Lori McKenna performs her album, Bittertown, at City Winery DC, July 24, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss/ aristrauss.com)
Bittertown was undoubtedly Lori McKenna’s breakthrough album. Its release attracted the attention of Faith Hill, who went on to cover three songs from the album and paved Lori’s way to a successful songwriting career in Nashville.
Dispatch performs at Wolf Trap on June 29, 2019. (Photo by Jules McNamara)
Jam band Dispatch released Live 18, a live album, earlier this year, and hit the stage at Wolf Trap recently to showcase those live chops. Jules McNamara got some pictures!
Juliana Hatfield rocks out at Union Stage on June 26, 2019.
“Feel better!” an audience member called out to Juliana Hatfield at the end of her show recently at Union Stage. When she returned for her encore, Juliana came out alone, and explained that she was having trouble projecting her voice because of chest congestion. The crowd was sympathetic and assured her that she still sounded great — and she did!
Juliana Hatfield (Photo by David Doobinin)
Juliana Hatfield released Weird, her 17th solo record, in January via American Laundromat Records. She’s touring with the Juliana Hatfield Three with a date at Union Stage on Wednesday, June 26!
The Lemonheads rock out at the 9:30 Club on June 13, 2019. (Photo by David LaMason)
Evan Dando, the creative force and songwriter behind The Lemonheads, has written some brilliant songs. In fact, they are some of the most hook-laden creations ever put to vinyl from the late ’80’s to mid-90’s. And in 2003 his solo album, Baby I’m Bored, has one of my favorite songs, “Hard Drive,” that’s even more moving when you see him perform the song alone with only a guitar being the only accompaniment. He would do exactly that at a recent show at 9:30 Club.
The Lemonheads (Photo by Michel van Collenburg)
The Lemonheads recently released Varshons 2, an album of covers, via Fire Records. Evan Dando and company perform at 9:30 Club on Thursday, June 13, and you can win tickets to go with Parklife DC.
Della Mae performs at The Hamilton Live on May 1, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
Della Mae puts a fresh spin on bluegrass. In a genre traditionally characterized by a “high lonesome” sound, this Grammy-nominated lineup of all female dynamos is unlike anyone else. At The Hamilton Live recently, the band covered rock songs, like the Allman Brothers’ “Whipping Post,” with a boiling stew of strings, and they played string band music with the fervor and soul of blues rock.
Amanda Palmer performs at National Theatre in DC on April 5, 2019.
Amanda Palmer made a deal with her audience at the National Theatre on Friday. If ever anyone became too sad during the course of her music and conversation presentation, he or she could simply exclaim, “Amanda, I’m too sad!” and the artist would respond to brighten things up with the opening chords of “Coin-Operated Boy” by her band The Dresden Dolls.
By our count, she was called upon to play those chords at least five times, which might not be so bad for a 4.5 hour show.
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.
Rachael & Vilray perform at The Miracle Theatre in DC on Feb. 22, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
One word constantly sifted through my mind recently while attending a Rachael & Vilray performance at The Miracle Theatre on Capitol Hill recently: vintage. The music, the gear from which it resonated, and the venue itself all exuded vintage qualities.