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



 
Melvin Seals & JGB
Union Craft Brewing 9th Anniversary Kick-Off Party | @Union Craft Brewing | view more info »
Aug
5

Melvin Seals & JGB

Union Craft Brewing 9th Anniversary Kick-Off Party


Thursday Aug 5|doors 7:00 pm|21+
Union Craft Brewing|get directions »
1700 West 41st Street
Baltimore, MD


Melvin Seals & JGB

official band site »

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


Union Craft Brewing 9th Anniversary Kick-Off Party


 
Etana
@Pearl Street Warehouse | view more info »
Aug
22

Etana



Sunday Aug 22|doors 7:00 pm|21+
Pearl Street Warehouse|get directions »
33 Pearl Street
Washington DC|p: (202) 380-9620


Etana

official band site »

Singer, songwriter, and humanitarian Etana is a powerhouse vocalist and Grammy Award, nominee. Its a been a decade after her debut as a reggae artist, she is now a recognized and respected entertainer in her native Jamaica and is also well known worldwide. Born Shauna McKenzie, the young talent migrated to the United States for the opportunity and briefly pursued a pop music career before rediscovering her roots as an adult and adopting the moniker Etana, “The Strong One” in Swahili. The return home spurred the evolution of her sound and is evident in her body of work expressed as the fusion of folk, soul, jazz, r&B, dancehall, and reggae. Songs created by Etana easily fits into the world music category as much as reggae and dancehall.

In 2008 Etana debuted the album, The Strong One, featuring various musicians and producers. The project reached the #12 spot on the Reggae Billboard chart, and consecutively released singles released by VP Records, which helped to introduce the spirited singer to the world. Lyrical hits “Warrior Love” and “I Am Not Afraid” made a lasting impression, as did “Free” and “Happy Heart” from the second album Free Expressions, notably a repeat Reggae Billboard chart climber. Not to be outdone, she released her fourth album I Rise to much acclaim, nabbing the #1 spot on the iconic chart, marking the first female artist out of Jamaica to earn such a designation seventeen years.

Fast forward to 2018, Etana was nominated for the 61st Annual Grammy Awards for Reggae Forever in the Best Reggae Album category. The project was co-produced by Etana (Freemind Music) and distributed by Tad's Records. The distinction by The Recording Academy marked the first time in over twenty years that a woman was designated that bracket. In 2019, she released the eight-track EP Dimensions. In June 2020, Etana released her 7th album Gemini which is another fan favorite. More to come on Gemini and beyond.



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

Moon Taxi

Sparkle City Disco


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.”


Sparkle City Disco

official band site »

Sparkle City Disco are Nashville’s premier vinyl disco DJs. The duo - Jonas Stein and David Bermudez - formed one fateful, bourbon-filled night at classic Nashville dive Foobar. Jonas, raised on punk and having toured the world playing in rock bands, had a slightly different upbringing than his counterpart David, whose schooling forbade dancing. The two did, however, share the desire to spin classic vinyl disco '45s, and the pair cut their teeth DJ'ing every Friday night at Foobar until their popularity demanded they take the show on the road.

"I got a 4-disc CD set at the library (which I'm pretty sure I never returned) and would go to a local venue on Saturday nights (or maybe it was Fridays?) It's when some of our dj friends were spinning regularly," says Bermudez of his early years DJ'ing. "I would post up in the parking lot with my doors open and blast all four discs, generating a weekly parking lot dance party."

"I didn't really like David until one morning I woke up at his house after a party he threw," says Jonas of David. "My car was across town and I asked for his address so I could call a Yellow Taxi Cab. He told me he would just give me a ride, where we listened to music and bonded over this psychedelic Chubby Checker album."

The duo specialize in filling rooms with the sounds of deep, pre-house disco hits from the '70s and '80s, and deck venues out with oversized mirrored balls, hazers, lights and lasers. Their straight-ahead DJ style features all hits and no tricks, and pays homage to the original vinyl tastemakers while honoring the genre of disco.


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

Ghost Of Paul Revere

GoldenOak


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.”


GoldenOak

official band site »

GoldenOak’s music is rooted in the natural landscape- their songs move like a stream, meandering and weaving in an original yet grounding direction. Fronted by siblings Zak and Lena Kendall GoldenOak’s music calmly excites its listeners while nestled in rich folk-influenced sibling harmony. The Maine-based band has built a steady and growing fan base with this kind of energetic intimacy. This is perfectly represented in the group's latest album “Room to Grow”- A 10-song reflection of the emotional and physical impacts of the climate crisis. The band is rounded out by up-right bassist Mike Knowles and Drummer Jackson Cromwell.


 
The Nth Power
@The Hamilton | view more info »
Sep
18

The Nth Power



Saturday Sep 18|doors 6:30 pm|all ages
The Hamilton|get directions »
600 14th Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 787-1000


The Nth Power

official band site »

Proving that soul music can be exponentially greater than the sum of its parts, The Nth Power is on a mission to share the light. Formed during an impromptu late-night jam at Jazz Fest 2012 in New Orleans, the relentlessly funky and soulful band believes in music as a higher power tapping into an energy that is simultaneously sexy and spiritual, with songs that will inspire audiences to dance, groove, make love or just stand there with goose bumps.

The trio hails from diverse musical backgrounds, races and creeds. Female powerhouse Nikki Glaspie was Beyonce’s world-touring drummer for five years before she joined Ivan Nevilles New Orleans funk outfit, Dumpstaphunk. Bassist Nate Edgar of Groovechild and John Browns Body perfectly compliments singer and guitarist Nick Cassarino who came from the Jennifer Hartswick Band and toured with Big Daddy Kane.

The Nth Power's 2013 independent EP, Basic Minimum Skills Test, showcases a first glimpse of the spark shared among the group, delivering gospel-style vocals with soul, jazz, funk and world-beat riffs in nearly mathematical fashion. They have followed up that release with a studio album in 2015 "Abundance" produced by Ira Schickman and live release "To Be Free" in 2016 recorded and mixed by Paul Diaz.

“It’s my dream team,” said Glaspie, “each one of us is a songwriter, so when we get together, everything becomes that much stronger.” Beyond raw skill, however, Glaspie cites a deep spiritual connection as the glue that binds them together. “Music is what brought us together, but its the spiritual bond that makes us play so in touch with each other,” she explained. And at the core of their vibe is a deviously simple concept the healing power of love.

The Nth Power's inspirational sets have floored audiences at music festivals like Electric Forest, Bear Creek, Catskill Chill and North Coast Music Festival. The band has been relentlessly touring and writing for the past 4 years since their inception and continue to grow in their mission as they spread love and healing through music across the land.

Although the band members are based across the East Coast, they maintain New Orleans as their spiritual home, and the celebratory essence of that city’s music culture is audible in each performance.

Simply put, there is something pretty magical happening in this band, and they’re only just getting started. “Were going as far as you can go on the planet Earth and playing music,” explains Glaspie, “I don’t know how many times we’ve said it we are so blessed.”

Together, The Nth Power wants to change lives through a message of musical love and understanding.



 
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.


 
Pimps Of Joytime
Travers Brothership | @The Hamilton | view more info »
Sep
30

Pimps Of Joytime

Travers Brothership


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


Pimps Of Joytime

official band site »

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

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

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


Travers Brothership

official band site »

Songwriters. Singers. Multi-instrumentalists. Brothers. At only 26, twins Eric Travers and Kyle Travers have been writing songs and stunning live audiences for well over half their lifetime. Presenting soulful, bluesy, rock n’ roll spun in psychedelic jam, Travers Brothership; also including singer, bassist, songwriter, Josh Clark, and keyboardist, songwriter, percussionist, Ian McIsaac, create a fierce and balanced team, strengthened by the 13 years they’ve spent together on and off the road.

The band first met in 2007 on a school bus in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. Soon after the Travers twins were invited by Josh and Ian to get off at their bus stop for a jam in Josh’s garage, little did they know this was history in the making. After numerous jams and a few lessons from Eric and Kyle’s father (and veteran touring musician) “Hurricane” Bob Travers, Travers Brothership was formed in 2012.

With over 400+ shows across the United States and Europe under their belts, the band has become a well oiled machine, performing alongside acts such as; Gov’t Mule, Taj Mahal, J.J. Grey & Mofro, Moe., Kyle Hollingsworth Band, Blues Traveler, Charles Bradley, Leftover Salmon,The Marcus King Band, Dr. John, and many more.

Travers Brothership are consummate musicians and live music aficionados with a deep understanding of their preferred genres. Utilizing the band's unmatched live energy, they create a concert atmosphere that transforms an audience into a community and their enthusiasm, gusto, and talents carry the day. In 2018 Travers Brothership brought their instrumental prowess and tasteful songwriting to Echo Mountain Recording Studios and The Eagle Room in their hometown of Asheville, NC. The result, “Let The World Decide” adds to their already abundant catalogue, and sets a new bar for the band musically.


 
The Elovaters
@Pearl Street Warehouse | view more info »
Oct
8

The Elovaters



Friday Oct 8|doors 7:00 pm|21+
Pearl Street Warehouse|get directions »
33 Pearl Street
Washington DC|p: (202) 380-9620


The Elovaters

official band site »

Exploding into the American progressive roots scene in 2018 with their #1 Billboard Reggae album Defy Gravity, THE ELOVATERS have quickly become a household name for lovers of Sublime, Jack Johnson, Slightly Stoopid, G. Love, Stick Figure, The Movement, and more. Their music has been featured on CBS’ Hawaii Five-O and their song “Boston” was played during the World Series Parade when the Boston Red Sox won in 2018. Their 2020 followup EP Double Vision was voted EP of the year by Reggae 360, and programmed into heavy rotation on SiriusXM’s “No Shoes Radio,” “Margaritaville,” and “The Spectrum.” Their 2021 full-length album Castles was produced by Johnny Cosmic. They are currently touring in North America.



 
Lotus
@9:30 club | view more info »
Oct
14

Lotus



Thursday Oct 14|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930
 
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.”



 
Liz Cooper
The Hot Sass Tour | Pearl Charles | @The Recher | view more info »
Oct
23

Liz Cooper

The Hot Sass Tour
Pearl Charles

Saturday Oct 23|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
The Recher|get directions »
512 York Road
Towson, MD|p: (410) 337-7178


Liz Cooper


The Hot Sass Tour

official band site »

On the porch of her one-time Nashville home, Liz Cooper had a multimedia project that combined two of her loves: lips and cigarettes. She painted her own lips with red paint and kissed a canvas two or three hundred times, later dotting them with the detritus left behind in ashtrays by her friends. An overlap of intimacy, indulgence, cheekiness, and sensuality, the piece complements Cooper's roiling second record, Hot Sass. Over jagged, frenetic guitar parts, Cooper sets expectations aflame with the record's title track. Her songs unfurl like smoke spiraling off an incense cone late in the afternoon, with Cooper pushing deeper into psychedelic openness, punk ferocity, and beyond.

Hot Sass marks multiple departures for Liz Cooper: from her nine-year home of Nashville, from her band addendum of the Stampede, from any genre-burdened expectations she'd accumulated over the years. After heavy touring in support of 2018's Window Flowers, where her songs stretched out in live settings, she felt constricted by the Americana-adjacent associations that the Stampede carried. So with her bandmates' blessing, she dropped the moniker, pursuing sounds and songs that let her chase the inspiration lent to her by the likes of Courtney Love, Lou Reed, and David Bowie. In Burlington, Vermont, Cooper and her cohort -- Ryan Usher, Joe Bisirri, and Michael Libramento -- recorded Hot Sass at Little Jamaica, the personal studio/private residence of producer Benny Yurco (Michael Nau). The intimacy of the space and the players' provided a wide-open approach to Yurco's live setup for rolling forward with minimal takes, a sensibility abetted by a whole lot of psychedelic mushrooms consumed in the process. Cooper recorded her guitar parts from the kitchen and living room while Usher played drums in a bedroom.

Completing Hot Sass, Cooper realized she needed a change of scenery from her longtime home of Nashville, where she'd lived in a freewheeling house of itinerant artists known as the Pennock Palace. She settled in Brooklyn at the beginning of March 2020, and found herself confronted with the new challenges of staying still as touring ground to a halt.

"I'm learning more about how to take care of myself -- just facing the darkness head on that I've been running from by being on tour and being so busy my whole life. It's taught me more about what kind of artist I want to be and what kind of person I want to be," she says.

But now, Hot Sass is crackling into public life, charging forward with Cooper's revitalized creative energy. Her Nashville confidant Daniel Yocum, a painter and friend who collaborated with her on the music videos for Hot Sass, first encouraged Cooper to pick up the practice for herself. She's finding new mediums to explore in paints and pedals, discovering even more exciting, untamed space to be herself.

Where did the concept of "hot sass" come from, and how did it become the central focus of your record?

It's something that scares me. It's another part of myself that I'd never really show. It's something that pushes me that goes hand in hand with me not hiding behind a band's name anymore. It is this other side of me, this wild side.

I feel like it is this madness that I've been more comfortable with accepting and like, this fucking attitude that I do possess that I've been hiding from. It's this confidence and sexiness, it's something that I've always been very afraid of. It's me learning about what kind of woman I am and It's not pretty all the time. It's not this thing that you can put in a box. I'm inspired by women who speak their mind, and who don't give a fuck what people think about them.

There's a sense of restlessness that carries across the record, and right after you finished it, you left Nashville for New York. How did that feeling make its way into the songs?

A big thing about touring is how you're not really able to reflect, you're just so in the moment all the time, and you're always surrounded by people. I am an introvert, and I feel like I have to refuel by being by myself, which is literally impossible when you're on the road. I was exhausted. But I think it's also a lot of growth and just learning about myself and trying to be confident. I've always struggled with my confidence and self worth, and facing that.

What was your approach with beginning to write Hot Sass? Where were you trying to push yourself musically?

Really what the beginning of it was, was, very organically and naturally, I met Benny Yurco, who is a fucking creative genius. I just texted him one day, and I was like, "I want to make a record with you." And he was like, "Let's do it." So really that was the beginning push for me to be creating with an artist that I really respected. I knew I had to really bring it for him and for myself.

I wrote this album on the road and any chance I could find, so in between soundcheck and the show, I would hide in the van, or I would write in motel bathrooms. Whenever I'd get home for however long, which is not usually very long, I would just dive in and write.

As soon as we got to Benny's, it was this complete safe haven. All of us trust each other so much, and we let our guards down completely. We flew through recording these songs and tracked the drums, the bass, guitar, and vocals all live. There was no intention besides just making the best song and without any ego.

You spent a few years touring pretty heavily, even by a lot of musicians' standards, and you recorded most of Hot Sass live as a group. How has it been going without that kind of in-person energy for the last year or so?

This is the longest I've gone without playing music my entire life. It's been really important for me, because music is my spirituality and my release, and I've never not had it. To take that away has been a total withdrawal, and an incredible emotional roller coaster to be in an unfamiliar city with that.

It affected me a lot. I know that I needed that break, because it made me learn more about myself: "Okay, well, if I can't just chase this thing all the time, who am I without music? I'm still learning."

What has picking up painting meant to you over the last few years?

I've just been finding my voice with it just like music. And I definitely have ideas of how I want to push boundaries with it. It's just another way to expose my insides which scares me but also makes me feel whole and healed. I love to paint because I don't feel any pressure from myself or from anyone else. It's just fun and it's pure. Purely expressive. If I make something that is horrifying and super shitty, I don't care. You move on, and you learn from it. And that's it. Daniel [Yocum] is the one that really made me fall back in love with it. We push each other, and we're gonna do some collaborations with visual art beyond videos, see what we can dream up in the painting world.

What do you most want to get across with this record?

I'm not sure if there's anything specifically that I'm aiming to get across. I'm still processing these songs. Still reflecting. And I think that's the thing -- Hot Sass is just a stamp in time of what was happening in my life. I just want to continue making art that displays myself, the moments, and the people around me.

Pearl Charles

official band site »

Charles has been playing music since she was 5 years old. At 18, she formed country duo The Driftwood Singers with Christian Lee Hutson, singing and playing guitar and autoharp. At 22, she joined garage rock band The Blank Tapes as drummer. After two fun-filled years immersed in the rock and roll lifestyle, she decided it was time to pursue her own songwriting, and began developing the songs that formed 2015?s eponymous debut EP. Drawn to poppy hooks and catchy choruses, Charles draws on what she loves about the 60s, 70s and 80s while developing her unique style as a solo artist.

In 2018, Pearl released debut album, Sleepless Dreamer, which Rough Trade described as “The best country pop we’ve heard in years” and Buzzfeed called her “A modern June Carter meets Lana Del Rey.” With the upcoming release of the follow up, Magic Mirror, out January 15, 2021, Pearl leans into furthering her own brand of country-disco.


 
Emily Wolfe
@The Recher | view more info »
Oct
27

Emily Wolfe



Wednesday Oct 27|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
The Recher|get directions »
512 York Road
Towson, MD|p: (410) 337-7178


Emily Wolfe

official band site »

The second full-length from Emily Wolfe, Outlier, released June 25th, 2021 on Crows Feet Records, is an album built on exquisite tension: an endless push-and-pull between desire and resistance, determination and self-sabotage, the instinctive need to belong and the urge to strike out on your own. For help in channeling that complexity of feeling, the Austin-based singer/songwriter/guitarist explored and obliterated the boundaries of rock-and-roll and modern pop, mining equal inspiration from the likes of Judas Priest and Ariana Grande in her bold but masterful genre-bending. Produced by Michael Shuman of Queens of the Stone Age and Mini Mansions, the resulting body of work finds Wolfe upending the conventions of each genre, ultimately arriving at a guitar-drenched sound that’s wildly unpredictable and immediately magnetic.



 
Turkuaz
Thumpasaurus | @9:30 club | view more info »
Oct
28

Turkuaz

Thumpasaurus


Thursday Oct 28|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


Turkuaz

official band site »

Balancing male-female harmonies, strutting guitars, wild horn arrangements, and interminable grooves, a spirit takes shape on stage nightly for Turkuaz via larger-than-life performances. Among numerous critical plaudits, The New Yorker claimed, “[Turkuaz] delivers horn-filled funk incorporating elements of R&B, psychedelic pop, gospel, Afro-pop, New Wave, classic rock, and just about any genre that gets people dancing.”

The Brooklyn-based nonet—Dave Brandwein [guitar, vocals], Taylor Shell [bass], Craig Brodhead [guitar, keys], Michelangelo Carubba [drums], Chris Brouwers [trumpet, keys], Greg Sanderson [tenor sax], Josh Schwartz [baritone sax, vocals], Sammi Garett [vocals], and Shira Elias [vocals]—ignite an explosion of energy punctuated by neon hues, deft musicality, and show-stopping singalongs on their newest EP, Kuadrochrome.

Touring incessantly in support of four full-length studio albums, EPs and live releases, they’ve lit up stages everywhere from Bonnaroo, Hulaween, Okeechobee, Electric Forest, and Mountain Jam to Telluride Jazz, High Sierra, and Lock’n, in between gracing stages at legendary spots such as Red Rocks, Terminal 5, and The Fillmore, to name a few. Since emerging in 2011 with their self-titled debut, the group have quietly animated a movement.

“I would love for our music to be a bright spot in an otherwise dark world. You can come to our shows, let go, exist, and have a good time in spite of what may be going on outside. That’s what music does for us. We want to share that.”


Thumpasaurus

official band site »


 
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.



 
Billy Strings
@The Anthem | view more info »
sold out
Nov
13

Billy Strings



Saturday Nov 13|doors 6:30 pm|all ages
The Anthem|get directions »
901 WHARF ST SW, WASHINGTON, DC 20024|p: (202) 265-0930
Sold Out


Billy Strings

official band site »

Michigan-born and now Nashville-based, Billy Strings is a GRAMMY Award-winning singer, songwriter and musician, who arrived on the scene as “one of string music’s most dynamic young stars” (Rolling Stone). Strings is in the midst of a triumphant year after winning Best Bluegrass Album at the 63rd GRAMMY Awards for his critically acclaimed record, Home. Produced by Glenn Brown, the record also led Strings to top Billboard’s 2020 year-end charts in both Bluegrass categories—Top Bluegrass Artists and Top Bluegrass Albums—and continues to receive widespread critical acclaim. Of the release, The Associated Press proclaims, “it is his creative musical storytelling, paired with solid vocals on Home that should seal the deal, pleasing fans of the genre and creating some new ones…the perfect blend of pure talent and pluck,” while The Wall Street Journal declares, “Billy Strings has clearly emerged as a premier guitar flatpicker of this era.” Since his debut, Strings has been awarded Guitar Player of the Year and New Artist of the Year at the 2019 International Bluegrass Music Awards, selected as one of Rolling Stone’s “New Country Artists to Know” and performed on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and PBS’ “Bluegrass Underground.” Known for his electric live shows, Strings will continue his extensive headline tour throughout 2021 including upcoming shows in Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Denver, Austin, Atlanta and Nashville among several others.



 
Keller & The Keels
@Baltimore Soundstage | view more info »
Nov
19

Keller & The Keels



Friday Nov 19|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
Baltimore Soundstage|get directions »
124 Market Place
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 244-0057


Keller & The Keels

official band site »

Appalachian Psychedelic Bluegrass

Keller’s description: "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 three 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



 
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)



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

Bumpin Uglies

Dale and the ZDubs


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


Bumpin Uglies

official band site »

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who is Bumpin Uglies?

Brandon Hardesty – Vocals, Guitar

Dave Wolf – Vocals, Bass

TJ Haslett – Drums

Chad Wright – Vocals, Keys, Guitar


Dale and the ZDubs

official band site »

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


 
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.”