Preview: Dwight Yoakam @ Capital One Hall, 1/13/22

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Dwight Yoakam (Photo by Emily Joyce)

Legendary multiple GRAMMY Award winner and star of film and television, Dwight Yoakam continues to sell out shows across the nation. He’s on his way to doing it again at the new Capital One Hall in McLean, Va., on Thursday, Jan. 13.

Act soon! Not too many tickets remain.

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Live Review: Robert Earl Keen’s “The Road to Christmas” w/ Waylon Payne @ Lincoln Theatre — 12/6/21

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Robert Earl Keen (Photo by EMG/Shutterstock)

Legendary Texas singer-songwriter Robert Ear Keen’s annual Christmas tour is highlight of the holiday season. Built around his fan-favorite “Merry Christmas From the Fam-O-Lee,” every year REK and his band design a show around a theme.

Past themes have included “Country Gold” and the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. This year, the theme was “The Road to Christmas.” Each year’s show presents a collection of REK originals and cover songs fitted to theme, and his recent performance at the historic Lincoln Theatre in DC was no different. Costumes were a part of the deal, too; this year, all involved wore white jumpsuits, meant to suggest mechanics. It was truly a collective performance, as REK let his band members sing cover songs of their choice.

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Live Review: Shovels & Rope @ Rams Head on Stage — 11/3/21

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Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent perform as Shovels & Rope at Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis on Nov. 3, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)

So much of the best music has been the result of human relationships gone wrong, gone right or our infinite quest to understand our own needs and desires.

Still, it’s rare to actually behold a successfully intimate relationship through music, one put on display for the sake of the songs and emotions that it can yield.

But at a recent stop in Annapolis at Rams Head on Stage, Shovels & Rope showed that it is indeed that kind of outfit, the result of a man — Michael Trent — and a woman — Cary Ann Hearst — who met almost 20 years ago and ignited a flame for one another and for making music together.

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Live Review: Suzy Bogguss, Terri Clark, and Pam Tillis @ The Birchmere — 11/3/21

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Terri Clark, Pam Tillis, and Suzy Bogguss (Photo courtesy Eventbrite)

Packaged as “Chicks With Hits,” country singer-songwriters Suzy Bogguss, Terri Clark, and Pam Tillis took the stage together at The Birchmere on Wednesday evening.

Throughout the evening, the women sang harmony for each other. There was a relaxed, laidback atmosphere of close friends sharing great songs. The Birchmere was packed, but the evening had an intimate feel. With just acoustic accompaniment, all three ladies really showed off their chops as superb vocalists. The evening was a great reminder of how, in many ways, the ’90s, for all that was wrong with them, were a real high-water mark for women in country music (and in the music business more broadly).

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Live Review: Orville Peck @ Baltimore Soundstage — 10/29/21

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Orville Peck stampedes through the Baltimore Soundstage on Oct. 29, 2021. (Photo by David LaMason)

What a night! What started out as a cold, windy, rainy evening ended Friday night in a sweaty, sold-out Baltimore Soundstage filled with cowboy hats and masks (both the Covid-19 kind and the Orville Peck kind). But I’m getting ahead of myself now, so I’ll back up a bit.

Orville Peck, the enigmatically masked cowboy originally from Canada whose music is steeped in that old Country of Tanya Tucker, George Jones, and Loretta Lynn. The last time I saw Orville Peck was a couple of years ago at the Union Stage (see a review of that show here) and his stature has grown exponentially since then.

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Live Review: Lori McKenna w/ Mark Erelli @ The Birchmere — 10/7/21

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Lori McKenna (Photo by Becky Fluke)

Lori McKenna is one of country music’s hit making songwriters, with songs covered by artists like Tim McGraw and Little Big Town. But she’s also an accomplished performer and recording artist in her own right, as she demonstrated recently at The Birchmere.

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Live Review: Elizabeth Cook with Waylon Payne @ Union Stage — 8/14/21

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Elizabeth Cook (Photo courtesy the artist)

Elizabeth Cook and Waylon Payne had two of my favorite albums released last year — Aftermath and The Queer, The Harlot, the Pusher and Me — so I was extremely excited about Saturday evening’s show at the Union Stage. Payne opened the show with a 45-minute solo acoustic set, and Cook headlined with her full band, Gravy.

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