Mary Gauthier performs at City Winery on March 24, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
Grammy nominee Mary Gauthier joined her opening act and backup singer/guitarist, Austinite Jaimee Harris, to help her perform the title track of her debut album, Red Rescue. Instead of breaking for intermission, they moved right into Mary’s set at City Winery recently.
David Grisman (left) and Del McCoury perform at The Birchmere on March 15, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
Touring as Del & Dawg, Del McCoury and David Grisman packed the house at The Birchmere Friday night. As well they should — these men are legends. Del, who played with Bill Monroe in the Bluegrass Boys, is one of the foremost traditional bluegrass musicians in the world. The original Americana radio format on KCSN in Northride in 1984 included Dawg’s eponymous music style, and he collaborated extensively with Jerry Garcia.
Steve Earle performs at City Winery in DC on Feb. 13, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
Steve Earle is the godfather of Americana music. With his black vest, jeans, and long gray beard, he’s often said to look like an aging biker. But when I saw him at City Winery on Wednesday, I saw a bit of one of the main characters of one of his favorite novels, a sort of Texas Gandalf the Grey.
Kasey Chambers performs at The Birchmere on Feb. 5, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
“I’m starting to think I play more here in this venue than in my hometown,” said Australian country singer-songwriter Kasey Chambers Tuesday at The Birchmere, after she and her Fireside Disciples played “Not Pretty Enough.” Kasey praised The Birchmere, saying that it felt like home — and expressing special appreciation for the venue allowing artists to use its washing machine.
Hot Club of Cowtown performs at Wolf Trap on Feb. 2, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
The Hot Club of Cowtown and The Dustbowl Revival shared the bill at Wolf Trap’s Barns recently for two performances as part of their tour celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Band.
Town Mountain performs at The Hamilton Live on Jan. 18, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
[Editor’s note: This piece has been updated on Jan. 22, 2019, to reflect details of the show.]
In August, Rolling Stone listed Town Mountain in its 10 Country Artists You Need to Know. Although the band has been around for a more than a decade, and it has won International Bluegrass Music Association Awards, it’s reaching a new level on the back of its latest album, 2018’s New Freedom Blues, released last year, which casts a sonic bridge between bluegrass and Americana. Town Mountain justified that new level of respect in a show at The Hamilton Live on Friday.
The Wood Brothers perform at 9:30 Club on Jan. 17, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
The Wood Brothers have a rare combination of musical training, a diverse skill set rooted in classics, and an outright sense of fun. All three were on display in the first of two shows at 9:30 Club recently.
The John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band performs at City Winery on Jan. 2, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
Many identify bluegrass music with the classic bluegrass music of Bill Monroe, or Earl Scruggs and Lester Flatt. While that represents the roots of bluegrass, the music has evolved, even developing into distinct styles. At City Winery DC, the John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band, J2B2, recently gave a virtuosic performance of progressive bluegrass.
Lucero performs at 9:30 Club on Oct. 14, 2018. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
Known for their unique blend of alt-country and Memphis soul, Lucero was met with an enthusiastic response at 9:30 Club recently from fans, whom they thanked for coming out late on a Sunday night. Led by frontman Ben Nichols, the band delivered a stacked set, playing for over two hours.
The SteelDrivers perform at The Birchmere on Oct. 4, 2018. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
Making their first appearance at the venue in nine years, The SteelDrives filled The Birchmere with the soulful sounds of their lauded Nashville bluegrass on Thursday night, the first of a two-night engagement. In the finest traditions of bluegrass music, The SteelDrivers emphasized that their songs tell terrible stories — and there were lots of murder ballads.