Willie Nile (Photo by Christina Arrigoni)
Some musicians find their desire to make art stifled. Following a contract dispute with his original record label, Willie Nile spent a couple decades working, as he said, “a day job.” But Willie, who comes from a family of musicians — his uncles worked in vaudeville — never gave up on his dreams. He kept writing songs, and would occasionally perform on the East Coast and in Europe.
The Low Anthem (Photo courtesy Blind Ambition Management)
Haunting. Spectral. These are a few words that describe the folk-Americana of The Low Anthem, who appeared at Jammin’ Java recently. Following a switch to the Joyful Noise label, TLA has released a limited-edition vinyl pressing of their 2008 album, Oh My God, Charlie Darwin. They played the entire record, described as a “very sciencey gospel” album, along with some newer material.
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.
Allison Moorer (Photo by Heidi Ross)
Acclaimed singer-songwriter Allison Moorer released her autobiography Blood: A Memoir last month via Da Capo Press. She’s coming to perform at Jammin’ Java on Friday, Nov. 15, when she holds a conversation about her book with NPR’s Melissa Block and then follows the chat with a solo acoustic performance from the books’ accompanying album of the same name.
Robbie Fulks (Photo by Andy Goodwin)
Bloodshot artist Robbie Fulks had a special treat for his audience at Jammin’ Java recently. With him on tour was the distinguished violinist/fiddler (they’re actually the same instrument!) and singer-songwriter Jenny Scheinman. The two have a working relationship that dates back to at least 2013, appearing on each other’s albums. Each individually talented, they gelled together perfectly for the best duo performance I’ve seen this year.
The Way Down Wanderers (Photo by Keith Cotton)
Hailing from Peoria, Illinois, The Way Down Wanderers play bluegrass-inflected music that pulls also from classic rock influences. Following the release of sophomore album Illusions, the band performs at Jammin’ Java on Wednesday, Sept. 25.
Dante Frisiello and his band perform at Jammin’ Java, Sep. 9, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
Dante Frisiello was in a state of nirvana one night recently at Jammin’ Java in Vienna, Virginia. The progressive rock composer and guitarist released his debut album, Alignment, earlier in the year — and this evening was his third opportunity present the material to live audience. That alone would have been enough; but on this evening, Dante was on stage as the opening act for one of his favorite musical influences, instrumental rock drummer Virgil Donati. It was a dream come true.
Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles perform at Jammin’ Java on Aug. 4, 2019. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
Oh, the things we do for love… and I do love Sarah Borges’s music. Last Sunday, she and her band, the Broken Singles, made their way to Jammin’ Java in Vienna, Virginia on her current east coast run. Though my predicament may not have been worthy of a Game of Thrones plotline, I nonetheless felt a sense of desperation, as I raced the clock, and New Jersey Turnpike, attempting to make the 6+ hour trip from Connecticut to Virginia in five hours.
Sarah Borges (Photo courtesy Conqueroo)
Last year, Sarah Borges released Love’s Middle Name, her latest album, via Blue Corn Music. She’s been touring incessantly since then, and Sarah Borges & The Broken Singles come around DC again for a show at Jammin’ Java on Sunday, Aug. 4.
Tom Russell (Photo by Nadine Russell)
Two small paintings of equal size framed the stage at Jammin’ Java. Stage right, the face of Johnny Cash sat on one chair, and stage left, the face of Leadbelly, on the other. Folk/Americana musician Tom Russell began painting (seriously, at least) in 2003, and his work now appears in galleries and hotels. His works also appeared with him at Jammin’ Java recently.