all good news

 
God Street Wine
@Gypsy Sally's | view more info »
Jul
3

God Street Wine



Wednesday Jul 3|doors 6:30 pm|21+
Gypsy Sally's|get directions »
3401 K St NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 333-7700


God Street Wine

official band site »

Formed in 1988 by Lo Faber, Aaron Maxwell, Dan Pifer, Jon Bevo, and Tom Osander, GSW played a prominent role in the early jam band scene alongside fellow New Yorkers Blues Traveler and Spin Doctors. Veterans of the HORDE Tour as well as runs with The Allman Brothers, Bruce Hornsby and The Black Crowes, they also released 5 albums and performed more than 1,000 shows in their first 11 years together.

In 1998 the band split up after playing a three-night farewell engagement at the Wetlands Preserve in NYC. Selected performances from these final shows were compiled into the posthumous live album "Good to the Last Drop".

After almost a decade apart, GSW reunited privately in 2009 to honor the passing of an old friend and a year later played four concerts in NYC benefiting the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Infrequent but memorable gatherings continued at Bob Weir's TRI Studios, Sweetwater Music Hall, rambles with Phil Lesh at Terrapin Crossroads and Jam Cruise. In 2013 they released a 25th anniversary box set retrospective and the documentary film "All the Way to Here". The band continues to play select live shows each year and last year celebrated their 30th anniversary.

From December 2018 to May 2019, the band ? now spread out across the globe in New York, New Orleans, and Berlin ? collaborated on an eight-song recording project which would become their first studio album in more than 20 years. This Fine Town was released June 4th on all streaming platforms. A signed limited edition CD will be sold at the band's nine summer shows this year.


 
The New Mastersounds
@Union Stage | view more info »
Jul
11

The New Mastersounds



Thursday Jul 11|doors 7:30 pm|all ages
Union Stage|get directions »
740 Water Street SW
Washington DC|p: (877) 987-6487


The New Mastersounds

official band site »

In the late 1990’s, guitarist and producer Eddie Roberts was promoting a club night in Leeds called “The Cooker.” When The Cooker moved into a new venue with a second floor in 1999, there was space and the opportunity to put a live band together to complement the DJ sets. Simon Allen and Eddie had previously played together as The Mastersounds, though with a different bassist and no organ. Through friends and the intimate nature of the Leeds music scene, Pete Shand and Bob Birch were added on bass and Hammond respectively, and The New Mastersounds were born. Though it was raw, and more of a boogaloo sound at first, it was powerful from the start. Their first rehearsal was hot enough for Blow it Hard Records to release on two limited-edition 7” singles in 2000.

Fast-forward 19 years, and the band’s recorded catalogue boasts 24 more 7” singles, 13 studio albums, 3 live albums, 1 remix album and 3 compilation albums, released variously in UK, Japan, and USA - where they continue to tour extensively. Joe Tatton, another veteran of the Leeds scene, joined back in 2007, replacing Bob Birch on organ and piano.

As a band, and as individuals, they have collaborated with an impressive array of musicians, DJs and producers, including: Lou Donaldson, Corinne Bailey Rae, Quantic, Carleen Anderson, Keb Darge, Kenny Dope, Mr Scruff, LSK, Lack of Afro, Page McConnell, Grace Potter, Karl Denson, Melvin Sparks, Idris Muhammad, Fred Wesley, Pee-Wee Ellis, Maceo Parker, Bernard Purdie, George Porter Jr, Zigaboo Modeliste, Art Neville, Ernest Ranglin.

During a 2018 US tour, a sit-in by Atlanta-based vocalist Lamar Williams Jr turned heads, and the fit with NMS was so right that they pledged to make a record together. The resulting album was written and recorded in Denver, CO in December of that year and will be released in Fall 2019 on Eddie Roberts’ own Color Red label.

As an example of the respect this band commands, Peter Wermelinger - DJ, collector, and author of the crate-diggers’ bible The Funky & Groovy Music Lexicon - places the 2001 NMS track ‘Turn This Thing Around’ in his all-time top-ten tunes, along with the likes of Eddie Harris, Funkadelic, and Herbie Hancock. The New Mastersounds are at the very top of an elite selection of acts that bring the true soul out of funk.


 
Kendall Street Company
@Union Stage | view more info »
Aug
10

Kendall Street Company



Saturday Aug 10|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
Union Stage|get directions »
740 Water Street SW
Washington DC|p: (877) 987-6487


Kendall Street Company

official band site »

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

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


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

Joe Russo's Almost Dead



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


Joe Russo's Almost Dead

official band site »

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

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


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

Nahko And Medicine For The People

Ayla Nereo


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


Nahko And Medicine For The People

official band site »

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

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

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


Ayla Nereo

official band site »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jimmy Herring and The 5 of 7



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


Jimmy Herring and The 5 of 7

official band site »

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

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

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

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

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


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

Perpetual Groove



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


Perpetual Groove

official band site »

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

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

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

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


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

The Main Squeeze



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


The Main Squeeze

official band site »

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

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

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


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

Rising Appalachia



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


Rising Appalachia

official band site »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Lettuce

Antibalas
Ghost-Note

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


Lettuce

official band site »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Antibalas

official band site »

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

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

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

Ghost-Note

official band site »

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

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

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

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