Morgan Simpson of black midi during a performance at Union Craft Brewing in Baltimore on Oct. 21, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)
When’s the last time you absorbed live music that legitimately blew you away? What would it sound like or look like?
These are questions you might not ask yourself each time you head to a local venue, but you could have nevertheless been faced with answers to them if you happened to find yourself at Union Craft Brewing recently, when black midi, a rock group from London, was making an important appearance on their current stateside tour.
Iconic country outlaw Willie Nelson has a lot of kids, and a lot of those kids have followed their father into the music business. His daughter Amy plays in a comedy folk duo, Folk Uke, with Arlo Guthrie’s daughter. His son Micah, also known as the Particle Kid, makes his own music, and he recently played guitar in his father’s band on the Outlaw Music Festival tour. But the most successful of Willie’s children is his son, Lukas, who played the Lincoln Theatre recently with his band, Promise of the Real.
Rick Allen of Def Leppard poses with his art at Westfield Montgomery Mall on Oct. 24, 2021. (Photo by Chris Smyth)
Legendary drummer for Def Leppard, Rick Allen, made two special appearances in the DMV on Oct. 23 and 24. Showcasing his artwork at the Wentworth Galleries in Tysons, Virginia and Bethesda, Maryland, Rick took time to sign autographs and meet with his fans in attendance. The woman who was first in line at the Wentworth Gallery in the Montgomery Mall, was so excited to meet Rick that she showed up two hours before the exhibition was set to open.
North Carolina’s Town Mountain wraps up its 2021 touring schedule with a show at DC’s The Hamilton Live, Oct. 23, 2021. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
Check out the Twitter page for Town Mountain and your find a pithy bio that reads, “Bluegrass with swagger from Asheville North Carolina!” That swagger was on display when the band wrapped up its last run of touring in 2021 with a two-hour set at DC’s The Hamilton Live recently.
Following huge acclaim for her 2020 album U kin B the Sun, Vancouver Soul-Americana artist Frazey Ford is set to take the album on tour for the first time since its release. She appears at Pearl Street Warehouse in DC on Sunday, Oct. 31!
“I consider myself a live artist, not a recording artist,” the Louisiana blues guitarist told the audience at The Birchmere last week. A native of Baton Rouge currently residing outside of New Orleans, Benoit’s playing has earned well-deserved comparisons to iconic virtuosos like Albert King and Albert Collins. A member of his home state’s Cajun community, Benoit is one the foremost exponents of the style known as “swamp blues.”
To understand what I mean by “swamp blues,” I want to take a step back for a moment and talk about the blues more generally. If you’re not particularly familiar with this kind of music, you may have the misconception that the blues is monolithic, which couldn’t be further from the truth. The genre’s history stretches further back than we have recorded music, to a time when the only music people would hear is the music that they heard played live. The music that people heard live was determined by where they lived; music was distinctly regional in that era.
The genre of alt-country was well represented at the 9:30 recently when Memphis, Tennessee’s Lucero performed with newcomer Morgan Wade and her band opening. It was an evening full of loud, twanging guitars and southern accents, with raucous songs about love, life, family, and drinking.
Evan Stephens Hall leads Pinegrove during a performance at Rams Head Live in Baltimore on Oct. 19, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)
This country can be an unforgiving place to those in entertainment who makes mistakes, especially errors that anyone with common decency would agree are significant and alarming.
But America, as we have seen throughout history and in recent times, can also provide artists the opportunity to redeem and reinvent themselves if there is still enough support for their craft and what they originally set out to do.
That might be the easiest way for an outsider to rationalize or make sense of Pinegrove, a band originally from Montclair, New Jersey, that played to a packed house at Rams Head Live in Baltimore recently — but a band that saw its rise to fame derailed several years ago by what were and still should be considered serious accusations of sexual coercion against lead singer and guitarist Evan Stephens Hall.
Midge Ure, the legendary voice of new romantic outfit Ultravox, returns to the United States for a fresh solo tour this month. Taking time off his successful livestream series, Midge presents “Un-Zoomed And Face To Face” at City Winery DC on Tuesday, Nov. 2!
And speaking of Zoom, Parklife DC’s Mickey McCarter recently chatted with Midge via Zoom to get details on the tour and all of Midge’s other current creative endeavors.
Mavis Staples performs at the Lincoln Theatre in DC on Oct. 19, 2021. (Photos by Ari Strauss)
Amy Helm, perhaps, put it best Tuesday evening at the Lincoln Theatre when she said, “How deeply it moves me to stand on this stage before an American treasure” in Mavis Staples. Mavis headlined the evening, which was a fundraiser for JusticeAid.
JusticeAid is an umbrella progressive fundraising organization that raises money to support various grassroots organizations. The concert was a benefit for the Neighborhood Defender Service. The Neighborhood Defender Service is concerned with police violence, particularly against communities of color. In the evening’s opening remarks, we learned that, so far this year, JusticeAid has been able to give $300,000 to NDS and, following the successful concert, they plan to donate another $100,000 to the cause.