Live Review: The Barclay Brass Quintet @ Silver Spring, Md. — 5/31/21

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The Barclay Brass Quintent performs on Memorial Day in Silver Spring. (Photo by Chris Smyth)

After two days of gray, rainy weather, the skies turned blue over Silver Spring, Maryland, salvaging the long weekend, and providing a perfect environment for an outdoor concert setting. Tucked back into a neighborhood amongst the trees and cicadas, The Barclay Brass Quintet performed a two hour show on Memorial Day afternoon full of classical stylings and popular hits.

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Interview: Myles Kennedy (New Album: The Ides of March)

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Myles Kennedy performs at the Baltimore Soundstage on May 16, 2018. (Photo by Chris Smyth)

As the United States continues its process of opening back up and getting back to normal, the world of music is working to do much of the same. Records are being released and tours are starting back up. What had grinded to a halt is moving once again.

But in the downtime without live music, many musicians used that time to write and record new music. That includes Alter Bridge — and Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators — frontman Myles Kennedy, who will release his second solo record, The Ides of March, on May 14. In a conversation with Parklife DC’s Chris Smyth, Myles discusses the process of creating his new record, what a return to the stage will look like for him, plus what lies ahead for both of his bands.

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Interview: John Notto and Justin Smolian of Dirty Honey (New Album: Dirty Honey)

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After garnering national acclaim off of their 2019 EP, hard rock band Dirty Honey are finally set to release their first full-length album on April 23. Originally scheduled to record the album in Australia in the spring of 2020, Dirty Honey were forced to put their plans on hold after the travel restrictions were implemented due to Covid-19.

In a conversation with Parklife DC’s Chris Smyth, Dirty Honey guitarist John Notto and bassist Justin Smolian explained how the forced downtime actually helped them become a better band, and in turn allowed them to create a better record. The pair spoke about the entire preproduction and recording process, which famous musician was recording in the studio beside them, and their plans for potential upcoming tours.

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Interview: Jed Elliott of The Struts (New Album: Strange Days)

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Jed Elliott (left) with The Struts (Photo by Beth Saravo)

On Oct. 16, The Struts released the band’s third album, Strange Days. Managing to record a new album in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic proved difficult. But after a round of tests to ensure everyone’s health and safety, the band moved in together and recorded the entire album from a home-studio over the course of just 10 days. Recording in a way they hadn’t before, during a time unlike any other, The Struts managed to capture the emotions of this moment in history, while balancing it with the fun escapism that many seek through their music.

With the addition of multiple major artists featured throughout the album, and even a cover of a Kiss deep-cut, The Struts pulled off an album that is true to their style, while simultaneously advancing their sound to levels not heard before.

Soon after the album’s release, The Struts bassist Jed Elliott spoke with Parklife DC’s Chris Smyth about all things Strange Days and how the band has been keeping busy during the pandemic.

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Livestream Preview: Sully and Friends Live @ YouTube, 8/6/20

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Godsmack performs at Jiffy Lube Live on Aug. 19, 2018. (Photo by Chris Smyth)

Sully Erna of Godsmack is bringing together many of his rock and roll friends for a marathon fundraiser to benefit The Scars Foundation, which he founded. The benefit on Thursday, Aug. 6 will stream on Sully’s Youtube Channel, and on the The Scars Foundation’s Facebook Page.

In addition to special sets from Godsmack, and Sully solo, there will be performances by Brent Smith and Zach Myers of Shinedown, Papa Roach, Clint Lowery of Sevendust, Aaron Lewis of Staind, Nuno Bettencourt, and Mike Mushok and Adam Gontier of Saint Asonia.

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Livestream Preview: Rock for Relief @ RockForRelief.Net, 7/3/20

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Lzzy Hale fronts Halestorm at the UMBC Event Center in Baltimore, Maryland, on July 31, 2018. (Photo by Chris Smyth)

A traditional 4th of July holiday weekend is filled with food, fireworks, and music. And even though much of the country is still shut down due to the pandemic, music will still play a large part in the celebrations.

This year, many of rock’s top artists are coming together on Friday, July 3, to help kick off the holiday weekend with Rock for Relief, a virtual benefit to help raise money and awareness for Feeding America. Presented by United Stations Media Network and Storic Media Podcast Network, the online show is hosted by Lou Brutus and Riki Rachtman, with interviews conducted by Alice Cooper and guitar great Joe Satriani. The show premiers at 8pm ET, and replays at 11pm ET, on Rock for Relief’s website.

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Preview: A Capitol Fourth @ PBS, 7/4/20

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July 4th fireworks in DC in 2008 (Photo courtesy The Library of Congress)

On Saturday night, a 4th of July tradition continues, as A Capitol Fourth will take place for its 40th anniversary, starting at 8pm ET on PBS.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional live A Capitol Fourth will not be held on the West Lawn of the US Capitol. To ensure the health and safety of everyone involved, this year’s performances were pre-taped across the country without a live audience.

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Interview: Vinny Appice (of Black Sabbath, Dio, and Last in Line)

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Vinny Appice (Photo courtesy John Lappen Enterprises)

Saturday, May 16, marked the 10th anniversary of the death of legendary singer Ronnie James Dio from cancer. Tributes poured out across the internet from his contemporaries like Rob Halford and artists he influenced such as Lzzy Hale and Scott Ian to his former bandmates in Black Sabbath.

Vinny Appice, the drummer for Ronnie James Dio in both Black Sabbath and Dio, along with his older brother Carmine, took their tribute a step further and released “Monsters & Heroes,” a tribute video honoring their departed band mate and friend.

Earlier this week, Vinny Appice spoke with Parklife DC’s Chris Smyth about why the brothers decided to make the tribute video and his memories of Dio.

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Stream Preview: PlayOn Fest, 4/24-4/26/20

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Gary Clark Jr. performs at The Anthem on March 20, 2019. (Photo by Christopher Smyth)

In the new era of at home performances and live streams with lower production, Warner Music Group has decided to go the opposite direction, with PlayOn Fest, a first-of-its-kind, virtual music festival, full of high-quality broadcasts of past performances from some of music’s biggest acts, including Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, Cardi B., Weezer, Flaming Lips, Andra Day, Janelle Monae, Bruno Mars, Lizzo, Gary Clark Jr., Brandi Carlile, Panic! at the Disco, Green Day, Slipknot, and many more.

Watch PlayOn Fest streamed on the Songkick YouTube channel for three days beginning at noon on Friday, April 24.

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Livestream Preview: David Ellefson’s Oh Say Can You Stream @ Facebook Live, 4/11/20

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Megadeth (Photo courtesy 5B Artist Management)

Many of hard rock and heavy metal’s top musicians are coming together online to do a little good on Saturday, April 11, via Facebook Live.

Headed up by Megadeth bassist, David Ellefson, the livestream event, titled “Oh Say Can You Stream,” is an online fundraiser to help raise money for Ellefson’s School’s Out initiative which provides online lessons, instruments, and gear to kids and aspiring musicians during quarantine, and other COVID-19 relief charities.

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