*Bumpin Uglies Sweater Party*" /> *Bumpin Uglies Sweater Party*" />
Sep
26
Two Ton Twig

all good news

 
Kitchen Dwellers
Two Ton Twig | @Pearl Street Warehouse | view more info »
Sep
26

Kitchen Dwellers

Two Ton Twig


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


Kitchen Dwellers

official band site »

Montana-bred bluegrass outfit Kitchen Dwellers are captivating fans across the country with their high-energy live performances and unique approach to traditional music that fans have dubbed Galaxy Grass. Formed while attending college at Montana State, the group has burst onto the bluegrass scene sharing the stage with acts such as Railroad Earth, Greensky Bluegrass, The Infamous Stringdusters and Twiddle. In recent years the band has begun to tour nationally, hitting notable venues and festivals around the country including The Brooklyn Bowl, The Fox Theatre, Delfest, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Northwest String Summit, and The Frendly Gathering. 2017 has seen the band release their second studio album, "Ghost In The Bottle" while continuing to push the boundaries of their genre.


Two Ton Twig

official band site »

Two Ton Twig explores the fringes of traditional bluegrass and string band music with their eclectic blend of modern influences. Heart Like a House on Fire, the band’s third full-length studio release, is the first to feature full contributions from the current lineup of Brandon Boling (banjo, vocals), Donnie Riggs (guitar, dobro, vocals), Alexandra Touzinsky (fiddle, piano, vocals), and Ryan Thomas (bass, vocals). Recorded over a long weekend with Grammy Award-winning engineer Dean Jones at his No Parking Studios in Rosendale, NY, they attempted to capture their live energy in the studio. The resulting album effortlessly blends elements of bluegrass, gypsy jazz, blues, rock, and classical to create the Two Ton Twig sound.


 
Phoam (A Tribute to Phish)
@Pearl Street Warehouse | view more info »
Sep
28

Phoam (A Tribute to Phish)



Saturday Sep 28|doors 11:00 pm|all ages
Pearl Street Warehouse|get directions »
33 Pearl Street
Washington DC|p: (202) 380-9620


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.



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

Joe Russo's Almost Dead



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


Joe Russo's Almost Dead

official band site »

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

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



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

Nahko And Medicine For The People

Ayla Nereo


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


Nahko And Medicine For The People

official band site »

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

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

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


Ayla Nereo

official band site »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Jimmy Herring and The 5 of 7

The Vegabonds


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


Jimmy Herring and The 5 of 7

official band site »

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

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

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

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

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


The Vegabonds

official band site »

Following three European tours, four full-length albums, and a tour schedule packed with more festivals and venues than ever before, The Vegabonds are forging into their second decade spreading the gospel of pure New South Rock. The quintet joins LA-based Blue Elan Records with the first album deal of their career. The new record, “V”, symbolizing their fifth release, will debut worldwide in January. Produced by Tom Tapley in Atlanta, The Vegabonds’ highly-anticipated release audibly illustrates their unconventional yet contagious self-titled genre of rock. With Americana, Country, and Rock influences, The Vegabonds’ sound is one that cannot be duplicated, manipulated, or pigeon-holed. After his work producing the band’s critically-acclaimed album “What We’re Made Of” and the “Long Haired Country Boy” single, Tapley’s execution of albums for Blackberry Smoke to Sugarland, Tyler Farr to Mastodon, highlights the best of The Vegabonds’ unique musicianship, vocals, lyrics and sound.

The Vegabonds give their fans a sensational performance with powerhouse guitar riffs and impactful songwriting night after night. Their hard work and unbridled talents have not gone unnoticed; the group has opened for such notable acts as Lynyrd Skynyrd and the late Gregg Allman, among others. Rousing performances at festivals like Peach Festival, Sweetwater 420, and Taste of Randolph, grew their notoriety nationwide. It’s no wonder that Live for Live Music has compared them to musical legends like My Morning Jacket and The Black Crowes, calling them “a force to be reckoned with,” complete with “gorgeous harmonies and impressive instrumental skills making for a perfect combination.” The band got their start in 2009 by playing the college circuit across the Southeastern United States. Fronted by lead vocalist and songwriter Daniel Allen - with Richard Forehand (lead guitar/vocals), Paul Bruens (bass), Beau Cooper (keys/vocals), and Bryan Harris (drums) rounding out the quintet - their popularity quickly burgeoned to the point that they found their fans singing along word-for-word to their first hits like “Georgia Fire” and “American Eyes.” Through pure word of mouth, the group’s fan base grew rapidly, and the guys learned they had something distinctive with their eclectic mix of roots music and earnest songwriting.


 
Spafford
@The 8x10 | view more info »
Oct
10

Spafford



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


Spafford

official band site »

On New Year’s Eve in 2009, guitarist Brian Moss and bassist Jordan Fairless joined up to play a show in their home state of Arizona and ring in a new decade. Moss and Fairless had been playing the same open mic nights and after their first successful joint effort decided to team up and officially form a band: Spafford. After playing shows in their home state, the pair found themselves on the hunt for a new partner to help them round out their group. They found keyboard player Andrew “Red” Johnson and asked him to voyage out to Las Vegas in the run up to their 2011 New Year’s show in Prescott. Johnson agreed, and has been with the band ever since. Now, with drummer Nick Tkachyk, the band brings their vibrant, dynamic music to the world at large and pushes the boundaries of what a jam band can be.

Spafford is known for their astonishing improvisational ability, which they’ll use to play live off the cuff extended jams. Each song is a blank canvas, and Spafford paints a picture in real time each night with a musical palette known only to each other. It’s a private language comprised of their talent as musicians, and of their formidable catalog of influences - ranging from Steely Dan, electronic acts like The Crystal Method, to 90’s alt rock radio hits. Every show is a sonic pilgrimage – the journey of a team of musicians so in tune with each other that a single note communicates intent and purpose.

Even though the band thrives off the electric pulse of live shows, the same energy also translates into their studio efforts. Their 2018 release “For Amusement Only” hits to the heart of Spafford – tight, inventive, and dexterous musicianship coupled with clever retro-pop inspired songwriting. Songs like “Leave The Light On” highlight their influences – from the melodic styles of Alanis Morissette to the rhythmic bounce of Bob Marley. Other tracks like “Ain’t That Wrong” and “Slip and Squander” are rich with other signature Spafford signs: vibrant vocal harmonies, complex and catchy arrangements, and sparkling, powerful performances.

Since forming, Spafford has achieved what some groups only dream of. The group is in high demand at music festivals like Bonnaroo and Firefly and consistently play sold out shows across the United States. After the successful release of “For Amusement Only” in 2018, they are eager to play new songs and evolve their sound on the road.



 
Spafford
@The 8x10 | view more info »
Oct
11

Spafford



Friday Oct 11|doors 8:00 pm|18+
The 8x10|get directions »
10 E. Cross St.
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 625-2000


Spafford

official band site »

On New Year’s Eve in 2009, guitarist Brian Moss and bassist Jordan Fairless joined up to play a show in their home state of Arizona and ring in a new decade. Moss and Fairless had been playing the same open mic nights and after their first successful joint effort decided to team up and officially form a band: Spafford. After playing shows in their home state, the pair found themselves on the hunt for a new partner to help them round out their group. They found keyboard player Andrew “Red” Johnson and asked him to voyage out to Las Vegas in the run up to their 2011 New Year’s show in Prescott. Johnson agreed, and has been with the band ever since. Now, with drummer Nick Tkachyk, the band brings their vibrant, dynamic music to the world at large and pushes the boundaries of what a jam band can be.

Spafford is known for their astonishing improvisational ability, which they’ll use to play live off the cuff extended jams. Each song is a blank canvas, and Spafford paints a picture in real time each night with a musical palette known only to each other. It’s a private language comprised of their talent as musicians, and of their formidable catalog of influences - ranging from Steely Dan, electronic acts like The Crystal Method, to 90’s alt rock radio hits. Every show is a sonic pilgrimage – the journey of a team of musicians so in tune with each other that a single note communicates intent and purpose.

Even though the band thrives off the electric pulse of live shows, the same energy also translates into their studio efforts. Their 2018 release “For Amusement Only” hits to the heart of Spafford – tight, inventive, and dexterous musicianship coupled with clever retro-pop inspired songwriting. Songs like “Leave The Light On” highlight their influences – from the melodic styles of Alanis Morissette to the rhythmic bounce of Bob Marley. Other tracks like “Ain’t That Wrong” and “Slip and Squander” are rich with other signature Spafford signs: vibrant vocal harmonies, complex and catchy arrangements, and sparkling, powerful performances.

Since forming, Spafford has achieved what some groups only dream of. The group is in high demand at music festivals like Bonnaroo and Firefly and consistently play sold out shows across the United States. After the successful release of “For Amusement Only” in 2018, they are eager to play new songs and evolve their sound on the road.



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

Perpetual Groove

Kendall Street Company


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


Perpetual Groove

official band site »

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

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

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

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


Kendall Street Company

official band site »

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

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


 
The Cleverlys
@The Hamilton | view more info »
Oct
11

The Cleverlys



Friday Oct 11|doors 6:30 pm|all ages
The Hamilton|get directions »
600 14th Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 787-1000


The Cleverlys

official band site »

The Cleverlys are a one-of-a-kind comedy/music blend coming from the remote part of the Ozark Mountains, near Cane Spur, Arkansas.

Digger Cleverly, along with his nephews Ricky Lloyd, Sock, DVD and Cub, make up The Cleverlys. They have traveled the globe, if the globe only consisted of the United States, performing at music venues and some of the nation’s largest festivals like Stagecoach, Telluride, CMA Music Fest and even the Grand Ole Opry.  The New York Times wrote, "If Earl Scruggs, Dolly Parton, and Spinal Tap spawned a litter of puppies, it would be the Cleverlys.” 

Don’t be fooled by this faux-family band – they are all accomplished musicians putting their unique bluegrass spin on cover songs from any genre. The Cleverlys’ set list includes genius arrangements of tunes like Psy’s “Gangnam Style,” a medley of Blackstreet’s “No Diggity,” and Flo Rida’s “Low” that recently went viral on Facebook, with over 11 million views from a local TV appearance. 

Rolling Stone Magazine says Digger’s “out-of-date eyeglasses are as thick as his hillbilly accent, but whose comic sensibilities are a hilariously off-kilter hybrid of Homer & Jethro and The Office.”



 
Psycho Killers (Talking Heads Tribute)
The Love Boat (Allstar Yacht Rock Tribute) | @Gypsy Sally's | view more info »
Oct
12

Psycho Killers (Talking Heads Tribute)

The Love Boat (Allstar Yacht Rock Tribute)


Saturday Oct 12|doors 7:00 pm|21+
Gypsy Sally's|get directions »
3401 K St NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 333-7700


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!


The Love Boat (Allstar Yacht Rock Tribute)

official band site »


 
Pink Talking Fish
'Dark Side Of The Moon' Concept Show | @The Hamilton | view more info »
Oct
13

Pink Talking Fish

'Dark Side Of The Moon' Concept Show


Sunday Oct 13|doors 6:30 pm|all ages
The Hamilton|get directions »
600 14th Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 787-1000


Pink Talking Fish


'Dark Side Of The Moon' Concept Show

official band site »

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

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

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

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

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

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


 
The Mighty Pines
Alana Springsteen | @Pearl Street Warehouse | view more info »
Oct
19

The Mighty Pines

Alana Springsteen


Saturday Oct 19|doors 7:00 pm|21+
Pearl Street Warehouse|get directions »
33 Pearl Street
Washington DC|p: (202) 380-9620


The Mighty Pines

official band site »

The Mighty Pines are a soul-inspired roots rock band influenced by the wide rivers and red-brick streets of St. Louis. With soaring vocals and thoughtful composition, the two principle songwriters shift the band’s sound from catchy rock ‘n’ roll to earthy instrumentals. The Riverfront Times heralds the band as “a talented young quartet engaged in the roots and rhythms of bluegrass but mixed with a more contemporary ear for harmony and production.”

The Mighty Pines is made up of Neil Salsich (vocals, guitar), Gerard Erker (mandolin, banjo, vocals), John Hussung (bass, vocals) and Mike Murano (drums). They have released three studio albums, played hundreds of live shows across the country and shared bills with renowned acts such as JJ Grey & Mofro, The Dead South, Fruition, Sam Bush and Railroad Earth.


Alana Springsteen

official band site »

Alana Springsteen is an 18 year old country music artist born and raised in Virginia Beach. She currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee and is signed to Warehouse West Entertainment. Alana released her debut EP on 6/7, produced by Luke Wooten.


 
Kung Fu
@Gypsy Sally's | view more info »
Oct
24

Kung Fu



Thursday Oct 24|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!



 
Kung Fu
@The 8x10 | view more info »
Oct
25

Kung Fu



Friday Oct 25|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!



 
Marco Benevento
Mattson 2 | @Pearl Street Warehouse | view more info »
Oct
26

Marco Benevento

Mattson 2


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


Marco Benevento

official band site »

It’s impossible not to hear freedom and excitement coursing through the veins of Marco Benevento’s new studio album, ‘Let It Slide.’ Produced by Leon Michels (The Arcs, Lee Fields), the record introduces a gritty, soulful edge to Benevento’s brand of high-octane keyboard wizardry—an uptempo, uplifting sound he playfully describes as “hot dance piano rock.” For all Benevento’s virtuosity on the keys though, the songs here are driven primarily by intoxicating grooves, with spare drums and minimalist bass lines underpinning infectious, intentionally lo-fi vocal hooks. The resulting vibe is a timeless one, filtering elements of vintage R&B and soul through modern indie rock and pop sensibilities and peppering it with the kind of adventurous improvisation that Benevento’s come to be celebrated for worldwide.

Acceptance is a recurring theme on the record, and Benevento’s songs often find themselves recognizing that contentment can come only once you’ve freed yourself from the chains of desire and regret. Upon close listen, one can find Benevento’s own personal philosophies subconsciously bubbling up throughout the songs. “You’ll feel better, I’ll just say / When you finally let it go,” he sings on the funky “Say It’s All The Same,” which features vocal contributions from bandmate Karina Rykman. The hazy “Solid Gold” celebrates the simple joy of being in the moment with someone you love, while the Lennon-esque “Lorraine” (co-written with Simone Felice) grapples with loss and change, and the anthemic “Send It On A Rocket” contemplates loneliness and connection.

Dubbed "one of the most talented keys players of our time" by CBS Radio, Benevento’s released six critically acclaimed solo albums over the last decade, performed everywhere from Carnegie Hall and Newport Jazz to Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo, and worked in the studio and on the road with the likes of Richard Swift (The Shins, The Arcs), Jon Brion (Spoon, Aimee Mann), A.C. Newman (The New Pornographers), and Simone Felice (The Felice Brothers, The Lumineers) among others. "It’s safe to say that no one sees the keyboard quite like Marco Benevento's genre-blind mashup of indie rock, jazz and skewed improvisation," the LA Times raved, while NPR said he combines "the thrust of rock, the questing of jazz and the experimental ecstasy of jam," and Rolling Stone praised "the textures and colors available in his keyboards and arsenal of manipulated pedals and effects," along with his "deceptively rich, catchy melodies and straight-ahead grooves."


Mattson 2

official band site »

The Identical twin’s deep telepathic kinship navigates colourful forms of beautiful weirdness and exotic landscapes of layered improvisation, transcending the concept of modern musical performance. The duo shimmers and shakes with the soaring modern wizardry of Jared Mattson’s untamed, layered guitars and Jonathan’s tribal jazz hard-bop drumming – a marvel of jazz-rock orchestration and arrangement. In April 2017, Chaz Bundick Meets Mattson 2 album “Star Stuff” found itself at #1 on contemporary jazz Billboard Charts. The brothers Mattson paid tribute to Japanese legends like Shintaro & Ryuichi Sakamoto, and Haruomi Hosono on their Spring 2018 release “Vaults of Eternity” (via Carpark).“Mattson 2 Plays A Love Supreme,” (Spiritual Pajamas, 2018) is a future jazz mini symphony that shines a light into a hallway of mirrors to cast eternal reflections directly back onto the ideas and purpose of Coltrane himself, whilst challenging the very boundaries of jazz and modern pop.


 
The Main Squeeze
Caverns | @Pearl Street Warehouse | view more info »
Oct
30

The Main Squeeze

Caverns


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


The Main Squeeze

official band site »

From their origins as a jam/party band in Indiana, The Main Squeeze, has been weaving the veins of Rock, Funk, Blues, and R&B into modern song stylings. Now LA-based and with three albums under their belt (last one being 2017’s Without A Sound), festival appearances from KABOO to Bonnaroo, and features from Billboard and Rolling Stone, they are of turning over a new sonic leaf this year.

The Main Squeeze released their newest single, “Fancy Clothes” on January 18th. Following in the wake of the release of “It Ain’t Me” last October, these two singles mark the start of something new and fresh for the Indiana-to-Chicago-to-Los Angeles transplants. The singles play up the modern dance-pop vibes of Bruno Mars and Charlie Puth - while channeling the swag, grit and soulful sounds of 70s bands like The Rolling Stones and Sly and the Family Stone. Produced by Teddy Roxpin “Fancy Clothes” is a tongue in cheek dance track that reflects the spotlighted LA culture in which The Main Squeeze lives.

With a rich touring history including opening slots for The Roots, Jane’s Addiction, D.R.A.M., Mac Miller, Aloe Blacc, and Umphrey’s McGee, The Main Squeeze are launching into a new musical orbit with plans for a fourth LP in 2019.


Caverns

official band site »

Caverns, led by New York’s own Nicola Wincenc, has quickly become known as one of the must see acts in the vibrant and diverse NYC music scene.

Shortly after their arrival on the scene they caught the attention of three time Grammy winning producer Warren Riker (Lauryn Hill, Down, Sublime).

It was with Warren that the band was able to find its distinctive full sound and beautifully poetic aggression that their fans have come to love.

Word quickly began to spread about their infectious live show and the refreshing feeling that rock is far from dead…..in fact it’s being reborn.

In early 2019, globally respected Golden Robot Records felt the exact same way, as they fell in love with the band.

Caverns would soon be signed to their first deal.

The world is eagerly anticipating Caverns’ official debut.

Atwood Magazine has described them as an “…authentically raw and cinematic listening experience.”


 
Aqueous
lespecial | @The 8x10 | view more info »
Nov
1

Aqueous

lespecial


Friday Nov 1|doors 7:30 pm|18+
The 8x10|get directions »
10 E. Cross St.
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 625-2000


Aqueous

official band site »

After forming in Buffalo in 2006, Aqueous (pronounced “ay-kwee-us”) has earned a reputation as one of the most promising improvisational rock acts in the country. Best known for their “groove rock” stylings, guitarist Mike Gantzer, guitarist/keyboardist David Loss, bassist Evan McPhaden, and drummer Rob Houk have developed a unique sound characterized by meticulous compositions and rich exploratory jams that easily transition from laidback, in-the-pocket grooves to furious, high-intensity peaks. Composed of longtime friends, over the years, Aqueous’ members have developed near-psychic abilities with one another, enabling them to stretch each song while maintaining a staggering degree of precision. In a live setting, the group’s undeniable technical prowess truly shines, making for dynamic performances that bring fans back night after night.

Whether they’re headlining and selling out venues across the U.S. or performing stand-out sets at notable events like Summer Camp, The Peach Music Festival, Jam Cruise, and Suwannee Hulaween, it’s clear that fans across the country are clamoring to hear more from the Buffalo-based four-piece. With the hype around the group growing, Aqueous is making a huge breakout as the project enters its second decade of existence. Do yourself a favor, and discover firsthand what the buzz is all about.


lespecial

official band site »

lespecial carve their own sonic path in modern music, creating their signature blend of “heavy future groove”. The power trio’s fresh synthesis of varied and divergent influences doesn’t underestimate the listener, reflecting a post-modern cultural climate in which fans have space on their aural palette for J Dilla, Radiohead, King Crimson and Fela Kuti. Veering from hip-hop to metal, prog to house, pensive indie-rock to apocalyptic dub, leaving room for head banging and hip swaying alike, while still presenting a unified sound and vision.

“…[lespecial’s] sound owes as much to Radiohead and The Mars Voltaas it does Medeski Martin & Wood and Umphrey’s McGee.” – Relix
“That lespecial shit is crazy.” — Akil the MC (Jurassic 5)
“Trap-metal.” — Nikki Glaspie (Beyonce / Nth Power)
“One of the best bands I’ve ever seen live.” — Ott
“My favorite band.” — Space Jesus

These three childhood friends from Connecticut play off of a lifetime of shared experience in their writing and performance. In a power trio, it’s essential that each of the players can utterly captivate you at any given time. Each individual has a lot of weight to carry and is only as strong as the weakest link. In the studio, as on stage, it seems at first blush that Jon Grusauskas—delivering lyrics that call for your attention and seamlessly moving from guitar to keys to samples—is handling the entire upper end of the spectrum… until you consider how broad the melodic embrace of rhythmatist Rory Dolan and low end wizard Luke Bemand: injecting splashes of color and wicked chops into their heavy groove foundations or driving assaults, this dynamic battery simultaneously eases and propels lespecial through fractious changes of mood and tempo. Additionally, whether at the forefront or scattered throughout the mix, all of them use live looping or triggered samples that contribute to a sound that is far greater than that generally created by three people as they seek to tap into a primitive past, distorted through the lens of contemporary technology. The band’s fearless pursuit of a synthesis of the musical idioms that inspire them has, thus far, culminated with the release of their second album, cheen, on October 31, 2017. Pole vaulting over traditional genres, cheen is a snapshot of a band flexing their remarkable creative muscles. In a traditional sense, cheen is a risky album: it asks the listener to suspend a categorical approach and dig into their own eclectic unconsciousness, to adapt a phrase, and appreciate the flow of the record from start to finish, as it moves guided by an unseen plan. If there is an underlying thematic structure, it is one that is anchored—musically and lyrically—by horror flicks, 1980s video games and lespecial’s indictment of the current cultural state of affairs. Not overtly political, angry or morose, cheen seems to observe the zeitgeist and respond to it. lespecial’s willingness to take this risk of presenting an album full of flavors and feels is a reflection of the respect they have for their fans, present and future: they simply don’t underestimate the listener, and that itself is refreshing. Never willing to sit back and settle into a groove, lespecial pivoted quickly from touring in support of the release of cheen into a whole new format: collaborating with and supporting the iconic Bay Area hip-hop emcee and producer, Zion I, on tour dates and a forthcoming album. There are also plans to release remixes of cheen tracks from some of their producer friends who hold lespecial in the highest esteem.


 
Mihali
@Gypsy Sally's | view more info »
Nov
2

Mihali



Saturday Nov 2|doors 7:00 pm|21+
Gypsy Sally's|get directions »
3401 K St NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 333-7700
 
Sunsquabi
Goose | @9:30 club | view more info »
Nov
8

Sunsquabi

Goose


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


Sunsquabi

official band site »

SunSquabi: A Hydro Funk Experience

There’s a place, deep in the cosmos, where jam bands and electronic dance music intersect with rhythm-driven funk. You’ll feel like you’re floating here but not lost completely to the atmospheric elements. Instead, you’re tethered to an avant-garde spaceship with Colorado-based SunSquabi on the frequency. This cosmic wonderland is a melting pot of a variety of musical genres and it represents the future of music.

A three-piece suit - SunSquabi has been catching the eyes and ears of music fans around the world with their ever-evolving sound in the studio and on the live stage. SunSquabi has gained national attention for their unique way of producing music. The band’s live show can be described as an ‘Electronic Hydro Funk Experience’ that is different every single time out. SunSquabi continues to break down and analyze the expectations of what a “Live-Electronic” band should be. The band unveiled their newest album ‘Instinct’ in January of 2019. The 10 track LP finds the band at their highest peak as they have been dedicated to the metamorphosis of capturing elements in their live performances in the studio as improvisational jams have been fleshed out into full-blown songs and staples in their repertoire.

Combining the talents of Kevin Donohue (guitars/keys/production) Josh Fairman (bassist/synth) and Chris Anderson (drums). This project is a disciplined and structured group. It takes a seasoned musician to stay in the pocket for the sake of building well-developed lines and climaxes. To do that seamlessly requires patience and skill. “It’s kinda like breathing, honestly. We can communicate directly with each other both verbally and non-verbally, onstage and off.” That connection will take the music collectively where we all want to go.” – Kevin Donohue


Goose

official band site »

Goose is an indie-groove band based out of Norwalk, Connecticut. Rick Mitarotonda is the guitarist-singer-songwriter whose folky, hummable melodies are supported by Peter Anspach on guitar/keys, and a deep-pocket rhythm section of Trevor Weekz on Bass and Ben Atkind on drums. The band’s music is both memorable and danceable; an organic and easy-to-love mix of funk and contemporary folk, with touches of reggae, jazz, blues, and rock.

Tracked in a snowbound lakeside New Hampshire cabin, with mixing and mastering at the Factory Underground in Norwalk, CT, Goose’s debut album ‘moon cabin’ was released in early 2016. Moon Cabin traverses diverse musical terrain with 3 part harmony vocals and hooks so big you can hang your hat on them; funky improvised solos and adventurous musical interludes. With a second album on the way and tour dates continuing to ramp up, the Goose is getting loose.


 
Billy Strings
@9:30 club | view more info »
sold out
Nov
9

Billy Strings



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


Billy Strings

official band site »

Poised to take bluegrass in bold new directions, singer/songwriter/guitarist Billy Strings is quickly gaining attention for his incendiary live performances and imbuing his take on Americana with distinctive bursts of psychedelic virtuosity. While deeply reverent of the roots of traditional bluegrass music, which his father shared with him as a boy, Strings learned his high-energy performing skills by playing fleet-fingered guitar solos in a heavy metal band in his native Michigan. While he has matured as a player, singer and songwriter in his own right, and re-embraced the music his father introduced him to, Strings has applied the intensity of heavy metal to bluegrass. The end results, as demonstrated on his most recent release, Turmoil & Tinfoil, provide a fresh jolt to the genre. Look for a new album from Billy Strings this fall.



 
North Mississippi Allstars
@The Hamilton | view more info »
Nov
13

North Mississippi Allstars



Wednesday Nov 13|doors 6:30 pm|all ages
The Hamilton|get directions »
600 14th Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 787-1000


North Mississippi Allstars

official band site »

North Mississippi Allstars are back with PRAYER FOR PEACE and couldn't we all use one of those right about now? Founded in 1996 by brothers Luther (guitar and vocals) and Cody Dickinson (drums, piano, synth bass, programming and vocals), the now venerable band are entering their third decade with perhaps the most vital album of their career. Recorded in studios across America during North Mississippi Allstars' 2016 tour, PRAYER FOR PEACE sees the Dickinsons weaving their bred-to-the-bone musical sensibility with unstoppable energy, rhythmic reinvention, and a potent message of positivity, family, and hope. As ever, songs like R.L. Burnside's "Long Haired Doney" and the impassioned title track pay homage to the country blues legacy while simultaneously pushing it into contemporary relevance with fatback funk, electronic innovation, slippery soul, and pure unadulterated rock 'n' roll.

"This is a very exciting time for North Mississippi Allstars," Cody says. "There's been this explosion of creativity lately and it's encouraging that for a band who has been around for twenty years now, our music is as vital and fresh as ever. It's like the opposite of burnout -- I can't explain why but it feels totally brand new again."

"The blues is not children's music," Luther says. "We get better at it, the older we get. We're so fortunate to be able to do it."

PRAYER FOR PEACE continues the burst of inspiration begun with 2013's Earth-shaking WORLD BOOGIE IS COMING. That album, the band's seventh studio recording, proved the planetary sensation its title promised, with The Guardian simply declaring it the North Mississippi Allstars' "best yet."

"With WORLD BOOGIE we decided to tear the house down and rebuild it," Cody says. "In the process we were able to tap into what makes North Mississippi Allstars tick. What we do is, we look to the past with reverence and respect but we fearlessly forge ahead into the future. We're deeply steeped in American roots music but we are very much a modern band. We are at our best when we're exploring both at the same time."

Though they had been making music together all their lives, WORLD BOOGIE IS COMING saw the Dickinsons advance as a true artistic partnership, striking a wholly democratic balance between Luther's raw, organic aesthetic and Cody's passion for electronics and programming. The album was followed by a remarkable run of extracurricular efforts, including solo projects, collaborations, soundtrack contributions, and documentary film production.

"We used to filter every experiment, every new interest, every aesthetic idea, into the Allstars," Luther says, "because we were so focused on the one band. Now that we've spread our wings and have other outlets, everything can just breathe and be itself. We know what we're supposed to do so we can just go in and do it."

"It's like a release," Cody says. "All this music and all these ideas build up and you've got to get them out. Being able to record them and document them allows us to move on creatively."

A notoriously hard touring band from the start, North Mississippi Allstars had long considered ways to maximize their time on the road by recording as much as possible while traveling America and beyond. When time came to follow up WORLD BOOGIE IS COMING, the Dickinsons decided to make the idea a reality.

"Having our studio here in Mississippi has always been a great resource for us," Cody says. "It's kept our music grounded, but at the same time, I have always wanted to do what I think of as 'field recordings,' of us on tour, on location, wherever we were."

The Allstars spent much of 2016 lighting up studios in St. Louis, Kansas City, New Orleans, Brooklyn, Austin, and of course, their legendary father Jim Dickinson's Zebra Ranch in the Allstars' own Hernando, MS. Sold out shows were followed the next morning with equally intense sessions, the band quickly banging out tracks infused with the same high energy as they bring to the stage.

"Our dad was a big fan of capturing that initial moment of creation and inception," Cody says. "There's a real strength in building up the material onstage, having it crowd-tested, and then just going in and laying it down."

"We do it so fast," Luther says. "We go in and record four or five tunes in a couple of hours. In and out. It's not belabored, it's raw and fresh and live, we're dripping sweat and in the moment. That's why it has that electric psychedelic feel. We just go in there and let it all hang out, clean up the mess later. We don't even listen to playbacks -- we just play, play, play and then split."

The majority of PRAYER FOR PEACE was co-produced at Memphis' famed Royal Studios alongside the great Boo Mitchell -- himself the son of a legend in producer/Hi Records founder Willie Mitchell.

"Boo is such a magical music man," Luther says, "and that studio is so inspiring and grounding. You would think singing on Al Green's mic would be intimidating but it's not! It's reassuring. Royal is just a wonderful, wonderful studio."

"We have always identified with other second and third generation artists," says Cody and to be sure North Mississippi Allstars have long allied with the families of Hill Country icons like R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough. PRAYER FOR PEACE continues the tradition, with contributions from Graeme Lesh (Midnight North, The Terrapin Family Band) and singer/fife player Shardé Thomas, daughter of Mississippi blues giant Otha Turner. A number of other friends also join the congregation, among them legendary bassist Oteil Burbridge (Allman Brothers Band, Dead & Company), vocalist Sharisse Norman, and bassist Dominic Davis (Jack White).

As ever, PRAYER FOR PEACE sees the Allstars putting their indelible stamp on classic blues numbers and folk traditionals, including Mississippi Fred McDowell's "61 Highway" and "You Got To Move," the latter featuring smoking hot accompaniment from Hill Country guitar hero Kenny Brown and award-winning singer/bassist Danielle Nicole.

"I think it's our responsibility to the community that brought us up to protect the repertoire," Luther says. "To keep the repertoire alive and vibrant. That's what folk music is about. It's an oral history of America. My dad and his friends, they learned from Furry Lewis and Gus Cannon and Will Shade and then taught those songs to us. It's important for us to write songs and experiment and do other things, but playing our community's music in a modern way is what Cody and I do best. I think it's what we were meant to do."

True as always to the blues tradition, North Mississippi Allstars use the basic structures taught to them as the starting point for improvisation and contemporary interpretation, an approach that inextricably links them to a long line of American visionary artists like the Grateful Dead. PRAYER FOR PEACE includes a trio of traditional songs long associated with The Dead including "Stealin," "Bid You Goodnight" and "Deep Ellum" -- the latter featuring a rare lead vocal from Cody.

""There's so many common tunes in The Dead's repertoire that we learned from our dad," Luther says. "'Bid You Goodnight' and 'Stealin,'' we've been playing them our whole life. Original music aside, Dad's band -- Mud Boy & The Neutrons -- were kind of doing the same thing as The Dead, playing improvisational versions of roots music. They had an electric psychedelic side and they had a jug band side. So my whole life, acoustic guitar or electric guitar, they're both sides of the same coin."

Where PRAYER FOR PEACE truly builds upon the repertoire is with a number of Luther-penned originals. "Prayer For Peace" is among North Mississippi Allstars' most immediate new songs, a beat-crazy appeal for unity that like the band itself, stands as a righteous celebration of multiculturalism, inclusion, and compassion. Topical though it may be, both Dickinsons assert the album's goal transcends simple politics.

"It's not a protest record," Cody says. "Its message is to bring people together. My dad used to say North Mississippi Allstars make a statement just by walking on stage."

"We're not a political band," Luther says. "I'm not good at that type of thing. One thing R.L. Burnside taught us was that you can play the saddest song in the world, but if you do it with a smile on your face, you can make a whole roomful of people dance. That's what this record is about. Making people dance. Making them want to rub up against each other."

That seemingly modest but oh-so-necessary objective will keep the Dickinsons on the road they love for the foreseeable future, ideally recording another LP while continuing to shake audiences young and old with genuine, unadulterated blues power. PRAYER FOR PEACE affirms North Mississippi Allstars' own unique place in the American musical tradition, simultaneously master curators, expert revivalists, and forward-thinking pioneers. Long may they run.

"Now it's time to hit the road," Luther Dickinson says. "Get to work and spread the word. We recorded this one in the spirit of our twentieth anniversary. Now we're looking towards our twenty-fifth. Twenty years is alright but twenty five is monumental."

"This is a new beginning for North Mississippi Allstars," says Cody Dickinson. "This revitalizing cascade of creativity and explosion of music, it's just been incredible. And I feel like we're just getting started. There's a long beautiful road ahead of us. We're only just now hitting our stride."



 
Yonder Mountain String Band
The Drunken Hearts | @The 8x10 | view more info »
Nov
13

Yonder Mountain String Band

The Drunken Hearts


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


Yonder Mountain String Band

official band site »

For the past 20 years, Yonder Mountain String Band has redefined bluegrass music, expanding the traditional acoustic genre beyond its previously established boundaries by steadily pushing the envelope into the realms of rock n’ roll and improvisation. YMSB—guitarist Adam Aijala, bassist Ben Kaufmann, banjo player Dave Johnston, Jacob Joliff on mandolin and violinist Allie Kral–has always played music of their own design, in the process attracting a devout following of fans that often resembles a tight-knit family on an epic musical journey as Yonder traverses the country with an ambitious tour schedule. Yonder is a quintessential ensemble honing its craft night after night on the road, and the fans are there to experience it in real time. The result is music that doesn’t stand still, it’s always progressing and breaking unprecedented ground.

Yonder Mountain String Band’s last new album, LOVE. AIN’T LOVE (2017) is undeniably the Colorado-based progressive bluegrass outfit’s most surprising, creative and energetic studio excursion (of their 12 studio offerings) to date. Songs like “Chasing My Tail” and “Alison” are rooted in tradition but as current as tomorrow, animated by electrifying performance, vivid production, and the modernist power that has made Yonder one of the most popular live bands of their generation. Melding sophisticated songcraft, an irrepressible spirit, and remarkable instrumental ability, LOVE. AIN’T LOVE is a testament to Yonder Mountain String Band’s organic, dynamic, and intensely personal brand of contemporary bluegrass-fueled Americana. Of the album, Rolling Stone said it’s “modern bluegrass and punctuated by genre-jumping excursions into world music, reggae and all points in between.” And having logged well over 2100 shows together, the band has amassed devoted fans and critical acclaim along the road, with Glide Magazine hailing them as “a cast of likeable characters that let their joyous spirits and ace instrumental capabilities do the talking.” The band has hit the road in 2019 armed with new material that will first get road-tested, and get the studio treatment later this year. This material will undoubtedly be in line with the what you’d expect from Yonder Mountain String Band: edgy and genre-defying music without boundaries.


The Drunken Hearts

official band site »

"Electrifying Americana Rock"

From their humble inception as an acoustic trio, The Drunken Hearts have evolved into an electric five-piece that is captivating audiences across the country. In those few years, the Colorado-based group has managed to make a name for itself in a state that is known for cultivating world-class music. The band fearlessly bottles a tempestuous, yet honest brand of Americana music — infusing spirited vocals with electric and acoustic instruments, and crafting heartfelt songs that are resonating with crowds everywhere.

Originally an outlet for lead singer and acoustic guitarist, Andrew McConathy, he knew in his heart the band must expand musically to satisfy a growing songbook of original material. It was this ideal that inspired a band capable of writing and performing songs that convey whispers of love and loss, while also delivering full-on rock anthems that chase down the American dream.

With this evolution, the band is releasing their most acclaimed album to date, The Prize, in March of 2018 — an album that fully realizes the unique yet familiar sound the five musicians evoke when they create and perform together night after night. The ten songs featured on The Prize seamlessly unite their poetic and thoughtful songwriting with impressive musicianship to bring each track alive. From the vulnerable and haunting, “Seasons,” to the rowdy honkytonk-inspired “Broken Things,” The Prize is a powerful statement to where The Drunken Hearts currently are, yet more importantly— where they are going.

Building on the release of The Prize, the band is touring the country from coast-to-coast, with stops at famed venues and festivals along the way. With notable performances at Electric Forest (MI), FloydFest (VA), Vertex (CO), Fayetteville Roots Fest (AR), Hangtown Music Festival (CA), Bohemian Nights at New West Fest (CO), Northwest String Summit (OR), and the band’s very own YarmonyGrass (CO), the band is very much at home on the festival circuit. Tyra Sutak of Elevation Outdoors Magazine described her experience as "Magnetic. It’s one of the only words my buddy and I could agree on to describe the feeling of the first time we caught Colorado-based band, The Drunken Hearts, live."


 
The Movement
The Elovaters | The Late Ones | @Union Stage | view more info »
sold out
Nov
15

The Movement

The Elovaters
The Late Ones

Friday Nov 15|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
Union Stage|get directions »
740 Water Street SW
Washington DC|p: (877) 987-6487
Sold Out


The Movement

official band site »

The Movement has been winning the hearts and minds of alternative-reggae fans since their inception in Columbia, SC in 2003. Drawing inspiration from Sublime, 311, Slightly Stoopid and John Brown’s Body, they’ve come to be known as musical shapeshifters with a foundation of heavy drum and bass. Today the band consists of founding member, lead vocalist, and guitarist Joshua Swain, bassist Jason Schmidt, drummer Gary Jackson, and keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist Matt Goodwin. Their sixth studio album, Ways Of The World, dropped on June 7, 2019, debuting at #1 in the Billboard Reggae Chart.


The Elovaters

official band site »

The Elovaters sophomore album, DEFY GRAVITY, dropped October 26, 2018 (Rootfire Cooperative) and debuted at #1 in the Billboard and iTunes Reggae charts. Two months later it was voted people’s choice Album Of The Year 2018 by Surf Roots TV & Radio. Produced by Danny Kalb (Beck, Ben Harper, Willie Nelson, The Movement) and critically acclaimed, “Defy Gravity is simply on another level…intricate and nuanced, full of thought-provoking surprises.” The album marks yet another milestone in the band’s incredible rise from the south shore of Boston. Other highlights from 2018 include signing with Madison House agency in September, performing at Levitate Music Festival, Sugarloaf Reggae Festival, and direct support dates for The English Beat, and Badfish.

The Elovaters are Jackson Wetherbee (lead vocal, rhythm guitar), John Alves (lead guitar), Nick Asta (drums), Matt Link (bass), Derrick Cabral (percussion), and Greg Nectow (keys). Their debut album, THE CORNERSTONE, was recorded by Mike Caplan at the legendary Lion and Fox Studios in Washington D.C. in 2017. It reached #2 on the iTunes reggae chart and #9 on the Billboard Reggae Chart, and the band has been touring heavily in support of the album ever since, opening for the likes of Ziggy Marley, Stick Figure, The Movement, Easy Star Allstars, John Brown’s Body, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad and more.

The Late Ones

official band site »

Based out of Laie, Hawaii, brothers Tui Avei (Lead vocals), and Tau Avei (Vocals), along with cousin Josh Brunson (Vocals) are the voices. Built on a roots reggae foundation with influences from various genres like Hip-hop, R&B, and jazz, The Late Ones’ unique blend of style, and harmony shapes a youthful, yet old school reggae vibe.

Born in Gardena, California, The Late Ones harness something undeniably special. Rooted in Samoan culture, and complimented by the group’s African American heritage, the familial bond between the three members transcends throughout the group’s conscious lyrics and catchy melodies.

The name “The Late Ones” pays tribute to all of the late and great revolutionaries who have come and gone like Bob Marley, Tupac, Jimi Hendrix, Steve Biko, John Lennon and also present day legendsincluding Jurassic 5, Steel Pulse, Kendrick Lamar and Ab-Soul just to name a few. It is the fusion of each revolutionary story, struggle, and message that inspires and resonates with The Late Ones' own story, struggle, and love for all genres of music. That is the “L81Z” sound.

In late 2014, The Late Ones recorded their debut EP at Sea Major Seven Studio in Honolulu, HI with Producer/Engineer Noah Cronin (Sammy J) and producers Lapana Ieriko and Klandon Fetaui. The Late Ones debut EP Revelate was released on May 5, 2015 via online digital outlets and peaked at number three on the iTunes reggae charts in the first week of the release. The Late Ones bring a youthful presence to the reggae community. With Revelate, the band hopes to push their music and message beyond their tight knit homeland of Hawaii. The EP holds six original compositions created by a group with great potential and high expectations.


 
Rising Appalachia
Raye Zaragoza | @The Hamilton | view more info »
Nov
20

Rising Appalachia

Raye Zaragoza


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


Rising Appalachia

official band site »

As world travelers for nearly two decades, Rising Appalachia have merged multiple global music influences with their own southern roots to create the inviting new folk album, Leylines. Remarkably the band has built its legion of listeners independently -- a self-made success story that has led to major festival appearances and sold-out shows at venues across the country.

Founded by sisters Leah and Chloe Smith, the band established an international fan base due to relentless touring, tireless activism, and no small degree of stubborn independence. However, for the first time, they opted to bring in a producer for the new album, teaming up with the legendary Joe Henry on the sessions. These were also their first recording sessions outside of the South. For 10 days, all six band members lived and recorded in a castle-like studio in Marin County, California, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. As a result, a sense of unity and immediacy can be heard throughout their seventh album, Leylines.

“As far as recording goes, we’re open creatively, but we’ve often preferred elements of live recording. I mean, we’re folk musicians at our core,” Leah explains. “The experience of playing music together in one room, looking at each other, is the bedrock of what we do and how we’ve grown up with music. I think Joe very much felt that way as well.

He was very clear at the beginning that he was going to encourage us to have as many element of a live recording as possible.” Although Leah and Chloe Smith consider their voices as their primary instrument, Leah also plays banjo and bodhran on the album, while Chloe plays guitar, fiddle, and banjo. They are joined on Leylines by longtime members David Brown (stand-up bass, baritone guitar) and Biko Casini (world percussion, n’goni), as well as two new members: West African musician Arouna Diarra (n’goni, talking drum) and Irish musician Duncan Wickel (fiddle, cello). The sonic textures of these two cultures are woven into Leylines, enhancing the stunning blend of folk, world, and urban music that has become Rising Appalachia’s calling card.

“Our songwriting ties into those traditions as well,” Chloe says. “With some of our original songs, it’s a reflection of the times. We’re folk singers and we consider this a folk album, so there’s a lot in there. There’s word of politics, of being women in the music industry, as well as a lot about our lives on the road.”

Indeed, Rising Appalachia has toured British Columbia by sailboat, traversed the U.S. and Europe by train, and engaged in immersive cultural exchange programs in Bulgaria, Ireland, Southern Italy, Central and South America – not to mention the countless miles in a van. Tour highlights include: Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in San Francisco; Music Hall Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York; Boulder Theatre in Boulder, Colorado; and the Showbox in Seattle, Washington. The band consistently sells between 400 and 1500 tickets wherever they play, a testament to their loyal fan base.

Leah and Chloe grew up in urban Atlanta as the city’s hip hop scene began to flourish. They absorbed those rhythms through the music they heard at school, then traveled with their family to fiddle camps all across the Southeast on the weekends. The young girls weren’t all that interested in the old-time playing, but their parents were incredibly devout in their study and practice of Appalachian music.

After high school, Leah decided to postpone college and travel internationally. Feeling homesick while living in Southern Mexico, she looked for a connection to her past and taught herself how to play banjo. “I realized that I wanted something from home that I could share, something that would tell people a bit more of the story of where I came from, other than the news,” she recalls.

A few years later, when Chloe came to visit her abroad, Leah offeredsome clawhammer banjo lessons. They didn’t necessarily realize it at the time but a musical partnership had been established. Upon their return to the United States, they recorded an album, which they considered an art project, to sell whenever they sang at farmer’s markets. They printed 500 copies, figuring that would last them a lifetime. However, when a local college professor heard them singing at a Christmas party, he booked them as part of a Celtic holiday concert in Atlanta. After two performances, every CD had been sold.

Surprised and overwhelmed, they mulled over a career as full-time musicians, then realized that performing could be just one component of a greater overall vision – one that includes advocating for social justice, racial justice, environmental justice, and Indigenous rights.

“We’re able to filter in so many of our passions into this project,” Chloe says. “We do a lot of activism work. We do a lot of outreach. Leah is a visual artist and she can funnel her visual eye into the project. I love to write, so that comes in. There’s a big container and canvas for our life’s work here. Music is part of it, but there are a lot of other creative vehicles that are driving Rising Appalachia.”

Special guests on Leylines include folk hero Ani DiFranco, soulful songwriter Trevor Hall, and jazz trumpeter Maurice Turner. The album title alludes to the concept of invisible lines believed to stretch around the world between sacred spaces, bonded by a spiritual and magnetic presence. That deep sense of connection is key to understanding Rising Appalachia as a whole.

“Rising Appalachia has come out of this idea that we can take these traditions of southern music – that we’ve been born and raised with – and we can rise out of them, creating all these different bridges between cultures and stories to make them feel alive.” Leah says. “Our music has its foundation in heritage and tradition, but we’re creating a music that also feels reflective of the times right now. That’s always been our work.”


Raye Zaragoza

official band site »

Raye Zaragoza is an award-winning singer-songwriter who carries an acoustic guitar and a message. Her quiet yet powerful song “In the River,” written in response to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota, resonated strongly with listeners and went viral in late 2016, garnering half a million views on the video, national media coverage, and a Global Music Award and Honesty Oscar.

Raye’s debut album, Fight For You (independent, 2017), displays her compassion, dedication to justice and equality for all, and keen eye for the seemingly small daily moments that become our most meaningful memories. About the record, Raye says, “This album is about finding yourself and finding your voice. It’s about maturing and realizing that you can make a difference if you so choose.”

Writing about social issues comes naturally to Raye. "As a woman of color in America, social issues are things you deal with and see every day of your life," she says. "I write about my experience and oftentimes my existence has been laced with injustice."

Raye performs her music all over the United States as well as across Europe, where she spent five weeks touring in summer 2017. Her music has been featured on Billboard and Democracy Now! and on numerous lists of the best modern-day protest songs, including those by Paste Magazine, What Culture, and Overblown. She has also performed live sessions for Paste, Daytrotter, and FNX.

At SXSW 2018, Raye spoke about her loyal fanbase and maintaining an independent career on a panel entitled "Serving the Sacred Bond" hosted by PledgeMusic. This summer, she joined Dispatch and Nahko and Medicine for the People on their Summer Tour, which included dates at Red Rocks and two nights at Central Park Summerstage.


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

Lettuce

Antibalas
Ghost-Note

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


Lettuce

official band site »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Antibalas

official band site »

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

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

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

Ghost-Note

official band site »

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

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

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

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


 
Moon Hooch
@The 8x10 | view more info »
Nov
24

Moon Hooch



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


Moon Hooch

official band site »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



 
Keller Williams' Thanksforgrassgiving
ft. Keller & The Keels | with special guest Lindsay Lou | @The Hamilton | view more info »
Nov
30

Keller Williams' Thanksforgrassgiving

ft. Keller & The Keels
with special guest Lindsay Lou

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


Keller Williams' Thanksforgrassgiving


ft. Keller & The Keels

official band site »

Definition: Appalachian Psychedelic Bluegrass “Award-winning flat picker Larry Keel and his rock solid, in-the-pocket bass-playing wife, Jenny Keel, make up two thirds of this super fun trio I started in 2004. With two albums recorded together the handful of gigs we play a year turn into acoustic picking parties. We vowed from the beginning that we wouldn’t do it often so that when we did, it would be special, and it is.” –Kw

with special guest Lindsay Lou

official band site »

Lindsay Lou has been making soulful, poignant music for the last decade. An undeniable powerhouse, Lou’s remarkable gifts as a singer, songwriter, musician and performer demand the listener’s attention. Her singing floats over the masterful playing and deep groove of her band with both a fierce intensity and a tender intimacy.

Lindsay Lou’s fourth album, Southland (released April 2018), is a transformative and heart-wrenching ten-song stunner. Lou’s voice—and its unique ability to create an expansive, almost physically tangible soundscape—carries each song on Southland forward, made even more recognizable and potent by bandmates Josh Rilko (mandolin, vocals) and PJ George (bass, vocals) and special guests.

The beauty with which the sounds on Southland slip into the ether is the product of an emotionally difficult time for Lindsay and her band—who, as musicians often do, entered the studio to “hash it out.” The process, demonstrated by the music on Southland, was sincere and stirring and introspective.

Southland kicks off with “Roll With Me,” an expansive anthem with Lou’s robust vocals on full display. “Go There Alone” was written during an “Immersion Composition Society” experiment that Lou does from time to time, and the sound fully developed with the band a little later on. The lazy, beautiful harmonies pull at your heartstrings in a way that feels like home, despite the lonely and bittersweet message. And though songs like “The Voice” and “Southland” were spurred on by more abstract ideas and words, they transformed as collaborators started freestyling with their instruments and Lou simply sang what came to mind. Impressively enough, Lou plays electric bass, electric guitar, and acoustic guitar on the album’s title track. “Southland” is about the natural beauty of the South, which to Lou, adds a sense of calm and connectedness to a region known too often for its divisiveness. Having recently left her home state of Michigan to put down roots in Nashville with the band, the influence of this change is felt throughout the themes and ideas expressed on Southland.

Born the daughter of a coal miner in middle Missouri, Lindsay Lou’s family moved to Michigan shortly after Lindsay was born. She describes her family as close knit and musical, their lives influenced heavily by her maternal grandmother’s radical ideals and zest for life. In fact, if you ask Lindsay, her grandmother—a woman who was once put in jail during the Civil Rights Movement for teaching a lesson on the “f” word as a high school literature teacher—is one of her greatest influences to this day. Armed with her activist spirit, Lou’s grandmother set up a Christian commune in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for her growing family of twelve, as well as some stragglers. There in a big farmhouse, Lou’s dad was their neighbor.

Raised with this sense of community, Lou recalls always being surrounded by music. So when the time came for her to join a band, for Lou, it felt like finding a home away from home. Her career, like her life, have been full of great moments of kismet. As a youth, Lou built her repertoire by practicing her vocals, and she picked up the guitar so she could play with her Uncle Stuckey, perhaps most musically influential on her of her mother’s siblings. The skills she honed during the days of learning to sing and play with her family led to a wide variety of musical opportunities, singing in choir in high school, attending an elite summer program at Interlochen on scholarship, and winning awards for her talents.

Today, touring nationally and internationally year round, Lindsay Lou and her band continue to collect a mass of friends and fans along the way. Notable U.S. festival plays include Telluride Bluegrass festival, Merlefest, Stagecoach, Redwing, ROMP, GreyFox, and a slew of others. Abroad, they have appeared at Scotland’s Shetland Island Folk Fest and the Celtic Connections tour, Australia’s National Folk Festival, and others. The Boot, who featured Lindsay Lou Band as a “Can’t Miss Act at AmericanaFest 2018, says “...Lou brings introspection and masterful vocal work to her live show.”

In the words of famed bluegrass musician David Grier, who caught Lindsay Lou Band at a recent festival, “Lindsay...sings the way you would want to if'n you could. Phrasing, tone, emotion, it's all there. Effortless seemingly. Simply mesmerizing. Riveting! Don't miss the musical force that is Lindsay Lou.”


 
Collie Buddz
Keznamdi | @9:30 club | view more info »
Dec
1

Collie Buddz

Keznamdi


Sunday Dec 1|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


Collie Buddz

official band site »

Colin Patrick Harper hails from the Bermuda Islands. In the music industry, he is known as the reggae artist Collie Buddz. Buddz was born on August 21, 1984 in New Orleans, Louisiana. After graduating from high school, he attended Full Sail University in Orlando, FL, where he decided to study studio engineering. Upon graduating from college in 2006, Buddz began looking for work in the recording industry as a performer or producer. One of his first major gigs was working with recording star Shaggy on the single "Mad Mad World" from Shaggy's new album entitled Intoxication, which was release in 2007. That was the same year he released his self-titled debut album with Sony Music. The album was a moderate success, but well-received by critics. WWE (World Wrestling Enterprises) fans would immediately recognize Buddz's voice from the entrance theme ("SOS") for WWE superstar wrestler Kofi Kingston, which was included on the 2008 compilation WWE The Music, Vol. 8. Over the next year, he would continue making guest appearances on the works of other artists. It is no small coincidence that his stage name "Buddz" is slang for marijuana. There have been photographs taken of the artist holding bongs and other pot-smoking paraphernalia over the years. Of course, other reggae artist such as Bob Marley have made weed seem an essential part of the reggae lifestyle. At the end of the decade, Buddz started his own record label called Harper Digital. When not working in the studio, he found himself selling out venue after venue on one of his many exhaustive tours. In 2011, he would finally release his second album entitled Playback. As was the case with the first album, this album was a modest success commercially, but the critics loved his work. With a couple of albums and a good reputation under his belt, Buddz is a frequent performer at many of the major reggae festivals around the world.

More recently he has been in the studio finishing up his most recent fully self produced album 'Hybrid' which will be coming out in the Spring of 2019. Singles from the album like 'Love & Reggae' and 'Bounce It' have already topped charts and given fans a good insight into how the rest of the album will sound.


Keznamdi

official band site »

Tap into a “feel-good” musical vibration of up and coming Reggae artist Keznamdi who has recently released his six-song EP Bridging The Gap. The first single and video from the EP release is “Weekend,” which was recently filmed in Jamaica and premiered online on Friday April 5th 2013. The Bridging The Gap EP also features guest artists Chronixx and Kabaka Pyramid. Keznamdi is hard at work on a full-length album that will be released later next year.

“My music is a message and everyone of my song dem have a purpose. You need fi just sit back and relax or stand up and jam…whatever you are moved to do (he chuckles). Just tek a listen and experience it for yourself and more important than anything else, digest my message.” explains Keznamdi.

This artist is positioned to reach the world’s stage with his eclectic blend of melodies and conscious, positive lyrics. Keznamdi’s music has also been influenced by musical icons such as Stephen Marley, Damian Marley and Chakula, the internationally known Reggae group who his parents are lead singers of. Keznamdi spent his early years touring the world and recording on their 10 albums in the recording studio located in his home, buried in the lush hills surrounding Kingston, Jamaica.

“This is not a choice or hobby for me, Music chose me. It’s a way of life and the only thing I have ever known,” explains a passionate Keznamdi, describing why his path has already been carved out in stone. With a guitar always in hand and golden locks on his head, Keznamdi’s music is just as captivating as his image. His personality and sense of humor on stage is an immediate magnet for people of all cultures. Look for Keznamdi to introduce himself to music fans with a tour across the USA and in Jamaica over the next year. Performances are being scheduled to support the release of his new EP, and even a few festival performances are on tap for this amazing artist this summer. Keznamdi is an artist to look out for in the years to come.


 
Dark Star Orchestra
@The Anthem | view more info »
Dec
6

Dark Star Orchestra



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


Dark Star Orchestra

official band site »

Performing to critical acclaim for over 20 years and over 2800 shows, Dark Star Orchestra continues the Grateful Dead live concert experience. Their shows are built off the Dead's extensive catalog and the talent of these seven fine musicians. On any given night, the band will perform a show based on a set list from the Grateful Dead's 30 years of extensive touring or use their catalog to program a unique set list for the show. This allows fans both young and old to share in the experience. By recreating set lists from the past, and by developing their own sets of Dead songs, Dark Star Orchestra offers a continually evolving artistic outlet within this musical canon. Honoring both the band and the fans, Dark Star Orchestra's members seek out the unique style and sound of each era while simultaneously offering their own informed improvisations.

Dark Star Orchestra offers much more than the sound of the Grateful Dead, they truly encapsulate the energy and the experience. It's about a sense of familiarity. It's about a feeling that grabs listeners and takes over. It's about that contagious energy...in short, it's about the complete experience and consistent quality show that the fan receives when attending a Dark Star Orchestra show.

Dark Star Orchestra has performed throughout the entire United States, including a sold out debut at Colorado’s Red Rocks Park & Amphitheater, plus shows in Europe and the Caribbean with the band touching down in seven different countries. DSO continues to grow its fan base by playing at larger venues for two and even three-night stands, as well as performing at major music festivals including Bonnaroo, Milwaukee's SummerFest, The Peach Music Festival, Jam Cruise, Wanee Festival, SweetWater 420 Festival, Mountain Jam, and many more.

In addition to appearing at some of the nation's top festival, Dark Star Orchestra hosts its own annual music festival and campaign gathering, titled the "Dark Star Jubilee", currently in its eighth year where DSO headline all three nights and are joined by a mix of established and up and coming national touring acts. Beyond the shores of the United States, DSO has taken its internationally-acclaimed Grateful Dead tribute to the beaches of Jamaica in the dead of winter for the past six years, with their event appropriately titled 'Jam in the Sand'. Featuring an ocean-side stage, DSO sets up camp to perform shows for four nights along the tropical sands of an all-inclusive resort, selling out the event each year for hundreds of lucky attendees.

Fans and critics haven't been the only people caught up in the spirit of a Dark Star show. The band has featured guest performances from six original Grateful Dead members Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, Donna Jean Godchaux-MacKay, Vince Welnick, Tom Constanten and even toured with longtime Dead soundman, Dan Healy. Other notable guests have included Mike Gordon and Jon Fishman of Phish, Keller Williams, Warren Haynes, Steve Kimock, Peter Rowan, Ramblin' Jack Elliot and many more.

"For us it's a chance to recreate some of the magic that was created for us over the years," keyboardist and vocalist Rob Barraco explains. "We offer a sort of a historical perspective at what it might have been like to go to a show in 1985, 1978 or whenever. Even for Deadheads who can say they've been to a hundred shows in the 90s, we offer something they never got to see live."



 
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong
lespecial | @9:30 club | view more info »
Dec
6

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong

lespecial


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


Pigeons Playing Ping Pong

official band site »

"We pour every ounce of ourselves into every note when we perform live,” says Pigeons Playing Ping Pong singer/guitarist Greg Ormont. “When we’re recording in the studio, we try to maintain that euphoria while finding a way to pack it into a tight, focused vessel. Each song becomes like a spring-loaded can of worms: there’s all this energy boxed up in a neat little package, and then when you come see us live, the cap comes off and the contents fly out in every direction like fireworks.”

It’s a whimsically apt metaphor for Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, a band whose very existence is rooted in the unyielding quest for joy and positive energy. Blending infectious funk grooves, psychedelic jams, and experimental electronics, the Baltimore four-piece’s new album, ‘Pizazz,’ is a buoyant, blissful reminder of just how much fun music can be. Eschewing the traditional funk band lineup that typically includes keyboards, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong constructs effervescent soundscapes with just two guitars, bass, and drums, crafting their music with a sophisticated ear for both open space and dense layering.

While ‘Pizazz’ is, in many ways, a familiar continuation of the journey that’s earned the band its rapidly expanding and rabidly devoted following (known as The Flock), it also marks the beginning of a new chapter for Pigeons Playing Ping Pong. The album’s eleven tracks are the group’s first recorded with new drummer Alex Petropulos, whose airtight grooves and explosive power push the band’s sound to new heights.

“We’ve had some of these songs in our live catalog for a while,” says Ormont, “but playing them with Alex has breathed new life into everything. His style and energy have revealed nooks and crannies that we didn’t even realize existed in the tracks. All music boils down to having a good drummer, especially in our dance-oriented jam world, and we’ve got the best drummer I’ve ever heard right now.”

It’s a bold claim, but Pigeons Playing Ping Pong has the live show to back it up. Glide Magazine called them “a band that melts faces and pulls no punches,” while C-Ville Weekly praised the growing “cult around [their] high-energy music, goofy stage antics, and all around good vibes,” and JamBase raved that guitarist/vocalist Jeremy Schon is “destined to become one of our generation’s finest guitarists.” Since the group’s inception nearly a decade ago at the University of Maryland (where the band’s name came to Ormont and Schon during a moment of transcendence in Psych 100), they’ve built up a reputation as one of the most engaging and life-affirming acts on the road, maintaining a relentless tour schedule that has them performing up to 200 shows a year and hitting festivals from coast to coast. The band even founded their own gathering, Domefest, which recently celebrated its eighth year and attracted nearly 2,000 members of The Flock for an immersive weekend of love, music, and community.

“It’s really important that our live show puts out as much energy as possible and promotes lightheartedness and positivity,” says Schon. “All that matters in the moment at a concert is what’s going on onstage and in the room around you, and we try to put on a show where people can really lose themselves in those moments and use our music as an outlet to feel good.”

The band chased those same ideals when they headed into producer Steve Wright’s WrightWay Studios in Baltimore to record ‘Pizazz,’ the follow-up to their 2016 fan-favorite ‘Pleasure.’ Tracking live on the floor, the foursome channeled all the rapture of their live shows into tight, crisp packages. Songs that may unfold onstage over the course of 20 minutes were reimagined for the studio, where they’d need to reach the same frenzied, emotional heights, in less than half that time.

“I think this album really shows attention to detail when it comes to choosing our moments and the way we’ve been able to make parts more concise without losing their natural feel,” says Ormont. “Having a strong drummer is a big part of that. Alex is able to convey so much feeling and bring us to those peaks and valleys really quickly and efficiently when we need him to.”

‘Pizazz’ opens up with the bouncing, carefree “Fun In Funk,” which finds the band proclaiming, “We put the fun in funk” over wah-wah guitars and an infectious rhythm section driven both by Petropulos’s drums and Ben Carrey’s fat, slinky bass lines.

“Funk is very fun, upbeat, happy music to begin with,” says Ormont. “It’s our mission to put that fun into everything we do.”

It’s a mission that Pigeons Playing Ping Pong was born for. The visceral sense of joy in their music acts as a sort of glue here, binding the band’s wildly versatile sounds into a cohesive and distinctive whole on the album. On “Somethin For Ya,” they channel 70’s disco and pair it with a wicked prog-rock solo, while tracks like “Offshoot” and “Too Long” embrace the group’s darker, more bass-and-electronics-influenced dance side. “Poseidon” and frequent show-closer “Ocean Flows,” on the other hand, showcase Pigeons’ bright, sparkling, melodic soul, as ‘Pizazz’ rises and falls with the same inimitable mix of precision and frenzy that defines the band’s one-of-a-kind live show.

Each Pigeon is a virtuosic musician and improviser in his own right, and the band’s songs are frequently born out of impromptu grooves and riffs. The swirling, trippy “Porcupine,” which clocks in at nearly eight minutes in all its jamming glory, taps into the uninhibited, open-ended nature of the band’s rehearsal sessions, while the driving “Henrietta” grew out of one of Schon’s soundcheck guitar loops. The island vibes of “Fox and Toad” are pure stream of consciousness written in the car after band practice, and “Doc” is a gritty, horn-fueled sing-along inspired by a Baltimore legend. “There’s a homeless man named Doc who would always spend his time outside of the 8×10 in Federal Hill, where we learned to push our limits as a band,” says Ormont. “Doc always supported us. Even though he was sleeping under a bridge, he’d always ask you how you were doing. We really wanted to commemorate his toughness and positivity.”

It’s difficult to think of a more fitting match for a band like Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, who radiate positivity wherever they go. Whether it’s Doc or The Flock, the band wants to elevate each and every member of their audience to the kind of blissful place that only the most ecstatic live music can take you. It’s a place filled with beauty and light, joy and power, love and community, all delivered with a heaping dose of pizazz.


lespecial

official band site »

lespecial carve their own sonic path in modern music, creating their signature blend of “heavy future groove”. The power trio’s fresh synthesis of varied and divergent influences doesn’t underestimate the listener, reflecting a post-modern cultural climate in which fans have space on their aural palette for J Dilla, Radiohead, King Crimson and Fela Kuti. Veering from hip-hop to metal, prog to house, pensive indie-rock to apocalyptic dub, leaving room for head banging and hip swaying alike, while still presenting a unified sound and vision.

“…[lespecial’s] sound owes as much to Radiohead and The Mars Voltaas it does Medeski Martin & Wood and Umphrey’s McGee.” – Relix

“That lespecial shit is crazy.” — Akil the MC (Jurassic 5)

“Trap-metal.” — Nikki Glaspie (Beyonce / Nth Power)

“One of the best bands I’ve ever seen live.” — Ott

“My favorite band.” — Space Jesus

These three childhood friends from Connecticut play off of a lifetime of shared experience in their writing and performance. In a power trio, it’s essential that each of the players can utterly captivate you at any given time. Each individual has a lot of weight to carry and is only as strong as the weakest link. In the studio, as on stage, it seems at first blush that Jon Grusauskas—delivering lyrics that call for your attention and seamlessly moving from guitar to keys to samples—is handling the entire upper end of the spectrum… until you consider how broad the melodic embrace of rhythmatist Rory Dolan and low end wizard Luke Bemand: injecting splashes of color and wicked chops into their heavy groove foundations or driving assaults, this dynamic battery simultaneously eases and propels lespecial through fractious changes of mood and tempo. Additionally, whether at the forefront or scattered throughout the mix, all of them use live looping or triggered samples that contribute to a sound that is far greater than that generally created by three people as they seek to tap into a primitive past, distorted through the lens of contemporary technology. The band’s fearless pursuit of a synthesis of the musical idioms that inspire them has, thus far, culminated with the release of their second album, cheen, on October 31, 2017. Pole vaulting over traditional genres, cheen is a snapshot of a band flexing their remarkable creative muscles. In a traditional sense, cheen is a risky album: it asks the listener to suspend a categorical approach and dig into their own eclectic unconsciousness, to adapt a phrase, and appreciate the flow of the record from start to finish, as it moves guided by an unseen plan. If there is an underlying thematic structure, it is one that is anchored—musically and lyrically—by horror flicks, 1980s video games and lespecial’s indictment of the current cultural state of affairs. Not overtly political, angry or morose, cheen seems to observe the zeitgeist and respond to it. lespecial’s willingness to take this risk of presenting an album full of flavors and feels is a reflection of the respect they have for their fans, present and future: they simply don’t underestimate the listener, and that itself is refreshing. Never willing to sit back and settle into a groove, lespecial pivoted quickly from touring in support of the release of cheen into a whole new format: collaborating with and supporting the iconic Bay Area hip-hop emcee and producer, Zion I, on tour dates and a forthcoming album. There are also plans to release remixes of cheen tracks from some of their producer friends who hold lespecial in the highest esteem.


 
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong
@The Anthem | view more info »
Dec
7

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong



Saturday Dec 7|doors 6:00 pm|all ages
The Anthem|get directions »
901 WHARF ST SW, WASHINGTON, DC 20024|p: (202) 265-0930


Pigeons Playing Ping Pong

official band site »

"We pour every ounce of ourselves into every note when we perform live,” says Pigeons Playing Ping Pong singer/guitarist Greg Ormont. “When we’re recording in the studio, we try to maintain that euphoria while finding a way to pack it into a tight, focused vessel. Each song becomes like a spring-loaded can of worms: there’s all this energy boxed up in a neat little package, and then when you come see us live, the cap comes off and the contents fly out in every direction like fireworks.”

It’s a whimsically apt metaphor for Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, a band whose very existence is rooted in the unyielding quest for joy and positive energy. Blending infectious funk grooves, psychedelic jams, and experimental electronics, the Baltimore four-piece’s new album, ‘Pizazz,’ is a buoyant, blissful reminder of just how much fun music can be. Eschewing the traditional funk band lineup that typically includes keyboards, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong constructs effervescent soundscapes with just two guitars, bass, and drums, crafting their music with a sophisticated ear for both open space and dense layering.

While ‘Pizazz’ is, in many ways, a familiar continuation of the journey that’s earned the band its rapidly expanding and rabidly devoted following (known as The Flock), it also marks the beginning of a new chapter for Pigeons Playing Ping Pong. The album’s eleven tracks are the group’s first recorded with new drummer Alex Petropulos, whose airtight grooves and explosive power push the band’s sound to new heights.

“We’ve had some of these songs in our live catalog for a while,” says Ormont, “but playing them with Alex has breathed new life into everything. His style and energy have revealed nooks and crannies that we didn’t even realize existed in the tracks. All music boils down to having a good drummer, especially in our dance-oriented jam world, and we’ve got the best drummer I’ve ever heard right now.”

It’s a bold claim, but Pigeons Playing Ping Pong has the live show to back it up. Glide Magazine called them “a band that melts faces and pulls no punches,” while C-Ville Weekly praised the growing “cult around [their] high-energy music, goofy stage antics, and all around good vibes,” and JamBase raved that guitarist/vocalist Jeremy Schon is “destined to become one of our generation’s finest guitarists.” Since the group’s inception nearly a decade ago at the University of Maryland (where the band’s name came to Ormont and Schon during a moment of transcendence in Psych 100), they’ve built up a reputation as one of the most engaging and life-affirming acts on the road, maintaining a relentless tour schedule that has them performing up to 200 shows a year and hitting festivals from coast to coast. The band even founded their own gathering, Domefest, which recently celebrated its eighth year and attracted nearly 2,000 members of The Flock for an immersive weekend of love, music, and community.

“It’s really important that our live show puts out as much energy as possible and promotes lightheartedness and positivity,” says Schon. “All that matters in the moment at a concert is what’s going on onstage and in the room around you, and we try to put on a show where people can really lose themselves in those moments and use our music as an outlet to feel good.”

The band chased those same ideals when they headed into producer Steve Wright’s WrightWay Studios in Baltimore to record ‘Pizazz,’ the follow-up to their 2016 fan-favorite ‘Pleasure.’ Tracking live on the floor, the foursome channeled all the rapture of their live shows into tight, crisp packages. Songs that may unfold onstage over the course of 20 minutes were reimagined for the studio, where they’d need to reach the same frenzied, emotional heights, in less than half that time.

“I think this album really shows attention to detail when it comes to choosing our moments and the way we’ve been able to make parts more concise without losing their natural feel,” says Ormont. “Having a strong drummer is a big part of that. Alex is able to convey so much feeling and bring us to those peaks and valleys really quickly and efficiently when we need him to.”

‘Pizazz’ opens up with the bouncing, carefree “Fun In Funk,” which finds the band proclaiming, “We put the fun in funk” over wah-wah guitars and an infectious rhythm section driven both by Petropulos’s drums and Ben Carrey’s fat, slinky bass lines.

“Funk is very fun, upbeat, happy music to begin with,” says Ormont. “It’s our mission to put that fun into everything we do.”

It’s a mission that Pigeons Playing Ping Pong was born for. The visceral sense of joy in their music acts as a sort of glue here, binding the band’s wildly versatile sounds into a cohesive and distinctive whole on the album. On “Somethin For Ya,” they channel 70’s disco and pair it with a wicked prog-rock solo, while tracks like “Offshoot” and “Too Long” embrace the group’s darker, more bass-and-electronics-influenced dance side. “Poseidon” and frequent show-closer “Ocean Flows,” on the other hand, showcase Pigeons’ bright, sparkling, melodic soul, as ‘Pizazz’ rises and falls with the same inimitable mix of precision and frenzy that defines the band’s one-of-a-kind live show.

Each Pigeon is a virtuosic musician and improviser in his own right, and the band’s songs are frequently born out of impromptu grooves and riffs. The swirling, trippy “Porcupine,” which clocks in at nearly eight minutes in all its jamming glory, taps into the uninhibited, open-ended nature of the band’s rehearsal sessions, while the driving “Henrietta” grew out of one of Schon’s soundcheck guitar loops. The island vibes of “Fox and Toad” are pure stream of consciousness written in the car after band practice, and “Doc” is a gritty, horn-fueled sing-along inspired by a Baltimore legend. “There’s a homeless man named Doc who would always spend his time outside of the 8×10 in Federal Hill, where we learned to push our limits as a band,” says Ormont. “Doc always supported us. Even though he was sleeping under a bridge, he’d always ask you how you were doing. We really wanted to commemorate his toughness and positivity.”

It’s difficult to think of a more fitting match for a band like Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, who radiate positivity wherever they go. Whether it’s Doc or The Flock, the band wants to elevate each and every member of their audience to the kind of blissful place that only the most ecstatic live music can take you. It’s a place filled with beauty and light, joy and power, love and community, all delivered with a heaping dose of pizazz.



 
The Marcus King Band
@9:30 club | view more info »
Dec
8

The Marcus King Band



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


The Marcus King Band

official band site »

Songwriter. Guitarist. Singer. Bandleader. At only 20 years of age, Marcus King’s dazzling musical ability is evident throughout The Marcus King Band, the young phenom’s 2nd full-length LP and first for Fantasy Records. Operating within the fiery brand of American roots music that King calls "soul-influenced psychedelic southern rock," the album highlights King’s gorgeous, rough-hewn vocals, soaring guitar work and heartfelt songwriting all amidst a group of masterful musicians who, together, are quickly becoming one of the country’s most sought after live acts.

Raised in Greenville, South Carolina, King was brought up on the blues, playing shows as a pre-teen sideman with his father—bluesman Marvin King, who himself was the son of a regionally-known guitarist—before striking out on his own. Going beyond the sonic textures of his acclaimed 2015 debut album, Soul Insight; The Marcus King Band broadens his sound, touching upon everything from funky R&B to Southern soul and Americana in the process. His band gets in on the action too, stacking the songs with blasts of swampy brass, a lock-step rhythm section and swirling organ. Ever the multi-tasker, King bounces between several instruments, handling electric and acoustic guitar — as well as pedal and lap steel — while driving each track home with his soulful, incendiary voice.

Having spent the past year tirelessly playing ever-larger venues and festivals to a burgeoning fan base, The Marcus King Band was written on the road and recorded during a series of live takes at Carriage House Studios in Stamford, CT. The album captures the energy of the band's blazing live show, as well as the talent of a rising young songwriter reaching well beyond his years.

"The majority of our songs are specific to situations I've lived," King explains. "I write as a form of therapy, to release my emotions into a musical expression. I want people to know they're not the only ones going through that pain. Music is the true healer. And when we perform, we want the audience to leave feeling as tired and as emotionally freed as we do. It's all about getting the stress of the day off your chest. It's like therapy."

The Marcus King Band features Jack Ryan on drums and percussion, Stephen Campbell on bass, Matt Jennings on keys and organ, Dean Mitchell on saxophone, and Justin Johnson on trumpet, trombone and backing vocals. Joining the band on the new album are a number of mentors and collaborators, including Derek Trucks (who plays guitar on "Self-Hatred").

No guest plays a bigger role than Warren Haynes, though. A longtime champion of King's songwriting and guitar prowess, Haynes produced every track on The Marcus King Band (and contributed his trademark slide guitar on "Virginia"), expertly capturing the group's live sound for a cohesive collection reflecting the band's expansive explorations.

"Marcus is the first player I’ve heard since Derek Trucks to play with the maturity of a musician well beyond his age," Haynes says. "He’s very much influenced by the blues, but also by jazz, rock, soul music, and any timeless genres of music. You can hear the influences, but it all comes through him in his own unique way. He has one of those voices that instantly draws you in, and his guitar playing is an extension of his voice and vice versa.”

A childhood introvert who leaned heavily on music as a way of expressing himself, King fills The Marcus King Band with a mix of biographical tunes and fictional story songs. "At the time I wrote 'Self-Hatred,' says King, "the girl I was seeing really hurt me. Broke my heart, took all of my insecurities and used them against me…she told me she hated herself for what she had said and done to me. I told her I knew exactly how it feels to hate yourself. 'Self-Hatred' is within you and me."

"Devil's Land" is loosely based on his grandfather, who worked on a farm during his younger years, while the story behind the track "Rita Is Gone" was inspired by the television show Dexter. Meanwhile, songs like "Guitar In My Hands" peek into King's personal life — a life filled with highway mile markers, truck stops, and a nightly rotation of stages, all waiting to be filled with the sound of a genre-bending band on the rise.

"This album is a big melting pot of different kinds of music," says King. "It's the sound of everyone taking their own influences and collectively coming together as a group. We're all really hungry to play, and we're so passionate about this music. I want people to feel the same thing we feel — to leave the show feeling some sense of release. It's almost like the show ends, and everyone can take a deep breath together."



 
Jojo Mayer / Nerve
@U Street Music Hall | view more info »
Dec
11

Jojo Mayer / Nerve



Wednesday Dec 11|doors 6:30 pm|all ages
U Street Music Hall|get directions »
1115 U Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 588-1880


Jojo Mayer / Nerve

official band site »

NERVE evolved out of Jojo Mayer’s legendary party event Prohibited Beatz in NYC during the late 90?s. Initially a platform for experimental interaction between DJ’s, visual artists, musicians and the audience, the collective eventually developed into a fine tuned group that cross-pollinated the premeditated format of programmed electronic music styles with real time, improvised music performance. Within that format, the band assimilated a wide spectrum of electronic styles from old school Jungle, Dub Step or Glitch beats to Minimal and Tech House and anything that could escape genre descriptions yet. In the process, the group managed to acquaint a new audience with improvised music for the first time and ultimately bring the Jazz tradition of improvisation, driving rhythms and stylistic evolution to the digital age. Meanwhile, it embraces the essence of Rock ’n Roll of having a good time and showing the finger to anyone who has a problem with it. NERVE re-examines and transcends the relationship between human creativity and digital technology and created a new form of musical expression which is completely unique in the world today.

NERVE is:
Jojo Mayer: Drums
John Davis: Bass
Jacob Bergson: Keyboards
Aaron Nevezie: Sound and Audio Manipulation

Beyond this core configuration of drums, bass, keyboards and live audio manipulation, NERVE is often augmented by a wide range of guest artists from around the world. Besides longtime collaborators like Roli Mosimann, Jason Lindner or Takuya Nakamura, NERVE worked with Bugge Wesseltoft, DJ Shadow, MC XIS, Sean Pelton, Tim Lefebvre, Karsh Kale, MC Malik Work, Salt Cathedral, Vernon Reid, Moshen Namjoo and many more.



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

SUSTO



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


SUSTO

official band site »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



 
Bumpin Uglies *Bumpin Uglies Sweater Party*
Joey Harkum Band | Joint Operation | @Baltimore Soundstage | view more info »
Dec
14

Bumpin Uglies *Bumpin Uglies Sweater Party*

Joey Harkum Band
Joint Operation

Saturday Dec 14|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
Baltimore Soundstage|get directions »
124 Market Place
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 244-0057


Bumpin Uglies *Bumpin Uglies Sweater Party*

official band site »

Bumpin Uglies spawned from an Annapolis, MD scene awash in musical history over a decade ago. They are rooted in East Coast ska, punk, and reggae, making their mark up and down the Eastern Seaboard. In the past ten years, Bumpin Uglies have worked to carve out their path by relentlessly touring, and releasing one album after another. With each release came more focus, more creativity and more desire to always experiment and try new things with their music. The band is psyched for their latest EP, Buzz, which released on March 22 via Ineffable Music Group based in Oakland, CA. Ineffable is a name synonymous with the likes of Collie Buddz, Stick Figure, The Movement, and many other prominent artists.

Their last album, Beast From The East, is proof positive that Brandon, Wolfie, Chad and T.J. have meshed into a dynamic quartet as the album topped reggae charts, drawing interest from Billboard’s editorial team for their debut in the pole position. With fellow Maryland rocker Howi Spangler of Ballyhoo! working on the production, the alchemy was right for their breakthrough release, so naturally they are keeping that intact with their current album, Buzz, while continuing the trend of evolving their sound, always experimenting in bold ways that keeps everything fresh from beginning to end. Their climb hasn’t always been easy and as Bumpin Uglies have grinded their way to their current place in the music scene, they’ve shown that hard work pays off and by putting your heart and soul into it and by taking risks, you can achieve great things. It’s why they’ve springboarded from The Whiskey in Annapolis (RIP) to slots at major festivals like Firefly, Peachfest, and Reggae Rise Up, and are selling out several markets around the nation. Bumpin Uglies are also proud to have announced their own Headlining Festival, Weekend at Wolfie’s, set for June 13-15, 2019 in Bedford, PA. As a band they are clearly intent on doing things their own way, it’s how it’s always been done. This philosophy has grown Bumpin Uglies into a prolific music-making beast, has devoted fans tattooing Brandon Hardesty’s poignant lyrics on their bodies and has them growing into a nationally recognized touring headliner. Bumpin Uglies is on fire with no end in site.


Joey Harkum Band

official band site »

Through deep, poignant lyrics which tell stories of happiness, love, loss and sadness, Joey Harkum has been traveling and playing his heartfelt songs for over a decade. We would love for you to give him a listen and join our growing music family!

Joint Operation

official band site »

Joint Operation is a powerful reggae-rock band from Baltimore, MD. This explosive four-piece has made quite a presence for themselves in the Mid-Atlantic with dozens of shows with the biggest names in the genre. Life-long friends, Josh Lewis, Jacob Nadeau, Ben O'Brien, and Fabrizio Scotto, have managed to integrate all the genres they grew to love as children into this power group. Whether it be reggae, punk rock or funk, this group rocks the house and shows fans how to party. Influences include Beck, Nirvana, Sublime, and many more!


 
LITZ
Radii | @Pearl Street Warehouse | view more info »
Dec
21

LITZ

Radii


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


LITZ

official band site »

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


Radii

official band site »

Based out of the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area, Radii draws from a diverse range of music to create an explorative experience.

We play a mix of progressive rock, funk, and alternative music -- genres that everybody can get down to. Our goal is to take the listener on an exciting musical journey, and we do this by mixing hard-hitting original songs with groovy takes on some of our favorite covers.

We started this band in 2017 with inspiration from bands such as Umphrey's McGee, Big Something, Papadosio, and we continue every day to find new opportunities that amaze us and make us so grateful. We play funk-infused progressive rock and our goal is to take the listener on a journey through extended jams, heavy riffs, and nostalgic bridges.


 
Lotus
lespecial | @Rams Head Live | view more info »
Dec
30

Lotus

lespecial


Monday Dec 30|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
Rams Head Live|get directions »
20 Market Place
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 244-1131


Lotus

official band site »

Lotus has 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.


lespecial

official band site »

lespecial carve their own sonic path in modern music, creating their signature blend of “heavy future groove”. The power trio’s fresh synthesis of varied and divergent influences doesn’t underestimate the listener, reflecting a post-modern cultural climate in which fans have space on their aural palette for J Dilla, Radiohead, King Crimson and Fela Kuti. Veering from hip-hop to metal, prog to house, pensive indie-rock to apocalyptic dub, leaving room for head banging and hip swaying alike, while still presenting a unified sound and vision.

“…[lespecial’s] sound owes as much to Radiohead and The Mars Voltaas it does Medeski Martin & Wood and Umphrey’s McGee.” – Relix
“That lespecial shit is crazy.” — Akil the MC (Jurassic 5)
“Trap-metal.” — Nikki Glaspie (Beyonce / Nth Power)
“One of the best bands I’ve ever seen live.” — Ott
“My favorite band.” — Space Jesus

These three childhood friends from Connecticut play off of a lifetime of shared experience in their writing and performance. In a power trio, it’s essential that each of the players can utterly captivate you at any given time. Each individual has a lot of weight to carry and is only as strong as the weakest link. In the studio, as on stage, it seems at first blush that Jon Grusauskas—delivering lyrics that call for your attention and seamlessly moving from guitar to keys to samples—is handling the entire upper end of the spectrum… until you consider how broad the melodic embrace of rhythmatist Rory Dolan and low end wizard Luke Bemand: injecting splashes of color and wicked chops into their heavy groove foundations or driving assaults, this dynamic battery simultaneously eases and propels lespecial through fractious changes of mood and tempo. Additionally, whether at the forefront or scattered throughout the mix, all of them use live looping or triggered samples that contribute to a sound that is far greater than that generally created by three people as they seek to tap into a primitive past, distorted through the lens of contemporary technology. The band’s fearless pursuit of a synthesis of the musical idioms that inspire them has, thus far, culminated with the release of their second album, cheen, on October 31, 2017. Pole vaulting over traditional genres, cheen is a snapshot of a band flexing their remarkable creative muscles. In a traditional sense, cheen is a risky album: it asks the listener to suspend a categorical approach and dig into their own eclectic unconsciousness, to adapt a phrase, and appreciate the flow of the record from start to finish, as it moves guided by an unseen plan. If there is an underlying thematic structure, it is one that is anchored—musically and lyrically—by horror flicks, 1980s video games and lespecial’s indictment of the current cultural state of affairs. Not overtly political, angry or morose, cheen seems to observe the zeitgeist and respond to it. lespecial’s willingness to take this risk of presenting an album full of flavors and feels is a reflection of the respect they have for their fans, present and future: they simply don’t underestimate the listener, and that itself is refreshing. Never willing to sit back and settle into a groove, lespecial pivoted quickly from touring in support of the release of cheen into a whole new format: collaborating with and supporting the iconic Bay Area hip-hop emcee and producer, Zion I, on tour dates and a forthcoming album. There are also plans to release remixes of cheen tracks from some of their producer friends who hold lespecial in the highest esteem.


 
Lotus
@Rams Head Live | view more info »
Dec
31

Lotus



Tuesday Dec 31|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
Rams Head Live|get directions »
20 Market Place
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 244-1131


Lotus

official band site »

Lotus has 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.



 
Too Many Zooz
Birocratic | @Union Stage | view more info »
Jan
23

Too Many Zooz

Birocratic


Thursday Jan 23|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
Union Stage|get directions »
740 Water Street SW
Washington DC|p: (877) 987-6487


Too Many Zooz

official band site »

The curious thing about being a fan of brasshouse? You're pretty much talking about being into one solitary but extremely unforgettable band: the amusingly monikered Too Many Zooz.

The musical style was "branded" by drummer King of Sludge, who recognized that there was no worthy existing classification for the New York trio, whose other two members are the equally unclassifiable Leo P (saxophone) and Matt Doe (trumpet).

"Brasshouse is a high energy musical conversation," Matt insists. "Though I honestly don't think there is a good way to describe it in words. It's about many different feelings and sounds and emotions."

Or as KOS so decisively puts it, "I don't really care about what's happening in music -- I just make art that I enjoy making."

It's exactly this indifference to convention and trend that has garnered Too Many Zooz a fanbase that KOS describes as "wide-ranging and fanatical." One of those fans? In 2016, Beyonce asked them to perform with her at the Billboard Music Awards...and it's quite possible they got just as much attention as did she.

After two years, a gazillion live performances and four EPs, their debut album Subway Gawdz (an unsubtle reference to their birth in the underground stations of NYC), was released to enthusiastic acclaim in 2016. Its sound was truly like nothing else, with inescapable grooves that take in dub, soul, funk and ska, utterly exhilarating horn blasts that shoot right up your spine, and, of course, equal doses of fun and attitude.

And right now, TMZ are riding higher than ever, surely poised for the leap into genuinely widespread international recognition that was likley inevitable since they first set foot in an NYC subway station. Indeed, following a deal with Ministry of Sound, their single "Warriors" racked up major play on Radio One (if you think you haven't heard it, when you hear it, you'll quickly realize you already have), followed by high-profile remixes from the likes of Armand Van Helden and KDA.

Then, UK sensation Jess Glynne penned lyrics and added vocals to morph the song into "So Real (Warriors)," which has been generating massive buzz while climbing the European charts. In the meanwhile, a live video for "Car Alarm" has furtively racked up more than 500K views in one week.

But surely signaling their mainstream "arrival"? A Canadian KFC commercial featured the band and their songs -- so don't be surprised if listening to their music suddenly makes you hungry.

Though they've also been up to more serious matters. Leo, in fact, was asked to play at the BBC Proms Charles Mingus tribute at a sold-out Royal Albert Hall in August 2017 -- certainly no small honor.

Yet for all this, the forward plan for Too Many Zooz, is, as ever, constant touring. The reason is simple: it's their outrageous, electrifying live performances that consistently continue to add the numbers to their growing worldwide legion of fans. Autumn 2018 will take them coast to coast, from Seattle to Houston to Philadelphia, and across Europe, with stops in Krakow, Strasbourg and Marseille, amongst others.

"I don't think there's any recording that can do a live performance justice," reckons Matt. "You'll see people of all different colors, creeds, genders, ages, sexuality at our shows. I really can't find a constant between them...besides liking our music -- haha."

But for everything that's happened in the last couple of years, the trio aren't actually all that surprised by their success.

"I always knew we had something special," Leo enthuses. "Thousands of people everyday loved our music...and I knew it would just continue to spread."


Birocratic

official band site »

producer and multi-instrumentalist. armed with a laptop, an electric bass, and limitless inspiration.
creates electronic tunes with an organic soul.
currently works in his home studio in brooklyn, nyc.


 
The Wood Brothers
@Rams Head Live | view more info »
Jan
29

The Wood Brothers



Wednesday Jan 29|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
Rams Head Live|get directions »
20 Market Place
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 244-1131


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.”