Snapshots: River and Roots Festival @ Watermelon Park (Berryville, Va.), 6/23-6/25/17

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Attendees watch a performance at the River and Roots Festival in June. (Photo by Chester Simpson)

The fourth annual River and Roots Festival, hosted by Shepherds Ford Productions, was held outside of Berryville, Virginia (not far from Winchester) on Friday, June 23, through Sunday, June 25 with a lineup of bluegrass, Americana, and roots musicians. Check out these pictures of the festival!

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Don’t Miss: Mariachi Flor De Toloache (Opening for The Arcs) @ 9:30 Club, 12/14-12/15/15

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Flor de Toloache (Photo by Andrei Averbuch)

The Arcs are the new band helmed by Dan Auerbach, guitarist and vocalist of The Black Keys. They are a bit unusual in several aspects, being a kind of large garage chamber pop band.

One of the unusual aspects of the band is that they are backed by members of Mariachi Flor De Toloache in concert. The all-female mariachi band from New York City provides vocals, horns, and strings to the bluesy ensemble.

The Arcs are touring in support of their debut album, and they are bringing Flor De Toloache along with them as the opening act with two nights at the 9:30 Club on Monday, Dec. 14, and Tuesday, Dec. 15.

Founded by Mireya Ramos, Mariachi Flor de Toloache themselves released a self-titled debut album in April. The band today includes up to 13 rotating members who play traditional mariachi instruments: violin, trumpet, guitarrón (bass), and vihuela (five-string guitar). Mireya and co-leader Shae Fiol provide vocals, and Shae also designs the band’s outfits.

Watch Mariachi Flor De Toloache play Blue Note’s Subrosa in New York City for their record release party on April 4, 2015:

Taking its name from a poisonous night flower used as a love potion in Central America in the past, Flor De Toloache infuse various musical genres into their mariachi mix, including salsa, bachata, cumbia, gypsy music, and Latin jazz as well as pop, hip-hop, and soul, according to a profile of the band in the Wall Street Journal published earlier this year.

The first show on Monday, Dec. 14, sold out, but tickets are still available online for a second show on Tuesday, Dec. 15!

Mariachi Flor De Toloache
(Opening for The Arcs)
9:30 Club
Monday, Dec. 14
Tuesday, Dec. 15
Doors @7pm
$40
All ages

Music Park: Black Masala Indiegogo Campaign (Deadline: 5/15/15)

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Black Masala

Eight-piece Gypsy brass band Black Masala has started an Indiegogo campaign to raise money for their new album.

The DC swing octet plans to enter the studio in May, and so they are hoping to raise $5,000 by May 15. If Black Masala raises any extra money, they will put it toward publicity and travel costs in support of a tour to support the album.

“The past three years have been a wild ride for Black Masala, the eclectic brass band from Washington, DC. The band has quickly become a crowd favorite and is excited to get into the studio and record a brand new album soon,” the band said on its Indiegogo page.

Contributors can donate amounts from $5 to $1,500. Perks and prizes for donating include:

  • Black Masala’s New Album Bundles
  • T-Shirt / Hoodie Bundles
  • Singing Telegrams
  • Skype or In-person Music Lessons with the Band Member of Your Choice
  • Studio Invites to Sit-in on the Recording of Black Masala’s New Album
  • Custom Artwork and Clothing
  • VIP Passes to a Live Show of Your Choice
  • Live Performance/Private Party Packages and Educational Clinics Packages

Watch a video of Black Masala performing “Super Good” at the 9:30 Club on Jan. 10, 2015, while opening for the Pietasters:

Black Masala won two 2013 WAMMIE Awards from the Washington Area Music Association for Best New Artist and Best World Album of the Year. Its members include:

  • Mike Ounallah – Vocals, Drums, Percussion
  • Kristen Long – Vocals, Percussion
  • Monty Montgomery – Sousaphone, Vocals, Percussion
  • Yannick LePage – Accordion
  • Kirsten Warfield – Trombone
  • Steven Cunningham – Trumpet
  • Duff Davis – Electric Guitar
  • Tomas Drgon – Guitar, Vocals, Percussion

For more information on the band, visit its website at http://www.blackmasala.com. The band is offering a free track, “Bhangra V,” to visitors to http://blackmasala.com/dl. Enter code 2zci-ik3c.