Folk singers Cheryl Wheeler and John Gorka shared the stage at The Birchmere on Sunday evening, taking turns playing songs and telling stories. In two sets, they entertained the crowd with their heartfelt songs and their trademark humor.
Patterson Hood, who leads the Drive-By Truckers with Mike Cooley, started writing songs more than 45 years ago. He formed the predecessor to the Drive-By Truckers, Adam’s House Cat, more than 30 years ago, and the Truckers have been going strong for more than 20. In an amazing, sold-out solo acoustic show on Friday night, Patterson showed that he’s every bit in love with songs after all this time.
J Mascis blurred the line between acoustic and electronic performance in a recent performance at City Winery. J played an acoustic guitar, but he used extensive effects, such as distortion and looping for an exciting evening of guitar rock.
For her show on Thursday at The Birchmere, Shawn Colvin appeared immaculately dressed. As she discusses in her 2012 memoir, Diamond in the Rough, she loves clothes. In the book, she says, it’s a lucky thing that her daughter does too, as they will constitute most of her daughter’s inheritance.
In his life, the brilliant but troubled singer-songwriter Townes Van Zandt never played the 9:30 Club. But on Wednesday, his ghost laced up his “Flyin’ Shoes” and put in an appearance at Colter Wall’s show.
If you’ve ever seen an NPR Tiny Desk Concert, you owe a debt to Laura Gibson. In 2008, she performed on the initial episode of the series. NPR music critics Stephen Thompson and Bob Boilen had attended one of her shows, and were disappointed that they couldn’t hear her over the crowd. Bob decided to have Laura perform at his desk, and the Tiny Desk Concert was born.
Watching Melissa Etheridge on Tuesday evening at the Birchmere, one becomes aware of her phenomenal level of talent. Her husky vocals, a Great Plains-inflected Janis Joplin, have lost nothing, and they are especially impressive in a live performance. Melissa is a triple threat, however: She’s a monster guitar who plays blazing solos, and she writes fantastic songs.