Live Review: Karen Jonas @ Jammin’ Java — 9/10/20

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Karen Jonas performs at Jammin’ Java on Sept. 10, 2020. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

Playing a parking lot is not exactly the dream of every working musician but in the age of Covid it may be the best gig in the world. The cool evening, the sweet scent of recent rain, and the soft city lights helped make Karen Jonas’ album release show on a recent night at Jammin’ Java if not a dream, a lovely end of summer outdoor show.

If one’s imagination was allowed to wander, even the fading daylight on the western horizon transported us to fiery desert sunsets as Karen and her band performed songs from her new album, The Southwest Sky and Other Dreams (Yellow Brick Road).

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Interview: Karen Jonas (New Album: The Southwest Sky and Other Dreams)

KarenJonas1Karen Jonas (Photo courtesy Big Hassle)

The voice of country music in the DMV is a big, bright voice that belongs to Virginia native Karen Jonas. A regular sight on DC concert stages, Karen releases her fifth album, The Southwest Sky and Other Dreams, on Friday, Aug. 28 via Yellow Brick Records.

On past tours, Karen has visited Texas, New Mexico, California, and their neighbors, scribbling notes while on the road. She drew upon those memories to animate the characters of The Southwest Sky and Other Dreams. The results are a little bit peppy and a little bit sad but always full of life.

Prior to the new album’s release, Parklife DC’s Mickey McCarter chatted with Karen about the record, her band, and her desire to get back on the road. And Karen plays a free outdoor album release show with her full band at Jammin’ Java on Thursday, Sept. 10.

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Livestream Preview: LeAnn Rimes @ StageIt, 9/6/20

Leann-RimesLeAnn Rimes (Photo courtesy the artist)

Last year, singer-songwriter LeAnn Rimes released her first-ever live album, Rimes: Live at Gruene Hall, which she recorded at the oldest continually run dance hall in Texas.

Now like all artists, LeAnn is unable to tour due to the pandemic, so she’s trading Gruene Hall for a home performance with her Sunday Service concert via StageIt on Sunday, Sept. 6.

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Livestream Preview: Tommy Emmanuel @ The Birchmere (Benefit), 8/15/20

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Tommy Emmanuel (Photo by Alysse Gafkjen)

Tommy Emmanuel, the acclaimed and Grammy-nominated acoustic guitarist, singer, and songwriter, hosts two livestream events with a portion of the proceeds benefiting two prominent independent venues in America. The first event on Saturday, Aug. 15, benefits The Birchmere in Alexandria, Virginia.

“Without some support, we are in danger of losing some of the independent venues that are a part of our culture and our local communities,” Tommy said.

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Song of the Day: “Crazy Alone (Quarantine)” by Drunken Prayer

Morgan 2.5 (Copy) Morgan Geer of Drunken Prayer performs at Mum’s in Baltimore on May 17, 2019. (Photo by Marc Shea)

Drunken Prayer is the one-man band creation of Handsome Family and Freakwater guitarist Morgan Geer. Morgan has released a new single by Drunken Prayer called “Crazy Alone (Quarantine).”

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Required Reading: Parallels in the Development of Country Music and Genre Fiction

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A peek inside the Country Music Museum (Photo by Adinda Uneputty)

Required Reading is Parklife DC’s essay series on music appreciation.

Country music and genre fiction (specifically science-fiction and fantasy, hereafter just “sff”) might not seem like they have much in common. In fact, they have developed along strikingly similar lines. Both are popular art forms subject to a certain devaluation, especially by cultural elites. And in both cases, there is a divide between a more conservative mainstream that appeals to the masses and more political progressive, artistically ambitious element.

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Interview: The Buckleys (@ Live Nation North American Virtual Tour, 4/9-4/11/20)

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The Buckleys (Photo by Francisco Tavoni)

Hailing from Byron Bay, Australia, sibling trio The Buckleys recently launched a virtual North American Tour, presented by Live Nation on its Live from Home platform. The Buckleys perform virtually for American audiences on Thursday, April 9, Friday, April 10, and Saturday, April 11.

Each day of shows is customized for a group of US cities, and DC is included in the April 11 performances.

A young band, The Buckleys have immersed themselves in country songwriting via Nashville. Parklife DC’s Mickey McCarter had the pleasure of chatting with Sarah Buckley (lead vocals, guitar), Molly Buckley (vocals, mandolin), and Lachlan Buckley (guitar) via Zoom. They discussed their experiences in Nashville, their upcoming album, and their web documentary series.

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