Live Review: Chris Smither @ The Hamilton Live — 5/17/19

chris-smither-choice1761LoRes
Chris Smither (Photo courtesy the artist)

It’s amazing what one man, with one acoustic guitar, sitting in a chair onstage, can do. What his facial expressions and gestures can add to his songs. How he can intoxicate you with just a glass of the dry wine of his wit. Seasoned musician Chris Smither injects so much life and so much humor into his live performance, yet with such understated taste. He did so much at The Hamilton Live recently.

Continue Reading

Interview: Chris Smither (@ The Hamilton Live, 5/17/19)

chris smither choice2730rthi res
Chris Smither (Photo by Jeff Fasano)

Singer-songwriter Chris Smither performs at The Hamilton Live on Friday, May 17. Chris released Call Me Lucky, his latest record, last year via Signature Sounds/Mighty Albert with distribution by Redeye. Recorded at Blue Rock Studio in the Texas foothills and packed with Smither trademark songs that offer commentary on the human condition with a wink of an eye, the album pulls from deep in the soul and a couple of surprise covers that remind us of Chris’ deftness as a song interpreter as he makes the songs his own.

Prior to his DC concert, Chris took a phone call from Parklife DC’s Mark Engleson, who asked him about his relationship with New Orleans and the blues, meeting your heroes, and his advice for the younger generation. [This interview has been edited for length and clarity.]

Continue Reading

Live Review: Della Mae @ The Hamilton Live — 5/1/19

DellaMae Della Mae performs at The Hamilton Live on May 1, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

Della Mae puts a fresh spin on bluegrass. In a genre traditionally characterized by a “high lonesome” sound, this Grammy-nominated lineup of all female dynamos is unlike anyone else. At The Hamilton Live recently, the band covered rock songs, like the Allman Brothers’ “Whipping Post,” with a boiling stew of strings, and they played string band music with the fervor and soul of blues rock.

Continue Reading

Live Review: Amanda Palmer @ National Theatre — 4/5/19

AmandaPalmer09 Amanda Palmer performs at National Theatre in DC on April 5, 2019.

Amanda Palmer made a deal with her audience at the National Theatre on Friday. If ever anyone became too sad during the course of her music and conversation presentation, he or she could simply exclaim, “Amanda, I’m too sad!” and the artist would respond to brighten things up with the opening chords of “Coin-Operated Boy” by her band The Dresden Dolls.

By our count, she was called upon to play those chords at least five times, which might not be so bad for a 4.5 hour show.

Continue Reading

Snapshots: Vertical Horizon @ City Winery — 1/18/19

Vertical Horizon @ City Winery, Washington DC, 01/18/2019
Vertical Horizon performs at City Winery on Jan. 18, 2019. (Photo by Paivi Salonen)

Vertical Horizon released a new album, The Lost Mile, last year, but it wasn’t really on the mind of frontman Matt Scannell when the band performed at DC’s City Winery recently. Instead, the concert spanned the career of Matt’s band, founded originally in DC, with a big focus on Everything You Want, its 1999 hit album, Everything You Want, according to Setlist.fm.

Continue Reading