Live Review: Charm City Bluegrass Festival @ Druid Hill Park — 4/29 + 4/30/22

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Allie Kral of Yonder Mountain String Band plays the fiddle at the Charm City Bluegrass Festival in Baltimore on April 29, 2022. (Photo by Casey Vock)

For all of the challenges Baltimore might face as a city, a deficiency of live music is not one of them.

A thoroughfare for musicians making their way up and down the East Coast, and one rich with its own dynamic scene and culture, Baltimore has quietly maintained if not improved its reputation as one of the country’s leading music cities since being propped up by media in 2000s.

The Charm City Bluegrass Festival, held April 29 and 30 at Druid Hill Park, provided two days and nights of delightful live performances, sun-baked revelry and choice local food and beverage options for more than 1,000 attendees Friday and 3,000-plus on Saturday, only reaffirming Baltimore as an important and potentially underappreciated hub for influential and busy musicians.

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Preview: Railroad Earth @ 9:30 Club, 3/24/22

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Railroad Earth (Photo courtesy IVPR)

Easing into their third decade as a band, jam-scene pioneers Railroad Earth have been hard at work keeping their bluegrass soul and rock and roll spirit alive and well. On April 22nd, the next chapter of RRE will unfold with the release of their new album All For The Song; a 10-song collection filled with tales of biblical road-trip rainstorms, Louisiana getaways, and losing their brother too soon.

Meanwhile, Railroad Earth return to DC for a show at 9:30 Club on Thursday, March 24.

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Live Review: Goose @ 9:30 Club — 3/1/22

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Rick Mitarotonda leads Goose on the first of back-to-back sold-out nights at 9:30 Club on March 1, 2022. (Photo by Casey Vock)

Few endeavors can be as damning out of the gate as charting the course of a jam band, a breed of live and recorded music that has — whether right or wrong — earned itself a preconceived reputation.

But take stock of the group that wears that tag like a badge of pride in grabbing the whole scene right by the short and fluffies.

Behold: Goose.

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Preview: Tedeschi Trucks Band @ Warner Theatre, 2/3, 2/4, 2/5, 2/17, 2/18, + 2/19/22

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Tedeschi Trucks Band (Photo by Caitlin Moore)

Following a very challenging yet creative year, Americana roots and soul powerhouse, Tedeschi Trucks Band, eagerly returns to the road in 2022. Highlights include a series of multiple-night residencies in Washington DC (6), Nashville, TN (4), Chicago, IL (4), Red Bank, NJ (3), Port Chester, NY (3), and a two-night engagement in New Orleans, LA. Led by renowned guitarist Derek Trucks and singer/guitarist Susan Tedeschi, these shows will feature the full, reunited 12-piece band including new drummer Isaac Eady.

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Preview: Railroad Earth @ 9:30 Club, 1/7/22

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Railroad Earth (Photo by Shredded Elements Photography)

(Editor’s Note: This show is being postponed due to concerns related to COVID-19. Stay tuned for a new date!)

Railroad Earth, the terrific jam band collective, play 9:30 Club on Friday, Jan. 7.

In 2020, Railroad Earth were poised to release All for the Song, a new studio album, but apparently the band held the release through the pandemic lockdowns that hit the United States that year.

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Live Review: Cris Jacobs’ A Very Jerry Christmas @ The 8×10 — 12/20/21

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Cris Jacobs performs at The 8×10 in Baltimore on Dec. 20, 2021, the first of A Very Jerry Christmas, his annual series of holiday shows paying tribute to Jerry Garcia. (Photo by Casey Vock)

Admirable and arguably underappreciated is the local musician who’s become known across the country but is so multi-talented, enthusiastic and flexible as to wear a variety of hats to connect with hometown concertgoers in so many different ways.

Cris Jacobs emerged on the Baltimore circuit 20 years ago in the bluegrass group Smooth Kentucky — a squad that still performs locally — and he cut his teeth at a time the city was earning its reputation for having one of the nation’s very best music scenes. The leader of The Bridge, a beloved jam band blending a world of different sounds, Jacobs was right in the thick of it for a decade at the front of this colorful outfit, forging relationships near and far and all the while expanding his own influences.

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Preview: Allman Family Revival @ The Fillmore Silver Spring, 12/10/21

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The Allman Betts Band (Photo by Kaelan Barowsky)

The fifth annual Allman Family Revival Presented by Gibson is underway and it arrives locally with a bang at The Fillmore Silver Spring on Friday, Dec. 10.

The tour is also excited to announce the artist additions of Charlie Starr (Blackberry Smoke) and Eric Krasno (Soulive, Lettuce) who will join the star-studded event in select markets. Previously announced performers include The Allman Betts Band, Robert Randolph, Donavon Frankenreiter, Lilly Hiatt, Cody and Luther Dickinson, Eric Gales, Joanne Shaw Taylor, Jimmy Hall, Lamar Williams Jr. The Allman Family Revival will also feature Kenny Wayne Shepherd, G. Love, George Porter, Karl Denson, Marc Ford, Ivan Neville, Art Edmaiston, Beth Hart, J.D. Simo, Jessica Lynn, and Ally Venable, Samantha Fish, Alex Orbison, and Kenny Aronoff.

The Allman Family Revival is a celebration of the life, spirit, and music of Gregg Allman, hosted by his son, Blues Music Award-winning Devon Allman, and anchored by his group, The Allman Betts Band.

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Live Review: Billy Strings @ The Anthem — 11/13/21

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Billy Strings gives a fiery performance at The Anthem, Nov. 13, 2021. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

Billy Strings made a triumphant return to The Anthem on Nov. 13, putting on a blazing hot performance for a sold-out crowd, some of whom had waited in line since 11am to get a good spot inside for an 8pm show. Billy’s only previous appearance at The Anthem was Feb. 1, 2019, as the opener for Greensky Bluegrass.

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Live Review: Midnight North @ The Hamilton Live – 10/7/21

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The Midnight North perform at The Hamilton Live on Oct. 7, 2021. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

After a two-year absence, Midnight North recently made a much-anticipated return to the DC area, even briefly renaming The Hamilton on the strength of the two “Graham(e)” bandmembers. The show featured an appearance by Phil Lesh, beloved Grateful Dead bassist and father of Midnight North guitarist and founder, Grahame Lesh. For two-plus hours, the “Gramilton” felt like an extended family reunion with fans from differing generations and bands reuniting after a too-long pandemic hiatus.

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