Rodrigo y Gabriela perform at The Anthem on Oct. 6, 2021. (Photo by Rashad Polk)
Some of the best art is created at the intersection of different cultures and traditions. Rodrigo y Gabriela, the Grammy-winning guitar duo who played The Anthem recently, represent just such an intersection. Natives of Mexico City, Mexico, Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quinto grew up under the dual influence of heavy metal (especially Metallica, but also Slayer, Overkill, Testament and Megadeth) and Latin music (including flamenco, as well as the traditions of their home country).
David Goodrich performs at Gray Ghost Vineyards on Sept. 6, 2020. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
Live performances are returning to the DC metro area. The return to “normalcy,” though, has been achingly slow and many argue we are still nowhere near normal. But despite the continued shutdown of many of the region’s larger indoor music venues, the past few weeks have seen many local artists performing outdoor gigs at Jammin’ Java and the State Theatre. In addition, ever resourceful musicians have been performing sidewalk and porch shows, at drive-in concerts and even outdoor shopping malls. Of course, live streaming continues unabated, but as I’ve written before, watching a performance on the screen just doesn’t compare to being in the same room, in front of the players, enveloped by the music.
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.
Bill Frisell Trio (Photo by Monica Jane Frisell)
Acclaimed guitarist Bill Frisell has announced his newest project Valentine — the debut recording of his trio with bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Rudy Royston — for release Aug. 14 on Blue Note Records.
Bill has also released the album’s closing track “We Shall Overcome,” the Civil Rights anthem that he holds dear as a message of hope in all dark times. “I’ve been playing the song for years, and I’m going to keep playing it till there is no need anymore,” he said. “I can’t help but hope that day will come.”
L-R: G.E. Smith, Tom Principato, and Jim Weider; The Masters of the Telecaster perform at Rams Head on Stage, July 26, 2019. (Photos by Ari Strauss/ aristrauss.com)
Jim Weider and G.E. Smith, the Masters of the Telecaster, came to town recently to join with local guitar legend Tom Principato for a pair of back-to-back weekend gigs at Rams Head on Stage in Annapolis and City Winery in Ivy City DC. The performances were billed as a tribute to Roy Buchanan, another DC guitar legend and pioneer of the Telecaster sound.
The Masters of the Telecaster perform at City Winery DC on June 30, 2018. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
Known collectively as the Masters of the Telecaster, Jim Weider, Tom Principato, and GE Smith celebrate the Fender Telecaster in two shows in the greater DC area this weekend — at Rams Head on Stage on Friday, July 26, and City Winery DC on Saturday, July 27. Each of the two shows will pay special tribute to a DC-area musician who owed their musical legacy to the Telecaster guitar.
Martin Barre performs at The Birchmere on April 22, 2019. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
“Could you get behind a slow marching band, and join together in the passing, of all we shared through yesterdays, in sorrows neverlasting” Slow Marching Band – Jethro Tull
Martin Barre performs at Jammin’ Java on Oct. 14, 2018. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
“I just want to be a good musician, I want to be a good songwriter, I want to get better.”
Refreshing words coming from a musician who’s been at the top of his game for over 50 years. Martin Barre is well-known as the long-time lead guitarist (1969-2012) for Jethro Tull. I spoke with Martin in anticipation of his “Martin Barre Celebrates 50 Years of Jethro Tull Tour,” which will come to the DC Metro area for two shows on April 22 at The Birchmere and April 23 at Rams Head on Stage. (This interview has been edited for clarity and flow.)
John Knowles and Tommy Emmanuel (Photo by Allen Clarke)
The sign on the marquee read, “Tommy Emmanuel, CGP,” and below that, “John Knowles, CGP.” CGP stands for Certified Guitar Player, a designation bestowed by master player Chet Atkins on a small number of extremely talented guitarists. Only three remain, and, with Chet having passed in 2001, there won’t be any more. And you likely never heard a show like the show played by two of these last CGPs at The Birchmere on Tuesday.
Tommy Emmanuel and John Knowles (Photo by Allen Clarke)
Tommy Emmanuel and John Knowles released a collaborative instrumental album, Heart Songs, via CGP Sounds/Thirty Tigers on Jan. 11! The duo has hit the road to bring their music to The Birchmere together for two dates on Tuesday, Jan. 22 and Wednesday, Jan. 23.