Live Review: Aoife O’Donovan @ Wolf Trap — 7/28/21

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Aoife O’Donovan performs at Wolf Trap on July 28, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)

When singer-songwriter Aoife O’Donovan last appeared at Wolf Trap four years ago, she performed in the trio I’m With Her as part of the American Acoustic package tour, which also included the Punch Brothers. At the time, she noted, she was seven months pregnant; she referenced this in one of the evening’s songs, “Elevators.”

Aoife reappeared at Wolf Trap recently as a solo headliner. Normally, she told the audience, Wolf Trap is a venue where she would be an opener, but, because the venue is running at low capacity for social distancing, she was given the opportunity to headline.

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Preview: Watkins Family Hour @ Strathmore Music Center, 8/7/21

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Watkins Family Hour (Photo by Jacob Boll)

Sibling duo Watkins Family Hour performs two outdoors shows at Strathmore Music Center on Saturday, Aug. 7 — an early evening performance followed by a later show — touring in support of their new album, brother sister.

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Preview: Appaloosa Festival @ Skyline Ranch Resort, 8/13-8/15/21

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Scythian (Photo by Jason Eib)

Appaloosa Festival is back! And Appaloosa 2021 is bringing in rising stars in bluegrass, Americana and Celtic music on Aug. 13-15 at Skyline Ranch Resort in Front Royal, Va.

Headliners at this year’s festival include Scythian, Young Dubliners, Dustbowl Revival, Yarn, and Aztec Sun!

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Preview: Aoife O’Donovan @ Wolf Trap, 7/28/21

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Aoife O’Donovan (Photo by Rich Gilligan)

Recently, Grammy-winner Aoife O’Donovan released two new, original songs — “More Than We Know” and “Captain’s Clock.” It’s the debut of a collaboration with Grammy-winning producer Joe Henry (Rhiannon Giddens, Bonnie Raitt) that will yield more music in the coming months.

Meanwhile, Aoife headlines Wolf Trap on Wednesday, July 28!

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Live Review: Steve Earle & The Dukes @ The Birchmere — 7/20/21

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Steve Earle performs at The Birchmere on July 20, 2021. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

Steve Earle has been playing The Birchmere regularly for decades, since even before his debut album, 1986’s Guitar Town. He first visited the famed northern Virginia venue when he was playing bass in his mentor’s, Guy Clark, band. (Steve’s other mentor was the brilliant but deeply troubled songwriter Townes Van Zandt.) On Tuesday evening, Earle and his band, The Dukes (get it? it’s a pun on the early rockabilly song “Duke of Earl”) played the first of two nights at the club.

In the three and a half decades since the release of Guitar Town,  Steve Earle has created a deeply respected and wide-ranging body of work. A self-described “cult artist,” his songwriting is held in the highest esteem by other writers, musicians, and artists. Although Steve may have left school after the eighth grade, his work is informed by a prodigious mind that delves incessantly into literature, history, and current politics. There’s a fearsome intelligence in his work, which has been noted by interviewers like Chris Shifflett, who has hosted Earle several times on his podcast, Walking the Floor

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Preview: Steve Earle & The Dukes @ The Birchmere, 7/20 + 7/21/21

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Steve Earle (Photo courtesy New West Records)

Steve Earle & The Dukes pay tribute to Steve’s late son, Justin Townes Earle (J.T.), who passed away on Aug. 20, 2020, in Nashville with their new album J.T. The album was released digitally on what would have been Justin’s 39th birthday on Jan. 4, via New West Records.

On July 20 and 21, Steve Earle & The Dukes perform two nights of shows at The Birchmere in Alexandria, Va. (Buy tix for the first night OR buy tix for second night.)

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Live Review: The Walkaways and Wicked Sycamore @ Pearl Street Warehouse — 6/26/21

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The Walkaways perform at Pearl Street Warehouse on June 26, 2021. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

The return to indoor live music continues to be an exhilarating experience! Last Saturday night at Pearl Street Warehouse with The Walkaways and Wicked Sycamore, a boisterous (and sweaty) crowd was showered with a musical deluge ending a long, and frustrating, drought.

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Live Review: The Allman Betts Band @ The Birchmere — 6/13/21

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The Allman Betts Band performs at The Birchmere on June 13. (Photo by Mark Caiedo)

When Devon Allman invited guitarist Linwood Taylor to the stage, he joked that three guitars were not enough; they needed four onstage at The Birchmere on Sunday night.

And so, The Allman Betts Band carried on the multi-guitar Southern rock jam tradition pioneered by their fathers in The Allman Brothers Band. Devon Allman, the son of the late Gregg Allman, sings lead vocals, plays guitar, and leads the band. Duane Betts, the son of legendary guitarist Dickey Betts, also sings and plays guitar.  Berry Duane Oakley plays his father’s instrument, the bass. Johnny Stachela is on the third guitar, John Ginty is on keys, and R. Scott Bryan and John Lum comprise the group’s dual percussion attack.

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Live Review: Amy Helm @ The Hamilton Live — 6/11/21

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Amy Helm performs at The Hamilton on June 11, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)

On Friday, pandemic capacity restrictions were lifted in the District of Columbia. When Amy Helm performed at The Hamilton Live, it was the first time in 16 months that venue had been fully open to present live music to eager audiences. It was a special night; the enthusiasm and love from the crowd was palpable, as most of the attendees were at their first show since early March 2020.

For Helm and her band, it was their first time back on the road and being outside of her native New York state. She acknowledged the significance of live music reopening, saying it was an honor to be playing. She joked, “Just to full capacity?” to which her bandmate Connor Kennedy quipped, “You can’t really go further than that.

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Preview: The Allman Betts Band @ The Birchmere, 6/13/21

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The Allman Betts Band (Photo by Kaelan Barowsky)

The Allman Betts Band are on the road, and they will perform at The Birchmere on Sunday, June 13!

This must-see fusing of impressive musical talent was fated before the band was even born. You see, bandmates Devon Allman, Duane Betts, and Berry Duane Oakley are the sons of their namesake founding members of the Allman Brothers Band ( — Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts, and Berry Oakley, that is).

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