Wovenhand performs at U Street Music Hall on Sept. 15, 2019. (Photo by photos by Nalinee Darmrong, courtesy of the 9:30 Club and U Street Music Hall)
Gothic folk/alt-country band Wovenhand, led by David Eugene Edwards, put on a somber, heavy performance at U Street Music Hall recently. They let their hard-rocking songs speak for themselves, moving directly from one dark piece into another without addressing the audience.
Reckless Kelly (Photo by Carl Dunn)
Willy Braun, rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist of Reckless Kelly, strummed his guitar to open the band’s show at the AMP by Strathmore recently. As he got going on “Thelma,” the story of a faded country star, his brother Cody joined on him on fiddle.
Shemekia Copeland (Photo by Mike White)
Shemekia Copeland took command of the stage at the AMP by Strathmore recently as her band played the opening notes of the blues-rock anthem “Ain’t Got Time for Hate.” Co-written by ace songwriters John Hahn and Will Kimbrough (who also produced), the song leads off her latest album, the roots-infused America’s Child.
The late Doc Watson performs on July 11, 2019. (Photo by Joe Giordano)
Doc Watson was a musical giant. With a repertoire spanning bluegrass, folk, country, blues and gospel, his knowledge of traditional music was held in the highest regard. The seven-time Grammy award winner, and winner of a Lifetime Achievement Award, was considered a master of fingerstyle and flatpicking guitar. As was brought up at the “Remembering Doc” show at The Birchmere recently, he also had perfect pitch, and sung husky, rough-hewn vocals.
The Long Ryders (Photo by Henry Diltz)
Sid Griffin is an acclaimed musician and music journalist based in London. From 1984-87, he led The Long Ryders, who emerged out of the Paisley Underground to become one of the first alternative-country bands, before the term even existed. Final Wild Songs, a compilation of the band’s albums with additional, new live material, released in 2016, received a rare five-star review from Allmusic.
After a 30-year hiatus, the band reunited to record the well-received Psychedelic Soul, released earlier this year. In a turn of good karma, the band’s old roadie, now working as Dr. Dre’s PA, got the band a week at the rap mogul’s studio. In a way, it’s fitting: the Ryders make politically charged, insurgent country-rock.
Sid has written for Mojo, Q, NME, Rock ‘n’ Reel, and the Manchester Guardian. An expert on Gram Parsons, he has published Gram Parsons: A Musical Biography, and co-authored the BBC television documentary Gram Parsons: Fallen Angel. He has also written two books about Bob Dylan, Million Dollar Bash: Bob Dylan, The Band, and The Basement Tapes, and Shelter From The Storm.
In addition to his work with The Long Ryders, Sid has recorded and performed with the Coal Porters and as a solo artist. Mark Engleson of Parklife DC talked to Sid about all of this and more prior to a performance by The Long Ryders at Pearl Street Warehouse on Friday, Sept. 20.
Jaimee Harris (Photo courtesy the artist)
If you’ve never been to a house concert, I’ll explain the concept: They’re hosted in a private home. Unlike at a venue, the host doesn’t take a cut of the cover. All of the proceeds go to the artist. House concerts are ideally intimate and wondrous experiences, and such was the case with a show by Austin singer-songwriter Jaimee Harris just outside DC metro on Saturday.
Gretchen Peters (Photo by Gina Binkley)
When Gretchen Peters’ “Independence Day” came out, there were radio stations that wouldn’t play it because of its controversial subject matter: domestic violence. While the song takes place on July 4, it’s not about July 4.