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Priscilla Renea

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The Wood Brothers
Priscilla Renea | @9:30 club | view more info »
Jan
17

The Wood Brothers

Priscilla Renea


Thursday Jan 17|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 »

“It’s the freest album we’ve done, the most independent album we’ve done, and was the most fun we’ve ever had making a record,” says Oliver Wood. “And most importantly, this is the most purely Wood Brothers’ album we’ve ever made.”

Indeed, The Wood Brothers’ sixth outing, ‘One Drop of Truth,’ dives headfirst into a deep wellspring of sounds, styles and influences. Whereas their previous outings have often followed a conceptual and sonic through-line, here the long-standing trio featuring brothers Oliver and Chris Wood along with Jano Rix treat each song as if it were its own short film. The plaintive, country-folk of the album’s opening track “River Takes The Town” gives way to the The Band-esque Americana soul of “Happiness Jones.” The wistful ballad “Strange As It Seems” floats on a cloud of stream of consciousness, standing in stark contrast to “Sky High”—a Saturday night barnburner built upon stinging slide guitar funk. “Seasick Emotions” is rife with turmoil, yet “Sparking Wine” is jaunty and carefree. The end result is undeniably The Wood Brothers’ most dynamic recording to date.

“Often, when you’re making an album in the traditional way, there will be a unifying concept, whether that be in the approach to the music stylistically or lyrically in terms over the overall narrative. And even though there are some themes that revealed themselves later, this one is all over the place,” explains Oliver Wood. “What I really love about this record is that each one of these songs has its own little world. There are diver-se sounds and vibes from one track to the next.”

Building off the success of their previous studio album, 2015’s ‘Paradise,’ which was dubbed “the warmest, most sublime and occasionally rowdiest Wood Brothers release yet,” by American Songwriter, the band found themselves at a fortuitous crossroads. Following a tour with Tedeschi Trucks Band, high profile festival dates and sold out headline shows, the band felt free from the cyclical album release, tour, write, record and do-it-all-over-again pressures of the traditional music business. With all three members living in Nashville affording easy access to each other and a wealth of local independent studios at their disposal, they started work in January of 2017 with a new approach.

“Instead of going into one studio and recording it all at the same time, we picked a couple studios, and started to experiment,” says Chris Wood. “Sometimes we’d just make demos of songs to see if we got anything we liked. There was no pressure, and that really freed us up. We just did one or two songs a day, put it aside, let the songs simmer, and then we’d have a fresh perspective on what was working or not working. You need time to go by to gain objectivity.”

The band extended this approach to the mixing process, sending tracks to four different mixing engineers, each selected based on what the song demanded. Scotty Hard (who’s worked extensively with Medeski Martin & Wood, among others) was recruited for the “edgier, funkier tunes,” “Sky High” and “Happiness Jones.” Mike Poole (who worked on The Wood Brothers album ‘The Muse’) mixed “Sparkling Wine” and “Strange As It Seems.” Their old friend Brandon Belle from Zac Brown’s studio Southern Ground took on “Laughin’ Or Crying.” The remainder of the album was mixed by Grammy Award-winning engineer Trina Shoemaker, especially sought after by The Wood Brothers for her work with Brandi Carlile.

While the songs on ‘One Drop of Truth’ achieve the goal of standing on their own, a few common themes did, inevitably, emerge. Water—whether in a teardrop, a storm, a river or a libation—was being used as a metaphor in the search for truth and happiness. Chris Wood’s “Seasick Emotion,” one of two songs he sings on the collection serves as a prime example: “All the blue sky is gone / How can I get out of bed / This hurricane in my head / I’m just a boat in a storm / How can I know where to go / When everything that I know / Is already lost in the wind.”

“That one was written last fall during a hurricane, while at the same time the election was coming up, and there was all this crazy energy in the world,” Chris reveals. “I definitely got swept away emotionally by everything that was going on.”

Album opener, “River Takes the Town,” takes on both figurative and literal meaning. It was completed just as a series of hurricanes were decimating parts of the U.S.: “It's been a few days since I heard any word from you / and I don't sleep easy, I don't sleep easy / and the rain keeps comin’, the rain keeps comin’ / nothin's ever for certain / 'til the levee breaks down / the water comes in and the river / the river takes the town.”

“I remember hearing a news story about a flood in Shreveport, and I wrote the line ‘I hope the levee in Shreveport does what it's supposed to do,’” explains Oliver. “I was writing literally, at first, about how scary it must be when people lose power and communication with those they love. But then the lyrics became a metaphor for something more interpersonal. And by the end of this summer, it seemed to take on new meaning yet again.”

Though emotional struggle is a recurring thread, so is the comforting truth of how much wisdom comes from the hard times. The song “Happiness Jones”, was based on a news article Oliver read about how our society is addicted to happiness, antidepressants, and the distorted “happy” reality social media can depict. As a result, people feel like it’s unnatural to be sad, yet. sadness can be a gift: “All of my wisdom came from all the toughest days / I never learned a thing bein’ happy / all of my sufferin’ came / I didn’t appreciate it / I never learned a thing being happy.”

While the majority of ‘One Drop of Truth’ was written and recorded as a group, the standout track “Strange As It Seems,” described by Chris as, “a classic Oliver song,” was an exception.

“I had recorded it a couple months before Chris and Jano added their parts, so I was excited to see what they would do with it. We talked a lot about it having a dreamlike quality to it. Chris has all these cool sound effects that he can make with the bowed bass, and then Jano played the melodica and the piano on it, and they added exactly the atmosphere that it needed,” explains Oliver. “Conceptually, I almost think of it like a Tim Burton movie, where you go to sleep, and you go into this dream world, to meet your lover, but you do so with purpose. You bring your wallet, you get dressed up, you’re going on a date. The idea being, that you rendezvous in the dream. One of my favorite things about any song is ambiguity, leaving it open to interpretation. Maybe the man and woman in this song are already married, and they’re on separate sides of the bed, and they’re disconnected, so they’re hoping to find a better version of a partner in their dreams. Or, maybe they are two lonely people, in separate places, finding each other in this dreamworld. But at the end of the song, the guy wakes up, and he goes down to the kitchen, and he’s with his wife and it’s a beautiful thing, and they dance in the light. So perhaps there’s also an element of hope, whether they’re lonely, or they’re disconnected, there’s still a connection there, sometimes you have to go to that other level to realize it.”

Fittingly titled, ‘One Drop of Truth,’ the latest entry in The Wood Brothers evolution finds three musicians being true to themselves. At a point in their career where most artists would be looking to strategically position themselves for even greater commercial success, they instead turned to artistic expression in service of the muse. In chaotic times when honesty is in short supply and ulterior motives seem to always be at play, The Wood Brothers put faith in themselves and ultimately their audience by writing and recording a collection of songs that is honest and pure. As they sing on the album’s title track: “Rather die hungry / than feasting on lies / Give me one drop of truth / I cannot deny.”


Priscilla Renea

official band site »

Priscilla Renea is an artist and songwriter born in Florida and based in Los Angeles. Priscilla is best known for penning hit records for pop artists including Kelly Clarkson’s 2018 Grammy Nominated single “Love So Soft,” Rihanna’s “California King Bed,” Kesha’s “Timber,” Fifth Harmony’s “Worth It,” and Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood’s “Something’ Bad.” Priscilla is now embarking on the next leg of her career - releasing her debut album Coloured. Coloured is a genre blending album that incorporates elements of pop, R&B, and country music with soulful undertones. She traveled back and forth between Nashville and Los Angeles to create Coloured, collaborating both with country’s top songwriters (Ashley Gorley, Kevin Kadish) and hip-hop’s top producers (Honorable C.N.O.T.E., Sauce, Theron Feemster). Coloured, which Renea describes as “a big gumbo of everything that’s happening in my life,” showcases her powerhouse voice and engaging story-telling on such classic urban-soul ballads as “Heavenly,” “If I Ever Loved You,” and “Let’s Build A House” (the latter two Renea co-wrote with Nashville A-lister Ashley Gorley), as well as rule-breaking country-inspired tunes like the autobiographical “Family Tree,” “Jonjo,” and “Gentle Hands.”


 
The Wood Brothers
Priscilla Renea | @9:30 club | view more info »
sold out
Jan
18

The Wood Brothers

Priscilla Renea


Friday Jan 18|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930
Sold Out


The Wood Brothers

official band site »

“It’s the freest album we’ve done, the most independent album we’ve done, and was the most fun we’ve ever had making a record,” says Oliver Wood. “And most importantly, this is the most purely Wood Brothers’ album we’ve ever made.”

Indeed, The Wood Brothers’ sixth outing, ‘One Drop of Truth,’ dives headfirst into a deep wellspring of sounds, styles and influences. Whereas their previous outings have often followed a conceptual and sonic through-line, here the long-standing trio featuring brothers Oliver and Chris Wood along with Jano Rix treat each song as if it were its own short film. The plaintive, country-folk of the album’s opening track “River Takes The Town” gives way to the The Band-esque Americana soul of “Happiness Jones.” The wistful ballad “Strange As It Seems” floats on a cloud of stream of consciousness, standing in stark contrast to “Sky High”—a Saturday night barnburner built upon stinging slide guitar funk. “Seasick Emotions” is rife with turmoil, yet “Sparking Wine” is jaunty and carefree. The end result is undeniably The Wood Brothers’ most dynamic recording to date.

“Often, when you’re making an album in the traditional way, there will be a unifying concept, whether that be in the approach to the music stylistically or lyrically in terms over the overall narrative. And even though there are some themes that revealed themselves later, this one is all over the place,” explains Oliver Wood. “What I really love about this record is that each one of these songs has its own little world. There are diver-se sounds and vibes from one track to the next.”

Building off the success of their previous studio album, 2015’s ‘Paradise,’ which was dubbed “the warmest, most sublime and occasionally rowdiest Wood Brothers release yet,” by American Songwriter, the band found themselves at a fortuitous crossroads. Following a tour with Tedeschi Trucks Band, high profile festival dates and sold out headline shows, the band felt free from the cyclical album release, tour, write, record and do-it-all-over-again pressures of the traditional music business. With all three members living in Nashville affording easy access to each other and a wealth of local independent studios at their disposal, they started work in January of 2017 with a new approach.

“Instead of going into one studio and recording it all at the same time, we picked a couple studios, and started to experiment,” says Chris Wood. “Sometimes we’d just make demos of songs to see if we got anything we liked. There was no pressure, and that really freed us up. We just did one or two songs a day, put it aside, let the songs simmer, and then we’d have a fresh perspective on what was working or not working. You need time to go by to gain objectivity.”

The band extended this approach to the mixing process, sending tracks to four different mixing engineers, each selected based on what the song demanded. Scotty Hard (who’s worked extensively with Medeski Martin & Wood, among others) was recruited for the “edgier, funkier tunes,” “Sky High” and “Happiness Jones.” Mike Poole (who worked on The Wood Brothers album ‘The Muse’) mixed “Sparkling Wine” and “Strange As It Seems.” Their old friend Brandon Belle from Zac Brown’s studio Southern Ground took on “Laughin’ Or Crying.” The remainder of the album was mixed by Grammy Award-winning engineer Trina Shoemaker, especially sought after by The Wood Brothers for her work with Brandi Carlile.

While the songs on ‘One Drop of Truth’ achieve the goal of standing on their own, a few common themes did, inevitably, emerge. Water—whether in a teardrop, a storm, a river or a libation—was being used as a metaphor in the search for truth and happiness. Chris Wood’s “Seasick Emotion,” one of two songs he sings on the collection serves as a prime example: “All the blue sky is gone / How can I get out of bed / This hurricane in my head / I’m just a boat in a storm / How can I know where to go / When everything that I know / Is already lost in the wind.”

“That one was written last fall during a hurricane, while at the same time the election was coming up, and there was all this crazy energy in the world,” Chris reveals. “I definitely got swept away emotionally by everything that was going on.”

Album opener, “River Takes the Town,” takes on both figurative and literal meaning. It was completed just as a series of hurricanes were decimating parts of the U.S.: “It's been a few days since I heard any word from you / and I don't sleep easy, I don't sleep easy / and the rain keeps comin’, the rain keeps comin’ / nothin's ever for certain / 'til the levee breaks down / the water comes in and the river / the river takes the town.”

“I remember hearing a news story about a flood in Shreveport, and I wrote the line ‘I hope the levee in Shreveport does what it's supposed to do,’” explains Oliver. “I was writing literally, at first, about how scary it must be when people lose power and communication with those they love. But then the lyrics became a metaphor for something more interpersonal. And by the end of this summer, it seemed to take on new meaning yet again.”

Though emotional struggle is a recurring thread, so is the comforting truth of how much wisdom comes from the hard times. The song “Happiness Jones”, was based on a news article Oliver read about how our society is addicted to happiness, antidepressants, and the distorted “happy” reality social media can depict. As a result, people feel like it’s unnatural to be sad, yet. sadness can be a gift: “All of my wisdom came from all the toughest days / I never learned a thing bein’ happy / all of my sufferin’ came / I didn’t appreciate it / I never learned a thing being happy.”

While the majority of ‘One Drop of Truth’ was written and recorded as a group, the standout track “Strange As It Seems,” described by Chris as, “a classic Oliver song,” was an exception.

“I had recorded it a couple months before Chris and Jano added their parts, so I was excited to see what they would do with it. We talked a lot about it having a dreamlike quality to it. Chris has all these cool sound effects that he can make with the bowed bass, and then Jano played the melodica and the piano on it, and they added exactly the atmosphere that it needed,” explains Oliver. “Conceptually, I almost think of it like a Tim Burton movie, where you go to sleep, and you go into this dream world, to meet your lover, but you do so with purpose. You bring your wallet, you get dressed up, you’re going on a date. The idea being, that you rendezvous in the dream. One of my favorite things about any song is ambiguity, leaving it open to interpretation. Maybe the man and woman in this song are already married, and they’re on separate sides of the bed, and they’re disconnected, so they’re hoping to find a better version of a partner in their dreams. Or, maybe they are two lonely people, in separate places, finding each other in this dreamworld. But at the end of the song, the guy wakes up, and he goes down to the kitchen, and he’s with his wife and it’s a beautiful thing, and they dance in the light. So perhaps there’s also an element of hope, whether they’re lonely, or they’re disconnected, there’s still a connection there, sometimes you have to go to that other level to realize it.”

Fittingly titled, ‘One Drop of Truth,’ the latest entry in The Wood Brothers evolution finds three musicians being true to themselves. At a point in their career where most artists would be looking to strategically position themselves for even greater commercial success, they instead turned to artistic expression in service of the muse. In chaotic times when honesty is in short supply and ulterior motives seem to always be at play, The Wood Brothers put faith in themselves and ultimately their audience by writing and recording a collection of songs that is honest and pure. As they sing on the album’s title track: “Rather die hungry / than feasting on lies / Give me one drop of truth / I cannot deny.”


Priscilla Renea

official band site »

Priscilla Renea is an artist and songwriter born in Florida and based in Los Angeles. Priscilla is best known for penning hit records for pop artists including Kelly Clarkson’s 2018 Grammy Nominated single “Love So Soft,” Rihanna’s “California King Bed,” Kesha’s “Timber,” Fifth Harmony’s “Worth It,” and Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood’s “Something’ Bad.” Priscilla is now embarking on the next leg of her career - releasing her debut album Coloured. Coloured is a genre blending album that incorporates elements of pop, R&B, and country music with soulful undertones. She traveled back and forth between Nashville and Los Angeles to create Coloured, collaborating both with country’s top songwriters (Ashley Gorley, Kevin Kadish) and hip-hop’s top producers (Honorable C.N.O.T.E., Sauce, Theron Feemster). Coloured, which Renea describes as “a big gumbo of everything that’s happening in my life,” showcases her powerhouse voice and engaging story-telling on such classic urban-soul ballads as “Heavenly,” “If I Ever Loved You,” and “Let’s Build A House” (the latter two Renea co-wrote with Nashville A-lister Ashley Gorley), as well as rule-breaking country-inspired tunes like the autobiographical “Family Tree,” “Jonjo,” and “Gentle Hands.”


 
The Lil Smokies
Upstate | @Union Stage | view more info »
Jan
25

The Lil Smokies

Upstate


Friday Jan 25|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
Union Stage|get directions »
740 Water Street SW
Washington DC|p: (877) 987-6487


The Lil Smokies

official band site »

When people see The Lil Smokies setting up their acoustic instruments, they’re often unprepared for the electric energy they generate. The band captures that same dynamic presence on their new album, Changing Shades, delivering their exceptional songwriting and bluegrass roots with the punch of a rock band.“We wanted to duplicate the energy of our live shows. It’s a perfect mixture of improvisation and composition. The record shows how fearless we’ve become in the last year,” says Andy Dunnigan, lead songwriter, singer and dobro player. They cut Changing Shades in a lighthearted, week-long session at SnowGhost Music in Whitefish, MT with engineer Brett Allen (The Avett Brothers, Kris Kristofferson, Béla Fleck) and co-producer Rob Gordon (Elephant Revival). “It was a breeze,” Dunnigan says. “Rob got us to focus on what makes each song special. We refined and recorded them live, together in one room, just like on stage.”

The first incarnation of The Lil Smokies got together in Missoula, Montana, during the winter of 2009. Through the years, the band transformed and settled into the current lineup – Scott Parker on bass; Jake Simpson on fiddle; Matt Rieger on guitar; Matt Cornette on banjo and Dunnigan on dobro. Previously, the band has won the 2015 Telluride Bluegrass Band competition and took home the 2016 IBMA Momentum Band of the Year award. They’ve also wowed fans at the High Sierra, FreshGrass, Telluride Bluegrass, Grey Fox, Del Fest, Floyd Fest and String Summit festivals, to name a few.


Upstate

official band site »

For Upstate, the last few years have been a time of profound exploration and self-discovery. As the band knocked off milestone after milestone on the road, their sound, their lineup, and even their name all underwent dramatic metamorphoses. Challenging and thrilling all at once, those changes have finally culminated in the sextet’s dazzling new album, a collection that showcases both their remarkable growth and their adventurous blend of folk, R&B, jazz, gospel, and rock and roll.

Recorded primarily over six days at the Clubhouse studio in Rhinebeck, NY, ‘Healing’ is the band’s first release with new member Allison Olender, their first with four contributing songwriters, and their first since shortening their name from Upstate Rubdown. It’s also their first project to be produced by Wood Brothers percussionist Jano Rix, who helped the group embrace their transformation and lean in to their unique lineup without sacrificing any of the gorgeous harmonies, eclectic arrangements, and unforgettable performances that have defined the band since their earliest days.

Upstate first emerged from New York’s Hudson Valley in 2015 with their critically acclaimed debut, ‘A Remedy.’ The Poughkeepsie Journal raved that the group “need[s] nothing more than their voices to channel rhythm and stoke your emotions,” while Chronogram hailed their “infectiously sunny organic stew,” and The Alt called them “toe-tapping, contagious, and fun.” The album earned the band festival performances from Mountain Jam to FreshGrass, as well as a slew of national headline dates and support slots with everyone from The Felice Brothers and Phox to Marco Benevento and Cory Henry.


 
Greensky Bluegrass
Billy Strings | @The Anthem | view more info »
Feb
1

Greensky Bluegrass

Billy Strings


Friday Feb 1|doors 6:00 pm|all ages
The Anthem|get directions »
901 WHARF ST SW, WASHINGTON, DC 20024|p: (202) 265-0930


Greensky Bluegrass

official band site »

Greensky Bluegrass is Anders Beck (dobro), Michael Arlen Bont (banjo), Dave Bruzza (guitar), Mike Devol (upright bass) and Paul Hoffman (mandolin).

For more than a decade and a half, the members of Greensky Bluegrass have created their own version of bluegrass music, mixing the acoustic stomp of a stringband with the rule-breaking spirit of rock & roll. They redefine that sound once again with their sixth album, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted.

Like the band's own name, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted is a collection of opposites, full of dark psychedelic swirls, bright bursts of acoustic guitar, soundscapes, solos, freethinking improvisation, and plenty of sharp, focused songwriting. It's wild and wide-ranging, showing off the diversity Greensky Bluegrass brings to every live show. At the same time, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted is unmistakably a studio album, recorded during two different sessions — one at Echo Mountain Studio in Asheville, North Carolina; the other at the Mountain House Recording Studio in Nedarland, Colorado — that comprise the band's longest block of recording time ever. The result is an 11-track album whose songs cast a wide net, mixing the full-throttle energy of a Greensky Bluegrass concert with the nuanced approach of a band that's still eager to explore.

"You can call us an acoustic ensemble, or a drum-less rock band, or a rock & roll bluegrass band," says mandolin player Paul Hoffman, who, along with guitarist Dave Bruzza, handles most of the album's writing duties. "All of that shifting identity has taught us to cover a lot of ground. There's a flow to this album, just like there's a flow to our setlists. There are some aggressive, rocking moments. Some bouncy, funky moments. An acoustic think piece or two. It's a balance of moods and textures that we create as a band, almost like a mix tape."

Formed in 2000 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Greensky Bluegrass kicked off their career playing living rooms and open mic nights across the Midwest. By 2005, they were touring nationally, and by 2006, they were playing the first in a long series of appearances at the annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Bandmates Hoffman, Bruzza, dobro player Anders Beck, banjoist Michael Arlen Bont, and upright bassist Mike Devol spent most of the following decade on the road, fine-tuning a live show modeled not after the toned-down production of traditional bluegrass music, but the full-on spectacle of rock.

"We play two sets of music every night with a big light show, and really care about creating a large scale production," notes Bruzza, adding that, "the goal isn't just to play important music. We want to cultivate an experience, where people can escape from their everyday lives for a minute and put their worries aside."

Playing as many as 175 shows per year, Greensky Bluegrass have graduated to headlining status at some of the country's most iconic venues, selling out amphitheaters like Red Rocks and world-class auditoriums like the Ryman. They've become a regular name on the festival circuit, too, adding Bonnaroo, the New Orleans Jazz Festival, Austin City Limits, Forecastle, and Outside Lands to their touring schedule. Supported by a grassroots audience whose members often travel for hours to see the band, Greensky Bluegrass are still a proudly independent act, enjoying the success of a major-label act — including a Number One debut on the Billboard Bluegrass chart for their fifth album, 2014's If Sorrows Swim — without giving up complete control of their own business.

Released on the band's label, Big Blue Zoo, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted kicks off with "Miss September," a song that splits its focus between Hoffman's mid-tempo melodies and the band's instrumental solos. Most of the album's tracks strike a similar balance, showcasing a group whose vocal hooks and flat-picking skills share the spotlight equally. Meanwhile, the guys stretch their legs on "Living Over" — an improvised, seven-minute knockout that's already become a live staple — and show surprising restraint with "While Waiting," a slower song whose ebb-and-flow arrangement often finds no more than two bandmates playing at once. "Room Without a Roof" features some of the group's most layered production to date, with electric instruments adding some thick sonic padding, while "More of Me" cranks up the drama, with Hoffman singing about heartache over a bed of minor-key guitar arpeggios.

"We tend to have a darker sense to ours songs than most acoustic bands," Bruzza adds, "but we still have light moments, too. We're trying to explore the textures and sounds we can make, while still having the instrumentation of a bluegrass band. There aren't many rules. We'll run a dobro though an amp on a song like 'Past My Prime.' We can get pretty epic. This album is a crazy carnival one minute, and it's a psychedelic Pink Floyd jam the next."

Equal parts dark, driving, and dynamic, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted is Greensky Bluegrass at their best, fusing the fiery fretwork of their live shows with the focus of a true songwriting outfit.


Billy Strings

official band site »

Billy Strings plays hard and he lives hard, picking so fast and intensely that he’s known to break multiple strings per song, and basing the songs he writes on the hard lives he grew up around in the abandoned rural communities of America. His new album, Turmoil & Tinfoil, taps into a deep vein of psychedelia in Americana, referencing everything from the Dead to Sturgill Simpson, but all underlaid by Billy’s undeniable virtuosity and his knowledge of the roots of American music. He’s one of the most beloved young bluegrass guitarists today within the bluegrass community, and his front porch in East Nashville is constantly filled up with Nashville’s best roots musicians just picking up a storm.

The tricky part of making the new album, Turmoil & Tinfoil, was translating Billy Strings’ incendiary live show into the studio. Returning to his home state of Michigan, Billy enlisted acoustic roots wizard Glenn Brown (Greensky Bluegrass) as producer, and centered the music around his new band, featuring Drew Matulich on mandolin with banjo prodigy Billy Failing and much-loved Nashville bassist Brad Tucker. Rich with special guests, Turmoil & Tinfoil shows off Billy’s East Nashville community of picking friends, among them Miss Tess, Molly Tuttle, John Mailander, Shad Cobb and Peter Madcat Ruth. Of special note is a virtuosic duet between Billy and bluegrass guitarist Bryan Sutton on “Salty Sheep” that shows the speed, precision, and creative craftsmanship of bluegrass when it’s done right.

On September 22, 2017 Billy Strings released his first full-length EP "Turmoil & Tinfoil"!


 
Greensky Bluegrass
Billy Strings | @The Anthem | view more info »
Feb
2

Greensky Bluegrass

Billy Strings


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


Greensky Bluegrass

official band site »

Greensky Bluegrass is Anders Beck (dobro), Michael Arlen Bont (banjo), Dave Bruzza (guitar), Mike Devol (upright bass) and Paul Hoffman (mandolin).

For more than a decade and a half, the members of Greensky Bluegrass have created their own version of bluegrass music, mixing the acoustic stomp of a stringband with the rule-breaking spirit of rock & roll. They redefine that sound once again with their sixth album, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted.

Like the band's own name, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted is a collection of opposites, full of dark psychedelic swirls, bright bursts of acoustic guitar, soundscapes, solos, freethinking improvisation, and plenty of sharp, focused songwriting. It's wild and wide-ranging, showing off the diversity Greensky Bluegrass brings to every live show. At the same time, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted is unmistakably a studio album, recorded during two different sessions — one at Echo Mountain Studio in Asheville, North Carolina; the other at the Mountain House Recording Studio in Nedarland, Colorado — that comprise the band's longest block of recording time ever. The result is an 11-track album whose songs cast a wide net, mixing the full-throttle energy of a Greensky Bluegrass concert with the nuanced approach of a band that's still eager to explore.

"You can call us an acoustic ensemble, or a drum-less rock band, or a rock & roll bluegrass band," says mandolin player Paul Hoffman, who, along with guitarist Dave Bruzza, handles most of the album's writing duties. "All of that shifting identity has taught us to cover a lot of ground. There's a flow to this album, just like there's a flow to our setlists. There are some aggressive, rocking moments. Some bouncy, funky moments. An acoustic think piece or two. It's a balance of moods and textures that we create as a band, almost like a mix tape."

Formed in 2000 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Greensky Bluegrass kicked off their career playing living rooms and open mic nights across the Midwest. By 2005, they were touring nationally, and by 2006, they were playing the first in a long series of appearances at the annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Bandmates Hoffman, Bruzza, dobro player Anders Beck, banjoist Michael Arlen Bont, and upright bassist Mike Devol spent most of the following decade on the road, fine-tuning a live show modeled not after the toned-down production of traditional bluegrass music, but the full-on spectacle of rock.

"We play two sets of music every night with a big light show, and really care about creating a large scale production," notes Bruzza, adding that, "the goal isn't just to play important music. We want to cultivate an experience, where people can escape from their everyday lives for a minute and put their worries aside."

Playing as many as 175 shows per year, Greensky Bluegrass have graduated to headlining status at some of the country's most iconic venues, selling out amphitheaters like Red Rocks and world-class auditoriums like the Ryman. They've become a regular name on the festival circuit, too, adding Bonnaroo, the New Orleans Jazz Festival, Austin City Limits, Forecastle, and Outside Lands to their touring schedule. Supported by a grassroots audience whose members often travel for hours to see the band, Greensky Bluegrass are still a proudly independent act, enjoying the success of a major-label act — including a Number One debut on the Billboard Bluegrass chart for their fifth album, 2014's If Sorrows Swim — without giving up complete control of their own business.

Released on the band's label, Big Blue Zoo, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted kicks off with "Miss September," a song that splits its focus between Hoffman's mid-tempo melodies and the band's instrumental solos. Most of the album's tracks strike a similar balance, showcasing a group whose vocal hooks and flat-picking skills share the spotlight equally. Meanwhile, the guys stretch their legs on "Living Over" — an improvised, seven-minute knockout that's already become a live staple — and show surprising restraint with "While Waiting," a slower song whose ebb-and-flow arrangement often finds no more than two bandmates playing at once. "Room Without a Roof" features some of the group's most layered production to date, with electric instruments adding some thick sonic padding, while "More of Me" cranks up the drama, with Hoffman singing about heartache over a bed of minor-key guitar arpeggios.

"We tend to have a darker sense to ours songs than most acoustic bands," Bruzza adds, "but we still have light moments, too. We're trying to explore the textures and sounds we can make, while still having the instrumentation of a bluegrass band. There aren't many rules. We'll run a dobro though an amp on a song like 'Past My Prime.' We can get pretty epic. This album is a crazy carnival one minute, and it's a psychedelic Pink Floyd jam the next."

Equal parts dark, driving, and dynamic, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted is Greensky Bluegrass at their best, fusing the fiery fretwork of their live shows with the focus of a true songwriting outfit.


Billy Strings

official band site »

Greensky Bluegrass is Anders Beck (dobro), Michael Arlen Bont (banjo), Dave Bruzza (guitar), Mike Devol (upright bass) and Paul Hoffman (mandolin).

For more than a decade and a half, the members of Greensky Bluegrass have created their own version of bluegrass music, mixing the acoustic stomp of a stringband with the rule-breaking spirit of rock & roll. They redefine that sound once again with their sixth album, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted.

Like the band's own name, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted is a collection of opposites, full of dark psychedelic swirls, bright bursts of acoustic guitar, soundscapes, solos, freethinking improvisation, and plenty of sharp, focused songwriting. It's wild and wide-ranging, showing off the diversity Greensky Bluegrass brings to every live show. At the same time, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted is unmistakably a studio album, recorded during two different sessions — one at Echo Mountain Studio in Asheville, North Carolina; the other at the Mountain House Recording Studio in Nedarland, Colorado — that comprise the band's longest block of recording time ever. The result is an 11-track album whose songs cast a wide net, mixing the full-throttle energy of a Greensky Bluegrass concert with the nuanced approach of a band that's still eager to explore.

"You can call us an acoustic ensemble, or a drum-less rock band, or a rock & roll bluegrass band," says mandolin player Paul Hoffman, who, along with guitarist Dave Bruzza, handles most of the album's writing duties. "All of that shifting identity has taught us to cover a lot of ground. There's a flow to this album, just like there's a flow to our setlists. There are some aggressive, rocking moments. Some bouncy, funky moments. An acoustic think piece or two. It's a balance of moods and textures that we create as a band, almost like a mix tape."

Formed in 2000 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Greensky Bluegrass kicked off their career playing living rooms and open mic nights across the Midwest. By 2005, they were touring nationally, and by 2006, they were playing the first in a long series of appearances at the annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Bandmates Hoffman, Bruzza, dobro player Anders Beck, banjoist Michael Arlen Bont, and upright bassist Mike Devol spent most of the following decade on the road, fine-tuning a live show modeled not after the toned-down production of traditional bluegrass music, but the full-on spectacle of rock.

"We play two sets of music every night with a big light show, and really care about creating a large scale production," notes Bruzza, adding that, "the goal isn't just to play important music. We want to cultivate an experience, where people can escape from their everyday lives for a minute and put their worries aside."

Playing as many as 175 shows per year, Greensky Bluegrass have graduated to headlining status at some of the country's most iconic venues, selling out amphitheaters like Red Rocks and world-class auditoriums like the Ryman. They've become a regular name on the festival circuit, too, adding Bonnaroo, the New Orleans Jazz Festival, Austin City Limits, Forecastle, and Outside Lands to their touring schedule. Supported by a grassroots audience whose members often travel for hours to see the band, Greensky Bluegrass are still a proudly independent act, enjoying the success of a major-label act — including a Number One debut on the Billboard Bluegrass chart for their fifth album, 2014's If Sorrows Swim — without giving up complete control of their own business.

Released on the band's label, Big Blue Zoo, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted kicks off with "Miss September," a song that splits its focus between Hoffman's mid-tempo melodies and the band's instrumental solos. Most of the album's tracks strike a similar balance, showcasing a group whose vocal hooks and flat-picking skills share the spotlight equally. Meanwhile, the guys stretch their legs on "Living Over" — an improvised, seven-minute knockout that's already become a live staple — and show surprising restraint with "While Waiting," a slower song whose ebb-and-flow arrangement often finds no more than two bandmates playing at once. "Room Without a Roof" features some of the group's most layered production to date, with electric instruments adding some thick sonic padding, while "More of Me" cranks up the drama, with Hoffman singing about heartache over a bed of minor-key guitar arpeggios.

"We tend to have a darker sense to ours songs than most acoustic bands," Bruzza adds, "but we still have light moments, too. We're trying to explore the textures and sounds we can make, while still having the instrumentation of a bluegrass band. There aren't many rules. We'll run a dobro though an amp on a song like 'Past My Prime.' We can get pretty epic. This album is a crazy carnival one minute, and it's a psychedelic Pink Floyd jam the next."

Equal parts dark, driving, and dynamic, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted is Greensky Bluegrass at their best, fusing the fiery fretwork of their live shows with the focus of a true songwriting outfit.


 
El Ten Eleven
Joan Of Arc | @Union Stage | view more info »
Feb
2

El Ten Eleven

Joan Of Arc


Saturday Feb 2|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
Union Stage|get directions »
740 Water Street SW
Washington DC|p: (877) 987-6487


El Ten Eleven

official band site »

Armed with merely a double-neck bass/guitar, drums and a dizzying array of foot pedals, El Ten Eleven creates complex, deeply felt music, from scratch, onstage, with no help from laptops or additional musicians. Made up of Kristian Dunn (bass, guitar) and Tim Fogarty (Drums), they utilize multiple looping pedals to create songs that sound as though they are being played by at least six people. Most first-timers to an El Ten Eleven show are stunned that the band is a duo. It’s a refreshing site in this age of letting the computers do all the work.

Since the band’s inception in 2002, they have always been just two people who produce their own records. That attitude of self-reliance led to the band launching their own Fake Record Label, where they have self-released 6 full length albums over the past decade plus. For 2018’s Banker’s Hill, the band brought producer Sonny Diperri into the fold and moved up to the beautiful Panoramic House studios in Stinson Beach, CA for a month to create their 7th long-player. The decision to bring another collaborative force onboard has proven well worth the change of process.

“Sonny gave me everything I wanted from a producer. Not only is he a phenomenal engineer, but he helped us arrange and perform our songs in a way that we couldn’t have on our own.” - Dunn

Part of El Ten Eleven’s success has come from tasteful licensing to Film & TV. Their music has been used in everything from Lexus commercials to the MTV Video Music Awards but the most notoriety has come from licensing partnerships with Gary Hustwit’s award-winning design documentary trilogy, “Helvetica,” “Objectified” and “Urbanized.” Featuring both original music from El Ten Eleven and scores from Kristian Dunn, the films' beautiful precision are a perfect marriage for El Ten Eleven’s meticulously-layered sounds.


Joan Of Arc

official band site »

Over their 20-odd year discography, Joan of Arc’s astute, endlessly probing musical experimentation—steadfastly resistant to dogma and genre at every turn—has been chorused by a barrage of voices, mostly from the singular larynx of mainstay Tim Kinsella, who remains endlessly obsessed with (and infuriated by) Orwellian language and it’s dominion over American life. Richard Brautigan, Mark Twain, Elizabeth Taylor, and Assata Shakur might visit his lyrics, but it’s the band itself that contains multitudes. Throughout Joan of Arc, Kinsella and his bandmates have hewn together a true artistic democracy—some two dozen members over the years—to confront the darkening political realities and interpersonal mysteries of our time. Like their namesake—a donee of revelation who became a fierce holy warrior, only to be discarded by a king and burned at the stake as a heretic—Joan of Arc has inspired their share of true believers and dismayed legions of skeptics.

Ever since Joan of Arc's most recent lineup— Kinsella, Theo Katsaounis, Melina Ausikaitis, Bobby Burg, and Jeremy Boyle— congealed and began playing shows locally in 2015, going on to record and release their most recent album ‘He’s Got The Whole This Land Is Your Land In His Hands’, via Joyful Noise on the day Donald Trump was inaugurated, fans have witnessed an even more radical democracy at work. ‘Your War (I’m One Of You): 20 Years of Joan of Arc’, a full-length documentary from Vice’s Noisey, was an initial window into the band’s generous collaborative spirit and the far-flung, improvised creation of that new LP. Live, old jams and new tracks have often melted and mutated, members jumping from instrument to instrument in between or in the middle of songs, all stasis discarded. And now, a series of nearly a cappella performances from Kinsella’s fellow vocalist Melina Ausikaitis, debuted live by Joan of Arc over the last several years, has become the backbone of their new LP, ‘1984’.

Remarkably, so much of the cluttered sound of earlier Joan of Arc LPs has largely fallen away on ’1984’, as has Kinsella’s voice. At first it’s genuinely shocking. But the songs here are a revelation, as profound and plainspoken as parables. Thoroughly of the band’s lineage, Ausikaitis’ lyrics are equally measured with wit, despair and stubborn perseverance. There is awkward sex at Grandma’s house. There are kids in the snow wearing cop sunglasses and the crumbling psychic defenses of childhood memories. There are A-frame houses and white horses. There are trucks losing their brakes on the hill at the end of the street. There are heaps of thoroughly useful self-help advice (“stop chicken-shittin’ all over your life” has become a personal mantra.). Like the album’s striking hand drawn cover art, the music inside is often spare. Anthemic highs ring from elegiac lows and back again. At times, Ausikaitis sings in an earnestly tangy and lovely flat twang redolent of the midwest, before screwing her voice up into a fearsome roar. Sometimes her voice is electronically distorted, like bells in the sky, into ringing eternity. On “Vermont Girl”, I’m not entirely sure she isn’t purposefully doing an impression of her bandmate just for the hell of it, and it cracks me up every time I hear it.

Long known as a visual and conceptual artist and curator in her home town of Chicago, Ausikaitus brings a painterly eye to these moments of clarity:

There is awkward sex at Grandma’s house. There are kids in the snow wearing cop sunglasses and the crumbling psychic defenses of childhood memories. There are A-frame houses and white horses. There are trucks losing their brakes on the hill at the end of the street. There are heaps of thoroughly useful self-help advice (“stop chicken-shittin’ all over your life” has become a personal mantra.). Like the album’s striking hand drawn cover art, the music inside is often spare. Anthemic highs ring from elegiac lows and back again. At times, Ausikaitis sings in an earnestly tangy and lovely flat twang redolent of the midwest, before screwing her voice up into a fearsome roar. Sometimes her voice is electronically distorted, like bells in the sky, into ringing eternity. On “Vermont Girl”, I’m not entirely sure she isn’t purposefully doing an impression of her bandmate just for the hell of it, and it cracks me up every time I hear it.

Whenever I’ve decided I have this band pegged, they’ve challenged and rewarded me: with a score for a silent film, in a half-hour minimalist cover of the Beatles’ “Helter Skelter” pounding through an art museum, by a performative collaboration with a theatre group, and one particularly memorable Empty Bottle show where they uncorked volleys of catastrophic EDM at a crowd that seemed to melt into the walls. More often than not, it seems like the less I’ve expected from them going to a show or tucking into a new album, the more I’ve received. The more I’ve seen others scratch their heads at this band’s steady defiance of expectations, the more Joan of Arc has made me see their artistic wisdom. On ’1984’, they’ve done it again, and I suspect they’ll continue to soundtrack my life beyond these past two confounding decades. These days there are too few bands that make me feel less alone.

You tried to be a person with no problems, but there is still time for you to get on Joan of Arc’s one way train and ride with me to their pyre of righteous, pure democracy. Put on your headphones and fire up ‘1984’ and remember yourself as a child, when your only tattoo was the memory of the first time you saw your mother cry written deep upon your heart. Listen: there’s no need to close your personal hole. It’s a place where only you can go. You got your head shaved cuz of the lice. Your collared shirts have the bottoms tucked inside. All of your life you’ve been eating shit, but look at us now. We’re real punk kids.


 
Spafford
Of Tomorrow | @9:30 club | view more info »
Feb
9

Spafford

Of Tomorrow


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


Spafford

official band site »

We Jam.


Of Tomorrow

official band site »

"The band Of Tomorrow is just that; a musical project from the future. If they have a rapper join them, they play hip-hop. If they have a shredder, they play metal; if they have horns, they play funk. More often than not, they have all of these players and more at once, so they ping-pong between genres and weave together harmonic sections in a way no other band would dare to. In the same way, their pre-written lyrics don’t shy away from any subject, nor does any guest member from any challenge to make an Of Tomorrow song their own. Of Tomorrow structures its mission around an unpredictable and transformative experience - always high energy, always premium quality, based often in familiar melodies and intellectual lyrics, but exploring improvised ideas with every new layer.” - Carly Shields, Ever Upward Entertainment, Denver, CO


 
Psycho Killers (Talking Heads Tribute)
Another Evening of Talking Heads and Assorted Love Songs | @Union Craft Brewing | view more info »
Feb
14

Psycho Killers (Talking Heads Tribute)

Another Evening of Talking Heads and Assorted Love Songs


Thursday Feb 14|doors 7:00 pm|21+
Union Craft Brewing|get directions »
1700 West 41st Street
Baltimore, MD


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!


Another Evening of Talking Heads and Assorted Love Songs


 
Liz Cooper & The Stampede
Harpooner | @The 8x10 | view more info »
Feb
22

Liz Cooper & The Stampede

Harpooner


Friday Feb 22|doors 8:00 pm|18+
The 8x10|get directions »
10 E. Cross St.
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 625-2000


Liz Cooper & The Stampede

official band site »

There is a collective energy in Nashville, one that Liz Cooper has poured herself into for the past six years. Liz remarks that the energy in Nashville today is akin to that of Greenwich Village in 1960s New York or the Laurel Canyon days in the 1960s and 1970s and is a product of a collaborative approach to music and art. This community has allowed Liz to be a part of many magically haphazard nights, where the movers and shakers of the Nashville music world, such as Okey Dokey, Becca Mancari, Rayland Baxter, Desert Noises, Morning Teleportation, Erin Rae, Brittany Howard, Cage the Elephant, Michael Nau and many more converge to make music and art and lose track of time. Her latest album is a product of that pulsating energy in Nashville that has had some of the greatest influence in her work.

Window Flowers is the culmination of a year where Liz made a purposeful effort to do something creative every day. Whether it was directly related to music or not, this creative process challenged and inspired her to continually put herself in new situations and pushed her to become a better songwriter and guitar player. The tentative newcomer that is present in her early recordings was all but gone in the making of the album. Her absorption into the collaborative community is evidenced by guest appearances on Window Flowers including Will Brown (Michael Nau) on the keys, Michael and Ben Ford (Airpark) bgv’s/ guitar and songwriting, Gianni Gibson (Future Thieves) percussion, Leah Blevins on BGV’s, Emily Kohavi (Kacey Musgraves, Eminem etc.) on violin and Steve Dawson on pedal steel. Liz Cooper & The Stampede and their guests spent five days tracking Window Flowers at Welcome to 1979 in Nashville, Tennessee. TJ Elias, who co-produced the album with the band, sparked the relationship by approaching Liz one night backstage at The Ryman Auditorium after hearing her songs through a mutual friend and musician, Cody Huggins.

Window Flowers is a collection of music that deals with the weight of mundanity, and politely tells it to fuck off. When listening to “Sleepyhead” you hear remembrances of her early Nashville recordings, mixed with the powerful assertion that this is Liz Cooper, a force that will continue to shape and mold her own course of creating music. Whether you see Liz Cooper & The Stampede in a dive bar or a theater venue, you feel like you are being transported to another time and place. People often remark that her music takes them back to the 60s and 70s, when rock-n-roll felt alive, and bigger than oneself. The album will be released on Sleepyhead Records via Thirty Tigers (Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell) August 10, 2018.

Coming off their busiest year to-date, including playing Austin City Limits Festival for the first time in 2017, Liz Cooper & The Stampede have spent the first few months of 2018 touring with Lord Huron, Deer Tick, Rayland Baxter, Ron Gallo and Blitzen Trapper. The band will continue touring this year with Houndmouth, Tyler Childers and will play Firefly Festival and LouFest.

As Liz shakes her tambourine, hair falling in her face, donning a floral jumpsuit, it is hard to believe she identifies as a shy person. “I wanted to grow as a human and a musician so I had to quickly get over being painfully shy. I moved to Nashville as a scared and unconfident 19 year-old so I had to continually challenge myself and put myself out there. Now, as a 25 year-old I feel like I’ve grown so much confidence. Of course I will always be awkward, but I’m learning to love that. What a journey it’s been and will continue to be; definitely a hot puzzle. As I grow, my music will grow. Music is helping me figure out who I am and what the hell my life is all about and at the end of the day it just makes me happy. Isn’t that what everyone is trying to figure out how to be?”


Harpooner

official band site »

“Nicely crafted and heavy on big, airy hooks that recall ELO at their grandest.” Nashville Scene
“Dreamy pop tunes that linger in your mind long after hearing them.” Glide Magazine

Rising chamber pop artist Harpooner (aka Scott Schmadeke) is gearing up for the release of his sophomore album, following his acclaimed debut Rose Park which landed the support of the high profile publications including KCRW, Native Magazine, Glide and Flood Magazine.

Harpooner was born in 2014 - the solo project and brain child of Scott Schmadeke an Indiana transplant in Nashville, who first cut his teeth as a side player, performing with national acts Houndmouth, Diane Coffee, Andrew Combs, and an exhaustive list of East Nashville groups. Now, he opens as Harpooner for acts like Rayland Baxter, Margo Price, and Jessica Lea Mayfield exemplifying Harpooner’s crossover capacity to find a connection to a diverse audience.

Those years touring with other bands helped him develop his eclectic style in music which has been described as chamber groove-pop, with a unique blend of handsome string quartet arrangements, piano power ballads, and Nilsson-worthy melody writing. The resulting live show unfolds in waves and movements with a complexity that has already drawn a diverse range of comparisons to artists including: Jeff Lynne, Carole King, George Harrison, Chet Baker, alongside modern acts such as Tobias Jesso Jr, Andy Shauf and Ariel Pink.


 
Butcher Brown
@The 8x10 | view more info »
Feb
27

Butcher Brown



Wednesday Feb 27|doors 7:00 pm|18+
The 8x10|get directions »
10 E. Cross St.
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 625-2000


Butcher Brown

official band site »

Butcher Brown is an up-to-the minute throwback to the great progressive jazz bands of the 60s and 70s. They are a hard-working band in an era where most groups are fleeting assemblages, together only long enough to record. Their organic coherence emerges from long collaboration as a group of equals rather than a top-down, leader/ sideman lineup. They are building their audience by any means necessary, combining a conventional, label-oriented approach with releasing “underground” tapes, disciplined rehearsal and engaging, adventurous performance.

This musical maturity is surprising in such a youthful band. The players in Butcher Brown were all born after the mid-70s golden age of fusion. But their modern, hip-hop- inflected funk has rich echoes of Weather Report, Return to Forever, early Earth Wind and Fire and, perhaps, a pungent whiff of Zappa. Like those bands, Butcher Brown’s unified sound comes from the intertwined talents of the four members, each bringing something unique to the mix. v Multi-instrumentalist Devonne Harris is arguably, the visionary of this egalitarian band. His responsive keyboard work shapes the harmonic colors through which the music pulses and flows. The son of a DJ, who grew up in in a funk/rock/R&B saturated environment, he’s had a lifetime fascination with what makes a record work. His deep understanding is grounded in phenomenal virtuosity. (In addition to playing keys in Butcher Brown he’s the long-time drummer in John D’earth’s band, Central Virginia’s premiere straight-ahead jazz group.) Under the name DJ Harrison, he’s created a vast catalog of hip hop beats. Jellowstone Records, his home studio, is a pivotal focus of the vital Richmond music scene, with a growing reputation drawing big name visitors including Nicholas Payton. (who recorded his 2014 record “Numbers” there with the band.)DJ Harrison has just released his first solo album on Stonethrow, titled: HazyMoods.

Harris calls bassist Andrew Randazzo the band’s navigator. “He’s the cool one, the calm one. He’s the mortar, binding together the rhythmic and harmonic side of the music. Both onstage and off, he holds everything together and makes everything go smoothly. And he is an amazing player.” In the band’s funk-inflected music, the foundation is foreground; the bass as much a lead as a rhythm instrument.

Drummer Corey Fonville is pure explosive energy. “He’s always ready for battle,” Harris says. “A huge, controlling factor in our sound.” A percussion prodigy turned international jazz sideman, Fonville’s national performance career when he was just 14, with a 2005 appearance on Late Night with David Letterman. In the years since Fonville’s taken his propulsive energy around the world, touring with jazz stars like Christian Scott and Nicholas Payton. He’s the beating heart of Butcher Brown, pumping out fresh, danceable rhythmic complexities are aimed at both the brain and the hips.

Having started playing music in elementary school, and coming from a family of musicians, you could almost say that guitarist Morgan Burrs was destined to lead a life of music.. Picking up the guitar, only 6 years ago, he’s become a force on RVA’s music scene. While in high school, he was awarded full tuition scholarships to go up to Boston and study at Berklee College of Music’s 5 week summer program, which played a key role in Morgan deciding to get a degree in Music. He’s currently a junior at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) studying jazz guitar.

A Richmond native, Marcus Tenney started his musical career at the age of 11. After winning the Louis Armstrong Award in 2003, he began studying trumpet with Dr. Rex Richardson, world-renowned trumpeter and former Joe Henderson sideman at Virginia Commonwealth University. In 2007, Marcus placed third in the National Trumpet Competition. Marcus has played/worked/recorded with artists such as Nicholas Payton, Butcher Brown, Billy Williams, Braxton Cook, Count Bass D, Bon Iver, Matthew E. White, Natalie Prass and many more.

Their recordings to date, the polished soul/funk of “All Purpose Music [Ropeadope] and the 20-track underground groove-laden beats cassette “GrownFolk” provide two great windows into the band’s charms. And the controlled collision of all of these talents makes Butcher Brown a fun band to watch.

Dedicated to innovation, informed by a love of the past, its modernistic fusion is aptly described as “hip hop Mahavishnu.” Impressive as they are individually, together they are something increasingly rare: a real band, playing for their audience and for each other, on the verge of a brilliant future.



 
Relix and All Good Presents...
Grateful Shred
Garcia Peoples | @Gypsy Sally's | view more info »
Feb
28

Relix and All Good Presents...
Grateful Shred

Garcia Peoples


Thursday Feb 28|doors 7:00 pm|21+
Gypsy Sally's|get directions »
3401 K St NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 333-7700


Relix and All Good Presents...
Grateful Shred

official band site »

Wait -- I know what you're thinking. Another fucking Grateful Dead cover band?

Really?

The thing is, Los Angeles-based Grateful Shred manage to channel that elusive Dead vibe: wide-open guitar tones, effortless three-part vocal harmonies, choogling beats, and yes, plenty of tripped out, Shredded solos. The look, the sound, the atmosphere. It's uncanny. "It's more of a 'take' on the Dead than a tribute band," says bassist Dan Horne. "We end up sounding almost more like the Dead because we approach it in this free-spirited way."

Founded one night in 2016, the band came about almost by accident. Singer/guitarist Austin McCutchen had a residency at The Griffin in Atwater Village; his band was out of town, so he drafted some friends to play a set of Dead covers, and the four founding members (Austin, Sam, Clay, and Dan) have been together ever since. Sam Blasucci and Clay Finch (of country-folk revivalists Mapache) handle vocal and guitar duties, rounded out by bassist Dan Horne (of Cass McCombs, Jonathan Wilson, and the estimable Circles Around The Sun, who provided the incidental music for 2015's "Fare Thee Well" concerts, the last shows played by the living members of the Dead ). Add a rotating cast of drummers (like Richard Gowen of he Growler) and keyboardists (like Lee Pardini of Dawes and Jerry Borgé of Ziggy Marley), and you've got the essential formula.

Far from being a historical re-enactment, Grateful Shred's laissez faire vibe infuses the band with a gentle spirit, warmth, and (dare we say it) authenticity. From their killer merch game to their eminently watchable YouTube channel, they're clearly having a rad time and spreading the love. Strangely enough, in a world overflowing with wax museum nostalgia and Deadly sentimentalism, we need the Shred, now more than ever.


Garcia Peoples

official band site »

Top down, tunes up and cruising out of the Jersey suburbs into yr heart are Garcia Peoples and their debut LP Cosmic Cash on Beyond Beyond is Beyond. Originally a quartet (Tom Malach and Danny Arakaki on guitars, Cesar Arakaki on drums, Derek Spaldo on bass) but recently beefed up into a five-piece with PG Six (Tower Recordings, Wet Tuna) on keys, Garcia Peoples are just what our little psychedelic corner of the world needs right now…fun.

Cosmic Cash effortlessly heaves joy. The low-key vocal hooks and melodies snag you quickly and don’t let go, not unlike mid-period NRBQ but loaded up on youthful longing and hallucinogens rather than RC Cola and Moon Pies. And then there are the jams, oh the jams! More reined in than recent live action, Cosmic Cashdelivers sparkling twin leads, barreling keys and bubbling rhythms recalling the Dead’s tightest, most simple studio work, the Allmans’ most radio-friendly moments and the Band’s early 70s output.

– Jeff Conklin (WFMU)


 
Kung Fu
@The 8x10 | view more info »
Mar
1

Kung Fu



Friday Mar 1|doors 8:00 pm|18+
The 8x10|get directions »
10 E. Cross St.
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 625-2000


Kung Fu

official band site »

Proud to be firmly installed in the new-funk movement, KUNG FU is quickly popularizing their unique sonic contribution, blurring the line between intense electro-fusion, and blistering dance arrangements. Making fusion music "cool" again, the band draws on influences such as early Headhunters and Weather Report, and merges those ideas with a contemporary EDM informed sensibility. Imagine 70's funk-fusion meets a modern dance party!

Although the ensemble cast enjoys a seasoned pedigree that reads like a late-night summer festival all-star jam, this fledgling "nu-sion" project is growing a unique and rabid following by commanding audiences at theaters, clubs, and major national festivals since 2012.

The powerhouse quintet's live show has been described by critics and fans alike as "lethal funk", "explosive", "jaw dropping", and "musically mesmerizing". For the uninitiated, the experience is typically shocking yet the focus is simple: just sit back and enjoy the ride!



 
Kung Fu
@Gypsy Sally's | view more info »
Mar
2

Kung Fu



Saturday Mar 2|doors 7:00 pm|21+
Gypsy Sally's|get directions »
3401 K St NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 333-7700


Kung Fu

official band site »

Proud to be firmly installed in the new-funk movement, KUNG FU is quickly popularizing their unique sonic contribution, blurring the line between intense electro-fusion, and blistering dance arrangements. Making fusion music "cool" again, the band draws on influences such as early Headhunters and Weather Report, and merges those ideas with a contemporary EDM informed sensibility. Imagine 70's funk-fusion meets a modern dance party!

Although the ensemble cast enjoys a seasoned pedigree that reads like a late-night summer festival all-star jam, this fledgling "nu-sion" project is growing a unique and rabid following by commanding audiences at theaters, clubs, and major national festivals since 2012.

The powerhouse quintet's live show has been described by critics and fans alike as "lethal funk", "explosive", "jaw dropping", and "musically mesmerizing". For the uninitiated, the experience is typically shocking yet the focus is simple: just sit back and enjoy the ride!



 
JJ Grey & Mofro
Southern Avenue | @9:30 club | view more info »
Mar
7

JJ Grey & Mofro

Southern Avenue


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


JJ Grey & Mofro

official band site »

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

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

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

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

When he isn't touring, Grey exerts his prodigious energies on the family land, a former chicken-farm that was run by his maternal grandmother and grandfather. The farm boasts a recording studio, a warehouse that doubles as Grey's gym, an open-air barn, and of course those 50-odd pecan trees that occasionally require Grey to go airborne with his sprayer.

For devoted listeners, there is something fitting, even affirmative in Grey's commitment to the land of his north Florida home. The farms and eddying swamps of his youth are as much a part of Grey's music as the Louisiana swamp-blues tradition, or the singer's collection of old Stax records.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Southern Avenue

official band site »

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

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

Southern Avenue features five young but seasoned musicians who came from diverse musical and personal backgrounds to create music that spans their wide-ranging musical interests, while showcasing the powerful chemistry that the group has honed through stage and studio experience. Southern Avenue encompasses Memphis-born, church-bred sisters Tierinii and Tikyra Jackson, respectively a soulful, charismatic singer and a subtle powerful drummer; guitarist Ori Naftaly, an Israeli-born blues disciple who first came to America as an acclaimed solo artist; versatile jazz-inspired bassist Daniel McKee; and the band's newest addition, keyboardist Jeremy Powell, an early alumnus of Stax's legendary music academy.

The band members' diverse skills come together organically on Southern Avenue, scheduled for release on February 24, 2017 via Stax Records, a division of Concord Music Group. Produced by Kevin Houston (North Mississippi Allstars, Lucero, Patty Griffin), the 10-song album features guest appearances from Luther Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars and trumpeter Marc Franklin of the Bo-Keys. But it's Southern Avenue's own potent musical chemistry that drives such sublimely soulful originals as "Don't Give Up," "What Did I Do," "It's Gonna Be Alright," "Love Me Right" and "Wildflower." The band also pays tribute to its roots with an incandescent reading of Ann Peebles' Memphis soul classic "Slipped, Tripped and Fell in Love."

The seeds for Southern Avenue's birth were planted when Ori Naftaly, who'd grown up in Israel with a deep-rooted passion for American blues and funk, came to Memphis in 2013 to compete in the prestigious International Blues Challenge. That experience led to Naftaly moving permanently to Memphis and successfully touring the United States with his own band.

Although his talents were embraced by American audiences, Naftaly felt constrained in his own band, feeling the need to include a more expansive, collaborative musical vision. That opportunity arrived when he met Memphis native Tierinii Jackson, who'd gotten her start singing in church, before performing in a series of cover bands and theatrical projects. According to Ori, "When I saw Tierinii perform, I thought, 'This is why I came to America.' I met her and we clicked. At our first rehearsal, she told me that her sister was a drummer, and she thought it would be great to have her in the band. We had such a good vibe, and suddenly I didn't care so much about my solo thing."

"I initially clicked with Ori really well, but it was his project," Tierinii remembers. "Then he came to me and said 'I want this band to be a collaboration, I want this to be our vision and our music.' So we started writing together, and that's when I realized that we were really the same musically."

"We started over," Naftaly continues. "We threw out most of the songs I'd been playing in my solo band, and Tierinii and I wrote a whole new set, and we became Southern Avenue. The more we played together, the closer we got, and the more we became a family. We started getting a different kind of crowd, and from there things escalated quickly."

"Ori said, 'My band is done, this is y'all's band,'" Tierinii recalls. "We all quit our other gigs and started focusing on this, working and writing and living together in a way that you don't experience when you're playing somebody else's music. Now we're playing songs that we wrote ourselves and we're playing them from our hearts. That is when I realized that we had something special."

Despite not having a record deal, Southern Avenue quickly found success touring in America and Europe. They won additional attention playing some prestigious festivals and competing in the International Blues Challenge, in which they represented Memphis. Less than a year after the band's formation, they were signed to the resurgent Stax label. "I feel like being on Stax is a responsibility," says Tierinii. "I grew up in Memphis, seeing the name Stax everywhere. It was a constant presence, and now it's up to us to live up that. I feel like this band can be a platform to do a lot of positive things for the city of Memphis. I want to change the world, but Memphis is home."

Tierinii views Southern Avenue as "a perfect soundtrack to our first year together. We wrote these songs in our first nine months of being a band. We'd all done so many things and come from so many different places, but the music represents all of us. "It's been a real crash course," she continues. "We've haven't been a band for very long, but what we have feels very special, and it's made us a strong unit. I think that we represent something that people need to see right now."

"This band has already made our dreams come true," Ori concludes. "I've waited all my life to be in a band like this, and it's amazing to me that I get to play with these people every night. Our goal is to keep doing this for a long time and leave our mark. We're trying to build a legacy."


 
BoomBox
@9:30 club | view more info »
Mar
8

BoomBox



Friday Mar 8|doors 10:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


BoomBox

official band site »

A little house, a little blues, a little funk, a little rock, and a whole lot of soul blast through BoomBox.

Since first emerging in 2004, founder, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Zion Rock Godchaux has been quietly seasoning this simmering recipe to perfection. However, it reaches a boiling point on his forthcoming 2018 fifth album, Western Voodoo [Heart of Gold Records].

At the same time, the Muscle Shoals, AL native stays true to what attracted countless fans in the first place.

“I remain open to anything you would hear coming out of a boombox,” he explains. “There are a lot of different vibes and angles, but it still adheres to a universal rhythm. This new record is the most musical and varied, yet it’s tightly wound in respect to that syncopation. There are only a few rules. It should be heavy groove. It should make you want to move. Overall, I’ve further developed the sound people are used to.”

Following up 2016’s fan favorite Bits & Pieces, the artist found himself at something of a crossroads. Longtime collaborator Russ Randolph amicably parted ways with the band at the end of the year. For the first time, Godchaux would solely produce the bulk of a BoomBox record by himself inside of his new studio, while DJ Harry joined on tour in January 2017. Another first, he even performed live bass on the album, opening up the creative palette dramatically.

“I’ve learned more about engineering and the technical aspects of recording. It’s been a time of soul searching. I can follow any Ideas that I want to. So there’s a lot more organic instrumentation. I’m just trying to develop more sonic real.” Appropriately, he dubs the sound of Western Voodoo, “Dirty Disco Blues.” Within that realm, Godchaux fuses a funky strut with electronic energy and danceable swagger powerful enough to cast a spell of its own.

“You hear about different forms of magic around the world,” he goes on. “The West, in general, has its own voodoo influenced by the blues. That’s what shaped me as a musician growing up in this country. It’s hard to put in the words, but you know it when you hear it.”

You hear it in everything that BoomBox has done thus far. Over the course of four albums, the group has become a streaming favorite with numerous tracks cracking a million plays on Spotify. Moreover, they’ve made audiences groove everywhere from Electric Forest and Hangout Music Festival to High Sierra Music Festival. To welcome DJ Harry into the fold, they performed 75 shows in 2017, with that number expected to grow in 2018.

“Harry picked up everything in a really short amount of time,” he explains. “The parties are just as hot, if not hotter. The music is getting tighter. He stepped in and kept the plane in the air.”

In the end, the new music kicks off the brightest and boldest chapter yet for Godchaux. “Our best side is somewhat medicinal,” he leaves off. “All of the rhythms, melodies, and frequencies add up to these healing properties. I hope people feel rejuvenated and re-focused on some level when they hear us. That’s Western Voodoo.”



 
The Mavericks
@Lincoln Theatre | view more info »
Mar
8

The Mavericks



Friday Mar 8|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
Lincoln Theatre|get directions »
1215 U St NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 888-0050


The Mavericks

official band site »

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

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

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

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

Free and truly independent for the first time in their career, the Mavericks were able to write and record without watching the clock. The process began in 2015 with a session at Capitol Studios in Hollywood, where the band cut two new songs by Malo and songwriting partner Alan Miller. Further writing and studio dates continued in Nashville amid a busy touring schedule over the course of the next year.

Deakin says, “It was different than going in and recording a record in five or six days. I don’t think it would have happened if we hadn’t taken over so many aspects of our business – we’ve become more and more autonomous with every aspect of it, from the management to the record label. It’s a very empowering and very exciting time for us to be doing this. It makes us feel like you can do anything that you want, and I think that comes through.”

Malo adds, “My thinking is always that you can make the best record you can make if you really labor over the parts, the editing, the songs, take your time. I wanted to specifically get to the point where you’re trimming the fat off the songs and making as succinct and as concise a good little pop record as you can make. That was really the goal.”

The album contains a diverse selection of originals that show off the Mavericks’ always multi-faceted musical personality, including the boldly upbeat title song, the tejano/bluegrass flavored “Rolling Along”, the intensely romantic “Goodnight Waltz,” the blues-fueled “Ride With Me,” and the thematically pointed “Easy As It Seems” and “Damned (If You Do).”

Brand New Day flexes the category-defying approach that has been a unique hallmark of the Mavericks’ sound since the band’s top-20 hits on the country charts. The album’s 10 new songs seamlessly merge strains of Tex-Mex, Cuban bolero, R&B, blues, country, and rock ‘n’ roll. “I came up with a new category called ‘non-gen’,” Deakin says with a laugh. “We don't seem to operate with many preconceived parameters. Raul’s writing, which in my opinion...keeps getting better every time we go back in the studio, doesn’t limit us to any one format. It’s a band of audiophiles. Honestly, before we go on stage and after we get off stage, we’re listening to music from every imaginal genre. I think that appreciation of all music naturally comes through when we make records."

Malo says that one of his early inspirations, a fondly remembered 1960 pop aria by Elvis Presley, not only continues to drive his vision of the Mavericks’ music, but also helped define the process of creating the unit’s first studio release on their own.

“My whole life, I’ve been wanting to write ‘It’s Now or Never’,” Malo says. “That was the record for me when I was a kid. That just blew my mind. It connected all these worlds musically, opera, pop, rock ‘n’ roll, R&B. It connected everything for me. The inspiration here was writing that kind of song, making that kind of record.’

Malo sees the expansive music on Brand New Day not merely as an expression of his personal roots, but also as a nod to the richness of their artistic sources.

He says, “I live in Nashville, but I’m still as Cuban as if I was in Miami. But American music is such a beautiful landscape, and there are so many things to draw from. As a Latino, you’re trying to assimilate into this culture, and you’re taking it all in, and some of it grabs you by the throat and you can’t let go of it. All of it is part of your vocabulary. It’s all Americana, and now more than ever those differences, and that inclusion, need to be celebrated and need to be talked about.”



 
The Motet
No BS! Brass Band | @9:30 club | view more info »
Mar
9

The Motet

No BS! Brass Band


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


The Motet

official band site »

Music and escapism go hand-in-hand.

A concert or an album can unlock another world, if you let it. The Motet respect and revere this time-honored phenomenon. Fusing fiery funk, simmering soul, and improvisational inventiveness, the Denver, CO seven-piece—Lyle Divinsky [vocals], Dave Watts [drums], Joey Porter [keyboards], Garrett Sayers [bass], Ryan Jalbert [guitar], Parris Fleming [trumpet], and Drew Sayers [saxophone]—have continually provided an escape for listeners over the course of seven full-length albums since 1998, including their latest release Totem and with an upcoming 2019 release. That extends to countless sold out shows and festivals everywhere from Bonnaroo, Electric Forest, and Summer Camp to All Good Music Festival and High Sierra Music Festival as well as 16 consecutive years of themed Halloween concerts. “When you’re listening to us, I want your mind to be taken away from wherever you are during the day and into some other place,” states Dave. “It’s all about that.”

After quietly building a diehard and devoted following, 2016 represented a watershed year for the musicians. They welcomed Lyle and Drew into the fold and released Totem, which drew acclaim from Relix, AXS, 303 Magazine, and many others. For the first time, The Motet sold out the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheater—the holy grail venue of their hometown—cataloged on Live at Red Rocks. Sell-outs followed everywhere from The Fillmore (San Francisco) and Tipitina’s (New Orleans) to Brooklyn Bowl (Brooklyn), Park West (Chicago), and Crystal Ballroom (Portland). The group locked into an unbreakable groove.

“We’ve never been a band that just blew up overnight,” Dave goes on. “We’ve been very tenacious about our movement forward. We’ve been through many different iterations throughout the years. Right now, it feels like we’ve got the lineup that’s making an impression on our scene. Lyle is the perfect match for us. He’s got musicality and this raw energy we all resonate with. He ignited this spark to put work in and write inspiring music.”

That spark lit again in 2017. Following Jam Cruise and a second Red Rocks gig, the band fired up the new single “Supernova.” Strutting between hypnotic horns and swaggering guitars, the track sees The Motet blast off to another galaxy. Quickly racking up over 150k Spotify streams in a month’s time, it instantly excited fans.

“‘Supernova’ is the first song that I was involved with from start to finish,” explains Lyle. “Joey brought in the initial musical idea. We expanded upon it and worked everything out. The word ‘Supernova’ kept jumping out to me. We decided to roll with that and give it an interstellar romantic dance theme.”

“Supernova” has kicked off a series of singles, so far including “Get It Right” and “That Dream”, that leads up to a new album coming in early 2019. However, everything comes back to the escape that The Motet deliver.

“We want to take people on a journey,” Lyle leaves off. “In order to go on a journey, you have to participate. You can’t just simply let it happen around you. You have to give yourself into that journey. Everything is open. You’re free to be yourself. You’re free to go on that adventure and journey. We want to be the catalyst for listeners to understand themselves and the world around them.”

“This is a family,” concludes Dave. “We’ve got each other’s backs. We’re doing this, because we love to be around each other and create together. We’re committed to working together because we appreciate and respect what we have to say and provide the music world and our community.”


No BS! Brass Band

official band site »

Based in Richmond, Virginia, No BS! Brass Band has quickly earned a reputation as a premiere band to see for heart-pounding energy and uncontrollable dancing. They take their music into uncharted territory, embracing the spirit of New Orleans into its original East Coast modern funk and fearlessly combining elements of James Brown, John Coltrane, Michael Jackson, and Led Zeppelin into their fiercely original sound.

Founders Reggie Pace and Lance Koehler have cast this 11-piece band in which nearly every member has had conservatory training, holding various degrees in music. In putting together the compositions and arrangements, the “b.s.” has been stripped to give the audience something solid, unique, organic, real, and powerful. They have the look of New Orleans with the raw sound all their own -- music is a true definition of the “Richmond sound.”


 
J Boog
EarthKry | Eddy Dyno | @9:30 club | view more info »
Mar
11

J Boog

EarthKry
Eddy Dyno

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


J Boog

official band site »

J Boog (Jerry Afemata), a reggae singer of Samoan descent was born in Long Beach and raised in Compton, CA. He is the youngest of seven brothers and one sister who come from hard working parents that relentlessly instilled a strong cultured household.

Currently residing back and forth between Hawaii and California, J Boog has been working incessantly since the release of his debut album "Hear Me Roar" (2007). He followed that up with his sophomore album "Backyard Boogie" (2011) which topped the US Billboard Charts and iTunes charts in numerous countries.

J Boog has shared his craft & has toured around the world: Europe, Africa, Dubai, New Zealand, Australia, The US & Japan all have felt the authenticity of J Boog.

Jerry helped pave the way for many Polynesian artists with the help of island music pioneer George "Fiji" Veikoso. The two met in 2005. They immediately clicked and created a sound that opened many doors for the Polynesian community. In 2008, J Boog joined Hawaii/San Francisco based recording & record label, Wash House Music Group Inc. Together they've been on a journey thats most promising with endless limits.

Shortly after that, J Boog teamed up with Yami Bolo & Gramps Morgan of reggae?s royal family, Morgan Heritage. They embarked on a journey to have J Boog witness the culture of Jamaican music & history. This being Jerry’s first visit to Jamaica, he was completely overwhelmed & found himself working in historic studios: Bob Marley's "Tuff Gong Studio", Don Corlean's "Hit Maker Studio", Bobby Digitals "Digital B Studio", Shaggy’s "Big Yard Studio" & Sugar Minotts "Youth Man Promotions". All very prestigious recording artists & compounds. He was constantly surrounded by several artists he had been influenced by and many of these artists where featured on his 2011 release Backyard Boogie. Backyard Boogie entertained a wide spectrum of reggae fans, old & new. It gave a variety of roots, r&b, lovers rock and good vibes. Hits included: Let’s Do It Again produced by Don Corleon and Sunshine Girl produced by Gramps Morgan featuring Morgan Heritage front man Peetah Morgan.

The success of Backyard Boogie earned J Boog Best Entertainer Award at the 2012 Irawma Awards held in Chicago, IL. A year later, he dropped a 5 song EP called "Live Up" & a mix-tape collaboration with fashionista powerhouse Diamond Supply Co. His most recent EP "Rose Petals" (2016) peaked the US Billboards & iTunes Charts at #1 & was nominated for Best Reggae Album of the Year at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards. It featured hip hop mogul Snoop Dog & six time Grammy Award winner Stephen "Ragga" Marley. The Rose Petals EP was just a little foreplay to what would become his next full length album called "Wash House Ting".

A true student of music; you can catch J Boog on worldwide tours across the globe, on radio interviews or in the studio working on new material. His humility has gained him true fans everywhere he goes while exercising, MUSIC IS THE ONLY UNIVERSAL TONGUE. Stay tuned....


EarthKry

official band site »

Their journey began with a twist of fate which brought together keyboard player Phillip Mcfarlane , drummer Kieron Cunningham, bass guitarist Kamardo Blake and vocalist/guitarist Aldayne Haughton, to play a series of small gigs. Drawing inspiration from Bob Marley and The Wailers, The Beatles, John Holt, Peter Tosh, Jacob Miller, Black Uhuru and Steel Pulse, the group soon cemented a wholesome fusion of Roots Reggae, Souls and Rock genres for a fresh but universal sound. Much like the iconic reggae outfit The Wailers, the band chose its name, EarthKry, to signify its mission to voice the grievances of the downtrodden through the vibrations of their Legacy music. Since 2013 the band has spent much of their time creating music with other notable artistes in recording sessions while further developing their signature sound. Through the guidance of veteran drummer/ lecturer Derrick Stewart, veteran trumpeter Nambo Robinson, guitarist/former tutor Maurice Gordon and producers Stephen Stewart and Sam Clayton, the band has since released a successful debut EP “Hard Road”, an acclaimed, worldwide top charting debut album “SURVIVAL” and have toured extensively on some of the biggest international stages.

Eddy Dyno

official band site »

Who: Singer/Songwriter/Producer/Professional Electric Triangler. Where: SF Bay Area. Ethnicity: Tongan


 
Trevor Hall
Dirtwire | Will Evans | @9:30 club | view more info »
Mar
12

Trevor Hall

Dirtwire
Will Evans

Tuesday Mar 12|doors 6:30 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


Trevor Hall

official band site »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Dirtwire

official band site »

Dirtwire is a traveler’s collage of Earth-borne instruments and electronic sounds foraged from Electric Forest to the mountains of Tuva. From their home on the west coast of the United States to far-flung destinations all over the world, these troubadours are welcomed for speaking the most unifying language there is: music.

Every live set is a magician’s surprise show, an invitation to experience instruments that are usually heard only as samples in electronic music. It is a celebration of the art of the instrument, not just the sound you can record from it. Future revival, swamptronica, spaghetti-step, electro-twang — whatever you call Dirtwire’s music, what matters is that you can dance to it, as sure as a lizard dances in the desert.

Dirtwire, comprised of lifelong friends and musicians Evan Fraser, David Satori, and Mark Reveley, are touring now in support of their new record “Road Goes All Night”. The road goes further yet, friends. Come see where it leads at a show near you.

Will Evans

official band site »

Will Evans has spent the last decade as the primary songwriter, drummer, and front man for the roots rock outfit Barefoot Truth. Will recorded four full length albums and several EP’s of his original music with the band. Their most recent release, “Carry Us On”, debuted at #10 on the iTunes Rock Chart, and as of 2018, the band has surpassed over 20 million plays on Spotify. With Barefoot Truth on an extended hiatus, Will has opened a new chapter in his musical journey.


 
Andy Frasco Frasco & The U.N.
@Pearl Street Warehouse | view more info »
Mar
15

Andy Frasco Frasco & The U.N.



Friday Mar 15|doors 8:00 pm|21+
Pearl Street Warehouse|get directions »
33 Pearl Street
Washington DC|p: (202) 380-9620


Andy Frasco Frasco & The U.N.

official band site »

It felt like time to switch gears.

In 2017, Andy Frasco reached a fork in the road. Renowned for a jubilant jambalaya of rule-breaking rock n roll his career kept rolling ahead at full steam. To date, he had released three independent albums, chronicled a German gig in front of 15,000 screaming fans on the recent live opus Songs from the Road, made jaws drop at festivals such as Grandoozy, Firefly, Mountain Jam, Summer Camp, Rock Am Ring, Rock Im Park and Electric Forest, generated millions of streams, launched Andy Frasco’s World Saving Podcast, and performed at festivals alongside icons such as Peter Frampton, Gary Clark Jr., The Revivalists, Snoop Dog, Dr. Dog, Joe Walsh and Kendrick Lamar, to name a few.

After a string of wild shows (and wilder nights) on tour somewhere in the heart of America, one morning sounded a very loud wakeup call for the singer, songwriter, performer, and namesake of Andy Frasco & The U.N.

“I woke up after a five-day bender on cocaine,” he recalls. “This relationship I was in didn’t work out. I bought a house in the Midwest to be close to a girl, but she didn’t trust me. I wouldn’t trust me either, because I was fucking chicks and doing drugs every night on the road. I would take ecstasy just to get out of bed. I was sleep deprived, losing all of my friendships, and fucking overworked. I decided to make a change in my life. I realized that I’m getting older; I couldn’t only be the party guy. I wanted to chronicle my life. I wanted to capture my feelings. I wanted substance in my life and music. I decided to take a step back from this wild life for a second and reevaluate, so I could genuinely enjoy the ride I’m on for the long haul.”

The ride ramps up on his third full-length album, the aptly titled Change of Pace. Andy approached recording from a new vantage point encouraged by iconic Widespread Panic bassist and producer Dave Schools. At sessions in a remote Sonoma County mountain studio in a converted chicken coop of all places, Schools challenged him as a songwriter and lyricist.

“Dave sat me down and asked, ‘Who do you want to be? What do you want to be remembered by?’,” recalls Andy. “I never really thought of it that way. He dialed things back for me. He’s become a huge inspiration to me as a musician and a friend. The album began there.”

Cutting six songs with Dave, he embarked on something of a “studio tour” to finish Change of Pace. He tapped the talents of Ben Ellman in New Orleans, Charles Goodan in Los Angeles, and Caleb Hawley in New York at Lady Gaga’s Atomic Studios.

As a result, the songs reflect the respective regions.

“There’s a grungy Bourbon street feel, hard-working and moody New York energy, and that indie California vibe,” he goes on. “I’m a traveler at the end of the day. I became a musician to travel and give people therapy through music. As part of this revelation, I realized I don’t need to stay at home when I’m off tour. I decided since I’m most comfortable on the road, so I might as well make this record on the road.”

The first single “Up/Down” slips from a simmering beat and bass line into a horn-driven swoon. Produced by Goodan, its undeniable refrain proves immediately irresistible as he sings, “Your love is up and down.”

“I was just getting through my relationship with that girl from Arkansas,” Andy goes on. “One day, she was happy. The next day, she wasn’t. I speak on the bipolar nature of a relationship. This was the first time I felt that. Normally, I’d be in the next town before things got any further. The song came from an outside point-of-a-view by a guy who never had a real relationship before this in his life!”

Meanwhile, the boisterous “Waiting Game” features Schools’ touch and thrives on delightful proclamations such as “I wanna be the man you can tell your momma about!” The theatrical piano chords, cinematic accordion, and barroom chant delivery on “Don’t let the Haters get you down” takes dead aim at “online trolls talking shit from their parents basements.”

The title track “Change of Pace” gallops ahead on tambourine and organ as Andy’s voice stretches to the heavens and back on the admission, “I’m looking for change of pace. Then, I’ll be on my way.”

“Everyone has an idea of how you should live your life,” he states. “If you’re dealing with something that you’re not into, try something the complete opposite. Instead of always pondering what you could do tomorrow, do it today.” In the end, this change elevates Andy to a new level.

“I’d love for people to connect to the songs in addition to the live show,” he leaves off. “I’m a philosopher and a musician at the end of the day. I want to emulate those aspects in my work. I’m also just a guy trying to find happiness like everyone else is. It’s about being okay with the lows, not getting too high with the highs, and being comfortable in your own skin.”



 
Mike Gordon
@9:30 club | view more info »
Mar
15

Mike Gordon



Friday Mar 15|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


Mike Gordon

official band site »

Mike Gordon (bassist and co-founder of the seminal improvisational rock band Phish) returns with his band in support of new album, OGOGO. The album was produced by GRAMMY Award winning Shawn Everett (producer behind the boards for a slew of critically-lauded releases—this year alone for The War on Drugs, Grizzly Bear, Broken Social Scene, Perfume Genius, among others). Gordon's five-piece band includes Scott Murawski, Robert Walter (Greyboy Allstars), John Kimock, and Craig Myers.



 
Railroad Earth 2-NIGHT PASS
@9:30 club | view more info »
Mar
22

Railroad Earth 2-NIGHT PASS



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


Railroad Earth 2-NIGHT PASS

Friday, March 22 & Saturday, March 23 at 9:30 Club



 
Railroad Earth
@9:30 club | view more info »
Mar
22

Railroad Earth



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


Railroad Earth

official band site »

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

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

Clearly looking for a more specific answer, but realizing that he isn’t going to get one, Marty laughs. “Rock & roll…” Well, that’s the way it is sometimes: musicians play music, and don’t necessarily worry about where it gets filed. It’s the writers, record labels, managers, etc., who tend to fret about what “kind” of music it is.

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

Songwriter/lead vocalist Todd Sheaffer continues, “When we started, we only loosely had the idea of getting together and playing some music. It started that informally; just getting together and doing some picking and playing. Over a couple of month period, we started working on some original songs, as well as playing some covers that we thought would be fun to play.”

Shortly thereafter, they took five songs from their budding repertoire into a studio and knocked out a demo in just two days. Their soon-to-be manager sent that demo to a few festivals, and – to the band’s surprise – they were booked at the prestigious Telluride Bluegrass Festival before they’d even played their first gig. This prompted them to quickly go in and record five more songs; the ten combined tracks of which made up their debut album, “The Black Bear Sessions.”

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

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

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



 
Railroad Earth
@9:30 club | view more info »
Mar
23

Railroad Earth



Saturday Mar 23|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!”



 
Matador! Soul Sounds
@Union Stage | view more info »
Mar
24

Matador! Soul Sounds



Sunday Mar 24|doors 7:30 pm|all ages
Union Stage|get directions »
740 Water Street SW
Washington DC|p: (877) 987-6487


Matador! Soul Sounds

official band site »

Matador! Soul Sounds is a band loosely based on the concept of Spanish bullfighting. A common misconception in America is that bullfighting is a feat of one man versus one bull—in reality, bullfighting is largely a team effort by a matador and his cuadrilla.

Born from the vision of Eddie Roberts (The New Mastersounds) and Alan Evans (Soulive) their fierce cuadrilla consists of keyboardist Chris Spies and bassist Kevin Scott (Jimmy Herring) as the band’s “banderilleros". Adding a feminine energy to the band are Adryon de León and Kimberly Dawson (Pimps of Joytime) on vocals. Combining the dynamism of each band leader, the music they have created is brand new, hard hitting and drenched with their shared musical passions - jazz, funk & soul.

The band made their official World Debut at Live for Live Music’s Brooklyn Comes Alive 2017 and will be touring in the spring of 2018 behind their first full length EP.



 
The Infamous Stringdusters
Jon Stickley Trio | @9:30 club | view more info »
Apr
5

The Infamous Stringdusters

Jon Stickley Trio


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


The Infamous Stringdusters

official band site »

"With a nod to the past and a firm foot down on the gas toward the future, the 'Dusters... don't leave bluegrass behind; they're stretching it from within." - New York Times

"The Stringdusters are the Star Wars of Bluegrass and this is their Return of the Jedi. Stop fiddling with your lightsaber and get this album." - Ryan Adams

"...these stellar bluegrass players are pushing the music forward." - David Dye/World Café

A band should never stop progressing.

Forward motion belies creativity and evolution. A staunch and unwavering commitment to progression is how an unassuming group of five friends can collectively become a GRAMMY® Award-winning force of nature. That’s exactly how it happened for The Infamous Stringdusters. Within thirteen years since their 2005 formation, the band—Travis Book [bass, vocals], Andy Falco [guitar, vocals], Jeremy Garrett [fiddle, vocals], Andy Hall [dobro, vocals], and Chris Pandolfi [banjo, vocals]— have consistently forged ahead, relentlessly exploring the musical possibilities of a “bluegrass ensemble” and breaking down boundaries in the process.

In a genre known for traditionalism, the ‘Dusters have consistently covered new ground, inspired fans, and redefined what a bluegrass band can be. 2018 represented a high watermark for the quintet as they took home a GRAMMY® Award in the category of “Best Bluegrass Album” for their 2017 release Laws of Gravity.

Even with such milestones, the members feel like they’re only getting started.

“I’m most inspired by the evolution of the music,” agrees Book. “The band is reaching new heights with our exploration and jamming. The repertoire is deep, and our crew is so entwined in the music and presentation of the show. It’s all come together in the last year or so.”

Hall adds, “Releasing three recorded projects this year has been artistically exciting. Mostly, the band has taken a huge leap forward in our live show with our improvisation blending from one song into the next. It’s made everything that much more fun.”

The motion includes a prolific output that rivals any act in music. In 2017 alone, they released three projects: Laws of Gravity, Laws of Gravity: Live, and Undercover Vol. 2 through Lumenhouse Recordings. Impressively, the band’s eighth full length record, Laws of Gravity, received a 2018 GRAMMY® Award nomination in the category of “Best Bluegrass Album”, bowed in the Top 10 of the Billboard Heatseekers Chart, and marked their third debut at #1 on the Bluegrass Albums Chart with Undercover Vol. 2 becoming their seventh Top 10 entry. Recognized by some of the top names in the game, they teamed up with Ryan Adams for performances of “Sweet Carolina” on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and at Telluride Bluegrass Festival, and Newport Folk Festival. Phil Lesh also tapped them as his band for Phil and Friends at Lockn alongside members of Phish.

Another tenet of that progression, the second installment of the Undercover series exemplifies the exploration ethos, transforming various recognizable anthems into raw and rootsy gems. “Jessica” by The Allman Brothers Band, rollicks and rolls, “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk maintains its dancefloor energy, and Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” adopts newfound urgency. The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven” undergoes a bluegrass makeover with galloping banjo and blistering solos.

Along the way, The Stringdusters have won three International Bluegrass Music Association Awards in 2007 for their debut record, Fork in the Road, in addition to snagging a nomination for “Instrumental Group of the Year” by the International Bluegrass Music Association in 2010. Meanwhile, Things That Fly’s “Magic No. 9” garnered a 2011 GRAMMY® nod in the category of “Best Country Instrumental.”

The Infamous Stringdusters are grateful for the recognition, but they continue to move forward full speed ahead.

“I just hope that our music gives people a chance to feel free; free from the burdens of everyday life that we all have, free to just be themselves and be happy,” Falco leaves off.

“It's an amazing gift to play this music, to share this journey with these guys,” concludes Book. “I wouldn't trade it for anything, there's no other gig I'd rather have, no other place I’d rather be than in the moment making this music. This band, our organization and crew, we’re a family and I think I speak for everyone when I say I hope we can do this for years to come.”


Jon Stickley Trio

official band site »

Jon Stickley Trio is a genre-defying and cinematic instrumental trio, who’s deep grooves, innovative flatpicking, and sultry-spacy violin moves the listener’s head, heart, and feet. “It’s not your father’s acoustic-guitar music—although Stickley’s pop showed him his first chords when he was 12 years old. Instead, Stickley’s Martin churns out a mixture of bluegrass, Chuck Berry, metal, prog, grunge, and assorted other genres—all thoroughly integrated into a personal style,” writes Guitar Player Magazine.

Premier Guitar says, “Stickley’s trio… is not a traditional bluegrass group by any means… they are just nimble and ambitious enough to navigate EDM-style breakbeats as effortlessly as the old timey standard ‘Blackberry Blossom.’” “Stickley is a super-resourceful acoustic guitarist who uses the instrument in many surprising ways and whose timing is just flawless. Fiddler Lyndsay Pruettputs deep thought into her flowing solos, plus she adds little flourishes and sudden stops that elevate the music,” proclaims Nashville’s Music City Roots’ Craig Havighurst.

Jon Stickley Trio announces a change in lineup beginning in January 2018 with new drummer, Hunter Deacon, who is both classically trained and boasts heavy jazz influences. Hailing from the ever-hip Knoxville, Tennessee, Hunter studied with drummer Keith Brown and received a BM in Studio Music and Jazz from the University of Tennessee. Deacon then went on to complete a six month residency at a jazz club in Hangzhou, China where he performed seven nights a week. Since his return, he’s played with Scott Miller and the Commonwealth, toured the country with Sam Lewis, and performs with guitarist Mike Baggetta.

Stickley says about the seemingly sudden lineup change, “we’re really excited to add Hunter’s vibe to the mix, his creativity and willingness to experiment were two things that drew us to him, and Lyndsay and I were quickly surprised and inspired by what he’ll bring to the table.”

With inspiration ranging from from Green Day to Duran Duran to Tony Rice to Nirvana, Grateful Dead, David Grisman and beyond, the Trio is making waves with their unique sound. Along with releasing two full length albums and one EP in the past few years, the Trio has zig-zagged the nation, playing over 120 dates in 2017 alone. They are road tested and band geek approved!

Dave King (of The Bad Plus) joined forces with Jon Stickley Trio to produce 2017’s Maybe Believe and 2015’s Lost At Last (which The New York Times called “both respectful and free”) in the band’s hometown of Asheville, NC at the esteemed Echo Mountain Recording Studio. The Trio slipped a self-produced 5-track EP, Triangular, into the mix in December of 2016.

“In a time when a lot of instrumental music feels more like math than art, Jon Stickley Trio reminds us of the pure joy that can be created and shared through music,” says Greensky Bluegrass’ Anders Beck. Stickley says, “The Trio feels fresher and hotter than ever, we’ve hit our stride in terms of creating tunes that are uniquely us and that’s a really exciting place to be musically. Not to mention we are so stoked to get back to many of our favorite festivals and clubs, and even more excited to play some the ones we’ve always dreamed of. 2018 will, without a doubt, be our best year yet!”


 
Beats Antique
Axel Thesleff | @9:30 club | view more info »
Apr
6

Beats Antique

Axel Thesleff


Saturday Apr 6|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


Beats Antique

official band site »

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

Based in Oakland, California, Sidecar Tommy, David Satori and Zoe Jakes make up Beats Antique, who released their 10th album on October 5th 2016 to commemorate their tenth year as a band. They’ve mounted a larger-than-life cross-country tour that will take their vision to theaters across America. “Shadowbox is both the title of our new album, the theme of our tour, and our new store front in Berkeley CA. We decided to bring it all together on this release.“ Mostly recorded at their studio in Oakland (which has been around since the 50s), the Bay Area band also recorded in Russia and Israel. “We were lucky to record in both Moscow and Tel Aviv, because we had shows there and wanted to connect with the local artists. We had amazing sessions in both locations; In Moscow we recorded on the outskirts of the city in a wild Industrial complex. We ended up going through strange corridors into this plush bamboo-floored-Hare-Krishna-owned recording studio with state of the art gear. When we were in Tel Aviv, we gave a call to a local legend Yossi Fine and he helped us get time at Pluto Studios, which is one of the best in the city. We recorded with Talya Solan and her amazing group of musicians. We used elements of the Tel Aviv session to create our track “Bdna Salam,” which is raising money for Syrian refugees.” Along with Talya other features on Shadowbox include Lafa Taylor, Alam Khan, Tatiana Kalmykova, brasshouse trio Too Many Zooz (who are touring with Beats Antique), Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Dana Elle, Madoline Tasquin and Medium Troy Orchestra.

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

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

An enthusiastic touring band, a new album also means a new tour, and since Beats Antique is all about the ‘concept,’ Shadowbox (the album and the idea) is another opportunity for them to get the creative juices flowing for the live shows. The band plan to use shadows, light, Indonesian shadow puppetry, custom-created lanterns, dance, story telling, crowd participation and more to make sure this is an unforgettable visual spectacle for their audience. Shadowbox, an album that is an amalgamation of the history of Beats Antique, merged with a tour that will both tease and excite the senses, shows off what this band does best – transform, innovate and revolutionize what you think you know about music.


Axel Thesleff

official band site »

Axel Thesleff is an electronic musician and producer based in Helsinki, Finland. His style is very diverse, ranging from bass-heavy bangers to more relaxed and deep tracks, never forgetting about the emotion and story behind each piece of music. His tunes will make subwoofers purr, but also deliver an emotional impact which resonates with your soul.

Axel’s popularity has been paced up by his 2014 release, Bad Karma. Which has been streamed more than 300 million times on Youtube and millions more on Spotify and Soundcloud. Also, his other releases have been noticed by BBC Asian Network, Kiss Fm Romania, Ylex Finland and lots of other radio channels around the world. Several club gigs, festival performances, and interesting collaborations are just a beginning of this skilled, but humble musicians career.


 
Phoam (A Tribute To Phish)
@Union Stage | view more info »
Apr
6

Phoam (A Tribute To Phish)



Saturday Apr 6|doors 11:00 pm|all ages
Union Stage|get directions »
740 Water Street SW
Washington DC|p: (877) 987-6487


Phoam (A Tribute To Phish)

official band site »

It all would be so crystal clear, if it wasn’t for the Phoam! Pheaturing members of Psycho Killers, Electric Love Machine and Weekapug Orchestra, Phoam takes their love for Phish (over 300 shows combined) and pours it into their live performances. Spanning the prolific catalog, the band brings fans on a high energy, jam filled journey into the world of Phish.



 
SOJA
Passafire | Iya Terra | @Rams Head Live | view more info »
Apr
13

SOJA

Passafire
Iya Terra

Saturday Apr 13|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
Rams Head Live|get directions »
20 Market Place
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 244-1131


SOJA

official band site »

Nearly two decades ago, SOJA began as high school friends in a D.C. area basement teaching each other to be musicians and play roots reggae music. Today, the 2x GRAMMY-nominated eight-piece band, with over 7 million online followers and over 300 million Youtube views, headlines concerts all over the world for their massive dedicated fanbase. Even with their continued success, SOJA always wants to remember their time together in that basement inspired by each other’s contributions and ideas.

The feeling of true magic, collaboration and brotherhood that started it all is still evident today in their music and each night at their live concerts. For their latest studio album, Poetry In Motion (Oct 27 2017), it was essential for SOJA to consciously go back to the beginning and recapture that same sincere, collaborative magic sparked 20 years ago.

“For your whole life money is the thing you’re scarce on,” frontman Jacob Hemphill says. “Then once you get busy enough time becomes the thing you’re most scarce on. So spending time at home becomes your most valuable commodity and then the collaborative process starts taking place over the phone and email instead of in person. For Poetry In Motion we asked ourselves, ‘What if we went back to the beginning and wrote, arranged, recorded and produced the entire thing together?’ All eight guys in one room to create something special. That was the approach to this record – to make something we truly love and did all together.”

The band set up at Haunted Hollow Studios, Dave Matthews Band’s studio, near Charlottesville, VA. The idea was to live and work together in one place, investing all their energy into the process. They spent three months in the studio over several sessions in late 2016 and early 2017, spending hours sitting on the back porch discussing music and life. Everyone showed up with new ideas, new instruments and new gear. The band enlisted Rob Evans, Ivan Guitierrez and Mariano Aponte to co- produce the songs, and there was an open-minded sentiment throughout. “It was a learning and experimenting process,” Jacobs notes. “We got the exact thing we wanted from it.”

The album’s 11 tracks embrace reggae completely, focusing on what the genre does best. They referred often to their 2009 album, Born In Babylon, to remind them of where they came from and how they’d like to go forward. Poetry In Motion is the beginning of a chapter, but it’s also a return to the past. It’s a revitalization of what made SOJA so special to begin with. It’s about eight guys in one room making reggae music that truly means something.

“We’re going back to our roots and what we do best,” Jacob says. “We’re remembering why we started this band and the magic of what we’ve built. We were lucky enough to create our own family and we picked every brother by hand. This album feels like we’ve had an amazing family reunion. It’s a blueprint for our future.”

Poetry In Motion continues the band’s belief that music should speak for people and uplift them. The album looks at the world today and asks why it feels like something is wrong when so much exists around us. "Fire In the Sky,” propulsive and upbeat, takes the positive outlook on humanity while “Life Support,” a more introspective song, tackles the negative outlook. All the other tracks fall somewhere in the middle, as Jacob and the band grapple with the human condition, unafraid of big topics and essential life queries.

“The definition of the title is three-fold,” Jacob says. “I’m poetry, the band’s motion. The human race and the animals and plants that are spinning around on this Earth are beautiful – it’s poetry flying through the universe in motion. And then, thirdly, we are this beautiful poetry but we keep moving away from it. Right now it feels like we’re moving in the wrong direction and it’s scary.”

The album poses questions but never takes on a definitive reply. SOJA isn’t offering an answer. Instead, the answers are out there for each listener to find on their own. "There’s no periods on anything,” Jacob notes. “I give hints and glimpses, but my own opinions on the human condition change every year. Sometimes I’m climbing, sometimes I’m sliding. So maybe I’m not the right guy to be answering questions. But I can ask all these questions that matter and help people. I’m out there fishing for the next person.”

His ultimate goal with each song is simple. “How do I make the human condition come into this song?” he says. “How do I relate to the biggest family of all time? That’s all I’m ever really trying to do.”

SOJA’s energetic, impassioned live performances have a similar effect. Averaging around 120 shows a year for the last decade, SOJA has toured with acts that include Dave Matthews Band, 311 and Incubus, and engaged a massive international fan base of die-hard followers at festivals that include Bonnaroo, Hangout Festival, Wakarusa, Cali Roots, Summerjam Germany, Woodstock Poland, Personal Festival Argentina, Ziget Festival Hungry and many more. Their live shows offer people a chance to look both inward and outward, and feel part of a global community, particularly since SOJA has headlined shows in over 30 countries. For SOJA, everything is about connection, whether it's with the world around them or within the band. “Nothing worth doing in life can you do by yourself,” Jacob notes. “We’re in this together.”


Passafire

official band site »

“It’s all in our minds / Planted over time / Grew into a vine / That became intertwined” – from “All In Our Minds”On Passafire’s sixth studio release, Longshot, the Savannah, GA based rock outfit gives a testimony to following dreams, inspired by people, places, and experiences Passafire has shared since forming as a band. The group’s four members continue chasing their passion despite being told many times that “Making it as a musician is a long-shot,” a piece of advice that inspired this album and its title. Longshot takes its listeners through a full spectrum of emotions, telling stories of heartbreak, new beginnings, overcoming personal struggles, finding truths, discovering new places, and getting older, all weaved into Passafire’s genre-defying mix of reggae, hard rock, hip hop, and anything else that turns the group on musically.

Passafire was formed in Savannah, GA, in 2003 by Ted Bowne and Nick Kubley, and have built a strong reputation within the U.S. reggae scene through relentless touring with fellow band members Mike DeGuzman and Will Kubley. Bowne doesn’t mind the grueling schedule and adds, “Touring is the best way to keep the buzz about the band going. What keeps it fun and exciting is the people we meet and places we get to see. We are in a new city every day so there’s always something to go see or do.” They continue to be a larger part of the U.S. reggae scene, even though musically they are often far apart from many of their peers in the genre, with a growing emphasis on alternative and progressive rock elements within their songs.

Iya Terra

official band site »

As the genre of Reggae music is continuously evolving, Los Angeles, California, based Iya Terra has found a way to take the messages of traditional Roots-Reggae and seamlessly mash them up in a today version. The young group of musicians have chosen the name Iya Terra, meaning “Higher Ground,” as the launching pad to create positive, conscious music while spreading messages of anti-establishment, simple living, and a healthy lifestyle. Their modern approach to the music, high-energy performances and full sound add a new dimension to traditional Reggae that appeals to an audience of all ages, opening the doors for them to be labeled as one of today’s leaders in the “New Roots” movement.


 
The Claypool Lennon Delirium
@9:30 club | view more info »
Apr
17

The Claypool Lennon Delirium



Wednesday Apr 17|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930
 
An evening with
Lotus
@9:30 club | view more info »
Apr
19

An evening with
Lotus



Friday Apr 19|doors 10:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


An evening with
Lotus

official band site »

Lotus has always been difficult to define musically; an instrumental jamband that has favored groove-based improvisation instead of gaudy solos and noodling. Influences of classic electronic dance music, funk, post-rock and dance-rock have all made their way into the Lotus sound. Over the years, their unique musical blend of electronica with jam music has helped forge a new path in the jamband landscape, influencing many younger bands in the scene. Their latest studio effort, Frames Per Second (December 2018), aims to showcase Lotus in a pure, raw form performing live in the studio. Tracked live at Rittenhouse Soundworks in Philadelphia with cameras rolling, the all-instrumental result is both an audio and video project. Instrumental jazz-funk, Norwegian space-disco and other sounds make their way into the expansive 19-song album and documentary. For Frames Per Second, Lotus aimed to incorporate pyschedelia into the album’s sound by combining hypnotic beats with unexpected harmonic or timbral turns. Approaching two decades together, Lotus has toured actively throughout the US working their way up from dingy basement clubs to world-class venues such as Red Rocks. They've become festival favorites, playing everything from Bonnaroo, Camp Bisco and Outside Lands to Ultra Music Festival and Electric Forest, building a hyper-loyal following along the way. A Lotus live show is an experience, a uniquely crafted and improvised set taking everyone, the crowd and band, on a journey.



 
An evening with
Lotus
@9:30 club | view more info »
Apr
20

An evening with
Lotus



Saturday Apr 20|doors 10:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


An evening with
Lotus

official band site »

Lotus has always been difficult to define musically; an instrumental jamband that has favored groove-based improvisation instead of gaudy solos and noodling. Influences of classic electronic dance music, funk, post-rock and dance-rock have all made their way into the Lotus sound. Over the years, their unique musical blend of electronica with jam music has helped forge a new path in the jamband landscape, influencing many younger bands in the scene. Their latest studio effort, Frames Per Second (December 2018), aims to showcase Lotus in a pure, raw form performing live in the studio. Tracked live at Rittenhouse Soundworks in Philadelphia with cameras rolling, the all-instrumental result is both an audio and video project. Instrumental jazz-funk, Norwegian space-disco and other sounds make their way into the expansive 19-song album and documentary. For Frames Per Second, Lotus aimed to incorporate pyschedelia into the album’s sound by combining hypnotic beats with unexpected harmonic or timbral turns. Approaching two decades together, Lotus has toured actively throughout the US working their way up from dingy basement clubs to world-class venues such as Red Rocks. They've become festival favorites, playing everything from Bonnaroo, Camp Bisco and Outside Lands to Ultra Music Festival and Electric Forest, building a hyper-loyal following along the way. A Lotus live show is an experience, a uniquely crafted and improvised set taking everyone, the crowd and band, on a journey.



 
Papadosio
The Werks | @Baltimore Soundstage | view more info »
Apr
27

Papadosio

The Werks


Saturday Apr 27|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
Baltimore Soundstage|get directions »
124 Market Place
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 244-0057


Papadosio

official band site »

FALLING SOMEWHERE BETWEEN ROCK, JAZZ AND ELECTRONIC MAYHEM WE FIND SPACE ROCK. PAPADOSIO STRIVES TO CREATE MUSIC THAT IS STRANGELY FAMILIAR, AND CALLS ALL WALKS OF HUMANITY TO BASK IN A UNIQUE EXPERIENCE CELEBRATING THE ONE CONSTANT IN AN EVER CHANGING WORLD: MUSIC.


The Werks

official band site »

On their latest LP Magic, melodic visionaries The Werks transcend their funk rock roots while never losing their identity. Poignant songwriting and engaging improvisation come together on a record that showcases their maturation as a multidimensional group of uniquely creative musicians.

The virtuosic rhythm junkies of The Werks have released four highly acclaimed studio albums over the past ten years - Synapse (2009), The Werks (2012), Mr. Smalls Sessions EP (2014), and Inside a Dream (2015) - performed well over one thousand shows (including launching their own multi-day music festival The Werk Out), and released countless live recordings including last year’s Live at The Werk Out live album. In that time they’ve earned a devoted fan base across the world and reputation as one of the most energetic, compelling, and downright entertaining live acts in the business. They’ve developed a hard won confidence, and a willingness to fearlessly chart new sonic territory on Magic.

“This is our first truly multi-genre album” says Chris Houser. “Each track has its own unique vibe and sound. We didn’t write these songs to please people, we wrote them because this is what we hear when we turn off the outside and let the creativity flow.”

The songs on Magic started as sketches the band members crafted independently. Coming together in their sonic dojo The Werkspace, those seeds of groove were nurtured by the group, growing into fully wrought songs. “Our writing is collaborative,” explains Dan Shaw, “but starting with demos written individually gives each band member a chance to leave their fingerprint on a tune.”

The songwriting finished, the band decamped to Sonic Lounge in Grove City, Ohio. There lead engineer and producer Joe Viers (Blues Traveler, Twenty One Pilots) settled down to work with the studio’s legendary Amek/Neve 9098i mixing console. One of only thirteen in the world, Sonic Lounge’s was originally installed in Olympic Studios in London, England, where it served to document the unique creative mojo of Eric Clapton, Pink Floyd, and more.

Joining Viers were assistant engineers and producers Aaron Oakley and B.J. Davis, and the unstoppable horns of Columbus’ own Hoodoo Soul Band - Chris Young (trumpet), Kevin O’Neil (tenor), and Phil Clark (Baritone) – while Kenny Holmes, tour manager and right hand man, was the gaff tape that held it all together. Finally Columbus native and current Los Angeles, CA resident Brian Lucey (Train, Dr. Dog) mastered the record.

From those sessions emerged a rare jewel of a record; Magic is muse put to tape, a direct download of the creative spark. “This is a recording of the music that’s in our souls” explains Rob Chafin. “In a way, the past decade has been leading to this moment. We play and write together so seamlessly now, we’re able to channel the inspiration in our hearts out into our instruments, and come at this from a pure place.” Together, they have crafted a record where melodies take flight, dancing and twisting around the sonorous main of the tune itself. By fusing their spirited inventiveness to a core of immediately engaging songwriting, The Werks have truly performed a feat of modern musical Magic.


 
Satsang
@Pearl Street Warehouse | view more info »
May
1

Satsang



Wednesday May 1|doors 7:00 pm|21+
Pearl Street Warehouse|get directions »
33 Pearl Street
Washington DC|p: (202) 380-9620


Satsang

official band site »

Satsang is a power trio creating a unique blend of soul, folk-rock, and hip-hop. Satsang delivers lyrics that come from and are rooted in change, growth, awareness, and imperfection. The live show is everything that the band name suggests: a gathering of people to assimilate and share their truths. The rhythms put forth by the band keep everyone on their feet, and the lyrics leave them craving active and positive change. Satsang has toured all over the country and has shared the stage with the likes of Michael Franti & Spearhead, Steel Pulse, Nahko and Medicine for the People, Trevor Hall, Chris Berry, Mike Love, Jon Wayne and the Pain, Tubby Love, and many more.

Lead singer and songwriter Drew McManus creates music for his soul, fueled by the ever present task of personal growth and the beautiful life that he found in the Beartooth Mountains of Montana. Commenting on his difficult upbringing in Des Moines and residency in Chicago, McManus says, “I grew up in an environment where aggression, violence, abuse, and addiction were always present. It made me a lot of things; angry, sad, and ashamed. I hated my story and I was a slave to addiction. I tried for so long to hide from the reality of my story and the reality of how beautiful life could be.” It wasn’t until an intense spiritual experience lead Drew to break his cycle of addiction. “I had changed my entire outlook on everything” say McManus, “I began to realize that had everything not happened to me exactly like it did, I would not be exactly who/where/what I am right now.” In an effort to share his revelation with others who may be in the same predicament, Drew began to write every day. “I was flooded with the urge to write down the lessons that kept revealing themselves in this surrender. And the connections I began making with other people by making this music vulnerable and open, began to change everything.” These songs are a statement of lessons learned and a further understanding of self. “The whole story is what makes it beautiful, not just the good bits.”

Satsang released their sophomore album Pyramid(s) in March of 2017 and saw it quickly rise to #1 on the Billboard Reggae charts and #2 on the iTunes charts. The band also surprise-released a new EP, In Between Another Blink at the end of 2017 and had it crack the top 20 on the iTunes Singer/ Songwriter chart with no advance promotion. The band spent 2018 selling out two-thirds of their shows on headline tours in the Midwest, Northeast, and on the Pacific Coast. This success shows the proof of concept in creating legions of fans from coast to coast on support tours with Michael Franti, Trevor Hall, Wookiefoot and Nahko and Medicine for the People.



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

Joe Russo's Almost Dead



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


Joe Russo's Almost Dead

official band site »

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

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