Interview: Karen Jonas (New Album: The Southwest Sky and Other Dreams)

KarenJonas1Karen Jonas (Photo courtesy Big Hassle)

The voice of country music in the DMV is a big, bright voice that belongs to Virginia native Karen Jonas. A regular sight on DC concert stages, Karen releases her fifth album, The Southwest Sky and Other Dreams, on Friday, Aug. 28 via Yellow Brick Records.

On past tours, Karen has visited Texas, New Mexico, California, and their neighbors, scribbling notes while on the road. She drew upon those memories to animate the characters of The Southwest Sky and Other Dreams. The results are a little bit peppy and a little bit sad but always full of life.

Prior to the new album’s release, Parklife DC’s Mickey McCarter chatted with Karen about the record, her band, and her desire to get back on the road. And Karen plays a free outdoor album release show with her full band at Jammin’ Java on Thursday, Sept. 10.

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Livestream Preview: Grant-Lee Phillips @ StageIt, 8/23/20

Grant-Lee_Phillips_PETER ERIKSSONGrant-Lee Phillips (Photo by Peter Eriksson)

Critically lauded Nashville-based singer-songwriter Grant-Lee Phillips releases Lightning, Show Us Your Stuff, his 10th solo album, via Yep Roc Records on Sept. 4.

Meanwhile, he appears via StageIt on Sunday, Aug. 23, for a livestream billed as Live from the Parlor, where he’s sure to play new songs and old favorites.

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Livestream Preview: Lauren Calve @ WERA 96.7 FM, 8/8/20

Lauren Calve Wood Metal Credit Shane Gardner
Lauren Calve (Photo by Shane Gardner)

Northern Virginia native, storyteller, singer, and songwriter Lauren Calve recently released her Wildfire EP on June 23. She’ll perform songs off the EP during the final show of Arlington Arts’ concert series Lubber Run Live on WERA 96.7 FM on Friday, Aug. 8.

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Song of the Day: “We Shall Overcome” by Bill Frisell

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Bill Frisell Trio (Photo by Monica Jane Frisell)

Acclaimed guitarist Bill Frisell has announced his newest project Valentine — the debut recording of his trio with bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Rudy Royston — for release Aug. 14 on Blue Note Records.

Bill has also released the album’s closing track “We Shall Overcome,” the Civil Rights anthem that he holds dear as a message of hope in all dark times. “I’ve been playing the song for years, and I’m going to keep playing it till there is no need anymore,” he said. “I can’t help but hope that day will come.”

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Song of the Day: “To Live” by Norah Jones

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Norah Jones (Photo by Dianne Russo)

Norah Jones has released her seventh solo studio album Pick Me Up Off The Floor, which is out on Blue Note Records. The album features collaborators including Jeff Tweedy and Brian Blade on a set of 11 new songs written or co-written by Norah that speak deeply to the moment.

Tune in to ABC Good Morning America on Tuesday, June 16, to hear Norah perform the uplifting “To Live,” and watch the song’s official video featuring drummer Nate Smith, bassist Jesse Murphy, trumpeter Dave Guy, and tenor saxophonist Leon Michels.

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Interview: Lauren Calve, DC’s Formidable Americana Artist

Lauren Calve Brick 2 Credit Shane Gardner
Lauren Calve (Photo by Shane Gardner)

DC Americana and blues artist Lauren Calve releases Wildfire, her new EP, on June 23. She recently released the first single from the album — a song called “Better Angels.” As Lauren has said, she took inspiration for the song from Abraham Lincoln’s inaugural address, which prompted her to reflect on the courage of people today dealing with modern challenges like COVID-19.

And, of course, as everyone has been in a pandemic lockdown, Lauren has been a regular performer in livestream concerts, spreading the word about her new music and finding creative outlets where she can. Parklife DC’s Mickey McCarter recently caught up with Lauren to ask her about getting music out during the lockdown, her approach to unique arrangements in her music, and her spiritual connections to the places that gave birth to roots and Americana.

Visit Lauren Calve’s website to grab her new single!

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Livestream Preview: SUSTO @ StageIt, 6/10/20

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SUSTO (Photo by Sully Sullivan)

SUSTO recently released Ever Since I Lost my Mind, the project’s latest studio album, out now on Rounder Records. SUSTO, fronted by Justin Osborne, has been performing a series of five quarantine shows, and Justin presents the fourth in the series as a “Greatest Hits Happy Hour” via StageIt on Wednesday, June 10.

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