Del McCoury is the living link from the nascent sound of bluegrass that charmed hardscrabble hillbilly honkytonks, rural schoolhouse stages, and the crowning glory of the Grand Ole Opry to the present-day culture-buzz of viral videos and digital streams.
Billy Strings gives a fiery performance at The Anthem, Nov. 13, 2021. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
Billy Strings made a triumphant return to The Anthem on Nov. 13, putting on a blazing hot performance for a sold-out crowd, some of whom had waited in line since 11am to get a good spot inside for an 8pm show. Billy’s only previous appearance at The Anthem was Feb. 1, 2019, as the opener for Greensky Bluegrass.
North Carolina’s Town Mountain wraps up its 2021 touring schedule with a show at DC’s The Hamilton Live, Oct. 23, 2021. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
Check out the Twitter page for Town Mountain and your find a pithy bio that reads, “Bluegrass with swagger from Asheville North Carolina!” That swagger was on display when the band wrapped up its last run of touring in 2021 with a two-hour set at DC’s The Hamilton Live recently.
Asheville-based group Town Mountain will perform in DC at The Hamilton Live on Oct. 23. Since their inception over a decade ago, Town Mountain has built a reputation for their rowdy, energetic performances, a testament to each member’s refined musicianship. They’ve continued to make waves in both the studio and the live music circuit; from holding spots on the Billboard Bluegrass and Americana Radio charts for weeks to appearing on the legendary Grand Ole Opry stage multiple times.
Trey Anastasio leads his band during a performance at The Anthem on Oct. 1, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)
The pandemic and the impacts of COVID have been seen across the music industry since it began and especially hard hit has been the live music segment, with it being a challenge for both touring acts and venues to get all this right in an uncertain environment.
Maybe nowhere has that been more obvious lately than the Trey Anastasio Band tour, an outfit that, just a few weeks ago, would have looked entirely different. Then came a couple positive tests, and trumpet player Jen Hartswick and drummer Russ Lawton were sidelined, putting the back half of the tour in jeopardy.
Old Crow Medicine Show performs at the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts on Sept. 25, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)
Every once in a while, a community — heck, maybe even an entire town or city — needs a reminder to loosen up, that life is too short to avoid good times, and that sometimes simply making the effort to have fun can actually be a reward itself.
Whether it knew it or not, the City of Annapolis has been in need of a dose of laughs, song, and dance, and that is what it was gifted this past weekend in the form of a phenomenally entertaining performance put on by Old Crow Medicine Show, the string-heavy posse that has become famous for its rapid-fire old-time melodies and through 23-plus year has never skipped a beat in overcoming changes in personnel, evolving in sound and appearance to give a contemporary twist to its live shows and recordings.
Charley Crockett performs at Watermelon Pickers Festival 2021. (Photo by Chester Simpson)
Watermelon Picker’s Fest is one of my favorite festivals that I look forward to every year. The experience of camping, socializing with old and new friends while listening tomusic is an amazing experience not to be over looked. Besides music on the stages, there’s the night jam sessions, where various musicians travel from campsite to campsite for a special musical experience. It’s an opportunities to hangout with performers in a pleasant, usually quite rural, setting.