Jul
28
Electric Love Machine

all good news

 
Perpetual Groove
Electric Love Machine | @Gypsy Sally's | view more info »
Jul
28

Perpetual Groove

Electric Love Machine


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


Perpetual Groove

official band site »

Based in Athens, GA, Perpetual Groove is a long time well established touring act with an enthusiastic fan base and international critical acclaim. PGroove’s music has been described by their fans as anthemic arena rock. Their large catalog of original music offers something for everyone. The addition of an intense, retina burning, intelligent light show creates an atmosphere unlike any other, assuring fans they’ll get a highly polished, yet different show each night.


Electric Love Machine

official band site »

Electric Love Machine (ELM) is best described as an outer space adventure through sound, infused with doses of electronic funk, traditional Americana and improvisational jazz, and whose foundation is built on a sense of community. Their first full-length album, XenofoneX, touches upon the aural sense, and travels through one’s heart, makes a stop in the brain, all while travelling across the cosmic plane.

 
Atlas Road Crew
Jonathan Scales Fourchestra | @The 8x10 | view more info »
Aug
3

Atlas Road Crew

Jonathan Scales Fourchestra


Thursday Aug 3|doors 8:00 pm|18+
The 8x10|get directions »
10 E. Cross St.
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 625-2000


Atlas Road Crew

official band site »

South Carolina rock 'n' roll shot with southern soul accents. Formed in fall of 2011, Atlas Road Crew is rapidly building one of the most loyal fan bases on the East Coast, packing venues to capacity from South Carolina to New York City, and expanding rapidly to major US cities in between.

The overwhelming positive response to the band’s latest recorded effort Halfway to Hopkins,produced by Grammy Award winning producer Rick Beato, has this young band quickly becoming the South East’s “must see” live act of 2015.

Halfway to Hopkins is a sonic blast from start to finish, bringing swampy southern accents to fresh, contemporary tunes while managing to capture the band’s blistering live show prowess on tape. The title refers to a small community outside Columbia where the band lived for several years after graduating from the nearby University of South Carolina. “That house, which was halfway between Columbia and Hopkins on the southeast side of town, was where we really began to come together,” Says drummer Patrick Drohan. “We knew then we wanted to become more than just another bar band.”

Riding the momentum of the record release, Atlas Road Crew’s constant touring led them to a 6 week European tour in early 2016 followed by an aggressive US club and festival run. Aussie rock ‘n’ roll blog 100 Percent Rock sums it all up nicely in their review, saying in no uncertain terms “This is EXACTLY the sort of music we should be listening to right now: bands taking old favourites and adding new directions, writing great songs, delivering ace performances. This is the good stuff.”


Jonathan Scales Fourchestra

official band site »

Multi-instrumentalist and composer Jonathan Scales is likely the most innovative steel drummer on the planet. His stunning, virtuosic technique is obvious and apparent to any who have seen him perform, but it is his mesmerizing compositions and tasteful, avant-garde improvisation that set him apart from the pack. Scales’ unmistakably unique approach to an instrument often associated with cruise ships and tropicalia establishes him as something of an outlier. Whereas his talent and creativity could have been focused on other instruments he plays, such as saxophone, he fell in love with the sound of the steel pans. He may also have unconsciously seen it as a challenge… to transform the instrument in much the same way that his musical inspiration Bela Fleck did with the banjo. In fact, Driftwood Magazine made a similar observation, when it wrote that “Scales is to steel pans what Béla Fleck is to the banjo—an über innovator.” Pan On The Net, a blog dedicated to the global steel drum community, echoes the sentiment in its description of the modest Asheville, NC based composer as having “a Thelonius Monk-like attitude with a Mozart creativity.”

Jonathan Scales Fourchestra has a fluid line-up, allowing Jonathan to work with a wide range of artists, and in the past few years he has earned the respect of some of the most impressive players across multiple genres. The Fourchestra’s November 2016 tour of the Southeast is a prime example of this, showcasing bass wizardMonoNeon (Prince), drummer Robert “Sput” Searight (Snarky Puppy) and percussionist Weedie Braimah (The Nth Power). As with the tours, Scales’ recordings have also featured special guest performances from the likes of Victor Wooten, Howard Levy, Jeff Coffin and Kofi Burbridge. The Fourchestra’s self-titled 2013 debut album on Ropeadope Records, fully orchestrated with horns and strings, was a follow-up to the trio’s three independent releases, and the follow-up— Mixtape Symphony (Ropeadope), a dense, half-hour, long-form album inspired by and dedicated to Roy “Futureman” Wooten— peaked at #6 on the iTunes Jazz charts. Bringing the relationship full circle, Jonathan had the opportunity to perform with Bela Fleck and The Flecktones in Richmond, VA in June of 2016— a dream come true for the kid who used to wait outside venues for a chance to talk to his muse. Bela Fleck himself, in considering Scales’ cover of his composition “The Imposter”, remarked “To say I am impressed would be a gross understatement…”.

With an ear for myriad global sounds, it only makes sense for Jonathan Scales Fourchestra to expand beyond North America. They toured Central America, the Caribbean, Japan and Europe in the Fall of 2015, and a performance in The Netherlands landed them a spot on the prestigious North Sea Jazz Festival in the Summer of 2016, which anchored another tour of Europe. The Fourchestra has now been chosen by the US Department of State— from 300 finalists— to serve as musical ambassadors in a 6 week concert tour of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong & Indonesia in early 2017. Jonathan Scales has his eyes on the world, for sure… world, meet Jonathan!

 
DWEEZIL ZAPPA Guitar Masterclass
Dweezilla On The Road | @Rams Head Live | view more info »
Aug
5

DWEEZIL ZAPPA Guitar Masterclass

Dweezilla On The Road


Saturday Aug 5|doors 3:00 pm|all ages
Rams Head Live|get directions »
20 Market Place
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 244-1131


DWEEZIL ZAPPA Guitar Masterclass


Dweezilla On The Road

official band site »

For The price of a fuzz pedal, learn techniques from the son of Frank Zappa!

Dweezil Zappa's music camp Dweezilla has a motto "Learn And Destroy." It refers to destroying the boundaries that confine music creativity. At camp students are in total immersion for 4 days of music instruction. While on tour with Zappa Plays Zappa Dweezil will be previewing some of the guitar concepts he teaches at camp in a special event prior to each concert.

"I transformed my guitar technique before starting Zappa Plays Zappa out of necessity to play my dad's most sophisticated and challenging melodies. I've found a lot of exciting new approaches to the guitar. I started Dweezilla music camp as a way to share this information with guitarists. I'm excited to present an opportunity to share thoughts on my approach to guitar with students of all levels before each show on tour.”

 
DWEEZIL ZAPPA: 50 Years Of Frank
@Rams Head Live | view more info »
Aug
5

DWEEZIL ZAPPA: 50 Years Of Frank



Saturday Aug 5|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
Rams Head Live|get directions »
20 Market Place
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 244-1131


DWEEZIL ZAPPA: 50 Years Of Frank

official band site »

The son of Frank and Gail Zappa, Dweezil Zappa was born on September 5, 1969 in Los Angeles.

It was inevitable that from the moment of his birth his life would be filled wall-to wall with music (his father having listed his religion as “musician” on Dweezil’s birth certificate). Dweezil’s early years were spent largely away from the spotlight—something of a rarity for the child of a celebrity, but perfect for cultivating a close relationship with his family.

Having watched his father perform concerts from the side of the stage since he was in diapers it was no surprise that he began to show an interest in music early on. At 6 years old he received his first guitar, a Fender Music Master from his dad.It wasn't until he was 12 that he began to show a serious interest in manipulating the instrument to make music. Having primarily heard the music his father was working on or listening to at home while growing up, Dweezil soon found himself exposed to some new sounds on the radio. Besides his father's music he began listening to the Beatles, Queen, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, The Who and Jimi Hendrix. Like many aspiring guitarists of his generation, Dweezil ‘s ear was caught in a stranglehold by the trailblazing guitar styles of Edward Van Halen and Randy Rhoads.

To gain more fundamental knowledge of technique and scales Dweezil was fortunate to have some assistance from one of the musicians in his father's band at that time, Steve Vai. Dweezil became remarkably proficient in a very short amount of time due to his intense practicing sessions. Later that year he recorded his first single, “My Mother Is A Space Cadet”, produced by Edward Van Halen and released on Frank Zappa’s Barking Pumpkin label.

In 1984, Dweezil contributed guitar solos to both “Stevie’s Spanking” and “Sharleena” on Frank’s album Them Or Us.

In 1986, Dweezil made his debut in Hollywood as an actor with his role in the classic 80s film “Pretty In Pink." 1987 saw Dweezil raise his profile further with another film role alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mick Fleetwood in "The Running Man."

In television he worked as a guest MTV VJ. During that same period he recorded and released his first full length album, Havin’ A Bad Day. This album contained the single “Let’s Talk About It” which featured Moon Zappa on vocals and found itself on regular rotation on MTV. The video featured cameo appearances from Frank Zappa, Robert Wagner, Don Johnson and Jane Fonda as well.

Around this same time, Dweezil made his own cameo appearances on records for a variety of diverse artists. He played a solo on the Fat Boys "Baby You're A Rich Man” as well as on the Grammy Nominated cover of "Wipeout" with Herbie Hancock and Terry Bozzio from the "Back To The Beach" film soundtrack. He was asked to join Stevie Ray Vaughan and Bonnie Raitt in contributing guitar performances to Miami Vice star Don Johnson's solo album. While Dweezil actually played on the song "The Last Sound Love Makes" it was his appearance in the video for Don Johnson’s single “Heartbeat" that would most notably link him to the project.

1988 saw Dweezil sign a deal with Chrysalis Records, releasing his second album My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama.

More TV work followed in 1990 Dweezil and Moon Zappa starred with Laverne And Shirley legend Cindy Williams in a sitcom for CBS titled Normal Life.

With the release of his third album Confessions in 1991, Dweezil began to branch out musically, blending his heavy rock approach with touches of his father’s distinct compositional insignia. Guest appearances on this album pointed the way toward the future for Dweezil, including contributions from Nuno Bettencourt , Gary Cherone and Pat Badger of Extreme and legendary guitarists Warren DeMartini, Steve Lukather and Zakk Wylde as well as Frank Zappa sidemen Mike Keneally and Scott Thunes. Both Moon and Ahmet Zappa also added vocals to the album. Dweezil conceived and directed 2 videos from the album, 'Gotta Get To You' and 'Vanity' both of which featured Robert Wagner as a guest star. Robert Wagner has appeared in 4 of Dweezil's videos as well as the "Music For Pets" infomercial spoof.

There were a handful of live shows played to support the Confessions album. That tour saw the band develop a unique set of skills and usher in the birth of a remarkable non stop medley that grew to contain 200 songs performed in 20 minutes. After completing the Confessions tour Dweezil formed a new band and project with Ahmet called Z.

Armed with a mountain of material and no permanent drummer the band entered the family owned rehearsal space called Joe's Garage and rehearsed with several different drummers who ended up playing on tracks for the new album. Those drummers included Terry Bozzio, Mark Craney, Toss Panos, and Tal Bergman. Rather than move to a studio they set up for recording rehearsals. The band recorded over 3 dozen tracks at Joe's Garage. The "Shampoohorn" album was completed in 1992 but awaited it's release over a year later. It was eventually released with 2 different track listings.

The band featured Mike Keneally and Scott Thunes and initiated it's new permanent drummer, Berklee School Of Music-trained drummerpar excellence Joe Travers before departing for a world tour. Thunes departed later in 1994 and was replaced by Bryan Beller who had attended classes at Berklee alongside Joe Travers. The band toured the US and Europe in 1995. They played original material as well as some more oddball medleys including the infamous "Peavey Medley."

In 1996 they released a follow-up album, Music For Pets. By the time of the album’s release, both Beller and Keneally had left the band and Z gradually ceased to exist. Dweezil stayed in the public eye however with several projects including composing the theme music for the Emmy Award winning Fox television show "The Ben Stiller Show" and on camera TV appearances including taking the role of Ajax in the Klasky Csupo animated series Duckman and a TV series for the USA network called Happy Hour which he starred in alongside Ahmet.

2000 saw Dweezil issue his first solo album since 1991’s Confessions... with the release of Automatic. By this time, Dweezil’s musicianship had come full-circle as he showed off his guitar virtuosity with eclectic all guitar orchestrations of "You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch" and "Hawaii 5-0."

In 2003 More television work came about as Dweezil formed a band for the WB unconventional improvisational comedy "On The Spot" and performed live in each episode.

He also composed the theme music for the WB series "The Jamie Kennedy Experiment" and composed dozens of tracks for the music library Extreme Music. Many of these track are heard on various television shows around the world.

The next several years saw Dweezil preparing to take on an extremely difficult challenge—bringing his father’s legendary music back to the concert stage. In 2006, some indication of what could be expected surfaced with Dweezil’s next solo album Go With What You Know.

The Dweezil Zappa Plays Frank Zappa band's current 2014 lineup is known as the "rocking teenage combo." Now a 6 piece they are firing on all cylinders propelled by the ryhthm section of Ryan Brown on drums and Kurt Morgan on bass. Boundless energy is contributed by the rest of the line up which includes original core member multi-instrumentalist Sheila Gonzalez, as well as multi-year veterans Chris Norton on keyboards and vocals as well as vocals/brass/miscellaneous from Ben Thomas.

Currently Dweezil has developed his online guitar course for students. It's branded as "DWEEZOLOGY" and is available here on the DZW site http://www.dweezilzappaworld.com/pages/dweezology as well as on line at truefire.com.

He has also participated with the likes of Jazz legends Mike Stern and Lee Ritenour in the top notch Crown Of The Continent guitar festival in Montana. 2014 marked the inaugural Frank Zappa scholarship at the festival. Dweezil plans to return to "Montana soon..." to participate and contribute to future COC events.

2015 marked a milestone for Dweezil's Zappa Plays Zappa project. The band has consistently played concerts around the world for the past 10 years. Racking up well over 1,000 shows. In that time Dweezil did not have a time to cultivate his own music.

November 27th 2015 marks the release of Dweezil's first new album since "Go With What You Know" in 2006. Dweezil Zappa has returned to his musical roots with his new CD release Via Zammata'. Fusing analog tape and tube guitar amps alongside surprising instruments such as fretless guitar and the oud, Zappa draws you into his intimate, and multifarious musical world. Armed with unexpected vocal arrangements that sound like the Beach Boys procreated with the Bulgarian Women's Choir, this collection of 12 uniquely orchestrated songs represents a true metamorphosis for Dweezil Zappa the solo artist. The album was produced and arranged by Dweezil Zappa and features songwriting collaborations with Frank Zappa and venerable actor John Malkovich.

Dweezil found himself in the midst of some controversy and family drama after the passing of his Mother. The Zappa Family Trust, now operated by Dweezil's 2 younger siblings, fired off a cease and desist letter to Dweezil. The letter required Dweezil to immediately stop using the name Zappa Plays Zappa.

A story about this dispute was printed by the New York Times on April 29, 2016. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/30/business/media/whats-in-a-name-just-ask-frank-zappas-feuding-heirs.html?_r=0

In response to the letter from the ZFT, Dweezil changed the name of his band to Dweezil Zappa Plays Frank Zappa and continues to tour playing his father's music for appreciative audiences worldwide.

Dweezil’s proudest accomplishments are as father to his two daughters Zola Frank Zappa (born 2006) and Ceylon Indira Zappa (born 2008). He lives in Los Angeles with his daughters and his lovely wife Megan whom he adores.


 
Flying Dog Presents
The Revivalists
People's Blues Of Richmond | @Flying Dog Brewery | view more info »
sold out
Aug
12

Flying Dog Presents
The Revivalists

People's Blues Of Richmond


Saturday Aug 12|doors 5:30 pm|21+
Flying Dog Brewery|get directions »
4607 Wedgewood Blvd
Frederick, MD|p: (301) 694-7899
Sold Out


Flying Dog Presents
The Revivalists

official band site »

In rock ‘n’ roll, you’ve got to walk the well-trodden path of the genre’s forefathers one step at a time. Each gig under your belt makes for another fan, while every record serves as the next totem for your legacy. It’s a proverbial rite of passage, and there’s no skipping to the end. The Revivalists didn’t take any shortcuts.

Since forming in 2007, the seven-piece New Orleans roots-driven rock band logged countless miles on the road, cultivating a high octane live show and a studio presence equally steeped in instrumental virtuosity and charismatic vocal magnetism. Following two independent releases, 2010’s Vital Signs and 2014’s City of Sound, that time and dedication came to a head on the group’s third full-length album, Men Amongst Mountains [Wind-Up Records]. As much as it’s the culmination of their work thus far, it opens up a new chapter for the band—David Shaw [vocals], Zack Feinberg [guitar], Ed Williams [pedal steel guitar], Rob Ingraham [saxophone], George Gekas [bass], Andrew Campanelli [drums], and Michael Girardot [keys, trumpets].

“The title sums up our collective feeling,” says Shaw. “We started to find ourselves on festival bills with our idols and in front of huge crowds. We thought, ‘We’re amongst these giants, but we’re holding our own.’ We felt like we stood up and met the challenge by simply being who we are as The Revivalists.”

That honesty turned both fans and critics into believers. Upon release, Men Amongst Mountains debuted at #2 on the Billboard Alternative Albums Chart and Top 10 on the iTunes Alternative Albums Chart while quickly racking up nearly 2 million plays on Spotify all through word of mouth. Rolling Stone, NPR, Nylon, and more would sing their praises as they launched a headline tour that sold out dates across the country. It all comes back to the group’s sound though.

“Everyone adds his own unique imprint to it,” Shaw goes on. “There’s always an element of surprise, because it’ll be groove-oriented, but unconventional. We lock in, and something different happens.”

Whether it’s Ed’s show-stopping pedal steel fireworks, Zack finger-tapping out bluesy licks on his fretboard, or Rob and Michael’s horns adding just the right touch of bombast, Men Amongst Mountains consistently surprises. In order to capture that unpredictability, the band recorded the album live on tape in just 21 days at the iconic “Studio in the Country” [Stevie Wonder, The Afghan Whigs, Nine Inch Nails] in Bogalusa, LA with producer Ben Ellman.

“We had been playing a good amount of the songs live,” explains Shaw. “We had a feel for them, but we also had a few new ones. Ben was a breath of fresh air in the process. There are seven people in the band and a lot of strong personalities, to say the least. Ben guided us through our ideas. With his encouragement, we’d work it until we felt that magic.”

The magic certainly courses through the album opener and lead single “Keep Going,” which shot into the Top 25 on the Triple A Chart. Driven by Shaw’s heavenly urgent croon, the track builds into a swinging refrain propelled by shining keys, funked-out guitar, and booming horns. “It started out as an acoustic song I’d written,” he goes on. “I showed it to the band, and they brought it to life. I was pretty road-worn at the time and tired from touring. That’s what the opening line is all about. It’s that message to just keep going.”

Elsewhere, “Wish I Knew You” delivers a wistful desire with stunning jamming and southern R&B swagger. “Monster” reels back into pensive lyrical poetry within a canvas of ethereal instrumentation, and “All In The Family” confidently explodes on a jaw-dropping guitar solo. The soulful “It Was A Sin” showcases Zack’s fret tapping bolstered by Ed’s cinematic pedal steel. “Zack and I wrote that one together,” remarks Shaw. “You can really hear everything we do as a band in there.”

Ultimately, The Revivalists are quite far along on their own path now, and there’s no turning back.

“All that matters is that the art makes you feel something,” the singer concludes. “I’d love for it to take you away into the mood we felt when the song was actually created. I hope you can feel the general vibe of a song and have it be an escape—whether you’re listening to it at home or in the crowd at a show.”


People's Blues Of Richmond

official band site »

People’s Blues of Richmond brings a carnival-like mayhem to their dark, blues-infused psychedelia. The power trio’s new album Quit or Die is their third studio release and was recorded in Richmond, Va at The Ward Recording Studio with Ricky Olson. Within the past 24 months they have signed with Madison House Booking, toured full time, put out a full length album released June 10th, 2016 and recorded a 7-inch LP produced & engineered by the highly sought-after Mark Neill, the man behind The Black Key’s platinum-selling, Grammy-winning Brothers record.

 
Psycho Killers (Talking Heads Tribute)
Rockville Strings | @Gypsy Sally's | view more info »
Sep
9

Psycho Killers (Talking Heads Tribute)

Rockville Strings


Saturday Sep 9|doors 7:00 pm|21+
Gypsy Sally's|get directions »
3401 K St NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 333-7700


Psycho Killers (Talking Heads Tribute)

official band site »

Psycho Killers are a group of die-hard Talking Heads fans that were Born Under Punches in Baltimore, MD. Once in a Lifetime (not during wartime), they will take you to the river with Nothing But Flowers, and you'll think, This Must Be The Place. They'll set the Houses in Motion (and then burn them down) with a Listening Wind that will make you Crosseyed and Painless.


Rockville Strings

official band site »

 
The Werks & Passafire
@U Street Music Hall | view more info »
Sep
14

The Werks & Passafire



Thursday Sep 14|doors 6:00 pm|all ages
U Street Music Hall|get directions »
1115 U Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 588-1880


The Werks

official band site »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Passafire

official band site »

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

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


 
Flying Dog Presents
Naughty By Nature
Chopteeth Afrofunk Big Band | @Flying Dog Brewery | view more info »
Sep
15

Flying Dog Presents
Naughty By Nature

Chopteeth Afrofunk Big Band


Friday Sep 15|doors 5:30 pm|21+
Flying Dog Brewery|get directions »
4607 Wedgewood Blvd
Frederick, MD|p: (301) 694-7899


Flying Dog Presents
Naughty By Nature

official band site »

The Grammy Award winning, Platinum-album selling, New Jersey super-group, Naughty By Nature, is celebrating their twenty year track record of creating the hits and party anthems that have become the soundtrack to our lives. Their music has smashed through mainstream barriers all while remaining true to the sound, message and grit of the hood.

And now, these three kings of the Hip-Hop anthem have formally claimed their titles and named their forthcoming reunion album, Anthem Inc. Life is good. Treach, Vin Rock and DJ Kay Gee are back in the studio, doing what they do best: creating undeniably classic, hand- raising, life-affirming, Hip-Hop music.

“We wouldn’t have reunited if we didn’t think we could give people that authentic Naughty feeling,” says the group’s master lyricist Treach. “This new album is definitely gonna take you back, but just like we always did, we’ve invented a new sound, a bunch of new flows and after being without an album for so long, we've gotta lotta things to say.”

Few groups in music can boast a near twenty-year career that has been both consistent and history making. Naughty By Nature, the Grammy and American Music Award winning rap trio, initially called New Style, began performing at talent shows and were discovered by fellow New Jersey native and then- emerging Hip-Hop artist, Queen Latifah. Eventually signing the group to her management company "Flavor Unit Management,” Latifah helped them land a deal with Tommy Boy Records.

Naughty By Nature’s self-titled debut album was released in 1991 and quickly assaulted the music charts with the instant mega #1 hit “O.P.P.” The group quickly became crossover stars, while maintaining their ghetto sensibility. To date, their success and longevity as a Hip-Hop group has been unparalleled. These three “Kings of The Hip-Hop Anthem” went on to produce their follow-up albums that have become part of America’s Hip-Hop legacy: 19 Naughty III, Poverty’s Paradise and Nature’s Fury.

After years of steady touring and itching to get back in the studio, both Treach and Vin agreed in 2008 that in order for the next album to have that authentic sound and feel of Naughty By Nature, they must reunite with DJ Kay Gee. At this same time, VH1 bestowed their coveted “HipHop Honor” to the group as innovators of our culture. Joining the ranks of Big Daddy Kane, Rakim and Eazy E., the group received their “HipHop Honors” in October of 2008.

The group continues to tour globally, ripping stages from Australia to Canada and New Jersey to South Africa. Naughty By Nature is on their A-game and have no plans to stop anytime soon. In this next endeavor, they are completely independent and totally in control of their brand. Still setting trends, the group recently struck a deal with media-giant Microsoft, to cross promote their new single “Get To Know Me Better” with the release of the HTC Touch Pro 2 Windows Mobile device.


Chopteeth Afrofunk Big Band

official band site »

Chopteeth is a 12-piece Afrofunk orchestra exploring the common groove between the funkiest, most hip-shakin’ West African and American popular music on the planet.

The core of the Chopteeth sound is Afrobeat: a big-band funk invented by Fela Kuti in 1970’s Nigeria. Afrobeat is a spicy stew of modern jazz, Yoruba tribal music and burning, James Brown-inspired rhythms.

Chopteeth’s sets feature original compositions along with updates of African dance classics, all while remaining true to the spirit of the music and its message. Band members step to the mic to serve up lyrics in a total of seven different languages.

Chopteeth, the "Crazy Fools of Afrobeat", called for rhythmic regime change on the band's award-winnnig 2008 debut CD, with its dynamic original songs. And in 2010, the band's live CD unleashed the power of Africa's Golden Age, featuring choice selections from Ghana, Senegal, Congo, Guinea, and Nigeria.

Since 2007, the members of the Washington Area Music Association have selected Chopteeth for a total of thirteen Wammie Awards, including Artist of the Year, Debut CD of the Year, World Music CD (twice) and World Music Group (for the last nine years in a row).

Chopteeth has performed on shows with a wide range of critically acclaimed world music, soul and jazz-funk groups, including Parliament Funkadelic, Trombone Shorty, Galactic, Aaron Neville, Cyril Neville, Derek Trucks Band, Ozomatli, Grupo Fantasma, Konono No. 1, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, Gov't Mule, Soulive, Greyboy Allstars, The Iguanas, War, Chuck Brown and many more.

Over the last ten years, Chopteeth has performed all over the country, from the cast party for HBO's "The Wire," to the Congo Square World Music Festival in New Orleans, to colleges and festivals in many different states. The band can be seen regularly at top venues in Washington, DC, Baltimore and Virginia, including The Kennedy Center, The Smithsonian, The Music Center at Strathmore, Carter Barron Amphitheatre, The 9:30 Club, The Black Cat, Rock & Roll Hotel, Iota, Blues Alley, The State Theatre, and The 8x10 Club.

The band also performs frequently at major East Coast festivals including Artscape, The Duke Ellington Jazz Festival, The National Capitol Bar-B-Que Battle, The Silver Spring Jazz Festival, The Adams Morgan Day Festival, and many others.

 
The Whiskey Strings Tour
Billy Strings & Whiskey Shivers
@The 8x10 | view more info »
Sep
19

The Whiskey Strings Tour
Billy Strings & Whiskey Shivers



Tuesday Sep 19|doors 7:00 pm|18+
The 8x10|get directions »
10 E. Cross St.
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 625-2000


The Whiskey Strings Tour
Billy Strings

official band site »

Whether sharing stages with acoustic music royalty, crisscrossing the nation playing as a solo artist or performing high-energy, jaw-dropping sets at festi- vals, the reaction to Billy Strings tends to come in two varieties: “Who is this guy?” and “That kid can play!”

Raised in Michigan and based in Nashville, Strings — real name William Apostol — learned music from his father, who had learned it from his father, and his father before him. Maybe that’s why at 24, Strings’ songs, his articula- tion, his entire approach, sounds so authentic and steeped in tradition. Consider him the next in line of an Americana thread, not some upstart or bandwagon jumper.

While Strings’ profile as a guitarist and singer in the acoustic/bluegrass scene continues to grow, he has already earned some landmark achievements. He has been invited to play on stage with Del McCoury, David Grisman, Larry Keel, Sam Bush, Greensky Bluegrass, The Infamous Stringdusters, Leftover Salmon and more. He’s landed coveted slots at festivals like Pickathon, Merlefest, DelFest, High Sierra Music Festival, Grey Fox to name a few and he’s shared bills with popular touring acts Greensky Bluegrass, The Infamous Stringdust- ers, Yonder Mountain Stringband, Leftover Salmon, Cabinet and more. And the industry has taken notice: He just won IBMA 2016 Momentum Awards Instrumentalist of the Year for guitar, banjo and mandolin and was voted #1 in, scene tastemaker, Bluegrass Situation’s Top 16 of ’16.


Whiskey Shivers

official band site »

Barefoot, sleeveless and sweaty, Whiskey Shivers frontman and fiddle master Bobby Fitzgerald never stops smiling on stage. "All right! Let’s kick this thing in the face!” he barks, as the band tears into their stringed instruments at breakneck speed.

It's almost impossible to watch him perform more than a song or two without cracking a smile yourself. His exuberance is contagious, and it bleeds through into the music. Whether they're playing at a backyard house party in Texas, a punk-rock dive bar or a sprawling country music festival, crowds take notice. People put down their phones, pick up their drinks and start dancing.

“Whiskey Shivers isn't just the five of us on stage, it’s everybody in the room," Fitzgerald says. "We try to bring everybody into the moment and get them to realize there's no wall between us and the crowd. We're all in this together, and we're all here to have a good time. We'll do our best to facilitate it, but it takes all of us to make it happen. When you start to feel that, you can't help but feel a little attachment and become invested in the show. You realize, 'Oh, I'm here to have good time too!’”

Despite their joyful demeanor, the guys in Whiskey Shivers aren't pretending that life is always easy. Far from it, Fitzgerald explains.

It's in the contrast where Whiskey Shivers' music shines. They infuse their songs with punk rock energy and a darkly comical light-heartedness, stretching the bluegrass genre to fit whatever they feel is right. For them, being happy is a conscious choice, and making fun of life's struggles is part of their philosophy.


 
Beats Antique
ASADI | @Rams Head Live | view more info »
Sep
24

Beats Antique

ASADI


Sunday Sep 24|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
Rams Head Live|get directions »
20 Market Place
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 244-1131


Beats Antique

official band site »

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

Sidecar Tommy, David Satori and Zoe Jakes make up Beats Antique, who is releasing their 10th album on October 5th to commemorate their tenth year as a band. They’ve mounted a larger-than-life cross-country tour that will take their vision to theaters across America. “Shadowbox is both the title of our new album, the theme of our tour, and our new store front in Berkeley CA. We decided to bring it all together on this release.“

Mostly recorded at their studio in Oakland (which has been around since the 50s), the Bay Area band also recorded in Russia and Israel. “We were lucky to record in both Moscow and Tel Aviv, because we had shows there and wanted to connect with the local artists. We had amazing sessions in both locations; In Moscow we recorded on the outskirts of the city in a wild Industrial complex. We ended up going through strange corridors into this plush bamboo-floored-Hare-Krishna-owned recording studio with state of the art gear. When we were in Tel Aviv, we gave a call to a local legend Yossi Fine and he helped us get time at Pluto Studios, which is one of the best in the city. We recorded with Talya Solan and her amazing group of musicians. We used elements of the Tel Aviv session to create our track “Bdna Salam,” which is raising money for Syrian refugees.” Along with Talya other features on Shadowbox include Lafa Taylor, Alam Khan, Tatiana Kalmykova, brasshouse trio Too Many Zooz (who are touring with Beats Antique), Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Dana Elle, Madoline Tasquin and Medium Troy Orchestra.

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

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

An enthusiastic touring band, a new album also means a new tour, and since Beats Antique is all about the ‘concept,’ Shadowbox (the album and the idea) is another opportunity for them to get the creative juices flowing for the live shows. The band plan to use shadows, light, Indonesian shadow puppetry, custom-created lanterns, dance, story telling, crowd participation and more to make sure this is an unforgettable visual spectacle for their audience.

Shadowbox, an album that is an amalgamation of the history of Beats Antique, merged with a tour that will both tease and excite the senses, shows off what this band does best – transform, innovate and revolutionize what you think you know about music.


ASADI

official band site »

 
The Fruitful Darkness Tour
Trevor Hall
East Forest | @9:30 club | view more info »
Sep
26

The Fruitful Darkness Tour
Trevor Hall

East Forest


Tuesday Sep 26|doors 6:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


The Fruitful Darkness Tour
Trevor Hall

official band site »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


East Forest

official band site »

Armed with a live show that is continually evolving, the music of East Forest is “a revelatory excursion in sound” (Under The Gun) that invites listeners to “go on a journey of self discovery” (Earmilk). East Forest’s “blissful” (NPR) brand of music for old souls blends achingly emotional wordlessness, ambience, and contemporary classical touches with a influence of pop sensibilities and electronic flavors. Originating as the solo project of Trevor Oswalt, his interest in sound healing spurred his own research; eventually, his explorations and talents on the matter led to his own TED Talk in 2015. Oswalt’s music blends his life experiences as a performing pianist for a dance troupe, playing music in a hospice, as well as time spent with shamans in Amazonian jungle and backpacking throughout the mountains of the U.S. searching for inspiration. The project has made appearances including Mysteryland, Gillette Stadium, Grace Cathedral, Summit At Sea, SXSW, Google and toured throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe performing with artists including Moby, Crystal Bowersox, and Bluetech. His latest collaborative album Ritual Mystical hit #1 on the iTunes electronic charts (August 2016); his piano focused LP Held, was be released on December 16, 2016 on 1631 Recordings and recently, Held / Kindred — a collection of b-sides and remixes — was released as part of “Piano Day” 2017.

 
Jeff Austin Band
The Dirty Grass Players | @Gypsy Sally's | view more info »
Oct
1

Jeff Austin Band

The Dirty Grass Players


Sunday Oct 1|doors 6:00 pm|21+
Gypsy Sally's|get directions »
3401 K St NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 333-7700


Jeff Austin Band

official band site »

“When I’m writing a song, it’s not about the hot licks, it’s about the voice and how it can be showcased from song to song,” says musician Jeff Austin. His focus is on transporting his audience by way of his vocal: “It’s the direct communication with the crowd — not just asking them how they’re feeling, but bringing something out of them.” For Austin, the act of speaking to people through his art really means using his voice.

The career of the Colorado-based artist has already seen him break through jam and bluegrass scenes, play stages from The Fillmore Auditorium to Red Rocks Amphitheater, and outdoor events like Telluride Bluegrass Festival and Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, among many others. But with the launch of his solo career in 2014, Austin is now building on the foundations of previous ventures while honing his own sound and charting new courses.

“I’ve learned a lot from the people I’ve played with,” says Austin who has shared stages with such luminaries as Del McCoury, Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, Earle Scruggs, Jon Fishman, and Phil Lesh. And it’s artists such as these who have helped crystalize Austin’s idea of what he wants to do as he moves forward with his eponymous project. “From both the rock side and the bluegrass side,” he explains, “I’ve learned a lot about song structure, solo ideas, playing with guts, and being who you are.”

Although he considers the Jeff Austin Band his primary focus, the mandolinist and singer is also known for embracing collaborations. In 2004, he released a full-length album with Chris Castino (The Big Wu) that featured guest appearances by Noam Pikelny, Darol Anger, and Sally Van Meter. Just two short years later in 2006, Austin teamed with Keller Williams and Keith Moseley to record a live album of bluegrass takes on Grateful Dead covers. The project, released under the name Grateful Grass, benefited the Rex Foundation. And most recently, Austin revived 30db - his project with Brendan Bayliss of Umphrey’s McGee.

In truth, Austin only began playing the mandolin a few years before co-founding progressive bluegrass outfit Yonder Mountain String Band, a group with whom he parted ways in 2014. And, picking prowess aside, Austin has always considered his voice to be his first instrument. He was drawn to singing from a young age, pursuing musical theater in high school and college. That passion is still evident in his approach to song craft.

Austin draws from those varied roots and readily admits to still loving musicals, being fascinated by Madrigal singers, and tuning-in to a wide range of vocal powerhouses. He channels all of these influences into his solo career, while also seeking personal innovation. For his newest project, Austin sought out musicians on the cutting-edge of the acoustic and jazz music circles. Artists proficient in theory and technique, but not afraid to lend themselves to some “far-out arrangements.” The result is some of Austin’s most structured, yet exciting, compositions to date with an approach that fits within his own evolving journey and personal motto, "The work continues."

Although there is a strong undercurrent of momentum and innovation that course through Austin’s newest project, there is also a connection to the past with the bandleader revisiting selections from his back catalog. Offerings include “Dawn’s Early Light,” “Snow in the Pines,” and others dating back to the 1990s. What matters, Austin points out, is that those songs evoke strong emotional responses both from the audience and himself. Played by this new ensemble, those songs feel revitalized and fresh.

When it comes to dynamics and structure, Austin taps the variety of sounds and styles he's absorbed from theater, jamming, nearly twenty years of performance, and his love of experiencing live music as a fan. It’s that inner concert enthusiast that binds him to his own audience and a powerful exchange between the stage and the crowd. “I hope they take with them exactly what I hope they leave with us,” he says. “And that’s inspiration.”


The Dirty Grass Players

official band site »

Turning heads while showcasing original bluegrass and newgrass tunes such as “Mohegan Sun”. The Dirty Grass Players bring a solid performance from a group of musicians that come from diverse backgrounds, but have one similar interest in playing for the love of music.

 
Kitchen Dwellers & Horseshoes & Hand Grenades
@Gypsy Sally's | view more info »
Oct
6

Kitchen Dwellers & Horseshoes & Hand Grenades



Friday Oct 6|doors 6:30 pm|21+
Gypsy Sally's|get directions »
3401 K St NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 333-7700


Kitchen Dwellers

official band site »

Bozeman, MT-based bluegrass quartet Kitchen Dwellers are riding the wave of their sophomore release, Ghost in the Bottle, an album produced by Leftover Salmon’s Andy Thorn. The album also features Twiddle’s Mihali Savoulidis?, who joined the band in the studio to record the album’s first single “Vision of More.” The band continues to relentlessly tour the country, captivating audiences with their own unique style, dubbed “Galaxy Grass.”

Formed while attending college at Montana State, the group has burst onto the bluegrass scene sharing the stage with acts such as Railroad Earth, Greensky Bluegrass, The Infamous Stringdusters and Twiddle. In recent years the band has begun to tour nationally, hitting notable venues and festivals around the country including The Brooklyn Bowl, The Fox Theatre, Delfest, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Northwest String Summit, and The Frendly Gathering.


Horseshoes & Hand Grenades

official band site »

In 2010, the five Wisconsinites that make up Horseshoes & Hand Grenades found themselves in a living room in the college town of Stevens Point, WI, holding acoustic instruments and enjoying a hodgepodge of fermented beverages. Music and revelry ensued that evening and, while many of the party guests eventually bid their goodbye well into the morning hours, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades wasn’t ready to let the get-together fade. Many years later, the music still hasn’t stopped and the party is still going strong, from the mountain west to the river towns of the Midwest that the quintet calls home, and all across America.

While strongly rooted in bluegrass, old-time, and folk music, the band produces a sound that draws on the vaults of music collectively and individually enjoyed throughout the course of their lives thus far. The music doesn’t lend itself well to categories or boundaries. One could possibly be formed, but the boys seem to generally prefer fishing a river, or enjoying the company of friends and barley beers.

With their music well-defined or not, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades has begun to form a place in the American music scene, gaining recognition on both a regional and national scale. The band took 3rd place at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival’s Band Competition in 2012 and has since shared the stage with Trampled By Turtles, The Travelin’ McCourys, Railroad Earth, Merle Haggard, The Infamous Stringdusters, Yonder Mountain String Band, Marty Stuart, and many more. The group’s third full-length Middle Western was released in March of 2015 and another record is expected in 2017. Being mostly inspired by rivers, valleys, good friends, and good drink, this five-piece is as sturdy as any Midwest riverbed and will make your toes tap from sundown to sunrise.


 
The Main Squeeze
Squaring The Circle | @The 8x10 | view more info »
Oct
11

The Main Squeeze

Squaring The Circle


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


The Main Squeeze

official band site »

The Main Squeeze, with deep musical roots sprouted in the Midwest, have scored their lives at each twist and curve. While starting out as a party band at Indiana University, their forthcoming April 28th release “Without a Sound” illustrates their increasing musical maturity and creativity inspired by their new home in Los Angeles.

If maturity comes with experience, “Without a Sound” reflects this. The Main Squeeze has spent several years building their foundation since being championed by producer Randy Jackson: they have played Red Rocks; shared the stage with The Roots, Aloe Blacc, Jane’s Addiction, Umphrey’s McGee, and Trombone Shorty; and performed at music festivals like Bonnaroo, Electric Forest, Summer Camp, and High Sierra.

The Main Squeeze is a blend of soul and hip-hop, funk with rock. They know their sound is “soulful, powerful, and unique” (Newman). Rolling Stone agrees in their recent critique of a live show: “Lead singer Corey Frye’s powerfully soulful vocals forms the foundation of an energetic set.”

These underpinnings are important yet The Main Squeeze’s true focus will always be to “strive to reach people” through their beat loving heart in their music. “We are devoted to making great music for people to get lost in and to feel real emotion and love, and also to dance and enjoy life. And it’s only just the beginning” (Newman). Billboard believes they have touched on this goal: “Funk runs deep in their DNA. Dare you not to two-step.”

The beats on “Without A Sound” are plentiful and it is balanced with emotion, a mix of vocals, and instrumentation of the band. Their vibe is simultaneously timeless and futuristic as they are inspired by the greats, yet have found a way to infuse their own genius into the mix.

The Main Squeeze appeals to your head, heart and body.


Squaring The Circle

official band site »

Squaring The Circle, hailing from Baltimore, MD, is an organic original Jazz, Blues, and Funk quartet with a taste for the experimental jam.

Featuring musicians from Freedom Enterprise, Lake Trout, and Sol Frequency, Squaring The Circle takes the musical lessons learned from countless miles on the road and forms a formidable musical amalgamation of all our former bands along with the masters of Jazz, Blues, and Funk. Seeing Squaring The Circle Live is a feel good, free spirited, danceable, fun time with old friends and those you will meet for the very first time!! Our live performances are high energy parties blended with technically proficient and purpose-laden musical statements.

Currently, STC is in the process of expanding our original catalog while continuing to learn covers from such greats as Frank Zappa, Grant Green, Beatles, Stanton Moore Trio, and Soulive.

 
The Main Squeeze
Box Era | @Gypsy Sally's | view more info »
Oct
12

The Main Squeeze

Box Era


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


The Main Squeeze

official band site »

The Main Squeeze, with deep musical roots sprouted in the Midwest, have scored their lives at each twist and curve. While starting out as a party band at Indiana University, their forthcoming April 28th release “Without a Sound” illustrates their increasing musical maturity and creativity inspired by their new home in Los Angeles.

If maturity comes with experience, “Without a Sound” reflects this. The Main Squeeze has spent several years building their foundation since being championed by producer Randy Jackson: they have played Red Rocks; shared the stage with The Roots, Aloe Blacc, Jane’s Addiction, Umphrey’s McGee, and Trombone Shorty; and performed at music festivals like Bonnaroo, Electric Forest, Summer Camp, and High Sierra.

The Main Squeeze is a blend of soul and hip-hop, funk with rock. They know their sound is “soulful, powerful, and unique” (Newman). Rolling Stone agrees in their recent critique of a live show: “Lead singer Corey Frye’s powerfully soulful vocals forms the foundation of an energetic set.”

These underpinnings are important yet The Main Squeeze’s true focus will always be to “strive to reach people” through their beat loving heart in their music. “We are devoted to making great music for people to get lost in and to feel real emotion and love, and also to dance and enjoy life. And it’s only just the beginning” (Newman). Billboard believes they have touched on this goal: “Funk runs deep in their DNA. Dare you not to two-step.”

The beats on “Without A Sound” are plentiful and it is balanced with emotion, a mix of vocals, and instrumentation of the band. Their vibe is simultaneously timeless and futuristic as they are inspired by the greats, yet have found a way to infuse their own genius into the mix.

The Main Squeeze appeals to your head, heart and body.


Box Era

official band site »

Risen from the ashes of keg-fueled house parties and sweaty bars of College Park, MD, Box Era has planted itself as a staple in the up-and-coming DMV music scene. Creating a jam-inspired electro-pop and funk blend, Box Era’s music arms you with every tool necessary to go talk to that special someone you’ve been eyeing up. You’ll find yourself dancing the night away, shaking hands with CEOs, and experiencing the juiciest sweet-and-sour jamwich of your life.

With a debut EP right round the corner, Box Era is gearing up for an explosive 2017. From word of mouth alone, the band has already supported national headliners and conquered renowned venues across the region. The party is only going to grow. There’s a saxophone, a talkbox, and two pairs of glasses. There’s magic, youth, and the most unique sound you’ve heard since The Bangles. Box Era is the story of five boys wandering the halls of Xanadu, forever in search of sweet cream.

 
Runaway Gin
A Tribute To Phish | @Gypsy Sally's | view more info »
Oct
13

Runaway Gin

A Tribute To Phish


Friday Oct 13|doors 7:00 pm|21+
Gypsy Sally's|get directions »
3401 K St NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 333-7700


Runaway Gin


A Tribute To Phish

official band site »

With over 245 shows performed, Runaway Gin is the World's Most Active Phish Tribute Band. They play Sundays whenever possible in their hometown at the Charleston Pour House and tour often. On July 4th, 2015, after the second show of the Grateful Dead GD50 run, Runaway Gin sold out the Hard Rock Cafe in Chicago and catapulting them from a Southeastern regional act onto the National scene.

The members of Runaway Gin are long time Phish fans who have united with the goal of creating musical moments inspired by Phish. The band's song list is constantly growing and their improvisational and communication skills are constantly developing independently and together. Like Phish, Runaway Gin will never play the same show or jam the same way twice making every show a unique experience and every moment pure artistic creation.

 
JJ Grey & Mofro
The Commonheart | @9:30 club | view more info »
Oct
20

JJ Grey & Mofro

The Commonheart


Friday Oct 20|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


JJ Grey & Mofro

official band site »

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

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

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

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

When he isn't touring, Grey exerts his prodigious energies on the family land, a former chicken-farm that was run by his maternal grandmother and grandfather. The farm boasts a recording studio, a warehouse that doubles as Grey's gym, an open-air barn, and of course those 50-odd pecan trees that occasionally require Grey to go airborne with his sprayer. For devoted listeners, there is something fitting, even affirmative in Grey's commitment to the land of his north Florida home. The farms and eddying swamps of his youth are as much a part of Grey's music as the Louisiana swamp-blues tradition, or the singer's collection of old Stax records.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


The Commonheart

official band site »

With gritty vocals over rock riffs and horns, The Commonheart delivers an emotion-packed, soulful sound that lights up any stage. Frontman Clinton Clegg is a powerhouse who commands full attention with his limitless onstage energy and vocal range. The new album “Grown” is a remarkable display of each member’s talent interlacing heavy blues, soul, and gospel influence across trumpet, saxophone, keys, guitar, and singers. The Commonheart’s sound is a true testament to the past while completely holding its own as one of today’s most promising acts.

 
Moon Hooch & Marco Benevento
@9:30 club | view more info »
Oct
21

Moon Hooch & Marco Benevento



Saturday Oct 21|doors 10:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


Moon Hooch

official band site »

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

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

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


Marco Benevento

official band site »

For more than a decade pianist Marco Benevento has been amassing an extensive body of work. His studio albums and live performances set forth a vision that connects the dots in the vast space between LCD Soundsystem and Leon Russell, pulsating with dance rock energy, but with smart, earthy songwriting to match. It has led to numerous high profile appearances, ranging from Carnegie Hall to Pickathon, Mountain Jam to Treefort Festival, while headlining shows coast to coast.

Marco Benevento’s latest studio LP, The Story of Fred Short, and its companion live release, The Woodstock Sessions, is some of his finest and most adventurous work to date—a maestro making "bold indie rock" says Brooklyn Vegan, while the LA Times raves, “Benevento continues to straighten his twisted sound into the guise of an indie-rock singer-songwriter, harnessing his inventive sonic palette into rewardingly bite-size pop songs that touch on disco and soul." Honing his psych rock and late night dance party sensibilities, the recordings find the pianist citing everything from Harry Nilsson, Manu Chau and Gorillaz as inspiration.

As anybody who's seen Marco Benevento perform can attest, with eyes closed, smile wide across his face and fingers free-flowing across the keys, he's a satellite to the muse. With a devout and growing fan-base, Benevento is an artist whose story is only beginning to unfold.


 
Moon Taxi
Too Many Zooz | @9:30 club | view more info »
Oct
21

Moon Taxi

Too Many Zooz


Saturday Oct 21|doors 6:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


Moon Taxi

official band site »

The five-piece band hailing from Nashville has released three albums: Cabaret (2012), Mountains Beaches Cities (2013) and Daybreaker (2015). They have appeared on Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and Conan. Their music has also been featured in multiple commercial and TV placements including BMW, Nashville, MLB, NFL, and HBO Sports to name a few. A festival favorite, the band has performed at Bonnaroo, Coachella, Governor's Ball, Hangout Festival, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, Outside Lands and more. Daybreaker was recorded at Blackbird Studios in Nashville and produced by Jacquire King (Kings Of Leon, Modest Mouse, Tom Waits, James Bay). Fans can expect a new album from Moon Taxi this summer.


Too Many Zooz

official band site »

With the snowballing trend towards electronic instrumentation in music, it's easy to forget where it all first started: on street corners with real instruments, playing for tips, that is until you've heard Too Many Zooz. Too Many Zooz is a three-piece "BrassHouse" band comprised of Matt Doe, Leo P, and King of Sludge. The group found their voice playing for change on New York's subway platforms, honing extremely danceable rhythms and melodies.

 
Melvin Seals & JGB
@The Hamilton | view more info »
Oct
27

Melvin Seals & JGB



Friday Oct 27|doors 6:30 pm|all ages
The Hamilton|get directions »
600 14th Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 787-1000


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. With acoustic and electric ingredients and unique combinations of Zach Nugent’s guitar and vocals, John Paul McLean's savory bass, Pete Lavezzoli’s hearty drums and, of course, a heapin' helpin' of the wizard's magic on Hammond B-3 Organ and keyboards. Along with Shirley Starks and Cheryl Rucker on back-up vocals, the result is a most satisfying blend of natural organic grooves that challenges genre boundaries. 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!


 
TAUK
@Baltimore Soundstage | view more info »
Nov
3

TAUK



Friday Nov 3|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
Baltimore Soundstage|get directions »
124 Market Place
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 244-0057


TAUK

official band site »

On their third studio album Sir Nebula, TAUK tap into their singular chemistry to elevate and expand their all-instrumental blend of funk, hip-hop, progressive rock, and jazz. Revealing both their refined musicality and unbridled creativity, the Oyster Bay, New York-bred rock-fusion four-piece (guitarist Matt Jalbert, bassist Charlie Dolan, keyboardist/organist Alric “A.C.” Carter, and drummer Isaac Teel) push into new sonic terrain and build entire worlds within each richly textured soundscape.

From the hazy atmospherics of “Time’s Up” and soaring riffs of “Program Select” to the urgent rhythms of “Shenanigans” and sprawling melodies of “Where You Are,” Sir Nebula finds TAUK introducing a cosmically inspired element to their music. “The album ended up taking on a more ambient kind of vibe than anything we’ve done before—there’s a spaciness in the songs that lets you get lost in the sound,” says Dolan. And while the album is endlessly hypnotic, TAUK also deliver the dynamic tension-and-release jams that have helped earn them a devoted following while drawing critical acclaim (the Washington Post, for one, praised TAUK for “creating a hard-charging, often melodic fusion that—thanks to a penchant for improv—offers limitless possibilities”).

Throughout Sir Nebula—the follow-up to their 2015 live double album HEADROOM—TAUK allow a more free-form, instinct-guided approach to steer their music into bold new directions. “With this record, we felt more comfortable in the studio and got to a new level where we were able to constantly feed off each other, so there was a lot of spur-of-the-moment improvisation that really helped shape the album,” says Jalbert. Adds Carter: “We made a point of trying to express ourselves freely and take risks even when that felt challenging and scary, instead of holding ourselves back and possibly taking something away from the songs.” At the same time, TAUK sharpened their songwriting to craft more intricately layered arrangements and powerfully intense grooves.

As with their past four releases, TAUK created Sir Nebula in collaboration with Grammy Award-winning producer/mixer/engineer Robert Carranza (The Mars Volta, Ozomatli, Jack Johnson, Taj Mahal). But in a departure from their previous work, the band made the album in one concentrated period rather than spacing the recording sessions out in between tours. Holing up at the Solar Powered Plastic Plant in Los Angeles, often pulling 12-hour workdays, TAUK ultimately found the revamped recording process hugely beneficial. “Everything just happened so naturally this time around,” says Jalbert. “I can’t think of one moment where it felt like anything was forced. We were all just completely focused and in the same mindset, which made it this incredibly fun and smooth experience.”

TAUK’s creative connection traces back to childhood, when longtime friends Dolan, Jalbert, and Carter formed their first band in seventh grade and held practice in their school basement. After playing together in various projects over the years, the trio brought Teel into the fold in 2012, cementing the final lineup. “We gelled pretty quickly as friends and as musicians, and now there’s a connection onstage that’s unspoken,” notes Teel. “You just feel it from the energy within the band and from the response coming from the crowd—all these people in the same exact headspace.”

Since their formation, TAUK have shared stages with an impressive list of bands (including Widespread Panic, Umphrey’s McGee, Lettuce, and Tim Reynolds & TR3), in addition to appearing at festivals like Electric Forest, Bonnaroo, and The Allman Brothers’ Peach Music Festival. That rigorous touring schedule has gone a long way in strengthening their chemistry, according to Carter. “We’re doing 140 shows a year and we pretty much live with each other, so there’s a healthy respect and trust and love happening there,” he says. “We all have a common goal and an understanding that this is something we’re compelled to do, and that’s definitely brought us close together.” It’s also helped TAUK develop a reputation as a masterful live act: “TAUK is unstoppable,” raved Live for Live Music. “If you haven’t see them, dear God, go.”

Now on the road again (with upcoming dates including a two-night stint at the Brooklyn Bowl and spots on the Hangtown Music Festival, North Coast Music Festival, and Catskill Chill Music Festival), TAUK also have plans to widen their output by composing scores for film and television. In the meantime, the band is focused on instilling their live show with the same kinetic energy and boundless passion that powered the making of Sir Nebula. “Growing up together as musicians and collectively going on this journey—that’s what makes this experience really special,” says Jalbert of TAUK’s continued evolution. “It’s like everything we’ve learned over the years has been funneled into this band, and now it’s taking shape in a really exciting way. We all love what we’re doing, and the band just feels like home.”


 
The Movement & New Kingston
Little Stranger | @Gypsy Sally's | view more info »
Nov
4

The Movement & New Kingston

Little Stranger


Saturday Nov 4|doors 7:00 pm|21+
Gypsy Sally's|get directions »
3401 K St NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 333-7700


The Movement

official band site »

The Movement’s new single “Siren” (feat. Stick Figure) was released June 30 on Rootfire Cooperative, and debuted at #1 on the iTunes reggae chart. This is the followup to 2016’s #1 Billboard reggae album, GOLDEN, and is the band’s first collaboration with producer Johnny Cosmic.

Formed in 2003 by a trio of Sublime and Pixies fans, Joshua Swain, Jordan Miller, and John Ruff, aka DJ Riggles, launched The Movement with their "alternative reggae" debut album, ON YOUR FEET. In 2008, the group met Chris DiBeneditto, a Philadelphia-based producer who had worked with like-minded acts such as Slightly Stoopid and G. Love & Special Sauce. Relocating to Philadelphia, they recorded SET SAIL at DiBeneditto’s Philadelphonic Studios. The Movement expanded with the addition of Jason "Smiles" Schmidt on bass and Gary Jackson on drums. In 2012, they released SIDE BY SIDE, debuting at #2 on the Billboard Reggae Chart. In 2014 The Movement released BENEATH THE PALMS, a surprise acoustic album as a free gift to their fans. Shortly thereafter they began working on what would become their finest album to date, GOLDEN, which hit #1 on iTunes and Billboard Reggae charts and was voted 2016 Album Of The Year by Surf Roots Radio. Keyboardist Ross Bogan joined the group in Spring of 2016.


New Kingston

official band site »

New Kingston is best described as a Progressive Reggae group. Since 2006, the band of brothers – Tahir (keys), Courtney Jr. (drums), and Stephen (guitar) – have harnessed their dual identities, in order to craft an entirely unique sound that pays homage to their roots. This band of brothers, under the watchful eye of their father (and bassist) Courtney Panton Sr., dubbed themselves New Kingston, to appropriately reflect the combination of their Jamaican heritage and their present lives in New York City. It is the fusion of these two identities, both their cultural roots and their current home, that guides their musical and stylistic direction.

The band has grown considerably since their beginnings of covering Bob Marley, Dennis Brown and Earth, Wind & Fire in their Brooklyn basement. Their relentless drive and unwavering passion led to their placement on tours, supporting other major acts on the reggae scene. These tours allowed the band to develop an undeniable stage presence, while giving them the opportunity to expand their growing fan base and sharpen their own original material.

New Kingston self-released their first two full-length albums: In the Streets (2010) and Kingston University (2013) before signing with popular New York-based record label Easy Star Records. The band’s third studio album, Kingston City (2015), was met with praise from fans and critics alike, peaking at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Reggae Albums chart. Most recently, the band released their stellar Kingston Fyah EP on July 29, 2016, hitting the road with a national tour of the same name.


Little Stranger

official band site »

Born and raised in Philly and crash-landed in Charleston, John and Kevin Shields are the core members of the quirky indie hip-hop group Little Stranger. Whether performing as a duo or with a 5-piece band, Little Stranger is a fresh hybrid of John’s singer-songwriter magnetism and Kevin’s hard hitting, in-your-face delivery. Stylistically reminiscent of Gorillaz and Twenty One Pilots, Little Stranger inhabits a relatively unex- plored niche at this point in time. They’re all about originality, every song is a separate work unto itself with all the strangeness that their name implies.

Though the band is relatively new, John and Kevin Shields bring years of experience to the table. With previous bands, they’ve played with names like Slightly Stoopid, Del the Funky Homosapien, Grace Potter, Papadosio, The Heavy Pets, and John Brown’s Body. Little Stranger was quickly recognized at home, named “Hip-Hop Act of the Year” in the 2016 Charleston City Paper Music Awards and listed jointly as one of “17 People to Watch in 2017” in the Charleston Indie blog, Out of the Wood- work. They’ve toured up and down the East Coast and recently released a string of eclectic music videos to their fans. With an ever-increasing arsenal of new tunes, Little Stranger is poised and ready to make 2017 a big year.

 
Elephant Revival
@The Hamilton | view more info »
Nov
8

Elephant Revival



Wednesday Nov 8|doors 6:30 pm|18+
The Hamilton|get directions »
600 14th Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 787-1000


Elephant Revival

official band site »

A haunting sound, at once evocative and mysterious, ushers in Petals, the latest album by Elephant Revival. Notes rise and suffuse the silence; are joined by a deep bass drone, a quiet pulse of cello and a percussive tick: daybreak made music.

That first sound on the lead track, “Hello You Who,” is a steel guitar, and its cinematic swell foreshadows the exploration of new territory by this beloved Rocky Mountain ensemble. A new band member and the introduction of instruments like the pedal steel and the cello into their already impressive treasure trove of strings and percussion are just the beginning. Petals embodies a deepening, as the quintet dives into themes of loss and rebirth, time and memory, love unbound by body or farewell. “Hello you who moves with me in a dance/Hello you who moves me like the sea/…Who loves me Love loves me just to be.” This hello is both a celebration of unconditional love and an invitation to join Elephant Revival in its wayfaring.

The death of a close friend having left its indelible mark on the band, many of the songs on Petals represent what guitarist Daniel Rodriguez calls “an honoring and a coping.” But this is not an album about despair or darkness; it’s a thanksgiving and a prayer for what endures and returns. “She thanks the sky, and she walks the earth/…To the broken-hearted, to the burdened, too/To everyone, peace tonight” (“Peace Tonight”). This idea is embodied in the very name Elephant Revival: moved by the separation and subsequent death of three elephants at the Chicago zoo, bass and mandolin player Dango Rose was inspired to busk in front of what was once their enclosure. Not just a gesture, but a true endeavor to create meaning and grace from loss. Petals, the band’s fourth album, is, in fact, a revival.

As ever, Nature is both a real and metaphorical touchstone in Elephant Revival’s work, from the petals pressed into the book of memory in the title track (“These petals intended for giving release”), to the seasons spinning through death and rebirth in “Season Song.” There are intimations too, of the ominous vulnerability of Nature to our darker impulses. In “Raindrops,” Bonnie Paine sings, “Raindrops on the rooftops he said/Just stop and listen/Constant as the earthquakes.” She is both warning of the real effects of fracking and reminding us that a remedy may lie in deep listening—to each other and to the earth itself. The band’s commitment to community and the environment remains at the core of their music.

Elephant Revival’s music maintains its roots in American and Celtic songcraft, but on Petals, they achieve a compositional maturity that in moments can evoke the modern classical ensemble. Spare, almost conversational strings punctuate the rhythmic momentum in songs like the title track and the almost archetypically stark Celtic narrative, “Furthest Shore,” a continuation of the story told in the song “Currach” from their first 2008 self-titled release. The icy drama of the North Sea inhabits those percussive strings and resounding drums. This kind of intensity recurs in other songs, like “When I Fall,” a Dango Rose-penned shout-out for transcendence through trial, whose unison power chorus brings to mind Pink Floyd’s The Wall.

Passion arises from compassion on this album; tenderness and wildness go hand in hand. Dan Rodriguez’ voice on wholehearted folk songs like “On and On” and “Home In Your Heart” is a gentle counterpoint to Paine’s vocal intensity, and the songwriting overall describes a wide arc. Just follow Bridget Law’s expressive fiddle through the course of the album to hear the moan of the blues, the lyricism of the folk ballad, the elegant bones of the chamber piece, the bluegrass punch. All the earthy rhythms, eclectic influences and the rich instrumental brew that Elephant Revival fans cherish are here. But eclecticism, though a key feature of their sound, has never been the point. For these multi-instrumentalists, these singers and writers, sound and song serve one another: the play between instrumentation, composition, emotion and restraint is an organic unfolding. Paine, for example, has never recorded or performed on the cello before this album, but she’s written songs on it for years, so if her throaty cello somehow sounds like a deep extension of her voice, it is. And if new band member Charlie Rose’s magnetic pedal steel conjures ghosts—of love, of landscapes—it’s because Petals is haunted by those things.

Elephant Revival’s is the music of connection—kin-folk—and the message of Petals, their most intimate album to date, is not how life is about loss, but rather how much life there is in loss, how much potency, how much love. The ghost of the beloved in the final track “Close As Can Be” is not, after all, far away. “…I feel you near/You’re lifting the leaves/Saying to me/We’ll be close as can be.” The hello of the first song has gone on a musical odyssey and found in the end, in goodbye, its mirror image: the promise once more of unending and unconditional love.


 
John Mclaughlin & Jimmy Herring
Meeting of the Spirits-Mahavishnu Orchestra Music | @Lincoln Theatre | view more info »
Nov
11

John Mclaughlin & Jimmy Herring

Meeting of the Spirits-Mahavishnu Orchestra Music


Saturday Nov 11|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
Lincoln Theatre|get directions »
1215 U St NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 888-0050


John Mclaughlin

official band site »


Jimmy Herring

official band site »


Meeting of the Spirits-Mahavishnu Orchestra Music

GUITARIST JOHN MCLAUGHLIN REVISITS THE LEGACY OF MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA ON HIS FAREWELL U.S. TOUR WITH GUITARIST JIMMY HERRING

In a career that spans over five decades, John McLaughlin, one of music’s most influential and prolific guitarists, composers, and bandleaders, will begin his farewell U.S. tour on November 1 in Buffalo, NY. McLaughlin will be joined by Jimmy Herring, who has been in the creative forefront of the American rock-jam movement for 25 years. The Meeting of the Spirits tour will hit 23 cities before ending in Los Angeles on December 9.

Highlighting this musical adventure will be John McLaughlin revisiting the pioneering music he introduced with his genre-defying Mahavishnu Orchestra. In addition, McLaughlin is expected to release a new album just before the tour launches. More details to be announced.

McLaughlin’s first extensive U.S. tour in seven years, The Meeting of the Spirits also marks his first extended exploration of the Mahavishnu Orchestra material from seminal albums such as Inner Mounting Flame, Birds of Fire, Between Nothingness and Eternity, Visions of the Emerald Beyond and more since the band’s original heyday in the 1970s.

Jimmy Herring, best known for his inspired contributions to the Aquarium Rescue Unit, The Allman Brothers, Widespread Panic, The Dead, and others, will be co-headlining each show with his new band ‘The Invisible Whip,’ comprised of Jeff Sipe-Apt Q258 (drums), Matt Slocum (B3 and Clavinet), Jason Crosby (Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer) and Kevin Scott (bass).

On The Meeting of the Spirits tour, separate sets by Herring and McLaughlin will be followed by the two joining forces for an expansive closing jam based on classic Mahavishnu Orchestra material. The tour will feature the first extended collaborations between two of world’s foremost guitarists. McLaughlin will be backed by his current band, the 4th Dimension – Ranjit Barot (drums), Gary Husband (keyboards, drums), and Etienne M’Bappe? (bass) – each an established composer and recording artist in his own right. Expect special surprise guests to be added when available.

 
Victor Wooten Trio
featuring Dennis Chambers & Bob Franceschini | @9:30 club | view more info »
Dec
16

Victor Wooten Trio

featuring Dennis Chambers & Bob Franceschini


Saturday Dec 16|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


Victor Wooten Trio


featuring Dennis Chambers & Bob Franceschini

official band site »

Victor Wooten announces tour dates with an all-star lineup in the 2017-2018 season.  Featuring legendary drummer, Dennis Chambers; and renowned saxophonist Bob Franceschini.

Victor Wooten
Victor Lemonte Wooten is a unique human being. Born the youngest of five boys, he began learning to play music at the tender age of two. He started performing in nightclubs and theaters as the bassist with the family band at age five and at age six was on tour with The Wooten brothers opening shows for legendary soul artist Curtis Mayfield.

Fast forward a few decades, and we know Wooten as a 5-time Grammy Winner, a founding member of the Grammy award-winning band Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, the only multiple winner of Bass Player Magazine’s reader’s poll (3 times), voted one of the top ten bassists of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine, and having won just about every award awarded to a bassist, but this only represents a portion of who Victor Wooten really is.

Many know Victor the musician, but it should also be known that, in his youth, Wooten organized a 2 year student run safety patrol to help rid his high school of violence, and upon graduation, expanded the organization to help the neighboring cities. He received a special award for being one of the top graduating African American students in the Tidewater area of Virginia, and was also offered a scholarship to play soccer at a local college.

Currently, Wooten is a published author, an acclaimed teacher, a naturalist who enjoys teaching about the world we live in, a sought after lecturer, runs a non-profit organization, and is an entrepreneur among other things. A few years ago, Victor and his wife purchased nearly 150 acres of land near Nashville, TN and built a retreat center with the sole purpose of helping kids and adults improve their lives. A few years later, in order to be in complete control of his own music, Wooten formed a record label called VIX Records. In addition to all of this, he continues to record and perform with artists such as Béla Fleck, Chick Corea, The Dave Matthews Band, SMV (Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller, Victor Wooten), and his brothers, as well as with his own band - The Victor Wooten Band.

Wooten, a loving husband and father of four, is a person dedicated to using what he has achieved to help those around him. He credits his parents and brothers with given him not only the skills to reach success but also the mindset necessary for successfully dealing with it, as well as the wisdom and aspiration to help others achieve their own successes.

In response to multiple requests for Victor to write a music instruction book, Wooten took a different approach by writing a story instead. His novel, The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music (Berkley Publishing Group/Penguin USA Inc.), has quickly become a “must-read” book for musicians worldwide. Through this book, which shares his unique outlook on music and life, Wooten has helped educate and inspire thousands of people of all ages whether they are musicians or not, teachers or students, professionals or novices. The Music Lesson offers a natural path to music, life, and creativity and has been translated into four additional languages.

Victor Wooten’s Center for Music and Nature (vixcamps.com) is a not-for- profit organization through which Wooten holds music, nature, and other educational programs throughout the year. Wooten Woods (wootenwoods.com), a retreat center near Nashville, TN, is the home for all of Victor’s camps. Wooten Woods contains nearly 150 lush picturesque acres and is situated alongside the scenic Duck River, one of the world’s most bio-diverse rivers.

As well as teaching and inspiring people through his books, camps, videos, and workshops, Victor was hired in 2015 by Berklee College of Music as a Performance Scholar in Residence. Now, as one of the newest faculty members, Wooten teaches at the school every month and is the co-director of the Victor Wooten/Berklee Summer Bass Program, which runs every summer.


Dennis Chambers
Chambers began drumming at the age of four years, and was gigging in Baltimore-area nightclubs by the age of six. He was recruited in 1981 by the Sugar Hill Label to be their "house drummer." Dennis plays on many Sugar Hill releases including, "Rapper's Delight." In 1978 (at 18 years old) he joined Parliament/Funkadelic, and stayed with them until 1985. In 1986 he joined the John Scofield band. Since then he has played with most of the major figures in jazz fusion music. 

Dennis Chambers is an American drummer who has recorded and performed with John Scofield, George Duke,Brecker Brothers, Santana, Parliament/Funkadelic, John McLaughlin, Niacin, Mike Stern, CAB, Greg Howe, and many others. Despite a lack of formal training, Chambers has become well known among drummers for his technique and speed.  Chambers is particularly regarded for his ability to play "in the pocket" but can also stretch very far out of the pocket which is also a hallmark of his technique. Chambers exhibits a powerful style that is technically proficient, yet highly musical and groove-oriented. He can play in a wide variety of musical genres, but is perhaps most notable for his jazz-fusion, funk, and Latin music playing. He is mostly known for his fast hands and triplets on the bass drum.  


Bob Franceschini
Saxophonist, songwriter, and arranger Bob Franceschini has appeared on more than 200 albums for artists of many idioms including Mike Stern, Paul Simon, Willie Colon, Celine Dion, Bebe Winans, Tito Puente, Tower of Power, Victor Wooten, and Tom Browne. In addition to composing and arranging, Bob has performed as a touring musician with Mike Stern, The Yellow Jackets, Chaka Khan, Victor Wooten, George Benson, Paul Simon, Eddie Palmieri, Tom Browne, Willie Colón, and many others.