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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Live Review: Zepparella @ City Winery — 5/12/22

Zepparella Lead singer Anna Kristina (left) and guitarist Gretchen Menn (right) on stage during a Zepparella performance at City Winery DC, May 12, 2022. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

Air drums and air guitars were prominent among a crowd of nostalgic Led Zeppelin fans at DC’s City Winery recently as Zepparella, an all-female Led Zeppelin tribute band, played its first show at the Ivy City venue in over three years due a forced break in touring during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Live Review: Cody Canada & The Departed w/ Them Dirty Roses @ City Winery — 4/17/22

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Cody Canada & The Departed (Photo courtesy the artist)

The red dirt subgenre of country music is defined more by its geography — Oklahoma and Texas — than by a particular sound. It includes folkier singer-songwriters like Robert Earl Keen and the late Jimmy LaFave, neo-outlaws like Cody Jinks, and bands like Cody Canada & The Departed, who rock as hard as they twang. As the audience could see at City Winery in DC recently, Cody plays loud and lives the hard, rock-n-roll lifestyle.

In a particularly harrowing story Cody recounted at City Winery before playing “Easy,” he recalled how he was robbed in West Memphis, Arkansas. Cody suggested the audience avoid this city, as it is bad news; my only other familiarity with it is from the sad tale of the wrongly-convicted West Memphis Three, the subject of Lucinda Williams’s “West Memphis.” 

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Live Review: The Mastersons w/ The Whitmore Sisters @ City Winery — 3/23/22

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The Mastersons (Photo by Curtis Wayne Millard)

One day, as The Mastersons were driving down that endless highway on the way to another gig, a song came on the radio. As they tell the story, it was a sort of a sort generic Americana tune with a songstress going on about trains and whiskey. Eleanor Whitmore, who makes up half of the duo with her husband, Chris Masterson, said, “If I hear one more fucking song about trains and whiskey…”

This was seed for what would become the title cut of their fourth and most recent record, 2020’s No Time For Love Songs. They released it, and they took off on tour opening for alt-country heroes The Jayhawks, which came to a stop after just a few days. While the record got some strong buzz, the pandemic killed all their momentum in 2020, just as it did for everyone else in a similar situation.

The Mastersons regained that momentum significantly in a star turn at City Winery DC recently, when Eleanor headlined with Chris and then opened for herself with her sister.

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Preview: EXTC – XTC’s Terry Chambers and Friends @ City Winery, 4/5/22

00 EXTC Photo credit to Dommett Young Photography 5
EXTC (Photo by Dommett Young)

Terry Chambers — the legendary drummer of British rock band XTC — is back touring North America with EXTC (named and backed by XTC leader Andy Partridge) performing songs not heard live since the original band stopped touring in 1982.

EXTC have embarked on a US tour, and the band perform at City Winery DC on Tuesday, April 5!

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Around Town: Legacy New Wave/ Post-Punk Acts Performing Around DC Metro in 2022

MTVMoonMan
MTV Moon Man (Photo courtesy MTV)

Your editor came to truly love music as an MTV Kid, riding the UK new wave acts that fueled the Gen X imagination with their pop hooks and colorful music videos.

The breadth of legacy new wave/ post-punk acts performing around the DC metro area in 2022 is unprecedented.

While Parklife DC won’t cover all of these shows, we are excited that these performers who started in the ’70s and ’80s are enjoying so much demand at present.

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Live Review: Brent Cobb @ City Winery — 2/10/22

Brent Cobb - Main Pub 2019 - John Shearer - lo
Brent Cobb (Photo by John Shearer)

The director John Waters once said, “be a stealth bomber for the counterculture.” That quote came to mind as I watched Brent Cobb at City Winery in DC recently. With his smooth, relaxed, easygoing demeanor and delivery, it’s easy to forget just how much range he has, and how much of a rebellious spirit is just underneath the calm exterior. As a performer, Brent is equally capable of sustaining an audience’s attention sitting on a stool, playing a solo acoustic set, fielding requests, as he is with a full band, going into territory that borders on Led Zeppelinesque heavy metal. And even when he’s delivering a mellow song, if you listen closely to the words, you realize that Brent is most definitely stirring the pot.

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