Duff McKagan (second from left) and Shooter Jennings (center) with their band (Photo courtesy BWR)
It’s difficult being stuck inside, unable to interact with others face to face. We here at Parklife DC are feeling that along with everyone else. I am regularly looking at my calendar, trying to guess when I’ll be able to get back in a club or arena and do what I love, photograph concerts.
I certainly don’t have the answer to when we’ll all be back to our normal lives, but one thing that is helping me get through this time is listening to music. We are fortunate that so much great music is still being created. Even in these trying times, bands and artists are finding ways to entertain us with live streams and basic recordings from their homes.
But it can be difficult to keep track of who will be performing and when. And if you’re like me, you may just want to throw on an album and let it play. So I have put together a list of some of my favorite albums that came out in 2019.
Arlo Guthrie (Photo courtesy The Roots Agency)
Folk legend Arlo Guthrie celebrated a lifetime of music at The Birchmere on a recent evening billed as a commemoration of his debut 1967 album, Alice’s Restaurant. His set featured the titular “Alice’s Restaurant,” a 20-minute-or-so story song that involves litter, jail, and the draft. “If I could’ve imagined that song would be popular,” Arlo told the audience, “I would have made it a hell of a lot shorter.
Derek Trucks (left) and Susan Tedeschi perform with their 12-piece supergroup, Tedeschi Trucks Band, at Warner Theatre, Feb. 21, 2020. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
February in DC, for the past five years, means the Tedeschi Trucks Band, the 12-piece blues-rock supergroup lead by married couple Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, holds an annual residency at historic Warner Theatre. This year’s residency included four sold out shows over two consecutive weekends, Feb. 14 and 15, and Feb. 21 and 22.
One Way Out (Photo courtesy the band)
Make no mistake: young DC rockers One Way Out can fill a room. Not only can they pack a room full of fans but they can play like seasoned champs, filling a space with the sound of rock ‘n’ roll.
If that weren’t enough, the gents open for the incredible Cat Janice at Union Stage on Friday, Feb. 28, to celebrate the release of a new single, “Black Walls.”
Southern Avenue (Photo by David McClister)
The sound of Memphis blues and soul shook the 9:30 Club recently when Southern Avenue opened for Galactic on the latter’s 25th anniversary tour. While the band takes its name from a street that runs from the east side to the “Soulsville” section of the city (the original home of the legendary label Stax Record), it has international origins.
Andy Frasco jams out on his Hammond B3 organ at 9:30 Club, Feb. 13, 2020. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
Andy Frasco & the UN was in DC recently to co-headline a show with Big Something.
The show began with some stand-up comedy by Kyle Ayers to warm up the crowd. Kyle would go on to emcee the rest of the evening, which was structured as a battle of the bands in a professional wrestling theme, complete with luchador masks.
Jake Shimabukuro (Photo coutesy Jensen Communications)
With a hearty “Aloha!” ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro greeted the crowd at Strathmore Music Center last night. “This hall sounds amazing,” he said. “It’s such an honor playing in this hall. You can’t play a bad note in this hall or, if you do, you hear it for a long time.”