all good news

 
Greensky Bluegrass
Cris Jacobs | @9:30 club | view more info »
sold out
Jan
31

Greensky Bluegrass

Cris Jacobs


Saturday Jan 31|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930
Sold Out


Greensky Bluegrass

official band site »

“There’s this great duality to our band,” reflects Greensky Bluegrass mandolinist, vocalist, and songwriter Paul Hoffman. “We’re existing in a few different places at once: we’re a bluegrass band and a rock band, we’re song-driven and interested in extended improvisation.”

“We play acoustic instruments,” adds dobro player Anders Beck, “but we put on a rock’n’roll show. We play in bigger clubs and theaters, there’s a killer light show, and we’re as loud as your favorite rock band. It’s not easy to make five acoustic instruments sound like this – it’s something we’ve spent years working on.”

From these seemingly irreconcilable elements, the five members of Greensky Bluegrass have forged a defiant, powerful sound that, while rooted in classic stringband Americana, extends outwards with a fearless, exploratory zeal. The tension and release between these components – tradition and innovation, prearranged songs and improvisation, acoustic tones and electric volume – is what makes them so thrillingly dynamic, in concert and on record. “In theory,” Hoffman explains, “greensky is the complete opposite of bluegrass. So, by definition, we are contrasting everything that isn’t bluegrass with everything that is.”

That their sound is so seamless, so organic, is testament to Greensky’s enduring vision and tireless dedication. Since their first rumblings at the start of the millennium, they have emerged as relentless road warriors, creating a captivating live show while at the same time developing a knack for evocative, disarming songcraft.

Their fifth studio album, If Sorrows Swim – available September 9, 2014 and distributed by Thirty Tigers – is their most riveting yet, balancing gripping songs (by Hoffman and guitarist Dave Bruzza) and remarkably thoughtful, tight arrangements with an instrumental fluidity born of countless hours playing together – on stage and off.

From their unlikely base of Kalamazoo, Michigan (home of the original Gibson Mandolin-Guitar factory), Greensky – which also includes banjoist Michael Arlen Bont and bassist Michael Devol – arrived at their unique take on the bluegrass tradition by working from the outside inward. “I found bluegrass through the back door,” Beck says, “through the Jerry Garcia route. That’s how I got to listening to Bill Monroe and Earl Scruggs. It’s really interesting how many people in our generation got into acoustic music through that channel.”

Approaching their instruments from an open-ended, rock perspective gave them the freedom to create their own rules. “We were always coming at bluegrass backwards,” Hoffman says. “We were better musicians than we were bluegrass musicians. I mean, I didn’t buy a mandolin until I was 18. Dave didn’t start playing acoustic guitar until he was 18. Bont got a banjo when he was 20. We discovered that, when it came to learning these instruments, we preferred to do so by improvising and writing our own songs, instead playing standard material and fiddle tunes.”

The roots of Greensky Bluegrass lay in the friendship of Bruzza and Bont. While nurturing a nascent interest in acoustic music, they were joined by Hoffman. The trio shedded intently, playing informally in living rooms and at open mics for years before setting out as a band. Devol, a classically trained cellist, was added in the fall of 2004, and in 2006 Greensky Bluegrass won the coveted band contest at Colorado’s forward-thinking Telluride Bluegrass Festival. At that point, the members dedicated themselves to Greensky full-time and began widening their touring radius.

In 2007, dobroist Beck came aboard. From the sidelines, he was quick to pinpoint the band’s appeal. “It was all about the songs,” he says. “You can be the best pickers in the world or the most educated musicians, but, all in all, the things that connect with people are songs, lyrics, and melodies. That was the real kicker.”

By playing up to 175 shows a year, mostly in rock clubs and more open-minded festivals like Telluride, Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo, and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Greensky Bluegrass became a word-of-mouth underground sensation, cultivating a devoted legion of fans entranced both by the band’s improvisational acumen and the quality of their songwriting. Then and now, despite their wide-ranging musical interests, Greensky continues to work within the structure of a classic five-man stringband. “The cool thing about a bluegrass band or, really, any drummerless band,” Hoffman explains, “is that it’s like acoustic chamber music — challenging, exciting, and fun to play.”

“While there are potential limitations because of our instrumentation,” Beck adds, “a really big part of what is Greensky Bluegrass is about is to essentially ignore those limitations.”

The depth and sophistication of the band’s interplay is showcased throughout If Sorrows Swim, across a program of stirring, resonant original songs. Recorded over ten days, the album was tracked to two-inch tape. “The decision to use tape over digital recording is basically the decision to use less,” Hoffman explains. “It’s not about everything being perfect, it’s about capturing a moment in time."

The album mixes previously unrecorded, road-tested concert staples with new material carefully honed with the sort of razor’s edge focus that the recording studio inspires.

If Sorrows Swim opens with “Windshield,” a haunting rumination that slowly builds in emotional and musical intensity around an an insistent pulse from the bass. The desperation in Hoffman’s increasingly anguished vocal is slowly surrounded by churning rhythm guitar and incessant banjo before the tension is dispersed by a plaintive dobro solo. A brooding cello line deep in the mix adds an ominous undercurrent, and underpins the group’s swirling counterpoint as the track fades.

The album’s title derives from “Burn Them,” a minor key reflection set to a more straight-ahead, driving bluegrass rhythm. “There was something on This American Life,” Hoffman recalls. “Someone was talking about just how upset and sad they were. They were drinking a lot, but they just couldn’t drink that pain away. When I heard that, I thought to myself, ‘What if sorrows swim?’ I couldn’t get that thought out of my mind.” Tightly orchestrated, the performance is marked by ingenious touches. The transitions between the guitar and mandolin solos are delineated by a quick unison passage played by both instruments, and Bont contributes an especially nimble, melodic break.

Having two distinct songwriting voices further enriches If Sorrows Swim, with Bruzza contributing a quartet of varied, insightful songs featuring his burnished, soulful vocals. “Worried About the Weather” moves between a swinging half-time feel and a breezier, bluegrass tempo – reinforcing the contrast between relief and uncertainty embodied in the lyric. Bruzza’s brisk “Kerosene” features some of the album’s more daring improvisational passages, and highlights the band’s gift for electrically processing their acoustic instruments to emphasize the emotion behind their playing. Hoffman’s mandolin solo is colored by subtle delay, while Bruzza’s spacious, inquisitive break finds him employing a slightly distorted tone to further escalate the song’s intensity.

“What makes this album different from the last,” Hoffman explains, referring to 2011’s accomplished Handguns, “is that we paid so much more attention to what the song needs. At every juncture, we would ask, ‘Does it serve the song?’ We ask that a lot.” Throughout If Sorrows Swim, Greensky’s playing and arrangements are impressively intricate – and showcased in a rich, spacious sound that lets each note and accent sing and decay as if in slow motion.

The taxing yet rewarding process of recording now behind them, Greensky Bluegrass is anxious to unveil If Sorrows Swim’s unheard material in concert. “The live experience is this springboard,” Beck muses. “You just see what happens. When you’re improvising every night and taking risks, it becomes a very circular thing with the audience — the audience feeds off the energy of the band and the band feeds off the energy of the audience and it becomes a much bigger thing.”

With the release of their first nationally distributed album and a busy touring season ahead of them, Greensky Bluegrass are facing a new level of exposure. It’s a challenge they are up to, that they embrace. As their music and their audience has grown, so have they, and their sites are set ever-higher.

“When we were doing our first shows and making those early records,” Hoffman concludes, “it was stressful because we wanted to hit the right notes. We just wanted it to be good enough. But now, we want it to be great.”


Cris Jacobs

official band site »

Singer-songwriter Cris Jacobs has explored the outer realms of bluegrass, folk, funk, country, blues, soul, and rock with stylistic reverence, adventurous alchemy, and emotional sincerity. Throughout his musical travels he’s amassed a dedicated fanbase engaged by the warmth and high quality of his lived-in songs.

“I’ve always just accepted and respected that evolution is part of the creative process,” the Baltimore, Maryland-based artist explains. “But I’ve made sure that throughout my work, I’ve always been honest. That’s the end goal, writing music that is meaningful to me.”

Cris Jacobs began his career fronting the acclaimed band and award-winning jam band The Bridge. The sextet released four albums in 10 years, and averaged 200 shows a year. When the band went on permanent hiatus, Cris continued on following the music. In 2012, he issued his solo debut, Songs For Cats And Dogs, a masterful album featuring poignant songwriting, honey and whiskey soaked vocals, burly riffs, dazzling guitar playing, and bucolic pedal steel guitar. Jacobs’s solo career was welcomed by fans and media alike, widening his profile as he appeared on television, on NPR’s Mountain Stage sessions, and was personally tapped by Stevie Winwood and Sturgill Simpson for national tours. Currently, Jacobs is readying his sophomore album.

It’s been a profoundly inspiring new beginning for Jacobs. Away from the band mindset, he realized he could be more reflective and explore more intimate ends of the Americana spectrum. As he prepares his second solo album, he embraces these new expressive avenues deeper, exploring more confessional topics and the broad creative range of instrumental configurations. Lately, Jacobs has been performing captivating guitar and voice shows, and his upcoming album will feature this inviting setting alongside rollicking full band excursions.

“Things never go exactly the way you think they will go,” Jacobs says, reflecting back on his multi-faceted career. “I’ve always just followed what I honestly felt, and seeing some of the same faces in the audience year after year, people that have stuck by me through different creative configurations, is a wonderful feeling. When I go home at night, that makes me sleep well, knowing I touched someone. “

 
Dana Fuchs
@Gypsy Sally's | view more info »
Feb
6

Dana Fuchs



Friday Feb 6|doors 7:00 pm|21+
Gypsy Sally's|get directions »
3401 K St NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 333-7700


Dana Fuchs

official band site »

All Dana Fuchs has to do is sing. All it takes is one note from those celebrated lips and clocks stop, crowds snap to attention, hearts beat like bass drums and neck-hair tingles. It’s often been said that the Florida-born front-woman could sing the phone directory and still hold her listeners spellbound. True enough, but in 2013, when Dana applies that extraordinary voice to the classic songs from her third album Bliss Avenue, you’ll realize that you’re in the presence of once-a-generation greatness.

Released in July 2013 on Ruf Records, Bliss Avenue is the most honest and unflinching studio album in Dana’s back catalogue. Co-written with her long-time wingman and guitarist, Jon Diamond, these songs weren’t simply tracked in box-ticking fashion, but wrenched from the depths and laid down to tape without gloss or polish. “If there’s one line that sounds thrown away or dialed in, it has to be redone,” says Dana. “Every word needs to express the emotion of the song or no one will get it and it leaves me cold.”

The resulting album is a window into the singer’s worldview, drawing on everything from the tragic loss of her beloved brother to the loneliness of life on the road. “I’m excited for people, especially those fans who have stuck so close with me, to hear Bliss Avenue,” says Dana, “because I really purged my soul in a starker, more naked way, both lyrically and musically.


 
JJ Grey & Mofro
The London Souls | @9:30 club | view more info »
Feb
18

JJ Grey & Mofro

The London Souls


Wednesday Feb 18|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 like a blue-collar angel 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 massabsolution 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 the current Mofro lineup (Anthony Cole on drums; Andrew Trube on guitar; Anthony Farrell on organ; Todd Smallie on bass; Dennis Marion on trumpet; Jeff Dazey on saxophone) 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 with Mofro, 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 the group's debut LP Blackwater (2001) a calling-card among roots-rock aficionados. Soon, the group was expanding its tours beyond America and the U.K., playing ever larger clubs and eventually massive festivals, as Mofro's fan base grew from a modest group of loyal initiates into something resembling a national coalition. Grey's manager describes the musician as “a preacher who never found the church.” These concerts, perhaps, are the next best thing.

Grey takes no shortcuts on the homestead, and he certainly takes no shortcuts in his music. While he has a few near-perfect albums under his belt—Country Ghetto and Orange Blossoms are just masterpieces—on his new album, Ol’ Glory, he spent 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 and Mofro'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 London Souls

official band site »

The London Souls’ unique reinterpretation of classic hard-hitting rock and roll formulae recalls elements of the past with an ever-present boundless energy, fit to cement their place in the future. Tash and Chris have been nothing short of a best-kept secret among New York City concertgoers since the bands formation in 2008, building a fervent and dynamic fan base leveraged by their ever sustained reputation for consistently well-rehearsed and impassioned, explosive live performances. The band’s celebrated sound and spirit draws significant influence from the driving force of British rock pioneers Cream and Led Zeppelin to billowing and bouncing funk and soul, to the layered harmonies and memorable hooks of The Beatles and The Hollies, to the contemporary psychedelia of My Morning Jacket among many more.

 
Kingman Island Bluegrass Festival Lineup Announce Party featuring
The Larry Keel Experience
Walker's Run | @Gypsy Sally's | view more info »
Feb
21

Kingman Island Bluegrass Festival Lineup Announce Party featuring
The Larry Keel Experience

Walker's Run


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


Kingman Island Bluegrass Festival Lineup Announce Party featuring
The Larry Keel Experience

official band site »

Larry Keel is described by some reviewers as the most powerful, innovative and all-out exhilarating acoustic flatpicking guitarist performing today. Keel has absorbed the best lessons from his Bluegrass family upbringing, both sides deeply steeped in the rich mountain music culture and heritage of Southwest Virginia. From there, he has always integrated that solid musical grounding and natural-born talent with his own incomparable approach to flatpicking the guitar and composing original music. He's also got a knack for choosing interesting and appealing material from all realms of music with guts, whether it's a tune written by a fellow song-writer/musician friend, or a tasty cover from any number of genres all over the map. The combination is pretty irresistible, and has earned Keel the highest respect and billing among the top acoustic musicians alive, and some now gone: Tony Rice, Chris Thile,Vassar Clements, Sam Bush, Del McCoury, John Hartford, Bill Monroe, Peter Rowan, and Darol Anger to name a few. And his fierce, high-spirited energy also appeals to young rockers, jammers and alt country pickers and fans who are equally drawn to Keel’s deep rumbling voice, his earthy and imaginative song-writing, and his down-home-gritty-good-time charm. Keel regularly collaborates with JamBand and Rock giants Yonder Mountain String Band, Keller Williams, Jorma Kaukonen, David Nelson, Little Feat, Rebirth Brass Band, Dirty Dozen Brass, Railroad Earth, members of String Cheese Incident and Leftover Salmon, amongst others.

Keel has a variety of musical formats swirling around the calendar each year: look out for his core band, The Larry Keel Experience (featuring Will Lee on soulful, blues-grass 5 string banjo, penetrating vocals and exceptional song-writing contributions and Jenny Keel on upright bass, with impeccable timing, solid bass lines and vocal harmonies), Larry Does Jerry (Keel performing the music of Jerry Garcia), Keller Williams and The Keels, Jeff Austin and the Here and Now (featuring the Keels), Keel paired with artists such as Drew Emmitt, Danny Barnes, Peter Rowan, Sam Bush, and a multitude of guest spots in great bands on the tour circuit: Traveling McCourys, Steep Canyon Rangers, Infamous Stringdusters and Greensky Bluegrass, to name a few.

Throughout his career, Keel has released 14 albums and is featured on 10 others. The most recent release, March 2012, is CLASSIC, the 3rd album recorded by Keel and his powerhouse ensemble, Natural Bridge. The project is filled with originals written variously by Keel, the band members or by musician/song-writer friends. Keel recently launched a new event concept and website, Fishin and Pickin, which combines 2 unique but thoroughly complementary pleasures: the satisfying thrill of sports fishing, and the energizing intensity of live music. The musician fisherman or even the fishin music-lover will find up-to-date, useful and amazingly entertaining music tips, tablature, show calendars and links to like-minded acts and artists, plus new music downloads. Larry’s also been involved in the development of Fishin N Pickn Workshops and Camps, hosted on live water properties, that teach pickin musicians how to advance their ‘chops’ on their instruments, and having the chance to catch some big fish in the process. Bass and Grass has been taking place in Georgia each year in the fall, always with a fantastic roster of musician-instructors, and outstanding bass fishing! Similarly, Keel hosts Trout and Tunes in May each year, featuring fishing styles and mountain-music study and entertainment all set in the misty mountains of West Virginia.

For Keel the musical mission is always clear: to let technical skill, honest emotion and fearlessness connect the playing and singing to audiences, to entertain and to thoroughly enjoy the experience of creating and sharing in music.


Walker's Run

official band site »

In the late nineties/early aughts, Walker’s Run developed a loyal following in and around Virginia for its unique, improvisational mountain-music. Walking the fine line between tradition and exploration, the group packed major venues and sold thousands of copies of its debut CD before taking a long-term hiatus in 2002, when founding member and chief songwriter Brennan Gilmore moved overseas. In 2009, the group re-formed, and the new iteration of Walker's Run is its best yet, with well-acclaimed instrumentalists in the national acoustic music scene joining Gilmore and bassist Zack Blatter: award-winning fiddle player Nate Leath (Leathal Matter, Old School Freight Train), mandolin player Andy Thacker (Love Canon), and percussionist Nick Falk (Boston Boys). The new line-up of Walker's Run stretches even further beyond the realm of traditional Appalachian folk music, incorporating world music, jazz, and punk influences.

 
Railroad Earth
Floodwood feat. Al Schnier & Vinnie Amico of moe. | @9:30 club | view more info »
Feb
27

Railroad Earth

Floodwood feat. Al Schnier & Vinnie Amico of moe.


Friday Feb 27|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


Railroad Earth

official band site »

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

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

Clearly looking for a more specific answer, but realizing that he isn’t going to get one, Marty laughs. “Rock & roll…”

Well, that’s the way it is sometimes: musicians play music, and don’t necessarily worry about where it gets filed. It’s the writers, record labels, managers, etc., who tend to fret about what “kind” of music it is.

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

Songwriter/lead vocalist Todd Sheaffer continues, “When we started, we only loosely had the idea of getting together and playing some music. It started that informally; just getting together and doing some picking and playing. Over a couple of month period, we started working on some original songs, as well as playing some covers that we thought would be fun to play.” Shortly thereafter, they took five songs from their budding repertoire into a studio and knocked out a demo in just two days. Their soon-to-be manager sent that demo to a few festivals, and – to the band’s surprise – they were booked at the prestigious Telluride Bluegrass Festival before they’d even played their first gig. This prompted them to quickly go in and record five more songs; the ten combined tracks of which made up their debut album, “The Black Bear Sessions.”

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

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

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


Floodwood feat. Al Schnier & Vinnie Amico of moe.

official band site »

The foothills of the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York, also known as “The Leatherstocking Region” is home to Floodwood, the northeast’s newest progressive string band. While the band is merely a year old, there is already a huge buzz around this band as they've been tearing up festivals, PACS, & clubs on the east coast with their original brand of newgrass.

Al Schnier & Vinnie Amico not only play together in moe., one of the premier touring bands in the country, but they've also recorded & toured as the Americana group Al & The Transamericans for over a decade.

Likewise, Jason Barady spent over 10 years recording & touring with the Bluegrass group Wooden Spoon from Taos, until returning to his hometown in central, NY.

Nick Piccininni is a largely self taught violinist, who learned his bluegrass chops the old fashioned way - in festival picking circles & bluegrass festivals. He's been a professional banjo player & fiddler in high demand on the bluegrass circuit since the age of 13, & has toured w/ The Abrams Brothers, The Atkinsons, The Delaneys, & more.

Bass player, Zachary Fleitz is a Berklee Graduate & Hypnotic Clambake alumnus. Zach joined forces w. Wooden Spoon & has played w. J & Nick for the last few years.

 
An Evening With
Railroad Earth
@9:30 club | view more info »
Feb
28

An Evening With
Railroad Earth



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


An Evening With
Railroad Earth

official band site »

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

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

Clearly looking for a more specific answer, but realizing that he isn’t going to get one, Marty laughs. “Rock & roll…”

Well, that’s the way it is sometimes: musicians play music, and don’t necessarily worry about where it gets filed. It’s the writers, record labels, managers, etc., who tend to fret about what “kind” of music it is.

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

Songwriter/lead vocalist Todd Sheaffer continues, “When we started, we only loosely had the idea of getting together and playing some music. It started that informally; just getting together and doing some picking and playing. Over a couple of month period, we started working on some original songs, as well as playing some covers that we thought would be fun to play.” Shortly thereafter, they took five songs from their budding repertoire into a studio and knocked out a demo in just two days. Their soon-to-be manager sent that demo to a few festivals, and – to the band’s surprise – they were booked at the prestigious Telluride Bluegrass Festival before they’d even played their first gig. This prompted them to quickly go in and record five more songs; the ten combined tracks of which made up their debut album, “The Black Bear Sessions.”

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

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

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


 
The Road To DelFest with
The Travelin' McCourys featuring Billy Nershi (of String Cheese Incident) & The Jeff Austin Band (formerly of YMSB)
@9:30 club | view more info »
Mar
6

The Road To DelFest with
The Travelin' McCourys featuring Billy Nershi (of String Cheese Incident) & The Jeff Austin Band (formerly of YMSB)



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


The Road To DelFest with
The Travelin' McCourys featuring Billy Nershi (of String Cheese Incident)

official band site »

The Travelin’ McCourys do not stand still. They are on the road—and online—entertaining audiences with live shows that include some of the best musicians and singers from all genres. It’s always different, always exciting, and always great music.

No other band today has the same credentials for playing traditional and progressive music. As the sons of bluegrass legend Del McCoury, Ronnie McCoury on mandolin and Rob McCoury on banjo continue their father’s work—a lifelong dedication to the power of bluegrass music to bring joy into people’s lives. And with fiddler Jason Carter and bassist Alan Bartram, the ensemble is loved and respected by the bluegrass faithful. But the band is now combining their sound with others to make something fresh and rejuvenating.

They recently played with the Allman Brothers at Wanee Fest and then brought the house down at Warren Haynes’ Annual Christmas Jam, an invitation only Southern Rock homecoming. Their jam with the Lee Boys was hailed by many as the highlight of the evening, and once word of the live video hit the streets, sent new fans online to watch a supercharged combination of sacred steel, R&B, and bluegrass. They’ve also performed with Warren Haynes, Phish, and have a tour scheduled with the aforementioned Lee Boys. Ronnie McCoury described it as “peanut butter and jelly.” It was just right.

They can push forward so far because their roots are so deep. The band has a confidence that only comes with having paid their dues with twenty years on the bluegrass road. Other groups and new fans hear this immediately—the tight rhythm, the soulful material, and the confidence in taking bluegrass from the safety of the shore into uncharted waters.

Ronnie says, “We like to go in and play traditional bluegrass music the way we do it with Dad, but we also like to be able to step into situations where we can really stretch out. If we need to plug in, we’ll plug in. We’re open to anything.”

It’s that attitude, backed up by talent, that marks great musicians, traditional or progressive. The Travelin’ McCourys are twenty-first century musical pilgrims and adventurers. They’re onto something new, just like Bill Monroe was in the 1940s, but now we can see and hear that adventure live or online. Go see them, or—if you hold still long enough—they’ll come to you.


The Jeff Austin Band (formerly of YMSB)

official band site »

Mandolinist Jeff Austin is unstoppable. He is celebrated for his fleet fingers and penchant for improvisation on stage, but those qualities also speak volumes about how he chooses to live. Austin has cultivated his natural musical abilities and allowed himself to be driven by his boldest instincts. In this way, he has been able to build positive, exciting momentum around his life’s greatest passion.

Austin’s enthusiasm for the vast, vibrant world of music was rooted in him as early as he can remember: “I was always raised very musically. My mom always had music playing; she always sang.” It’s no surprise then that Austin himself grew up singing too. From beginning to end of his years in grade school just outside of Chicago, he sang in classes, choirs, and musicals, allowing his musical influences to lead him where they may. “I started listening to Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings,” Austin says. “And then the Beatles, that turned into Bob Dylan, and then the Grateful Dead and Phish.”

“This is it. This is the band. We’re here and we’re focused,” he says with glee. He’s referring to his handpicked ensemble, featuring long-time collaborator Danny Barnes on banjo and guitar, guitarist Ross Martin, bass player Eric Thorin, and Cody Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars on percussion.

The Simple Truth, the group’s 2015 debut solo album and Austin’s first recording for Yep Roc records, is no simple affair. His legions of fans have long known of Austin’s eclectic musical influences. Here, instead of familiar jam band motifs, listeners will find hints of power pop, country ballads, bluegrass and rock. Assisting the band is an array of acclaimed guests including Todd Snider, Jenn Hartswick, Brendan Bayliss of Umphrey’s McGee and Sarah Siskind.

“I love writing a three-minute song with a hook that would grab a five-hundred-pound marlin as much as I like writing something that goes, ‘okay, after the bridge, it’s going to open up and just go wide.’”

Indeed, “wide” is what Jeff Austin is all about. He wants new and different, complex and interesting. He wants everything the music world has to offer, and he’s willing to work hard to get it.

It’s hard not to notice Austin’s enthusiasm for the new project. “As the primary writer and singer, my name may be attached to the thing, but this is everybody’s band,” he says. “To see the work these guys are doing on a nightly basis, embedding themselves and the dedication to work, it’s ridiculous. It’s a cool thing to be a part of.”


 
Sons Of Bill & The London Souls
@The 8x10 | view more info »
Mar
12

Sons Of Bill & The London Souls



Thursday Mar 12|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
The 8x10|get directions »
10 E. Cross St.
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 625-2000


Sons Of Bill

official band site »

“This is a record that takes me back to some of the creative heights we achieved in Wilco,” says producer Ken Coomer about Sons of Bill’s latest LP Love and Logic, due out on Thirty Tigers September 30, 2014. “I’m only interested in making records that are still going to be relevant ten years from now, and this is one of them. It’s unmistakably the real thing.”

This is an ambitious album for the three brothers Sam, Abe, and James Wilson, who share equal duty singing and writing throughout Love and Logic. The Virginia roots obviously run deep, with dreamy pedal steel, banjo, and three part harmonies that could have only been learned at church. But the record moves into enough layered pop productions and rock and roll bravado throughout to keep you guessing as to just who these boys are, and what they’ve been listening to.

It’s easy to say that Sons of Bill can sound more like Townes Van Zandt or early R.E.M. depending on the track, even moving into their own brand of down-home psychedelia that American Songwriter described as a “countrified Pink Floyd.” But the real achievement of Love and Logic is the songwriting, the Wilson brothers’ ability to craft literate and deeply introspective lyrics while still managing to deliver it all as a rock and roll band. It’s a soul-searcher’s soundtrack for an over-stimulated age. A roots rock album that stands out in 2014.

Sons of Bill became more than Charlottesville’s best kept secret with the release of the Sirens LP, a brash rock and roll record, which debuted on the Billboard top 200 and #12 on the Heatseekers chart in 2012. The band toured extensively on both sides of the Atlantic for a year and a half and gained some notoriety for their fiery live performances and road dog work ethic. But Love and Logic certainly marks a turning point for the band– a more sober, reflective, version of themselves– the sound of a band coming into its own.


The London Souls

official band site »

The London Souls’ unique reinterpretation of classic hard-hitting rock and roll formulae recalls elements of the past with an ever-present boundless energy, fit to cement their place in the future.

Tash and Chris have been nothing short of a best-kept-secret among New York City concertgoers since the band’s formation in 2008, building a fervent and dynamic fan base leveraged by their ever-substantiated reputation for consistently well-rehearsed and impassioned, explosive live performances.

The band’s celebrated sound and spirit draws significant influence from the driving force of British rock pioneers Cream and Led Zeppelin, to billowing and bouncing funk and soul, to the layered harmonies and memorable hooks of The Beatles and The Hollies, to the contemporary psychedelia of My Morning Jacket among many more.


 
All Good and Simon Posford Present
Shpongle: The Shpongletron 3.1
Phutureprimitive | @9:30 club | view more info »
Apr
1

All Good and Simon Posford Present
Shpongle: The Shpongletron 3.1

Phutureprimitive


Wednesday Apr 1|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


All Good and Simon Posford Present
Shpongle: The Shpongletron 3.1

official band site »

With over 80 years’ experience collectively, Simon Posford and Raja Ram are more than qualified for the exploration into the unclassifiable music frontiers they have ventured into; ‘SHPONGLE’ is a new world of traditional sounds, acoustic guitars, Moroccan drums, Turkish operatic singing, cello, double bass, backing vocals and silver flute blended together with the computer wizardry of Simon Posford's studio production.

Simon Posford (aka Hallucinogen) has long had a reputation as the, 'Hallucinogenius,' a imitable pioneer in sound experimentation, from his seminal first album, 'Twisted' which reached No.28 in the French charts selling over 50,000 copies worldwide, up to his recent Millennium hit, 'Mi-Loony-Um' with its up-to-the minute modem melodies. His international fan base has flowered from country-wide to world-wide in the last ten years, since his humble beginnings at Youth's Butterfly Studios in Brixton. This year alone he has played over 16 sell out gigs around the world, each with a capacity of over 1500 people, in Australia, Israel, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Moscow, Geneva, Montreal, Tokyo to name just a few.

Raja Ram is the innovative sonic co-pilot producing alongside Simon and providing inspirational artwork for the album covers and the website. as well as his unmistakable flute solo's in C Major. A founding member of the band Quintessence in the sixties. Raja has many years of band experience in the music industry. Not only a band member but also the creator of TIP Records along with their infamous party sound and energy, he is not only a brilliant flautist but the inspirational man behind the ‘Shpongle’ concept.


Phutureprimitive

official band site »

Phutureprimitive is the moniker of Bay Area producer and songwriter Rain. Early childhood photos reveal Rain sitting at the piano plinking keys, grinning from ear to ear… a true sign of things to come. Continuing his early fascination, Rain was later drawn to electronic music, inspired by its ability to combine the best of organically played instruments and the synthetic pleasures of sounds more exotic to the human ear. After beginning a DJ career in the 90s, Rain began incorporating the music he was making in his home studio into his DJ sets. That was all it took to trigger a full blown love affair with electronic music and the process of its creation… and Phutureprimitive was born.

Phutureprimitive’s music is best described as dripping wet love drops of nasty mind melting sonic bliss. Lush melodies drift across intricate rhythms, groove heavy beats and warm, fuzzy bass lines. Often exploring a dark and dense palette, there is also a profound sense of tranquility and beauty, engaging the listener into hypnotic movement and often escalating into a full-on kinetic experience. Shimmering with cinematic qualities, his music ultimately speaks to the body, mind and soul.

 
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong & Tauk
Big Something | @Rams Head Live | view more info »
Apr
2

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong & Tauk

Big Something


Thursday Apr 2|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
Rams Head Live|get directions »
20 Market Place
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 244-1131


Pigeons Playing Ping Pong

official band site »

Funk, Rock, Electric ENERGY: These four Pigeons bring it every night. Based out of Baltimore, MD, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong has an undeniably unique and versatile live sound that ascends peaks of musical ecstasy. Their evolving arrangement of original compositions, psychedelic improvisational jams, and contagious smiles have ‘The Flock’– their self-identifying fanbase that stretches from coast-to-coast– coming back for more. One of the fastest growing emerging artists in the jam and festival scene these days, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong is here to bring the party with their danceable electro-funk grooves and infectious ability to bring positive energy to any environment.

Having launched their East Coast buzz from very successful weekly residencies at The 8×10 in Baltimore, high profile festival spots including Catskill Chill, The Werk Out, Camp Barefoot, Wormtown Music Festival and others have put the memorable band name on the lips of music lovers and groove nuts. As a result, the grass roots response to the more than 200 shows the band played in 2013 was remarkable, with significant audiences showing up for first time plays in new markets from Colorado to Florida.

As Pigeons continue to expand their touring they continue to grow their Flock and expand people’s minds (musically…). Whether it be at a major festival or your local rock club, Pigeons will show you a good time. Get ready for some fun…


Tauk

official band site »

TAUK is Heavy Instrumental Rock Fusion created by Matt Jalbert (guitar), Charlie Dolan (bass), Alric “A.C.” Carter (keyboard-organ), and Isaac Teel (drums). The transcendent instrumental band seamlessly brings together genres as diverse as melodic rock, fusion, gritty funk, progressive rock, ambient, classic rock, hip hop and jazz.

The Oyster Bay, New York-based quartet has received accolades from a number of tastemaking authorities, including an “On The Verge” feature in Relix Magazine and frequent rotation for the singles “Mindshift”, “Dead Signal” and “In the Basement of the Alamo” on Sirius XM Jam On. Despite their years of experience as a musical unit, the quartet is a young promising band that Jambase calls “a guaranteed quickly- ascend band.” The Washington Post describes the band by saying: “TAUK’s instrumental music melds genres and styles, creating a hard-charging, often melodic fusion that – thanks to a penchant for improv – offers limitless possibilities” And The Deli Magazine singles out the band’s compelling melodic sense through explaining: “the quartet has a rare ability to channel emotional melodic leads, and all without a lead singer.”

The band’s latest album, Collisions, is a breakthrough in that it finally captures the essence of TAUK’s entrancing live shows. It’s a thoughtfully composed album with captivating hum-along melodies, but this time the band was able to road test the songs, allowing the recorded versions to reflect the group’s adventurous improvisations. The 10-song album spans delicate ethereal textures, highly imaginatively funky drumming, labyrinthine arrangements, and fiery solos—often in the same song.


Big Something

official band site »

With a powerful sound that is both refreshingly original and yet classic in its approach, BIG Something fuses elements of rock, pop, funk, hip hop and improv, in order to take listeners on a journey through a myriad of musical styles. Formed in 2009, Big Something is one of the most exciting new rock bands to emerge from the southeast. The band features Nick MacDaniels (guitars, vocals), Doug Marshall (bass), Josh Kagel (keys, synth, trumpet), Casey Cranford (sax, EWI), Jesse Hensley (lead guitar), and Ben Vinograd (drums).

With the help of Grammy-Nominated producer John Custer the group recorded and released their 2010 debut concept album, Stories from the Middle of Nowhere, which quickly captured Home Grown Music Network’s 2010 Album Of The Year Award and spent several months at number 1 on the jambands.com radio charts. Stories from the Middle of Nowhere was followed up by the widely well-received live album, Live from Uranus, as well as 2013’s Self-Titled which captured 3 different album of the year awards. Most recently the band released their highly 3rd full length studio album Truth Serum on Nov. 4th, 2014 featuring a special guest appearance from NYC turntablist DJ Logic.

After several years of relentless touring, Big Something has performed across the country as direct support for the likes of Galactic, moe., The B52s, Robert Randolph and The Family Band, Zach Deputy, DJ Logic, Toubab Krewe, Dopapod, and countless other up and coming artists. In turn, they have become a high demand festival act, and have appeared at FloydFest, Camp Barefoot, Blackwater, Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival, Pink Moon, Strangecreek, Wormtown, Mantrabash, Smilefest, NC Music & Arts Festival, Front Porch Fest, Domefest, and many more. BIG Something also hosts their own annual summer music festival and campout in Mebane, NC called The Big What?, which has sold out two years in a row, further propelling this imaginative, entertaining, and musically progressive jamband rooted in traditional American music of the southeast to a much wider national audience.

 
Tribal Seeds
The Movement | Leilani Wolfgramm | @9:30 club | view more info »
Apr
2

Tribal Seeds

The Movement
Leilani Wolfgramm

Thursday Apr 2|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


Tribal Seeds

official band site »

From San Diego, California, award-winning reggae group Tribal Seeds have become known for their spiritually driven, refreshing rock vibe they have infused with the roots style of reggae music. Originally started by two brothers, Steven Rene Jacobo (lyrics, vocals, guitar) and Tony-Ray Jacobo (producer, keyboards, back up vocals). Tribal Seeds now boasts six members, including: Carlos Verdugo (drums), Victor Navarro (bass), E.N Young (keyboards, back up vocals) & Ryan Gonzo (guitar, back up vocals).

Tribal Seeds’ unmatched musical talent and authentic sound has brought them to the forefront of the reggae rock genre, as their art form has reached people of all ages across the United States, and worldwide. The band’s debut, self titled album “Tribal Seeds” was released in 2008 with their second album “The Harvest” following, June of 2009. iTunes named both albums “Best Of” in the Reggae genre, for their respected years. Their debut album helped garner them the “Best World Music” title at the San Diego Music Awards in 2008, and “The Harvest,” which contained fourteen new and original songs, debuted at the number 5 spot on the Billboard Reggae Charts. The tracks, written and produced by Tribal Seeds, were recorded and mixed by Alan Sanderson at Signature Sound Studios in San Diego, and mastered by Erik Lobson at Universal Mastering.

On July 19, 2011, Tribal Seeds gave listeners a brand new EP entitled “Soundwaves,” which peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Reggae Charts. The band notes that the album was inspired by their life experiences, being on tour, and their desire to inspire youth to raise their voices and seek a higher consciousness. More music is in the works and is schedule to be released in 2013. Already, the band has released three new singles, “Run The Show”, “Did Wrong” & “Night & Day” which are available for download.

Tribal Seeds have toured throughout the United States, and have also performed in Mexico, Guam & Aruba. They have shared the stage with artists such as Dave Mathews Band, Jack White, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jane’s Addiction, Skrillex, MGMT, Cee Lo Green, Jason Mraz, Matisyahu, Sublime with Rome, Taking Back Sunday, O.A.R., Pretty Lights, Steel Pulse, The Wailers, Pepper, Collie Buddz, Julian Marley, Stephen Marley, Gregory Isaacs, SOJA, Rebelution, and many more.


The Movement

official band site »

Hailing from Columbia, South Carolina, the reggae-rock group The Movement was formed in 2004 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 2008's, Set Sail, at DiBeneditto’s Philadelphonic Studios. The album has sold over 10,000 copies to date. The Movement expanded with the addition of Gary Jackson on drums and Jason "Smiles" Schmidt on bass. In 2012, Miller left the group, and the trio, now fronted by Swain, released their fourth album Side By Side, debuting at #2 on the Billboard Reggae Chart.

Leilani Wolfgramm

official band site »

Leilani Wolfgramm is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist with Tongan roots from Orlando, Florida. Three years ago she started playing along side her brothers, Zech and Nasur in their reggae band, Hor!zen. After a year she set out on a solo career releasing an EP entitled, "I Burn." Leilani has toured with Fortunate Youth and the Supervillians and has shared the stage with acts such as Ballyhoo, Dirty Heads, Tribal Seeds, Sublime ft. Rome, New Kingston and The Movement. She is currently working with producer and artist, E.N Young on her upcoming EP that will be dropping in the Summer of 2014.

 
Trukuaz
The Fritz | @Gypsy Sally's | view more info »
Apr
2

Trukuaz

The Fritz


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


Trukuaz

official band site »

Credible bios are supposed to be objective and not full of superlatives and hyperbole, but it’s hard to avoid gushing when the subject is a funk army of multi-instrumentals and singers that is part freight train and part tyrannosaurus rex, who—even on an off night—can blow away a room on the basis of sheer physics alone. That’s one way to describe Turkuaz, but it doesn’t address the music. In this regard, as with any band, influences are everything. One cannot escape them as one seeks to carve out a unique sound for themselves. Still, there are so many benefits to having Sly & The Family Stone, Rick James, Parliament and Bohannon in your record collection. With this as the basis for a recipe, Turkuaz adds healthy doses of jittery, world-pop-power groove—reminiscent of Remain In Light era Talking Heads—and a passion for Motown and R&B, resulting in a refreshing twist on the funk idiom.


The Fritz

official band site »

After four years of traveling the Southeast, steadily building a reputation as a live act not to be missed, Asheville-based quintet The Fritz played exceptionally strong sets at The Catskill Chill and The Bear Creek Music Festival in the Fall of 2014, and showed thousands of new fans what throngs of Southeastern music lovers have known for years: The Fritz likes to get funky. As much as they take their funk seriously, the band takes it’s songwriting just as seriously, but the wellcrafted song is not the final product in the live forum… and this is where they shine, as The Fritz are masters of improvisation, carefully weaving the personality of the band and the crowd into each performance.

While the music may range from hard driving soul to progressive rock, there is the common thread of The Fritz’s passionate energy, and whether live or in the studio, the band creates an energetic dance party every time. In March of 2013, The Fritz released Bootstrap, a collection of songs written over their years touring the Southeast. As they work on their upcoming third release, new fans and old eagerly anticipate the new music. To tide them over, The Fritz offers free downloads of live shows from their website and a steady diet of live performances, from the Southeast to the Midwest and the Northeast. All of this to support the fans and share the music, one show at a time—live or otherwise—as The Fritz continues their relentless drive to bring that intoxicating energy to crowds everywhere…

 
Kung Fu & Twiddle
The Fritz | @Rams Head Live | view more info »
Apr
11

Kung Fu & Twiddle

The Fritz


Saturday Apr 11|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
Rams Head Live|get directions »
20 Market Place
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 244-1131


Kung Fu

official band site »

In the vanguard of the new-funk movement, KUNG FU is quickly popularizing their unique sonic contribution “NU-SION”, blurring the line between intense electro-fusion, and blistering dance arrangements. Making funk fusion music “cool” again, the band draws on influences such as early Headhunters, Weather Report, & Mahavishnu Orchestra, and merges those ideas with technical fireworks and a contemporary EDM informed sensibility. The ensemble, a seasoned pedigree that reads like a late-night summer festival all-star jam has been described by critics and fans of Galactic & Umphrey’s McGee alike as “lethal funk”, “explosive”, “jaw dropping”, and “musically mesmerizing”. For the uninitiated, the experience is typically shocking yet the focus is simple: ENTER THE DRAGON!

Kung Fu features Tim Palmieri on guitar (The Breakfast), Robert Somerville on tenor sax (Deep Banana Blackout), Todd Stoops on keyboards (RAQ), Christopher DeAngelis on bass guitar (The Breakfast) and Adrian Tramontano on drums/percussion (The Breakfast).


Twiddle

official band site »

Twiddle, a Vermont based quartet, spins tall tales over an intricate soundscape of hi-def shred. Their fresh multi-genre approach conjures up jazz, classical, and bluegrass, but above all, masterfully blends reggae and funk. Obliterating laws of improvisation, their complex arrangements never fail to leave crowds lusting for more. With sage songwriting and unmatched variety, Twiddle’s thrilling infancy continues to exceed all expectation.

After whimsically jamming in the fall of 2004, the founding members of Twiddle immediately recognized chemistry and a common seriousness. By the second semester at Castleton State, Mihali Savoulidis and Ryan Dempsey were already intertwining harmony and fantasy, birthing Twiddle staples like ‘Frankenfoote’ and ‘Gatsby the Great’. Brook Jordan, and Billy Comstock, Twiddle’s original bassist, complemented these melodies with a densely layered, and exciting funk rhythm This young foursome had taken Castleton by storm, toured the northeast, and composed an impressive catalog of original tunes before becoming upper-classmen.


The Fritz

official band site »

After four years of traveling the Southeast, steadily building a reputation as a live act not to be missed, Asheville-based quintet The Fritz played exceptionally strong sets at The Catskill Chill and The Bear Creek Music Festival in the Fall of 2014, and showed thousands of new fans what throngs of Southeastern music lovers have known for years: The Fritz likes to get funky. As much as they take their funk seriously, the band takes it’s songwriting just as seriously, but the wellcrafted song is not the final product in the live forum… and this is where they shine, as The Fritz are masters of improvisation, carefully weaving the personality of the band and the crowd into each performance.

While the music may range from hard driving soul to progressive rock, there is the common thread of The Fritz’s passionate energy, and whether live or in the studio, the band creates an energetic dance party every time. In March of 2013, The Fritz released Bootstrap, a collection of songs written over their years touring the Southeast. As they work on their upcoming third release, new fans and old eagerly anticipate the new music. To tide them over, The Fritz offers free downloads of live shows from their website and a steady diet of live performances, from the Southeast to the Midwest and the Northeast. All of this to support the fans and share the music, one show at a time—live or otherwise—as The Fritz continues their relentless drive to bring that intoxicating energy to crowds everywhere…

 
Hurray For The Riff Raff
Gill Landry | @9:30 club | view more info »
Apr
21

Hurray For The Riff Raff

Gill Landry


Tuesday Apr 21|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


Hurray For The Riff Raff

official band site »

Hurray For The Riff Raff is Alynda Lee Segarra, but in many ways it's much more than that: it's a young woman leaving her indelible stamp on the American folk tradition. If you're listening to her new album, 'Small Town Heroes,' odds are you're part of the riff raff, and these songs are for you.

"It's grown into this bigger idea of feeling like we really associate with the underdog," says Segarra, who came to international attention in 2012 with 'Look Out Mama.' The album earned her raves from NPR and the New York Times to Mojo and Paste, along with a breakout performance at the 2013 Newport Folk Festival, which left American Songwriter "awestruck" and solidified her place at the forefront of a new generation of young musicians celebrating and reimagining American roots music. "We really feel at home with a lot of worlds of people that don't really seem to fit together," she continues, "and we find a way to make them all hang out with our music. Whether it's the queer community or some freight train-riding kids or some older guys who love classic country, a lot of folks feel like mainstream culture isn’t directed at them. We're for those people."

Segarra, a 26-year-old of Puerto Rican descent whose slight frame belies her commanding voice, grew up in the Bronx, where she developed an early appreciation for doo-wop and Motown from the neighborhood's longtime residents. It was downtown, though, that she first felt like she found her people, traveling to the Lower East side every Saturday for punk matinees at ABC No Rio. "Those riot grrrl shows were a place where young girls could just hang out and not have to worry about feeling weird, like they didn’t belong," Segarra says of the inclusive atmosphere fostered by the musicians and outsider artists who populated the space. "It had such a good effect on me to go to those shows as a kid and feel like somebody in a band was looking out for me and wanted me to feel inspired and good about myself."

The Lower East Side also introduced her to travelers, and their stories of life on the road inspired her to strike out on her own at 17, first hitching her way to the west coast, then roaming the south before ultimately settling in New Orleans. There, she fell in with a band of fellow travelers, playing washboard and singing before eventually learning to play a banjo she'd been given in North Carolina. "It wasn't until I got to New Orleans that I realized playing music was even possible for me," she explains. "The travelers really taught me how to play and write songs, and we'd play on the street all day to make money, which is really good practice. You have to get pretty tough to do that, and you put a lot of time into it."

"The community I found in New Orleans was open and passionate. The young artists were really inspiring to me," she says. "Apathy wasn’t a part of that scene. And then the year after I first visited, Katrina happened, and I went back and saw the pain and hardship that all of the people who lived there had gone through. It made we want to straighten out my life and not wander so much. The city gave had given me an amazing gift with music, and it made me want to settle there and be a part of it and help however I could."

Many of the songs on 'Small Town Heroes' reflect that decision and her special reverence for the city. She bears witness to a wave of violence that struck the St. Roch neighborhood in the soulful "St. Roch Blues;" yearns for a night at BJ's Bar in the Bywater in "Crash on the Highway;" and sings of her home in the Lower Ninth Ward on "End of the Line." "That neighborhood and particularly the house I lived in there became the nucleus of a singer songwriter scene in New Orleans," she explains. "'End Of The Line' is my love song to that whole area and crew of people."

The scope of the album is much grander than just New Orleans, though, as Segarra mines the deep legacies and contemporizes the rich variety of musical forms of the American South for the age of Trayvon Martin and Wendy Davis. "Delia''s gone but I'm settling the score," she sings with resolute menace on "The Body Electric," a feminist reimagining of the traditional murder ballad form that calls on everything from Stagger Lee to Walt Whitman. She juxtaposes pure country pop with the dreams and nightmares that come with settling down with just one person in "I Know It's Wrong (But That's Alright)," while album opener "Blue Ridge Mountain" is an Appalachian nod to Maybelle Carter.

NPR has said that Hurray for the Riff Raff's music "sweeps across eras and genres with grace and grit," and that's never been more true than on 'Small Town Heroes.' These songs belong to no particular time or place, but rather to all of us. These songs are for the riff raff.


Gill Landry

official band site »

For a meat and potatoes opening to his bio, Louisiana native, Gill Landry, is a singer-songwriter, multi- instrumentalist, adventuresome photographer, rubber tramp gentleman, self taught painter, shade tree mechanic, and then some. It would take a novel to tell his tale. From hustling the streets of Paris to hitchhiking America on day labor and daydreams, he's slept beneath bridges with his brothers and in the beds of lordy estates. After cutting his musical teeth in New Orleans and chewing up half of America, he started writing songs about it; interpreting life from the curb up. He released his first solo album "The Ballad of Lawless Soirez" in 2007 on the Nettwerk label.

Gill's self titled third album is his first on the ATO label, but he is not new to the family. He's played guitar, banjo, pedal steal, and been a contributing songwriter in Old Crow Medicine Show since 2004. Although Gill's music is influenced by some of the same sources as Old Crow, from Dylan to old delta blues songsters, his music is very much his own. As one reviewer, Jeff Tamarkin put it, "Landry's too sharp a storyteller, too tuned-in a craftsman, too real, to find himself on the wrong side of suspicion. Like Tom Waits, John Prine, Steve Earle... Landry is down-to-business believable. His songs carry their own persona, and though they may be creepy and otherworldly at times and nasty and grubby at others, they're familiar while remaining at arm's length." After working through some more classic broken-hearted love songs on his first two albums, Landry says, "I tried not to come at this one from the point of how things could or should have been, or should be, but rather searched for sweet understanding and surrender to what is or was, and moving forward with compassion and kindness without harsh judgement to the reasons for this crime or that misstep."

Gill produced and recorded the album, "mostly from a ramshackle, shanty-ass apartment on the south side of Nashville," but was aided by a constellation of talents gathered on his travels. From Laura Marling, who duets on "Take This Body", an urgent plea that images the desperate love that courses through our impermanence, to trumpeter Nick Etwell of Mumford and Sons, who plays with tasteful power on a handful of songs. From Odessa, who lends harmonies and violin to a number of tunes, including the waltz-time love letter "Emily", to Robert Ellis who's eloquent and understated guitar work on "Fenario" and "Bad Love" is mellifluous.

This album is one that anyone can relate to and will want to listen to, over and over, with their lovers. Even if those lovers are just in their minds.

 
Zappa Plays Zappa
@Rams Head Live | view more info »
May
10

Zappa Plays Zappa



Sunday May 10|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
Rams Head Live|get directions »
20 Market Place
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 244-1131


Zappa Plays Zappa

official band site »

Dweezil Zappa was born on September 5, 1969 in Los Angeles—the son of Frank and Gail Zappa. 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. He listened to their records for hours on end trying to figure out a way to translate what he was hearing in his head to his fingers at the other end of the guitar. Along the way, he had opportunities to ask his dad for some help. “I remember asking Frank to help me figure out the song ‘Revelation/Mother Earth’ from Blizzard Of Oz. I really didn’t know anything about chords and in that song Randy Rhoads was using classical music elements that were really new to rock guitar at the time. Frank helped me learn the finger picking intro.” 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.

“Steve made a notebook, which I still have, of scales and exercises and I practiced the stuff from that book at least 5 hours a day.” In 1982, at the age of 12 he made his first onstage appearance with his father’s band at the Hammersmith Odeon in London. “That was a great experience. I was so excited to have been asked to play but I was incredibly nervous. Since I could only really play lead in the key of A, Frank devised a hand signal for the band to modulate the song ‘Stevie’s Spanking’ down to A from it’s original key of B. After I finished my solo he gave the cue for the band to modulate back up. It was so cool how he had so much control over the music, it almost seemed like a magic trick to me. It made a big impression on me and has stuck with me my whole life.”

Later that year he recorded his first single, “My Mother Is A Space Cadet”, released on Frank Zappa’s Barking Pumpkin label. The amazing story behind that recording is that it was produced by Edward Van Halen. (On the sleeve it is credited as being produced by De Vards in order to avoid any contractual issues for Van Halen.)

“There are no words to describe how inspirational it was for me to be able to work with Edward on that recording. I was 12, a novice player and in complete awe of his super human accomplishments. I had a terrible sense of rhythm and he tried really hard to help me with that. I had only been playing for around 9 months and I had never practiced with a metronome. He was funny in the studio. We were all so young, just 12 and 13 and Edward joked that it was time for us kids to have a milk and cookie break. When I played the solo on “Space Cadet” Edward worked on getting the right guitar sound. That was one of my favorite parts of the session. We were using one of Frank’s brown Acoustic combo amps.

He had 5 or 6 of them that he was using on tour and Edward played through all of them to see which one sounded best. At one point he was teaching me about doing punch in over dubs, he explained that I had to play along with the parts that were already recorded so that it would seamlessly blend with the new part I was about to record. I remember it being very difficult to do since the stuff I played for the solo was not worked out ahead of time. I did the whole solo with all of the finger tapping stuff and vibrato bar dives. Edward made up a cool part that he showed me for after the solo that lead back to the vocal but I couldn’t bend the unison notes in tune since my hands weren’t strong enough. So he ended up playing the unison bend melody after the solo. The slide guitar intro came about around then as well. I couldn’t play that in tune either since I had never played slide before and it’s a specialized technique that takes a long time to master. He played that intro as well. Watching him do that stuff was so impressive. I did all of the other guitar stuff that you hear on the record”

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 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”(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ipzj_FvHgT8), as well as on the Grammy Nominated cover of “Wipeout” with Herbie Hancock and Terry Bozzio (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INdKbZB1mBA) 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. The title track and video, a cover of the Frank Zappa single, found it’s way into the MTV rotation. 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.

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. The band was primed to make a new album. Just as the band started to solidify the drummer Josh Freese exited.

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 drummer par 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, and in 1996 released a follow-up album, Music For Pets, which had been pieced together over the previous three years. 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 Hourwhich 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 Warner Brothers unconventional improvisational comedy “On The Spot” and performed live in each episode.http://www.dweezilzappaworld.com/videos/36

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 album featured Dweezil’s most creative, advanced guitar work to date and he was aided by the propulsive brilliance of Joe Travers as well as keyboardist Aaron Arntz and bassist Pete Griffin, who would soon become mainstays in the live band Dweezil was putting together.

Finally, in the spring of 2006, Dweezil’s new live band ‘Zappa Plays Zappa’ hit the road for their first, tour. Playing a long, ambitious set of Frank Zappa favorites and obscure gems to big audiences of crazed Zappa fans, Dweezil proved that he could reach his goal to form a core band of previously unknown expert musicians capable of respectfully executing his father’s music. He was uniquely qualified to bring these compositions back to life with complete authenticity from the page to the stage. Helping to deliver the goods was his absolutely stellar band of first-rate musicians including Joe Travers, Pete Griffin, Aaron Arntz, brass/woodwinds/keyboards/obvious fan favorite Scheila Gonzales, percussionist Billy Hulting and guitarist Jamie Kime.

Without a “cosmik crystal ball” it was impossible to see to how far into the future this project would last. Bearing that in mind Dweezil decided to add some extra frosting to the cake and invite some former FZ band members to join him on the inaugural tour. The earliest ZPZ tour included band alumni Steve Vai on guitar, Napoleon Murphy Brock on tenor sax and lead vocals and Terry Bozzio on drums.

This lineup was captured in the group’s first Zappa Plays Zappa release on CD and DVD in 2008. This project netted Dweezil his first Grammy Award win for Best Instrumental Performance for its version of the Frank Zappa classic “Peaches En Regalia”.

In 2007, the tour continued and new elements were introduced. Ray White joined the tour on vocals. This lineup of the band recorded their next live release Return Of The Son Of… which was issued under Dweezil’s name in 2010. Once again Dweezil found himself up for Grammy contention when the version of Frank’s guitar solo “The Deathless Horsie” was nominated for Best Instrumental Performance.

2009 saw ZPZ undergo its first major personnel changes. Both Aaron Arntz and Ray White left the band and were replaced by keyboardist Chris Norton and Ben Thomas on lead vocals and trumpet. The band continued their run of successful worldwide tours, playing to devoted fans and showcasing a constantly-changing selection of Frank Zappa compositional gems. In October 2009 the band started to become known as Dweezil Zappa Plays Zappa, and in 2010 they embarked on a US tour during which the band played one of Frank’s best-loved albums, Apostrophe (‘), in its entirety.

Constantly learning and evolving his guitar art, Dweezil Zappa is both the modern face of Zappa music and the person who can bring it fully-formed into the future. In 2011 he released a double CD album on U.K. label Fantom Records: ‘Dweezil Zappa – Live In The Moment’ which is a compilation of improvised guitar solos taken from various ZPZ shows since 2007. His own music had been sidelined for a while but is currently experiencing a resurgence. 2012 will see new releases of Dweezil’s own music (both classical and rock genres) and the continuation of his music boot camp Dweezilla, as well as another new release from Fantom Records simply titled “F.O.H.” – a live double CD featuring Zappa Plays Zappa performances of Frank Zappa songs.

In 2012 Dweezil redefined Zappa Plays Zappa mission as a band and sculpted it into the current 6 piece configuration he takes on tour. (Dweezil Zappa Lead Guitar Vocals, Scheila Gonzales Saxophone, Flute, Keyboards and Vocals, Kurt Morgan Bass and Vocals, Chris Norton Keyboards and Vocals, Joe Travers Drums and Vocals, Ben Thomas Lead Vocals, Trumpet and Trombone.) When his father toured with smaller ensembles he referred to them as his “Rocking Teenage Combo.” Smaller in size doesn’t mean smaller in sound. Not for Frank or Dweezil. Now able to tour in even more cities and venues because they can fit on stage easier, Dweezil’s rocking teenage combo has been navigating through new geographic and musical territory. This fine assortment of hand picked musicians all have their own unique qualifications but it’s their dedication to preserving and performing the detailed music of Frank Zappa that unites them and thrills audiences across the globe.

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.


 
Dweezil Zappa Guitar Master Class
@Rams Head Live | view more info »
May
10

Dweezil Zappa Guitar Master Class



Sunday May 10|doors 3:00 pm|all ages
Rams Head Live|get directions »
20 Market Place
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 244-1131


Dweezil Zappa Guitar Master Class

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."