Preview: Red Wanting Blue @ Tally Ho Theater, 1/27/22

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Red Wanting Blue (Photo courtesy Michael J. Media Group)

Midwestern Rock Heroes Red Wanting Blue Bring Passionate Longevity to the Concert Stage
By Mario Tarradell

Red Wanting Blue, armed with material from 11 studio albums, takes the stage for a powerful performance on Thursday, Jan. 27, at Tally Ho Theater in Leesburg, Virginia.

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Live Review: Tommy Stinson w/ Diane Gentile @ Pearl Street Warehouse — 1/5/22

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Tommy Stinson performs at Pearl Street Warehouse on Jan. 5, 2022. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

When Tommy Stinson came to town to play some tunes at Pearl Street Warehouse recently, he probably didn’t expect to do so with a ribbing from his former manager, seated squarely in front of him in the audience.

But there he was on stage, playing solo songs and selections from his group Bash & Pop, and there she was at a table, serving him drinks to the stage, shouting requests, and affectionately goading him throughout the show.

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Live Review: Cris Jacobs’ A Very Jerry Christmas @ The 8×10 — 12/20/21

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Cris Jacobs performs at The 8×10 in Baltimore on Dec. 20, 2021, the first of A Very Jerry Christmas, his annual series of holiday shows paying tribute to Jerry Garcia. (Photo by Casey Vock)

Admirable and arguably underappreciated is the local musician who’s become known across the country but is so multi-talented, enthusiastic and flexible as to wear a variety of hats to connect with hometown concertgoers in so many different ways.

Cris Jacobs emerged on the Baltimore circuit 20 years ago in the bluegrass group Smooth Kentucky — a squad that still performs locally — and he cut his teeth at a time the city was earning its reputation for having one of the nation’s very best music scenes. The leader of The Bridge, a beloved jam band blending a world of different sounds, Jacobs was right in the thick of it for a decade at the front of this colorful outfit, forging relationships near and far and all the while expanding his own influences.

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Live Review: The Allman Family Revival @ The Fillmore Silver Spring — 12/10/21

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Joanne Shaw Taylor performs at the Allman Family Revival at The Fillmore Silver Spring on Dec. 10, 2021. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

So, let’s drop all pretense of objectivity: I adore the music of the Allman Brothers Band. The ensemble formed in 1969 by brothers Duane and Gregg took the blues and infused it with rock, soul, and jazz, and invented what would eventually be called “southern rock.” That legendary band enjoyed a career that stretched to 2014, albeit with several personnel changes and multi-year long breaks. Nonetheless, the band were and still are a huge influence on the American musical landscape.

Friday night at The Fillmore Silver Spring, Devon Allman and Duane Betts brought The Allman Betts Band to town to celebrate the Allman Brothers’ music with a who’s who list of guest performers: Eric Gales, G. Love, Robert Randolph, Donavon Frankenreiter, Joanne Shaw Taylor, Alex Orbison, Lilly Hiatt, Lamar Williams Jr., Jimmy Hall, among others. The three plus hour show was much more than a concert, though. For many of us, it was a beautiful reminder of music we grew up with and have cherished for decades.

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Live Review: Andrew Marlin @ City Winery — 12/10/21

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Christian Sedelmyer, Josh Oliver, Andrew Marlin and Clint Mullican peform at City Winery in Washington DC on Dec. 10, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)

Not all solo endeavors are created equal. When an artist can be so prolific as to release two full-length albums in short time, each strong enough stand on its own as an instrumental work of beauty born out of pandemic desolation, it’s a clear sign of a human harvesting a trove of musical possibilities.

Andrew Marlin, the world-class mandolinist who co-leads the folk outfit Watchhouse with his wife and partner — guitarist and singer Emily Frantz — has already earned the respect of fans and fellow musicians far and wide for his achievements over the course of a decade with the band that earlier this year changed its name from Mandolin Orange.

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Live Review: Robert Earl Keen’s “The Road to Christmas” w/ Waylon Payne @ Lincoln Theatre — 12/6/21

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Robert Earl Keen (Photo by EMG/Shutterstock)

Legendary Texas singer-songwriter Robert Ear Keen’s annual Christmas tour is highlight of the holiday season. Built around his fan-favorite “Merry Christmas From the Fam-O-Lee,” every year REK and his band design a show around a theme.

Past themes have included “Country Gold” and the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. This year, the theme was “The Road to Christmas.” Each year’s show presents a collection of REK originals and cover songs fitted to theme, and his recent performance at the historic Lincoln Theatre in DC was no different. Costumes were a part of the deal, too; this year, all involved wore white jumpsuits, meant to suggest mechanics. It was truly a collective performance, as REK let his band members sing cover songs of their choice.

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Live Review: Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles featuring Eric “Roscoe” Ambel @ Jammin’ Java – 12/1/21

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Sarah Borges performs at Jammin’ Java on Dec. 1, 2021. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

Sarah and her band, the Broken Singles, rolled into town recently, hitting the Jammin Java stage with Eric “Roscoe” Ambel for another of her typically rockin’ and quip-laden performances. Having seen Sarah previously, I was prepared for a seriously fun rock and roll show. This one, the first in our area since 2020, featured plenty of new additions to the setlist as she road tested a few new songs from her forthcoming release, Together Alone.

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Preview: Leo Kottke and Mike Gordon @ Sixth & I, 12/9/21

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Leo Kottke and Mike Gordon (Photo courtesy of Big Hassle Media)

Acoustic guitar pioneer Leo Kottke and Phish bassist Mike Gordon have announced plans for an eagerly awaited series of live dates. The brief tour, which marks the duo’s first live run together in more than 16 years, brings them to Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in DC on Thursday, Dec. 9.

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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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