Live Review: Christopher Paul Stelling @ Rock and Roll Hotel — 11/30/19

CPS2 Christopher Paul Stelling shakes the Rock and Roll Hotel on Nov. 30, 2019. (Photo by David LaMason)

As someone who has called Florida, Colorado, New York, and most recently North Carolina “home,” it’s fitting that the music of Christopher Paul Stelling has a rambling, seat-of-the-pants feel that’s at once untethered and feels like coming home.

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Live Review: Willie Nile @ Jammin’ Java — 11/24/19

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Willie Nile (Photo by Christina Arrigoni)

Some musicians find their desire to make art stifled. Following a contract dispute with his original record label, Willie Nile spent a couple decades working, as he said, “a day job.” But Willie, who comes from a family of musicians — his uncles worked in vaudeville — never gave up on his dreams. He kept writing songs, and would occasionally perform on the East Coast and in Europe.

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Live Review: Sarah Shook & The Disarmers @ Pearl Street Warehouse — 11/23/19

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Sarah Shook & The Disarmers (Photo by Anthony Nguyen)

Chicago’s Bloodshot Records made its bones on a style of alt-country that mixes roots music and punk. While they hail from North Carolina, Sarah Shook & the Disarmers embody this rugged Windy City sound. Sarah’s clever songwriting reworks classic country themes and images with a 21st Century perspective, while her band backs her up hard and fast. Even at the last show of their last tour of the year, they played with energy, thrilling the packed Pearl Street Warehouse recently.

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Preview: Béla Fleck and The Flecktones @ Strathmore Music Center, 12/2/19

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Béla Fleck and The Flecktones (Photo courtesy the artist)

In 1988, groundbreaking banjoist Béla Fleck was asked to put together his “dream band” for the Lonesome Pine Specials television series. The resulting band was The Flecktones, and they launched their first official tour a year later. Now, Bela Fleck and The Flecktones mark their 30th anniversary at the Strathmore Music Center on Monday, Dec. 2.

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Snapshots: Killing Joke @ Capital One Arena — 11/25/19

Killing Joke 7Killing Joke performs at Capital One Arena on Nov. 25, 2019. (Photo by Chris Smyth)

Tool burned through DC recently to close the band’s Fear Inoculum Tour in spectacular fashion, and to our surprise the prog rockers brought along perhaps the best possible opening act — English post-punks Killing Joke.

The gothic quartet even shared a bow with Tool at the end of the stage. Given that this was quite a combination, Chris Smyth took some photos of Killing Joke performing at Capital One Arena to open Tool recently.

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