Photo of Gregory Alan Isakov performs at Baltimore Soundstage on Jan. 12, 2019. (Photo by Matt Ruppert)
Just 61 days since he last came to the greater area (at 9:30 Club), Gregory Alan Isakov coasted into Baltimore at the Soundstage, one imagines in his old Vanagon (it wasn’t), his bandmates along for the ride.
Caitlin Canty performs at Jammin’ Java on Jan. 11, 2019. (Photo by Matt Ruppert)
As a musical descriptor, “Americana” has lost its meaning, its context, slowly bastardized by the easy metamorphosis of a sound into something bigger, like a mouse birthing all other mammals over time.
The same is true of the descriptor “roots”, which is a catchall for anything predisposed towards a folky sound with tones inspired by the more-distant past. Without context, they are nearly meaningless terms. These genres were giving their proper context in a powerful show by Caitlin Canty at Jammin’ Java on Friday.
David Wax Museum performs at Union Stage on 12.30.2018 (Photo by Matt Ruppert)
David Wax Museum brought the band’s border-crossing, world-spiced Mexo-Americana party to the Union Stage in DC with barely 24 hours left in the year. The core (and married) duo of David Wax and Suz Slezak took to the stage with percussionist/ trumpeter Danilo Henriquez and bassist Ben Kogan, warming the audience on this December night, smiles beaming like spring flowers around the whole club, stage to bar.
Margo Price and Jeremy Ivey perform at the 9:30 Club on Dec. 27, 2018. (Photo by Matt Ruppert)
Two days after Christmas, with DC still twinkling with incandescent and holiday rainbow lights, recently Grammy-nominated Margo Price brought her no-bullshit attitude, incisive lyrical wit, and irrepressible joy to the 9:30 Club stage.
The Oh Hellos perform at 9:30 Club on Dec. 19, 2018. (Photo by Matt Ruppert)
White Christmas tree on a balcony. Lights dangling from the ceiling and draped on railings. More holiday-themed clothing than an ugly sweater competition. Mics covered in holly and burgundy ribbons. An Oh Hellos Christmas tree on the stage. A giant television evoking the static-dusted sets of yesteryear. A small fireplace with a handful of stockings. Billowing white drapes evoking snowfall and clouds overhead.
Awesome decorating, 9:30 Club, although you couldn’t pay me enough to hang those lights!
Gregory Alan Isakov performs at 9:30 Club on Nov. 11, 2018. (Photo by Matt Ruppert)
A little more than two years have passed since Gregory Alan Isakov last graced a DC stage, playing the Kennedy Center with the NSO Pops, and three and a half since the last time he and his band held court over the stars and satellites at the 9:30 Club. For a man who comes from South Africa and calls Colorado home, every time he plays, it always feels familiar, like sitting by the fire after a long drive home, and it did so again at a sold-out show at 9:30 Club on Sunday.
Glorietta performs at Rock and Roll Hotel on Oct. 19, 2018. (Photo by Matt Ruppert)
Rock music history is littered with supergroups and friend records (not exactly bands, but brief collectives). Glorietta is kind of the former, more the latter; supergroup implies major fame for all or some of the members, and as much as I think they all deserve nationwide recognition, their achievements are all strongly in the indie musicverse. The talents behind those achievements were clearly on display at the Rock and Roll Hotel recently.