touching on its past while moving full force into the future. The band explores its funk roots in the Tower of Power like punch of “Ready to Live” (the cover of a song by Cold Blood’s Lydia Pense), the Prince-like swagger of “Royal Highness” and the OG blues-soul of “Love Is Too Strong,” while expanded trip-hop sounds of the space age audio-scapes like “Trapezoid,” “Gang 10” and “Purple Cabbage” show the influence of sax player Ryan Zoidis’ Korg X-911 synths and Nigel Hall’s Rhodes keyboards.

“This album definitely stretches the boundaries,” says chief composer/percussionist Deitch, whose chance meeting with co-founder “Shmeeans” while 16-year-olds at a summer camp before their freshmen year of college proved momentous. “The idea was to keep exploring the different areas of funk and hip-hop beats, then writing melodies to those songs that made sense.”

The more progressive/spacey vibe, with elements of Pink Floyd, the Grateful Dead, Eno and Miles Davis, also comes naturally to the band, according to founding member and bassist Erick “Jesus” Coomes, an Orange County native whose father, Tommy Coomes, is a successful musician with a number of albums to his credit.

“We’re big improvisational music and arts fans,” Erick says. “We consider them part of the same world. It’s like painting live with five other people, one arm and a single brush.”

Guitarist Shmeeans compares the group’s eclectic, free-wheeling approach to “the modern NBA and its position-less basketball,” Nigel Hall, the band’s resident singer, also takes vocals on the album’s two covers, Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” (one of the album’s two focus tracks, along with “Krewe”) and Lydia Pense’s “Ready to Live.” “As long as you listen, play your part and remember where the ‘one’ is, you can thrive in this band,” says Nigel.

Trumpet and horn-player Eric “Benny” Bloom, a Rhode Island native who has been a full-time member of LETTUCE since 2011, notes, “This isn’t just a funk band anymore. We’re playing every style of music in every song. You can’t categorize it. We have the freedom to do whatever we want that’s appropriate for the song.”

Much of the futuristic, yet warm and analog feel, of Elevate can be attributed to sax player, Portland, ME native and co-founding member Ryan Zoidis, who continued to explore the limits of his new toy, a vintage Korg X-911 synth. “I was still figuring it out on the last album, trouble-shooting how it would work,” says Ryan. “It’s responsible not just for the ways the band has changed musically, but it’s improved my life in general. It’s great to have have a lot more options with my sound rather than just relying on the one standard timbre of the dry saxophone. There are now a bunch of different voices I can pull up.” He points to “Trapezoid” as a piece for which he recorded himself playing the synth over a click track and then sent to Deitch, who turned it into the song on the album.

Other album highlights include Smirnoff’s nod to Carlos Santana and Trey Anastasio on the Latin-flavored and playfully named “Shmink Dabby,” the spaghetti western meets ‘60s Ethiopian funk by way of the French Ethiopiques compilation albums in the focus track, “Krewe” and the Marcus King cameo vocal on the B.B. King/Al Green gospel blues of “Love Is Too Strong.” The latter is reminiscent of other guest appearances in the past by the likes of John Scofield and Fred Wesley on LETTUCE’s debut, Outta Here, or Dwele on Rage!

“There’s always something new to be learned as musicians and as people,” adds Shmeeans. “We’re trying to get a little bit better every day.”

Says Ryan: “We realize more and more that this band is a gift we’ve been given. Everyone contributes, like a successful sports team. We’ve really become family over the years. We’ve known there was magic in this from the moment we first got together as 16-year-olds.”

That magic continues to grow with the band’s new album, a democratic ensemble in which there is no leader, but a complete unit that functions as a single entity, with plenty of moving parts. All together now… Let us Elevate.


Antibalas

official band site »

Formed in Brooklyn, the musical collective known as Antibalas’ new studio album, Where The Gods Are In Peace, is an epic Afro-Western Trilogy searching for solace from American political opportunism, greed and vengeance. Through its battle cry of resistance against exploitation and displacement, Antibalas’ long-form compositions investigate oppression in 1800s America that eerily mirror the current state of the country. Three explosive original arrangements cultivate an urgent call to heal a broken system. Ultimately, the sonic excursion lands on an island where love is our first instinct. A new ideology is born opening our hearts to the possibilities of living as one unified people, where all gods are equal and together we prevail.

True to traditional form, Where The Gods Are In Peace pays respect to the forefathers of Afrobeat with compositions spanning nine to 15 minutes in length. With a blessing from the Fela Kuti legacy early in the band’s career, Antibalas has long been revered for re-popularizing the classic Afrobeat sound while adding their distinct New York City grit to the mix. Influences of punk rock, free jazz, and hip-hop seep into their expansive works to define a truly 21st century translation of the Afrobeat genre and beyond.

Antibalas is a force of nature celebrated by both music connoisseurs and a wide array of renowned artists alike. Antibalas has served as the backing band for high profile tribute shows at Carnegie Hall, including Music of Paul Simon (2014), Music of David Byrne & Talk Heads (2015), and Music of Aretha Franklin (2017). Antibalas members have also appeared alongside some of today’s biggest stars, such as Beyonce, The Roots, Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, Angelique Kidjo, Zap Mama, Femi Kuti, Seun Kuti, Tony Allen, Davido, Arcade Fire, Lady Antebellum, and many others. In 2012, Antibalas made their late night television debut on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and have appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Ghost-Note

official band site »

HEADED BY SNARKY PUPPY’S MULTI-GRAMMY–WINNING PERCUSSION DUO OF ROBERT “SPUT” SEARIGHT AND NATE WERTH, GHOST-NOTE IS AN EXPLOSION OF SOUND. WITH AN EXPANSIVE ROSTER OF NEXT-LEVEL MUSICIANS—REPRESENTING MEMBERS OF PRINCE, SNOOP DOGG, ERYKAH BADU, HERBIE HANCOCK, KENDRICK LAMAR, MARCUS MILLER, TOTO, JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, AND MORE—THE BAND IS PUSHING FUNK MUSIC INTO THE FUTURE, BUILDING ON THE UPLIFTING, PIONEERING FOUNDATIONS LAID OUT BY THE LIKES OF JAMES BROWN AND SLY & THE FAMILY STONE AND INFUSING THEIR FRESH TAKE WITH TASTES OF AFROBEAT, HIP-HOP, PSYCHEDELIA, WORLD FOLKLORE, AND MORE.

WITH THE RELEASE OF 2018’S SWAGISM, GHOST-NOTE HAS MADE THEIR MISSION CLEAR. THE ALBUM PUTS RHYTHM AT THE FOREFRONT, WITH IRRESISTIBLE, HEAVY-HITTING BEATS UNDERLYING THE GROUP’S WILD, RICH MUSIC. FEATURING NUMEROUS GUEST COLLABORATORS, INCLUDING KAMASI WASHINGTON, KARL DENSON, BOBBY SPARKS, NIGEL HALL, TAZ, AND OTHERS, SWAGISM SHOWCASES THE BAND’S STUNNING ABILITY TO MELD AND AMPLIFY SOUNDS, ULTIMATELY ADDING TO GHOST-NOTE’S SHARP, COMPLEX COLLABORATIONS.

FEARLESS, BOTH IN SWAGISM’S SONIC DEPTH AND CONSCIOUS SOCIAL COMMENTARY, THE BAND EASILY TRANSLATES THIS ADVENTUROUSNESS IN A LIVE SETTING. GHOST-NOTE’S LIVE PERFORMANCES ARE BOLD AND IN YOUR FACE, WITH THE GROUP OFFERING UP NONE OF THE TIGHT-LACED PRETENSES FREQUENTLY ASSOCIATED WITH THE BAND’S JAZZ ROOTS. FOCUSED ON CREATING SEDUCTIVE DANCEABLE GROOVES AND A CONTAGIOUS FEEL-GOOD ENERGY, EACH SHOW IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO LET LOOSE AND CONNECT, FOR BOTH FANS AND THE MUSICIANS ALIKE.

AFTER FORMING IN 2015, GHOST-NOTE HAS ALREADY BEGUN TO TAKE THE WORLD BY STORM. THE GROUP’S TWO STUDIO ALBUMS—2018’S SWAGISM AND 2015’S FORTIFIED—HAVE EARNED CRITICAL ACCLAIM AND POPULAR SUCCESS AROUND THE GLOBE, WITH BOTH ALBUMS HITTING THE #1 SPOT ON THE ITUNES JAZZ CHARTS. FURTHERMORE, THE EVER-GROWING FAMILY OF MUSICIANS HAS MOUNTED SUCCESSFUL HEADLINING TOURS IN THE UNITED STATES, CANADA, AND JAPAN AND PERFORMED AT HIGH-PROFILE INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVALS AND EVENTS.