Shannon McNally performs at City Winery on Feb. 13, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
Diners heading to City Winery in Ivy City recently to see the last performance of Steve Earle’s winter residency were treated to a wonderful musical appetizer. Singer/songwriter Shannon McNally warmed up the capacity crowd with a tasty 45-minute solo set of acoustic tunes from her catalog.
Drive-By Truckers perform at The Anthem on Feb. 8, 2019. (Photo by Matt Ruppert)
Full disclosure: The songs of Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley have guided me through some of the best and hardest years of my adulthood. From the first discovery of Southern Rock Opera during my college years to the most recent American Band, I can write with confidence that their songs hold persistent meaning to me.
So, I will not be objective about the recent performance of Drive-By Truckers at The Anthem. Consider this your warning.
HC McEntire at Jammin Java on Feb. 2, 2019. (Photo by Matt Ruppert)
I remember when I first saw HC McEntire play on a stage with Mount Moriah, knees shivering with the music, her voice echoing off the tin ceiling and walls of Boot and Saddle in Philly. Cavernous, passionate, and ultimately transformative, in many ways. I read my journal from around that show and it has a quote I think is worth sharing – “Shimmying, we are alive,” which is a reference to the song, “Hail, Lightning” from their eponymous album.
Her recent show at Jammin’ Java was equally transformative.
Drive-By Truckers (Photo courtesy Big Hassle)
Drive-By Truckers and Lucinda Williams team for a big show at The Anthem on Friday, Feb. 8!
Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles perform at Jammin’ Java on Jan. 25, 2019. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
Sarah Borges’ third appearance in the DC Metro area in as many months is a clear indication of her thriving (some might say, rabid) fanbase in the region. Recently, Sarah tore through two one-hour sets consisting of tunes from throughout her career in a packed house at Jammin’ Java.
Lilly Hiatt performs at 9:30 Club on Dec. 27, 2018. (Photo by Matt Ruppert)
If Pearl Jam decided to play country and had a female lead singer from Nashville, they’d have sounded a lot like Lilly Hiatt’s opening set for Margo Price recently at the 9:30 Club.
Hiss Golden Messenger performs at Pickathon 2014 on Aug. 1, 2014. (Photo by Eli Duke)
“Who knows, maybe James Mattis is here tonight. He’s looking for something to do,” said MC Taylor, frontman and founder of Hiss Golden Messenger, referring to the Secretary of Defense’s resignation earlier that day. at 9:30 Club recently, MC fit a friend’s description as “an introvert” and “kind of engaging,” contrasting with guitarist Phil Cook, “the most extroverted human being I’ve ever met, and it’s not even close.”
But then leaving the stage after their encore, Phil looked right up at us on the balcony, making eye contact.