Kelsey Waldon combined deep mountain vocals with a twangy Outlaw country sound (Kelsey played acoustic guitar, and her band included electric guitar, pedal steel, bass, and drums) when she headlined at the Songbyrd Music House recently.
Bloodshot artist Robbie Fulks had a special treat for his audience at Jammin’ Java recently. With him on tour was the distinguished violinist/fiddler (they’re actually the same instrument!) and singer-songwriter Jenny Scheinman. The two have a working relationship that dates back to at least 2013, appearing on each other’s albums. Each individually talented, they gelled together perfectly for the best duo performance I’ve seen this year.
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.
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.
Alt-country rockers Wovenhand perform at U Street Music Hall on Sunday, Sept. 15!
Dallas-based cowpunk band the Vandoliers headlined a festive evening of twangy performances that featured several musicians based in our local area. Max Jeffers of Baltimore rock group Western Star opened the show with a solo electric performance. I found myself sitting next to Max’s father, and we got to talking about his relationship with the Old 97s, who recorded their latest album at his ranch.