Live Review: Squirrel Nut Zippers @ The Birchmere — 3/5/20

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Jimbo Mathus fronts the Squirrel Nut Zippers at The Birchmere on March 5, 2020. (Photo by Rashad Polk)

Laaaaadies and geeeentleemen, if you missed it, you missed the most carnivalistic display of vaudeville performance on The Birchmere stage in recent memory. Those undeterrable rascals, those curious geeks, barkers, and showgirls, the Squirrel Nut Zippers put on an antiquarian revival show of towering proportions.

SNZ’s tour is celebrating the 25th anniversary of their debut album, The Inevitable Squirrel Nut Zippers, and they played it through on a recent evening. Playing in order, they began with “Lovers’ Lane.” For “Danny Diamond,” female vocalist Cella Blue came out wearing a feather boa and waving a fan.

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Snapshots: Town Mountain @ The Hamilton Live — 2/1/20

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Town Mountain performs at The Hamilton Live on Feb. 1, 2020. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

Town Mountain brought its A-game to DC recently with a solid performance at The Hamilton Live. The evolutionary bluegrass band that plays with a rock ‘n’ roll feel performed songs from its vast catalog along with a few covers, including a bluegrass version of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire.”

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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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