Preview: Railroad Earth @ 9:30 Club, 1/7/22

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Railroad Earth (Photo by Shredded Elements Photography)

(Editor’s Note: This show is being postponed due to concerns related to COVID-19. Stay tuned for a new date!)

Railroad Earth, the terrific jam band collective, play 9:30 Club on Friday, Jan. 7.

In 2020, Railroad Earth were poised to release All for the Song, a new studio album, but apparently the band held the release through the pandemic lockdowns that hit the United States that year.

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Best of the Year: Top 10 Musical Moments of 2021 by Mark C.

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The Allman Betts Band performs at The Birchmere in June. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

2021 saw a gradual return to live music as venues and musicians did their best to return to “normalcy” and keep everybody safe. Things didn’t always go according to plan: People still got sick, tours were canceled or postponed, and attendance to indoor shows still sometimes lagged.

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Best of the Year: Top 10 Musical Moments of 2021 by David

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Bob Mould’s return to 9:30 Club in September ranked among David LaMason’s Best Shows of 2021. (Photo by David LaMason)

If you would have told me around this time last year that I would have had the opportunity to see concerts again, let alone in indoor venues -– some that I hadn’t stepped foot inside in over a year and half –- I would have thought you were crazy. But not only did I have that opportunity –- in large part to vaccines, mask mandates, and the venues and artists who did everything in their power to make sure it was safe to experience live music again –- but I saw some of the best shows I’ve seen in years!

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Live Review: Hiss Golden Messenger @ 9:30 Club — 12/8/21

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Hiss Golden Messenger performs at 9:30 Club on Dec. 8, 2021. (Photos by David LaMason)

MC Taylor, the singer/songwriter at the helm of roots music outfit Hiss Golden Messenger, isn’t afraid to let his California influences show. Though he now lives in Durham, North Carolina, he began his musical career on the Pacific Coast with alt-country band The Court and Spark, and his music is deeply indebted to Laurel Canyon folk-rock and the psychedelic country-rock of the Grateful Dead.

The Grateful Dead never played DC’s 9:30 Club, but HGM’s recent performance there was perhaps a glimpse into what that might’ve been like. After an opening set by Philadelphia singer-songwriter Rosali, HGM took the stage for a set that ran far more than two hours, with plenty of long instrumental jams. They even closed the evening with a cover of the Dead’s “Bird Song.”

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Live Review: Yellow Days @ 9:30 Club — 11/29/21

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George van den Broek leads Yellow Days during a performance on Nov. 29 at 9:30 Club. (Photo by Casey Vock)

It’s historically been a struggle for budding musicians to rise to fame and still maintain control over their own vision and their connection to their fans. But one young man from Manchester, England, has probably already achieved more in his advanced stage than most artists could only hope to accomplish in an entire career.

Yellow Days is the vehicle driven by George van den Broek, and it has allowed him in a small window of time to vault himself into an incredible position for someone who’s just 22 years old — or any age, for that matter.

Making a stop at 9:30 Club on Nov. 29 for an anticipated show, and a sold-out one, van den Broek impressed as a confident, dexterous and deeply provocative conductor with few if any equals, at least not in his age bracket.

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Live Review: Hamilton Leithauser and Kevin Morby @ 9:30 Club — 11/23/21

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Hamilton Leithauser, who grew up in DC, performs at 9:30 Club on Nov. 23, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)

The pandemic has had a profound impact on the live music industry, unfortunately creating a dearth of opportunities for some artists, but concurrently providing inspiration and much-needed time for others to essentially hit the reset button.

A number of the tours assembled over the last few months, maybe more than usual, have been of the double-bill type, a benefit to cities along the way with venues considered must-stops.

One such an outfit to recently visit the area was the tantalizing duo of DC native Hamilton Leithauser and Kevin Morby — a pair of accomplished musicians who set out in mid-October on what was dubbed the Fall Mixer Tour, a quest through 29 different cities that wrapped up last week at 9:30 Club with an abundant, exhilarating night of entertainment.

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Preview: Hiss Golden Messenger @ 9:30 Club, 12/8/21

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Hiss Golden Messenger (Photo by Chris Frisina)

2021 Grammy nominee Hiss Golden Messenger are having a busy year! In June, the band released Quietly Blowing It via Merge Records, and they announced a tour that brings them to 9:30 Club on Wednesday, Dec. 8.

Then, Hiss Golden Messenger released a Christmas album, titled O Come All Ye Faithful, last month also via Merge.

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Live Review: Deer Tick and Delta Spirit @ 9:30 Club — 11/19/21

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Deer Tick performs at 9:30 Club on Nov. 19, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)

The Friend Ship tour, featuring indie rock bands Deer Tick and Delta Spirit, recently rolled into the 9:30 Club for an early split set. Each band performed an hour-long set before they took the stage together for an encore.

Fronted by John McCauley, Deer Tick hails from Province Rhode Island, and includes guitarist Ian O’Neil and half-brothers Christopher and Dennis Ryan, of neighboring Pawtucket, on drums and bass. The band’s unusual name comes from an experience McCauley, a lifelong outdoorsman, had while hiking in Indiana, when he found one of the titular pests on his scalp.

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