Snapshots: Red Wing VI Roots Music Festival @ Natural Chimneys Park (Mt. Solon, VA) — 7/13-7/15/18

Red Wing VI Roots Music Festival July 14, 2018

The Steel Wheels – Red Wing VI Roots Music Festival July 14, 2018

The Steel Wheels perform at Red Wing Roots Festival in Natural Chimneys Park on July 14, 2018. (Photo by Chester Simpson)

Year after year, The Red Wing Roots Music Festival just keeps getting better and better! And the latest edition, on July 13-15, in Mount Solon, Virginia, was the best yet.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Music Park: The English Beat @ State Theatre — 6/21/18

English Beat-6-21-18-022
The peerless English Beat performs at the State Theatre in Falls Church, Virginia, on June 21, 2018. (Photo by Chester Simpson)

The English Beat have a brand new album out! The indefatigable Dave Wakeling and company published Here We Go Love earlier this month via Here We Go Records to very strong reviews. And Dave and the band dropped by the State Theatre in Falls Church to play a few of the new songs long with some old favorites on Thursday.

Continue reading

Snapshots: Sleepy Creek SpringDig @ Sleepy Creek on the Potomac (Berkeley Springs, WV) — 5/4-5/6/18

Sleepy Creek SpringDig-5-4-5-18-183
Black Masala lead a parade at Sleepy Creek SpringDig 2018. (Photo by Chester Simpson)

Sleepy Creek SpringDig returned May 4-6, 2018 for its fifth year to the region’s favorite family-friendly venue, Sleepy Creek on the Potomac in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. The annual camp-out offers a stellar line-up of local roots music and national superstars, with added attractions such as playgrounds and parades. Chester Simpson took some photos of this year’s Sleepy Creek SpringDig, and folk musician Sally Mae Foster wrote some words to accompany them!

Continue reading

Interview: Andy McCluskey of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (@ 9:30 Club, 3/6/18)

OMD
Paul Humphreys and Andy McCluskey (right) of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (Photo courtesy Ticketfly)

The brilliant Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) released The Punishment of Luxury, their 13th studio album, on Sept. 1 via 100% Records subsidiary White Noise. The album fared very well commercially, hitting #4 on the UK Albums chart as well as #7 on the US Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart.

I had the genuine pleasure of again chatting with Andy McCluskey, vocalist, bassist, keyboardist, and songwriter for OMD, as the band will launch a North American Tour with a performance at 9:30 Club on March 6, 2018. (It’s not officially announced by 9:30 Club yet, but buy your tickets online here.)

In our chat, Andy provides insights into songs on The Punishment of Luxury, shares his feelings on recent work by Gary Numan and New Order, and reveals artists (with some surprises) with whom OMD would like to collaborate (particularly as they approach their 40th anniversary as a band).

I babbled a bit more than usual because he’s a personal hero, and as such my interview covered a lot of ground. I’ve edited the order of the questions to improve their logical flow and trimmed them where necessary for brevity. (Also, perhaps read our previous Parklife DC interview with Andy McCluskey from May 2016.)

Continue reading

Book Talk: “Smithsonian Rock and Roll: Live and Unseen” w/ Photos by Chester Simpson — 10/24/17

Iggy Pop in S.F. 1977
Iggy Pop at the Old Waldorf, San Francisco, 1977, by Chester Simpson (also found on Page 79 of Smithsonian Rock and Roll: Live and Unseen).

On Oct. 24, Smithsonian Books published a vivid collection of rock photos titled Smithsonian Rock and Roll: Live and Unseen by Bill Bentley. Bill may have written the book, but it pools photographs from many sources, including our own Chester Simpson, who contributed seven of the 350 pictures to the project.

Continue reading

Snapshots: Sleepy Creek HarFest @ Sleepy Creek (Berkeley Springs, WV) — 10/6-10/8/17

This Way to the Egress-10-7-17-188
This Way to the Egress perform at HarFest 2017. (Photo by Chester Simpson)

Sleepy Creek actually started over 10 years ago as a house party on the hill at the venue owners’ property in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia every Apple Butter Weekend.

Continue reading

Music Park: The Psychedelic Furs @ The Birchmere — 10/4/17

Psychedelic Furs-10-4-17- 068
The Psychedelic Furs perform at The Birchmere on Oct. 4, 2017. (Photo by Chester Simpson)

Richard Butler was a joy to behold.

With boundless energy, the frontman of The Psychedelic Furs swept the audience up in a dance for an 18-song set on the band’s Singles Tour on Wednesday at The Birchmere. He so relished the opportunity to perform live that he couldn’t stop beaming.

Continue reading