Preview: Chris Knight @ City Winery, 8/25/22

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Chris Knight (Photo courtesy Michael J. Media Group)

Acclaimed Americana Singer-Songwriter Chris Knight Performs in Concert
By Mario Tarradell

After 23 years as a recording artist, singer-songwriter Chris Knight remains boldly empowered to make music that always delivers the unflinching truth. In fact, the man raised in Slaughters, Kentucky uses a simple, direct barometer to regularly check his muse: “If I can’t believe myself, I won’t sing the song.”

That brutally honest, no-frills philosophy fits his Americana-fueled, backwoods-grown merger of folk, country, and rock. It’s been at the backbone of nine studio albums, beginning with 1998’s acclaimed self-titled debut and traveling through scorchers such as the one-two punch of 2001’s A Pretty Good Guy and 2003’s The Jealous Kind, two demo-styled discs (2007’s The Trailer Tapes and 2009’s Trailer II), and the recent, electric guitar-fortified opus, 2019’s Almost Daylight.

Knight will hit the sonic highlights of his career in concert Thursday, Aug. 25, at 8pm (doors @ 6pm) at City Winery, 1350 Okie Street in Washington, DC. Tickets are $25-$38; all ages are welcome. Click here for tickets.

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Live Review: Ray Wylie Hubbard @ City Winery — 7/29/22

Ray Wylie Hubbard
Ray Wylie Hubbard performs at City Winery in DC on July 29, 2022. (Photo by Rashad Polk)

 “I found out you get more attention burning down the barn than you do taking out the trash,” Americana singer-songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard told a sold-out audience at City Winery recently.

In his autobiography, A Life Well…Lived, Hubbard writes appearing on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon — his first national TV appearance — in 2010. When Ray Wylie how he should be introduced, he asked to be described as an Americana singer-songwriter, rather than as a Texas singer-songwriter.

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Preview: Ray Wylie Hubbard @ City Winery, 7/29/22

Ray Wylie HubbardRay Wylie Hubbard (Photo by David McClister)

In 2020, Ray Wylie Hubbard made his major label debut with C-Starring, released by Big Machine Records. The legendary country singer returned to the well in 2022, releasing Co-Starring Too. Now, he’s on tour with a show at City Winery DC on Friday, July 29.

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Live Review: China Crisis @ City Winery — 7/3/22

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China Crisis perform at City Winery DC on July 3, 2022. (Photos by Mickey McCarter)

In a recent appearance at City Winery DC, vocalist Gary Daly of UK new wave quartet China Crisis reflected on the band’s early days and how success came quick for the pop upstarts.

After their first album dropped in 1982, the band found themselves touring the United States in the next few years, and Gary and his bandmates were struck by the vastness of the foreign land. The band ultimately captured that sense of wonder in “Arizona Sky,” a song that appeared on their fourth album, What Price Paradise, and that the band played as the second song on their setlist.

China Crisis maintained that sense of wonder on their USA 40th anniversary tour, during which they performed their easily recognizable dance hits alongside some irresistible deep cuts, including their July 3 appearance at City Winery.

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Live Review: Duane Betts @ City Winery — 6/26/22

Duane Betts (center) performs at City Winery DC on June 26, 2022. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

Lazy July and August afternoons are traditionally called the dog days of summer. The fresh buds and flowers of spring have faded as the relentless heat causes trees, people, and dogs to wilt under an unforgiving sun. Thankfully, the only withering from the last Sunday in June came from Duane Betts and his two musical pals, Berry Duane Oakley (bass) and Johnny Stachela (guitars), blazing musicianship when they played City Winery DC on the 3rd stop of their Dog Daze Tour.

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Preview: Duane Betts @ City Winery, 6/26/22

Duane BettsDuane Betts (Photo by Kaelan Barowsky)

Guitarist Duane Betts, son of the famed Dickey Betts of The Allman Brothers, has been making his own name in recent years, and he’s appeared quite a few times in the DC area with the Allman Betts Band in recent years.

Now, he’s performing solo in his Dog Daze Acoustic Tour at City Winery DC on Sunday, June 26.

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Live Review: The Bros. Landreth w/ Mariel Buckley @ City Winery — 6/15/22

The Bros. Landreth
The Bros. Landreth (Photo by BnB Studios)

One of my favorite singer-songwriters, Texas legend Ray Wylie Hubbard, likes to say, “The problem with irony is that not everybody gets it.” That’s a damn shame, because irony is all around us. Star Wars posited an invisible Force that surrounds all life and binds it together. Maybe it’s some Ashkenazic connection to Kafka motivating this statement, but I’m partial to the notion that the driving force of the universe might be irony.

One of those ironies surrounds the term “Americana” as a genre of music. You might think, given the word, that it’s specifically to, well, America. But that’s, at the very least, an oversimplification. The Band, who were, with the exception of Arkansas’s Levon Helm, all Canadian, are often considered the founders of Americana. That conversation could also include, reasonably, Bob Dylan, Gram Parsons, and Neil Young, who is also Canadian. 

Canada has a thriving Americana scene, and when the roots-rock duo The Bros. Landreth appeared at City Winery in DC recently, we get to see some of that in the states.

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