May
25
Be Steadwell | Arouna Diarra

all good news

 
Rising Appalachia
Be Steadwell | Arouna Diarra | @9:30 club | view more info »
May
25

Rising Appalachia

Be Steadwell
Arouna Diarra

Friday May 25|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


Rising Appalachia

official band site »

Rising Appalachia brings to the stage a collection of sounds, stories, and songs steeped in tradition and a devotion to world culture. Intertwining a deep reverence for folk music and a passion for justice, they have made it their life’s work to sing songs that speak to something ancient yet surging with relevance. Whether playing at Red Rocks or in rail cars, at Italian street fairs or to Bulgarian herbalists, this fiercely independent band has blazed a unique and colorful path across the globe. 11 years into their movement, Rising Appalachia believes that the roots of all these old songs are vital to our ever evolving soundscape.

Led by the collective voice of sisters Leah and Chloe, and joined by their beloved band – percussionist Biko Casini and bassist/guitarist David Brown – Rising Appalachia is a melting pot of folk music simplicity, textured songwriting, and those bloodline harmonies that only siblings can pull off. Listen for a tapestry of song, clawhammer banjo tunes, fiddle, double bass, acoustic guitar, djembe, barra, bodhran, spoken word, and a wealth of musical layering that will leave you called to action and lulled into rhythmic dance simultaneously. It is both genre bending and familiar at the same time. Proudly born and raised in the concrete jungle of Atlanta, Georgia, sharpening their instincts in the mountains of Appalachia, and fine tuning their soul on the streets of New Orleans they have crafted a 6-album career from the dusts of their passion.

In 2015 Rising Appalachia founded the Slow Music Movement, to help maintain an independent musical spirit in the face of such a fast-paced world. 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.

“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 wide arms to gather this great family. It has taken on its own personality, carrying us all along the journey. Heres to poetic observations, social change, lyrical messages, political focus, symphonic coercing, ferocious bantering, bicycles and train tracks, primal will, fresh air, harmony, flow, and beautiful noise. ”- Leah Song.

” Rising Appalachia is the aural divinity of two sisters seeped in the deep south flair of harmony, resistance, and poetry” – NPR

“Green Album of the Year” – the Huffington Post

“Rising Appalachia seeks to showcase the beauty of the simple, the subtle, and the sometimes unseen with its soulful folk music” – anonymous


Be Steadwell

official band site »

Be Steadwell is a singer songwriter from Washington DC. With roots in jazz, acapella and folk-Be calls her music QUEER POP. In her live performances, she utilizes looping, vocal layering and beat boxing to compose her songs on stage. Be's original music features earnest lyricism, and proud LGBTQ content.

As she pursued her career in music, she began a career in film. Shooting and editing her own music videos, Be combined her love of music with narrative film. Her film Vow of Silence received awards at film festivals around the world, including Black Star, QWOCMAP, and Fringe Fest UK. This year, Issa Rae Featured vow of Silence in her Short Film sundays program. After receiving a BA at Oberlin College, Be completed her MFA in film at Howard University in 2014.

?In 2017, Be sang at The Women's March on the National Mall behind Maxwell and Janelle Monae in Toshi Reagon's Big Lovely Band. The Astraea Global Arts Fund awarded Be a grant to produce her next album, "Queer Love Songs". In September, Be had the opportunity to open for Big Freedia at DC's Honeygroove Festival. The DC Commission in the Arts awarded Be the 2018 Artist Fellowship. Be is currently touring her music and screening her film Vow of Silence internationally.

Arouna Diarra

official band site »

Arouna was born in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, a major hub of cultural & artistic significance in West Africa. A griot from the Mandingue culture of West Africa, Arouna Diarra is an accomplished n’goni & balafon player. Performing a tradition of folk songs reflecting topics from war to love for one another, Arouna sings with spirit, nostalgia, and great joy, in his native language, Bambara. Whether performing on stage at Red Rocks, the jungle of Costa Rica, or intimate community settings Arouna and his band bring joy, harmony, and a connection to traditional folk music.

Diarra is a family name associated with the griot. In West African culture, griots are curators of the arts and of history. Their families, like Arouna’s, are composed of musicians, poets, and storytellers. Arouna was destined to bring traditional music into the modern day, further developing it while remaining true to it’s roots.

Performing styles such as Wassalou, Arouna brings a dynamic repertoire to the table, full of timing changes and improvisational prowess. He plays the kamale n’goni, a 14-string harp-like instrument (which he makes himself), with a melodic and percussive sensibility. Arouna's live performances often welcome a diverse group of musicians performing as the AZA Band. Musicians frequently joining Arouna onstage include percussionist Biko Casini and bassist/guitarist David Brown of Rising Appalachia.

Arouna was a key member of internationally-touring group, Lanaya. He is a founding member of the North Carolina based, West African folk music ensemble, Mandé Foly. Most recently Arouna has been touring the United States with Rising Appalachia, spreading that undeniable West African rhythm and joy.


 
Pimps Of Joytime
Chopteeth Afrofunk Big Band | @The 8x10 | view more info »
May
31

Pimps Of Joytime

Chopteeth Afrofunk Big Band


Thursday May 31|doors 7:00 pm|18+
The 8x10|get directions »
10 E. Cross St.
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 625-2000


Pimps Of Joytime

official band site »

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

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

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


Chopteeth Afrofunk Big Band

official band site »

Chopteeth is a 12-piece Afrofunk orchestra exploring the common groove between the funkiest, most hip-shakin’ West African and American popular music on the planet.

The core of the Chopteeth sound is Afrobeat: a big-band funk invented by Fela Kuti in 1970’s Nigeria. Afrobeat is a spicy stew of modern jazz, Yoruba tribal music and burning, James Brown-inspired rhythms.

Chopteeth’s sets feature original compositions along with updates of African dance classics, all while remaining true to the spirit of the music and its message. Band members step to the mic to serve up lyrics in a total of seven different languages.

Chopteeth, the "Crazy Fools of Afrobeat", called for rhythmic regime change on the band's award-winnnig 2008 debut CD, with its dynamic original songs. And in 2010, the band's live CD unleashed the power of Africa's Golden Age, featuring choice selections from Ghana, Senegal, Congo, Guinea, and Nigeria.

Since 2007, the members of the Washington Area Music Association have selected Chopteeth for a total of thirteen Wammie Awards, including Artist of the Year, Debut CD of the Year, World Music CD (twice) and World Music Group (for the last nine years in a row).

Chopteeth has performed on shows with a wide range of critically acclaimed world music, soul and jazz-funk groups, including Parliament Funkadelic, Trombone Shorty, Galactic, Aaron Neville, Cyril Neville, Derek Trucks Band, Ozomatli, Grupo Fantasma, Konono No. 1, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, Gov't Mule, Soulive, Greyboy Allstars, The Iguanas, War, Chuck Brown and many more.

Over the last ten years, Chopteeth has performed all over the country, from the cast party for HBO's "The Wire," to the Congo Square World Music Festival in New Orleans, to colleges and festivals in many different states. The band can be seen regularly at top venues in Washington, DC, Baltimore and Virginia, including The Kennedy Center, The Smithsonian, The Music Center at Strathmore, Carter Barron Amphitheatre, The 9:30 Club, The Black Cat, Rock & Roll Hotel, Iota, Blues Alley, The State Theatre, and The 8x10 Club.

The band also performs frequently at major East Coast festivals including Artscape, The Duke Ellington Jazz Festival, The National Capitol Bar-B-Que Battle, The Silver Spring Jazz Festival, The Adams Morgan Day Festival, and many others.


 
WOLF! feat Scott Metzger
Sauce | FREE SHOW - Caboose Brewing Co. Tap Takeover | @Union Stage | view more info »
Jun
1

WOLF! feat Scott Metzger

Sauce
FREE SHOW - Caboose Brewing Co. Tap Takeover

Friday Jun 1|doors 5:00 pm|all ages
Union Stage|get directions »
740 Water Street SW
Washington DC|p: (877) 987-6487


WOLF! feat Scott Metzger

official band site »

You’re at a nightclub one night a few years ago—the Lovin’ Cup in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood, to be exact. Your favorite local singer is on the bill, so you got there early and grabbed the best table. You wait for the gig to start…You wait a little longer…

The the singer’s backup band—guitarist Scott Metzger, bassist Jon Shaw and drummer Taylor Floreth—file onto the stage. Then comes the announcement: The singer never showed up, so tonight it’s going to be instrumental music only. Oh, and all of it’s going to be made up on the spot, since none of these guys thought they’d be performing on their own. In fact, they never even thought of themselves as a band at all.

What do you do? Well, you might get annoyed, give up you seat and stomp out into the night — which would have been a big mistake. Or you might stay where you are, curious about what could happen, and witness the birth of one of the most innovative ensembles in music today.

This trio is known now as WOLF! In some ways, they’re still doing what they did that night at the Lovin’ Cup—creating music on the spot, though now in front of audiences that stay put because they know they’re in for a few hours of daring, evocative and unpredictable performance. And, yes, they’re still working without singers.

What has changed over these past few years is that their telepathy with each other has strengthened, their horizons have dramatically stretched…and they’re about to release one of the most compelling albums by any band in recent times.

1-800-WOLF! represents everything that eludes chest-thumping power trios and even many small jazz ensembles. Nobody shows off. There are no fireworks, no screaming solos. In their place, the music of WOLF! overflows with atmosphere—a wisp of Parisian swing in “Oaxaca Ox,” a dreamy seaside mist in “Bohemian Grove,” a Tarantino moonlight spell on “Furry Freedom,” a creamy, gorgeous texture on “Denim Love Affair,” where Metzger’s solo, as always unadorned by effects, is so spare it’s almost not there. And on every track, silences speak as eloquently as the notes they surround.

Clearly, the guys in WOLF! feel they have nothing to prove. “And that’s why WOLF! doesn’t sound like anything else,” Metzger agrees. “Some guys get up onstage and just play what they’ve been practicing. We’re the complete opposite of that. We play what serves the song.”

Who exactly are the well-matched members of WOLF!? First of all, they’re all Brooklyn natives, an important point by Metzger’s measure. “In Brooklyn, you’ve got some of the best in the world playing pretty much any genre you can imagine,” he says. “The bar is high here. Nobody wants to hear your flashiest shit. Nobody’s going to be impressed. If you’re going to play a solo, you’d better really say something. Otherwise, nobody cares because everybody here has heard it all.”

Just as important, all three broke into music as sidemen — professional musicians rather than wannabe stars. Metzger has performed countless sessions and shows with artists as diverse as Trixie Whitley, Phil Lesh & Friends, Moby and Nicole Atkins, while also holding down lead guitar duties for summer festival favorites, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead. Shaw has anchored the bottom end for Cass McCombs, Shakey Graves and Sharon van Etten among many others. Floreth emerged from New York’s Collective School of Music and has since played shows with blues innovator Bill Sims Jr., guitarists Jim Campilongo and Avi Bortnickand singer/songwriter Kelli Scarr.

As they established themselves as go-to backup players for New York artists, Metzger, Shaw and Floreth inevitably crossed and recrossed paths. As their instincts for playing together grew, they began getting booked as a unit. Still, it never crossed their minds to step out on their own until that fateful night in Williamsburg. At the end of that initial gig, when the club owner offered them a weekly booking as an instrumental three-piece, they finally realized they were onto something good.

Branded with the name WOLF!, they evolved into a unique musical entity — and then kept evolving. “Our early stuff was kind of contained,” Metzger says. “As the years have gone by, we’ve learned to represent more influences. We can introduce a noise aspect or free jazz elements. We’ve become a lot less about guitar solos. In the beginning, we saw the guitar as the voice that was leading us. Now we’re more about creating arrangements on the spot as opposed to melody/solo/melody. I’m not thinking, ‘OK, I’m gonna solo now.’ It’s more like, ‘Let me compose a cool part for where a solo would traditionally go.’”

In 2015, Royal Potato Family released WOLF!’s self-titled debut. This year they follow with 1-800-WOLF!, featuring tracks recorded in one afternoon at Marco Benevento’s studio in Woodstock and the rest over three days at The Creamery Studio in Brooklyn. Each song was written in true WOLF! fashion, before audiences at gigs, with the exceptions of “Furry Freedom,” was was improvised and recorded in one take at the studio, and “You’re No Longer My Friend, My Friend,” a Buddy-Holly-Meets-Pulp-Fiction composition that Metzger admits to writing after watching an old kung-fu film titled Lady Snowblood.

The point here is that WOLF! is not afraid to acknowledge its influences, from an echo of The Ventures on “Furry Freedom” to old-school electric blues with an actual guitar solo on “All Dressed Up (Nowhere to Go).” Yet there isn’t a derivative moment on the record. Instead, the trio’s antecedents enhance the distinctive sound they continue to build together.

“To be honest, we’re trying to sound more like our influences than what actually ends up coming out,” Metzger says. “It just always comes out sounding like the three of us.”

As 1-800-WOLF! proves and as the band’s upcoming plans to tour will demonstrate in venues throughout America, WOLF! stands alone even among innovative artists in its dedication to conjuring moments of unique and edgy beauty.

“It takes a lot of guts to get up each night and not know what’s going to happen,” Metzger concludes. “Each night we play is completely different from every other night. I think it comes down to musical confidence and trust. The fact is, we can do whatever we want with this thing. And we’re just getting started.”


Sauce

official band site »

We give 'em the Sauce.

FREE SHOW - Caboose Brewing Co. Tap Takeover


 
Too Many Zooz
Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers | @Union Stage | view more info »
Jun
7

Too Many Zooz

Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers


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


Too Many Zooz

official band site »

At the 2016 CMA Awards one sound burst from the stage like a thunderquake. As Beyoncé performed "Daddy Lessons" accompanied by Dixie Chicks and Too Many Zooz -- the New York City trio which originally recorded the song on the star's Lemonadealbum -- TMZ brought the sound of the street to Beyoncé's glittering musical declaration. Glued to their smart phones, tablets, and TVs, America beheld Too Many Zooz' innovative polyglot style.

Beyoncé and Dixie Chicks sashayed the song's verses in a rollicking country vibe, but as the performance neared midpoint, a tall, burly baritone saxophonist with a luminous white pompadour took the stage like a bar-walking gladiator. TMZ's Leo P danced, shimmied, and shaked, matching Beyoncé move for move, while blowing growling saxophone notes that infused urban funk to "Daddy Lessons"' two-beat country jig. TMZ trumpeter Matt Doe and drummer King of Sludge performed on the stage's backline as a blaring brass line raised "Daddy Lessons"' intensity, followed by Beyoncé and Dixie Chicks slamming song's political theme home.

Too Many Zooz's saxophonist Pellegrino, trumpeter Matt Doe, and drummer King of Sludge held Nashville's Bridgestone Arena stage for mere minutes, but the same talent that moved Beyoncé to have the group record both "Daddy Lessons" and "Formation" on Lemonade has seen TMZ sell thousands of CDs and downloads, and inspired viral videos.

Too Many Zooz's manic music, dubbed "BrassHouse" by drummer King of Sludge, is an irresistible rocket that combines styles more diverse and far-flung than any international space station. As heard on the group's EPs -- F NOTE, Fanimals, Brasshouse Volume 1: Survival of the Flyest, The Internet, and the LP, Subway Gawdz -- Too Many Zooz creates a visceral smack-to-the-senses. TMZ's BrassHouse summons EDM, house, techno, and glitch, paired to the indigenous punch of Cuban, Afro-Cuban, Caribbean, and Brazilian Carnival rhythms. TMZ's music is further heightened by the dancing and saxophone soloing prowess of Pellegrino, virtually a bionic Pepper Adams. Like Nortec Collective mashed with Daft Punk by way of a mad sonic scientist, Too Many Zooz has conquered New York City -- your headset's resistance is futile.

"We pride ourselves that nearly every person of every color, creed and background and upbringing can find something in our music to relate to," Matt Doe says. "Someone from Cuba can say 'I hear Cuban music in the cowbells.' Someone into death metal will enjoy it next to a grandmother who hears it as old swing music. Others hear Klezmer. Whatever people want to hear in our music they can seemingly find it."

Many New Yorkers discovered Too Many Zooz at the Union Square subway station, where the trio began busking in 2014. After one of TMZ's videos went viral on Reddit, creating almost a million fans, sales of the band's digital downloads and CD sales skyrocketed.

If TMZ's music wasn't already electrifying, Leo Pellegrino's dance moves, which spin like a Zoot-suit wearing swinger, add visual thrills to the band's musical mastery. A classically trained musician, Pellegrino began dancing as both expression and rebellion. What Beyoncé loved is now available to all.

"Horn players, especially baritone saxophone players, look so lame on stage!" Pellegrino notes. "I just watched an NBA half-time show and this band's horn players were killing my eyes. I wondered 'why does the horn have to be such a lame instrument visually?' I began dancing in the subway and people loved it. I realized that I had been brainwashed, all my teachers telling me not to move. I'd been told that was improper technique, but that became my key to success."

Too Many Zooz's songs are marvels of simplicity born of musical complexity. Pellegrino, Doe, and King of Sludge condense multiple -- what might be considered clashing styles -- into a riveting jackhammer brew. King of Sludge's staccato eighth-note rhythms performed on a unique bass drum/cowbell/jamblock/cymbal setup forms the music's gritty rhythmic bed. Matt Doe's trumpet provides melody and harmony, while Leo Pelligrino's saxophone follows rhythm directions and solo revelry.

"I don't like using standardized terms when describing our music," Matt explains. "We're all doing things that are out of the ordinary. I provide the synth sound you would hear in a dance track. Leo plays saxophone but he's also providing the bass sound you would hear in electronic music. When Leo solos, it's like a breakdown when the bass is the featured element of the band. I don't solo per se, but I am playing nearly the entire show. It doesn't make sense for me to play more!"

TMZ's seeds were formed when Indiana native King of Sludge, and Boston-born Pellegrino played in subway busking band, Drumadics. Fellow Manhattan School of Music classmate and Pittsburgh native Doe played in various ensembles with Pellegrino, the threesome eventually busking together by chance -- their chemistry sparking an instant bond.

"From the start, we were all bouncing off each other, listening to each other and not thinking too much," Doe says.

TMZ have collaborated with Galatic, Kreayshawn, Jerry "Wonda" Duplessis, and, of course, Beyoncé.

"Knowing that Beyoncé enjoys our music on her own time?" ponders King of Sludge. "That's a great thing."

What's next for TMZ? The trio's upcoming EP will feature a rawer sound, the group returning to their original roots, and most likely, their original 14th Street subway station.

"When we began, it was just trumpet, saxophone and drums," Leo says. "Our first EP was pretty straight up, then we added production and guests and vocalists on SubwayGawdz. This next EP is back to our roots."

Does TMZ recommend the subway path to stardom?

"The subway, then videos and Beyoncé helped propel our popularity," Matt says. "The subway is a great promotional vehicle. There's nowhere else that you can reach such a wide demographic. If you want to get out and be seen and up your numbers, go to the subway. That's always part of our business plan."


Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers

official band site »

Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers will make a sprightly young groove doctor out of anyone. With spectacular energy pulsating from every member of the band, the Rainbow Seekers could illuminate the very chambers of Heaven. Lead singer Joe Hertler splashes through lyrical puddles of golden rain, leaving his audience wearing flowery crowns and bubbling smiles. A ride on the Rainbow will take you across the mountains of Motown, through the fjords of folk, over the archipelagos of Americana, and—at last—into a funky firth, where only the fiercest of friendships can be found.

The Rainbow Seekers began their quest beneath the fingertips of songwriter Joe Hertler. Bassist and producer Kevin Pritchard, recently thawed from an extremely rare prehistoric groove glacier, discovered the forlorn Hertler in a twinkling, mysteriously fortuitous place called The Quilted Attic. Alongside legendary glacier-hunter Rick Hale—who would later spend decades forging a drum set from pure, white-hot, ancient stardust to mark the occasion—Pritchard changed the world: He wrangled Hertler into musical collaboration. And the lonely little songsmith, it turned out, was not quite as alone as he seemed: With him came the irresistibly sexy blues guitar prodigy who is now known to the world as Ryan Hoger.

The core of the Rainbow was thereby established, and it didn’t take long for the Rainbow Seekers to continue their expansion. Multi-instrumentalist and notable auxiliary percussion maestro Micah Bracken journeyed from the bowels of Atlantis when he heard tell of the Rainbow, and the earth trembled as saxophonist and all-around bad ass Aaron Stinson descended from Olympus on a golden rainbow of his own. Then came Stinson's little-known winged companion from the Far East, the debonair violist Joshua Barber Holcomb—When he saw the pure, unadulterated joy the Rainbow Seekers sprinkled on every crowd they happened upon, he had no choice but to join them on their quest.

As you'll know if you've seen the band, seeking the proverbial Rainbow is all about the live performance. "The live show is the purpose of the band. This is why we make music. Playing music is a symbiotic process, and without a crowd it is just a bunch of guys jamming," says Hertler. "We believe that performance is not a High Art operation, and that you should do anything you can to ensure that the crowd is having a good time. From piñatas to confetti, to fog, to flowers, to drum solos, to strobe lights, to Thor, to sword battles—literally anything goes."

If you're still reading this, at least one thing is true: The Rainbow Seekers have been waiting for you. If you'll only let them, they will shake the dust from your wildest expectations. They will roar into your life with rapturous frequencies, exuberant tone, and a joyfulness of purpose that has truly become a rare sight on stage. Join them in their celebration, and they will take you on a never-ending journey to a place you'll never be able to describe in words.


 
Marco Benevento
@The 8x10 | view more info »
Jun
14

Marco Benevento



Thursday Jun 14|doors 7:00 pm|18+
The 8x10|get directions »
10 E. Cross St.
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 625-2000


Marco Benevento

official band site »

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

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

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



 
Monophonics
@The 8x10 | view more info »
Jun
24

Monophonics



Sunday Jun 24|doors 7:00 pm|18+
The 8x10|get directions »
10 E. Cross St.
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 625-2000


Monophonics

official band site »

Monophonics are just hitting their stride as one of the premier soul bands in the country. The Bay Area band delivers cinematic songs with timeless hooks anchored by Kelly Finnigan’s soulful organ and powerhouse vocals. Their sound is inspired equally by classic soul, heavy funk, psychedelic rock, and classic American songwriting.

The band’s main members live just North of San Francisco, CA in Marin county, a place revered among artists, surfers, hippies and musicians; three of them grew up here. The band members simultaneously revere and honor the Bay Area’s colorblind and highly diverse musical tradition that dates back to Haight/Ashbury’s psychedelic revolution and Sly Stone and the Family Stone’s multiracial, funky grab-bag. Soulful vocals, funky drum-breaks, psychedelic guitar licks and fuzz bass intermingle effortlessly across the band’s catalogue, most effortlessly on their newest EP: “Mirrors”.

Mirrors delivers a six-song fix to fiending fans and curious newcomers in advance of a new Monophonics full-length later in 2018. The release is all cover tunes with some well-known songs mixed in with some seriously deep cuts, all band favorites. “Sound of Sinning” (Transistor Sound Records, 2015), the band’s second full-length album since lead singer, producer and keyboard player, Kelly Finningan joined the band. Evolving from their psychedelic soul roots with “In Your Brain,” (Ubiquity, 2012), “Sound of Sinning” displays the bands’ appreciation for classic song craft and Summer of Love pop-soul-psychedelia.

Monophonics’ meticulous, yet raw recordings start just like their raucous and soulful live shows, “in the same room, cutting live as a rhythm section together,” Finnigan explains. Ryan Scott and Mike Rinta’s horn and string arrangements add accents and sonic colors to the tracks, completing the soul symphony. In the tradition of Stax, Muscle Shoals, Daptone and Dunham, Monophonics’ sonic approach is equal parts classic analog gear, (everything’s recorded to an old Tascam eight-track 1/4” tape machine), old-fashioned woodshedding, and Ian McDonald and Kelly Finnigan’s late night overdubs and studio wizardry. “We’re from the same school as the producers from the studios we love. We use the tools that we have to make the best records we can.”

Baked-in to any Monophonics record there’s a vibe, that elusive element that lesser bands can’t fake, as Kelly Finnigan put it: “I think it’s having people who are all on the same page, striving to capture that musical moment and being honest in their playing and being thoughtful and putting their ego to the side to serve the song.” Monophonics is Austin Bohlman (Drums), Ian McDonald (Guitar/Background Vocals), Ryan Scott (Trumpet/Back- ground Vocals/Percussion) & Kelly Finnigan (Keys/Lead Vocals) along with Max Ramey (Bass).



 
Nicki Bluhm
Peter Oren Trio | @The Hamilton | view more info »
Jul
20

Nicki Bluhm

Peter Oren Trio


Friday Jul 20|doors 6:30 pm|18+
The Hamilton|get directions »
600 14th Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 787-1000


Nicki Bluhm

official band site »

After nearly a decade spent with the Gramblers, and recent high-profile collaborations (Phil Lesh, Infamous StringDusters, Ryan Adams), and a split from her husband and musical mentor, vocalist and songwriter Nicki Bluhm is stepping out on her own with her new album, TO RISE YOU GOTTA FALL. The songs were written over a two-year period in Bluhm’s life and chronicle her fundamental life changes, which found the West Coast native living in Nashville, TN. “These songs are the conversations I never got to have, the words I never had the chance to say, and the catharsis I wouldn’t have survived without,” she says. Recorded in Memphis, TN at legendary Sam Phillips Recording, Bluhm brought in producer Matt Ross-Spang (Margo Price, Jason Isbell), for these live band, analog sessions. The studio band includes Will Sexton (guitar), Ross-Spang (guitars), Ken Coomer (drums and percussion), Al Gamble (Hammond B3), Rick Steff (piano), Dave Smith (bass), with Sam Shoup (string arrangements) and various special guests. TO RISE YOU GOTTA FALL tells the story of a woman searching for light among darkness and reveals her emergence as a powerful songwriter and vocalist of great depth and immediacy.


Peter Oren Trio

official band site »

Indiana-born, everywhere-based singer-songwriter Peter Oren possesses a remarkable singing voice, low and deep and richly textured: as solid as a glacier, as big as a mountain. Similar in its baritone gravel to Bill Callahan, a hero of his, it rumbles in your conscience, a righteous sound that marks him as an artist for our tumultuous times, when sanity seems absent from popular discussions. His voice is ideally suited to confront a topic as large and as ominous as the Anthropocene Age.


 
Larry Keel Experience
@Pearl Street Warehouse | view more info »
Jul
26

Larry Keel Experience



Thursday Jul 26|doors 7:00 pm|21+
Pearl Street Warehouse|get directions »
33 Pearl Street
Washington DC|p: (202) 380-9620


Larry Keel Experience

official band site »

Larry Keel is described by music critics and 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 playing amplified, acoustic 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 surprise cover from any number of musical acts all over the map. The combination is pretty irresistible, and has earned Keel the highest respect and billing among the top acoustic and jam rock musicians alive, and some now gone: Tony Rice, Chris Thile, Steve Martin, Tim O’Brien, Vassar Clements, Sam Bush, Del McCoury, John Hartford, Bill Monroe, Peter Rowan, and Danny Barnes 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 blazing guitar power, the deep rumbling voice, his earthy and expansive song-writing, and his down-home-gritty-good-time charm. Keel convenes and collaborates with JamBand and Rock giants Greensky Bluegrass, Infamous Stringdusters, Yonder Mountain String Band, Keller Williams, Jorma Kaukonen, David Nelson, Little Feat, Railroad Earth, String Cheese Incident, Fruition and Leftover Salmon, amongst others.

Keel has a variety of musical formats he presents throughout the year; look out for his core band The Larry Keel Experience (featuring award-winning and highly accomplished Jared Pool on mandolin and penetrating vocals, and wife Jenny Keel with her rock solid bass lines as well as tenor vocal harmonies), Larry Does Jerry (Keel performing the music for Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead), Larry and the Smokin’ J’s (featuring Jon Stickley, Jay Starling and Jared Pool), Keller Williams and the Keels, and steady swirl of pairings with Keel and Drew Emmitt, Andy Thorn, Danny Barnes, members of the Del McCoury Band, Steep Canyon Rangers, just to name a few. Of note for early 2017 is Keel’s top billing at New York’s Carnegie Hall, where he will headline along with Al Di Meola, Stefane Wrembel and Stochelo Rosenberg at the Django A Go-Go concert, celebrating Django Reinhardt’s influence on the world of guitar music.

Throughout his career, Keel has released 15 albums and is featured on 10 others. The most recent release, March 2016, is EXPERIENCED, an entirely original work that showcases Larry’s and banjo virtuoso Will Lee’s exceptional songwriting, singing and jaw-dropping instrumental performances, accompanied by Keel’s equally talented wife Jenny Keel on upright bass and harmony vocals. This Americana Radio charting album exemplifies the raw sophistication of Keel’s progressive acoustic style, and features musician-friends who appear as guests on various tracks of Experienced; the artists include Sam Bush, Del McCoury, Peter Rowan, Keller Williams, Jason Carter (Del McCoury Band), Mike Guggino (Steep Canyon Rangers) and Anders Beck (Greensky Bluegrass). Quotes about Keel and his music from these artists themselves capture the essence of what this album and Keel’s artistry represents:

“Larry Keel is a triple threat… songwriter, guitar player, entertainer. He can do it all.” — Del McCoury

“Larry is a true original, be it traditional, progressive, improv.. he does it all, and with such joy. I love jamming with Keel. Enjoy the music. Larry does.” — Sam Bush

“Larry is the yin and the yang.. he will break your heart with a waltz, but he can also scare the hell out of you in the next song. He plays on the edge.. no, strike that- he creates genius guitar solos while staring over the edge and laughing maniacally.” — Anders Beck, Greensky Bluegrass

For Keel the musical mission is always clear: to let natural ability, finely-honed skill, honest emotion and fearlessness connect the playing and singing to audiences, to entertain and to thoroughly enjoy the experience of creating and sharing in music.



 
The Dirty Grass Players
Two Ton Twig | @Pearl Street Warehouse | view more info »
Jul
27

The Dirty Grass Players

Two Ton Twig


Friday Jul 27|doors 7:00 pm|21+
Pearl Street Warehouse|get directions »
33 Pearl Street
Washington DC|p: (202) 380-9620


The Dirty Grass Players

official band site »

The Dirty Grass Players are an up and coming band with their own spin on bluegrass. They use traditional style vocal harmonies and mix it with a jammy improvisational feel to keep listeners on their toes. They have been playing regionally in Maryland, DC, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Coming from areas all around Baltimore, each player brings a different set of influence to the table. Alex Berman: banjo/vocals, Ben Kolakowski: guitar/vocals, Alex Tocco: fiddle/vocals, Ryan Rogers: mandolin, Colin Rappa: bass fiddle

Ben, Ryan and Colin and their friend Steve Gallagher had started playing bluegrass together in early 2015. By summer Steve was planning on moving to Nashville and Ben had met Tocco and Berman at Dear Jerry (tribute to Jerry Garcia) and invited them to jam. Once they joined the band, they really began to shape the sound. You can hear influences of traditional bluegrass like Flatt and Scruggs, Bill Monroe, Del McCoury band, as well as some heavier newgrass like Tony Rice, Infamous String Dusters, and Travelin McCourys. We also have some music that includes jazz style improvisation as well as some group improvisation similar to the Grateful Dead or Railroad Earth.

As they start to play more, their versatility shows in their original compositions and by playing tributes ranging from Old and in the Way to Iron Maiden to James Brown.


Two Ton Twig

official band site »

Founded in 2013 by two roommates in their Alexandria, VA basement, Two Ton Twig has evolved from its punk roots to incorporate traditional influences from Appalachia, Red Dirt, Eastern European folk, Bluegrass, and other forms of American Roots music to create their own unique sound. Two Ton Twig is Brandon Boling (banjo, vocals), Donnie Riggs (guitar, dobro, vocals), Alexandra Touzinsky (fiddle, keys, vocals), and Ryan Thomas (bass, mandolin, vocals).


 
Pink Talking Fish
@The Soundry | view more info »
Aug
11

Pink Talking Fish



Saturday Aug 11|doors 10:00 pm|21+
The Soundry|get directions »
10221 Wincopin Circle
Columbia, MD


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 mind-blowing 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.



 
Pink Talking Fish
@The Soundry | view more info »
Aug
12

Pink Talking Fish



Sunday Aug 12|doors 10:00 pm|21+
The Soundry|get directions »
10221 Wincopin Circle
Columbia, MD


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 mind-blowing 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.



 
Joe Russo's Almost Dead
@The Anthem | view more info »
Oct
20

Joe Russo's Almost Dead



Saturday Oct 20|doors 6:30 pm|all ages
The Anthem|get directions »
901 WHARF ST SW, WASHINGTON, DC 20024|p: (202) 265-0930


Joe Russo's Almost Dead

official band site »

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

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



 
Lake Street Dive
@The Anthem | view more info »
Nov
9

Lake Street Dive



Friday Nov 9|doors 6:30 pm|all ages
The Anthem|get directions »
901 WHARF ST SW, WASHINGTON, DC 20024|p: (202) 265-0930


Lake Street Dive

official band site »

The title of Lake Street Dive’s Free Yourself Up is both an exhortation to listeners and a statement of purpose for the band. The songs have an infectious swagger, even when dealing with awkward breakups or the unsettled state of our world. Free Yourself Up is Lake Street Dive’s most confident album yet, seriously soulful and exuberantly rocking. And, in many ways, it is Lake Street Dive’s most intimate and collaborative, with the band itself taking over the production reins and working as a tightly knit unit to craft these ten songs. In addition, the quartet drafted touring keyboardist Akie Bermiss to join them in the studio, literally freeing the band up to explore a wider range of instrumental textures, construct more full-bodied arrangements, and build stacks of lively background harmonies.

On Free Yourself Up, the sound is influenced by late sixties-early seventies R&B, AM pop, and FM rock while the lyrics are informed more by contemporary events. The album opens with “Baby, Don’t Leave Me Alone With My Thoughts,” which envisions a lover acting as a “human shield” against the anxiety of our Twitter-ravaged age. It’s funny, sweet, a little angry, and definitely right up-to-the-minute in its sentiment. Singer Rachael Price says, “I thought about that song as the thesis of this record. It’s a disco-dance fun song but it’s also a person talking about needing comfort from another person, and it has a reference to the political climate.”

The lyrics to the guitar-driven “Shame, Shame, Shame,” which feels like undiscovered, transistor-radio-ready AM gold, bravely speak to an unnamed person: “No I’m not getting caught in your little spider web/Won’t let an angry dog get me down/Don’t you think it’s time we put this dog out of his misery?/Change is coming, oh yeah…” Bassist Bridget Kearney explains, “This album is based in the realities in our time, which have inevitably become part of everyone’s daily life. It’s something you think about and obsess over—and write songs about. Free Yourself Up is about empowering yourself, emboldening yourself, no matter what’s going wrong.”

Adds drummer Mike Calabrese, “This time around, we were changing so many things anyway, we felt freer to go deep into various subjects, to explore a multitude of emotions to a background of music that is a different direction in and of itself. It’s a juxtaposition of new subject matter and new musical developments. We’re not just this happy go lucky band anymore.”

The band clearly enjoyed itself in the studio as the rhythmically propulsive “Dude” indicates. As the singer complains about a lover who is always out with the guys, a steady beat builds to a big, defiant chorus and then the song veers to the left, culminating in a kind of psychedelic duel between trumpet and guitar, its conclusion marked by echoes of the band’s laughter. The percolating “Red Light Kisses” is highlighted by call-and-response vocals between Price and her band mates (doing their best falsettos) and a classic percussion-and-handclaps breakdown towards the end. “Musta Been Something” is a more stripped-down slow-dance ballad, a showcase for Price’s voice and Mike “McDuck” Olson’s guitar.

“I Can Change” is an even more pensive ballad. “We were watching the news in the summer of 2017 and seeing people trapped in these cycles of hate that humanity can’t seem to find its way out of,” Kearney explains. “And it’s easy enough to look at that from the outside and criticize, but the really hard part is striving to understand your own weaknesses and biases and prejudices and learning to do better. ‘I Can Change’ is us summoning the courage to do that.”

Lake Street Dive was for many years a self-reliant unit. After forming in 2004, while all the members were studying at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, they assiduously built a following through a series of independent album releases, countless club tours, and a few lucky breaks. In 2013, producer T Bone Burnett invited them to join a star-studded lineup at a New York City concert where they practically stole the show—and wound up with a deal from Nonesuch Records. The band’s label debut, Side Pony, was greeted with raves. Rolling Stone called it “irresistible” and the Boston Globe said, “Side Pony is a confident, expertly played statement from a band that’s been honing its approach for more than a decade, and it clearly shows that Lake Street Dive is ready to make itself known to whatever audiences have yet to succumb to its many charms.”

Lake Street Dive spent eighteen months on the road in support of Side Pony. Despite the hectic pace, the band mates started brainstorming about their next album whenever they found a spare moment. As guitarist McDuck recalls, “We remembered how things worked before we added the crew and the bus and the manager. All of that support is great, but it left us with less time to sit around and listen to music together. So when we had a day off, we made a point to sit on the tour bus and play records for each other, the way we used to when we’d drive ourselves in a van.”

Free Yourself Up is the sound of a democratic party, organized by a band that has bolstered its deep well of talent with a healthy supply of mutual trust. Though the individual band members had traditionally written separately and then delivered meticulously rendered demos to the group, the process began to change while recording Side Pony. This time Lake Street Dive took that idea further, helping each other out on nascent songs and ultimately deciding to produce the album itself, with the ample help of engineer Dan Knobler, a former Brooklynite now based in Nashville.

That wasn’t the original plan. As the Lake Street Dive team was deliberating about which producers to reach out to, they decided to book a demo session on their own at Knobler’s tiny Goosehead Palace studio, a modest but very welcoming garage space. Recounts Price, “We go in the studio every two years for a concentrated period of time and then we go on the road and perfect what we do. But we don’t have that same practice in the studio. So we said to ourselves, ‘Let’s practice what recording feels like.’ We found out that a) we could have so much fun and b) we work very quickly in a specific way and we collaborated perfectly together.” She continues, “I think we were quite scared that without having that fifth neutral voice we would endlessly be in the decision-making process—because we are so democratic. Our fears were assuaged after that session, though.”

They sent the results to Brooklyn-based mixer Joe Visciano and, says Kearney, “he was able to do incredible things, making the record really pop and sound like it was recorded in a multi-million-dollar studio. That seemed like the perfect solution, to do it in a place that was really comfortable.” So they returned to Knobler in Nashville to complete the album, forgoing previous notions about moving to a different studio for the next step.

Kearney continues, “The process felt really natural. We had a good amount of tunes to work with, some of which we had played live, some we’d never played at all, and we kept writing during the recording process. We found tools that were fun and worked well in the studio. For instance, a friend had left a Korg synthesizer in my apartment; we tried it on one song and loved it, so we put it on a couple of other tracks,” she says. “And Akie was a huge part of the sound of the record as well; the way he plays and chooses to voice things elevates the song.”

“There was a fearlessness to the process, an open-mindedness. Collaborating allowed us to feel freer; we were sharing the songwriting burden. Some of these songs almost died in our voice memo apps but were revived—or Frankenstein-ed—in the process of collaborating,” adds Calabrese. “Dan Knobler became more than just an engineer; he was an arbiter. He was very important to the sound of the record and to certain artistic choices that helped to polish things to perfection.”

Kearney summarizes the experience of the band’s collaborative, flexible approach to making Free Yourself Up, explaining the origins of lead album track “Good Kisser”: “I had thought of the chorus or at least the opening, it was a lyrical idea I had plus a little tiny bit of a melody. Then we were on stage in North Carolina playing this cool funky groove we had started using on ‘How It Feels To Be Alone’ and I thought, ‘That’s it! That’s the perfect thing for this song idea I have. It really needs to find a home.’ I got off stage, went to the dressing room, and wrote almost the whole song—in the moment, inspired by the strength of the band that I experienced on stage that night.”

Bringing the process full circle, Price adds, “When we heard Joe’s first mix of that song, I stood up and said, ‘I can’t believe we made this in a garage!’”

—Michael Hill