Arlo Guthrie (Photo courtesy The Roots Agency)
Folk legend Arlo Guthrie celebrated a lifetime of music at The Birchmere on a recent evening billed as a commemoration of his debut 1967 album, Alice’s Restaurant. His set featured the titular “Alice’s Restaurant,” a 20-minute-or-so story song that involves litter, jail, and the draft. “If I could’ve imagined that song would be popular,” Arlo told the audience, “I would have made it a hell of a lot shorter.
Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles perform at Jammin’ Java on Feb. 21, 2020. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
“Without further ado,” Sarah Borges declared in her clipped Massachusetts accent, “we’re gonna play the rock’n’roll.” With that, Sarah and her band, the Broken Singles, exploded into a fast-paced, crunchy, punk-inspired number at Jammin’ Java on Friday.
Rachael & Vilray (Photo by Jonno Rattman)
Lake Street Dive singer-songwriter Rachael Price and composer, singer, and guitarist Vilray teamed up as the duo Rachael & Vilray. Rachael & Vilray released a self-titled debut album on Nonesuch Records recently, and they perform at Sixth & I in DC on Thursday, Dec. 12.
Kay Hanley fronts Letters to Cleo at Union Stage on Nov. 19, 2019. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
At about one-third of their way through their recent return to DC, Letters to Cleo played “I Got Time” from Go!, the band’s third studio album, at Union Stage.
Go!, as it turned out, was released in 1997, which was also the year Letters to Cleo last played in DC for an appearance at 9:30 Club, leading guitarist Greg McKenna to observe, “This song was new the last time we played in Washington.”
Highly Suspect performs at 9:30 Club on Nov. 17, 2019. (Photo by Rashad Polk)
Anyone in attendance at 9:30 Club can easily deduce that DC is dope. The logic is simple — according to the title of Highly Suspect’s brand new album, MCID, their crew is dope. It was evident at the band’s recent sold-out show, the band’s first D.C. performance since a two-night stand at 9:30 Club last year, that Highly Suspect’s crew has a large presence in the nation’s capital.
Lettuce (Photo by Casey Flanigan)
Genre-defying funk-jazz-soul-hip-hop-psychedelic-jam-art-rock-experimental-avant-garde musicians Lettuce head to The Anthem on their Elevate Tour, their headlining trek supporting the band’s latest studio album Elevate, on Friday, Nov. 22.
Letters to Cleo (Photo by Chris Sikich)
Power pop quintet Letters to Cleo came roaring back a few years ago with new music, and now Kay Hanley and company toast (or roast?) Christmas at Union Stage on Tuesday, Nov. 19!
Ray LaMontagne (Photo by Brian Stowell)
After a terrific opening set by the Canadian duo Kacy & Clayton, Ray LaMontagne took the stage at the Music Center at Strathmore recently. Accompanying him was Carl Broemel, the guitarist in My Morning Jacket. They began with “Be Here Now,” both playing acoustic guitar. The New Hampshire-born singer-songwriter followed with “Hold You in Arms,” from his first album, 2004’s Trouble.
Aerosmith performs at MGM National Harbor on Aug. 8, 2019. (Photos by Zack Whitford)
It’s fair to expect that anyone who has been working in the same job for nearly 50 years may have lost a step. The muscles aren’t as reactive, the passion for the job may have waned; father time is undefeated, and old age just catches up to everyone. Or maybe not.
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.