all good news

 
Goose
@Chrysalis at Merriweather Park | view more info »
Aug
12

Goose



Friday Aug 12|doors 5:30 pm|all ages
Chrysalis at Merriweather Park|get directions »
10475 Little Patuxent Pkwy, Columbia, Maryland 21044|p: (410) 715-5550


Goose

official band site »

Goose — Rick Mitarotonda [vocals, guitar], Peter Anspach [vocals, keys, guitar], Trevor Weekz [bass], Ben Atkind [drums], and Jeff Arevalo [vocals, percussion, drums] — fluidly traverse genres with head-spinning hooks, technical fireworks, and the kind of chemistry only possible among small town and longtime friends. Following 2016’s moon cabin, the Norwalk, CT quintet quietly took flight, playing countless shows during their ascent while slowly and steadily amassing a nationwide following.

The end of 2017 saw the band welcome Peter Anspach on guitar and keyboard - a pivotal moment that solidified the group’s core lineup. Months of relentless touring prepared them for a string of milestone festival performances during the summer of 2019, most notably defined by a storied performance at The Peach Music Festival in Scranton, PA. The band’s subsequent pro-shot video gained significant traction, highlighting the existing catalog of content compiled over the previous two years.

With increased buzz came increased demand. One by one, Goose sold out each show of their fall 2019 headlining tour and sold out last minute performances at both Bowery Ballroom and Music Hall of Williamsburg in January 2020.

Due in part to Goose’s penchant for improvisation, the band has successfully navigated the myriad challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. They produced a series of intimate virtual events, culminating in a universally acclaimed Bingo Tour. The interactive, two-week live streaming event featured four full concerts with setlists determined by the outcome of a live Bingo game.

Fall 2020 saw a welcome return to live performance with a slew of sold out drive-in shows throughout the Northeast, Midwest, and Mid Atlantic. Propelled by seemingly unstoppable momentum, the band concluded the year with their sixth annual Goosemas holiday concert, an epic live stream from a rooftop at Rockefeller Center.

Shenanigans Nite Club, released in June 2021, encapsulates the band’s rise. The nine track project is an ode to oft-forgotten vestiges of Goose's experience, both personal and collective. Bestowing deserved éclat on the emergent musicians, the album debuted at number one on Billboard’s Top New Artist Albums chart. The subsequent summer tour was highlighted by a pair of sold out shows at Denver’s Sculpture Park, and FRED: The Festival, the band’s own weekend event at the LOCKN’ farm in Virginia.

In January 2022, Goose celebrated the announcement of their inaugural Radio City Music Hall performance with the release of a new studio single “Borne”. Ruminating on the complexities of artistry, the song grapples with the self-doubt that emerges as a product of the creative process. A sanguine take on a common artist’s dilemma, the charming track is a reminder to all of us to keep pushing forward.



 
Goose
@Chrysalis at Merriweather Park | view more info »
Aug
13

Goose



Saturday Aug 13|doors 5:30 pm|all ages
Chrysalis at Merriweather Park|get directions »
10475 Little Patuxent Pkwy, Columbia, Maryland 21044|p: (410) 715-5550


Goose

official band site »

Goose — Rick Mitarotonda [vocals, guitar], Peter Anspach [vocals, keys, guitar], Trevor Weekz [bass], Ben Atkind [drums], and Jeff Arevalo [vocals, percussion, drums] — fluidly traverse genres with head-spinning hooks, technical fireworks, and the kind of chemistry only possible among small town and longtime friends. Following 2016’s moon cabin, the Norwalk, CT quintet quietly took flight, playing countless shows during their ascent while slowly and steadily amassing a nationwide following.

The end of 2017 saw the band welcome Peter Anspach on guitar and keyboard - a pivotal moment that solidified the group’s core lineup. Months of relentless touring prepared them for a string of milestone festival performances during the summer of 2019, most notably defined by a storied performance at The Peach Music Festival in Scranton, PA. The band’s subsequent pro-shot video gained significant traction, highlighting the existing catalog of content compiled over the previous two years.

With increased buzz came increased demand. One by one, Goose sold out each show of their fall 2019 headlining tour and sold out last minute performances at both Bowery Ballroom and Music Hall of Williamsburg in January 2020.

Due in part to Goose’s penchant for improvisation, the band has successfully navigated the myriad challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. They produced a series of intimate virtual events, culminating in a universally acclaimed Bingo Tour. The interactive, two-week live streaming event featured four full concerts with setlists determined by the outcome of a live Bingo game.

Fall 2020 saw a welcome return to live performance with a slew of sold out drive-in shows throughout the Northeast, Midwest, and Mid Atlantic. Propelled by seemingly unstoppable momentum, the band concluded the year with their sixth annual Goosemas holiday concert, an epic live stream from a rooftop at Rockefeller Center.

Shenanigans Nite Club, released in June 2021, encapsulates the band’s rise. The nine track project is an ode to oft-forgotten vestiges of Goose's experience, both personal and collective. Bestowing deserved éclat on the emergent musicians, the album debuted at number one on Billboard’s Top New Artist Albums chart. The subsequent summer tour was highlighted by a pair of sold out shows at Denver’s Sculpture Park, and FRED: The Festival, the band’s own weekend event at the LOCKN’ farm in Virginia.

In January 2022, Goose celebrated the announcement of their inaugural Radio City Music Hall performance with the release of a new studio single “Borne”. Ruminating on the complexities of artistry, the song grapples with the self-doubt that emerges as a product of the creative process. A sanguine take on a common artist’s dilemma, the charming track is a reminder to all of us to keep pushing forward.



 
Tea Leaf Green
@The 8x10 | view more info »
Aug
14

Tea Leaf Green



Sunday Aug 14|doors 7:00 pm|18+
The 8x10|get directions »
10 E. Cross St.
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 625-2000
 
Lake Street Dive
Allen Stone | @The Anthem | view more info »
Sep
9

Lake Street Dive

Allen Stone


Friday Sep 9|doors 6:30 pm|all ages
The Anthem|get directions »
901 WHARF ST SW, WASHINGTON, DC 20024|p: (202) 265-0930


Lake Street Dive

official band site »

Proof of vaccination required for entry to all shows at The Anthem.


Since forming in 2004, Lake Street Dive have matched their sophisticated musicianship with a fearless refusal to limit their sound. As shown on their most recent album, 2021's critically acclaimed Obviously, the Boston-bred band also possess a keen talent for combining sociopolitical commentary with immediately catchy pop gems. With their current lineup comprised of founding members Rachael Price (vocals), Bridget Kearney (bass), and Michael Calabrese (drums) -- as well as keyboardist/vocalist Akie Bermiss and touring guitarist James Cornelison -- Lake Street Dive continue to create joyously soulful rock & roll with equal parts ingenuity, intelligence, and irresistible abandon.

Although a certain spirited eclecticism has defined Lake Street Dive since their earliest days, the band's four original members (including former guitarist/trumpet player Michael "McDuck" Olson) first crossed paths while studying jazz at Boston's New England Conservatory of Music. Their full-length debut In This Episode... arrived in 2007, followed by three more independently released and rapturously received albums. As the band's energetic live show continued to earn them a devoted following, Lake Street Dive made their Nonesuch Records debut with Side Pony: a 2016 effort that instantly shot to No. 1 on three Billboard charts and later landed on Paste's 50 Best Albums of 2016 list. The following year, the group experienced a new infusion of creative energy with the addition of Bermiss (previously their touring keyboardist), who has since begun sharing writing and arrangement duties. Arriving in 2018, Lake Street Dive's self-produced sixth album Free Yourself Up debuted in the top ten on the Billboard 200 and spent seven-and-a-half months on the non-commercial radio charts, with the smoldering hit single "Good Kisser" holding steady in the top five at Americana radio for over a month.

In recent years, Lake Street Dive have brought even more boldness to their kaleidoscopic sound while deliberately expanding their songcraft. To that end, Obviously finds the band examining such complex matters as gender inequality (on "Being a Woman") and the monumental challenges faced by younger generations (on "Making Do"), shaping each track with a profound intentionality and ineffable mastery of melody and groove -- a process Price refers to as "putting these messages into three and a half minute snippets, dropping whatever truth we can and hoping it's the type of thing that people want to ruminate on." Made with producer Mike Elizondo (Fiona Apple, Mary J. Blige), the result is an endlessly illuminating body of work that's earned praise from the likes of Rolling Stone (who noted that "[a]t a moment when pop strives for lo-fi, solitary-world intimacy, the jazz-popwhatever band refuse to think small").

Over the years, they've captivated massive audiences at such esteemed festivals as Newport Folk Festival, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, and Toronto Jazz Festival, in addition to headlining tours all across the globe and sharing stages with acts like Brandi Carlile and Sheryl Crow. And through their fierce commitment to constantly elevating their artistry, Lake Street Dive have ultimately emerged as one of the most compelling voices in alternative music today, both reliably sublime and thrilling unpredictable.


Allen Stone

official band site »

On his third full-length album, soul artist Allen Stone proves himself deeply devoted to making uncompromisingly soulful music that transcends all pop convention. Made in collaboration with Swedish soul singer/songwriter/phenom Magnus Tingsek, Radius captures the warm energy of that creative connection and transports the listener to a higher and more exalted plane. Now embarking even higher ATO Records will be releasing Radius Deluxe on March 25th, which will include a second disc of 7 bonus tracks that didn’t make the original record release.

“I couldn’t be happier to return to ATO,” Stone exclaimed. “They are a label that works tirelessly for their artists. Their team is made up of genuine music lovers whose concern is creating timeless art not bolstering their 401k’s.” Radius marks the follow-up to the Chewelah, Washington-bred 28-year-old’s self-released and self-titled 2011 sophomore effort that climbed to the top 10 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart. As the New York Times recently said Stone’s lyrics “promise honest sentiments, grooves built with physical instruments and a gospel-rooted determination to uplift … glimmers of Al Green, Bill Withers, Curtis Mayfield, George Clinton, Prince and a bit of Sting.”

Along with immersing himself in a songwriting approach that involved unflinching examination of “some very dark and negative moments in my life,” Stone shaped the sound and feel of Radius by pushing himself to “get past the boundaries of what I felt comfortable with, so that I could progress into a whole new level of creativity.” Despite that sometimes-daunting process, Radius wholly reveals Stone’s easy grace in blending everything from edgy soul-pop and earthy folk-rock to throwback R&B and Parliament-inspired funk.

Culled from several dozen songs penned through a year and a half of constant writing and refining, Radius Deluxe bears a title that reflects both its scope and intimacy.

“The radius is that line extending from the center of the circle to its exterior,” says Stone. “And in a lot of ways this album is about getting out things deep inside—whether it’s love or insecurity or joy or frustration about things going on today.”

When it comes to the new bonus tracks Stone added, “I am very excited for “Bed I Made” to finally be released to the public. It’s a song that has long been a favorite of my audience and I’m glad that they will finally have a studio version.”

Radius first began to come to life back in the fall of 2013, when Stone headed to Sweden to join in a writing session with Tingsek. “His musicality is so outside-the-box, and it really stretched me as an artist,” says Stone, who’d tapped Tingsek as one of his opening acts for an 85-date headlining tour in 2012. “We just kept on throwing a wrench into the works and tried to create something that’s the complete antithesis of what you’d expect from pop music.” After recording the bulk of the album in Sweden, Stone rounded out Radius’s production at his own studio in the woods of northeast Washington and in L.A.-based sessions with producers like Benny Cassette (Kanye West) and Malay (a co-producer on Frank Ocean’s channel ORANGE).

Like many of his own musical heroes—Stevie Wonder chief among them—Stone pulls off the near-magical feat of channeling a weight-of-the-world sensitivity into his songs while still radiating hope and promise. And though that depth of consciousness feels transmitted from a more golden era, Radius continually hones in on issues both timeless and of-the-moment, with Stone’s breezily poetic lyrics touching on topics ranging from rampant materialism (on the tenderly string-accented, harmony-soaked “American Privilege”) and the toxic takeover of technology in art (on the gutsy and groove-heavy “Fake Future”). “That song’s mainly about how technology’s infiltrating music in a way that’s making it less and less human and taking all the heart out of it,” Stone says of the latter track, a soul-pop powerhouse peppered with playfully cutting lines like “Rock stars pushing buttons/Few actually play/City wasn’t ever built on lights and Special K.” And as evidenced by Radius’s lush yet raw sonic landscape—wherein the only hint of synth comes from a Moog analog synthesizer—Stone stayed true to his pledge to “keep fakeness completely out of this record” and rely entirely on live instrumentation.

Equally introspective and outwardly searching, Radius also finds Stone exploring intensely personal matters, such as depression on the stark and lovely, acoustic-guitar-woven ballad “Circle” (“That one was written at a pretty dark time for me,” Stone points out. “It’s about how depression can put you into a kind of circle, where you’re just trying to find a way out but it keeps on leading you back inside”). Showing his skill at crafting a killer love song as well, Stone looks at heartbreak and regret on the aching, electric-piano-infused “I Know That I Wasn’t Right,” slips into hopeless romanticism on the dreamy R&B pastiche “Barbwire,” and unleashes some starry-eyed affection on the dance floor-ready “Symmetrical”. And in tracks like the ultra-catchy album-opener “Perfect World” and the fiery, horn-laced “Freedom,” Radius unfolds into epically joyful anthems that show the full range and power of Stone’s vocals. Stone started working those vocals as a kid, thanks largely to his parents’ influence. “My father was a minister so I spent about half my childhood in church, watching my mom and dad sing together and lead the congregation in song,” he recalls. By the time he was 11 he’d picked up a guitar and written his first song, and soon began self-recording demo tapes to pass along to classmates. Although Stone enrolled in Bible College after high school, he quickly dropped out to move to Seattle and kick start his music career. “I had an ’87 Buick and I’d drive up and down the west coast, playing any gig I could get just to try to put my music out there,” he says.

At age 22, Stone self-released his debut album, 2010’s Last To Speak. But it was his self-titled follow-up (on which he joined forces with former Miles Davis keyboardist Deron Johnson) that ended up earning him serious recognition. Along with entering the top five on iTunes’ R&B/Soul chart after its digital release, Allen Stone prompted him to score appearances on such late-night talk shows like Conan. And upon partnering with ATO Records for a physical release of his self-titled album in 2012, Stone soon turned up on the likes of the Late Show with David Letterman and landed a gig as the opening act for soul legend Al Green. In the midst of the buzz, he also took up a grueling touring schedule, tearing through nearly 600 shows in just two years.

For Stone, all that time onstage went a long way in preparing him for the many creative breakthroughs he’s made on Radius.

“I think you really grow as a musician when you’re playing right in front of people, and for me constantly growing and progressing and getting better is really the most important thing,” he says. Ruminating on the emotional undertones of his new album’s title and noting that, “the center of me is my heart,” Stone says he also hopes that Radius will ultimately help listeners shed new light on their own struggles. “There’ve been times in my life when records were my saving grace and really helped me to figure out who I am, and I’d love for my music to have that kind of impact on a kid who’s looking for his or her own place in this life,” he says. “Because I absolutely believe that if you’re going to stand at a microphone and say something, you need to recognize that as a privilege. You’ve got to be incredibly careful about it, and really put all your heart into the message that you’re sending out into the world.”


 
Cabinet
@The 8x10 | view more info »
Sep
16

Cabinet



Friday Sep 16|doors 7:00 pm|18+
The 8x10|get directions »
10 E. Cross St.
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 625-2000


Cabinet

official band site »

“We were just kids having fun, experimenting and making music with each other….. still are!”

Cabinet wears their influences like badges, honoring the canon of roots, rock, reggae, psychedelia, blues, bluegrass, country, and folk, weaving these sounds into a patchwork Americana quilt. But this music isn’t romanticizing or rehashing the past. Cabinet makes it mark on today. The steady aim of their harmonies soar straight onto target each time, the soaring vocals giving voice to the story of each song. Their music takes the long way home, treating its listeners like passengers on a ride through scenic back roads. Their live shows are inclusive, celebratory, and community-building. Members Pappy Biondo (banjo, vocals), J.P. Biondo (mandolin, vocals), Mickey Coviello (acoustic guitar, vocals), Dylan Skursky (electric bass, double bass), Todd Kopec (fiddle, vocals) and Jami Novak (drums, percussion) all live and love music, and aren’t afraid to show it.

Cabinet formed in 2006, bringing together players from various musical and personal backgrounds. Some of the members were barely old enough to drink legally, but their thirst for older music was unquenchable. Whether its rustic "American Beauty"-era Grateful Dead or old-timey bluegrass, Cabinet has digested it all. But that is not to say that Cabinet recreates older styles. No, this is music that might have its roots in the past, but it is current and vibrant, with a sense of celebrating the now.



 
Cabinet
@The 8x10 | view more info »
Sep
17

Cabinet



Saturday Sep 17|doors 7:00 pm|18+
The 8x10|get directions »
10 E. Cross St.
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 625-2000


Cabinet

official band site »

“We were just kids having fun, experimenting and making music with each other….. still are!”

Cabinet wears their influences like badges, honoring the canon of roots, rock, reggae, psychedelia, blues, bluegrass, country, and folk, weaving these sounds into a patchwork Americana quilt. But this music isn’t romanticizing or rehashing the past. Cabinet makes it mark on today. The steady aim of their harmonies soar straight onto target each time, the soaring vocals giving voice to the story of each song. Their music takes the long way home, treating its listeners like passengers on a ride through scenic back roads. Their live shows are inclusive, celebratory, and community-building. Members Pappy Biondo (banjo, vocals), J.P. Biondo (mandolin, vocals), Mickey Coviello (acoustic guitar, vocals), Dylan Skursky (electric bass, double bass), Todd Kopec (fiddle, vocals) and Jami Novak (drums, percussion) all live and love music, and aren’t afraid to show it.

Cabinet formed in 2006, bringing together players from various musical and personal backgrounds. Some of the members were barely old enough to drink legally, but their thirst for older music was unquenchable. Whether its rustic "American Beauty"-era Grateful Dead or old-timey bluegrass, Cabinet has digested it all. But that is not to say that Cabinet recreates older styles. No, this is music that might have its roots in the past, but it is current and vibrant, with a sense of celebrating the now.



 
Ghost-Note
@The Hamilton | view more info »
Sep
24

Ghost-Note



Saturday Sep 24|doors 6:30 pm|all ages
The Hamilton|get directions »
600 14th Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 787-1000


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 dance-able 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.



 
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong
Flocktoberfest | @Union Craft Brewing | view more info »
Oct
1

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong

Flocktoberfest


Saturday Oct 1|doors 3:30 pm|21+
Union Craft Brewing|get directions »
1700 West 41st Street
Baltimore, MD


Pigeons Playing Ping Pong


Flocktoberfest

official band site »

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


 
The Infamous Stringdusters
@Baltimore Soundstage | view more info »
Oct
5

The Infamous Stringdusters



Wednesday Oct 5|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
Baltimore Soundstage|get directions »
124 Market Place
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 244-0057


The Infamous Stringdusters

official band site »

After finally being in the same room for the first time in six months, the Infamous Stringdusters seized the moment for their revealing new album, Toward the Fray. Inspired by self-reflection and a strong sense of solidarity, the project documents the Grammy Award-winning group’s remarkable growth as instrumentalists as well as songwriters. Released on their own label, Americana Vibes, the collection also firmly establishes the band’s stature on the modern acoustic music landscape, where they’ve built a solid and enduring fan base among traditional and progressive audiences alike.

The five band members – Travis Book (bass), Andy Falco (guitar), Jeremy Garrett (fiddle), Andy Hall (Dobro), and Chris Pandolfi (banjo) -- wrote the songs on Toward the Fray separately, sending simple phone demos to each other during lockdown. Fueled by friendship and a mastery of their instruments, the 13-track collection feels live, but not necessarily loose, due to a synergy that’s developed over the last 16 years of playing sheds, clubs, and festival stages across the country.

“With all of our records, we always go into the studio to capture the live energy of our band, so I feel like we were all comfortable just plugging right in and getting started,” Pandolfi says. “All five of us have arrived at this point in our careers where we all produce – we produce our own music and some of us produce for others. We knew we could get it done with all that collective intel and know-how. One of the awesome things about being in this band is that everybody is always working on their instrumental game. When we show up for a new tour or a new album, we all get a chance to dig even a little deeper -- and you can hear that part of it. That's always been part of our mantra.”

Toward the Fray begins with a somber perspective in songs like “Hard Line” and “I’m Not Alone,” even as the arrangements tap into the ambitious, enthusiastic musicianship the band is known for. The point of view in “I Didn’t Know” feels especially personal for Garrett.

“For me, it was a heavy time, with the pandemic slowing everything down, but what affected me the most was the death of George Floyd,” he says. “I can't say what an impact that had on me personally, being an average American white guy going along through life, not necessarily fully understanding what the other side of the fence was. I took a deep look at myself because of that story. I got inside of my head and wanted to write about it. Several songs on this record come from that vantage point, trying to put more thought into, how can we bridge this gap that has happened? ‘I Didn’t Know’ is about that. I didn’t know we had to pay attention to these things. It was a wake-up call for me.”

Continuing the conversation, Book adds, “All five of us took that opportunity for our consciousness to evolve, and we took the responsibility seriously. That’s what I hear when I listen to this record. The songs are very honest and real, but what other option do we have? There’s a responsibility as citizens of this country and as citizens of earth, for all the reasons – ecological and cultural -- to lean in and to turn toward the battle. Everybody brought a lot of conviction with their tunes. Everybody came with a clear idea of what their statement was going to be. I think because of the situation we were all in, a harmonious and collective sound came out of that.”

The title track of Toward the Fray finds the narrator making a decision to get involved, rather than just comment on the sidelines. It’s a powerful image – and one that required an attention-grabbing visual. Of the cover art depicting a young girl standing firm among the wreckage, Hall says, “When we decided on the album title, I imagined the fray being a city that was on fire or in turmoil. And in juxtaposition of all that destruction happening, there’s a child. That's what was happening in the world at the time. There were little kids seeing these protests and all this strife. No one is safe from what's going on, as far as experiencing some level of it. One thing that I like about the artwork is that the child has a strength to her, especially the way she’s looking right into the camera. She’s got to wear a gas mask and she looks ready to enter into the fray, like, ‘All right, I’ve got to face this.’”

Toward the Fray is also the first Infamous Stringdusters album with drums, with the band deciding that the songs were calling out for it. The band explores other creative directions, too, ranging from the persistent march of “Revolution,” to the comforts of home in “Pearl of Carolina.” Meanwhile, “Spirits Wild” will be relatable to those who can’t help but answer the call of the road. “When Will I Ride Again,” a sequel to “Tragic Life” from their first album, is cinematic but also emblematic of their own questions about picking up where they left off. “How Do You Know” and “Through the Floor” are among the band’s most vulnerable compositions in a catalog of exceptional material.

“To me, the theme of Toward the Fray is about dealing with your problems head on, rather than running away from them,” Falco says. “One of the things that I’m really proud of is that this record is true to all of us. It’s a genuine record because it really is about everything that we were all going through. We’re talking about the pandemic and all of the chaos, but we’re talking about love and other things, too. We were able to reflect and dive deep and look inward during all of this. I hope people who hear these songs will feel like they’re not alone. That’s what we always hope that people can relate to in our songs -- that we’re all in it together.”



 
Brother Ali
Mally | DJ Last Word | @Pearl Street Warehouse | view more info »
Oct
6

Brother Ali

Mally
DJ Last Word

Thursday Oct 6|doors 7:00 pm|21+
Pearl Street Warehouse|get directions »
33 Pearl Street
Washington DC|p: (202) 380-9620


Brother Ali

official band site »

Brother Ali is a respected Hip Hop artist, speaker, and community leader. His two-decade resume includes eight critically-acclaimed albums, mentorships with iconic Hip Hop legends Chuck D and Rakim, and performances on late night shows with Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien.

His provocative and uplifting brand of Hip Hop has earned him coveted press features like Rolling Stone’s 40th anniversary edition and Source Magazine’s “Hip Hop Quotables”, while his outspoken social justice message has landed him on government watch lists. He’s also lectured at universities from Princeton to Stanford and delivered the keynote address at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum.

When he’s not rocking the mic at Coachella or being arrested for civil disobedience in support of marginalized communities, Brother Ali travels the world learning and teaching Islamic Spirituality under some of today’s most renowned teachers. In addition to leading worship services and classes, he co-founded The Gemali Project, an organization that helps Muslim converts and spiritual seekers access the beauty of the Islamic tradition. Brother Ali recently launched The Travelers Podcast from his new home in Istanbul, exploring life’s journey with cultural, spiritual, and thought leaders from across the globe.


Mally

DJ Last Word


 
North Mississippi Allstars
@The Hamilton | view more info »
Oct
8

North Mississippi Allstars



Saturday Oct 8|doors 6:30 pm|all ages
The Hamilton|get directions »
600 14th Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 787-1000


North Mississippi Allstars

official band site »

Nothing runs deeper than family ties. Brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters understand one another at the purest level. When families rally around music, they speak this oft-unspoken bond aloud and into existence. After 25 years, twelve albums, four GRAMMY® Award nominations, and sold out shows everywhere, North Mississippi Allstars open up their world once again on their thirteenth album, Set Sail [New West Records], welcoming other family (by blood and by the road) into the fold. As legend has it, Luther and Cody Dickinson started the band in 1996 as a loose collective of like-minded second-generation musicians who shared a local repertoire and regional style. Over the years, the lineup shifted by design, and each subsequent record offered up a different combination of collaborators. This time around, they mined the talents of Jesse Williams on bass and Lamar Williams, JR. on vocals. During the Allman Betts Band Family Revival, the Dickinsons first linked up with Lamar, son of the Allman Brothers bassist Lamar Williams, Sr., becoming fast friends and collaborators and eventually paving the way for Set Sail.

“The chemistry we have with this lineup is powerful,” observes Luther. “We are all second-generation musicians and share a telepathic, relaxed ease about creating and performing. I believe music is a form of communion with our loved ones and conjuring this vibe with members of musical families can be inspirational. Lamar and I are like-minded. I’ve never had the pleasure of working with a singing partner like Lamar. He has a true-blue quality in his musicality that will pull you in and break your heart. At the same time, Jesse grew up playing music with his brothers and his father—as did we. He plays like a sibling. We recorded the album fresh off the road and captured the energy we had worked up with him. I’m drawn to musical families, regardless of style. Playing with second- or third-generation players allows us an easy unspoken musical dialog. It’s not a big thing; it’s just what we do. We never had to figure out what it means and takes to be a musician. We all inherently know.”

They picked up this wisdom by osmosis. As sons of legendary producer and musician Jim Dickinson, Luther and Cody have been producing records themselves since they were teenagers. Separately, the brothers have produced albums by Samantha Fish, R.L. Boyce, Lucero, Amy Lavere, the Birds of Chicago, Ian Segal, and more. Luther produced two records from Otha Turner, including Everybody Hollerin’ Goat, which was named one of the ten most important blues albums of the nineties. Luther and Cody co-produce North Mississippi Allstars records as the “Dickinson Brothers.”

“We learned an enormous amount from our father,” Luther says, “Cody and I made mistakes, but we’ve always believed in ourselves, and we had to learn for ourselves. Rock ‘n’ roll is self-taught. Each generation has to reinvent itself and shed the skin of the elders. On Set Sail, we feel as if we’ve once again ‘broken the code,’ and know what we want and how to get it.” Following 2019’s Up and Rolling, which received a GRAMMY® Award nod in the category of “Best Contemporary Blues Album,” Set Sail continues the band’s tradition of creating roots music that displays remarkable variety. Luther and Cody Dickinson dig in with the production and different guitar tones; the record sizzles with hard yet understated groove, grown folk music. Luther’s wide-ranging guitar style features jazz riffs, psychedelic sounds, and soulful slide. Drummer and multi-instrumentalist Cody draws on roots music, rock, jazz, rap, and other styles to create rhythms that propel the band’s sounds and move it forward. Their two aesthetics combine to create the band’s unique style, “Primitive Modernism,” melding the new and the old, traditional, and futuristic, crafted lyrics and improvisational music. Speaking of, the first single and title track “Set Sail Part I” [feat. Lamar Williams, JR.] rides a riff right out of the Southern Delta into the embrace of a horn section as the vocal interplay simmers on the line, “The water may rise again, but we shall set sail.”

“‘Set Sail’ really set the tone,” Cody goes on. “It could be taken literally or figuratively. Philosophically, it’s about the way the waters literally do rise. We’re talking about climate change in a literal sense, but it’s also symbolic in a social sense. It won’t be the first time.”

“See The Moon” [feat. Lamar Williams, Jr. & Sharisse Norman] hinges on a head-nodding bass line as Sharisse’s harmonies uplift a downright spellbinding performance from Lamar underlined by Luther’s unpredictable guitar phrasing. The most familial moments on the record happen when Luther’s daughters Lucia and Isla sing together on “Authentic” and “Didn’t We Have A Time,” marking a full circle moment in poetic fashion. Delicate instrumentation wraps around plaintive and powerful lyrics laced with nostalgia on the lullaby-style chorus. “It’s one of my favorite songs,” smiles Cody, who has recently become a father himself. “Hearing my nieces on it was a high point. It was really meaningful, deep, and beautifully sad, but also hopeful.”

Strings and horns give way to the smoky blues of “Never Want To Be Kissed” [feat. William Bell], illuminating yet another side of the sound. Luther notes, “Most of these songs have been floating around in my lyric books, waiting for their time to come. ‘Rabbit Foot’ and ‘Outside’ were inspired by conversations I remember having with Otha Turner and R.L. Burnside. We leaned into our other greatest influences: folk, soul, and psychedelic rock, but everything we play feels like North Mississippi. The recording also benefited from a new creative process I learned from a book, Q on Producing, that Cody sent me. I read about Quincy Jones’s philosophy of never recording a vocalist reading a lyric sheet. Up and Rolling was recorded with the band in the room. The genesis of Set Sail was the nylon string guitar and the vocals, and letting the memorized lyrics shape the song structure or lack thereof. This led to a whole new phonetics-based editing process that I’d never used before. Some of the lyrics were improvised and created on the mic, capturing the moment of creation.” Building the songs from the guitar and BPM on Set Sail enabled Luther and Cody to experiment with their drum and guitar sounds in a leisurely way they hadn’t afforded themselves since their debut album, Shake Hands with Shorty (1999). In the studio, Cody mixed the songs again and again, working tirelessly but never losing perspective. Cody’s grooves and Luther’s songwriting furnish the album’s foundations.

Luther admits, “Recently, I had my mind blown by Rick Rubin saying that fitting lyrics into the puzzle of structure can compromise the message. Indeed, rules are made to be broken. I’m glad these songs came to fruition at this time because I was able to express my stance on life and love. The fear of having my children grown up and asking me why I didn’t speak up for what I believed in has driven me and helped mature my songwriting and solidify my stance. Having kids made me get my story straight.”

The Dickinson brothers have recorded and toured with Mavis Staples, Charlie Musslewhite, John Hiatt, Robert Plant and Patty Griffin, G Love, Jon Spencer, the Tedeschi Trucks Band, Los Lobos, and the Black Crowes. Meanwhile, their seminal debut, Shake hands with Shorty (2000), earned the band the first of four GRAMMY® nominations, and changed the Dickinson brothers’ lives forever.

Luther adds, “Quincy says, ‘Music gives back what you put into it.’ We have dedicated our lives to music, and it’s given us a fantastic journey that’s still only beginning. In 1997, R.L. Burnside hired me and took me on the road. R.L., Kenny Brown, and Cedric Burnside taught me how to tour nationally after years of touring locally. The Shake Hands with Shorty tour in 2000 took Cody and I around the world and changed our lives. We never really slowed down.”

They forge ahead always as a family, first and foremost. “North Mississippi Allstars means family,” Cody concludes. “I get the joy of working with my brother. Our families keep growing too. There’s a sense of history. The older I get, the more I realize how important it is to record this music, so younger kids can hear it. I just want to make sure we pass it on. It’s a huge honor to be a part of this tradition.”



 
Perpetual Groove
@Baltimore Soundstage | view more info »
Oct
12

Perpetual Groove



Wednesday Oct 12|doors 8:00 pm|all ages
Baltimore Soundstage|get directions »
124 Market Place
Baltimore, MD|p: (410) 244-0057


Perpetual Groove

official band site »

Based in Athens, GA, Perpetual Groove is a long time well established touring act with an enthusiastic fan base and international critical acclaim. Dubbed PGroove by their fans, their music has been best described as anthemic trance arena rock. Their large catalog of original music offers something for everyone. The addition of an intense, retina burning, intelligent light show creates an atmosphere unlike any other, assuring fans they’ll get a highly polished, yet different show each night. With the recent addition of drummer Darren Stanley (Col.Bruce Hampton, Jimmy Herring The 5 of 7, Larkin Poe, Oz Noy, Peter Rowan) Perpetual Groove has positioned themselves to enter an entirely new era with a fresh perspective and sound. Almost 20 years into their career, Perpetual Groove continues to showcase the evolution of their cultivated music and performances. This is a band that is fully realized and ready to bring their sound, storytelling, and live experience to the masses.



 
Cris Jacobs Band
Caleb Stine | @The Recher | view more info »
Oct
21

Cris Jacobs Band

Caleb Stine


Friday Oct 21|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
The Recher|get directions »
512 York Road
Towson, MD|p: (410) 337-7178


Cris Jacobs Band

official band site »

When Cris Jacobs began dreaming about a follow-up to his critically acclaimed 2016 album Dust to Gold, he realized early on he'd have to do things differently this time around. His life had changed drastically since writing those songs: he'd toured extensively and attracted a legion of new, devoted fans; he'd come off the road into a world, with its divisive rhetoric and troubling headlines, he no longer recognized; and, most importantly, he'd gotten married and had his first child. Things had changed, and Jacobs had, too.

Color Where You Are is the work of an artist at an exciting new stage in his life and career, ready to use his talents to share a little beauty with the loved ones and fans who have already given so much to him. The title nods to Jacobs' experience writing the album, which, as he puts it, he had to do "between tours, coming home, changing diapers, fixing things around the house.... You name it." He no longer had the luxury of waiting for inspiration to strike, so he colored where he was.

"It was a new discipline for me and a new level of focus that I think brought out the best work," he explains. "I feel like I grew up a little bit. There are people in my life who I truly care about and things in the world I feel deeply about. That really pushed me in a stronger direction and forced me to feel things on an honest level."

Opening track "Painted Roads," with its soulful groove and clever arrangement, is the perfect encapsulation of just how far Jacobs has come since releasing Dust to Gold. Jacobs is self-assured and confident in his soulful, infectious vocal, while his lyrical craftsmanship shows Jacobs to be a thoughtful songwriter who continuously strives to grow and evolve.

"It's about choosing to live in the present, and see the everyday details of the world, rather than postponing living or paying attention in hopes of some distant prize or destination," Jacobs says of "Painted Roads." "We get so caught up in 'success' and ambition, and are so goal-oriented, that we sometimes lose sight of the beauty in the everyday. 'Color where you are' is the notion of creating beauty now, no matter the circumstance."

"Painted Roads" was one of the first songs Jacobs and the band (who co-produced the album together) recorded for Color Where You Are, with his band mates taking Jacobs' original Tom Petty-inspired arrangement and giving it an off-kilter, syncopated groove. For the first time, Jacobs wrote the bulk of the album's songs in the studio, camping out at Richmond's Montrose Studios to flesh out "germs and ideas that had been floating around" with band members Todd Herrington (bass), Dusty Ray Simmons (drums/percussion) and Jonathan Sloane (guitar).

"I booked the studio time and put a gun to my head and that sometimes works," Jacobs says. "In this case it did. It feels like a specific time period and specific vibe and emotional space that came through in all of these songs. It was a really organic process."

While life as a family man changed Jacobs' perspective (and schedule), current events also had a profound impact on Jacobs' songwriting, with commentary on social and political issues finding its way into tracks like "Afterglow" and "Under the Big Top." Color Where You Are is a hopeful affair, though, with Jacobs employing thoughtful criticism and messages of empowerment instead of wallowing or ruminating.

"The political climate is causing a different sort of energy and angst in me that’s never been there before," he explains. "It’s not a political album by any means, but those forces out there certainly dictated a lot of the writing on this record."

On "Afterglow," Jacobs searches for optimism and healing in trying times. His emotional vocal is buoyed by a passionate, swelling performance from the band, making the track one of Color Where You Are's most poignant moments. "It's about the hope that after the storm we are currently trying to survive in, we will see true light like never before," Jacobs says. "That the constant threats to our foundations will cause us to examine and strengthen them, and come out the other side with stronger hearts and clearer vision. 'There will come horses, there will come voices' -- that we will be forced to show our true hand like never before because of our dire need to defend it."

Elsewhere, on "Under the Big Top," Jacobs channels swampy, gritty rock influences to shine a light on narrow-mindedness and lazy thinking. Crunchy riffs and a fat bass groove make the track, despite its heady message, one of the album's many songs you can't help but move to.

"'Under the Big Top' is commentary on society’s evolution into gullible, easily distracted, lazy-mindedness," Jacobs says. “'Pretty lights junkie like a moth to candle,' always distracted by the brightest, loudest, biggest, rather than remembering how to seek for ourselves and find truth and love. We instead over-consume and are given every opportunity to do so. What we end up with is a circus of sorts, with tricksters and hucksters and loud mouths with no real value taking up all of our attention and ruling us, because we are too easily manipulated."

Grooves abound on Color Where You Are, as on standout track "Rooster Coop," which finds Jacobs and the band sniffing around the henhouse over greasy slide guitar, a deep, deep pocket and a truly funky bass line. "All I knew was that I wanted to write a song that merged country and funk," Jacobs says of "Roostr Coop." "We started out with the main groove of the tune and the first line that popped into my head was, 'There’s something funky in the barnyard.' So naturally, I wrote a song about a scandalous love tryst amongst farm animals."

Spanning rock, folk, soul and funk and drawing from inspiration that runs the gamut from the henhouse to the White House, Color Where You Are is a kaleidoscopic portrait of Cris Jacobs as a songwriter, musician and bandleader. It's the work of a devoted father and an empathetic member of the human race. More than that, it's a reminder that there's beauty to be found everywhere, if you just take a moment to color where you are.

"What am I trying to do with my music?" Jacobs muses. ? "The simple answer is this: I’m trying to connect with people. To express real-life human emotions and make people feel things. To connect my love of music with my love of writing and conjure up all of the joy and emotions that those things bring to me. To hopefully have people walk away feeling lighter or happier or more inspired to go do something after listening... I want to create a body of work that my family will be proud of one day, and to show that I had compassion to the human condition and wasn’t just a self-indulgent show off."


Caleb Stine

official band site »

Caleb Stine is a singer, guitarist, songwriter, and visual artist. His songs seek to uncover the mysteries of our shared humanity that live just below the surface of everyday experiences. His music has drawn comparisons to Townes Van Zandt and Willie Nelson, but Caleb’s songs are uniquely his own. Flying just below the mainstream radar, Stine has self-released a dozen albums, opened shows for artists like Jason Isbell, Bombino, and Sam Bush, acted Off-Broadway, and drawn story-boards for John Waters, while dynamically keeping the live shows rolling for fifteen years, ‘Stine’s upfront personality seeking to make a personal connection with everyone in the venue’ (Americana UK) Catch a Caleb Stine performance and you’ll leave inspired.


 
Kitchen Dwellers & Daniel Donato
@Union Hall @ UNION Craft Brewing (Indoor) | view more info »
Oct
22

Kitchen Dwellers & Daniel Donato



Saturday Oct 22|doors 7:00 pm|21+
Union Hall @ UNION Craft Brewing (Indoor)|get directions »
1700 West 41st Street
Baltimore, MD


Kitchen Dwellers

official band site »

Among the many natural wonders in Montana, Wise River runs for about 30 miles through the Southwestern region of the state, cutting through the mountains and flowing into the Big Hole River. Beyond being a favorite spot for fly fishermen, it remains etched into the topography of the land itself. Two hours away in Bozeman, Kitchen Dwellers equally embody the spirit and soul of their home with a sonic palette as expansive as Montana’s vistas. The quartet—Shawn Swain [Mandolin], Torrin Daniels [banjo], Joe Funk [upright bass], and Max Davies [acoustic guitar]—twist bluegrass, folk, and rock through a kaleidoscope of homegrown stories, rich mythology, American west wanderlust, and psychedelic hues. After amassing 5 million-plus streams, selling out shows, and receiving acclaim from Huffington Post, Relix, American Songwriter, and more, the group brings audiences back to Big Sky Country on their third full-length album, Wise River, working with Cory Wong of Vulfpeck as producer.

“Since we weren’t on the road due to COVID-19, the music we wrote was different,” Max reveals. “It was more introspective. There were a lot of ties to Montana.” “For the first time, we were all home for 365 days in a row, which hasn’t happened in ten years,” adds Shawn. “We were thinking of the quieter lifestyle encapsulated in the area. That comes through.”

“In the past, our songs would touch on the physical aspects of the state or reference its history and nature,” says Torrin. “These songs are more introspective, because they come from the perspective of actually being in one place. The vibe is a little more serious—given the weirdness of the past year and the shit everyone has been dealing with. Our little corner of the world has always delt with hard winters, but the whole world felt it in 2020.”

At the same time, their music continues to resound beyond that little corner. They’ve captivated audiences at hallowed venues such as Red Rocks Amphitheatre and performed alongside everyone from Railroad Earth and Twiddle to The Infamous String Dusters in addition to playing festivals such as Northwest String Summit, WinterWonderGrass, and more. They’ve released two critically acclaimed albums—Ghost In The Bottle [2017] and Muir Maid [2019]—and a live record, Live from the Wilma [2021]. They broke up 2020 with an EP of Pink Floyd covers entitled Reheated, Vol. 2. It was heralded by a two-night livestream concert, Live From The Cabin, beamed out to audiences from the Bridger Mountains. Additionally, they appeared at the Live From Out There virtual festival and even took over a drive-in movie theater for an in-person gig in between regular writing sessions together throughout the year.

In order to bring the new tunes to life, they recruited Cory behind the board as producer. Holing up at Creation Studios in Minneapolis, they recorded Wise River in just four days.

“Cory brought a little more orchestration,” Shawn reveals. “He helped us really think differently and evolve the sound as a band.”

On the single and title track “Wise River,” banjo brushes up against acoustic guitar as visuals of a “lonely river town where the barfly knows you best,” “the ghosts of miners,” and a place “where the snow can fall like cannonballs and lonesome wind blows bitter.”

“The town of Wise River is basically a forgotten spot on the map,” Shawn says. “It used to be a thriving place with many prosperous mines, but now it’s practically dried up. There’s a hell of a lot of melancholy. In our mind, it symbolizes the overall feeling of being in slowed-down Montana life.”

Meanwhile, “Stand At Ease” gallops along on nimbly strummed banjo and bright piano towards a chanting chorus, “I can’t stand to see what you’ve done to be free.” “That one is based on the mental health issues in the music industry coming to light over the past couple of years,” Joe reveals. “It’s about losing a lot of our friends and idols.”

“Paradise Valley” surveys the landscape as the lyrics visit the remnants of underground bunkers once occupied by a doomsday cult in the north. The finale “Their Names Are The Trees” recants another true story of tragedy in the wilderness.

“A good friend of ours is a wildland firefighter,” Shawn goes on. “He was stationed out in Oregon on the Beachie Creek Fire, which destroyed maybe three towns and killed several people. One night, they were 15 miles back from the fire line. They wondered where the fire had moved in the wind, but it overtook their camp, the entire town they were stationed in, and wiped it out. Several people didn’t make it.”

In the end, Kitchen Dwellers share timeless American stories from the heart of one of its greatest treasures.

“When you listen to Wise River, I hope you hear some of the original qualities that made us who we are, but you also recognize aspects that are new and adventurous,” Max leaves off. “If you go to a studio with a whole new batch of songs, it should never be the same as the last time. I hope you hear what it sounds like when the four of us are at home and have the space to create something together. This album is really how we sound as a band.”


Daniel Donato

official band site »

When people first meet Daniel Donato, they’re not fully braced for this walking tornado of creative energy. “They think there’s something that tips the scale in ways they don’t understand,” says Donato about his over-the-top, slightly manic vibe. “But what actually tips the scale is the amount of thought and analysis I put into my work and art, all of which is taken from the lessons of my life.”

Donato, a 25-year-old Nashville native, has distilled those life lessons into his debut album, A Young Man’s Country, his proper introduction to the general musical audience. Recorded at Nashville’s Sound Emporium in a mere two days and produced by guitar-ace Robben Ford, the record weaves outlaw country, Grateful Dead-style Americana, and first-rate songwriting into a singular form Donato calls “21st-century cosmic country.”

It might surprise some that the Telecaster-wielding wunderkind, who at 16 became the youngest musician to regularly play the iconic honky tonk Robert’s Western World while gigging with the Don Kelley Band, began his musical journey in a purely millennial fashion. Before he ever picked up a guitar, he discovered he had an aptitude for music via the video game Guitar Hero. At the time, he didn’t feel compelled to try his hand at the real thing until one day, about the age of 12, he heard the electric perfection of Guns ‘N’ Roses’ “Paradise City” blast from a set of speakers and his world was changed forever.

“It was the first time I ever had a vision for my life,” says Donato, who was partly drawn to music because he sucked royally at skateboarding. “I then took one of my dad’s old guitars . . . and I literally fell in love with it.” From then on, Donato lived and breathed music, practicing his chops around the clock. He’d play before school, during his lunch break, and in the evenings at home, sometimes falling asleep with the six-string in his hands.

It wasn’t long before he was busking on lower Broadway in Nashville, playing eight hours a day on weekends for tips. It was after one of those day’s sessions that he got a wild hair and snuck into Robert’s on a night when house act the Don Kelley Band was playing and his wig-dome was blown. “It was the first time I ever saw a band that was that good up close,” Donato said. “So I’m literally watching them play and I’m crying. I decided right then that I wanted to be the best guitar player in the world.”

Donato continued busking outside arenas before John Mayer and Phish concerts and on the streets of Nashville and it was then, while playing on Broadway, that he’d give Don Kelley his business card every Saturday night, hoping for a chance to audition. One day, while still a junior in high school, he got the call to come play. Donato was more than ready, and he delivered the goods in spades. He was so good, in fact, that he became a regular member of the band, performing four nights a week for more than 450 shows with the group.

Playing nightly with the Don Kelley Band was a formidable education for the young musician. Jamming regularly with Nashville’s most seasoned players, stalwart pickers who may have played in Buck Owens’ band, or Dolly Parton’s, or Alan Jackson’s, expanded his musical vocabulary while honing his stage presence. Along the way he was soaking up stories of adventures on the road and learning about the ups and downs of the music business. In short, he was gaining priceless life lessons and a musical education from wells that run deep into the musical history of Nashville.

Around the time he turned 18, one of Donato’s high-school teachers, a serious music lover who had seen his student play at Robert’s, gave him a Grateful Dead box set. It was another eureka moment for the guitarist. His love for the Dead may have been ignited much earlier by virtue of the fact that his mother was a bona fide Deadhead who followed the group on tour when she was pregnant with the future guitarist, but it was that collection that changed the way he looked at music. “It gave me a tie to all of the classic country gold I’d been working down at the honky-tonks each weekend,” he said. “Grateful Dead and Merle Haggard had always lived in my heart, but now, the link was made, and I had a vision on how to keep it alive for this generation that I am coming from.”

During the days of his Robert’s residency, Donato continued to busk at various locales, even playing the Grand Ole Opry, and it is the sum of all these gigs, experiences any teenage musician would kill for, that inform the sounds on A Young Man’s Country.

“Ain’t Living Long Like This,” one of three covers on the album, is a song by Waylon Jennings, who was recording at the Sound Emporium the day Donato was born. “Angel From Montgomery,” a song Donato learned on the fly while busking for tourists, pays tribute to the late John Prine. Donato recorded his unique take on the tune before Prine’s death. The Grateful Dead’s “Fire On The Mountain” is tacked on to “Meet Me In Dallas,” a tune Donato wrote while on the road with Paul Cauthen. The other seven songs, all originals, showcase the promise of a young songwriter coming into his own, one of the highlights being “Luck of the Draw.”

The message of these songs contain the central tenet of Donato’s “Cosmic Country” ethos, which is about finding the courage to blaze your own path. As such, it is an ethos the artist extends beyond music into the channels of social media, where he’s built up a huge following of devoted “DD Heads,” as his fans call themselves. His podcast, “Daniel Donato’s Lost Highway,” brings together like-minded creatives to get at the heart of what makes artists tick, for which he’s interviewed Brothers Osborne, Brent Cobb, Orville Peck, and Garry Talent of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band.

Incubated to the sounds of the Dead, educated by some of Nashville’s finest players, and having more than 2,000 shows under his belt and a social media presence, Daniel Donato is indeed a millennial whirligig of creative fire. He’s been dabbling in professional music since the age of 14 and yet he’s just getting started. A Young Man’s Country is the portrait of a restless artist as a young man, one whose story is singular and is still in its exciting, early chapters -- and as this effort shows, the future is indeed cosmic.



 
Too Many Zooz
Yam Yam | @Union Stage | view more info »
Oct
28

Too Many Zooz

Yam Yam


Friday Oct 28|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
Union Stage|get directions »
740 Water Street SW
Washington DC|p: (877) 987-6487


Too Many Zooz

official band site »

The curious thing about being a fan of brasshouse? You're pretty much talking about being into one solitary but extremely unforgettable band: the amusingly monikered Too Many Zooz.

The musical style was "branded" by drummer King of Sludge, who recognized that there was no worthy existing classification for the New York trio, whose other two members are the equally unclassifiable Leo P (saxophone) and Matt Doe (trumpet).

"Brasshouse is a high energy musical conversation," Matt insists. "Though I honestly don't think there is a good way to describe it in words. It's about many different feelings and sounds and emotions."

Or as KOS so decisively puts it, "I don't really care about what's happening in music -- I just make art that I enjoy making."

It's exactly this indifference to convention and trend that has garnered Too Many Zooz a fanbase that KOS describes as "wide-ranging and fanatical." One of those fans? In 2016, Beyonce asked them to perform with her at the Billboard Music Awards...and it's quite possible they got just as much attention as did she.

After two years, a gazillion live performances and four EPs, their debut album Subway Gawdz (an unsubtle reference to their birth in the underground stations of NYC), was released to enthusiastic acclaim in 2016. Its sound was truly like nothing else, with inescapable grooves that take in dub, soul, funk and ska, utterly exhilarating horn blasts that shoot right up your spine, and, of course, equal doses of fun and attitude.

And right now, TMZ are riding higher than ever, surely poised for the leap into genuinely widespread international recognition that was likley inevitable since they first set foot in an NYC subway station. Indeed, following a deal with Ministry of Sound, their single "Warriors" racked up major play on Radio One (if you think you haven't heard it, when you hear it, you'll quickly realize you already have), followed by high-profile remixes from the likes of Armand Van Helden and KDA.

Then, UK sensation Jess Glynne penned lyrics and added vocals to morph the song into "So Real (Warriors)," which has been generating massive buzz while climbing the European charts. In the meanwhile, a live video for "Car Alarm" has furtively racked up more than 500K views in one week.

But surely signaling their mainstream "arrival"? A Canadian KFC commercial featured the band and their songs -- so don't be surprised if listening to their music suddenly makes you hungry.

Though they've also been up to more serious matters. Leo, in fact, was asked to play at the BBC Proms Charles Mingus tribute at a sold-out Royal Albert Hall in August 2017 -- certainly no small honor.

Yet for all this, the forward plan for Too Many Zooz, is, as ever, constant touring. The reason is simple: it's their outrageous, electrifying live performances that consistently continue to add the numbers to their growing worldwide legion of fans. Autumn 2018 will take them coast to coast, from Seattle to Houston to Philadelphia, and across Europe, with stops in Krakow, Strasbourg and Marseille, amongst others.

"I don't think there's any recording that can do a live performance justice," reckons Matt. "You'll see people of all different colors, creeds, genders, ages, sexuality at our shows. I really can't find a constant between them...besides liking our music -- haha."

But for everything that's happened in the last couple of years, the trio aren't actually all that surprised by their success.

"I always knew we had something special," Leo enthuses. "Thousands of people everyday loved our music...and I knew it would just continue to spread."


Yam Yam

official band site »

YAM YAM formed in late 2015, coming together from playing in an assortment of local bands in central PA. The band is inspired by 1970s soul music, New Orleans roots of jazz music, and modern/vintage funk and jam music. YAM YAM features raw instruments and captures a high-energetic sound. YAM YAM is Mike Dempsey on keys, Jason Mescia on saxophone, Xander Moppin on bass, Tom Fuller on guitar, and Tyler Fuller on drums.

The band released its debut, self-titled album in late 2018 and upon its release, it charted on Billboard Jazz Albums section at No. 17. The band has opened for Lotus, Dopapod, and Keller Williams among others and has been featured in NepaScene, LiveForLiveMusic, TheBurg, and Burg in Focus.

The band is currently finishing up its second album, preparing for a release in 2020/2021.


 
Trampled By Turtles
Amigo The Devil | @The Anthem | view more info »
Nov
4

Trampled By Turtles

Amigo The Devil


Friday Nov 4|doors 6:30 pm|all ages
The Anthem|get directions »
901 WHARF ST SW, WASHINGTON, DC 20024|p: (202) 265-0930


Trampled By Turtles

official band site »

Trampled by Turtles are from Duluth, Minnesota, where frontman Dave Simonett initially formed the group as a side project in 2003. At the time, Simonett had lost most of his music gear, thanks to a group of enterprising car thieves who'd ransacked his vehicle while he played a show with his previous band. Left with nothing more than an acoustic guitar, he began piecing together a new band, this time taking inspiration from bluegrass, folk, and other genres that didn't rely on amplification. Simonett hadn't played any bluegrass music before, and he filled his lineup with other newcomers to the genre, including fiddler Ryan Young (who'd previously played drums in a speed metal act) and bassist Tim Saxhaug. Along with mandolinist Erik Berry and banjo player Dave Carroll, the group began carving out a fast, frenetic sound that owed as much to rock & roll as bluegrass.

Trampled by Turtles released their first record, Songs from a Ghost Town, in 2004. In a genre steeped in tradition, the album stood out for its contemporary sound, essentially bridging the gap between the bandmates' background in rock music and their new acoustic leanings. Blue Sky and the Devil (2005) and Trouble (2007) explored a similar sound, but it wasn't until 2008 and the band's fourth release, Duluth, that Trampled by Turtles received recognition by the bluegrass community. Duluth peaked at number eight on the Billboard bluegrass chart and paved the way for a number of festival appearances. When Palomino arrived in 2010, it was met with an even greater response, debuting at the top of the bluegrass chart and remaining in the Top Ten for more than a year. Two years later, their crossover appeal landed them at number 32 on the Billboard 200 pop charts upon the release of their sixth album, Stars and Satellites. In addition to major bluegrass and folk festivals, they began showing up at Coachella, ACL Fest, and Lollapalooza. The official concert album, Live at First Avenue, followed in 2013, recorded at Minnesota's most famous venue. A year later, the band returned with the darker-toned Wild Animals, which bettered its studio predecessor on the album charts, reaching number 29 on Billboard. Countless tours with bands like Lord Huron, Wilco, Caamp, Mt Joy and Deer Tick to name a few have followed. 2022 will see the release of the band’s latest body of work called Alpenglow which was produced by Jeff Tweedy of Wilco.


Amigo The Devil

official band site »

Danny Kiranos, the Austin-based songwriter behind the Amigo the Devil project, has somehow managed to meld the worlds (and fanbases) of traditional folk, country music, rock, and metal into one. The sonic experience is morbid, yet poetic and oddly romantic. His unique artistic perspective and ability to connect with audiences has allowed him to amass a dedicated, cult-like fan-base. Loaded with sing-alongs – and an unsuspecting dose of humor to make otherwise grim topics accessible for fans of every genre – the songs still remain deeply rooted in the tradition of story-telling…something that seems to be a lot less common nowadays. Attending an Amigo the Devil show is an experience: you become one with a wildly prophetic man, armed only with his entrancing voice and a banjo, and bear witness to an astounding performance that will stick with you for a long time.

A key figure in the U.S. ‘murder folk’ scene, Kiranos was initially influenced by the likes of Tom Waits, Nick Cave and Godspeed! You Black Emperor. Following a number of well-received single and EP releases, the debut album by Amigo the Devil ‘Everything Is Fine’ was produced by Ross Robinson, renowned for his work with major league hard rock/metal acts such as Korn, Slipknot, At The Drive In, and Glassjaw. The album also features drummer Brad Wilk (Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, Prophets of Rage) sitting in on the entire recording session.

His follow-up record and latest release, ‘Born Against’, reveals him to be more than a one-trick pony stylistically. “Every new record is an opportunity to sit and think about how much has changed in your life and the world around you,” Kiranos says. “It’s a new opportunity to bring in both new and old influences. I really wanted to dive into ideas that I’d either been avoiding or ignoring within myself and figure out ways to align them with music I grew up listening to. Influences that may have been set aside in our older recordings.”

Kiranos, who grew up in Miami in a multicultural household, decamped to Dallas to record the album at the venerable Modern Electric Studio with Beau Bedford (Texas Gentlemen). This marked the first time Kiranos had explored some of the world music he'd long loved, including Eastern European folk and Australian country (“It has such an amazing sound to it,” he says of the honky-tonk of Down Under. “The rhythms are so dry and brutal.”) Kiranos felt Bedford was the only producer who could draw those sounds out of him. Together they entered the studio with merely the skeletons of the songs Kiranos had written. One by one, they fleshed them out in wildly inventive fashion. To say they threw the kitchen sink at this album would be an understatement; these guys threw the whole damn shack.

“The Fellowship” – as Amigo’s die-hard fans refer to themselves – continues to grow with each new show played and album released. His continued connection with audiences and unique, empathic lyrics are sure to carry Amigo the Devil into the hearts of many more. There is hope in the volatile, peace in the macabre, and light not just inside the tunnel but all around, and Amigo the Devil is here to tell us how.


 
The California Honeydrops
@Lincoln Theatre | view more info »
Nov
9

The California Honeydrops



Wednesday Nov 9|doors 6:30 pm|all ages
Lincoln Theatre|get directions »
1215 U St NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 888-0050


The California Honeydrops

official band site »

The California Honeydrops celebrate their 14th year together with the forthcoming release of their latest studio effort, “Soft Spot”, marking a return to live music with a national tour across the United States. This LP follows the release of their cover album, “Covers From The Cave”, live albums “Remember When: Vol 3” and “Honeydrops Live 2019,” and their first-ever double-album, “Call It Home: Vol 1 & 2” in 2018.

Led by dynamic vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Lech Wierzynski, and drawing on diverse musical influences from Bay Area R&B, funk, Southern soul, Delta blues, and New Orleans second-line, the Honeydrops bring vibrant energy and infectious dance-party vibes to their shows.

They’ve taken the party all over the world, playing festivals of all kinds and touring widely across North America, Europe, and Australia. In 2016 & 2017 the Honeydrops were honored to support Bonnie Raitt on her North America release tour—and in the past have been privileged to support the likes of B.B. King, Allen Toussaint, Buddy Guy, and Dr. John. Whether in those high-profile performances or in more intimate venues where the band itself can leave the stage and get down on the dance floor, the California Honeydrops’ shared vision and purpose remain: to make the audience dance and sing.

The Honeydrops have come a long way since guitarist and trumpeter Lech Wierzynkski and drummer Ben Malament started busking in an Oakland subway station, but the band has stayed true to that organic, street-level feel. Listening to Lech sing, it can be a surprise that he was born in Warsaw, Poland, and raised by Polish political refugees. He learned his vocal stylings from contraband American recordings of Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, and Louis Armstrong, and later at Oberlin College and on the club circuit in Oakland, California. With the additions of Johnny Bones on tenor sax and clarinet, Lorenzo Loera on keyboards, and Beau Bradbury on bass, they’ve built a powerful full-band sound to support Wierzynski’s vocals. More like parties than traditional concerts, their shows feature extensive off-stage jamming and crowd interaction. “The whole point is to erase the boundaries between the crowd and us,” Wierzynski says. “We don’t make setlists. We want requests. We want crowd involvement, to make people become a part of the whole thing by dancing along, singing, picking the songs, and generally coming out of their shells.”



 
Joe Russo's Almost Dead
@The Anthem | view more info »
Nov
12

Joe Russo's Almost Dead



Saturday Nov 12|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 Marco Benevento, Dave Dreiwitz, Tom Hamilton, Scott Metzger and Joe Russo. We're a Grateful Dead cover band.



 
The Mavericks
@Lincoln Theatre | view more info »
Nov
13

The Mavericks



Sunday Nov 13|doors 6:30 pm|all ages
Lincoln Theatre|get directions »
1215 U St NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 888-0050


The Mavericks

official band site »

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

Now, The Mavericks have ushered in the fourth phase of their evolution with the #1 Billboard debut of their first-ever, all Spanish album, En Español, released on the band’s own Mono Mundo label. Although all 12 tracks are in Spanish, as the title suggests, the collection represents a diversity of musical styles and cultural traditions, from tender boleros to brassy mariachi to reimagined Afro-Cuban classics. Seven of the tunes are familiar gems drawn from the vast Latin American songbook, while five are originals written or co-written by Malo.

Like the band’s entire body of music, this one album cannot be boxed into a single category. The songs are as diverse as Latin America itself, and as cohesive as the ideal of the American melting pot. To season this rich musical paella, The Mavericks add their signature country/rock/Tex-Mex flavors and a refreshing spontaneity to the mix. En Español flips the band’s usual fusion formula, which adds a striking assortment of genres – salsa, ska, norteño, mariachi, and much more – to its sturdy rock/country base. Now, the foundation is solidly Latin with streaks of irreverent rock and twangy guitars running through it, all branded with the unmistakable Mavericks style.



 
Couch
@Pearl Street Warehouse | view more info »
Nov
17

Couch



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


Couch

official band site »

Equipped with catchy hooks and powerhouse vocals, Couch aims to reshape familiar pop tropes in fresh ways. The Boston-based septet infuses pop songs with funk, R&B, jazz, and rock influences. Their vibrant sound is further defined by the members’ personal training in jazz, a cappella, and musical theatre.

Until Spring 2021, Couch members were scattered across the country at various universities; they tackled the challenges of being a “long-distance” band, writing and even recording virtually for three years. Despite these challenges, they celebrated the release of their debut EP, “COUCH,” in February 2021. The band injected each track with their signature flavor: expressive horns, warm vocals, and bubbling synths—crafting an oasis of joy for musicians and non-musicians alike.



 
Billy Strings
@The Anthem | view more info »
Nov
18

Billy Strings



Friday Nov 18|doors 6:30 pm|all ages
The Anthem|get directions »
901 WHARF ST SW, WASHINGTON, DC 20024|p: (202) 265-0930


Billy Strings

official band site »

Raised in Michigan and now based in Nashville, Billy Strings is known as one of music’s most compelling artists. Since his 2017 debut, he has been awarded Best Bluegrass Album at the 63rd GRAMMY Awards, Breakthrough Artist of the Pandemic at the 2021 Pollstar Awards, named Entertainer of the Year and Guitar Player of the Year at the 2021 International Bluegrass Music Awards and has performed on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” PBS’ “Austin City Limits” and “Bluegrass Underground.” A respected figure across all genres, Strings has also recently collaborated with a wide variety of artists including Bill Kreutzmann, Luke Combs, Del McCoury, Fences, RMR and many more.



 
Billy Strings
@The Anthem | view more info »
Nov
19

Billy Strings



Saturday Nov 19|doors 6:30 pm|all ages
The Anthem|get directions »
901 WHARF ST SW, WASHINGTON, DC 20024|p: (202) 265-0930


Billy Strings

official band site »

Raised in Michigan and now based in Nashville, Billy Strings is known as one of music’s most compelling artists. Since his 2017 debut, he has been awarded Best Bluegrass Album at the 63rd GRAMMY Awards, Breakthrough Artist of the Pandemic at the 2021 Pollstar Awards, named Entertainer of the Year and Guitar Player of the Year at the 2021 International Bluegrass Music Awards and has performed on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” PBS’ “Austin City Limits” and “Bluegrass Underground.” A respected figure across all genres, Strings has also recently collaborated with a wide variety of artists including Bill Kreutzmann, Luke Combs, Del McCoury, Fences, RMR and many more.



 
Cory Wong feat. Victor Wooten
Power Station Tour | and special guests Trousdale | @9:30 club | view more info »
Feb
22

Cory Wong feat. Victor Wooten

Power Station Tour
and special guests Trousdale

Wednesday Feb 22|doors 7:00 pm|all ages
9:30 club|get directions »
815 V Street NW
Washington DC|p: (202) 265-0930


Cory Wong feat. Victor Wooten

official band site »

Music motivates at the most primal level.

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

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

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

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

In the end, Cory transmits joy in its purest form through the guitar.

“The guiding light is to impart a feeling of joy,” he leaves off. “I want people to experience instrumental music in a different way. This is hype. It’s more than just guitar.”


Power Station Tour

and special guests Trousdale

official band site »

Trousdale is a powerful female band consisting of Quinn D’Andrea, Georgia Greene, and Lauren Jones. Their melodic and heartfelt harmonies are often compared to The Chicks and The Staves, but the girls draw inspiration from a wide array of music, including Crosby Stills and Nash, Kacey Musgraves and HAIM. Driven by their passion to empower young women, Trousdale is committed to making quality music that spreads a message of self-acceptance and love.