Son Volt and its leader, Jay Farrar, command enormous respect in the world of alt-country and Americana. The band’s unparalleled presence continued to make an impression at 9:30 Club recently.
As in America, vast spaces and haunting, uninhabited vistas define the face of the Australian continent. Perhaps it lies in the nation’s geography and its history of colonization, a pioneer spirit shared with the United States, that explains the disproportionate thriving of country music half a world away from its Appalachian and Delta roots. Broad enough to encompass the country pop of Keith Urban and the Americana of Kasey Chambers, it also includes the singer-songwriter oriented, confessional alternative country rock of Julia Jacklin, who brought her music to Rock and Roll Hotel recently.
Rosanne Cash played a phenomenal concert of gorgeous, sophisticated songs and wonderful stories to a packed house of engaged and highly appreciative fans at Bethesda’s Strathmore Music Center on Friday night with her husband and musical partner John Leventhal at her side as bandleader.
Fans love fire-haired songstress Neko Case for being a quirky character. Between “This Tornado Loves You” and “Halls of Sarah,” a truly unusual conversation took place between Neko and her background singers at the sold-out Lincoln Theatre in DC on Saturday.
Growing up in the suburbs of Akron, Ohio, I would listen at night to Kent State Public Radio WKSU. On the weekends, that station would broadcast folk music. Saturday evening’s concert by The Milk Carton Kids thus was something of a return to my personal roots.
First Aid Kit delivered a memorable, delightful performance at The Anthem on Monday. Going well beyond the usual practice of a band hanging a banner with their logo, a massive screen displayed images to accompany the breathtaking vocals of Swedish sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg. This intricately-planned, stunning mixed-media presentation grabbed the audience and held their attention throughout the band’s performance.