Preview: Indigo De Souza @ Black Cat, 4/20/22

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Indigo De Souza (Photo by Charlie Boss)

Last year, Indigo De Souza released Any Shape You Take, her sophomore album, via Saddle Creek receiving acclaim from outlets such as Pitchfork, New York Times, NPR, Stereogum, The FADER, Consequence, Paste and more.

Indigo tours her new music at Black Cat on Wednesday, April 20.

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Live Review: Andrew Marlin @ City Winery — 12/10/21

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Christian Sedelmyer, Josh Oliver, Andrew Marlin and Clint Mullican peform at City Winery in Washington DC on Dec. 10, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)

Not all solo endeavors are created equal. When an artist can be so prolific as to release two full-length albums in short time, each strong enough stand on its own as an instrumental work of beauty born out of pandemic desolation, it’s a clear sign of a human harvesting a trove of musical possibilities.

Andrew Marlin, the world-class mandolinist who co-leads the folk outfit Watchhouse with his wife and partner — guitarist and singer Emily Frantz — has already earned the respect of fans and fellow musicians far and wide for his achievements over the course of a decade with the band that earlier this year changed its name from Mandolin Orange.

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Live Review: Hiss Golden Messenger @ 9:30 Club — 12/8/21

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Hiss Golden Messenger performs at 9:30 Club on Dec. 8, 2021. (Photos by David LaMason)

MC Taylor, the singer/songwriter at the helm of roots music outfit Hiss Golden Messenger, isn’t afraid to let his California influences show. Though he now lives in Durham, North Carolina, he began his musical career on the Pacific Coast with alt-country band The Court and Spark, and his music is deeply indebted to Laurel Canyon folk-rock and the psychedelic country-rock of the Grateful Dead.

The Grateful Dead never played DC’s 9:30 Club, but HGM’s recent performance there was perhaps a glimpse into what that might’ve been like. After an opening set by Philadelphia singer-songwriter Rosali, HGM took the stage for a set that ran far more than two hours, with plenty of long instrumental jams. They even closed the evening with a cover of the Dead’s “Bird Song.”

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Preview: Hiss Golden Messenger @ 9:30 Club, 12/8/21

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Hiss Golden Messenger (Photo by Chris Frisina)

2021 Grammy nominee Hiss Golden Messenger are having a busy year! In June, the band released Quietly Blowing It via Merge Records, and they announced a tour that brings them to 9:30 Club on Wednesday, Dec. 8.

Then, Hiss Golden Messenger released a Christmas album, titled O Come All Ye Faithful, last month also via Merge.

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Live Review: Sylvan Esso @ The Anthem –11/11/21

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Sylvan Esso shakes out the numb at The Anthem on Nov. 11, 2021. (Photo by David LaMason)


Sylvan Esso, the most prominent electronic duo to emerge from Durham, North Carolina, have been keeping themselves busy in the time I had last seen them (holy cow, has it really been three years?!).

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Live Review: Town Mountain @ The Hamilton Live — 10/23/21

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North Carolina’s Town Mountain wraps up its 2021 touring schedule with a show at DC’s The Hamilton Live, Oct. 23, 2021. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

Check out the Twitter page for Town Mountain and your find a pithy bio that reads, “Bluegrass with swagger from Asheville North Carolina!” That swagger was on display when the band wrapped up its last run of touring in 2021 with a two-hour set at DC’s The Hamilton Live recently.

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Preview: Town Mountain @ The Hamilton Live, 10/23/21

Town Mountain (Photo courtesy IVPR)

Asheville-based group Town Mountain will perform in DC at The Hamilton Live on Oct. 23. Since their inception over a decade ago, Town Mountain has built a reputation for their rowdy, energetic performances, a testament to each member’s refined musicianship. They’ve continued to make waves in both the studio and the live music circuit; from holding spots on the Billboard Bluegrass and Americana Radio charts for weeks to appearing on the legendary Grand Ole Opry stage multiple times.

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Live Review: J. Cole @ Capital One Arena — 10/4/21

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J. Cole performs during his ‘Off-Season Tour’ at Capital One Arena on Oct 4, 2021. (Photo by Shedrick Pelt)

It’s the 4th quarter, you’re down by 2 and the game is on the line, who better to pass the ball to for the game winning shot other than Grammy award winning, label owner, and hip-hop Icon Jermaine Lamarr Cole aka J. Cole. 

After a two year live performance hiatus Cole returns to Capital One Arena in Washington DC Monday (Oct 4th) for the 8th stop along his highly anticipated nationwide outing The Off-Season Tour. The tour features frequent collaborator 21 Savage, upcoming Dreamville artist Morray, and rising comedian/social media star Druski. No surprise that the 20,000+ capacity venue was filled to the rafters with anxious Cole stans chanting “Dreamville, Dreamville, Dreamville!” in-between each openers set. The stadium was on fire quite literally and figuratively.

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Live Review: Watchhouse @ Wolf Trap — 7/7/21

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Watchhouse performs at Wolf Trap on July 7, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)

Watchhouse, the duo of singer-songwriter Andrew Marlin and multi-instrumentalist Emily Frantz, has been making roots music for over a decade, formerly under the moniker Mandolin Orange. They are sometimes called a “bluegrass duo,” but their music has also been characterized as folk and Americana. From North Carolina, Marlin and Frantz are clearly influenced the traditional Appalachian mountain music of their home state, but they’re not strictly acoustic traditionalists; their band includes an electric guitar and drums. 

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