Preview: Daryl Davis @ The Birchmere, 7/11/20

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Daryl Davis (Photo courtesy of The Birchmere)

You may have heard tales of an eloquent Black man who surprisingly engages with the Ku Klux Klan, occasionally convincing its members to abandon the group by expanding their awareness of brotherhood and human rights for all men.

That man is musician Daryl Davis, a Bluesman and scholar ever there were one, and he’s heading to The Birchmere to boogie down for a show on Saturday, July 11.

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Interview: Joe Louis Walker (New Album: Blues Comin’ On)

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Blues Comin’ On, the latest offering from blues guitar legend Joe Louis Walker, was released on June 5, 2020, from Cleopatra Records.)

Blues artist Joe Louis Walker has been making music with his voice and guitar for over a half century. A 2013 Blues Hall of Fame inductee and a four-time Blues Music Award winner, Joe has learned from, been a mentor to, or simply played alongside just about everyone in the business.

His new album, Blues Comin’ On, which was released on June 5 by Cleopatra Records, features guest performances by fellow blues icons Keb’ Mo’, Eric Gales, and Albert Lee, Detroit soul singer Mitch Ryder, harmonica virtuoso Lee Oskar, Hot Tuna’s Jorma Kaukonen, punk rock vocalist Charlie Harper, and legendary session player Waddy Wachtel among others.

Parklife DC’s Ari Strauss had the opportunity recently to speak with Joe by phone to discuss the new album, his career, and the many wonderful artists he’s played with over the years.

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Preview: Gordon Sterling @ Jammin’ Java, 6/26/20

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The empty indoor stage at Jammin’ Java! (Photo by Steve Petrucelli)

Jammin’ Java recently launched its outdoor summer series of concerts, presenting A Song & A Slice: A Socially Distanced Outdoor Concert Series. Each donations-based concerts contributes funds to a cause of the artist’s choice.

The outdoor series continues with Gordon Sterling at Jammin’ Java on Friday, June 26, in a show benefiting Black Lives Matter DMV and SURJNOVA.

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Interview: Shirley King (New Album: Blues for a King)

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Shirley King’s latest album, Blues for a King, releases June 19, 2020, via Cleopatra Records.

Just in time for Father’s Day, Shirley King, the daughter of iconic Blues legend B.B. King, releases a new album, Blues for a King, today via Cleopatra Blues, a division of Los Angeles-based Cleopatra Records.

In this latest offering, Shirley steps out of her musical comfort zone to cover diverse range of musical genre including soul, R&B, rock, and her native Blues. The album also features a roster of legendary guitarists including Steve Cropper (Booker T & the MGs), Duke Robillard (Roomful of Blues/Fabulous Thunderbirds), Elvin Bishop (Paul Butterfield Blues Band), Martin Barre (Jethro Tull), and Junior Wells to name a few.

Parklife DC’s Ari Strauss had an opportunity to speak with Shirley by phone recently to discuss the new album, her career, and what it’s like to be the daughter of Blues royalty.

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Song of the Day: “To Live” by Norah Jones

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Norah Jones (Photo by Dianne Russo)

Norah Jones has released her seventh solo studio album Pick Me Up Off The Floor, which is out on Blue Note Records. The album features collaborators including Jeff Tweedy and Brian Blade on a set of 11 new songs written or co-written by Norah that speak deeply to the moment.

Tune in to ABC Good Morning America on Tuesday, June 16, to hear Norah perform the uplifting “To Live,” and watch the song’s official video featuring drummer Nate Smith, bassist Jesse Murphy, trumpeter Dave Guy, and tenor saxophonist Leon Michels.

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Interview: Lauren Calve, DC’s Formidable Americana Artist

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Lauren Calve (Photo by Shane Gardner)

DC Americana and blues artist Lauren Calve releases Wildfire, her new EP, on June 23. She recently released the first single from the album — a song called “Better Angels.” As Lauren has said, she took inspiration for the song from Abraham Lincoln’s inaugural address, which prompted her to reflect on the courage of people today dealing with modern challenges like COVID-19.

And, of course, as everyone has been in a pandemic lockdown, Lauren has been a regular performer in livestream concerts, spreading the word about her new music and finding creative outlets where she can. Parklife DC’s Mickey McCarter recently caught up with Lauren to ask her about getting music out during the lockdown, her approach to unique arrangements in her music, and her spiritual connections to the places that gave birth to roots and Americana.

Visit Lauren Calve’s website to grab her new single!

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Livestream Preview: Sol Roots @ Facebook Live, 5/22/20

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Sol Roots performs at The 9 Songwriter Series on April 5, 2018. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

Late Night in the Loft continues with not-so-late live happy hour streams from the DMV’s best local artists from The Hamilton!

This week, catch DC funky bluesman Sol Roots on Friday, May 22, in a livestream at The Hamilton’s Facebook page.

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