Preview: Tommy Emmanuel and John Knowles @ The Birchmere, 1/22 + 1/23/19

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Tommy Emmanuel and John Knowles (Photo by Allen Clarke)

Tommy Emmanuel and John Knowles released a collaborative instrumental album, Heart Songs, via CGP Sounds/Thirty Tigers on Jan. 11! The duo has hit the road to bring their music to The Birchmere together for two dates on Tuesday, Jan. 22 and Wednesday, Jan. 23.

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Live Review: Jon Spencer and The Hitmakers @ Black Cat — 1/12/19

JonSpencerHM1Jon Spencer tears it up at the Black Cat on Jan. 12, 2019. (Photo by David LaMason)

Although Jon Spencer has been involved in a host of bands since the early ’80s, 2018 saw his first LP released under his own name.  The album, Spencer Sings the Hits!, is packed with what makes Jon Spencer amazing — the garage punk, B-movie aesthetic, and rockabilly swagger he has perfected over 30 years of making music with bands like the DC-born Pussy Galore, Boss Hog, and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.

Jon brought all of that and more to the Black Cat on Saturday.Continue Reading

Live Review: Gregory Alan Isakov @ Baltimore Soundstage — 1/12/19

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Photo of Gregory Alan Isakov performs at Baltimore Soundstage on Jan. 12, 2019. (Photo by Matt Ruppert)

Just 61 days since he last came to the greater area (at 9:30 Club), Gregory Alan Isakov coasted into Baltimore at the Soundstage, one imagines in his old Vanagon (it wasn’t), his bandmates along for the ride.

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Live Review: Leyla McCalla @ The Hamilton Live — 1/11/19

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Leyla McCalla performs at The Hamilton Live on Jan. 11, 2019. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

I was looking forward to a good show to kick off 2019 — and Leyla McCalla’s scheduled performance at The Hamilton Live seemed like just the ticket. What I experienced though was far from merely “good.” Instead, Leyla’s performance was mesmerizing, sensual, joyous, and exquisite… adjectives that describe far more accurately her unique blend of traditional Creole, Cajun, and Haitian music (with American folk and gospel thrown into the mix as well).

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Live Review: Maryjo Mattea @ DC9 — 1/11/19

Maryjo Mattea @ DC9 Washington DC, 11/01/2019 Maryjo Mattea performs at DC9 on Jan. 11, 2019. (Photo by Paivi)

Willowy and chirpy, Maryjo Mattea did not at first seem like a performer who might draw comparisons to post-grunge women of the ‘90s. But once Maryjo started singing, she sang with gutsy fervor, eliciting smiles and dances as tunes tumbled out of her guitar and into our ear at DC9 recently.

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Live Review: Ricky Skaggs @ The Birchmere — 1/11/19

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Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder perform at The Beacon Theatre in Hopewell, Virginia, on Oct. 15, 2014. (Photo by Tom Saunders)

Ricky Skaggs often plays his first shows of the year at The Birchmere. This year, he told Friday night’s audience, he first played a couple of shows in his hometown, where he lives with his second wife, singer Sharon White, and her 89-year-old father, Buck.

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Interview: Car Astor — A Rising Star

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Car Astor (Photo courtesy Reybee Inc.)

Car Astor, a very talented young electropop musician from New York City, visited DC recently. While she was here, Car sat down for a chat with Parklife DC at Union Station prior to a photo shoot for another outlet. In our interview, we dug into the future of the memorable singer-songwriter, formerly known as SEE. (This interview was edited for length and flow.)

For more information on Car Astor, visit her website.

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