Houston hip-hop legend Scarface’s Alive and Well Farewell Tour made its DC stop last week at a sold-out Howard Theatre to tear down the venue one last time. Performing along side his band Formaldehyde Funk, the night was a celebration of Scarface’s 34-year-long career as well as his appreciation for more time. After some recent serious health scares the 51-year-old rapper announced this would be his final tour, although he’s announced retirement in the past.
Maxo Kream accepts a birthday cake from Union Stage on April 2, 2022. (Photo by AJ Waugh)
I think I heard the name Maxo Kream around for at least a year before I ever heard his music, but from the first time I heard “Grannies” in 2017, it connected instantly. I downloaded his Punken project and the Houston storyteller has stayed a constant in my rotation ever since; so I had to be there when I saw Maxo’s Big Persona Tour was making its DC stop recently at Union Stage.
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.
Editor’s Note: Parklife DC asked its contributors to write essays about their favorite bands. These essays appear in an occasional series, My Favorite Artist, and provide our readers with insights into our bloggers, their motivations, and their approach to covering concerts.
In 1994, Lucinda Williams won her first Grammy Award for Best Country Song for “Passionate Kisses,” a track from her self-titled 1988 turn to Americana. Mary Chapin Carpenter’s cover of the song also won for Best Country Vocal Performance.
While Mary may have taken away the hardware for her performance of the song, Lucinda’s hardcore fans — like me — will always prefer her performance of the song.
Sunny Sweeney brought her Dysfunctional Family Christmas show to DC recently, with frequent partner Brennen Leigh joining her at City Winery. Accompanied by Sunny’s guitarist Harley, the pair traded off songs and stories, making for a highly entertaining evening.
Robert Earl Keen performs at the Lincoln Theatre on Dec. 6, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
“If you want Christmas music,” Robert Earl Keen told the Lincoln Theater recently, “go to the mall.” REK’s Countdown to Christmas Tour steered clear of holiday music until the encore, when he played the fan-favorite “Merry Christmas from the Family,” an ode to the dysfunction and craziness of the holidays.