Joe Russo's Almost Dead
@9:30 club | view more info »
Feb
10

Joe Russo's Almost Dead



Wednesday Feb 10|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|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



 
Lotus
Michal Menert & The Pretty Fantastics | @Rams Head Live | view more info »
Feb
10

Lotus

Michal Menert & The Pretty Fantastics


Wednesday Feb 10|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
Rams Head Live|get directions »
20 Market Place
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 244-1131


Lotus

official band site »

Lotus has crafted a unique musical style outside of simple genre limitations. On a given weekend the band could be the only group with guitars at an all electronic music festival and then the next night crash a traditional rock festival with their dance heavy beats, synths and samples. Equal parts instrumental post-rock and electronic dance, the band’s distinguishing feature is the ability to maintain a decidedly unique musical voice and remain current while bucking passing trends.

No matter what the venue, the energetic joy and catharsis of a Lotus show is infectious. The band slowly built a devoted fan base through steady touring and the crowds have grown at an increasing pace. This grassroots growth has made the band in high demand for festivals including Bonnaroo, Outside Lands, Ultra, and Rothbury and earned the band sold out shows at the country’s premier theatres and clubs.


Michal Menert & The Pretty Fantastics

official band site »

Michal Menert is an electronic music artist and producer based in Denver, Colorado. Throughout his youth, his father exposed him to a wide variety of Eastern and Western music, giving Menert fertile soil in which to plant his musical visions. His passion for original analog sounds coupled with a vast knowledge of music history has given him an even larger platform from which to produce. A multi-instrumentalist, he incorporates live guitar and keys into his final production for a full sound and rich feel. By tapping into the world of music that surrounds him, Menert twists and turns day-to-day inspirations into music that is all his own.


 
The Devil Makes Three
Langhorne Slim | @9:30 club | view more info »
sold out
Feb
13

The Devil Makes Three

Langhorne Slim


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


The Devil Makes Three

official band site »

“There’s a road that goes out of every town. All you’ve got to do is get on it,” Pete Bernhard says.

The Devil Makes Three’s travels and travails serve as inspiration for their fourth album and their New West Records debut, I’m a Stranger Here, produced by Buddy Miller and recorded at Dan Auerbach’s (Black Keys) Easy Eye Sound Studio in Nashville. With a slightly punky perspective on vintage American blues, The Devil Makes Three is a breath offresh musical air. Laced with elements of ragtime, country, folk and rockabilly, the critically praised, drummer-less trio – consisting ofguitarist/frontman Pete Bernhard, stand-up bassist Lucia Turino and guitarist Cooper McBean – brings forth a genuine approach to acoustic music that is deeply steeped in rhythm.

Sourcing blues and throwing in fierce finger- picking guitar, a little slide, tenor banjo and rocking upright bass, The Devil Makes Three create a multi-spanned bridge between musical styles. Their vocal harmonies wind tightly around original songs and breathe life into favorite covers. It all pours forth from a timeless pulse that pulls you to the past, flies you to the future and lands you on the dance floor.

Since releasing their first album in 2002, The Devil Makes Three has played nationwide to raving, capacity crowds whose enthusiastic support has guaranteed the band a sizable and loyal following.


Langhorne Slim

official band site »

Sometimes, truth can’t be explained. But it can be felt, running wild through a song. “I don’t want to tame myself. I want to be wild,” says Langhorne Slim. “If I can continue to refine the wildness but never suffocate or tame it, then I’m on the right path. Because it is a path. I feel it.”

The Spirit Moves is Langhorne’s newest artistic attempt to refine the wildness. The result is an effervescent collection of his now-signature, cinematic, joyful noise, rooted in folk, soul, and blues. Out on Dualtone Records on August 7th, 2015, the album marks his second with rock-solid band The Law, and the highly anticipated follow-up to 2012’s critically acclaimed The Way We Move.

The Spirit Moves is a stunning portrait of Langhorne’s life in transition: the “born to be in motion and follow the sun” rambler found a home in Nashville, Tennessee. While he’s put down roots in a place, he’s unattached to a person, single for the first time in recent memory. The Spirit Moves is also the first album of his career written and recorded entirely sober. Together, the record’s beautiful glimpses of bold beginnings and risks taken create an ode not only to a better life, but to the vulnerability needed to live it.


 
The Devil Makes Three
Langhorne Slim | @9:30 club | view more info »
Feb
14

The Devil Makes Three

Langhorne Slim


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


The Devil Makes Three

official band site »

“There’s a road that goes out of every town. All you’ve got to do is get on it,” Pete Bernhard says.

The Devil Makes Three’s travels and travails serve as inspiration for their fourth album and their New West Records debut, I’m a Stranger Here, produced by Buddy Miller and recorded at Dan Auerbach’s (Black Keys) Easy Eye Sound Studio in Nashville. With a slightly punky perspective on vintage American blues, The Devil Makes Three is a breath offresh musical air. Laced with elements of ragtime, country, folk and rockabilly, the critically praised, drummer-less trio – consisting ofguitarist/frontman Pete Bernhard, stand-up bassist Lucia Turino and guitarist Cooper McBean – brings forth a genuine approach to acoustic music that is deeply steeped in rhythm.

Sourcing blues and throwing in fierce finger- picking guitar, a little slide, tenor banjo and rocking upright bass, The Devil Makes Three create a multi-spanned bridge between musical styles. Their vocal harmonies wind tightly around original songs and breathe life into favorite covers. It all pours forth from a timeless pulse that pulls you to the past, flies you to the future and lands you on the dance floor.

Since releasing their first album in 2002, The Devil Makes Three has played nationwide to raving, capacity crowds whose enthusiastic support has guaranteed the band a sizable and loyal following.


Langhorne Slim

official band site »

Sometimes, truth can’t be explained. But it can be felt, running wild through a song. “I don’t want to tame myself. I want to be wild,” says Langhorne Slim. “If I can continue to refine the wildness but never suffocate or tame it, then I’m on the right path. Because it is a path. I feel it.”

The Spirit Moves is Langhorne’s newest artistic attempt to refine the wildness. The result is an effervescent collection of his now-signature, cinematic, joyful noise, rooted in folk, soul, and blues. Out on Dualtone Records on August 7th, 2015, the album marks his second with rock-solid band The Law, and the highly anticipated follow-up to 2012’s critically acclaimed The Way We Move.

The Spirit Moves is a stunning portrait of Langhorne’s life in transition: the “born to be in motion and follow the sun” rambler found a home in Nashville, Tennessee. While he’s put down roots in a place, he’s unattached to a person, single for the first time in recent memory. The Spirit Moves is also the first album of his career written and recorded entirely sober. Together, the record’s beautiful glimpses of bold beginnings and risks taken create an ode not only to a better life, but to the vulnerability needed to live it.


 
The Soul Rebels Sound System feat. Talib Kweli
@9:30 club | view more info »
Feb
18

The Soul Rebels Sound System feat. Talib Kweli



Thursday Feb 18|doors 10:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


The Soul Rebels Sound System feat. Talib Kweli

official band site »

THE SOUL REBELS will embark on a four date tour with the legendary TALIB KWELI. The project entitled “The Soul Rebels Sound System ft Talib Kweli”, will perform in East Coast markets including Philadelphia (2/17/16), Washington DC (2/18/16), Fairfield CT (2/19/16), and Boston (2/20/16).

One of The Soul Rebels’ foremost missions is to collaborate and perform live with artists they respect and admire. “It’s an absolute honor and privilege to collaborate with the great Talib Kweli, an artist we’ve all looked up to and been true fans of for years. Talib is an inspiration to us as artists. As an activist, he’s someone we truly look up to. Talib is certainly one of my favorite mcs, and we’ve been following his career since the early Blackstar days”, says The Soul Rebels’ drummer and founder Lumar Leblanc.



 
Anders Osborne
Amy Helm and The Handsome Strangers | @9:30 club | view more info »
Feb
19

Anders Osborne

Amy Helm and The Handsome Strangers


Friday Feb 19|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


Anders Osborne

official band site »

Between the potency of his richly detailed songwriting, his intensely emotional, soulful vocals and his piercing, expert guitar work, New Orleans’ Anders Osborne is a true musical treasure. He is among the most original and visionary musicians writing and performing today. Guitar Player calls him “the poet laureate of Louisiana’s fertile roots music scene.” New Orleans' Gambit Weekly recently honored Osborne as the Entertainer Of The Year. OffBeat named him the Crescent City’s Best Guitarist for the third year in a row, and the Best Songwriter for the second straight year. Osborne also won Song Of The Year for his composition, Louisiana Gold.

Since the release of his 2010 Alligator Records debut, American Patchwork, his 2012 follow-up, Black Eye Galaxy, his critically acclaimed EP Three Free Amigos, and 2013’s Peace, Osborne has earned hordes of new fans. He has toured virtually non-stop, either with his road-tested trio, as a solo artist, or as a guest with his countless musical admirers, including Toots and The Maytals, Stanton Moore, Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes, Keb Mo, The Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh and Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe. He’s appeared on Galactic’s Ya-Ka-May album, and in 2011 produced and played on critically acclaimed albums by Tab Benoit, Johnny Sansone and Mike Zito.

Since his recording debut in 1989, Osborne has written virtually all of his own material and contributed memorable songs to a wide variety of artists. Two tunes co-written by Osborne appear on Keb Mo’s Grammy-winning 1999 release Slow Down. Country superstar Tim McGraw scored a #1 hit with Anders’ song Watch The Wind Blow By. Osborne’s compositions have been covered by artists as diverse as Brad Paisley, Tab Benoit, Jonny Lang and Kim Carnes. His songs have appeared in multiple feature films. He can also be seen performing in an episode of HBO’s New Orleans-based drama, Treme.


Amy Helm and The Handsome Strangers

official band site »

"I'm just trying to tell some stories as honestly as I can," Amy Helm says of Didn't It Rain, her first solo album and her eOne Music debut.

Although the personally charged, organically soulful Didn't It Rain is her first release under her own name, Amy Helm has been making music for most of her life. She's already won widespread praise as a singer, songwriter and live performer, first as a member of the celebrated alt­country collective Ollabelle and subsequently for her extensive work with her father, musical icon Levon Helm, who passed away in 2012.

Blessed with a commanding, deeply expressive voice and an uncanny songwriting skill that instinctively draws upon a deep well of American musical traditions, Amy Helm delivers a timelessly powerful statement with Didn't It Rain.

The spellbinding dozen­song set is rooted in first­person experience, exploring universal themes of life, love and loss on such musically and emotionally resonant originals as the smoldering soul ballad "Rescue Me," the hushed, lilting "Deep Water," the meditative "Roll Away" and the stark, haunting "Wild Girl." Complementing Helm's originals are her personalized takes on the Sam Cooke classic "Good News" and the traditional title track, which she delivers with the heartfelt gospel urgency that's always been an element of her vocal persona.

Accompanying Helm on Didn't It Rain is an impressive roster of players and singers that demonstrates the esteem in which the artist is held by her peers. Helm's former Ollabelle bandmate Byron Isaacs, who produced the album, co­wrote the majority of the songs with Helm, and is featured as one­third of Helm's current live trio the Handsome Strangers, playing bass alongside guitarist Daniel Littleton and drummer David Berger. Also contributing their talents are Little Feat keyboardist Bill Payne; guitarists Larry Campbell, Chris Masterson and Jim Weider; keyboardists Marco Benevento, John Medeski and Brian Mitchell; and guest backup vocalists Carolyn Leonhart, Elizabeth Mitchell, Allison Moorer, Catherine Russell and Teresa Williams.

Didn't It Rain also marked the final recording sessions of Levon Helm, who acted as the project's executive producer as well as adding his unmistakable drumming on three tracks; Levon's distinctive count­off can be heard kicking off Amy's rousing take on Martha Scanlan's "Spend Our Last Dime."

Helm had originally planned to release her solo debut a bit sooner, but chose to substantially rework the album that she initially recorded, recutting more than half of the songs with the road­tested Handsome Strangers.

"That was kind of a reckless move financially, and it's resulted in the album coming out two years later than I originally thought it would, but it was the right thing to do," she acknowledges. "When I started the record, I'd never done a gig under my own name, and I was still getting comfortable with the idea of being a solo artist. I thought I'd finished the record, but then I started going out on the road, and the stuff that we were doing live was so much stronger thanwhat I had recorded, and I started feeling more confidence and focus. So we went back in the studio, with no money and no budget, and found a way to do it and get it right."

Many of Didn't It Rain's songs are the product of an extended period during which the artist endured a series of personal trials and life changes, including the April 2012 passing of her father and chief musical mentor.

"The past few years have been profoundly transformative for me, so I wanted to tell some of those stories as honestly as I could," she asserts. "I thought about the people I had lost, and things that had fallen apart and things that were coming together, and that influenced the way I sang these songs."

Amy Helm began connecting with audiences early in life, playing her first gig in her early teens in a Manhattan bar and drifting informally through a series of combos before her father recruited her to join his live band. She also absorbed musical and personal inspiration from her mother, noted singer/songwriter Libby Titus; and her stepfather, Steely Dan co­mastermind Donald Fagen, who offered Amy additional opportunities to find herself as a performer.

"I always did gigs through high school and college," she explains, "but my fears and insecurities kept me from committing to it. That's when my dad became a huge influence; he scooped me up when I was in my mid ­20s and put me in this blues band. I was very, very green, but I got my road­dog status with him. It was like walking through fire every time I got on stage, but it forced me to decide if I wanted to do this. And I decided that I absolutely wanted to do it."

Amy's vocal and songwriting talents soon found a home in the New York­ based Ollabelle, whose three acclaimed albums and countless live gigs saw her evolve into a confident, charismatic performer. She also resumed her musical collaboration with her father, singing and playing in his band, playing on and co­producing his Grammy­ winning 2007 comeback album Dirt Farmer, and helping to organize the now­legendary Midnight Ramble concerts at Levon's home studio in Woodstock, NY.

"He was the best teacher, in so many ways," Amy says of her father. "He wasn't interested in overthinking anything; all he cared about was playing music. He saw himself as a working musician, and it was serious business and it had to be right. Playing side by side with him in the Ramble band for ten years, and building those shows with him, really changed the way I approached things, and his humility influenced and shaped me as a musician, as it did everyone who played with him."

With Didn't It Rain reintroducing her to the world as a solo artist, Helm says that her immediate plan is "to just get out and play as many gigs as possible. I think that the job of a musician is to try and shake people out of their own heads for an hour or two, and bring some joy into the world. So I want to get out there and do the job the best I can."


 
Moon Hooch
Box Era | @U Street Music Hall | view more info »
Feb
24

Moon Hooch

Box Era


Wednesday Feb 24|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
U Street Music Hall|get directions »
1115 U Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 588-1880


Moon Hooch

official band site »

Moon Hooch captured the imaginations of thousands with its infamous stints busking on subway platforms and elsewhere in New York City: two sax players and a drummer whipping up furious, impromptu raves. This happened with such regularity at the Bedford Ave station in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, that the band was banned from playing there by the NYPD. The trio’s subsequent tours with They Might Be Giants, Lotus, and Galactic as well as on their own have only broadened the band’s appeal. Wherever Moon Hooch plays, a dance party soon follows.

Hornblow Recordings and Palmetto Records are now proud to release Moon Hooch’s second album, This Is Cave Music, on Sept 16, 2014. The title refers to the term Moon Hooch coined to describe their unique sound: like house music, but more primitive and jagged and raw. Horn players Mike Wilbur and Wenzl McGowen do this by utilizing unique tonguing methods, or adding objects — cardboard or PVC tubes, traffic cones, whatever’s handy — to the bells of their horns to alter their sound. Not to be outdone, drummer James Muschler gets swelling, shimmering sounds from his cymbals, and covers the head of his snare with a stack of splash cymbals to emulate the sound of a Roland TR-808 drum machine’s clap.

Wilbur was raised in Massachusetts, and Muschler in Ohio; McGowen grew up in several different European countries. The three met while students at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City, and they found in each other a common work ethic and holistic philosophy. Moon Hooch are committed to environmental and agricultural sustainability, and they’re such fans of Michael Pollan’s groundbreaking The Omnivore’s Dilemma that they visited the farm that Pollan profiled in the book, Polyface Farms, in rural Virginia while on tour in 2013. Moon Hooch literally caused a stampede when they set up and played their song “Tubes” in the pasture as cattle swirled in the background. (The trio lived to tell the tale, and the “Cattle Dance Party” video has been viewed nearly 200,000 times and counting on YouTube.) Muschler also maintains a blog called Cooking in the Cave (cookinginthecave.net) where he chronicles the band’s vegan tour-van culinary endeavours — it’s amazing what these guys can do with a hot plate.

While their self-titled first album, which cracked the top 10 of Billboard’s Jazz Albums chart, approximated the band’s acoustic approach to dance music, This Is Cave Music takes their cave music hybrid further into electronic and pop music realms with synthesizers, post-production work, and even singing added to the mix. “We aren’t trying to do it for the sake of reaching a wider audience,” McGowen points out. “We are doing it because it’s where our passion has evolved to. This album is a culmination of that.”

The source material was, like the first album, mostly recorded at The Bunker Studio in Brooklyn by Jacob Bergson, with McGowen on contrabass clarinet and baritone saxophone, Wilbur on tenor saxophone and vocals, and Muschler anchoring things on percussion. Everyone was involved in the digital additions. “We spent a lot of time on tour producing the set, running all the live sound through Ableton software, and manipulating the studio sound on our computer while in the car,” Wilbur explains. “We could just pass the computer around and work on it for hours.”

The album opens with the old school “No. 6” where Wilbur wails on digitally modified tenor saxophone as McGowen anchors the low end with contrabass clarinet, providing those shifting acid house bass sounds. As always, Muschler provides tasty, precise beats and fills.

Things turn to straight up new wave on “Mountain Song” with Wilbur’s dreamy vocals alongside icy synthesizers and machine-like drumbeats with contrabass clarinet filling the backdrop. Celebrating the band’s love of Depeche Mode, “Rainy Day” is a classic synth-pop love song where Wilbur actually recorded his vocals in the van after a gig in North Carolina while on tour with Mike Doughty.

The circular sounding “St. Louis” is the final of three synth-pop road tunes written by the horn players. (The tour stop that gave the song its name was also memorable because Muschler cut his hand wide open while making dinner backstage. The drummer played that show in St. Louis and many that followed with one hand.) This is the band at its most anthemic with Wilbur on vocals and sax, McGowen on contrabass clarinet and a now-healed Muschler on drums. “5-Sax Piece” uses multiple sax overdubs from Wilbur to create a polytonal, synthesizer-like backdrop, while elsewhere, McGowen’s Electronic Wind Instrument (EWI) synthesizer can be heard at various times, most notably on the track that bears its name.

The album closes with a suite of songs that fit together so well that they are usually a closing sequence of the band’s live set. Written by Muschler, the first chord of “Bari 3” features the lowest note of both the baritone and tenor saxophone and moves on from there to more traditional Moon Hooch fare. Sliding in behind it is the trance music-like “Why Not,” which was written by Wilbur. The idea here was to write a two-note melody and see how far the band could take it, which is quite far into minimalist house music. “Contra Dubstep” follows with Wilbur singing, rapping even playing slide whistle.

The finale is one of the band’s most popular and infamous songs. A live YouTube video for “Milk and Waffles,” finds the band playing in the middle of a freeway bridge; while no cars ever pass, Muschler was so overwhelmed by the moment that he closed the song by taking off his clothes, trashing his drum kit and walking away.

Listening to this music, it’s easy to become emotionally invested. It may not always prompt you to strip off your clothes, but the emotional impact on both the musicians and their fans is visceral and undeniable.


Box Era

official band site »

Box Era is a four-piece, electro-funk-pop jam band hailing from Frederick + College Park, Maryland.

From basement DIY shows to local bars and venues, Box Era is spreading their funky tunes around the DMV area. Their unique sound is a combination of new-tech and traditional musical elements, with a penchant for instrumental jam-band breakdowns and dance-friendly choruses. A small band with a big sound, Box Era is guaranteed to bring groovy vibes and good times to all.


 
Pink Talking Fish
@The Hamilton | view more info »
Feb
25

Pink Talking Fish



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


Pink Talking Fish

official band site »

Pink Talking Fish is a Hybrid Tribute Fusion Act that takes the music from three of the world's most beloved bands and creates a special treat for fans of the music.

Pink Floyd, The Talking Heads and Phish are all more than just bands... they are Phenomenons. Their creations have artistically inspired people and their mindblowing live performances have brought people together to form a special sense of community around the love for their favorite band.

Although the music from each act is different, Pink Talking Fish has discovered that fusing the material together creates an amazing story. The epic emotion of Pink Floyd.... The funky, danceable layerings of The Talking Heads.... The multitude of styles, unique compositional structures and pure fun of Phish.... to merge these three into one gives music lovers a special experience.

Pink Talking Fish features Eric Gould on bass, Richard James on keyboards, Zack Burwick on drums and Dave Brunyak on guitar. This is a band created by musicians who love the music of these acts. It's purpose is to heighten people's passion for this music by creating something fresh and exciting for fans.

Discovering connections is part of the fun: Pink Floyd's "On The Run" seamlessly fitting in the middle of the composition of Phish's "You Enjoy Myself". Perfectly placing Phish's "Sand" into the groove of The Talking Head's "Slippery People". Segued collections from all three acts such as Run Like Hell > Making Flippy Floppy > Piper > Run Like Hell or Mike's Song > Have A Cigar > Once In A Lifetime > Weekapaug Groove. These ideas are the spirit behind Pink Talking Fish.

The story is ever evolving. The experience is always exciting. Come join Pink Talking Fish for the ultimate fusion tribute and celebrate the love of this music in unique fashion.



 
BoomBox
Bits & Pieces Tour
Ben Silver (Orchard Lounge) | @9:30 club | view more info »
Feb
26

BoomBox
Bits & Pieces Tour

Ben Silver (Orchard Lounge)


Friday Feb 26|doors 10:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


BoomBox
Bits & Pieces Tour

official band site »

BoomBox, the electronic duo compromised of versatile producers, DJs, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalists Russ Randolph and Zion Rock Godchaux, are currently in the studio putting the finishing touches on their follow-up to 2014’s Filling In The Color. Look for further exploration of the bands’ signature sound, an electronic blend of soulful Rock and Blues based dance music incorporating Backbeat, Psychedelia and Funky House sounds.


Ben Silver (Orchard Lounge)

official band site »

DJ Set by Ben Silver of Orchard Lounge


 
All Good and Dale's Pale Ale present
Steep Canyon Rangers
Only Lonesome | @9:30 club | view more info »
Feb
26

All Good and Dale's Pale Ale present
Steep Canyon Rangers

Only Lonesome


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


All Good and Dale's Pale Ale present
Steep Canyon Rangers

official band site »

What does North Carolina sound like?

In a state that’s also produced Doc Watson, James Taylor and the Avett Brothers, there’s hardly a more well-rounded answer than the Steep Canyon Rangers.

A bluegrass band at their core, the Steep Canyon Rangers effortlessly walk the line between festival favorite and sophisticated string orchestra. They’re as danceable as the most progressive, party-oriented string band, and equally comfortable translating their songs for accompaniment by a full symphony.

It’s that mix of serious chops and good-natured fun that earned the Steep Canyon Rangers the Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album Grammy in 2013 (for Nobody Knows You), and that drew celebrated comedian/banjoist Steve Martin to them when he needed a backing band. The Rangers are world-class musicians who are just as at home taking the stage at Carnegie Hall as they are knee- deep in a mountain brook, fly rod in hand.

Fifteen years and nine studio albums since forming in Chapel Hill, the sextet—who resides in the western N.C. mountains of Brevard and Asheville—returned to their roots at Echo Mountain Recording for their staggering new collection, RADIO. Recorded over three four-day sessions as the deep, snowy winter of 2015 held fast in the Blue Ridge, the band took full advantage of producer Jerry Douglas, who contributes his distinctive Dobro playing throughout the album.

“Jerry has this ability to stay rooted in bluegrass but also stretch it out,” says Rangers guitarist and singer Woody Platt. “He’s the perfect guy to help us navigate those waters.”

Douglas fully immersed himself with the band, reworking song structures and vocal arrangements to craft a 12-song listening experience with a traditional A-side, B-side record mentality.

“They came in with the songs and arrangements...and I hacked and hewed and changed things around,” says Douglas. “I threw some curveballs at them, and they hit every one of them.” The album’s title track, “Radio,” bats leadoff. Penned by banjoist Graham Sharp, the song recalls the days when hearing a favorite song required patiently waiting for a radio DJ to spin it, and the excitement of the Sunday afternoon Top 40 countdowns.

“I can recall all the spots where I first heard some of my favorite songs, from a fort in my bedroom to the backseat of my parents’ car on the way home from church,” Sharp recounts. “We trace our lives through music, and a song can take you right back to a place in time.”

Opening with a virtuosic fiddle riff from Nicky Sanders—the only classically trained musician in the band and a graduate of the prestigious Berklee College of Music—“Radio” also demonstrates the band’s team mentality—Sharp’s initial version of the tune jumped straight to the verses, but in the hands of Douglas and the band, it morphed into a multi-faceted, dynamic canvas.

“It’s really gratifying to play music with people you can trust, who hear something and pull what’s best out of it into something truly special,” says Sharp. “As a songwriter, my favorite part of the whole thing is watching the band bring these ideas to life.”

Although Sharp penned eight of RADIO’s songs, he’s hardly the band’s only bard. Mandolinist Mike Guggino—who studies, performs and creates Italian music and cuisine when he’s home from tour— contributed the rousing instrumental “Looking Glass” (a nod to a favorite waterfall in Pisgah National Forest near his home).

Likewise, “Blue Velvet Rain” best exemplifies the band’s beautifully haunting penchant for yearning, high harmonies. The song, along with “Diamonds in the Dust” and “When the Well Runs Dry,” was co-written by upright bassist Charles R. Humphrey III, who balances his musical passions with a passion for ultramarathon racing.

“He would run 15 or 20 miles every day, then take a shower, come in and record,” recalls Douglas. “Everything I asked him to do...he just blew it out of the water.”

Then there’s “Break,” a rollicking, banjo-driven duet between Platt and his wife, singer Shannon Whitworth. Featuring Douglas’s unmistakable Dobro accompaniment, “Break” delivers all of the exhilarating energy of a hit pop song, with plenty of flourishes, but no fluff.

Throughout RADIO, multi-instrumentalist and longtime friend Mike Ashworth (who joined the band officially after being recruited to play drums with the band while on tour with Steve Martin and Edie Brickell), lends tasteful rhythm from his cajón box kit. Ashworth’s presence is both subtle and necessary, rounding out the full sound of a band that’s already on the main stage, and poised to stay there for the long haul.

“We’re just getting started,” Platt exudes. “It’s almost daunting, to think about how much more there is that we want to accomplish as the Steep Canyon Rangers. Each time I get off stage, I ask myself, ‘Was that fun? Did that feed your soul?’ That’s how we go about it, and more times than not, the answer is a rounding ‘Yes.’ We’re totally committed.”


Only Lonesome

official band site »

Only Lonesome is a lonesome bluegrass band based in the Washington, DC area. The band is built around the huge vocal trio harmonies of Neel Brown (guitar), Stefan Custodi (bass), and John Seebach (mandolin), with Sam Guthridge (banjo) and Tom Lyons (fiddle) rounding out the classic bluegrass quintet lineup. The group was a 2013 nominee for the “Best Bluegrass Group” award from the Washington Area Music Association.


 
moe.
with very special guests
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong | @Rams Head Live | view more info »
Feb
26

moe.

with very special guests
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong



Friday Feb 26|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
Rams Head Live|get directions »
20 Market Place
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 244-1131


moe.

official band site »

moe. is the preeminent progressive rock band on the music scene today—a quintet of world class musicians, whose creative output equals that of their longevity. In a remarkable career that has touched three decades and produced a discography of 24 albums, the Sugar Hill Records recording artist of Al Schnier and Chuck Garvey on guitars and vocals, Rob Derhak on bass and vocals, Jim Loughlin on percussion and vibes, and Vinnie Amico on drums, continue to push the standard for performance art higher and further.

Whether touring around the globe, headlining music festivals, or sharing the stage with such diverse acts as the Allman Brothers, Dave Matthews Band, The Who, Robert Plant, Government Mule, or Blues Traveler, among many others, what keeps moe. at the forefront of the music scene is not only the energy and vitality of their music and songwriting, but the showmanship in which it is delivered. Their music is clever, melodic, refined, filled with “ferocious guitar riffs” and “intricate rhythms” (Relix); their performances are entertaining, mesmerizing, and epic.

From their humble, inconspicuous beginnings as a local bar band in Buffalo, NY, to headlining Radio City Music Hall on New Year’s Eve, moe.’s journey has been one of hard work, perseverance, and dedication. Critical acclaim and a solid national and international fan base has resulted in a dedicated following that grows each year. Rolling Stone magazine named Chuck and Al among the top twenty new “guitar gods,” The pair have been featured in Guitar World and Modern Guitar, Jim and Vinnie in Drum!, and Rob in Bass Player. The renowned guitar play between Al and Chuck has become the stuff of legend. The exceptional vibe and percussion work by Jim is brilliant. The understated bass play by Rob is masterful. The seamless, efficiency of Vinnie’s drumming is extraordinary. Together, the five create a musical synergy greater than the sum of their parts.

The news about moe. keeps getting better, too, in the studio and on tour. A new album, their second on Sugar Hill Records, is set for a 2014 release. It follows the critically acclaimed 2012 release, What Happened To The LA LAs, and the 2010 Smash Hits, Volume One—a rerecording of some of moe.’s most endearing classics. The band’s tour schedule is extensive, playing in venues, intimate and grand, from NYC to LA, San Fran to Atlanta, Chi Town to Bean Town, from Tokyo to Toronto, and across the Atlantic to Paris, Amsterdam, London, Hamburg, and Milano. Long a featured act at music festivals, they’ve performed and headlined at the likes of Bonnaroo, All Good, and High Sierra, in the US, and Fuji Rock Festival in Japan, and Burg Herzberg in Germany, to name a few; yet made time to promote and perform at their own festivals—Summer Camp, Snoe.down, and moe.down.

By all accounts, for this “legendary jam band,” as Rolling Stone described them, moe. represents rock and roll at its best. Welcome news for the moe. faithful and the band’s ever-expanding fan base. Even better news for the world of rock and roll, for moe. is just hitting their creative stride.


with very special guests
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong

official band site »

Funk, Rock, Electric ENERGY: These four Pigeons bring it every night. Based out of Baltimore, MD, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong has an undeniably unique and versatile live sound that ascends peaks of musical ecstasy. Their evolving arrangement of original compositions, psychedelic improvisational jams, and contagious smiles have ‘The Flock”- their self-identifying fanbase that stretches from coast-to-coast- coming back for more. One of the fastest growing emerging artists in the jam and festival scene these days, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong is here to bring the party with their danceable electro-funk grooves and infectious ability to bring positive energy to any environment.Having launched their East Coast buzz from very successful weekly residencies at The 8×10 in Baltimore, high profile festival spots including Catskill Chill, The Werk Out, Camp Barefoot, Wormtown Music Festival and others have put the memorable band name on the lips of music lovers and groove nuts. As a result, the grass roots response to the more than 200 shows the band played in 2013 was remarkable, with significant audiences showing up for first time plays in new markets from Colorado to Florida. As Pigeons continue to expand their touring they continue to grow their Flock and expand people’s minds (musically…). Whether it be at a major festival or your local rock club, Pigeons will show you a good time. Get ready for some fun


 
moe.
with very special guests
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong | @Rams Head Live | view more info »
Feb
27

moe.

with very special guests
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong



Saturday Feb 27|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
Rams Head Live|get directions »
20 Market Place
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 244-1131


moe.

official band site »

moe. is the preeminent progressive rock band on the music scene today—a quintet of world class musicians, whose creative output equals that of their longevity. In a remarkable career that has touched three decades and produced a discography of 24 albums, the Sugar Hill Records recording artist of Al Schnier and Chuck Garvey on guitars and vocals, Rob Derhak on bass and vocals, Jim Loughlin on percussion and vibes, and Vinnie Amico on drums, continue to push the standard for performance art higher and further.

Whether touring around the globe, headlining music festivals, or sharing the stage with such diverse acts as the Allman Brothers, Dave Matthews Band, The Who, Robert Plant, Government Mule, or Blues Traveler, among many others, what keeps moe. at the forefront of the music scene is not only the energy and vitality of their music and songwriting, but the showmanship in which it is delivered. Their music is clever, melodic, refined, filled with “ferocious guitar riffs” and “intricate rhythms” (Relix); their performances are entertaining, mesmerizing, and epic.

From their humble, inconspicuous beginnings as a local bar band in Buffalo, NY, to headlining Radio City Music Hall on New Year’s Eve, moe.’s journey has been one of hard work, perseverance, and dedication. Critical acclaim and a solid national and international fan base has resulted in a dedicated following that grows each year. Rolling Stone magazine named Chuck and Al among the top twenty new “guitar gods,” The pair have been featured in Guitar World and Modern Guitar, Jim and Vinnie in Drum!, and Rob in Bass Player. The renowned guitar play between Al and Chuck has become the stuff of legend. The exceptional vibe and percussion work by Jim is brilliant. The understated bass play by Rob is masterful. The seamless, efficiency of Vinnie’s drumming is extraordinary. Together, the five create a musical synergy greater than the sum of their parts.

The news about moe. keeps getting better, too, in the studio and on tour. A new album, their second on Sugar Hill Records, is set for a 2014 release. It follows the critically acclaimed 2012 release, What Happened To The LA LAs, and the 2010 Smash Hits, Volume One—a rerecording of some of moe.’s most endearing classics. The band’s tour schedule is extensive, playing in venues, intimate and grand, from NYC to LA, San Fran to Atlanta, Chi Town to Bean Town, from Tokyo to Toronto, and across the Atlantic to Paris, Amsterdam, London, Hamburg, and Milano. Long a featured act at music festivals, they’ve performed and headlined at the likes of Bonnaroo, All Good, and High Sierra, in the US, and Fuji Rock Festival in Japan, and Burg Herzberg in Germany, to name a few; yet made time to promote and perform at their own festivals—Summer Camp, Snoe.down, and moe.down.

By all accounts, for this “legendary jam band,” as Rolling Stone described them, moe. represents rock and roll at its best. Welcome news for the moe. faithful and the band’s ever-expanding fan base. Even better news for the world of rock and roll, for moe. is just hitting their creative stride.


with very special guests
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong

official band site »

Funk, Rock, Electric ENERGY: These four Pigeons bring it every night. Based out of Baltimore, MD, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong has an undeniably unique and versatile live sound that ascends peaks of musical ecstasy. Their evolving arrangement of original compositions, psychedelic improvisational jams, and contagious smiles have ‘The Flock”- their self-identifying fanbase that stretches from coast-to-coast- coming back for more. One of the fastest growing emerging artists in the jam and festival scene these days, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong is here to bring the party with their danceable electro-funk grooves and infectious ability to bring positive energy to any environment.Having launched their East Coast buzz from very successful weekly residencies at The 8×10 in Baltimore, high profile festival spots including Catskill Chill, The Werk Out, Camp Barefoot, Wormtown Music Festival and others have put the memorable band name on the lips of music lovers and groove nuts. As a result, the grass roots response to the more than 200 shows the band played in 2013 was remarkable, with significant audiences showing up for first time plays in new markets from Colorado to Florida. As Pigeons continue to expand their touring they continue to grow their Flock and expand people’s minds (musically…). Whether it be at a major festival or your local rock club, Pigeons will show you a good time. Get ready for some fun


 
Larry Keel Experience
Bud's Collective | @Gypsy Sally's | view more info »
Feb
27

Larry Keel Experience

Bud's Collective


Saturday Feb 27|doors 7:00 pm|21+
Gypsy Sally's|get directions »
3401 K St NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 333-7700


Larry Keel Experience

official band site »

Larry Keel is described by some reviewers as the most powerful, innovative and all-out exhilarating acoustic flatpicking guitarist performing today. Keel has absorbed the best lessons from his Bluegrass family upbringing, both sides deeply steeped in the rich mountain music culture and heritage of Southwest Virginia. From there, he has always integrated that solid musical grounding and natural-born talent with his own incomparable approach to flatpicking the guitar and composing original music. He’s also got a knack for choosing interesting and appealing material from all realms of music with guts, whether it’s a tune written by a fellow song-writer/musician friend, or a tasty cover from any number of genres all over the map. The combination is pretty irresistible, and has earned Keel the highest respect and billing among the top acoustic musicians alive, and some now gone: Tony Rice, Chris Thile,Vassar Clements, Sam Bush, Del McCoury, John Hartford, Bill Monroe, Peter Rowan, and Darol Anger to name a few. And his fierce, high-spirited energy also appeals to young rockers, jammers and alt country pickers and fans who are equally drawn to Keel’s deep rumbling voice, his earthy and imaginative song-writing, and his down-home-gritty-good-time charm. Keel regularly collaborates with JamBand and Rock giants Yonder Mountain String Band, Keller Williams, Jorma Kaukonen, David Nelson, Little Feat, Rebirth Brass Band, Dirty Dozen Brass, Railroad Earth, members of String Cheese Incident and Leftover Salmon, amongst others.


Bud's Collective

official band site »

Bud’s Collective is a dynamic group of pickers and singers from the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. With deep roots in Bluegrass music, they are not afraid to venture off the well beaten path and play songs by Bill Withers, Tom Petty, Alabama, Django Rhinehart, Johnny Cash and many more, while maintaining an energy that is all their own. The group also features a long list of original material written by band leader and guitar player, Buddy Dunlap.

What began as a "throw together group of whoever Buddy could collect,” quickly turned into one of the hottest bluegrass bands in the DC area. Since it’s inception in December of 2012, Bud’s Collective has played with the likes of Ricky Skaggs, Loretta Lynn, Rhonda Vincent, Sierra Hull, Larry Sparks, and Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen just to name a few. The band took first place in the 2013 DC Bluegrass Union Band Competition, and second place in the 2014 SPBGMA Band Competition in Nashville.


 
Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds
The Suitcase Junket | @The 8x10 | view more info »
Mar
3

Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds

The Suitcase Junket


Thursday Mar 3|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
The 8x10|get directions »
10 E. Cross St.
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 625-2000


Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds

official band site »

The Catskill Mountains hid rock ‘n’ roll’s best kept secret for almost 18 years.

Then in 2008, singer and songwriter Arleigh Kincheloe said goodbye to her hometown hideaway and moved to New York City to start Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds. In the years since, the group has performed more than 600 shows, released two full-length albums and an EP produced by Randy Jackson (American Idol), and enchanted tastemakers ranging from The Wall Street Journal and LA Times to Glamour, USA Today, and The New Yorker. They have shared the stage with such heavyweights as Gov’t Mule, Dr. John, Trombone Shorty, The Avett Brothers, Counting Crows, and Galactic, and have turned audiences into believers through appearances on the festival circuit at Bonnaroo, Firefly, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Voodoo Music Experience and many more.

On May 18th, the band unleashed their most rambunctious, raucous, and righteous recording to date in the form of The Weather Below, which features the band’s roster of her brother, Jackson Kincheloe (harmonica), Sasha Brown (guitar), Josh Myers (bass), Phil Rodriguez (trumpet), and Brian Graham (saxophones), and Dan Boyden (drums).

So, what is it about this “hard soul collective,” as Arleigh so eloquently puts it, that has engendered such passion from both the press and the people?

“It’s loud, fun, and it’s supposed to make you feel good,” she declares. “That’s the goal.”

Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds accomplish that goal tenfold with a saucy sonic brew of rock, blues, gospel, and soul. In order to perfect that signature amalgam, the band retreated to the iconic Bear Creek Studio (James Brown, Eric Clapton), just outside Seattle, WA. Locked in the studio for three weeks, they worked closely with producer Ryan Hadlock (The Lumineers, Vance Joy) and cooked up ten irresistible anthems.

“In the past, we did every other record while we were still on the road,” says Arleigh. “This time, we blocked out time to immerse ourselves in the recording process. We lived at the studio and worked for 15 hours a day. Ryan was everything I’d hoped for. He saw my vision and added his own flavor. Plus, the studio is so beautiful. We were in a barn in the woods, which was very reminiscent of the Catskill Mountains for me. I felt right at home.”

The group takes flight on the first single “Mama Knows.” Bolstered by boisterous horns and bluesy grit, the track serves as a soulfully sweet ode to moms everywhere. “The idea for the chorus popped into my head when I was hanging out with my sister,” Arleigh recalls. “We were thinking about our mom. She’s a huge influence on why I sing. She was my role model. She sang too, and I’d attend her gigs as a little kid. She was so powerful and beautiful—just a queen in my eyes. On the flip side, she raised us to be really humble. I wanted to do something to show my appreciation to her and mothers like her everywhere.”

Then there’s “Prison Cells,” which swings from a bright verse into a wild chant that encourages living it up in the moment with the people who matter the most. “It’s about getting in trouble with your best friends and letting the fun take over,” she goes on. “We’re definitely prone to do that in my family. We’ll get into trouble, but we’ll be singing and dancing all the way.”

Elsewhere on The Weather Below, “Disappear” flaunts a South American-style cinematic shine, while “Don’t Be Jealous” points the spotlight on Arleigh’s passionate pipes in between a harmonica swell.

“That’s The Dirty Birds anthem,” she states. “It’s the story of us on the road with me and a bunch of dudes and all of our trials and tribulations along the way. We’re a crew, and we all have each other’s backs. This is a family. That theme runs throughout everything.”

Ultimately, Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds stand poised to shake up rock ‘n’ roll all around the world. “This all stems back to why I loved performing and singing to begin with,” Arleigh leaves off. “I want to make crowds happy and see them smile and dance. Singing brings me so much joy. I hope our music does the same for everyone.”


The Suitcase Junket

official band site »

The Suitcase Junket is Matt Lorenz's Internationally touring, slide guitar playing, throat-singing one-man-band. Lorenz, a Vermont born musician, visual artist and tinkerer, "aim[s] to write good songs and sing them honestly". He does that and more. The Suitcase Junket's artistic vision is one of salvaged and repurposed objects, images and emotions. His innovative junk-percussion constructions, original album art featuring inanimate objects with wings, and the high craft of his songwriting all combine to create a unique and engaging entity with a force and style all its own. Lorenz's self-taught throat-singing adds a fascinating edge to the overall sound. "I'm interested in the hidden voices that reside within things: the songs stuck inside instruments, the story behind the object, the mysterious weight of a word, the harmonic sequence that's in every note waiting to be broken as light through a prism.” His EP Dying Star will be released on Signature Sounds on March 4, 2016


 
Twiddle
LITZ | @9:30 club | view more info »
Mar
10

Twiddle

LITZ


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


Twiddle

official band site »

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

After whimsically jamming in the fall of 2004, the founding members of Twiddle immediately recognized chemistry and a common seriousness. By the second semester at Castleton State, Mihali Savoulidis and Ryan Dempsey were already intertwining harmony and fantasy, birthing Twiddle staples like ‘Frankenfoote’ and ‘Gatsby the Great’. Brook Jordan, and Billy Comstock, Twiddle’s original bassist, complemented these melodies with a densely layered, and exciting funk rhythm This young foursome had taken Castleton by storm, toured the northeast, and composed an impressive catalog of original tunes before becoming upper-classmen.

2007 manifested Twiddle’s debut release, ‘The Natural Evolution of Consciousness’. This breakout album immediately showcased the band’s eclectic inspirations, imaginative lyrical abilities, and superb instrumentation. Twiddle’s sophomore production, 2011’s ‘Somewhere on the Mountain,’ is a reflection of more introspective moods, offering message oriented, uplifting songs. Anchored by the group’s new bass virtuoso Zdenek Gubb, this album delves into the human spirit, speaking to our ambition, grief, and love.

Currently Twiddle is climbing the rows on festival billings, inspiring each other, and often dismantling preconceived notions of the jam band culture. Their live experience genuinely segues from bluegrass to electronica, melts jazz-fusion into rockabilly, and enhances reggae with funk. New fans should expect an immensely fun, and highly dynamic show. Tenured fans know to expect the unexpected. Put simply, Twiddle’s hi-def shred is going to melt faces.


LITZ

official band site »

LITZ brings together a wide array of musical influences ranging from funk, jam, reggae, soul, to electronica to amalgamate a new sound for the ears of the world. Their sound strides to sonically transport its listeners to another planet free of the stress, struggles, and tribulations of modern day life through the use of funky horn riffs, wah-wah keys, pounding bass, driving/progressive rhythms and melt your face guitar.


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

Railroad Earth



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


Railroad Earth

official band site »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



 
Railroad Earth
@9:30 club | view more info »
Mar
12

Railroad Earth



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


Railroad Earth

official band site »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



 
JJ Grey & Mofro
David Ramirez | @Rams Head Live | view more info »
Mar
18

JJ Grey & Mofro

David Ramirez


Friday Mar 18|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
Rams Head Live|get directions »
20 Market Place
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 244-1131


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 soulbent swamp rocker.


David Ramirez

official band site »

The life of the traveling songwriter certainly seems romantic. But as David Ramirez notched mile number 260,000 traveled in his 2006 Kia Rio, the novelty began to wear off.

"I've learned a lot from being alone and isolated," says Ramirez, who until recently toured completely by himself, without a band, manager or anyone else for company. "Yes, it's romantic in a way. But it has also been kind of rough on my head and my heart. After a while it made it difficult to connect with people on a personal level when I got home. In hindsight, I can see that it's been kind of detrimental. You know, when you travel around alone for months at a time, the world revolves around you. There's no one else in the equation. Everything was just about me. It's a selfish way of living. And I'm ready to move on from that."

It's taken three years since that realization, but with his new album 'FABLES,' out August 28 via Thirty Tigers, Ramirez takes strides towards that personal growth both as a musician and as a man.

"I hit a dry spell for a couple of years after my last album. It was frustrating. I went into the studio two years ago planning to do a whole record, and it just wasn't coming together. So I scrapped the whole thing and took some time away from it," he says. "It felt forced. I don't want to just put more noise into the world. I want to put something out there that means something to me. And if it doesn't, then I don't release it. Therefore, I haven't had a new record in three years. I know that can be frustrating for people on my business team. But I don't want to put it out there if I can't stand behind it."

The delay, it turns out, was for the best. "My focus wasn't really on my music at that point," he explains. "I was at a point in my relationship with my girlfriend where things were getting serious. The closer we got, the more I realized that I needed to be honest with myself and with her about where my life was heading. If I want to be in a meaningful relationship with someone, I have to be honest in everything I do."

The album's title, 'FABLES,' was inspired by the first single, "Harder to Lie," which captures the moment Ramirez realized, as he puts it, "I couldn't bullsh*t with her anymore. She knew me completely. It got me thinking about how much I bullsh*t in my life - exaggerating stories, faking a smile, or whatever. Just telling fables. When you don't know who you really are you can end up hurting people."

That newfound maturity and clarity translated into his approach in the studio, as Ramirez traveled to Seattle to work with his friend Noah Gundersen, who produced the album. "My previous albums were a bit less personal. I always went in with a certain idea of what I wanted them to turn out like. I had never just walked in and said 'let's just see what happens.' And that's what we did this time. From the writing to the recording, it was just based on instincts."

In a world full of singer-songwriters hawking their stories, Ramirez has managed to stand out from the noise, developing a fiercely loyal following of fans who are drawn to his intimately personal songwriting. "When someone buys a record of mine, they're getting my life. They are essentially memoirs. They're going to know a little bit more about who I am."

'FABLES' is a sparse, poignant set of songs crafted around Ramirez' starkly beautiful baritone, which the New York Times once described as full of "haggard loneliness." NPR Music praised his knack for writing "dark, wrenching tales that are immediately identifiable to those who've loved and lost," while Paste described his "brutally honest" lyrics as "almost alarmingly descriptive."

After years on the road touring as an opening act for artists like Noah Gundersen, Gregory Alan Isakov, Shakey Graves and Joe Pug, Ramirez is excited to finally embark on his own tour. "Fans have been paying high-dollar tickets to watch me open for other bands, and I'm very thankful for it. I've also had the chance to see how other songwriters I respect work on a professional level. I've learned a lot and been challenged a lot. It's like I've been going to school. I've been taking notes. And now I think I'm ready for the job. I'm really excited to finally go out with a band and do my own full set. It will be more fun and energetic."

As he has learned to open himself up to other people in his personal relationships and in the studio, Ramirez has also been focused on putting together a full-time band and letting other musicians become involved in the creative process. "I'm trying to build a family of people who create together, not just a backing band," he says. "For the past five years traveling, I get off stage and I have no one to share it with. I've been lucky enough to ride along with some of the bands I've opened for. I watch them get ready for their set and have that sense of collaboration, and I'll just be in the alley smoking a cigarette by myself. I've always had a little envy for that. I'm like every kid that grew up playing in a garage. I want a band. No one has dreams of playing the world alone."


 
Lake Street Dive
The Suffers | @9:30 club | view more info »
sold out
Mar
21

Lake Street Dive

The Suffers


Monday Mar 21|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930
Sold Out


Lake Street Dive

official band site »

Side Pony, recorded in the winter of 2015, has an exhilarating feel from start to finish. For listeners familiar with Lake Street Dive, it’s a natural evolution of the band’s sound. The arrangements offer a knowing nod to the past while the lyrics tackle the pitfalls of modern romance in a manner that’s often more playful than rueful. And lead singer Rachael Price’s vocals have a teasing swagger to them. Neither her heart nor her hairstyle will be messed with. A side pony, for Lake Street Dive, is really a metaphor for their philosophy and personality as a band, one that seamlessly incorporates R&B, pop, ’60s-era rock, and soul into a unique, dance-party-ready mix. As bassist Bridget Kearney puts it, “When we were settling on the album title, that one just stuck out to us as embodying the band’s spirit. We’ve always been this somewhat uncategorizable, weird, outlying genre-less band. That’s the statement we wanted to make with this record: be yourself.” The members of Lake Street Dive—named after an avenue of seedy bars in guitarist and trumpeter Michael “McDuck” Olson’s native Minneapolis—met in 2004 as students at Boston’s New England Conservatory of Music. Powerhouse singer Price fronts the quartet while Kearney and drummer Michael Calabrese comprise the rhythm section. Lake Street Dive’s major label debut, Side Pony, will be released by Nonesuch Records on February 19th, 2016.


The Suffers

official band site »

The Suffers are a ten-piece band from Houston, TX who are redefining the sound of Gulf Coast Soul, intertwining elements of Classic American Soul with Rock & Roll. Both sonically and visually arresting, the large ensemble packs each position of the rhythm section and horn section with a level of talent and taste that provides the perfect foundation for singer Kam Franklin's massive voice. The band's sincerity and emotion are laid bare in their music, which has garnered an audience so broad and varied that they may prove to be the panacea for a jaded and stratified live music scene. The Suffers will be releasing their debut LP Make Some Room in 2015, hitting the road aggressively.


 
Lake Street Dive
Margaret Glaspy | @9:30 club | view more info »
sold out
Mar
22

Lake Street Dive

Margaret Glaspy


Tuesday Mar 22|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930
Sold Out


Lake Street Dive

official band site »

Side Pony, recorded in the winter of 2015, has an exhilarating feel from start to finish. For listeners familiar with Lake Street Dive, it’s a natural evolution of the band’s sound. The arrangements offer a knowing nod to the past while the lyrics tackle the pitfalls of modern romance in a manner that’s often more playful than rueful. And lead singer Rachael Price’s vocals have a teasing swagger to them. Neither her heart nor her hairstyle will be messed with. A side pony, for Lake Street Dive, is really a metaphor for their philosophy and personality as a band, one that seamlessly incorporates R&B, pop, ’60s-era rock, and soul into a unique, dance-party-ready mix. As bassist Bridget Kearney puts it, “When we were settling on the album title, that one just stuck out to us as embodying the band’s spirit. We’ve always been this somewhat uncategorizable, weird, outlying genre-less band. That’s the statement we wanted to make with this record: be yourself.” The members of Lake Street Dive—named after an avenue of seedy bars in guitarist and trumpeter Michael “McDuck” Olson’s native Minneapolis—met in 2004 as students at Boston’s New England Conservatory of Music. Powerhouse singer Price fronts the quartet while Kearney and drummer Michael Calabrese comprise the rhythm section. Lake Street Dive’s major label debut, Side Pony, will be released by Nonesuch Records on February 19th, 2016.


Margaret Glaspy

official band site »

Margaret Glaspy, ATO Records' newest signing, boasts a diverse musical background. With influences ranging from Bill Withers to Elliott Smith, from Weezer's Pinkerton to Rage Against the Machine, the 26-year-old songwriter focuses her talents into fiercely raw, guitar-driven pop songs. Glaspy expands on her influences saying, "Joni Mitchell's Blue set the bar in my mind that I'm always striving for."

Originally from Red Bluff, California, Glaspy headed to the east coast after high school. From competitive fiddle to marching band trombone, she exercised her music abilities any way she could. Her talents earned her multiple honors early on in her career, including scholarships and opportunities to refine her craft. "I went to Berklee College of Music in Boston for a semester and paid for it with money I got from the YoungArts Program." She continues, "I wasn't able to afford school after that semester, so I snuck into workshops and master classes at the school and started to write songs more seriously." For three years, she lived in Boston, working odd jobs whilst finetuning her songwriting skills.


 
Rising Appalachia
@Gypsy Sally's | view more info »
Mar
23

Rising Appalachia



Wednesday Mar 23|doors 7:00 pm|21+
Gypsy Sally's|get directions »
3401 K St NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 333-7700


Rising Appalachia

official band site »

Sisters Leah Song and Chloe Smith tear into sound with sensual prowess as stages ignite revolutions and words light up soul fires. Listen to their beautiful sound for banjo and fiddle duets and poetic harmonies like only sisters can do… Joined full-time by their beloved band, Biko Casini on percussion, and David Brown on stand up bass and baritone guitar, expect everything from folk standards to jazz, to New Orleans soul, to old mountain traditionals, to activist anthems, as their style redefines folk music as a truly living art. Using sound as a tool to spark a cultural revolution and birth a new movement, come join them as they create soul sounds for us all....

Having toured over 25,000 miles across the US, and graced many stages around the world, Rising Appalachia’s vision and sound is quickly proving to be contagious to everyone it touches. Their shows have included and array of community-run venues and collective events, as well as the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, NPR’s All Songs Considered, E-town, The School of America Vigil, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Emory University Shwartz Center, The Beacon Theater NYC, The Lake Eden Arts Festival, Radio Popular Verona, Italy, Guerilla Radio Amsterdam, The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The Highlander Center 75th Reunion, Burning Man, Urkult (Sweden), and Festa Del Fuoco (Stromboli Italy) and many more.

Their prolific self-sculpted career has included 6 independently released full length albums, including their brand new album Wider Circles, and has sculpted a path for a new generation of music aficionados. Having been raised in the American South with Appalachian lullabies at night and soul music for breakfast Sisters Leah and Chloe have drawn great inspiration from their global community. Their mother and father claimed art and music as a full part of their lives and the girls have been shaped by the sounds of the South. They have continued to use those powerful roots to find musical connections and community around the world..

"Music is the tool with which we wield political prowess. Melody for the Roots of each of us...spreading song and sound around the globe. Music has become our script for vision… not just for aural pleasure, not just for hobby-but now as a means to connect and create in ways that we aren't taught by mainstream culture...we are building community and tackling social injustice through melody- making the stage reach out with octopus arms to gather a great family. It is taking its own personality, carrying us all along the journey down the damp and strange alley ways and cryptic coded pathways... to poetic observations, social change, lyrical messages, political rage, symphonic coercing, ferocious bantering, bicycles and train tracks, primal will, fresh air intoxicants, harmony and alliteration, noise and something sweeter than words can ever touch. " Leah Song.

Rising Appalachia has been voted “Green Album of the Year” by the Huffington Post and Atlanta's Best Folk Act by the Creative Loafing, and have been written up in Paste Magazine, The New York Times, The Performer Magazine, Dirty Linen, Sing Out, Anti-Gravity, Maverick and more. Their tours have taken them across Europe, through the Caribbean, into Central America, into the Indian subcontinent, and across the United States making sacred sounds and elaborate stages wherever they go. They are creatively committed to keeping their work accessible at the local, street level, as well as expanding to larger audiences abroad, and have continued to maintain autonomy by self- managing, recording, producing and creating, and directing their work. They are greatly honored to do the work that they do. bless.



 
Rising Appalachia
Kuf Knotz | @Gypsy Sally's | view more info »
Mar
24

Rising Appalachia

Kuf Knotz


Thursday Mar 24|doors 7:00 pm|21+
Gypsy Sally's|get directions »
3401 K St NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 333-7700


Rising Appalachia

official band site »

Sisters Leah Song and Chloe Smith tear into sound with sensual prowess as stages ignite revolutions and words light up soul fires. Listen to their beautiful sound for banjo and fiddle duets and poetic harmonies like only sisters can do… Joined full-time by their beloved band, Biko Casini on percussion, and David Brown on stand up bass and baritone guitar, expect everything from folk standards to jazz, to New Orleans soul, to old mountain traditionals, to activist anthems, as their style redefines folk music as a truly living art. Using sound as a tool to spark a cultural revolution and birth a new movement, come join them as they create soul sounds for us all....

Having toured over 25,000 miles across the US, and graced many stages around the world, Rising Appalachia’s vision and sound is quickly proving to be contagious to everyone it touches. Their shows have included and array of community-run venues and collective events, as well as the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, NPR’s All Songs Considered, E-town, The School of America Vigil, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Emory University Shwartz Center, The Beacon Theater NYC, The Lake Eden Arts Festival, Radio Popular Verona, Italy, Guerilla Radio Amsterdam, The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The Highlander Center 75th Reunion, Burning Man, Urkult (Sweden), and Festa Del Fuoco (Stromboli Italy) and many more.

Their prolific self-sculpted career has included 6 independently released full length albums, including their brand new album Wider Circles, and has sculpted a path for a new generation of music aficionados. Having been raised in the American South with Appalachian lullabies at night and soul music for breakfast Sisters Leah and Chloe have drawn great inspiration from their global community. Their mother and father claimed art and music as a full part of their lives and the girls have been shaped by the sounds of the South. They have continued to use those powerful roots to find musical connections and community around the world..

"Music is the tool with which we wield political prowess. Melody for the Roots of each of us...spreading song and sound around the globe. Music has become our script for vision… not just for aural pleasure, not just for hobby-but now as a means to connect and create in ways that we aren't taught by mainstream culture...we are building community and tackling social injustice through melody- making the stage reach out with octopus arms to gather a great family. It is taking its own personality, carrying us all along the journey down the damp and strange alley ways and cryptic coded pathways... to poetic observations, social change, lyrical messages, political rage, symphonic coercing, ferocious bantering, bicycles and train tracks, primal will, fresh air intoxicants, harmony and alliteration, noise and something sweeter than words can ever touch. " Leah Song.

Rising Appalachia has been voted “Green Album of the Year” by the Huffington Post and Atlanta's Best Folk Act by the Creative Loafing, and have been written up in Paste Magazine, The New York Times, The Performer Magazine, Dirty Linen, Sing Out, Anti-Gravity, Maverick and more. Their tours have taken them across Europe, through the Caribbean, into Central America, into the Indian subcontinent, and across the United States making sacred sounds and elaborate stages wherever they go. They are creatively committed to keeping their work accessible at the local, street level, as well as expanding to larger audiences abroad, and have continued to maintain autonomy by self- managing, recording, producing and creating, and directing their work. They are greatly honored to do the work that they do. bless.


Kuf Knotz

official band site »

Kuf Knotz is one of todays fastest emerging alternative artists. No musical territory goes unexplored when it comes to Kuf, and it is this attitude that has led him to open for top acts - Ms Lauryn Hill, Robert Glasper, THE ROOTS, The Wailers, Common, Robert Randolph, Arrested Development, RED BARAAT, Inspectah Deck, Amos Lee, Steel Pulse, ZAC DEPUTY, Josh Ritter, Bone Thugs & Harmony, Soulive & RISING APPALCHIA to name a few.

The new album by Philadelphia- and Brooklyn-based artist Kuf Knotz — pushes the boundaries of hip-hop. “My music’s always had a pretty broad spectrum as far as influences go,” he says. “It feels really natural to blend genres. I’ve always just felt that music is music.”


 
Stick Figure
Fortunate Youth | Raging Fyah | @U Street Music Hall | view more info »
Mar
26

Stick Figure

Fortunate Youth
Raging Fyah

Saturday Mar 26|doors 5:00 pm|all ages
U Street Music Hall|get directions »
1115 U Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 588-1880


Stick Figure

official band site »

Launched in Duxbury, Massachusetts, Stick Figure showcases the talents of multi-instrumentalist and producer Scott Woodruff. Stick Figure's music has a unique style that creatively blends upbeat roots reggae with the reverberating echoes of dub. Often referred to as the "one man band," Scott single-handedly created 4 full length albums from 2006-2012 (a fifth album, "Reprise Sessions," was recorded with a full band and released in 2010), and has sold over 50,000 albums worldwide.

Each of Stick Figure's songs are created by recording instruments individually, layering tracks on top of one another in unison. During the summer of 2009, Scott moved from East to West Coast, laying down roots in California, where he currently resides. In June of 2012, he released his most recent album, "Burial Ground," arguably Stick Figure's most extraordinary work to date. After hitting #1 on both iTunes and Billboard Reggae charts, Scott decided to bring the music to the people, putting together a live band and heading out on the road.

The current lineup adds the creative, musical talents of Kevin Bong (Keyboards), Kevin Offitzer (Drums) and Tommy Suliman (Bass). In the Fall of 2012, Stick Figure embarked on their first ever tour, linking up with The Green and performing 18 shows along the East Coast. Their debut tour ignited flames under both the band and dedicated fans who've been patiently waiting to hear Woodruff's music live. Stick Figure has since toured the nation twice with San Diego natives Tribal Seeds, and also headlined their own national tour in the Spring of 2013, boasting numerous sold out dates.

Stick Figure has toured extensively with other groups such as Passafire, Collie Buddz and Rebelution. In the summer of 2014 they released their hit single, “Smokin’ Love” featuring Collie Buddz. They also released the re-worked version of their classic, “Livin’ It.” This year they are gearing up for a tour with Iration that is set to hit 30 different cities spanning across the whole country. With 5 full-length albums and a top-notch live performance, the Stick Figure sound has been elevated to new heights and is sure to leave you craving more.


Fortunate Youth

official band site »

Fortunate Youth is a collaboration of South Bay reggae stand-outs. Rising from various bands, they've created a phenomenal 6-piece masterpiece bringing more fire to the stage than ever before. Combining rootsy vibes and unique bass lines united with multiple harmonies, boisterous guitar solos, and heavy keys separates Fortunate Youth from every other mainstream reggae band. With their high energy approach and positive stage presence they provide an unforgettable show to every music fan. Fortunate Youth's objective is to ensure a performance that leaves you feeling euphoric and curious of what might happen at the next show. In 2011 they supported Tribal Seeds on their nationwide Tribal Youth Tour to spread their conscious music to the nation. F.Y. linked up The Green, from Hawaii, for a Midwest/Westcoast run before jumping back in the studio to record. They have hit the masses promoting only their 6-song EP titled "Up-Lifted EP" and just released their full-length album, "IRIE STATE OF MIND" on July 1, 2011. Fortunate Youth will also be touring very heavily through 2011 including a Naitonwide CD Release Summer Tour.

Raging Fyah

official band site »

Raging Fyah is one of the most talented and dynamic Reggae group to hit the International music scene. Divinely united, five stunning musicians- Anthony Watson, Courtland White, Demar Gayle, Delroy Hamilton and Kumar Bent set out to rekindle a flame of positivity within the music industry.

Though capable in other genres of music most of Raging Fyah songs assume a roots rock reggae feel, heavily influenced by passion, purpose and life experiences when writing lyrics - Raging Fyah members at best ensures that every word touches the soul of each listener, which in a positive way uplifts and motivates people from all socio-economic, Political and cultural background.


 
K I M O C K
@The Hamilton | view more info »
Mar
29

K I M O C K



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


K I M O C K

official band site »

Kimock’s ability to articulate tone, melody and emotion into music combined with technical brilliance has earned Kimock the title “Guitar Monk”( Relix Magazine) for his commitment to guitar, and his ability to make it speak with its own original voice.

His variegated brand of guitar, alternately subdued and vibrant, defies easy categorization. At times prog rock/jazz-inflected and at others gypsy-straightaway, his crystal clear tone has been captivating audiences for more than thirty years.

Kimock co-founded the Jazz/Rock fusion band Zero in the 80’s, KVHW in the 90’s and now tours under his own name. He is widely embraced by fans as one who carries the free-form torch of improvisation, through an extensive catalog of original material in his own bands, as well as through live performances with so many esteemed musicians. Kimock has performed alongside the likes of Bruce Hornsby (and can be heard on two of Hornsby’s releases), John Cipollina Jerry Garcia and all members of the Grateful Dead, as well as Peter Frampton, Bonnie Raitt, The Allman Brothers, Buddy Miles, Buddy Cage, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Bobby Vega, Martin Fierro , Joe Satriani, Baaba Maal, Angelique Kidjo, Elvin Bishop, George Porter Jr., Steve Winwood, Derek Trucks, Ivan Neville, Grace Slick, Papa John Creach, Norton Buffalo, Amos Garrett, Warren Haynes, Hadi Al Sadoon, Stephen Perkins, Nicky Hopkins, Freddie Roulette, and many more.

A relentless innovator as well as player, Kimock's focus leads to guitar & amp craftsmanship. Over the past few years, he collaborated on a series of highly collected custom Two-Rock “Kimock Amplifiers” as well as a coveted ergonomic Scott Walker brand guitar - built in stereo.

His passion and devotion to performing live improvisation is matchless, and his unparalleled ability to embrace and capture a theater musically is the stuff of legends.

“Unconventional. Experimental. It's sort of the Steve Kimock way.” – CNN, 2009



 
Turkuaz & Kung Fu
@The Hamilton | view more info »
Mar
31

Turkuaz & Kung Fu



Thursday Mar 31|doors 6:30 pm|all ages
The Hamilton|get directions »
600 14th Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 787-1000


Turkuaz

official band site »

Turkuaz is a Brooklyn-based pop-rock nonet that is redefining funk with their “PowerFunk” sound. Their intricately arranged songs are built on thick grooves, driven by a powerhouse rhythm section and interlaced with swirling guitar and synth lines. On top of this rock solid foundation, lyrical jabs and swells that serve as both subject matter and rhythmic reinforcement are delivered by four distinct vocalists, all framed by tight horn lines and punctuated with left hooks and right angles.

Digitonium (Techne Records), Turkuaz’s second national LP release, has more of a Peter Gabriel and Talking Heads feel and evokes the best of the ’80’s dance music. Upon close examination, the Dada-esque slurry of words and lyrical imagery reveals Digitonium to be a concept album at its core. Repeated phrases are intertwined throughout, and themes of empowerment and self-actualization, glimpsed in metaphors borrowed from Plato’s cave, a dystopian technological future and the archetypal characters of the myths of Avalon are developed through various tracks. Supported by transitional interludes, these elements make Digitonium feel like the score to an animated film, at times.

Following a Summer packed with high profile festival performances throughout North America, Turkuaz will embark on a national club tour in support of this cross-over release, and they shine on stage, as well as in the studio. Constant, coast-to-coast touring over the last three years has earned the band a passionate, growing fan base. Turkuaz is drawing 400-900+ fans at premiere clubs and theaters, in markets including New York, San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, Denver, DC, Portland, Chicago, Baltimore, Burlington, Providence, Atlanta, Columbus and Pittsburgh, and 150-400 virtually everywhere else. These fans propelled Turkuaz‘s Future 86 (2014) to #2 in the Relix chart and #149 at CMJ. This was Turkuaz’s first foray into radio, and over 150 stations had them on their playlists, with nearly half of them in heavy rotation.

Now, with the support of comprehensive distribution, a commercial AAA, college and specialty radio campaign, first rate publicity, a growing retail presence and a national media partner presenting the tour, Turkuaz is poised to break out for a more mainstream audience.


Kung Fu

official band site »

In the vanguard of the new-funk movement, KUNG FU is quickly popularizing their unique sonic contribution “NU-SION”, blurring the line between intense electro-fusion, and blistering dance arrangements. Making funk fusion music “cool” again, the band draws on influences such as early Headhunters, Weather Report, & Mahavishnu Orchestra, and merges those ideas with technical fireworks and a contemporary EDM informed sensibility. The ensemble, a seasoned pedigree that reads like a late-night summer festival all-star jam has been described by critics and fans of Galactic & Umphrey’s McGee alike as “lethal funk”, “explosive”, “jaw dropping”, and “musically mesmerizing”. For the uninitiated, the experience is typically shocking yet the focus is simple: ENTER THE DRAGON!

Kung Fu features Tim Palmieri on guitar (The Breakfast), Robert Somerville on tenor sax (Deep Banana Blackout), Beau Sasser on Keyboards (Alan Evans Trio, Ryan Montbleau, The Z3, Beau Sasser’s Escape Plan), Christopher DeAngelis on bass guitar (The Breakfast) and Adrian Tramontano on drums/percussion (The Breakfast).



 
The Bluegrass Situation and All Good Present: The Ladies & Gentleman Tour
The Infamous Stringdusters feat. Nicki Bluhm
Della Mae | @9:30 club | view more info »
Apr
1

The Bluegrass Situation and All Good Present: The Ladies & Gentleman Tour
The Infamous Stringdusters feat. Nicki Bluhm

Della Mae


Friday Apr 1|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


The Bluegrass Situation and All Good Present: The Ladies & Gentleman Tour
The Infamous Stringdusters feat. Nicki Bluhm

official band site »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Della Mae

official band site »

The follow-up to their Grammy-nominated 2013 album, ‘This World Oft Can Be,’ Della Mae’s self-titled second release for Rounder finds the all-female combo delivering eleven compelling new tunes that embody the musical and emotional qualities of the group’s prior output while venturing into uncharted creative territory. Produced by Jacquire King (Of Monsters and Men, Norah Jones, Dawes, Kings of Leon), ‘Della Mae’ showcases the band’s emotional intensity and musical invention on such originals as “Boston Town,” “Rude Awakening” and “For the Sake of My Heart,” as well as on vivid, insightful readings of the Rolling Stones’ “No Expectations” and the Low Anthem’s “To Ohio.” With an approach that’s steeped in tradition yet firmly rooted in the present, Della Mae draws from a well of influences to create vibrantly original music that conveys their expansive musical vision with timeless lyrical truths and a contemporary sensibility all their own, placing them alongside such young acts as the Avett Brothers, Punch Brothers, the Lumineers, and Hurray for the Riff Raff.


 
The Bluegrass Situation and All Good Present: The Ladies & Gentleman Tour
The Infamous Stringdusters feat. Nicki Bluhm
Paper Bird | @9:30 club | view more info »
Apr
2

The Bluegrass Situation and All Good Present: The Ladies & Gentleman Tour
The Infamous Stringdusters feat. Nicki Bluhm

Paper Bird


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


The Bluegrass Situation and All Good Present: The Ladies & Gentleman Tour
The Infamous Stringdusters feat. Nicki Bluhm

official band site »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Paper Bird

official band site »

Since the band's formation in 2007, Paper Bird has been playing its joyful blend of indie folk, blue-eyed soul, and rock to delighted audiences nationwide. The current lineup includes Mark Anderson (drums), Sarah Anderson (vocals, trumpet), Carleigh Aikens (vocals), Paul DeHaven (guitar), Genevieve Patterson (vocals, keys), and Caleb Summeril (bass, guitar, banjo). Everyone writes for the group, and there is no leader. Paper Bird’s live performances showcase the group’s diversity and good-time vibe. Their rare and beautiful approach to music has led them to be featured on NPR's All Things Considered, in a New York Times story about up and coming Denver bands, and most recently listed in Paste Magazine's Top 10 Colorado Bands to Watch.


 
The Motet
The Nth Power | @The Hamilton | view more info »
Apr
15

The Motet

The Nth Power


Friday Apr 15|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
The Hamilton|get directions »
600 14th Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 787-1000


The Motet

official band site »

Hailing from Colorado, the Motet is a world-class improvisational funk band that has dedicated more than a decade to the healing powers of funky dance music. Although the early years of the band saw a constantly revolving cast of musicians, the most recent incarnation has been touring the country for the last several years developing a new and unique style with roots in funk, afrobeat, disco, electronic music, and soul. This new Motet has quickly gained a reputation for throwing infectious dance parties everywhere they go, creating a deep rapport between band and audience.

With the release of their 7th album, the Motet has once again showcased their commitment to pushing the sonic envelope while remaining dedicated to the musical traditions that have defined their sound. The band’s decision to call the album “The Motet” is a reflection that the group has finally become what it has striven to be throughout its existence. The album is a truly collaborative effort, with each member contributing equally to the writing process. In addition, the band spent hundreds of hours in the studio meticulously crafting vintage tones that hearken back to the glory days of funk music. The result is an organic collection of strong interlocking parts and melodies that sounds like nothing else on this planet.

All bands have their influences, and the Motet is no different. The band has a long-standing tradition of putting on a musical costume each Halloween, playing consistently sold-out shows along the front range of Colorado while performing the music of groups like Earth Wind and Fire, Parliament Funkadelic, Tower of Power, and Jamiroquai. The careful study of these bands has had an undeniable effect on the creative direction of the Motet. As bandleader and drummer Dave Watts told the Boulder Weekly, “We realized how effective a great song is on a crowd. Instead of just the energetics we’re used to bringing with improvising, soloing, and extended arrangements, we really decided to focus on tunes, because we understand how powerful a great song is.”

A great song needs a great band to play it, and the Motet proves to be more than adequate in that regard. In addition to Watts, Joey Porter (keys), Garrett Sayers (bass) and Ryan Jalbert (guitar) form a core rhythm section that has been playing together for nearly a decade. This time together has led to their characteristic deep rhythmic pocket, and has created the musical bonds that allow them to take their collective improvisation to heights bordering on precognition. The Motet horns consist of Matt Pitts (sax) and Gabriel Mervine (trumpet). Although deeply rooted in jazz, their time with the Motet has made them into one of the funkiest horn sections on the scene. Front man Jans Ingber rounds out the lineup with his soulful singing, welcoming stage presence, and “Soul Train” dance moves which inspire concert goers to boogie like no one is watching.

These seven musicians form what is undoubtedly the strongest, most cohesive incarnation of the Motet to date. Whether you’ve loved the Motet for years or you’re just tuning in, listen up. You haven’t heard the Motet like this, and you won’t be disappointed.


The Nth Power

official band site »

Since they first came together at a 3 a.m. jam at New Orleans Jazz Fest 2012, the Nth Power have been defying and redefining all the conventions of what a band can be.

This is a powerhouse quartet of world class players, ones who have powered the music of icons like Beyonce, Chaka Khan, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Big Daddy Kane, funk innovator Maceo Parker, Groovechild, jazz greats Ravi Coltrane and Matt Garrison to name a few. Their sound fearlessly crosses genres – marrying funky soul, rock, R&B, jazz, Gospel, folk and World Beat with improvisational chops that can match any collective on the jazz and jam band scenes.

Though a slate of nearly 150 gigs, The Nth Power has generated a huge following among open-minded music lovers, critics and the toughest of all audiences, their fellow musicians.

And while this virtuoso,groove-heavy unit can stretch out with the best of them, what will become apparent with the Fall 2015 release of their first full-length CD, “Abundance,” is their disciplined and infectious song craft. Recorded at the Music Shed in New Orleans with Chaka Khan/Kylie Minogue/’N Sync producer Ira Schickman at the helm, “Abundance”demonstrate show The Nth Power can harness their instrumental prowess and diverse influences into hook-heavy, radio-friendly slices – direct, refined, emotive, memorable tunes that harken to the best of their many influences, from Marvin Gaye, Earth Wind & Fire and Sly Stone to The Roots, Maxwell and Steely Dan.


 
John Brown's Body
@Gypsy Sally's | view more info »
Apr
21

John Brown's Body



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


John Brown's Body

official band site »

Together for two decades and hailed as “Future roots, reggae, and dub with an intricately balanced weaving of vocals, percussion, keyboard, bass, guitar, and stunning 3-piece horn section that ties it all together” (WRUV), John Brown’s Body (JBB) is building “a legacy that has inspired and carved a path for the now thriving contemporary American reggae scene” (Rudeboy Reggae). Formed in Ithaca, New York, in the mid 1990s, at a time when there wasn’t yet a far-reaching U.S. reggae scene, JBB was one of a small handful of U.S. reggae bands that began touring nationally. Since then, JBB has played an important role in helping define distinctly “American reggae.” JBB’s music is steeped in traditional vibes, but unapologetically incorporates elements from other genres. While most American reggae bands tackled typical reggae themes (such as religion and marijuana), JBB acted more like an indie band, writing songs that used the vocabulary of reggae to express their own experiences. Their unique approach resonated with the masses. The group’s 2008 full-length record, Amplify, hit #1 on the Billboard Reggae Chart, 2012’s JBB In Dub EP reached #1 on iTunes’ Reggae Chart, and in 2013 Kings And Queens topped both Billboard and iTunes Reggae Charts at #1. Today, JBB’s signature style has become the norm for U.S. reggae bands – and many in the genre admittedly point to John Brown’s Body as a key influence.



 
John Brown's Body
@The 8x10 | view more info »
Apr
22

John Brown's Body



Friday Apr 22|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
The 8x10|get directions »
10 E. Cross St.
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 625-2000


John Brown's Body

official band site »

Together for two decades and hailed as “Future roots, reggae, and dub with an intricately balanced weaving of vocals, percussion, keyboard, bass, guitar, and stunning 3-piece horn section that ties it all together” (WRUV), John Brown’s Body (JBB) is building “a legacy that has inspired and carved a path for the now thriving contemporary American reggae scene” (Rudeboy Reggae). Formed in Ithaca, New York, in the mid 1990s, at a time when there wasn’t yet a far-reaching U.S. reggae scene, JBB was one of a small handful of U.S. reggae bands that began touring nationally. Since then, JBB has played an important role in helping define distinctly “American reggae.” JBB’s music is steeped in traditional vibes, but unapologetically incorporates elements from other genres. While most American reggae bands tackled typical reggae themes (such as religion and marijuana), JBB acted more like an indie band, writing songs that used the vocabulary of reggae to express their own experiences. Their unique approach resonated with the masses. The group’s 2008 full-length record, Amplify, hit #1 on the Billboard Reggae Chart, 2012’s JBB In Dub EP reached #1 on iTunes’ Reggae Chart, and in 2013 Kings And Queens topped both Billboard and iTunes Reggae Charts at #1. Today, JBB’s signature style has become the norm for U.S. reggae bands – and many in the genre admittedly point to John Brown’s Body as a key influence.



 
The Hamilton Live & All Good Presents
Donna The Buffalo
City Of The Sun | @The Hamilton | view more info »
Apr
22

The Hamilton Live & All Good Presents
Donna The Buffalo

City Of The Sun


Friday Apr 22|doors 7:00 pm|18+
The Hamilton|get directions »
600 14th Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 787-1000


The Hamilton Live & All Good Presents
Donna The Buffalo

official band site »

This is the rescheduled date from Friday January 22, 2016. All tickets from the original date will be honored at this show.

Having started in 1989, Donna the Buffalo has passed the marker as their 25th year as a band and have proven to be a consistent purveyor of American music. "For the dizzying array of styles and genres with which they work, Donna The Buffalo maintain a surprising level of consistency. The New York-based band has played around with folk, zydeco, and many other musical ideas over the course of their 25-year career, but they retain a sharp focus that has helped them create some truly lasting music," writes Elmore Magazine.

Donna the Buffalo is Jeb Puryear (vocals, electric guitar) and Tara Nevins (vocals, guitar, fiddle, accordion, scrubboard) joined by David McCracken (Hammond organ, Honer Clavinet & piano), Kyle Spark (bass) and Mark Raudabaugh (drums). "It's been really fun with this lineup," Puryear says. "You get to the point where you're playing on a really high level, things are clicking and it's like turning on the key to a really good car. It just goes."

"You have to do just what you want to do, and everyone likes different things," Nevins says. "Both Jeb and I come from this background of old-time fiddle music, which is very natural, very real, very under-produced, and all about coming from the gut—flying by the seat of your pants. So we have that in us, too."


City Of The Sun

official band site »

City of The Sun is John Pita, Avi Snow and Zach Para. Three guys from all around the world — Ecuador, Seattle, Israel — coming together in NYC with two guitars, a box, some bells, and a sound far greater than the sum of those parts. Their music has been called “tremendous,” “powerful,” “mesmerizing,” and “a re-invention of acoustic music.” It’s acoustic, but electric. Instrumental, but lyrical. Worldly, but deeply personal. City Of The Sun runs the gamut from wide-screen post-rock dynamics to gypsy jazz syncopations.

“It seemed as though the aggressive guitar work skated right atop post-rock chord progressions that were held down by a cajon and tambourine. The New York City band’s modern flamenco influence begged comparisons to Rodrigo Y Gabriela, showing the crowd that headbanging acoustic music exists.” - Jambase

“We don't get much instrumental rock these days… Yeah, lyrics can make it easier to convey mood/meaning, but if you can do that with just a sonic landscape, you're a true master of your art. And City of the Sun are shaping up to be master artisans. ” - Baeble Music


 
Tribal Seeds
Anuhea | E.N Young | @9:30 club | view more info »
Apr
23

Tribal Seeds

Anuhea
E.N Young

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


Tribal Seeds

official band site »

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

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

On July 19, 2011, Tribal Seeds gave listeners a brand new EP entitled “Soundwaves,” which peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Reggae Charts. The band notes that the album was inspired by their life experiences, being on tour, and their desire to inspire youth to raise their voices and seek a higher consciousness. More music is in the works and is schedule to be released in 2013. Already, the band has released three new singles, “Run The Show”, “Did Wrong” & “Night & Day” which are available for download.

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


Anuhea

official band site »

With a delicate balance of fragility, strength and sass, Hawaiian born singer/songwriter Anuhea blends engaging lyrics, acoustic soul, pop, rap and reggae into a style that has earned her a reputation as Hawaii’s #1 female artist. Rylee Anuheake’alaokalokelani Jenkins (Anuhea) was born in December 1985 on the island of Maui. She is of German, Hawaiian, Welsh, Chinese and Native American (Cherokee) decent.

E.N Young

official band site »

E.N Young, born Ian Allan Young, is a roots musician born and raised on the USA/Mexico border in San Diego, California. E.N started playing piano at age 6, which was the beginning of his musical life. His parents bought him a white upright Samick Piano that he still records and plays on today. At age 12, he broke his left arm and the doctor recommended some physical activity to help recover. In response, his father bought him a drum set to help with his recovery. Not only did it help physically but E.N found a passion for percussion and drums. With his new drumming talent, he reinvented himself on the piano and his musical world was revealed.