Dec
1
Nick Gerlach’s Cult Conference

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Andy Frasco & The UN
Nick Gerlach’s Cult Conference | @Union Stage | view more info »
Dec
1

Andy Frasco & The UN

Nick Gerlach’s Cult Conference


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


Andy Frasco & The UN

official band site »

Proof of vaccination or a negative test taken within 72 hours are required for entry to all shows at Union Stage.


Born and raised in California, Frasco’s first exposure to the music industry came not onstage, but rather in an office. As a young teenager, he worked with legendary indie label Drive-Thru Records and helped book bands like Hello Goodbye, and by the time he turned 18, he’d already moved to New York City for a gig with Atlantic Records. When the job fell through, though, Frasco made a leap of faith and decided to launch his own career as an artist, taking everything he’d learned working with other bands and applying it to himself.

Initially, Frasco hired local pickup musicians off of Craigslist to back him for gigs, but soon he put together a steady(ish) lineup, and Andy Frasco & The U.N. began taking the world by storm. The group would release a series of acclaimed records, share bills with the likes of Leon Russell, Galactic, Gary Clark, Jr., The Revivalists, and Marcus King among others, and slay festival stages everywhere from Mountain Jam in the U.S. to Rock am Ring in Germany and COTAI Jazz & Blues in China (this summer, Frasco will perform at multiple summer festivals including Summer Camp, FloydFest and hopefully many more to be announced). NME hailed the constantly evolving group as “party-starting touring stalwarts,” while Relix praised their “raucous energy,” and Clash lauded their live show as a “nightly high-octane experience that doubles as a celebration of life and music…energized by a powerfully entertaining multi-cultural soundtrack that will shake the foundations of all nearby structures.”

Every party has to end sometime, though, and while it seemed Frasco was living out his rock and roll dreams on his 2019 and early 2020 tours, he was facing an internal darkness few knew about.

“I hit a breaking point,” he explains. “I was sitting alone in my van, and I realized that I didn’t know who my friends were. Worse, I didn’t know who I was. I was drinking too much, I was addicted to cocaine, and I was dealing with really heavy depression. I even contemplated suicide, but I decided that if I’m fortunate enough to leave behind a legacy, I didn’t want to be remembered just as some good-time party guy. I wanted to show people that I’m more than the crowd-surfing, Jameson-drinking maniac they see onstage.”

Frasco began writing poetry that eventually became songs. He wrote about despair and anxiety, about friendship and growth, about accountability and potential, transforming the poems into defiant rock and roll anthems. These songs became his most recent album ‘Keep On Keeping On' released at the beginning of the pandemic in April of 2020. Like many, the pandemic hit Andy hard. He was once again feeling that ‘breaking point’ and he quickly transformed his high energy road show into a year long digital blitz of new music, a 33 episode variety show (Andy Frasco’s World Saving ShitShow) which garnered 20 millions views, a highly attended digital Dance Party and Andy further developed his already successful and compelling podcast (Andy Frasco’s World Saving Podcast). His variety show and podcast included interviews and musical performances by many notable guests such as Tony Hawk, Kurt Vile, Nathaniel Rateliff, Kamasi Washington, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong and more.

Additionally, Frasco recently scored ‘The Great Depresh,’ an HBO documentary about Gary Gulman exploring the comic’s struggles with depression that was produced by Judd Apatow and directed by Mike Bonfiglio)


Nick Gerlach’s Cult Conference

official band site »

 
Bumpin Uglies
Dale and the ZDubs | @9:30 club | view more info »
Dec
3

Bumpin Uglies

Dale and the ZDubs


Friday Dec 3|doors 10:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


Bumpin Uglies

official band site »

Proof of vaccination required for entry to all shows at 9:30 Club.


The trajectory of Bumpin Uglies started over a decade ago, making music with friends, playing backyard parties and anywhere else they could get a gig. For Brandon Hardesty, lead vocals and guitar, it was a simple time, but one that taught him lessons that stay with him today as he leads the band into the 2020s. One was that he would do whatever it took for him and his band to be successful. Another was in discovering that doing it his way was the only way, which still applies today. Bumpin Uglies do things their way, free to play, think, and write however they feel, critics and the mainstream music industry be damned.

In the early days, Hardesty was hustling waiting tables while stoking his musical fire with every minute of free time he had. A point came years ago when he knew it was time to put up or shut up if he was going to make a career as a musician, so he dug into doing all of the things it takes to grow Bumpin Uglies from a grassroots local band into a nationally touring act. It took a tireless DIY ethic; and it still does, but if Brandon did not have the singular focus on breaking through and achieving his musical dreams, the story of Bumpin Uglies wouldn’t be what it is today.

Bumpin Uglies are a band that have hoisted themselves up and forged their own path, but even as they look around at where they are, how far they have come, it is clear to them that there is so much more work to do and they continue to do it every day. With the help of bassist Dave “Wolfie” Wolf, drummer TJ Haslett and keyboardist / master shredder Chad Wright, they are doing just that.

Bumpin Uglies recently came off the road, having to cancel their spring tour due to COVID-19. Brandon and the boys have been keeping their rabid fan group “Uglies Nation” entertained with full band live streams, hosting socially distant concerts and even a few Drive-In concerts until the world slowly gets back to a place where Bumpin Uglies can tour once again.

Fresh off the successful release of full length, “Keep your suitcase packed.”, they are in the midst of a new project called “The Never Ending Drop." The concept is simple, yet groundbreaking..

"For the last ten years, we’ve been on what feels like the never ending tour. So in a year where the tour is forced to stop, we decided to double down on the music making portion of our job description," Hardesty explains. The band released their first single, "Fear," in October and plans to release a single per month indefinitely on the second Friday of each month. Be sure to check out the new material on Spotify or wherever you stream music.

Who is Bumpin Uglies?

Brandon Hardesty – Vocals, Guitar

Dave Wolf – Vocals, Bass

TJ Haslett – Drums

Chad Wright – Vocals, Keys, Guitar


Dale and the ZDubs

official band site »

A fresh rock-reggae groove is flowing out of the nation’s capital, and their name is Dale and the ZDubs. A distinct reggae influence intertwined with a hard hitting rock style, DZD’s songs tell raw and oftentimes ridiculous stories. High-energy live shows feature multi-part vocal harmonies, along with thick guitar driven melodies. And sometimes Dale gets naked. DZD’s absolute obsession with performing live is the catalyst of their 150+ show dates a year all across the country. The most recent studio album, Tuna, produced by Jim Ebert (Everclear) and Jason “Jocko” Randall (John Brown’s Body), is streaming everywhere.

 
LITZ
Higher Education | @Pearl Street Warehouse | view more info »
Dec
17

LITZ

Higher Education


Friday Dec 17|doors 8:00 pm|21+
Pearl Street Warehouse|get directions »
33 Pearl Street
Washington DC|p: (202) 380-9620


LITZ

official band site »

LITZ brings together a wide array of musical influences ranging from funk, jam, go-go, soul, electronica and just about everywhere in-between to amalgamate a new sound for the ears of the world. Their sound strides to sonically transport it's 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.


Higher Education

official band site »

Higher Education crafts a unique blend of psychedelic soaked reggae with raw riotous rock n roll. This equation has rapidly taken them from local favorites in the DMV to playing nationally renowned venues and festivals alongside some of the biggest names in the business. ?

The musicianship and versatility of the band has allowed them to provide direct support to roots reggae legends The Wailers, to funk legends George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, to jam scene veterans Lettuce, all the way to winning over EDM crowds playing alongside Beats Antique among many others. Their ever-evolving palate offers something on the menu for all music fans.

 
Shakey Graves
@Rams Head Live | view more info »
Dec
19

Shakey Graves



Sunday Dec 19|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
Rams Head Live|get directions »
20 Market Place
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 244-1131


Shakey Graves

official band site »

The prehistory of Shakey Graves exists in two overstuffed folders. Inside them, artifacts document an immense era of anonymous DIY creativity, from 2007 through 2010 - the three years before Roll The Bones came out and changed his life.

There are stencils, lyrics, drawings, prototypes for concert posters, and even a zine. The latter, which Graves - aka Alejandro Rose-Garcia - wrote and illustrated, tells the tale of a once-courageous, now retired mouse who must journey to the moon to save his sweetheart. At the time, he envisioned the photocopied storybook as a potential vessel for releasing his music.

“There was a lot of conceptualizing going on - trying to figure out what I wanted stuff to look like, sound like, and be like,” Rose-Garcia recalls, shuffling through the physical files on his second-story deck in South Austin. “And, honestly, a lot of trying to keep myself from going crazy.”

In this lode of unreleased ephemera, CD-Rs are the most bountiful element. There are dozens of burned discs with widely varying track lists, loosely resembling what would become the Austin native’s 2011 breakout debut Roll the Bones. For Rose-Garcia, who’s long loved the incongruous art form of sequencing strange mixtapes for friends, his own record was subject to change every time he burned a disc for somebody. Consistency didn’t matter, he asserts, because there was no demand or expectations.

Thus Roll the Bones was by no means a Big Bang creation story, rather a years long process of metamorphosis where literally hundreds of tracks were winnowed down into ten. As the album took shape, he began manufacturing one-off editions of the CD, stapled to self-destruct in brown paper, with black and white photographs glued upon them, and an ink pen marking of the artist's enduring logo: a skull struck by an arrow.

“I liked that if they were opened, you couldn’t close them again,” he smiles. “Sometimes I’d spray paint the CD so they looked good and people would stick them in their car stereo and it would fuse in and never come out. They’d tell me, ‘You’re lucky I like this record because it’s the last one I’ll ever be able to listen to in my car.’”

In the shadows self-doubt that surrounds any artists first record, Rose-Garcia had a fantasy: he releases Roll the Bones, only ten people hear it, it’s rediscovered a decade later by Numero Group, hailed as before-its-time, and finds an audience as a lost treasure. He still plays that scenario through his mind like an alternative reality.

Of course, that’s far from what actually materialized. Roll the Bones was released on the first day of 2011 without a lick of promotion advancing it. It was simply thrust into the world as a decapod of perplexingly memorable, narrative-wrapped songs with a mysterious cover and no information about the artist… only available on the relatively new platform of Bandcamp.

That year, an editor at Bandcamp made it a featured album for a month and from there it stayed in the website’s top selling folk albums evermore. The record has since seen well over 100,000 units sold - even while being available for free download. In the “Supported By” section of the Roll the Bones Bandcamp page, you can endlessly click “more” and squares of avatars will keep showing up until you grow tired and stop.

“If you discover something for yourself, it will always hold more water because it’s tied to memory and coincidence,” Rose-Garcia reasons as to why he never pushed Roll the Bones onto a wider marketplace. “It gives you a sense of ownership as a listener.”

Now fans can obtain Roll the Bones as their own physical artifact. Through Dualtone Records, Shakey Graves will release a Ten Year Special Edition double LP with a black and gold foil re-arting of the taxidermied cow head cover. Separate iterations, hitting record collections on April 2, offer the 180g vinyl in a black and gold combination or two marbled “galaxy gold” discs. The lovingly assembled packaging includes handwritten deep explanations of every song, offset with original photography.

Along with its deluxe vinyl emergence, Roll the Bones today becomes available through all digital service providers - Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, et all. For the last decade, the songs have lived exclusively on Bandcamp. This full-spectrum digital release arrives concurrent with Shakey Graves Day, which was minted on February 9, 2012 by Austin Mayor Steve Adler. Year one, Rose-Garcia spent what he calls his “alter ego’s birthday,” as an excuse to go play laser tag. Ever since, he’s used it as an occasion to stage intimate pop-up shows and open up the attics of his discography - making all of his albums, plus hundreds of unheard songs temporarily available for free. “I’ve used Shakey Graves Day as a challenge to myself,” he assesses. “I make so many random songs throughout the year that I either forget about or I’m too nervous to put on an album and it becomes a clearinghouse for that. It surprises me when people tell me that something released that day is their favorite of my stuff. In a larger sense, it builds off what I initially did with Roll the Bones - which is give it away for free.”

Accompanying Roll the Bones anniversary pressing are 15 additional tracks comprising an Odds + Ends LP, which stands as an essential document of Grave’s early era. Highlights include the mandolin imbued “Chinatown,” which sounds like it could be dubbed off a 1930’s silver screen soundtrack, and “Saving Face” - a seminal version of what would become Roll the Bones title cut. The crown jewel, however, may be a the first ever proper recording of the trifling love song “Late July,” a version that’s drastically different than the live rendition that’s racked 14 million views on YouTube.

Prepping Roll the Bones thoughtful 2021 edition gave Rose-Garcia an opportunity to take a new look at the person.

“I hear someone who felt really trapped,” he reveals. “In a lot of ways it was a breakup record. My first serious relationship had fallen apart and I was wanting to break up with my life - run away, be transient, and figure out who I was in the world. I can hear myself blaming the girl and trying to support myself, like maybe it’s okay to be dirty and crazy and have blinders on. Then, at the end, everything’s zooming back in and I’m saying ‘I guess I just got hurt and I’m in a bit of pain and, you know, it’s going to be okay.’”

Claiming he’s “further confused” listeners with each release, Rose-Garcia believes this purge of early output will provide some needed framing for his discography. It’s his genesis story, before he had the studio time to make the shiny And the War Came or the full-band cohesion to make the painstakingly dense Can’t Wake Up. To him, it’s a scrappy effort, but the most intentional work he’s ever produced - and, a decade later, he wouldn’t change a thing.

“It’s a record that sounds like my years of exploration and influence, funneled through my abilities at the time - and it all became something bigger,” he muses. “If you would’ve offered to me: ‘Let's do exactly what you want, right now” Roll the Bones wouldn’t have come out like this… and I’m happy that’s the case. Total control is an unhealthy myth, it leaves out the emotional side of how all the accidents come together. This record’s a period of time smashed into a single product and, in my own heart, it’s a moral compass: to always get back to feeling like this about the songs I make.”


 
Railroad Earth
@9:30 club | view more info »
Jan
7

Railroad Earth



Friday Jan 7|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!”


 
Ghost Light
@The Hamilton | view more info »
Jan
20

Ghost Light



Thursday Jan 20|doors 6:30 pm|all ages
The Hamilton|get directions »
600 14th Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 787-1000


Ghost Light

official band site »

“I think of this album like a bunch of abstract paintings,” says Ghost Light’s Tom Hamilton. “We present the songs as a series meant to be experienced in a certain order, but at the end of the day, whatever that series makes you feel is totally up to you.”

In that sense, Ghost Light’s brilliant debut album, ‘Best Kept Secrets,’ functions much like the band itself, drawing beauty and strength from both its complementary pairings and its unexpected juxtapositions. Formed in 2017, the group brings together five consummately talented artists from across the musical spectrum—guitarists/singers Tom Hamilton and Raina Mullen, pianist Holly Bowling, bassist Dan Africano, and drummer Scotty Zwang—and thrusts them into a wholly new context. The result is a record that transcends the sonic contributions and background of any single member, a collection that’s at once gritty and refined, sprawling and restrained, straightforward and psychedelic.

“When we started this band, all I wanted to do was make the most original sounding music we could possibly come up with,” says Mullen. “Everyone’s tastes and histories were so different from each other that I was really excited to see where the five of us could go as a group.”

Hamilton and Mullen began writing the core of the album in the spring of 2017, focusing solely on instrumental arrangements at first as they chased new sounds and experiences with a little bit of chemical assistance.

“We wanted to see what would happen if we opened up some new creative doors, so we got a whole bunch of LSD,” remembers Hamilton with a laugh. “Twice a week for a few months, Raina and I would eat acid and just work in the studio all night.”

The songs they wrote during those sessions were epic and immersive, influenced by a broad array of stimuli from the tense American political atmosphere to classic cinema. They drew on seemingly incongruous influences ("What would it sound like if Sufjan Stevens made a Soundgarden album?") and composed with a filmmakers’ eye, scoring the dynamic scenes in their heads with vivid detail and deep emotion. While many of the tracks would ultimately end up being fleshed out with lyrics, several tunes remained fixed as instrumentals even on the finished album.

“I wanted to approach creating our own world the way a director would,” explains Hamilton. “Most of the songs have lyrics and those are sort of like the dialogue in a film, but in between those moments, you have these instrumental tracks, which are like long, lingering landscape shots. Those are just as important to telling the story because they’re all about context and understanding your surroundings.”

One at a time, the rest of the band began visiting Hamilton and Mullen to delve into the process of fleshing out those early demos. Lyons and Zwang developed bass and drum parts, respectively, and Bowling brought some of her own compositions to the table in addition to contributing keyboard arrangements. The process of artistic cross-pollination proved to be a rich one, and it helped break new ground for all involved. “It was kind of like working with a new medium or a new palette of paints and starting to figure out how the medium works and what it can do,” explains Bowling. “Our understanding of each other as musicians and what we each bring to the band was falling into place at the same time each of these songs were taking shape.”

With a vision for the album coming into focus, the band headed into the studio in the fall to begin official recording sessions, working out of a 4,000 square foot former Chrysler factory in Philadelphia. The sessions marked the first time all five members had ever been in the same room together, and they leaned into the spontaneity of it, setting up in a large circle to record everything live.

“We were chasing something perfectly imperfect,” explains Mullen. “I’ve always believed that the imperfections in any recording are what make it real.”

“You look at the classic recordings that stand the test of time, and they’re all about the band,” adds Hamilton, who produced ‘Best Kept Secrets.’ “It’s that human element that makes you feel what you feel when you’re listening. There’s a vibe and a mojo you can only get from musicians being present in the moment, creating together and reacting to each other.”

The record opens with the eerie “Elegy,” a scene-setting instrumental tune that experiments with classical guitars and orchestral production underneath a haunting, wordless melody. It’s a bold way to begin an album in this oversaturated age of digital streaming and diminished attention spans, but that’s what makes it such an ideal introduction into the ambitious world of Ghost Light. The music commands your concentration and swallows you whole. The rousing “Don’t Come Apart Just Yet, My Dear” twists and turns through unexpected changes as it flirts with arena-ready classic rock before giving way to Allman Brothers guitarmonies, while the stirring “Diamond Eyes” hints at Fleetwod Mac with its infectious chorus, and the intricate blend of traditional and progressive on “Isosceles” traffics in shades of Fairport Convention. Songs often find Hamilton and Mullen trading off verses only to come together on the chorus, offering up multiple perspectives within the same track.

“We wanted to embrace that duality,” explains Hamilton. “We’d cut our vocal takes at the same time in the same room so we could feed off of each other’s energy.”

That devotion to reading each other’s energy is central to the band’s identity. While much of their album is laser focused and airtight, the group’s live shows are a far looser affair, with songs frequently blossoming into extended improvisational journeys dictated by the emotional temperature of the room on any given night. Performances turn into wordless conversations between all five members, a tide-like give-and-take that makes each show wholly engrossing and utterly unique.

“An album is…a document and snapshot of a particular moment in time,” Hamilton told Live For Live Music in a recent interview, “but when it comes to taking that album and bringing it into the live arena, that’s when we turn ourselves back into the improvisers that we all are. We get to really see what these songs can do and where they can go and how they can change and grow…We just want to get out there and try to do something beautiful and interesting every night.”


 
The Wood Brothers
Steve Poltz | @9:30 club | view more info »
Jan
26

The Wood Brothers

Steve Poltz


Wednesday Jan 26|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


The Wood Brothers

official band site »

The Wood Brothers didn’t know they were making a record. Looking back, they’re grateful for that.

“If we had known, we probably would have been too self-conscious to play what we played,” reflects bassist/vocalist Chris Wood. “At the time, we just thought we were jamming to break in our new studio, so we felt free to explore all these different ways of performing together without worrying about form or structure. It was liberating.”

Recorded live to tape, those freewheeling, improvised sessions became a vast pool of source material from which The Wood Brothers would go on to draw ‘Kingdom In My Mind,’ their seventh studio release and most spontaneous and experimental collection yet. While on past records, the band—Chris, guitarist/vocalist Oliver Wood, and drummer/keyboardist Jano Rix—would write a large batch of songs and then record them all at once, ‘Kingdom’ found them retroactively carving tunes out of sprawling instrumental jam sessions like sculptors chipping away at blocks of marble. A testament to the limitless creativity of the unharnessed mind, the record explores the power of our external surroundings to shape our internal worlds (and vice versa), reckoning with time, mortality, and human nature. The songs here find strength in accepting what lies beyond our control, thoughtfully honing in on the bittersweet beauty that underlies doubt and pain and sadness with vivid character studies and unflinching self-examination. Deep as the lyrics dig, the arrangements always manage to remain buoyant and light, though, drawing from across a broad sonic spectrum to create a transportive, effervescent blend that reflects the trio’s unique place in the modern musical landscape.

“My brother came to this band from the blues and gospel world, and my history was all over the map with jazz and R&B,” says Chris, who first rose to fame with the pioneering trio Medeski Martin & Wood. “The idea for this group has always been to marry our backgrounds, to imagine what might happen if Robert Johnson and Charles Mingus had started a band together.”

‘Kingdom In My Mind’ follows The Wood Brothers’ most recent studio release, 2018’s ‘One Drop Of Truth,’ which hit #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart and garnered the band their first GRAMMY nomination for Best Americana Album. NPR praised the record’s “unexpected changes and kaleidoscopic array of influences,” while Uncut hailed its “virtuosic performances and subtly evocative lyrics,” and Blurt proclaimed it “a career-defining album.” Tracks from the record racked up roughly 8 million streams on Spotify alone, and the band took the album on the road for extensive tour dates in the US and Europe, including their first-ever headline performance at Red Rocks, two nights at San Francisco’s legendary Fillmore (captured on their 2019 release, ‘Live At The Fillmore’), and festival appearances everywhere from Bonnaroo to XPoNential.


Steve Poltz

official band site »

In 20 years since his full-length solo debut, One Left Shoe, Steve Poltz blessed the world’s ears with thirteen solo records, spanning the acclaimed 2010 Dreamhouse and most recently, Shine On in 2019. NPR summed it up best, “Critics and fans alike now regard Poltz as a talented and prolific songwriter.”

Evoking themes of “hope, love, contemplation, celebration of Wednesday, pharmacists, and the fact that windows are not inanimate objects and they sometimes have conversations with each other,” Shine On represents Steve at his most inspired and insightful. The opener and title track pairs a delicate vocal with lithely plucked acoustic strings as he urges everyone to, “Shine on, shine on.”

 
Greensky Bluegrass
The Infamous Stringdusters | @The Anthem | view more info »
Feb
4

Greensky Bluegrass

The Infamous Stringdusters


Friday Feb 4|doors 5:30 pm|all ages
The Anthem|get directions »
901 WHARF ST SW, WASHINGTON, DC 20024|p: (202) 265-0930


Greensky Bluegrass

official band site »

Click Here for 2-Day Tickets

Since their 2000 formation in Kalamazoo, MI, the quintet—Anders Beck [dobro], Michael Arlen Bont [banjo], Dave Bruzza [guitar], Mike Devol [upright bass], and Paul Hoffman [mandolin]—have unassumingly progressed into a phenomenon on their own terms with the undying support of a devout audience. Rolling back and forth across North America on successive tours, they recently sold out 3 nights at Red Rocks, a feat unheard of in their genre. During 2019, All For Money marked their second #1 debut on the Billboard Top Bluegrass Albums Chart and third straight Top 3 entry. They’ve also earned critical acclaim from Billboard, Parade, NPR, and Rolling Stone who hailed them as “representing the genre for a whole new generation.”

As always, the band embrace tradition, while ushering bluegrass forward on their eighth full-length offering, Stress Dreams.

“Greensky is and always has been very unique in our world,” observes Paul. “We put our love, energy, and focus into what we appreciate about our music. We come together as a band in a way that’s organic. We take a lot of pride in how we grow and challenge each other too. We’re maturing together. I think we get more Greensky all of the time.”

They took advantage of the time to become “more Greensky” in 2020. After touring ceased in the face of the Global Pandemic, the band hunkered down and compiled demos individually at first, sharing emails and voice notes. In July 2020, they got together for the first time in four months, dedicating rehearsals to the development of the new material. Once circumstances safely permitted, they recorded what would become Stress Dreams during a session in Gilford, VT and two sessions in Asheville, NC. The band co-produced with frequent collaborator “and old friend” Dominic John Davis (Jack White’s touring and studio bassist) and “wizard engineer” and grammy winning producer Glenn Brown. They preserved the hallmarks of their sound, while widening its expanse. “It didn’t feel like we were squeezing this project into the schedule,” says Mike. “The lack of gigs gave us the freedom to get together solely to work on this. It was a relaxed environment. There wasn’t the pressure of time; the songs got space to breathe.”

“For all of our records, we always take more time to explore and experiment,” Paul elaborates. “We finished ideas and kept going, thinking everything all the way through. We really put energy into each specific song and made it the best it could be.”

The single “Grow Together” blossoms into a patchwork of nimble banjo, acoustic guitar, and mandolin as the dobro (routed through a Marshall amplifier) teems with fuzzy heart. Meanwhile, Paul delivers an intimate live vocal performance capped off by the hook—“That we can grow old together, if we can find the time”— and an evocative electric guitar solo.

“It was the first tune I had written in a really long time,” states Paul. “My daughter was just born. When she was five-weeks-old, I sat down on the floor with her and spit this one out. It was an appreciation for my wife and what it meant to become a father. I had never been so moved in the studio as I was when we recorded it. A lot of my songs have come from an open place of serious personal emotions, but this one was different. Instead of fighting against weakness and pain, it’s romantic, happy, heartfelt, and uplifting.” The opener “Absence of Reason” borders on mystical with its psychedelically-wrung whale moans on the dobro and JJ Cale-inspired fleet-fingered chicken-pickin’, making for what the guys agree is a “positive creative experiment.” Meanwhile, “guitarmonies” uphold the towering refrain of “Monument”—co-written by Anders and Chris Gelbuda.

“‘Monument’ meant more once quarantine happened,” recalls Anders. “It’s about how our lives changed so much when we were locked up at home. We were trying to harness the feeling of everything being taken away in an instant. At the same 6me, the energy reflects the feeling of getting back on stage and playing in front of 10,000 people post-COVID.”

Penned by Mike, the eight-minute tittle track “Stress Dreams” leans into a fascinating 6/8 time signature underscored by piano and an ethereal mandolin-led crescendo.

“It was quite literally about having weird dreams,” says Mike. “There’s a circular pattern to being stressed and repeating your thought process. In our job, we operate with some level of predictability. Our schedule is booked out a year in advance. Once the Pandemic hit, we didn’t know when we would see each other and play again. Now we are playing again, but we don’t know if it’s going to be taken away in a moment’s notice. It gives added value to the present moment. To make music with my friends for five weeks was such a gift. A lot of the album speaks to this.”

The closer “Reasons To Stay” ends the album on a lighthearted and funky note with its surprisingly sexy climax as Paul assures, “You’re just made of reasons to stay.”

“It’s about the physical attributes of the person you’re spending the night with,” Mike goes on. “Paul sings it way sexier than I ever could. If my wife asks, it’s a love song,” he laughs.

In the end, the story of Greensky Bluegrass just keeps getting better as well. “There’s a duality to this band,” Anders leaves off. “On one hand, we improvise and go outside the box on stage. The studio brings out our artistic side. We grow every time we make a record. I hope you hear and see the evolution.” “We just can’t wait to play shows, hug our friends, and play music with other musicians we love and respect,” Paul concludes. “Besides, we’ve got 13 new songs to add to the set list!”


The Infamous Stringdusters

official band site »

The Infamous Stringdusters dig deep into their bluegrass roots for their eleventh full-length record A Tribute to Bill Monroe, made available on Americana Vibes. For this album - which pays homage to the Father of Bluegrass includes songs that shaped them individually, and as a band, and recorded them each remotely from their home studios.

“Bill Monroe was, as far as I can remember, the first bluegrass music I owned,” shared Andy Hall. I asked my uncle for a Bill Monroe CD box set and got it as a birthday present when I turned 18. The sound coming out of my speakers blew my mind, almost like ancient acoustic heavy metal. But then a song like ‘A Voice From On High’ would come on, and even though it was slow, it had this captivating power. The ancient tones.”

The GRAMMY® Award-winning quintet—Andy Falco [guitar], Chris Pandolfi [banjo], Andy Hall [dobro], Jeremy Garrett [fiddle], and Travis Book [double bass]—have musical influences that truly run the gamut, but their common denominator is certainly bluegrass -- the sound that has in essence defined the course of their career.

This particular body of work, the first in a series of bluegrass tribute albums, was an obvious choice in that Bill Monroe truly laid the foundation for bluegrass as we know it today. This particular style of music is still played, and honored, 75 years later and remains a total creative force, something that albeit separated by the devastating impact of Covid-19 on the live music industry, the ‘Dusters (as they’re known to their fans) came together in their truest, most authentic form to create.

The Infamous Stringdusters stand out as the rare group who can team up with contemporary artists on late night television one night and headline the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre or perform alongside The Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh the next, and have recently emerged as proprietors behind their newly found independent record label, Americana Vibes.

Manifesting an actual flock of impassioned fandom, much like those who paved the road before them, the band have attracted a faithful international audience that continues to grow. Moreover, their powerful music and performances paved the way for a GRAMMY® Award win in the category of “Best Bluegrass Album” for 2017’s Laws of Gravity, and a number of International Bluegrass Music Awards in a variety of categories.

Sometimes going back to the roots is where we are most likely to find opportunities for growth and evolution, so A Tribute to Bill Monroe was the catalyst for returning home.

“Once we realized that we were going to be grounded for a good while, we found the best way for us to stay connected musically, as a band spread out around the country, would be to record remotely, each guy from his own home studio,” shared Andy Falco. “The silver lining of it was recording albums [such as Dust the Halls: An Acoustic Christmas Holiday and A Tribute to Bill Monroe) like we always talked about but didn’t have the time to actually do because of our busy touring schedule. The most important thing is for the art to continue, and we are very happy to have been able to create despite our different geographical locations.”

Bill Monroe was most widely known for his mandolin playing, however interestingly enough, the mandolin does not appear once in the Dusters’ interpretation. So, while the nature of Bill Monroe’s bluegrass resides within the spirit of innovation, the Dusters took that same leap of faith in excluding Monroe’s instrument in that they “followed their own path to be innovators in the music they create together,” shared Jeremy Garrett, “along with exploiting the musical foundation they all share.”

This album, like both December 2020’s holiday album and their last pre-pandemic effort, Rise Sun, was self-produced offering the band an opportunity to stay connected musically, together/apart, for which they are grateful.

A Tribute to Bill Monroe is the Infamous Stringdusters telling listeners that they are slowly and continually evolving, by honoring the roots of the music that has shaped them as a band and individually. The songs are meaningful, and the musical parts have become more essential. The Dusters are a brotherhood, but that family extends beyond the band even. And with most of the past year apart (and off), the guys can’t wait to hear what the future has in store for them musically speaking, and the hope is to bring that very musical joy back into people’s lives.

 
Greensky Bluegrass
The Infamous Stringdusters | @The Anthem | view more info »
Feb
5

Greensky Bluegrass

The Infamous Stringdusters


Saturday Feb 5|doors 5:30 pm|all ages
The Anthem|get directions »
901 WHARF ST SW, WASHINGTON, DC 20024|p: (202) 265-0930


Greensky Bluegrass

official band site »

Click Here for 2-Day Tickets

Since their 2000 formation in Kalamazoo, MI, the quintet—Anders Beck [dobro], Michael Arlen Bont [banjo], Dave Bruzza [guitar], Mike Devol [upright bass], and Paul Hoffman [mandolin]—have unassumingly progressed into a phenomenon on their own terms with the undying support of a devout audience. Rolling back and forth across North America on successive tours, they recently sold out 3 nights at Red Rocks, a feat unheard of in their genre. During 2019, All For Money marked their second #1 debut on the Billboard Top Bluegrass Albums Chart and third straight Top 3 entry. They’ve also earned critical acclaim from Billboard, Parade, NPR, and Rolling Stone who hailed them as “representing the genre for a whole new generation.”

As always, the band embrace tradition, while ushering bluegrass forward on their eighth full-length offering, Stress Dreams.

“Greensky is and always has been very unique in our world,” observes Paul. “We put our love, energy, and focus into what we appreciate about our music. We come together as a band in a way that’s organic. We take a lot of pride in how we grow and challenge each other too. We’re maturing together. I think we get more Greensky all of the time.”

They took advantage of the time to become “more Greensky” in 2020. After touring ceased in the face of the Global Pandemic, the band hunkered down and compiled demos individually at first, sharing emails and voice notes. In July 2020, they got together for the first time in four months, dedicating rehearsals to the development of the new material. Once circumstances safely permitted, they recorded what would become Stress Dreams during a session in Gilford, VT and two sessions in Asheville, NC. The band co-produced with frequent collaborator “and old friend” Dominic John Davis (Jack White’s touring and studio bassist) and “wizard engineer” and grammy winning producer Glenn Brown. They preserved the hallmarks of their sound, while widening its expanse. “It didn’t feel like we were squeezing this project into the schedule,” says Mike. “The lack of gigs gave us the freedom to get together solely to work on this. It was a relaxed environment. There wasn’t the pressure of time; the songs got space to breathe.”

“For all of our records, we always take more time to explore and experiment,” Paul elaborates. “We finished ideas and kept going, thinking everything all the way through. We really put energy into each specific song and made it the best it could be.”

The single “Grow Together” blossoms into a patchwork of nimble banjo, acoustic guitar, and mandolin as the dobro (routed through a Marshall amplifier) teems with fuzzy heart. Meanwhile, Paul delivers an intimate live vocal performance capped off by the hook—“That we can grow old together, if we can find the time”— and an evocative electric guitar solo.

“It was the first tune I had written in a really long time,” states Paul. “My daughter was just born. When she was five-weeks-old, I sat down on the floor with her and spit this one out. It was an appreciation for my wife and what it meant to become a father. I had never been so moved in the studio as I was when we recorded it. A lot of my songs have come from an open place of serious personal emotions, but this one was different. Instead of fighting against weakness and pain, it’s romantic, happy, heartfelt, and uplifting.” The opener “Absence of Reason” borders on mystical with its psychedelically-wrung whale moans on the dobro and JJ Cale-inspired fleet-fingered chicken-pickin’, making for what the guys agree is a “positive creative experiment.” Meanwhile, “guitarmonies” uphold the towering refrain of “Monument”—co-written by Anders and Chris Gelbuda.

“‘Monument’ meant more once quarantine happened,” recalls Anders. “It’s about how our lives changed so much when we were locked up at home. We were trying to harness the feeling of everything being taken away in an instant. At the same 6me, the energy reflects the feeling of getting back on stage and playing in front of 10,000 people post-COVID.”

Penned by Mike, the eight-minute tittle track “Stress Dreams” leans into a fascinating 6/8 time signature underscored by piano and an ethereal mandolin-led crescendo.

“It was quite literally about having weird dreams,” says Mike. “There’s a circular pattern to being stressed and repeating your thought process. In our job, we operate with some level of predictability. Our schedule is booked out a year in advance. Once the Pandemic hit, we didn’t know when we would see each other and play again. Now we are playing again, but we don’t know if it’s going to be taken away in a moment’s notice. It gives added value to the present moment. To make music with my friends for five weeks was such a gift. A lot of the album speaks to this.”

The closer “Reasons To Stay” ends the album on a lighthearted and funky note with its surprisingly sexy climax as Paul assures, “You’re just made of reasons to stay.”

“It’s about the physical attributes of the person you’re spending the night with,” Mike goes on. “Paul sings it way sexier than I ever could. If my wife asks, it’s a love song,” he laughs.

In the end, the story of Greensky Bluegrass just keeps getting better as well. “There’s a duality to this band,” Anders leaves off. “On one hand, we improvise and go outside the box on stage. The studio brings out our artistic side. We grow every time we make a record. I hope you hear and see the evolution.” “We just can’t wait to play shows, hug our friends, and play music with other musicians we love and respect,” Paul concludes. “Besides, we’ve got 13 new songs to add to the set list!”


The Infamous Stringdusters

official band site »

The Infamous Stringdusters dig deep into their bluegrass roots for their eleventh full-length record A Tribute to Bill Monroe, made available on Americana Vibes. For this album - which pays homage to the Father of Bluegrass includes songs that shaped them individually, and as a band, and recorded them each remotely from their home studios.

“Bill Monroe was, as far as I can remember, the first bluegrass music I owned,” shared Andy Hall. I asked my uncle for a Bill Monroe CD box set and got it as a birthday present when I turned 18. The sound coming out of my speakers blew my mind, almost like ancient acoustic heavy metal. But then a song like ‘A Voice From On High’ would come on, and even though it was slow, it had this captivating power. The ancient tones.”

The GRAMMY® Award-winning quintet—Andy Falco [guitar], Chris Pandolfi [banjo], Andy Hall [dobro], Jeremy Garrett [fiddle], and Travis Book [double bass]—have musical influences that truly run the gamut, but their common denominator is certainly bluegrass -- the sound that has in essence defined the course of their career.

This particular body of work, the first in a series of bluegrass tribute albums, was an obvious choice in that Bill Monroe truly laid the foundation for bluegrass as we know it today. This particular style of music is still played, and honored, 75 years later and remains a total creative force, something that albeit separated by the devastating impact of Covid-19 on the live music industry, the ‘Dusters (as they’re known to their fans) came together in their truest, most authentic form to create.

The Infamous Stringdusters stand out as the rare group who can team up with contemporary artists on late night television one night and headline the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre or perform alongside The Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh the next, and have recently emerged as proprietors behind their newly found independent record label, Americana Vibes.

Manifesting an actual flock of impassioned fandom, much like those who paved the road before them, the band have attracted a faithful international audience that continues to grow. Moreover, their powerful music and performances paved the way for a GRAMMY® Award win in the category of “Best Bluegrass Album” for 2017’s Laws of Gravity, and a number of International Bluegrass Music Awards in a variety of categories.

Sometimes going back to the roots is where we are most likely to find opportunities for growth and evolution, so A Tribute to Bill Monroe was the catalyst for returning home.

“Once we realized that we were going to be grounded for a good while, we found the best way for us to stay connected musically, as a band spread out around the country, would be to record remotely, each guy from his own home studio,” shared Andy Falco. “The silver lining of it was recording albums [such as Dust the Halls: An Acoustic Christmas Holiday and A Tribute to Bill Monroe) like we always talked about but didn’t have the time to actually do because of our busy touring schedule. The most important thing is for the art to continue, and we are very happy to have been able to create despite our different geographical locations.”

Bill Monroe was most widely known for his mandolin playing, however interestingly enough, the mandolin does not appear once in the Dusters’ interpretation. So, while the nature of Bill Monroe’s bluegrass resides within the spirit of innovation, the Dusters took that same leap of faith in excluding Monroe’s instrument in that they “followed their own path to be innovators in the music they create together,” shared Jeremy Garrett, “along with exploiting the musical foundation they all share.”

This album, like both December 2020’s holiday album and their last pre-pandemic effort, Rise Sun, was self-produced offering the band an opportunity to stay connected musically, together/apart, for which they are grateful.

A Tribute to Bill Monroe is the Infamous Stringdusters telling listeners that they are slowly and continually evolving, by honoring the roots of the music that has shaped them as a band and individually. The songs are meaningful, and the musical parts have become more essential. The Dusters are a brotherhood, but that family extends beyond the band even. And with most of the past year apart (and off), the guys can’t wait to hear what the future has in store for them musically speaking, and the hope is to bring that very musical joy back into people’s lives.

 
Psycho Killers (Talking Heads Tribute)
@Union Stage | view more info »
Feb
5

Psycho Killers (Talking Heads Tribute)



Saturday Feb 5|doors 11:30 pm|all ages
Union Stage|get directions »
740 Water Street SW
Washington DC|p: (877) 987-6487


Psycho Killers (Talking Heads Tribute)

official band site »

Same as it ever was? Not exactly, but pretty close! Psycho Killers, Talking Heads tribute band, will take you on a musical journey through the expansive catalog of one of the most diverse bands in rock and roll history! Known for their high energy, always changing live shows, Psycho Killers deliver a Once In A Lifetime experience that must be seen to be believed!


 
Cory and the Wongnotes feat. Antwaun Stanley
special guest Sierra Hull | @9:30 club | view more info »
Feb
5

Cory and the Wongnotes feat. Antwaun Stanley

special guest Sierra Hull


Saturday Feb 5|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


Cory and the Wongnotes feat. Antwaun Stanley

official band site »

Music motivates at the most primal level.

You instinctually hum a tune in order to get pumped up in the morning, for fuel on the treadmill, to soundtrack your commute, or as the pre-game to a big night out. As much as he treasures his roles as a guitarist, composer, and producer, Cory Wong fashions himself “a hype man,” first and foremost. Living up to this classification, he slings a Stratocaster and hurls “dad jokes” from the stage with the same panache, poise, and power.

“For me, it’s all about the listener’s experience,” he explains. “I want them to have a visceral response like: ‘I feel better,’ ‘That was really fun,’ or ‘I got to escape for an hour.’ You’ll hear my voice through the guitar, but I’m just a hype man. To uplift audiences with instrumental music that has no singing or lyrics is a fun challenge. I’m trying to solve the riddle. If I can get one person to feel good this way, it’s a success.

Straight out of Minneapolis, Cory positioned himself as music’s answer to motivational speakers like Tony Robbins since emerging in 2011. Head-spinning rhythm guitar wizardry, technical ebullience, laugh-out-loud jokes, and radiance on stage established him as both a sought-after collaborator and celebrated solo artist alike. He lent his talents to television programs such as The Voice at the dawn of his career. After an impromptu meeting at the weekly jam hosted by Prince’s rhythm section (where the Purple One often either performed or watched), he crossed paths with Vulfpeck who welcomed him as a frequent collaborator and member of the band. Solidifying a fruitful partnership, the group named their most popular instrumental track “Cory Wong,” in tribute. Lighting up the stage in the band everywhere from Red Rocks Amphitheatre to Madison Square Garden, he remains a cornerstone of Vulfpeck’s storied gigs.

“I try to feature the guitar, but I don’t force myself into being the star of every song,” he says. “The instrument plays an appropriate role. It’s not all flash. I’m bringing rhythm to the forefront where it’s not so shreddy. I refer to it as ‘Covert chops.’ I’m doing things that are sneakily hard, but they lay in the cut. I allow the song to breathe and present myself as more of a composer rather than a guitar player.”

In the end, Cory transmits joy in its purest form through the guitar. “The guiding light is to impart a feeling of joy,” he leaves off. “I want people to experience instrumental music in a different way. This is hype. It’s more than just guitar.”


special guest Sierra Hull

official band site »

In her first 25 years alone, singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Sierra Hull hit more milestones than many musicians accomplish in a lifetime. After making her Grand Ole Opry debut at the age of 10, the Tennessee-bred virtuoso mandolinist played Carnegie Hall at age 12, then landed a deal with Rounder Records just a year later. Now 28-years-old, Hull is set to deliver her fourth full- length for Rounder: an elegantly inventive and endlessly captivating album called 25 Trips.

Revealing her profound warmth as a storyteller, 25 Trips finds Hull shedding light on the beauty and chaos and sometimes sorrow of growing up and getting older. To that end, the album’s title nods to a particularly momentous year of her life, including her marriage to fellow bluegrass musician Justin Moses and the release of her widely acclaimed album Weighted Mind—a Béla Fleck- produced effort nominated for Best Folk Album at the 2017 Grammy Awards.

“There’s a lot of push-and-pull on this record, where in some moments I feel like everything’s happening so fast and I wish I could slow it all down so I can really enjoy it,” Hull points out. “But then there are also times where I’m looking forward to the day when the craziness has died down a bit, and life’s a little calmer.”

Made with producer/engineer Shani Gandhi (Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, Sarah Jarosz, Alison Krauss), 25 Trips continues the musical journey begun on Weighted Mind, a body of work that built off Hull’s bluegrass roots and ventured into entirely new terrain. But while its predecessor assumed a sparse and stripped-back palette, 25 Trips embodies a far more intricately arranged sound—an effect achieved with the help of peers like guitarist Mike Seal, bassist Ethan Jodziewicz, violinist Alex Hargreaves, and fiddler Christian Sedelmyer, as well as several musicians that Hull has long admired (including bassist Viktor Krauss, guitarist Bryan Sutton, and multi-instrumentalist Stuart Duncan). Along with integrating electric instrumentation and percussion into her material for the first time, Hull dreamed up the album’s eclectic textures by embracing a free-flowing process that often gave way to lightning-in-a-bottle improvisation.

“There were some songs that we created from the ground up, where I’d go in and play by myself, and from there we’d bring in other musicians to add more and more layers,” Hull says. “It was really wonderful to work that way, where we started from a place of mystery and then just let the song show us what it wanted or needed to become.”

Immediately proving the power of that approach, 25 Trips lures the listener into its unpredictable sonic world on the beguiling opening track “Beautifully Out of Place.” With its shifting tempos and gently tempestuous mood, the song was sparked from words of encouragement spoken by Hull’s husband at a time of self-doubt and confusion. “I remember Justin saying to me, ‘I believe in you, so you’re just going to have to learn to believe in yourself,’” she recalls. “That inspired the first line for me, and the song just wrote itself from there.”

Although much of the album bears a rich complexity, 25 Trips also includes moments of stark simplicity that perfectly showcase Hull’s stunning vocal range. On “Everybody’s Talking,” for instance, her luminous vocals quietly capture the frustration of finding clarity in the midst of constant chatter from the outside world. And on “Ceiling to the Floor”—co-written with Kai Welch, a songwriter/musician known for his work with Glen Campbell and Abigail Washburn—Hull spins a tender metaphor from her longtime fear of heights. “I was telling Kai about how when I was little my dad used to try to get me over that fear by holding me up to the ceiling and saying, ‘Just touch it—I’m not gonna let you fall,’” she explains. Featuring a performance from legendary steel-guitar player Paul Franklin, “Ceiling to the Floor” drifts from memory to real-time reflection, slowly unfolding as a nuanced meditation on courage and love.

One of the most unexpected turns on 25 Trips, “Escape” emerges as a delicate collage of hypnotic percussion, otherworldly electric-mandolin tones, and poetic yet plainspoken lyrics (e.g., “I want to escape to a world that’s not closing in”). “I didn’t even have that song on my list for the album, but I played Shani a voice memo and right away she said, ‘I wanna record that,’” remembers Hull, who penned “Escape” with singer/songwriter Angel Snow. “I was a little hesitant since it’s so unlike anything else I’ve done, but in the end it was really exciting to play electric and come up with something in a completely different vein.”

In closing out 25 Trips, Hull shares an especially poignant track titled “Father Time.” “I wrote that song with Mindy Smith after spending a week with my husband and his grandma, after his grandpa had a stroke on Christmas morning,” she says. “His grandma had suffered with Alzheimer’s for years and couldn’t really stay by herself, and through that experience I decided to write about watching my husband take such good care of her, and how that made me love him even more.” With its heavy-hearted melody and choir-like harmonies, “Father Time” shows Hull’s effortless finesse in embedding her music with so many subtle details (including an instrumental reference to “Jingle Bells” tucked into the second verse). “We had our instruments with us at Christmas, so at some point we played ‘Jingle Bells’ for my husband’s grandma,” says Hull. “She can’t remember my name or Justin’s name now, but for some reason ‘Jingle Bells’ stuck, and she still asks for it year- round—it’s the most amazing thing.”

Even as its songs continually shift in genre, encompassing everything from bluegrass to folk-pop to ethereal alt-rock, 25 Trips remains rooted in the sophisticated musicianship that Hull has cultivated almost her entire life. Hailing from the tiny Tennessee hamlet of Byrdstown, she learned to sing from her mother as toddler, took up mandolin just a few years later, and began joining in local bluegrass jams by the young age of eight. With her childhood triumphs including joining her hero and mentor Alison Krauss onstage at the Grand Ole Opry at age 11, she made her Rounder debut with the 2008 album Secrets and promptly garnered the first of many nominations for Mandolin Player of the Year at the International Bluegrass Music Association Awards. In 2016, after a near- decade of consecutive nominations, Hull became the first-ever woman to win the award—then claimed that prize again at the 2017 and 2018 IBMAs. Over the years, Hull has also maintained a rigorous touring schedule, and has made occasional guest appearances with such icons as the Indigo Girls, Garth Brooks, and Gillian Welch.

Marking a bold new era in Hull’s artistic evolution, 25 Trips wholly channels the pure and palpable joy she discovered in the album’s creation—and ultimately illuminates certain truths about the indelible connection between risk-taking and reward. “One of the things I most enjoyed about making this record was getting to show the wide variety of music I love,” says Hull. “I don’t really know what category the album falls in, but I also think that matters less and less. What really matters to me is trusting myself to be who I am, and just putting my voice and my heart out there in the most sincere way that I possibly can.”

 
The Movement
Ballyhoo! | Little Stranger | @9:30 club | view more info »
Feb
10

The Movement

Ballyhoo!
Little Stranger

Thursday Feb 10|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


The Movement

official band site »

The Movement has been winning the hearts and minds of alternative-reggae fans since their inception in Columbia, SC in 2003. Drawing inspiration from Sublime, 311, Slightly Stoopid and John Brown’s Body, they’ve made a name for themselves as reggae shapeshifters with a foundation of heavy drum and bass. Today the band consists of founding member, lead vocalist and guitarist Joshua Swain, bassist Jason Schmidt, drummer Gary Jackson, and keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist Matt Goodwin. Their sixth studio album, Ways Of The World, dropped on June 7, 2019, debuting at #1 in the Billboard Reggae Chart, and remained in the Billboard Reggae Top 10 for more than 40 consecutive weeks. The Movement’s new single "Sounds of Summer" feat. Slightly Stoopid was released June 25, 2021. Their seventh full length album is coming in 2022.


Ballyhoo!

official band site »

Little Stranger

official band site »

Born and raised in Philly, crash landed in Charleston, Kevin and John Shields are breaking into previously uncharted waters with their quirky indie hip-hop group, Little Stranger. Between John’s melodic singer-songwriter magnetism, Kevin’s in-your-face delivery, and an overall undeniable groove, this duo is sure to get any audience up and moving. Stylistically reminiscent of Gorillaz and Odelay-era Beck, Little Stranger delivers a fresh take on melodic hip-hop. Every track brings the uniqueness and strangeness that their name implies.

For the past few years, the duo has perfected their live performance by playing over 100 shows per year prior to the coronavirus shutdown. The group also puts a big focus on creating arresting visual experiences through their music videos, their own eccentric television program (LSTV), and in-house graphics. Between their out-of-the-box creative endeavors and an ever-increasing arsenal of new tunes, Little Stranger is poised to make 2021 another slam dunk.

 
Psycho Killers (Talking Heads Tibute)
@Union Craft Brewing | view more info »
Feb
12

Psycho Killers (Talking Heads Tibute)



Saturday Feb 12|doors 7:00 pm|21+
Union Craft Brewing|get directions »
1700 West 41st Street
Baltimore, MD


Psycho Killers (Talking Heads Tibute)

official band site »

Same as it ever was? Not exactly, but pretty close! Psycho Killers, Talking Heads tribute band, will take you on a musical journey through the expansive catalog of one of the most diverse bands in rock and roll history! Known for their high energy, always changing live shows, Psycho Killers deliver a Once In A Lifetime experience that must be seen to be believed!


 
SUSTO
@The 8x10 | view more info »
Feb
13

SUSTO



Sunday Feb 13|doors 7:00 pm|18+
The 8x10|get directions »
10 E. Cross St.
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 625-2000


SUSTO

official band site »

Mobility has always helped define America. Don't settle for where you start. Find a new town, new coast, or new state of mind -- then make it yours. "We export this idea of getting in your car and going somewhere, trying to find something new, bouncing around," says Justin Osborne. "We live in some strange, crazy times. There is a sense of darkness. But I'm crisscrossing the country, and people are good and fun. There is a lot of beauty everywhere. I think not forgetting that is important."

Osborne is home in Charleston, South Carolina, reflecting on the personal journey and cultural climate that have led to Ever Since I Lost My Mind, the third record and label debut for his acclaimed project SUSTO. The album is a resounding triumph: a mix of new partnerships and collaborations with old friends, all anchored by Osborne's perceptive songs that explore connection, loss, and transience -- and the pain and joy each brings.

"Ever Since I Lost My Mind is very personal. This collection of songs came together over the course of a couple of years, and they all represent different moments," he says. "It felt cathartic writing all of them, and they were also all fun in different ways."

With a rock-rooted sound that doesn't shy away from radio-ready hooks, SUSTO keeps listeners engaged by refusing to occupy an easily defined space. Produced by Ian Fitchuck (Kacey Musgraves, Ruston Kelly) and featuring key input from Osborne's longtime creative sounding board Wolfgang Zimmerman, Ever Since I Lost My Mind defiantly experiments with synth embellishments, Latin heart, guileless folk, and more. Osborne's mellow vocals comfort without losing the ability to surprise -- delicate croons, growls, and occasional screams take turns.

Osborne wrote his first songs as a 14-year-old in small town South Carolina, sneaking time with his late grandfather's parlor guitar that his parents had actually forbidden him and his three rowdy brothers to touch. "So I'd go steal it out of my dad's closet whenever they were out of the house," he recalls. "It only had like three strings on it. I remember figuring out how to do barre chords, and I wrote a three-chord song about a girl I liked." Drawn to music and supported by parents who just hadn't wanted their boys to break a family heirloom, Osborne played in bands throughout high school, military school, and college.

But SUSTO didn't begin until Osborne thought he was walking away from music for good. Burned out after years of self-booking, self-management, and a relentless grind, he had played a farewell show with his then-band and was prepping for a move to Cuba. He set up an online home for SUSTO as a holding tank for demos he couldn't quite bear to toss.

When Osborne moved to Havana as part of a study abroad opportunity, he thought he was abandoning music for anthropology. But the Cuban musicians and artists he befriended had other ideas. They were among the first to see that SUSTO -- and the music that would ultimately fuel it -- captured him too well to remain an afterthought. Re-energized, he returned to the States half a year later and recorded SUSTO's first album. Just after the release of the band's self-titled debut album, Osborne faced a clear choice. "It was a weird moment. I just had to finally quit keeping one foot out of music and dive in. So, I got knuckle tattoos and haven't stopped trying to make this work since then," he says with a laugh. SUSTO's acclaimed sophomore album & I'm Fine Today made it even more clear that music and Osborne were meant to be.

In Latin American cultures, the word susto describes an intense fear understood as a condition of the soul -- an ongoing, spiritual panic attack. All of the letters of susto also appear in Osborne's full name. "SUSTO was this combination of phonetics and meaning -- it felt like me, like a name for myself," he says. "I chose the name SUSTO for the project because the meaning behind the word -- that deep fright -- was something I was experiencing, and songwriting felt like it was helping me cure it by helping me to process what was happening. Personally, it was a time of so many powerful transitions: abandoning my religion, losing touch with my family, and just having a general sense of being lost, without direction."

That nod to transition reverberates loudly throughout Ever Since I Lost My Mind. While SUSTO began as a band and still benefits from collaboration with peers, the new record also positions the project finally and firmly as what it's really always been: Osborne's vision. "I come from a background of being in bands, so it's hard for me to be comfortable taking complete control," he says. "Even being the only person in a promo photo was a hard thing for me to get used to. It's taken years for me to realize what SUSTO should be -- what it really is."

"Homeboy" kicks off the album. Osborne contemplates friends moving on from Charleston over jaunty acoustic guitar that evokes exploratory rambling before heavier electric guitar adds gravity to all the leaving. He didn't want loved ones to go, but then realized that in many ways -- even though Charleston remains home base -- he'd already left. "The whole album deals with these pulling-apart decisions -- not in a negative or a positive way, but in a reflective way," he says.

Sauntering "If I Was" is a lighthearted stroll through different identities and aspirations, followed by the optimistic yearning of "Weather Balloons," buoyed by punchy percussion and keys. Driving "Last Century" revels in timeless bonds revealed by details: "I can see you in the driveway, smiling, licking your left front tooth," he sings.

"Livin' in America" extols beloved U.S. cities and finding the right people in them. It's a self- aware ode, both gently sarcastic and totally sincere -- a timely love letter to a country whose defining quality today is often turmoil. Stripped down "Cocaine" skulks through dark corners, while "No Way Out" lounges in captivity that Osborne has no urge to escape. Gorgeous album closer "Off You" is bright and honest, an intimate moment of clarity mid-transition.

One of Osborne's favorite tracks, "Manual Transmission," was written on a cold day on tour in Norway when he was hounded by homesickness. He plays lead guitar on the track and relished the opportunity to express himself via aching strings in addition to words. "Esta Bien" soars sweetly and entirely in Spanish. "House of the Blue Green Buddha" is a love song that lands because of its whimsical specificity -- details from the home and closeness Osborne and his wife share.

The title track is a stunner: sad but hopeful, content but restless, nostalgic but progressive -- a beautiful encapsulation of the push and pull that shapes the entire record. Osborne's experiences with psychedelics also play a role, both in "Ever Since I Lost My Mind" and the album as a whole. Warned as a child that drugs would make him lose his mind, he now believes in the freedom and self-discovery that can come with letting go in various ways. He is also convinced that some people from his past think he's insane. "They think I'm a crazy hippie, and really, in a lot of ways, I guess I am," he says with a smile. "I feel more loving and more understanding."

That acceptance of himself and others may be SUSTO's defining trait. "I can lose my mind on stage sometimes -- I will break down and cry or have to keep myself from doing it," Osborne says. "I think about my grandad's guitar, all the bands I've been in, and just seeing these people responding to and connecting with the songs..." He trails off before grinning again and adding, "I just feel so incredibly lucky."


 
Neal Francis
@Union Stage | view more info »
Feb
19

Neal Francis



Saturday Feb 19|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
Union Stage|get directions »
740 Water Street SW
Washington DC|p: (877) 987-6487


Neal Francis

official band site »

On his new album In Plain Sight, Neal Francis offers up a body of work both strangely enchanted and painfully self-aware, unfolding in songs sparked from Greek myths and frenzied dreams and late-night drives in the depths of summer delirium. True to its charmed complexity, the singer/songwriter/pianist’s second full-length came to life over the course of a tumultuous year spent living in a possibly haunted church in Chicago. The result: a portrait of profound upheaval and weary resilience, presented in a kaleidoscopic sound that’s endlessly absorbing.

The follow-up to Francis’s 2019 debut Changes—a New Orleans-R&B-leaning effort that landed on best-of-the-year lists from the likes of KCRW, KEXP, and The Current, and saw him hailed as “the reincarnation of Allen Toussaint” by BBC Radio 6—In Plain Sight was written and recorded almost entirely at the church, a now-defunct congregation called St. Peter’s UCC. Despite not identifying as religious, Francis took a music-ministry job at the church in 2017 at the suggestion of a friend. After breaking up with his longtime girlfriend while on tour in fall 2019, he returned to his hometown and found himself with no place to stay, then headed to St. Peter’s and asked to move into the parsonage. “I thought I’d only stay a few months but it turned into over a year, and I knew I had to do something to take advantage of this miraculous gift of a situation,” he says.

Mixed by Grammy Award-winner Dave Fridmann (HAIM, Spoon, The Flaming Lips, Tame Impala), In Plain Sight finds Francis again joining forces with Changes producer and analog obsessive Sergio Rios (a guitarist/engineer known for his work with CeeLo Green and Alicia Keys). Like its predecessor, the album spotlights Francis’s refined yet free-spirited performance on piano, an instrument he took up at the age of four. “From a very early age, I was playing late into the night in a very stream-of-consciousness kind of way,” he says, naming everything from ragtime to gospel soul to The Who among his formative influences. With a prodigy-like gift for piano, Francis sat in with a dozen different blues acts in Chicago clubs as a teenager, and helmed a widely beloved instrumental funk band called The Heard before going solo. Along with earning lavish acclaim (including a glowing review from Bob Lefsetz, who declared: “THIS IS THE FUTURE OF THE MUSIC BUSINESS!”), Changes led to such triumphs as performing live on KCRW’s “Morning Becomes Eclectic,” sharing the stage with members of The Meters at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and touring with such acts as Lee Fields & The Expressions and Black Pumas.

Recorded entirely on tape with his bandmates Kellen Boersma (guitar), Mike Starr (bass), and Collin O’Brien (drums), In Plain Sight bears a lush and dreamlike quality, thanks in large part to Francis’s restless experimentation with a stash of analog synths lent by his friends in his early days at the church. “My sleep schedule flipped and I’d stay up all night working on songs in this very feverish way,” he says. “I just needed so badly to get completely lost in something.” In a move partly inspired by Led Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy, In Plain Sight takes its title from a track Francis ended up scrapping from the album. “It’s a song about my breakup and the circumstances that led to me living in the church, where I’m owning up to all my problems within my relationships and my sobriety,” says Francis, whose first full-length chronicles his struggles with addiction. “It felt like the right title for this record, since so much of it is about coming to the understanding that I continue to suffer because of those problems. It’s about acknowledging that and putting it out in the open in order to mitigate the suffering and try to work on it, instead of trying to hide everything.”

The opulent opening track to In Plain Sight, “Alameda Apartments” makes for a majestic introduction to the album’s unveiling of Francis’s inner demons. “I started writing that song maybe six years ago, before I got sober,” he says. “I was going through another breakup and getting kicked out of my place, and I had a nightmare about moving into an art-deco apartment that was haunted, where the walls were all shifting around.” A prime showcase for Francis’s piano work, “Alameda Apartments” simulates that dream state in its untethered melodies, luminous grooves, and lyrics that drift from despair to detached curiosity (e.g., “It remains to be seen if the ghosts are all right”). “The craziest thing is that I’d never encountered the name ‘Alameda’ in any time in my life prior to that dream,” says Francis. “It’s bizarre that I even remembered it, especially since you don’t dream very often when you’re getting fucked up.”

On “Problems,” In Plain Sight eases into a brighter and breezier mood, with Francis mining inspiration from early-’70s Sly & the Family Stone and the glistening soft rock of Mirage-era Fleetwood Mac. But in a stark contrast to the track’s radiant synth and rapturous harmonies, “Problems” centers on Francis’s exacting introspection. “It’s about being half-in and half-out of a relationship, and how untenable that is,” he says. “I wrote it at a time when I really couldn’t maintain a relationship, because I had too many issues with myself that needed to be addressed.”

Graced with a smoldering slide-guitar solo from the legendary Derek Trucks, “Can’t Stop the Rain” arrives as the first unabashedly hopeful moment on In Plain Sight. “I wrote that with my buddy David Shaw, who came up with the refrain and this idea that even though life’s going to throw all this shit at you, there’s still so many things to be grateful for,” says Francis. Propelled by the track’s cascading piano lines and wildly soaring vocals, that refrain takes on an unlikely anthemic power as Francis shares a bit of gently expressed encouragement: “You can’t stop the rain/It’s always coming down/It’s always gonna fall/But you’re not gonna drown.”

On the guitar-heavy and glorious “Prometheus,” Francis nods to the Greek myth of the Titan god who stole fire from Mount Olympus and gave it to the humans. As punishment, Prometheus spent eternity chained to a rock as an eagle visited each day to peck out his liver—which then grew back overnight, only to be eaten again the following day in a neverending cycle of torment. “That song came from the lowest ebb of quarantine, when Chicago was literally on fire,” Francis says. “It came to me while I was driving around all these abandoned streets in the middle of the night, and turned into a song about facing my problems with addiction and feeling like I’m chained to this set of compulsions.” Threaded with plainspoken confession (“It’s not in my nature to try to do better”), the track features a sprawling synth arrangement informed by the many hours Francis spent playing the St. Peter’s pipe organ. “I call that section of the song ‘The Pope,’” he says. “It’s this grand, powerful entry that’s sort of sinister, and then it just drops away.”

By the end of his surreal and sometimes eerie experience of living at the church—“I’m convinced that the stairway leading to the choir loft where I used to practice is haunted,” he notes—Francis had found his musicality undeniably elevated. “Because I was forced into this almost monastic existence and was alone so much of the time, I could play as often and as long as I wanted,” he says. “I ended up becoming such a better pianist, a better writer, a better reader of music.” Dedicated to a woman named Lil (the de facto leader of the St. Peter’s congregation), In Plain Sight ultimately reveals the possibility of redemption and transformation even as your world falls apart.

“When I started the process of writing these songs, I was so emotionally out-of-sorts and really kind of hopeless that I’d be able to come up with anything,” says Francis. “But then I sat down and started working, and embraced whatever inspiration came my way. Sometimes it felt like beating my head against a wall, but I tried to trust that it would lead somewhere. The whole thing was like a weird dream—this very strange time of terrible, wonderful isolation.”


 
Marco Benevento
@Union Stage | view more info »
Feb
26

Marco Benevento



Saturday Feb 26|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
Union Stage|get directions »
740 Water Street SW
Washington DC|p: (877) 987-6487


Marco Benevento

official band site »

Over the course of seven studio albums and countless shows around the world, keyboardist Marco Benevento has amassed a devoted fanbase, while drawing praise from tastemakers far and wide. Los Angeles Times has written, “it’s safe to say that no one sees the keyboard quite like Marco Benevento's genre-blind mashup of indie rock, jazz and skewed improvisation," while NPR Music raves that Benevento combines "the thrust of rock, the questing of jazz and the experimental ecstasy of jam," and Rolling Stone praises "the textures and colors available in his keyboards and arsenal of manipulated pedals and effects along with his deceptively rich, catchy melodies and straight-ahead grooves."

Indeed, Marco Benevento’s music covers a wide swath of ground, seemingly connecting the dots in the vast space between LCD Soundsystem and Leon Russell, His songwriting is smart and earthy, yet simultaneously pulsating with dance rock energy. Benevento’s high energy live shows—fronting a three-piece band currently comprised by bassist Karina Rykman and drummer Dave Butler—have led to numerous high profile appearances, ranging from Carnegie Hall to Pickathon. In the studio, he’s collaborated with the likes of Richard Swift (The Shins, Nathaniel Rateliff), Leon Michels (Lee Fields, Freddie Gibbs) and Simone Felice (The Felice Brothers, The Lumineers) among others.

On his latest single, “At The End Or The Beginning,” Marco Benevento dives deep down a psych funk rabbit hole, capturing the current Zeitgeist with lyrics like “We can walk and keep our distance, The whole world changed in an instant,” as it creates a euphoric trance state where listeners can reimagine these troubled times through surrealistic optimism and the pure joy of an irresistible groove.


 
Goose
@9:30 club | view more info »
sold out
Mar
1

Goose



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


Goose

official band site »

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


 
Goose
@9:30 club | view more info »
sold out
Mar
2

Goose



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


Goose

official band site »

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


 
Big Something
Kendall Street Company | @9:30 club | view more info »
Mar
11

Big Something

Kendall Street Company


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


Big Something

official band site »

Fusing elements of rock, pop, funk, and improvisation, Big Something takes listeners on a journey through a myriad of musical styles. It's no secret why this group has quickly become one of the most exciting bands to emerge from the Southeast. Huge rhythms paired with soaring guitars, E.W.I (electronic wind instrument), synths, horns and alluring vocal hooks rise to the top of their infectious collection of songs and represent a sound that has landed the band marquee appearances at Bonnaroo, Peach Music Festival, Lock'n, Summer Camp and Electric Forest as well as critical acclaim from the likes of Billboard, Guitar World, Glide Magazine and Jambase.

With 5 full-length studio albums produced by Grammy-nominee John Custer, and even their own Summer music festival The Big What?, the band has carved out their own niche in the live music community and continues to grow nationally with sold out headlining performances throughout the United States. This year the band will release their highly anticipated 6th full-length studio album 'Escape' to celebrate their 10 year anniversary. Featured on Live For Live Music, the first three singles Heavy, The Breakers and Timebomb are all available on streaming platforms world-wide.


Kendall Street Company

official band site »

Kendall Street Company is a jam-alt rock band based out of Charlottesville, Virginia. From late night jam sessions at the University of Virginia to main stages at venues and festivals throughout the country, Kendall Street Company has broken the mold of improvised rock and entered a world of jazz-grass infused psychedelic bliss. The band's musical style embraces mind-altering riffs as well as soulful and jazzy wit, while remaining true to their folksy songwriting roots. With no two shows ever the same, word of mouth has quickly grown a ravenous fanbase eager to hear their favorite studio tracks explored and extended as part of a live community. As seasoned KSC fans can tell you, any one of their songs could easily turn from a fun sing-along to a cacophonous headbanging garage-rock soundscape, before finally resolving into a peaceful ambience. “The Space Race” is Kendall Street Company’s first single off their highly anticipated pop-ambient space opera double LP “The Year the Earth Stood Still,” (set to release summer 2021). Recorded in the midst of the covid 19 pandemic, the record was born as a collective improvisational experiment over a 5 day period in a rural farmhouse studio in Louisa, VA. With imaginations running wild and sessions lasting through to the wee hours of the morning, the record quickly took on a life of its own as a time capsule of the band’s thoughts, feelings, and creative drive in a year of great uncertainty over their own future, and that of humanity at large.

Averaging over 100 shows per year since 2013, the band is currently comprised of Louis Smith [Acoustic guitar, vox], Brian Roy [Bass], Ryan Wood [Drums], Ben Laderberg [Electric guitar], and Jake Vanaman [Saxophones, keys]. For such a young band, their accomplishments are commendable. Kendall Street has performed at festivals such as Lockn’, Roosterwalk, Floydfest, Resonance, and Domefest and has opened for acts such as Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Papadosio, Umphrey’s McGee, Tauk, and Leftover Salmon. All the while, the band has proudly released myriad records, EPs, and singles to national acclaim.

 
Satsang
Tim Snider & Wolfgang Timber | @Pearl Street Warehouse | view more info »
Mar
20

Satsang

Tim Snider & Wolfgang Timber


Sunday Mar 20|doors 7:00 pm|21+
Pearl Street Warehouse|get directions »
33 Pearl Street
Washington DC|p: (202) 380-9620


Satsang

official band site »

Written and recorded during an extended hiatus from the road, Satsang’s extraordinary new album, ‘All. Right. Now.,’ finds frontman Drew McManus reconnecting with his Montana roots and exploring a whole new palette of sounds and textures, drawing on classic country and modern Americana to forge a joyful, rustic collection all about letting go and living in the moment. McManus produced the album himself, and while the songs here are certainly honest and deeply personal, they’re written in a spiritual language that taps into something far more universal, something inherent in the human condition that binds us as brothers and sisters on a shared journey to find ourselves and our place in this world. The performances and arrangements are broad and spacious to match, reflecting the wide-open fields and soaring mountains that surrounded the band during the whirlwind recording process, and the result is a lush, organic collection fueled by acoustic guitars, fiddle, and pedal steel, a warm, inviting record that hints at everything from Uncle Tupelo and The Jayhawks to Gregory Alan Isakov and The Head and the Heart as it meditates on the power—and the pull—of home.


Tim Snider & Wolfgang Timber

official band site »

For years Tim Snider has been touring the world non-stop as the renowned violinist for the American band Nahko and Medicine for the People. Performing to sold-out crowds in amphitheaters like Red Rocks and The Greek to stadiums like Suntrust Park – Atlanta, GA and Rogers Centre – Toronto, Canada. He has performed at some of the world’s biggest festivals, Bonnaroo, Byron Bay Blues, Caliroots, Glastonbury, and been direct support for Zack Brown Band, Dispatch, Rebelution, and Xavier Rudd. Now he is working on a brand new record and getting ready to hit the road with his new band, Tim Snider & Wolfgang Timber.

Tim not only plays violin but loops guitar, percussion, and vocals into a sound that has been described as a “world-folk hybrid, aimed at the heart the head and the feet.” His individual style of folk-fusion and conscience rock will leave you dancing with a new sense of purpose. He is no stranger to the frontman role having toured his original music in venues and festivals throughout Europe, Australia, Brazil, and North America. He has worked with Trevor Hall, Mike Love, Nahko, Satsang, Talib Kweli, Dispatch, Hirie, Cas Haley, and countless others.

 
Southern Avenue
@Pearl Street Warehouse | view more info »
Mar
30

Southern Avenue



Wednesday Mar 30|doors 7:00 pm|21+
Pearl Street Warehouse|get directions »
33 Pearl Street
Washington DC|p: (202) 380-9620


Southern Avenue

official band site »

Memphis-based, GRAMMY®-nominated Southern Avenue inked their first record deal with legendary Stax Records in 2016. The first Memphis band signed to Stax in over 40 years, their self-titled debut was an immediate phenomenon, reaching #1 on iTunes’ “Top Blues Albums” chart before being honored with the 2018 Blues Music Award for “Best Emerging Artist Album.” 2019’s KEEP ON proved an even greater success, debuting among the top 5 on Billboard’s “Top Blues Albums” chart amidst worldwide critical acclaim, ultimately earning Southern Avenue their first GRAMMY® Award nomination, for “Best Contemporary Blues Album”.

In addition to the early success that the band has had with their recordings, they have also found a home on the road. The band has performed in 15 countries on three continents and averages over 150 shows in a typical year, making the group one of the most sought-after live performance experiences. Their high-energy shows have captivated audiences around the globe, making this eclectic group a must-see at venues and festivals alike.


 
Lettuce
@Baltimore Soundstage | view more info »
Mar
31

Lettuce



Thursday Mar 31|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
Baltimore Soundstage|get directions »
124 Market Place
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 244-0057


Lettuce

official band site »

LETTUCE both feed the rich history of funk and also combine it with strains of hip-hop, rock, psychedelia, jazz, soul, and go-go. The GRAMMY® Award-nominated six-piece—Adam Deitch [drums, percussion, arrangement], Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff [guitar], Erick “Jesus” Coomes [bass], Ryan Zoidis [alto, baritone, tenor sax, Korg X-911], Eric “Benny” Bloom [trumpet, horns], and Nigel Hall [vocals, Hammond B-3, Rhodes, clavinet, keyboards]—once again break rules, push boundaries, and uplift on their sixth full-length studio offering, Resonate [Round Hill Records].

To date, their discography comprises Outta Here [2002], Rage! [2008], Fly [2012], Crush [2015], the EP Mt. Crushmore [2016], the live album Witches Stew [2017], and Elevate [2019]. The latter lifted LETTUCE to new heights. Notably, it garnered a 2020 GRAMMY® Award nomination in the category of “Best Contemporary Instrumental Album” and bowed at #1 on both the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Albums Chart and iTunes Top R&B Albums Chart. Elevate also soared to the Top 15 on the Billboard Jazz Albums, R&B Album Sales, and Heatseekers Charts. Not to mention, it put up 3 million streams within six months, and simultaneously received acclaim from BrooklynVegan, Billboard, Rolling Stone, NPR, and more. Throughout 2019, LETTUCE siphoned all of this energy back into the studio. Written and recorded during the same Colorado Sound sessions that spawned Elevate, the band brought Resonate to life alongside iconic producer and engineer Russ Elevado [D’Angelo, The Roots, Erykah Badu]. Lettuce introduces this chapter with the first single “Checker Wrecker” featuring Washington D.C. go-go music legends Big Tony Fisher of Trouble Funk and Tyrone “Jungle Boogie” Williams of Rare Essence.


 
The Main Squeeze
@Union Stage | view more info »
Apr
24

The Main Squeeze



Sunday Apr 24|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
Union Stage|get directions »
740 Water Street SW
Washington DC|p: (877) 987-6487


The Main Squeeze

official band site »

There seems to be an aura in the air when the five members of The Main Squeeze enter a room. A multicultural five-piece from Los Angeles, CA, The Squeeze have built a cult following in the States on the road – putting rubber to pavement and playing over 1,000 shows together over the past eight years. For a group of men with completely different backgrounds, tastes, religions, and opinions, there’s already a spirit shared amongst them when The Squeeze sit down to play together.

From diehards who have seen over 30 performances to celebrities like Wayne Brady and Cedric The Entertainer, the list of superfans goes on and on. From touring the country with jam band titans like The String Cheese Incident and Umphrey’s McGee, to producing projects with artists and bands of all genres, The Main Squeeze has shown no signs of ever letting themselves be boxed in.