Snapshots: Sol Roots @ The Soundry — 8/9/18

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Sol Roots performs at The Soundry on Aug. 9, 2018. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

Sol Roots and his band gave a hot performance recently at The Soundry in Columbia, Maryland, putting in a 45-miute opening set before New Orleans-great Jon Cleary took the stage.

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Snapshots: Jon Cleary @ The Soundry — 8/9/18

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Jon Cleary performs at The Soundry on Aug. 9, 2018. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

Fresh off a European tour with Bonnie Raitt’s band, Grammy Award winner and New Orleans funkmaster Jon Cleary paid a visit to The Soundry in Columbia, Maryland, recently to deliver a smokin’ hot, 90-minute R&B/funk/soul performance. Jon is currently touring in support his newest album, Dyna-Mite, published by Thirty Tigers in July.

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Music Park: Rhiannon Giddens @ Wolf Trap — 8/11/18

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Rhiannon Giddens performs at Wolf Trap on Aug. 11, 2018. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

On Saturday, I was really excited to see Rhiannon Giddens at Wolf Trap as the opening act for Mary Chapin Carpenter. Rhiannon and I both attended Oberlin College, a liberal arts college and music conservatory in smalltown Ohio, about 40 mins southwest of Cleveland. Rhiannon was classically trained at Oberlin as a opera singer. I, on the other hand, have exactly one musical bone in my body — my right tibia, which is not an especially useful bone for music — and was in the liberal arts college.

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Music Park: Lyle Lovett and His Large Band @ Wolf Trap — 8/10/18

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Lyle Lovett performs at Wolf Trap on Aug. 10, 2018. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

“Choke My Chicken.” So goes the refrain of “Farmer Brown/Chicken Reel” from Lyle Lovett’s album Natural Forces (2009/Lost Highway). Lyle and His Large Band played the song early in their set Friday during their annual appearance at Wolf Trap. If anyone in the audience didn’t already know that Lyle is a bit, shall we say, unconventional, this song certainly tipped them off.

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Snapshots: Shania Twain @ Capital One Arena — 7/15/18

ShaniaTwain_CapOneArena Shania Twain performs at Capital One Arena on July 15, 2018. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

Shania Twain’s NOW Tour, one of the most anticipated summer tours of 2018, hit DC on Sunday. The five-time GRAMMY winner and reigning Queen of Country Pop held court before a sold-out crowd at Capital One Arena and gave her audience a passionate two-hour performance with all the glitz and glamor befitting the highest-selling female country artist of all time.

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Music Park: Tedeschi Trucks Band @ Wolf Trap — 7/11/18

WheelsOfSoul Tedeschi Trucks Band performs at Wolf Trap on July 11, 2018. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

I recently found myself musing on the merits of listening to recorded albums versus attending live performances for the different experiences they provide the listener. As a jam band, Tedeschi Trucks Band provides a live experience for the audience that is simply unequaled by the studio album. The heavy improvisational element of their performance means that every show is unique. Sure, their recorded albums are great, too — they won a Grammy for Best Blues Album with Revelator — but it’s as a live act that that they truly amaze. And amaze the band did at Wolf Trap on July 11 as headliners on their Wheels of Soul Tour.

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