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Umphrey's McGee
@Showtime At The Drive-In | view more info »
Jun
29

Umphrey's McGee



Tuesday Jun 29|doors 5:00 pm|all ages
Showtime At The Drive-In|get directions »
Frederick Fairgrounds
797 East Patrick Street
Frederick, MD


Umphrey's McGee

official band site »


CLICK HERE FOR 5th WHEEL TICKETS


The music of Umphrey's McGee unfolds like an unpredictable conversation between longtime friends. Its six participants -- Brendan Bayliss [guitar, vocals], Jake Cinninger [guitar, vocals], Joel Cummins [keyboards, piano, vocals], Andy Farag [percussion], Kris Myers [drums, vocals], and Ryan Stasik [bass] -- know just how to communicate with each other on stage and in the studio. A call of progressive guitar wizardry might elicit a response of soft acoustic balladry, or a funk groove could be answered by explosive percussion. At any moment, heavy guitars can give way to heavier blues as the boys uncover the elusive nexus between jaw-dropping instrumental virtuosity and airtight song craft.

The conversation continues on their eleventh full-length album, it's not us [Nothing Too Fancy Music] -- which was released January 12, 2018.

"It represents the band, because it basically runs the gamut from prog rock to dance," says Brendan. "We've mastered our ADD here. The record really shows that."

"No matter what you're into, there's something on it's not us that should speak to you," agrees Joel. "This is a statement album for Umphrey's McGee. The sound is as fresh as ever. The songs are strong as they've ever been.

We're always pushing forward."

It's also how the band is celebrating its 20-year anniversary. Instead of retreading the catalog, they turn up with a pile of new tunes.

"It'd be easy to play the hits from our first five or ten years," continues Joel. "We've never been a band to rest on our laurels though. New music is key to our continued development. We're known as a strong live band, but we take so much pride in our writing. This album distinguishes us because the focus is on that writing."

Appropriately, this idea gestated on a sunny May afternoon at Wrigley Field. Six months before The Cubs won their first World Series since 1908, Brendan took in a game on a rare day off.

"I can pinpoint the actual a-ha moment," Brendan goes on. "My wife was out. My kids were at daycare. I walked to Wrigley, bought a standing room ticket, and enjoyed the game. Halfway through it, I thought to myself, 'If we can get into the studio by the end of the year, we can have a brand new record.' That's where it all started."

Bringing things full circle, Umphrey's McGee entered I.V. Labs Studio in Chicago ready (and maybe a little hungover) a week after that historic game seven. For the first time since recording Local Band Does O.K. in 2002, five of the six members roomed together in a rental condo with Brendan staying a stone's throw away at home.

"We would wake up, bounce ideas off each other, and go to the studio together," recalls Joel. "We did all of this as a unit. There was something really special about our group ethos coming together for this project. We decided to go in for a week, live, eat, and breathe Umphrey's McGee. It's the most fun we've had in the studio. It really was a blast. Having that camaraderie was really cool."

That camaraderie shines through in their inimitable interplay, which finds them at the pinnacle of their craft and groove as a band. That chemistry defines the approach -- which sees Umphrey's McGee hone their songwriting to its sharpest point to date.

"I feel like we're getting better and better at writing succinct, concise musical pieces," Brendan elaborates. "When we started out, we were trying to figure out how to fill time. We didn't have much of a catalog, so we had to extend things and repeat parts in order to make up space. Since our catalog is so big now, we don't feel the need to make everything ten minutes long. We've really trimmed the fat. Everything seems to be the right length."

It's definitely the case with the first single from it's not us "The Silent Type." Powered by a bombastic beat, funkified rhythms, fiery fretwork, and a chantable refrain, this anthem introduces it's not us with a bright and brilliant bang.

"It's super simple," explains Brendan. "This character is in the wrong place at the wrong time making the wrong decisions. Everybody has to deal with temptation. That's a part of life. This guy goes out, and he blows it after a girl offers him a cigarette. You see it all the time."

"Half Delayed" builds from airy guitar into an iridescent refrain that serves as "a reminder to stop and smell the roses." Meanwhile, the bass strut, anthemic beat production, and percussive wallop of "Looks" could be the love child of Nine Inch Nails and Talking Heads. Then, the metallic shredfest outro of "Remind Me" bleeds effortlessly into the gorgeous acoustic love song "You & You Alone."

"We called the record it's not us, because it's really not about us," adds Joel. "This is for the fans."

Over 2,200 gigs and 5 million tracks sold later, they've enjoyed countless milestones. 2002 saw them perform at the first-ever Bonnaroo and sell more CDs than any other act on the bill. They became the "first group to launch its own single artist streaming service" with UMLive.net, which houses recordings of every gig since 2005. The service has since grown and now lives on through Nugs.net, which is used by the likes of Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen and more. They recorded ten tracks in one day at Abbey Road for The London Session in 2015. Notably, 2016's ZONKEY mashed-up the strangest of bedfellows into a critically acclaimed collection that unites Radiohead and Beck, The Weeknd and Fleetwood Mac, Talking Heads and Bob Marley, Metallica and Gorillaz, and more.

That adventurousness extends to their legendary audience immersion experiences. From their initial bar gigs in 1998 to three-nights playing to packed crowds at the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre in 2017, the group have simultaneously remained intensely committed to their fans. Beyond intimate backstage encounters and ski trips with their most diehard fans, Umphrey's McGee instituted the groundbreaking "Headphones & Snowcones" program, granting fans access to professional headphones and a soundboard-quality mix at shows. At their UMBowl, they empowered the audience to vote on the setlist in real-time and choose favorite improv themes via text message. In 2017, they stepped into another realm altogether by integrating themselves into the VR Platform Endless Riff.

Most recently, Umphrey's McGee dropped a 10-track surprise album, it's you, which serves as a companion piece to it's not us. The band's virtuosity and encyclopedic knowledge of diverse styles is front and center once again, punctuated with snarling guitar riffs and teeming with crisp acoustics. By harnessing the world-class musicianship and energy of their live performances into the precision of their studio craft, it's you encapsulates a range that is rarely found in a single band. From the fresh and vibrant opening single "Triangle Tear," to the AC/DC-inspired rhythm chiming through "Attachments," to the iridescent personal tune "Push & Pull," the album offers something for Umphrey's McGee's legion of fans and newcomers alike.

"It was almost like we had two of everything," said Joel. "I feel like "You & You Alone" [from it's not us] and "Push & Pull" [from it's you] are these kind of nice, more pastoral, acoustic-based songs. We have "Dark Brush" [it's not us] and "Nether" [it's you] these sort of heavier, more aggressive pieces of music. Once we got to the point where we decided we were gonna do two, we felt like we wanted to break these up so that there was a balance between the two albums. "Speak Up" [it's not us] is something that's a little bit funkier and dancier. I don't know if we really have something that goes along with that on the new one but with "Hanging Chads" you can tell that we're having a good time being ridiculous in the studio. It's just nice that there's an element of levity there. This is 20 years into Umphrey's McGee, and not only do we have one new album of music, we have two albums of music. We're more fired up than we ever have been about the stuff that we're putting out."

"There's something uniquely Umphrey's McGee that could never be mistaken for another band," Joel concludes. "I hope it makes people think a little bit or shed a tear or two. Maybe, you smile or laugh. Life is hard. We still believe music can heal and motivate."

"We're here," Brendan leaves off. "We're not going anywhere. We're starting to find our identity. I think if you give it a chance, you'll be pleasantly surprised."



 
Umphrey's McGee
@Showtime At The Drive-In | view more info »
Jun
30

Umphrey's McGee



Wednesday Jun 30|doors 5:00 pm|all ages
Showtime At The Drive-In|get directions »
Frederick Fairgrounds
797 East Patrick Street
Frederick, MD


Umphrey's McGee

official band site »


CLICK HERE FOR 5th WHEEL TICKETS


The music of Umphrey's McGee unfolds like an unpredictable conversation between longtime friends. Its six participants -- Brendan Bayliss [guitar, vocals], Jake Cinninger [guitar, vocals], Joel Cummins [keyboards, piano, vocals], Andy Farag [percussion], Kris Myers [drums, vocals], and Ryan Stasik [bass] -- know just how to communicate with each other on stage and in the studio. A call of progressive guitar wizardry might elicit a response of soft acoustic balladry, or a funk groove could be answered by explosive percussion. At any moment, heavy guitars can give way to heavier blues as the boys uncover the elusive nexus between jaw-dropping instrumental virtuosity and airtight song craft.

The conversation continues on their eleventh full-length album, it's not us [Nothing Too Fancy Music] -- which was released January 12, 2018.

"It represents the band, because it basically runs the gamut from prog rock to dance," says Brendan. "We've mastered our ADD here. The record really shows that."

"No matter what you're into, there's something on it's not us that should speak to you," agrees Joel. "This is a statement album for Umphrey's McGee. The sound is as fresh as ever. The songs are strong as they've ever been.

We're always pushing forward."

It's also how the band is celebrating its 20-year anniversary. Instead of retreading the catalog, they turn up with a pile of new tunes.

"It'd be easy to play the hits from our first five or ten years," continues Joel. "We've never been a band to rest on our laurels though. New music is key to our continued development. We're known as a strong live band, but we take so much pride in our writing. This album distinguishes us because the focus is on that writing."

Appropriately, this idea gestated on a sunny May afternoon at Wrigley Field. Six months before The Cubs won their first World Series since 1908, Brendan took in a game on a rare day off.

"I can pinpoint the actual a-ha moment," Brendan goes on. "My wife was out. My kids were at daycare. I walked to Wrigley, bought a standing room ticket, and enjoyed the game. Halfway through it, I thought to myself, 'If we can get into the studio by the end of the year, we can have a brand new record.' That's where it all started."

Bringing things full circle, Umphrey's McGee entered I.V. Labs Studio in Chicago ready (and maybe a little hungover) a week after that historic game seven. For the first time since recording Local Band Does O.K. in 2002, five of the six members roomed together in a rental condo with Brendan staying a stone's throw away at home.

"We would wake up, bounce ideas off each other, and go to the studio together," recalls Joel. "We did all of this as a unit. There was something really special about our group ethos coming together for this project. We decided to go in for a week, live, eat, and breathe Umphrey's McGee. It's the most fun we've had in the studio. It really was a blast. Having that camaraderie was really cool."

That camaraderie shines through in their inimitable interplay, which finds them at the pinnacle of their craft and groove as a band. That chemistry defines the approach -- which sees Umphrey's McGee hone their songwriting to its sharpest point to date.

"I feel like we're getting better and better at writing succinct, concise musical pieces," Brendan elaborates. "When we started out, we were trying to figure out how to fill time. We didn't have much of a catalog, so we had to extend things and repeat parts in order to make up space. Since our catalog is so big now, we don't feel the need to make everything ten minutes long. We've really trimmed the fat. Everything seems to be the right length."

It's definitely the case with the first single from it's not us "The Silent Type." Powered by a bombastic beat, funkified rhythms, fiery fretwork, and a chantable refrain, this anthem introduces it's not us with a bright and brilliant bang.

"It's super simple," explains Brendan. "This character is in the wrong place at the wrong time making the wrong decisions. Everybody has to deal with temptation. That's a part of life. This guy goes out, and he blows it after a girl offers him a cigarette. You see it all the time."

"Half Delayed" builds from airy guitar into an iridescent refrain that serves as "a reminder to stop and smell the roses." Meanwhile, the bass strut, anthemic beat production, and percussive wallop of "Looks" could be the love child of Nine Inch Nails and Talking Heads. Then, the metallic shredfest outro of "Remind Me" bleeds effortlessly into the gorgeous acoustic love song "You & You Alone."

"We called the record it's not us, because it's really not about us," adds Joel. "This is for the fans."

Over 2,200 gigs and 5 million tracks sold later, they've enjoyed countless milestones. 2002 saw them perform at the first-ever Bonnaroo and sell more CDs than any other act on the bill. They became the "first group to launch its own single artist streaming service" with UMLive.net, which houses recordings of every gig since 2005. The service has since grown and now lives on through Nugs.net, which is used by the likes of Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen and more. They recorded ten tracks in one day at Abbey Road for The London Session in 2015. Notably, 2016's ZONKEY mashed-up the strangest of bedfellows into a critically acclaimed collection that unites Radiohead and Beck, The Weeknd and Fleetwood Mac, Talking Heads and Bob Marley, Metallica and Gorillaz, and more.

That adventurousness extends to their legendary audience immersion experiences. From their initial bar gigs in 1998 to three-nights playing to packed crowds at the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre in 2017, the group have simultaneously remained intensely committed to their fans. Beyond intimate backstage encounters and ski trips with their most diehard fans, Umphrey's McGee instituted the groundbreaking "Headphones & Snowcones" program, granting fans access to professional headphones and a soundboard-quality mix at shows. At their UMBowl, they empowered the audience to vote on the setlist in real-time and choose favorite improv themes via text message. In 2017, they stepped into another realm altogether by integrating themselves into the VR Platform Endless Riff.

Most recently, Umphrey's McGee dropped a 10-track surprise album, it's you, which serves as a companion piece to it's not us. The band's virtuosity and encyclopedic knowledge of diverse styles is front and center once again, punctuated with snarling guitar riffs and teeming with crisp acoustics. By harnessing the world-class musicianship and energy of their live performances into the precision of their studio craft, it's you encapsulates a range that is rarely found in a single band. From the fresh and vibrant opening single "Triangle Tear," to the AC/DC-inspired rhythm chiming through "Attachments," to the iridescent personal tune "Push & Pull," the album offers something for Umphrey's McGee's legion of fans and newcomers alike.

"It was almost like we had two of everything," said Joel. "I feel like "You & You Alone" [from it's not us] and "Push & Pull" [from it's you] are these kind of nice, more pastoral, acoustic-based songs. We have "Dark Brush" [it's not us] and "Nether" [it's you] these sort of heavier, more aggressive pieces of music. Once we got to the point where we decided we were gonna do two, we felt like we wanted to break these up so that there was a balance between the two albums. "Speak Up" [it's not us] is something that's a little bit funkier and dancier. I don't know if we really have something that goes along with that on the new one but with "Hanging Chads" you can tell that we're having a good time being ridiculous in the studio. It's just nice that there's an element of levity there. This is 20 years into Umphrey's McGee, and not only do we have one new album of music, we have two albums of music. We're more fired up than we ever have been about the stuff that we're putting out."

"There's something uniquely Umphrey's McGee that could never be mistaken for another band," Joel concludes. "I hope it makes people think a little bit or shed a tear or two. Maybe, you smile or laugh. Life is hard. We still believe music can heal and motivate."

"We're here," Brendan leaves off. "We're not going anywhere. We're starting to find our identity. I think if you give it a chance, you'll be pleasantly surprised."



 
Tedeschi Trucks
Fireside Live | @Showtime At The Drive-In | view more info »
Jul
1

Tedeschi Trucks

Fireside Live


Thursday Jul 1|doors 5:30 pm|all ages
Showtime At The Drive-In|get directions »
Frederick Fairgrounds
797 East Patrick Street
Frederick, MD


Tedeschi Trucks


Fireside Live

official band site »


CLICK HERE FOR 5th WHEEL TICKETS


After a decade of creative partnership between singer/guitarist Susan Tedeschi and her husband, guitarist Derek Trucks, the GRAMMY-winning Tedeschi Trucks Band carries a distinguished reputation earned from both audiences and critics as one of the premier live bands in the world.

Embracing improvisation over convention, the collective is adept at exploring almost any musical territory, and paying homage to an extensive canon of influences. The genuine respect within its ranks is evident on stage. Trucks’ masterful guitar skills and Tedeschi’s soaring vocals and bluesy guitar shine but don’t overpower the breadth of talent, happily yielding the spotlight as needed in service of what the song deserves.

As circumstances currently prevent the 12-piece ensemble from touring safely, the group returns in June and July of 2021 in a new form, billed as Tedeschi Trucks as a nod to their band members back at home. With 4-8 band members slated to appear at socially-distant, limited-capacity venues, these special shows are long-awaited by band and fans alike. Anytime, anywhere this musical family gathers is an opportunity to witness something rare, deep and powerful.


 
Tedeschi Trucks
Fireside Live | @Showtime At The Drive-In | view more info »
Jul
2

Tedeschi Trucks

Fireside Live


Friday Jul 2|doors 5:30 pm|all ages
Showtime At The Drive-In|get directions »
Frederick Fairgrounds
797 East Patrick Street
Frederick, MD


Tedeschi Trucks


Fireside Live

official band site »


CLICK HERE FOR 5th WHEEL TICKETS


After a decade of creative partnership between singer/guitarist Susan Tedeschi and her husband, guitarist Derek Trucks, the GRAMMY-winning Tedeschi Trucks Band carries a distinguished reputation earned from both audiences and critics as one of the premier live bands in the world.

Embracing improvisation over convention, the collective is adept at exploring almost any musical territory, and paying homage to an extensive canon of influences. The genuine respect within its ranks is evident on stage. Trucks’ masterful guitar skills and Tedeschi’s soaring vocals and bluesy guitar shine but don’t overpower the breadth of talent, happily yielding the spotlight as needed in service of what the song deserves.

As circumstances currently prevent the 12-piece ensemble from touring safely, the group returns in June and July of 2021 in a new form, billed as Tedeschi Trucks as a nod to their band members back at home. With 4-8 band members slated to appear at socially-distant, limited-capacity venues, these special shows are long-awaited by band and fans alike. Anytime, anywhere this musical family gathers is an opportunity to witness something rare, deep and powerful.


 
Tedeschi Trucks
Fireside Live | @Showtime At The Drive-In | view more info »
Jul
3

Tedeschi Trucks

Fireside Live


Saturday Jul 3|doors 5:30 pm|all ages
Showtime At The Drive-In|get directions »
Frederick Fairgrounds
797 East Patrick Street
Frederick, MD


Tedeschi Trucks


Fireside Live

official band site »


CLICK HERE FOR 5th WHEEL TICKETS


After a decade of creative partnership between singer/guitarist Susan Tedeschi and her husband, guitarist Derek Trucks, the GRAMMY-winning Tedeschi Trucks Band carries a distinguished reputation earned from both audiences and critics as one of the premier live bands in the world.

Embracing improvisation over convention, the collective is adept at exploring almost any musical territory, and paying homage to an extensive canon of influences. The genuine respect within its ranks is evident on stage. Trucks’ masterful guitar skills and Tedeschi’s soaring vocals and bluesy guitar shine but don’t overpower the breadth of talent, happily yielding the spotlight as needed in service of what the song deserves.

As circumstances currently prevent the 12-piece ensemble from touring safely, the group returns in June and July of 2021 in a new form, billed as Tedeschi Trucks as a nod to their band members back at home. With 4-8 band members slated to appear at socially-distant, limited-capacity venues, these special shows are long-awaited by band and fans alike. Anytime, anywhere this musical family gathers is an opportunity to witness something rare, deep and powerful.


 
Melvin Seals & JGB
@The Hamilton | view more info »
Aug
4

Melvin Seals & JGB



Wednesday Aug 4|doors 6:30 pm|all ages
The Hamilton|get directions »
600 14th Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 787-1000


Melvin Seals & JGB

Melvin Seals has been a powerful presence in the music industry for over 30 years with a long-established reputation as a performer, recording artist and producer. Melvin is most revered for his powerful, high-spirited, Hammond B-3 organ, and keyboards in the Jerry Garcia Band. Melvin spun his B-3 magic with the Jerry Garcia Band for 18 years and in doing so helped pioneer and define what has now become "Jam Band Music". From blues to funk to rock to jazz, Melvin Seals serves up a tasty mix with a little R&B and gospel thrown in to spice things up.

Melvin and JGB bring an intuitive, expressive style, soul, spontaneity and remarkable chops to the table. John Kadlecik on lead guitar and vocal duties, John-Paul McLean's savory bass, Jeremy Hoenig on the drums and, of course, a heapin' helpin' of the wizard's magic on Hammond B-3 Organ and keyboards. Their chemistry is the focus from which they create a spontaneous and high art where the sky is the limit musically. They offer an exciting, often psychedelic musical journey that changes nightly and keeps the audience dancing and smiling (and some staring in amazement) for hours.

Adding his rock-gospel-soul-rhythm and blues touch with his funky style of playing, no wonder Jerry nicknamed him "Master of the Universe". Melvin continues to treat music lovers to his unique brand of melodic flavor with JGB. Come see and hear for yourself!

MELVIN SEALS & JGB:
Melvin Seals - Hammond B3 Organ, Keyboards & Vocals
John Kadlecik - Electric Guitar & Lead Vocals
John-Paul McLean - Bass
Jeremy Hoenig - Drums



 
Moon Taxi
@9:30 club | view more info »
Sep
14

Moon Taxi



Tuesday Sep 14|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


Moon Taxi

official band site »

Since forming in 2006, Moon Taxi have brought their genre-bending musicality to a boldly adventurous body of work, all while taking their live show to leading festivals across the country and sold-out runs at such iconic venues as the Ryman Auditorium. In a dynamic new era for the Nashville-based band—vocalist/guitarist Trevor Terndrup, lead guitarist Spencer Thomson, bassist Tommy Putnam, keyboardist Wes Bailey, and drummer Tyler Ritter—their fifth full-length Silver Dream broadens their sonic palette even further, exploring everything from folk to soul to inventively crafted electronic pop. But while the album embodies an endlessly forward-thinking sound, its lyrics offer a thoughtful reflection on days gone by.

“A lot of these songs came from bringing up moments from the past and recognizing how those memories, especially the good ones, have a sort of soft shine to them,” says Terndrup. “The title is our way of asking, ‘Was it really as beautiful as you remember?’” As Thomson notes, the sweetly hazy reminiscence documented on Silver Dream involved tapping into something of a collective memory. “We’ve been making music together for such a long time that we’ve all seen each other go through major life changes,” he says. “Because of that, the moments that found their way into the lyrics are often experiences that we all lived through together.”  

The follow-up to Let the Record Play—a 2018 release that featured the chart-topping single “Two High” and earned praise outlets like from Rolling Stone and NPR—Silver Dream finds the band opening themselves up to collaboration more than ever before. To that end, Moon Taxi joined forces with songwriter/producers like Chris Seefried (Fitz and the Tantrums, The Kooks), Christian Medice (lovelytheband, Halsey), and the late Busbee (The Head and the Heart, Maren Morris), recording partly at the legendary Blackbird Studio in Nashville. At the same time, the band made much of the album entirely on their own, with Thomson maintaining his longtime role as producer and spearheading the free-flowing experimentation that shaped Silver Dream.  

Working mainly at Thomson’s home studio, Moon Taxi brought Silver Dream to life by fearlessly following their intuition, embracing total spontaneity in every element of the album-making process. “The line was kind of blurred between the writing and production, where we were doing both in the same moment,” says Terndrup. Thomson adds: “Working that way really helped us not to overthink anything—whatever was our first instinct, we just rolled with that and kept building on it, and most of the time it took us into some exciting directions.”  

Co-produced by Thomson and Medice, Silver Dream’s anthemic lead single “Hometown Heroes” shows the wisdom of that approach. As Thomson points out, the song was sparked from a hook that Terndrup stumbled upon while playing a mandolin/guitar hybrid late one night at Medice’s studio. “We’d been writing and recording all day and felt a little delirious, but Trevor got that hook and we held onto it,” he says. Several months later, backstage at Summerfest in Milwaukee, Moon Taxi began improvising lyrics based off a song title Putnam had suggested years before. “Tommy and I started playing together when we were 15, so we definitely got nostalgic bringing up those memories—there was a lot of funny-slash-stupid stuff about hot-boxing cars and N64s,” says Terndrup. As they completed “Hometown Heroes”—a wistful but brightly textured and immediately catchy track—Moon Taxi captured a far more universal sentiment, thereby allowing the listener to project their own recollections onto each lyric.  

A particularly meaningful song for Moon Taxi, “Take the Edge Off” was co-written with Busbee not long before his diagnosis of brain cancer. With its potent back-and-forth between stripped-back verse and shimmering chorus, “Take the Edge Off” unfolds with an unguarded honesty that the band partly credits to Busbee’s influence. “Initially I had this idea of making a fun drinking song, and Busbee took that idea and helped us to get to the core of it,” says Terndrup. Driven by a nuanced but powerful vocal performance, “Take the Edge Off” evolved into a soul-stirring meditation on the need for connection in times of deep struggle. “Working with Busbee made a huge impression on us, as far as bringing real emotional truth to our songs,” says Thomson.  

Another creative breakthrough for Moon Taxi, “Say” arose from a spur-of-the-moment session with Drew Fulk, an L.A.-based songwriter/producer who’s worked with countless bands in the metal/post-hardcore world. Taking a cue from the more brooding offerings in Fulk’s catalog, the band built the song around a fuzzed-out bass riff, ultimately transforming “Say” into one of Silver Dream’s most urgent and kinetic tracks.  

Proving the tremendous depth of their musicianship, Moon Taxi deliver a hypnotic piece of soul-pop on “One Step Away.” “I started writing that one in the airport on the way to L.A.,” Thomson recalls. “It ended up becoming more of a vibe than a story, this sort of desperation cry about being one step away from falling off the edge.” In part inspired by the dramatic California landscape and the retro sensibilities of Quentin Tarantino, “One Step Away” magnifies that mood with its surf-rock-leaning guitar work, jittery rhythms, and psychedelic textures.  

In looking back on Silver Dream, Moon Taxi feel newly exhilarated by the possibilities in their future music-making. “Sonically it feels like everything’s been blown wide-open, and I think a lot of that has to do with letting everything happening more organically with his album,” says Terndrup. As Thomson reveals, that shift in approach goes hand-in-hand with a newfound sense of self-assurance. “Sometimes in the past we’ve held back from taking big risks with our sound, out of fear that it wouldn’t fit with who we are as a band,” he says. “But now that doesn’t faze us at all anymore. I think this album really expanded what we’re capable of, and now we have the confidence to go forward with whatever crazy ideas we might come up with.”



 
Ghost Of Paul Revere
@Pearl Street Warehouse | view more info »
Sep
17

Ghost Of Paul Revere



Friday Sep 17|doors 7:00 pm|21+
Pearl Street Warehouse|get directions »
33 Pearl Street
Washington DC|p: (202) 380-9620


Ghost Of Paul Revere

official band site »

Life constantly changes. It seesaws between hardship and triumph, loss and satisfaction, and heartbreak and love. No matter how much everything fluctuates, community flourishes at the center of existence. It binds and unites all of us. Music stitches together a strong community around The Ghost of Paul Revere. The Maine trio—Max Davis [vocals, banjo], Sean McCarthy [vocals, bass], and Griffin Sherry [vocals, guitar]—examine life’s ebbs and flows through a distinct and dynamic distillation of folk, bluegrass, rock, and alternative on their third full-length album, Good At Losing Everything.

In doing so, the band invites listeners to empathize as they holler along.

“Over the past few years, we’ve collectively endured many significant changes,” says Griffin. “When you’re writing music, it naturally morphs into what you’re doing. We were going through the same things without necessarily acknowledging it out loud, but the music writes itself along with life.”

“We always just wanted to be strong community members who create an excuse for people to come together, process, and share emotions,” agrees Max. “Those individuals who have supported us are growing all of the time. Our audience has given us a degree of freedom to grow. It’s liberating, because we’ve been able to take risks and evolve each time we go into the studio.”

Since forming in 2011, the band has created a following that has propelled them from a local to a national level, tallying 15 million total independent streams to date. After releasing the EP North in 2012, their signature style gradually progressed over the course of two full-length albums—Believe [2014] and Monarch [2017]—and a pair of EPs—Field Notes, Vol. 1 [2015] and Field Notes, Vol. 2 [2019]. They also garnered acclaim from the likes of Billboard, Boston Globe, AXS, No Depression, Relix, and The Boot, who appropriately dubbed them, “not quite bluegrass, not quite country, not quite rock ‘n’ roll, but kind of all three combined.” Along the way, the band has performed alongside The Avett Brothers, Jason Isbell, The Revivalists, Bela Fleck, and The Infamous Stringdusters, sold out countless headlining gigs, and appeared at major festivals nationwide such as Newport Folk, Austin City Limits, WinterWonderGrass, BottleRock Napa, Shaky Knees, Okeechobee, and Voodoo Music + Arts Experience. The boys also took home “Best in Maine” at the New England Music Awards twice, in 2015 and 2019. In 2019, their song, “Ballad Of The 20th Maine”, became the official State Ballad of Maine after being passed unanimously by the Senate and House of Representatives and signed into law by Maine’s Governor, Janet Mills.

In 2014, they also began curating, booking, and hosting their very own festival, Ghostland. Rooted in a love for Maine’s music community, the festival has grown into one of the state’s largest festivals, drawing both local and national talent to the annual Labor Day Weekend event.

Throughout 2019, they worked on what would become Good At Losing Everything. While it would be their third record with engineer and producer Jonathan Wyman, it would be their first collaboration with friend, producer, and co-writer Spencer Albee. They also welcomed new members, drummer Chuck Gagne and instrumentalist Jackson Kincheloe, as well as pianist Ben Cosgrove, into the fold to record.

They demoed initial ideas at Albee’s home studio before moving into a local venue for a month. There, the band continuously played the new songs together on stage until each felt finished. By the time they entered the studio, they were firing on all cylinders.

“It was the first time we worked with a producer as we were writing a record,” Sean states. “Since Spencer comes from a different background, he stretched our abilities to places we might’ve been uncomfortable to go to on our own. He gave us a much-needed outside perspective.”

“He’s an amazing songwriter with an incredible pop sensibility,” adds Max. “He was really helpful with fortifying the structure, so the music flows.”

Thematically, the songs directly addressed a myriad of emotions. Among many trials and tribulations, the passing of a close mutual friend weighed heavy on the musicians as they crafted Good At Losing Everything.

“A big part of this album is dealing with personal loss and moving forward,” admits Sean. “We lost our good buddy, Taylor, to cancer. Simultaneously, we were dealing with professional stresses and each going through our own difficulties.” The first single, “Love At Your Convenience”, illuminates the group’s progression. Fueled by shimmering piano, sweeping guitar, and uplifting harmonies, it takes off on a soaring and soulful chant—“My love ain’t here for your convenience, if the grass is greener, then be done with us”—punctuated by unrestrained rock ambition.

Meanwhile, the opener and title track “Good At Losing Everything” slips from strains of gospel choir and handclaps into rustling guitar, a steady beat, and hummable harmonica. A heartfelt dedication to Taylor, they dispense some hard-earned knowledge: “If there’s one thing I’ve learned about life, my friend, you get good at losing everything.”

“As Taylor was fighting his battle, I was having very vivid dreams about his passing,” Griffin confesses. “I wrote about what it would be like to go to a friend’s funeral and how I needed to start coping with the feeling before I was in the situation.”

Originally composed on an old Casio keyboard, “Two-Hundred and Twenty-Six Days” hinges on warm reverb and an airy buzz as it blossoms into an “upbeat rhythm with somber lyrics,” according to Max. Then, there’s “Loneliness.” Stark vocals paint a vivid picture of “coping with depression when you’re living on your own,” as Griffin puts it.

Expanding the sonic palette, The Ghost of Paul Revere infuse string sections, looping, and mellotron into immersive interludes such as “28:27” and the outro “We Were Born Wild.”

“I started to experiment with looping and reversing tracks while on the road,” remarks Griffin. “I found elements already in our songs that melted together and created a landscape. We had never tried anything like that on a record before.” “We began with just acoustic instruments and made this style we called, ‘Holler Folk’,” Sean adds. “Now, we’re taking chances and doing things we wouldn’t have done six years ago. We’re hungry to create new things and challenge what we can do together.”

In the end, The Ghost of Paul Revere open up both thematically and musically on Good At Losing Everything. Through widening the creative palette, the sound expands and attracts an even bigger community, while bringing the inner circle closer than ever.

“We want to give listeners a whole experience,” Max leaves off. “Hopefully, they find a little comfort in reflecting on their own lives when they hear us.”



 
Kendall Street Company
Hustle Souls | @Union Stage | view more info »
Sep
25

Kendall Street Company

Hustle Souls


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


Kendall Street Company

official band site »

Kendall Street Company is a jam-alt rock band based out of Charlottesville, Virginia. From late night jam sessions at the University of Virginia to main stages at venues and festivals throughout the country, Kendall Street Company has broken the mold of improvised rock and entered a world of jazz-grass infused psychedelic bliss. The band's musical style embraces mind-altering riffs as well as soulful and jazzy wit, while remaining true to their folksy songwriting roots. With no two shows ever the same, word of mouth has quickly grown a ravenous fanbase eager to hear their favorite studio tracks explored and extended as part of a live community. As seasoned KSC fans can tell you, any one of their songs could easily turn from a fun sing-along to a cacophonous headbanging garage-rock soundscape, before finally resolving into a peaceful ambience.

“The Space Race” is Kendall Street Company’s first single off their highly anticipated pop-ambient space opera double LP “The Year the Earth Stood Still,” (set to release summer 2021). Recorded in the midst of the covid 19 pandemic, the record was born as a collective improvisational experiment over a 5 day period in a rural farmhouse studio in Louisa, VA. With imaginations running wild and sessions lasting through to the wee hours of the morning, the record quickly took on a life of its own as a time capsule of the band’s thoughts, feelings, and creative drive in a year of great uncertainty over their own future, and that of humanity at large.

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


Hustle Souls

official band site »

Hustle Souls is an Asheville, NC based 4-piece who blend dust-covered-vinyl soul nostalgia with modern sensibility.; recently named one of "Music Connections" Hot 100 Live Unsigned Artists & Bands. Driven by a lust for songwriting, the band’s fervid live performance is heightened by undeniable instrumental prowess and 3 part vocal harmony. With relentless touring, sold out shows and major festival appearances the band has earned a reputation as one of the East Coast’s most promising acts.


 
Kendall Street Company
Hustle Souls | @Union Stage | view more info »
Sep
26

Kendall Street Company

Hustle Souls


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


Kendall Street Company

official band site »

Kendall Street Company is a jam-alt rock band based out of Charlottesville, Virginia. From late night jam sessions at the University of Virginia to main stages at venues and festivals throughout the country, Kendall Street Company has broken the mold of improvised rock and entered a world of jazz-grass infused psychedelic bliss. The band's musical style embraces mind-altering riffs as well as soulful and jazzy wit, while remaining true to their folksy songwriting roots. With no two shows ever the same, word of mouth has quickly grown a ravenous fanbase eager to hear their favorite studio tracks explored and extended as part of a live community. As seasoned KSC fans can tell you, any one of their songs could easily turn from a fun sing-along to a cacophonous headbanging garage-rock soundscape, before finally resolving into a peaceful ambience.

“The Space Race” is Kendall Street Company’s first single off their highly anticipated pop-ambient space opera double LP “The Year the Earth Stood Still,” (set to release summer 2021). Recorded in the midst of the covid 19 pandemic, the record was born as a collective improvisational experiment over a 5 day period in a rural farmhouse studio in Louisa, VA. With imaginations running wild and sessions lasting through to the wee hours of the morning, the record quickly took on a life of its own as a time capsule of the band’s thoughts, feelings, and creative drive in a year of great uncertainty over their own future, and that of humanity at large.

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


Hustle Souls

official band site »

Hustle Souls is an Asheville, NC based 4-piece who blend dust-covered-vinyl soul nostalgia with modern sensibility.; recently named one of "Music Connections" Hot 100 Live Unsigned Artists & Bands. Driven by a lust for songwriting, the band’s fervid live performance is heightened by undeniable instrumental prowess and 3 part vocal harmony. With relentless touring, sold out shows and major festival appearances the band has earned a reputation as one of the East Coast’s most promising acts.


 
Moon Hooch
Consider The Source | @Union Stage | view more info »
Oct
15

Moon Hooch

Consider The Source


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


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 intentions 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—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.

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 strangers 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 ‘Life on Other Planets.’

“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.”

“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 exotic woodwinds like the contrabass clarinet and bass saxophone. Wilbur has even added vocals to his repertoire on some tracks (something the subway never allowed him to do).

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 former member, 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, organizing action days to support local farmers and co-ops, participating in river cleanups, planting trees, 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, environmentalism, veganism, 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.


Consider The Source

official band site »

Sci-fi fusion trio Consider the Source defy easy categorization. If intergalactic energy beings, upon their initiation into an order of whirling dervishes, built a pan-dimensional booty-shaking engine powered by psychedelic math…it would sound like a cut-rate CTS cover band. With their blend of progressive rock and improvisatory jazz, soaked in Indian and Middle Eastern styles, CTS blends disparate elements into an utterly original whole. A relentless touring schedule has earned them a fervent following around the world, with fans ranging from jam-band hippies to corpse-painted headbangers.

Their latest album, You Are Literally a Metaphor, is the culmination of a fifteen-year musical journey. Packed with the same fury and dazzling virtuosity of their previous work, Metaphor is also a portrait of three musicians reaching new levels of maturity.

From the bluesy swing of “When You’ve Loved and Lost Like Frankie Has” to the ethereal electro-synths of “Sketches From a Blind Man”, CTS’s minimalist pop instincts stand shoulder-to-shoulder with progressive metal and freewheeling improvisation in a true expression of their omnivorous musicality. Three of Metaphor’s nine songs are Eastern European traditionals, but could easily be mistaken for the band’s original tunes, so singular has their sound become. CTS retain their signature fiery maximalism while pushing the hooky, anthemic songwriting to the forefront. Bassist John Ferrara’s new Taurus bass pedals and guitarist Gabriel Marin’s new custom Vigier double-neck guitar add new dimensions to the band’s already diverse sound.

This is an album born of comfort and growth. In the five years since World War Trio, the band has toured extensively, Marin and Ferrara have released side projects, and drummer/percussionist Jeff Mann has gone from a relative newcomer to a road-hardened veteran. After all this time, CTS knows how to create space for each other, how to finish each other’s musical thoughts and sentences, how to think as three individuals but speak with one voice. You Are Literally a Metaphor is a statement of confidence, an assertion of identity from a band with no reservations and nothing to prove.

CTS have performed in a half-dozen countries across three continents. They have shared the stage with a wide variety of artists, including: Victor Wooten, King Crimson Projekt, Wyclef Jean, Ozric Tentacles, Soulive, The Disco Biscuits, Papadosio, Turkuaz, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Wayne Krantz and many others. They have performed at festivals and events including: Electric Forest, Peach Fest, Gathering of the Vibes, Resonance, Summercamp, Shakori Hills, ProgDay, and Progtober. You Are Literally a Metaphor is available at considerthesourcemusic.bandcamp.com


 
Perpetual Groove
@Union Stage | view more info »
Oct
16

Perpetual Groove



Saturday Oct 16|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
Union Stage|get directions »
740 Water Street SW
Washington DC|p: (877) 987-6487


Perpetual Groove

official band site »

Perpetual Groove caught everyone by surprise in 2015 when they returned to the stage after a two-year hiatus. The band performed eight weekends that year, over multi-night runs, to sold-out shows in some of their favorite cities across the country, thus ringing in a new chapter for Perpetual Groove. The band resolved to make a big change by taking the time to craft, and bring to focus, music that stays true to their creative vision.

That change is here on their new self-titled album. The band recruited producers Jason Kingsland and Tim Friesen to help them accomplish the most engaging and sonically-gratifying Perpetual Groove album to date. While recording at The Fidelitorium in Kernersville, NC and Studio MG in Roswell, GA, the band and producers engineered an album that will define Perpetual Groove for years to come. Seven new songs were written by the band specifically for this album representing all that life brings—loss, redemption, and hope.

Perpetual Groove continues to create a cultivated, unique experience for each live show. This new chapter for Perpetual Groove showcases the continuing evolution of their music and performances. This is a band that is fully realized and ready to bring their new sound, storytelling, and live experience to the masses.



 
Perpetual Groove
@Baltimore Soundstage | view more info »
Oct
17

Perpetual Groove



Sunday Oct 17|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
Baltimore Soundstage|get directions »
124 Market Place
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 244-0057


Perpetual Groove

official band site »

Perpetual Groove caught everyone by surprise in 2015 when they returned to the stage after a two-year hiatus. The band performed eight weekends that year, over multi-night runs, to sold-out shows in some of their favorite cities across the country, thus ringing in a new chapter for Perpetual Groove. The band resolved to make a big change by taking the time to craft, and bring to focus, music that stays true to their creative vision.

That change is here on their new self-titled album. The band recruited producers Jason Kingsland and Tim Friesen to help them accomplish the most engaging and sonically-gratifying Perpetual Groove album to date. While recording at The Fidelitorium in Kernersville, NC and Studio MG in Roswell, GA, the band and producers engineered an album that will define Perpetual Groove for years to come. Seven new songs were written by the band specifically for this album representing all that life brings—loss, redemption, and hope.

Perpetual Groove continues to create a cultivated, unique experience for each live show. This new chapter for Perpetual Groove showcases the continuing evolution of their music and performances. This is a band that is fully realized and ready to bring their new sound, storytelling, and live experience to the masses.



 
The Mavericks
@Lincoln Theatre | view more info »
Oct
22

The Mavericks



Friday Oct 22|doors 6:30 pm|all ages
Lincoln Theatre|get directions »
1215 U St NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 888-0050


The Mavericks

official band site »

Any band that manages to survive three decades, seeing its core members go from young adults to music veterans, is bound to have its swings and cycles.

The Mavericks, the eclectic rock and country group known for crisscrossing musical boundaries with abandon, has gone through three distinct phases since it was founded in Miami in 1989. An initial period of heady success marked by big hits and critical acclaim in the ‘90s. A long hiatus starting 2003 when the musicians each went their own way. And finally, a triumphant reunion in 2012 which held long enough for them to recently celebrate the band’s 30th anniversary.

Now, The Mavericks are releasing a new album that ushers in the fourth phase of their evolution.

“It's like we've had three different lives,” says Raul Malo, the band’s lead singer and songwriter, “and now this is a whole new beginning. We’re sort of going into uncharted territory. I’m looking forward to it and I’m kind of nervous about it too. It's certainly a new adventure.”

On August 21, The Mavericks officially launch that adventure with the debut of their first-ever, all- Spanish album, released on the band’s own Mono Mundo label. Entitled simply En Español, it is produced by Malo and the band’s long-time collaborator Niko Bolas (Neil Young, Prince, Sheryl Crow). The line-up includes Malo’s fellow Miamian and charter bandmember, Paul Deakin on drums and vibraphone, as well as veteran Jerry Dale McFadden, who joined in 1993. Eddie Perez, a Mexican American guitarist from Los Angeles, is the band’s youngest and newest member, becoming a Maverick in 2003.

The band readily embraced the all-Latin concept, as a team. “It’s a communal project in many ways,” says Malo, “even though I'm leading the charge.”

Although all 12 tracks are in Spanish, as the title suggests, the collection represents a diversity of musical styles and cultural traditions, from tender boleros to brassy mariachi to reimagined Afro- Cuban classics. Seven of the tunes are familiar gems drawn from the vast Latin American songbook, while five are originals written or co-written by Malo. Like the band’s entire body of music, this one album cannot be boxed into a single category. The songs are as diverse as Latin America itself, and as cohesive as the ideal of the American melting pot. To

season this rich musical paella, The Mavericks add their signature country/rock/Tex-Mex flavors and a refreshing spontaneity to the mix.

En Español flips the band’s usual fusion formula, which adds a striking assortment of genres – salsa, ska, norteño, mariachi, and much more – to its sturdy rock/country base. Now, the foundation is solidly Latin with streaks of irreverent rock and twangy guitars running through it, all branded with the unmistakable Mavericks style. “This album, to me, celebrates all those cultures that are so beautiful and so vibrant,” says Malo, who was part of the diverse ensemble known as Los Super Seven in the early 2000s. “I'm proud of this record for that. I think it’s a very inclusive record. Because this story is not just my story, it's the story of a lot of Latinos.”

The idea for an album consisting entirely of Latin music has been percolating in Malo’s mind for several years. The concept crystalized toward the end of the band’s extended separation, during which Malo was performing and making albums as a solo artist. But even when he was on his own, he never conceived of recording an all-Spanish album without his band.

“I was doing this solo stuff and I thought, ‘If The Mavericks ever get back together, I would love to do this project with them. I think The Mavericks would make a great album in Spanish.’ “

In 2012, the band finally did get back together, and started touring and recording as a group again. In 2019, they celebrated their 30th anniversary with a successful tour that was unfortunately interrupted earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

While the tour was suspended, work on the new album continued.

The inspiration for this labor of love is rooted in the immigrant experience of the band’s founder. He was christened Raúl Francisco Martínez-Malo Jr., the son of Cuban exiles who was born and raised in the stimulating immigrant environment of Miami’s Little Havana.

His parents, Raul Sr. and Norma, both came to the United States in the early 60s, fleeing Fidel Castro’s communist revolution. They met after arriving in Miami, got married and bought a home in the shadow of the old Orange Bowl, west of downtown. The hub of the growing clan was the abode of Malo’s maternal grandfather, who himself had immigrated from Spain to Cuba, later bringing his family to Florida. As Malo entered adolescence in the 1970s, the Latin music industry was flourishing in the United States. Pop and folk music from many countries flooded Latin communities. Recordings from many countries were distributed domestically by major labels, sold in neighborhood discotecas, and broadcast on television and radio via a booming network of Spanish-language media.

Malo’s musical milieu was a mind-expanding cultural mashup. At home, there was a family piano to play at family gatherings, and his grandfather regaled guests with his “beautiful baritone,” Malo recalls. And there was a stream of music always in the air. Songs by Cuba’s venerable Omara Portuondo, Mexico’s romantic Trio Los Panchos, and brash mariachi superstar Vicente Fernandez. But his father also loved Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline, while his mother exposed him to the refined art of opera and classical music.

The budding musician soaked in the sounds, unlike many first-generation teenagers who reject their parents’ music as corny or old-fashioned. “I was never one of those kids who were like, ‘Ah, I hate that music,’” says Malo. “I liked it all, and I would take it all in. To me, it was just part of the vocabulary, part of the DNA.”

With a lifetime of music to choose from, picking songs for the new album could have posed an overwhelming task. But for Malo, it felt like a natural selection.

“To me, the criterion really was pretty simple,” he says. “The songs all mean something to me, personally. You’ve got to remember too, I’m not only thinking about what I want to sing and what I think I’d sound good singing. I also have to consider what would sound good with The Mavericks. Because we’re a pretty versatile band, but let’s face it, we’re not a salsa band, and we’re not pretending to be mariachis either. Those are entirely different things.”

Among the first songs Malo selected was the introspective ballad “Me Olvidé de Vivir” (I Forgot to Live), originally written in French and popularized in 1978 by Spanish crooner Julio Iglesias, one of the biggest stars of all time in Latin pop music. The tune – about a singer’s regret for lost time in the manic quest for fame – was a favorite of Malo’s beloved grandfather.

As fans might expect, The Mavericks did not record straight-up covers of golden oldies. The songs may be sung in Spanish, but the musical language is all Mavericks.

“We had to tailor the arrangements to what The Mavericks do,” says Malo. “That was the trick, finding the balance of playing these beautiful songs without trying to imitate familiar renditions. I think that’s the best way to pay tribute to the music that we love – by doing it our way.”

Asked to explain what “our way” actually means, the normally articulate bandleader grasps for insight into his own creative process.

“Man, I wish that I could put a method into words, like that was on purpose,” he says. “I can’t say that it was. Sometimes I roll a joint and I mess with the sounds, I get the right guitar and sometimes an arrangement comes out, or sometimes a whole song. But sometimes nothing comes out. So it's not as methodical as you might think. If it sounds good, I go with it. “I’ve learned to trust myself a little bit.” In composing the five new tracks, Malo trusted his instincts, both as songwriter and as a Maverick.

“I think I had one of them written,” he says, “and then the others, I just thought it would be fun to see what I could come up with, what I could write, and just give it a shot. After all, if you're a songwriter, you're a songwriter. Musically, if you really listen to them, it's not that different from what The Mavericks do normally. It really isn’t.”

“Poder Vivir,” the first original song in the sequence, at first blush appears to be a simple song about lost love. The two-word title suggests much more.

“I had this phrase and melody that just kept playing in my head,” says Malo about how he wrote the song. “I wasn’t quite sure what it meant exactly, or what I was going to say, but somehow it felt right to start the song with those words… After many conversations and late nights out on the road, the song kind of wrote itself. We wanted it to be conversational and simple in the end, and that’s what we got.”

That, and a killer final verse that makes the song what Malo intended it to be: “a bit philosophical and wise”: A veces la vida nos hace pensar Que el mundo no cambia sino para mal Son solo momentos, también pasarán En fin, ni la muerte nos marca un final

Writing the lovely “Recuerdos” – about the ethereal memories left after love ends – came faster and easier.

“This one was a lot of fun to write,” Malo recalls. “We were under the gun a little bit, trying to finish the record. We were going into the studio on a Sunday. We got home from our show at the Ryman on Saturday night, and we had to be at the studio by noon. Alejandro met me at my house at 9:00 AM. I had coffee ready. I had a groove. I had a melody. And by 12:30, the Mavericks were recording this song at the legendary Blackbird Studios...” Regardless of the songwriting process–quick or labored, solo or collaborative–the resulting five new numbers (including “Mujer,” “Pensando en Ti,”and “Suspiro Azul.”) clearly meet the high bar of blending seamlessly with the established standards.

This is not the first time Malo has written his own songs in Spanish. He included four Castilian compositions on “Today,” his 2001 debut solo album. But he’s still honing his bilingual craft.

For the new album, he listened to old boleros and closely studied his ancestors’ mother tongue, known as the language of love. He also enlisted the help of longtime collaborator and fellow Cuban Alejandro Menéndez Vega, the Mavericks’ director and videographer who’s also a writer and poet.

“I would try writing by myself, but I didn't want to use just common language,” says Malo. “I wanted to work with someone who has a real clear command of the language.”

On this album, Malo joins the rarefied ranks of the esteemed Spanish-language composers of seven timeless tracks. Of these widely known standards, two are from Cuba, two from Mexico, and one each from Argentina, Italy, and France via Spain. Several have been recorded dozens of times, but Malo used as reference the versions with which he was most familiar.

For example, “Sombras Nada Más” was originally an Argentine tango about a desperate lover who threatens to slice his veins slowly and bleed out to prove his love to the woman who spurns him. The song was a huge smash in 1967 by Mexican mariachi star Javier Solís, but Malo was enamored of the lesser known version by elegant Spanish singer Rocío Durcal.

The romantic bolero “Sabor a Mí,” one of the two Mexican songs on the album, is another international smash with multiple renditions recorded over the years. Malo was most attuned to the hit version by U.S. pop singer Eydie Gormé with Mexico’s Trio Los Panchos. The other Mexican tune, “No Vale la Pena,” is a much lighter take on ending a relationship by flatly telling your ungrateful partner, as the title says, “it’s not worth it.” The song was written by Juan Gabriel, another beloved star who Malo considers “one of my favorites.” The Maverick’s mariachi-flavored rendition features guest artist Flaco Jimenez, San Antonio’s world-renowned accordion player.

The two Cuban numbers – “La Sitiera” and “Me Voy a Pinar del Río” – open and close the album like tropical bookends. But it almost didn’t happen that way.

“La Sitiera,” now the album’s featured track, almost didn’t make the cut. An early version was recorded on the band’s first day in the studio, but the results were disappointing.

“That one didn’t hold up,” recalls Malo, with some lingering frustration. “Shoot, we had played it live and it just rocked. But that first recording was not even close. So it just sat forever in the junk pile.”

Later, with some spare studio time near the end of recording, the song was resuscitated, and it jumped back to life with a jolt.

“I knew that once we had that new version, it was going to make the record. It just sounded right, and you can feel it in the studio. Then we added the strings, … and I said, “Guys, this has to open the record.”

“La Sitiera” is a traditional guajira, or Cuban country song, that has been recorded by top performers, including Omara Portuondo and Celia Cruz. But its sweet melody, longing lyrics, and gentle rhythms are entirely revolutionized by The Mavericks. The track opens with Malo’s twangy Fender guitar, with delay pedal and reverb, adding an eerie undertone. The number then moves into a lush passage with horns and strings, culminating in a thunderous crescendo evoking Phil Spector’s “wall of sound.”

"We have a million versions of that song that have been done the traditional way,” says Malo. “But these are The Mavericks. I know my guys and I know what they can play, and when the band jams, it’s a special thing. So I thought, let's arrange this so that it showcases, not only the song, but also this arrangement that lets the band do what it does best.”

The closing track, “Me Voy a Pinar del Río,” is a paean to the natural beauty of Cuba’s western-most province, relatively untouched by tourism. In tone and topic, it is polar opposite from the opening. This track is joyful, irresistible and danceable.

The song is played in a much more straightforward fashion, but it also went through a surprise twist in the studio. For the song’s guitar solo, the usual Cuban tres was replaced by the charango, a small Andean guitar almost never used in Cuban music. The instrumental switch happened by serendipity.

Malo, without The Mavericks, was experimenting in the studio one day with members of a new Cuban rock band, Sweet Lizzy Project, whom he had met while filming the 2017 PBS special, “Havana Time Machine.” Malo later brought the Cuban band to Nashville, recruiting lead singer Lissett Diaz as co- writer and background singer on the new album. On that day at Nashville’s Blackbird Studios, Malo was strumming on the charango while encouraging Sweet Lizzie to join in on an early take of what would become the album’s closing track.

When it came time for the guitar solo, Malo invited the band’s producer and lead guitarist, Miguel Comas, to take a crack at it. But the first take didn’t take. “He was playing a guitar solo and I was like, ‘Dude, that sounds like Eric Clapton. That's not what we need."

So Malo handed the little charango to the long-haired Cuban rocker, who immediately protested, in Spanish, that he had never played the instrument before. But Malo persisted, and it paid off. The spontaneous Sweet Lizzy performance can be heard on the finished track, perhaps the world’s first Cuban charango solo on record.

It’s no coincidence that the album ends with this positive note about going home to Pinar del Río, where Malo’s father is from.

“It's part of the journey and the longing to be there,” says Malo of his parents’ island homeland. “It’s the longing for that beautiful forbidden fruit which we have gone without for half a century, due to politics. It’s a way to view this journey, which would be a fun one, if we all went on it together someday.”



 
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong
Sunsquabi | @The Anthem | view more info »
Oct
29

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong

Sunsquabi


Friday Oct 29|doors 6:30 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 »

Hailed as “musical explorers” by Rolling Stone, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong first took flight roughly a decade ago at the University of Maryland, and the pysch-funk trailblazers have since gone on to play more than a thousand shows across 44 states. In just the past two years alone, the band has co-billed at Red Rocks, played halftime at Madison Square Garden, performed on Adult Swim’s FishCenter Live, celebrated the tenth anniversary of their beloved music festival, Domefest, and even earned their first headlining arena show. The Baltimore quartet’s latest album, ‘Presto,’ is their most sophisticated and joyful collection to date, drawing on everything from funk to rock to electronic music as it builds off the group’s unparalleled live energy and hits new heights of emotional and technical maturity. At a time when America seems to grow more divided by the day, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong still believes in the power of music to bring people together, and ‘Presto’ is a big, bold album all about celebrating the present and sharing it with the ones we love most.


Sunsquabi

official band site »

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


 
Yonder Mountain String Band
@9:30 club | view more info »
Nov
11

Yonder Mountain String Band



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


Yonder Mountain String Band

official band site »

Pioneers. Innovators. These are but a few of the monikers that Yonder Mountain String Band has worn since their inception. From the first Yonder shows in the fall of 1998 to their drive-in tour of 2020, this touring force has brought their adventurous musical spirit to countless venues for nearly a quarter century.

Yonder Mountain’s early success was fueled by their desire to make a sound distinctly their own, whether performed on crowded stages or selling out the hallowed Red Rocks Amphitheater. Their traditional take on bluegrass sound was fused with their diverse musical influences ranging anywhere from punk rock to the Grateful Dead.

The combination of the band’s unique personalities, extended musical improvisations, their jam band fan culture and their collaborative effort on writing and arranging original songs which span multiple genres—attracted more of a freewheeling jam crowd than the traditional bluegrass scene which, in turn, exposed a whole new generation of fans to Bluegrass.

No band that has stood the test of time is without transformation and Yonder Mountain has had their fair share of change. In 2014, Yonder Mountain and Jeff Austin announced they were parting ways. Austin went on to tour full time with his side project, The Jeff Austin Band, with a rotating lineup of musicians playing with him until his unexpected death in 2019.

Founding members Adam Aijala on guitar, Ben Kaufmann on bass, Dave Johnston on banjo, alongside the 2015 addition of Allie Kral on fiddle, and newcomer, multi-instrumentalist Nick Piccininni handling duties on mandolin, second fiddle, and anything stringed.

With their instrumental prowess and adventurous musical spirit, Yonder Mountain String Band were — and still are — a pioneering group in the emerging progressive bluegrass scene that now includes marquee acts like Billy Strings, Railroad Earth, Greensky Bluegrass and the Infamous Stringdusters.

- Rollinig Stone

This past April, the band recorded their ninth studio album, scheduled to be released in late 2021. The band will road test the new material this summer and fall.



 
Andy Frasco & The UN
@Union Stage | view more info »
Dec
1

Andy Frasco & The UN



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


Andy Frasco & The UN

official band site »

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

Cory and the Wongnotes feat. Antwaun Stanley

special guest Sierra Hull


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


Cory and the Wongnotes feat. Antwaun Stanley

official band site »

Music motivates at the most primal level.

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

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

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

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

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


special guest Sierra Hull

official band site »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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