Live Review: Hiss Golden Messenger @ 9:30 Club — 1/15/20

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MC Taylor fronts Hiss Golden Messenger at 9:30 Club on Jan. 15, 2020. (Photo by Casey Vock)

Anyone entering the 9:30 Club would have known immediately they weren’t attending any ordinary show. After all, you weren’t really passing into the familiar concrete space of the popular club at the end of the U Street Corridor. Rather, you were stepping foot into some sort of old-time fortune-teller’s boutique, a sacred space for sorcerers or sorceresses, or maybe some secret place of worship.

But, for what, those unfamiliar with Hiss Golden Messenger were probably unsure.

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Live Review: Christopher Paul Stelling @ Rock and Roll Hotel — 11/30/19

CPS2 Christopher Paul Stelling shakes the Rock and Roll Hotel on Nov. 30, 2019. (Photo by David LaMason)

As someone who has called Florida, Colorado, New York, and most recently North Carolina “home,” it’s fitting that the music of Christopher Paul Stelling has a rambling, seat-of-the-pants feel that’s at once untethered and feels like coming home.

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Live Review: Sarah Shook & The Disarmers @ Pearl Street Warehouse — 11/23/19

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Sarah Shook & The Disarmers (Photo by Anthony Nguyen)

Chicago’s Bloodshot Records made its bones on a style of alt-country that mixes roots music and punk. While they hail from North Carolina, Sarah Shook & the Disarmers embody this rugged Windy City sound. Sarah’s clever songwriting reworks classic country themes and images with a 21st Century perspective, while her band backs her up hard and fast. Even at the last show of their last tour of the year, they played with energy, thrilling the packed Pearl Street Warehouse recently.

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Preview: Sarah Shook & The Disarmers @ Pearl Street Warehouse, 11/23/19

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Sarah Shook & The Disarmers (Photo by John Gessner)

When Sidelong, Sarah Shook & The Disarmers’ debut album, was released in early 2017, it quickly earned kudos for its blast of fresh, fierce honesty and sly wit. It was a welcome new voice in a genre too often mired in the staid and conventional. The band continued to solidify that reputation in 2018 with Years, their second album, along with nonstop touring.

Sarah Shook & The Disarmers return to Pearl Street Warehouse on Saturday, Nov. 23.

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Live Review: Mandolin Orange @ Lincoln Theatre — 11/14/19

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Mandolin Orange performs at the Lincoln Theatre on Nov. 14, 2019. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

Heartbreak and joy. The words kept running through my mind. For to experience Mandolin Orange’s music is to feel those two emotions simultaneously. Their melodies and words conjure longing and loss yet, somehow, always feel hopeful and bold. Andrew Marlin writes songs that express the universality of emotion we all feel. Their delivery, though, is what makes Mandolin Orange so irresistible. The quality of their intertwining harmony vocals; pure, melancholy and perfectly attuned, creating a contrast of tension and synchronicity.

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