Interview: Martin Barre (@ The Birchmere, 4/22/19)

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Martin Barre performs at Jammin’ Java on Oct. 14, 2018. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

“I just want to be a good musician, I want to be a good songwriter, I want to get better.”

Refreshing words coming from a musician who’s been at the top of his game for over 50 years. Martin Barre is well-known as the long-time lead guitarist (1969-2012) for Jethro Tull. I spoke with Martin in anticipation of his “Martin Barre Celebrates 50 Years of Jethro Tull Tour,” which will come to the DC Metro area for two shows on April 22 at The Birchmere and April 23 at Rams Head on Stage. (This interview has been edited for clarity and flow.)

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Live Review: Karen Jonas @ Pearl Street Warehouse — 3/31/19

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Karen Jonas performs at Pearl Street Warehouse on March 31, 2019. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

The first time I saw Karen Jonas and her musical partner, Tim Bray, perform was at Gypsy Sally’s in 2015. I had the pleasure of seeing the duo with Karen’s band again recently at Pearl Street Warehouse on the night she won the 2019 Wammy Award for Best Country/Americana Artist.

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Live Review: Southwest Soul Sessions @ Pearl Street Warehouse — 3/24/19

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The Beltway Horns (Greg Boyer: trombone; Brad Clements: trumpet) perform at Southwest Soul Sessions on March 24, 2019. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

Drummers are perpetually left in the dark. Which is a little odd because they’re the engines of a band — the driving force, the anchor around which the music is tied. Sometimes, the drummer shines bright despite being pushed to the back of the stage. Such is the case with Isabelle De Leon, the DC-based drummer who cohosts, along with saxophonist Elijah Balbed, the monthly Southwest Soul Sessions at Pearl Street Warehouse.

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Live Review: Anoushka Shankar @ Sixth & I — 3/23/19

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Anoushka Shankar (center) performs at Sixth & I on March 23, 2019. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

“You are like a hurricane, there’s calm in your eye, and I’m getting’ blown away…” — “Like a Hurricane,” Neil Young

You may wonder why a review about virtuoso sitar player would start with lyrics from a classic Neil Young rocker but bear with me. It will become clear soon enough. You see, Anoushka Shankar appeared at Sixth and I Synagogue for two shows recently.

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Excursion: Babalú!!! Musicians of Cuba

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Cuban musicians perform at Hotel Marqués de Prado Ameno, La Habana Vieja, Cuba, in March 2019. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

Babalú! Those of us who’ve reached a certain age, or any fan of “I Love Lucy,” will recognize that famous cry. Ricky Ricardo’s celebrated signature song introduced countless Americans to Cuban music and culture. Desi Arnaz, who played the television show’s Cuban band leader, had already made “Babalú” an established musical number for his orchestra in the 1940s.

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