Live Review: Allison Moorer @ Jammin’ Java — 11/15/19

Lincoln Center’s American Songbook presents Shelby Lynne & Allison Moorer
Allison Moorer performs at the Lincoln Center’s American Songbook on Feb. 8, 2018. (Photo by Steven Pisano)

Allison Moorer has written a new book, Blood, and released a new companion album of the same title. The book and album are a meditation on coming terms with her family legacy: In 1986, when she was 14, following a long history of abuse, her father shot her mother, then turned the gun on himself. Her sister, fellow musician Shelby Lynne, was 17.

Melissa Block, special correspondent at NPR, moderated a discussion with Allison about the book and album at Jammin’ Java recently.

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Live Review: Mandolin Orange @ Lincoln Theatre — 11/14/19

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Mandolin Orange performs at the Lincoln Theatre on Nov. 14, 2019. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

Heartbreak and joy. The words kept running through my mind. For to experience Mandolin Orange’s music is to feel those two emotions simultaneously. Their melodies and words conjure longing and loss yet, somehow, always feel hopeful and bold. Andrew Marlin writes songs that express the universality of emotion we all feel. Their delivery, though, is what makes Mandolin Orange so irresistible. The quality of their intertwining harmony vocals; pure, melancholy and perfectly attuned, creating a contrast of tension and synchronicity.

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Interview: Rising Appalachia (@ The Hamilton Live — 11/20/19)

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Leah and Chloe Smith of Rising Appalachia (Photo courtesy of Rising Appalachia)

Rising Appalachia is a self-made success story. Sisters Leah and Chloe Smith — each world travelers for nearly two decades — merge multiple global music influences with their own Southern roots to create a unique world folk sound. The band has built a legion of listeners through relentless touring, tireless activism, and no small degree of stubborn independence.

After self-producing their first six albums, Leah and Chloe opted for the first time to team up with someone outside the band, legendary singer-songwriter/producer Joe Henry, to produce their seventh album, Leylines.

Parklife DC’s Ari Strauss emailed Chloe to ask about the new album and what is in store for the band’s upcoming show at The Hamilton Live on Wednesday, Nov. 20.

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Live Review: North Mississippi Allstars @ The Hamilton Live — 11/13/19

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North Mississippi Allstars (Photo by Tom Bejgrowicz)

“World boogie” came to the District recently. That’s the term the North Mississippi Allstars use for their Hill Country blues-based, hard-rocking, seriously funky style. For some three hours, the NMA jammed out in front of a packed house at The Hamilton. Based in tradition but looking to the future, the NMA showed the audience just what is possible when creative, forward-looking artists put their spin on roots music.

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Live Review: John Hiatt @ The Birchmere — 11/12/19

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John Hiatt (Photo by Jim McGuire)

In a solo acoustic performance, John Hiatt used his substantial charm to engage the sold-out crowd at The Birchmere Tuesday. And, of course, the songs. John played songs that have been covered by Buddy Guy (“Feels Like Rain”), Bonnie Raitt (“Thing Called Love”), and I’m With Her (“Crossing Muddy Waters”).

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Live Review: Big Thief @ 9:30 Club — 11/10/19

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Big Thief performs at the 9:30 Club on Nov. 10, 2019. (Photo by David LaMason)

Big Thief is one of those bands that is as true to the idea of a band as can be. Each time I’ve seen them, I come away with the feeling that each piece of the whole works so well together. And that cohesion over each record seems to get tighter and seem like second nature. Even when, as she did Sunday night to a sold out audience at the 9:30 Club, singer/guitarist Adrianne Lenker started the evening solo for a newish song “Zombie” (which has been in rotation for their live shows for the last year or so). The rest of the band focused their attention as if performing along through some telepathy.

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