Live Review: Charlie Parr @ DC9 — 12/11/21

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Charlie Parr performs at DC9 on Dec. 11, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)

Redefining a career through a nationwide lockdown and its confusing wake hasn’t necessarily been a breeze for most musicians. But if any had experienced what one particular virtuoso guitarist from Minnesota went through in the years leading up to the pandemic, it would have likely given them strength to persevere the tougher-than-usual environs of 2020 and 2021.

An acclaimed Piedmont blues and folk blues master who grew up in a small city called Austin and never moved out of the Land of 10,000 Lakes, Charlie Parr took the stage at DC9 recently as a remarkable story of perseverance and unwavering commitment to one’s craft.

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Preview: Allman Family Revival @ The Fillmore Silver Spring, 12/10/21

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The Allman Betts Band (Photo by Kaelan Barowsky)

The fifth annual Allman Family Revival Presented by Gibson is underway and it arrives locally with a bang at The Fillmore Silver Spring on Friday, Dec. 10.

The tour is also excited to announce the artist additions of Charlie Starr (Blackberry Smoke) and Eric Krasno (Soulive, Lettuce) who will join the star-studded event in select markets. Previously announced performers include The Allman Betts Band, Robert Randolph, Donavon Frankenreiter, Lilly Hiatt, Cody and Luther Dickinson, Eric Gales, Joanne Shaw Taylor, Jimmy Hall, Lamar Williams Jr. The Allman Family Revival will also feature Kenny Wayne Shepherd, G. Love, George Porter, Karl Denson, Marc Ford, Ivan Neville, Art Edmaiston, Beth Hart, J.D. Simo, Jessica Lynn, and Ally Venable, Samantha Fish, Alex Orbison, and Kenny Aronoff.

The Allman Family Revival is a celebration of the life, spirit, and music of Gregg Allman, hosted by his son, Blues Music Award-winning Devon Allman, and anchored by his group, The Allman Betts Band.

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Live Review: Yellow Days @ 9:30 Club — 11/29/21

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George van den Broek leads Yellow Days during a performance on Nov. 29 at 9:30 Club. (Photo by Casey Vock)

It’s historically been a struggle for budding musicians to rise to fame and still maintain control over their own vision and their connection to their fans. But one young man from Manchester, England, has probably already achieved more in his advanced stage than most artists could only hope to accomplish in an entire career.

Yellow Days is the vehicle driven by George van den Broek, and it has allowed him in a small window of time to vault himself into an incredible position for someone who’s just 22 years old — or any age, for that matter.

Making a stop at 9:30 Club on Nov. 29 for an anticipated show, and a sold-out one, van den Broek impressed as a confident, dexterous and deeply provocative conductor with few if any equals, at least not in his age bracket.

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Live Review: The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band @ The Hamilton Live — 11/17/21

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The Reverend Peyton fronts his Big Damn Band at The Hamilton Live on Nov. 17, 2021. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band recently played The Hamilton in DC, and the church of the electric country blues was in session. This was gritty, authentic music with, as the good Reverend declared, “human hands playing real instruments.” It was American roots music at its finest, steeped in traditions brought forward with a modern sensibility, performed with skill and passion.

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Live Review: Buffalo Nichols @ Songbyrd Music House — 11/9/21

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Carl “Buffalo” Nichols performs at Songbyrd Music House in Washington DC on Nov. 9, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)

There’s admiration to be had for anyone who sets out to prove a point or to tell an important story with their music.

On a mission that is most certainly catching the ears of astute listeners and those who care about celebrating the history and sounds of traditional music, Buffalo Nichols should be applauded for the progress he’s making and the sound he’s creating. And, making an appearance last week in the nation’s capital at the newly relocated Songbyrd Music House, he showed that he’s emboldened by a workingman’s conviction and possesses a vision for how his songs can make an impact.

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Preview: Buffalo Nichols @ Songbyrd Music House, 11/9/21

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Buffalo Nichols (Photo by Merrick Ales)

Buffalo Nichols, Fat Possum’s first blues signing in nearly 20 years, is set to play a *free* headlining show at Songbyrd Music House on Tuesday, Nov. 9.

In the midst of a run supporting Drive-By Truckers, Buffalo celebrates the release of his self-titled debut album, which is out now, with this solo show.

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Live Review: Tab Benoit @ The Birchmere — 10/21/21

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Tab Benoit (Photo by Jerry Moran)

“I consider myself a live artist, not a recording artist,” the Louisiana blues guitarist told the audience at The Birchmere last week. A native of Baton Rouge currently residing outside of New Orleans, Benoit’s playing has earned well-deserved comparisons to iconic virtuosos like Albert King and Albert Collins. A member of his home state’s Cajun community, Benoit is one the foremost exponents of the style known as “swamp blues.”

To understand what I mean by “swamp blues,” I want to take a step back for a moment and talk about the blues more generally. If you’re not particularly familiar with this kind of music, you may have the misconception that the blues is monolithic, which couldn’t be further from the truth. The genre’s history stretches further back than we have recorded music, to a time when the only music people would hear is the music that they heard played live. The music that people heard live was determined by where they lived; music was distinctly regional in that era.

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