Liz Cooper leads her band during a performance at Black Cat in Washington DC on Oct. 4, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)
Who’s the most badass person in music these days? It’s certainly hard to gauge, but a recent show at the Black Cat in DC might have strengthened the case that there’s no one sassier than Liz Cooper, a recording/touring artist who in just a few years’ time earned a great deal of respect in both rock and folk circles.
Low Cut Connie (Photo by Cait Brady)
This past March, Low Cut Connie celebrated the 1-year anniversary of their acclaimed livestream show Tough Cookies, and in May released a new album to commemorate it called Tough Cookies: The Best of The Quarantine Broadcasts.
You can now see the high-energy rock ‘n’ roll act led by Adam Weiner in person at 9:30 Club on Wednesday, Oct. 13.
Boldy James in his element at Songbyrd Music House on Oct 6, 2021. (Photo by Shedrick Pelt)
Bo knows football and baseball but Boldy knows rap. Boldy knows the “Drug Zone” in Detroit and James Jones aka Boldy James knows exactly what his diehard fans want when he stops through a venue like Songbyrd Music House in Washington DC Wednesday night.
Jungle perform at The Anthem on Oct. 4, 2021. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
The most remarkable thing about Josh Lloyd-Watson and Tom McFarland is that they seem like two very approachable and laidback — if more hip than most — guys who would be really cool to chat with over a few pints.
Their breezy demeanor, however, hides the fact that the two Brits are fine tunesmiths who have a keen ear for hooks and beats in their work as electronic duo Jungle. As evidence, Jungle pulled a host of those tunes from their three studio albums at The Anthem recently, spinning the crowded venue into dancefloor mania with their upbeat and funky music.
The Lone Bellow performs a matinee show at Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis on Oct. 3, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)
When a group of musicians bond to write and share songs born out of struggle and the battle to overcome those challenges, the result can clearly be a special one.
Remarkably demonstrating this exact kind of provenance with a recent matinee show at Rams Head On Stage, The Lone Bellow out of Brooklyn is now in its 10th year after forming in 2011 during the wake of what was essentially a tragedy impacting its founding member.
J. Cole performs during his ‘Off-Season Tour’ at Capital One Arena on Oct 4, 2021. (Photo by Shedrick Pelt)
It’s the 4th quarter, you’re down by 2 and the game is on the line, who better to pass the ball to for the game winning shot other than Grammy award winning, label owner, and hip-hop Icon Jermaine Lamarr Cole aka J. Cole.
After a two year live performance hiatus Cole returns to Capital One Arena in Washington DC Monday (Oct 4th) for the 8th stop along his highly anticipated nationwide outing The Off-Season Tour. The tour features frequent collaborator 21 Savage, upcoming Dreamville artist Morray, and rising comedian/social media star Druski. No surprise that the 20,000+ capacity venue was filled to the rafters with anxious Cole stans chanting “Dreamville, Dreamville, Dreamville!” in-between each openers set. The stadium was on fire quite literally and figuratively.
Erika Wennerstrom fronts Heartless Bastards at Union Stage on Oct. 2, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)
Erika Wennerstrom, lead singer and songwriter for the Austin-based band Heartless Bastards, may just have the perfect rock ‘n’ roll voice. It’s deep, powerful, and rich, with some similarity to another great singer originally from the Buckeye State, Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders. As one fan called out between songs, “I would listen to you read the phone book.” (I suppose this would require finding a phone book, which presents a challenge, as they’ve gone the way of the dodo.)
When Erika and the Bastards headlined at DC’s Union Stage recently, that incredible voice was on display for a meaty, two-hour set.
Counting Crows perform at MGM National Harbor on Oct. 1, 2021. (Photo by Kyle Gustafson)
A few months ago, I found myself in a discussion with singer-songwriter Kasey Anderson and music critic Craig Jenkins. The point was raised that many of the alternative acts in the late ’80s and early ’90s were, if not in the Americana genre, at least adjacent to it. The Counting Crows certainly fit this description, with influences that include that include the Byrds, The Band, and Van Morrison, in addition to REM. Their brand of alternative meets folk-rock created a sound that, by appealing not only to young audiences, who favored the grunge of the early ’90s, but also to fans of classic rock.
The Counting Crows certainly attracted legions of devoted fans, many of whom packed into the theater at MGM Harbor on Friday night to see them on their tour behind the new Butter Miracle Suite EP.
Trey Anastasio leads his band during a performance at The Anthem on Oct. 1, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)
The pandemic and the impacts of COVID have been seen across the music industry since it began and especially hard hit has been the live music segment, with it being a challenge for both touring acts and venues to get all this right in an uncertain environment.
Maybe nowhere has that been more obvious lately than the Trey Anastasio Band tour, an outfit that, just a few weeks ago, would have looked entirely different. Then came a couple positive tests, and trumpet player Jen Hartswick and drummer Russ Lawton were sidelined, putting the back half of the tour in jeopardy.
iLe performs at the Howard Theatre on Oct. 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Colbert)
Ileana Mercedes Cabra Joglar, better known as iLe, recently took to the Howard Theatre stage to perform her unique style of Latin American music. The songs were a combination of classic boleros, rhumbas, and percussive bomba rooted in the history of her native Puerto Rico. Over a century ago, The Howard Theatre was billed as the “theatre of the people.” On Oct. 1, the Boricua singer-songwriter honored that credo.