For nearly 40 years, Bob Pollard has been leading Guided by Voices from the early lo-fi days to the slick production of major label offerings and then to the current powerhouse of Kevin March on drums, Doug Gilliard and Bobby Bare Jr. on guitar, and Mark Shue on bass.
For the past several years, Guided by Voices has released, on average, two records of new material every year (though now it’s really closer to three albums per year), and they are putting out some of their strongest material perhaps in that entire period. How does this band, who has released six albums just since the start of the Covid pandemic (and seven with July’s Tremblers and Goggles by Rank), keep things fresh? The answer could be seen in Guided by Voices most recent visit to the 9:30 Club.
“Gem City” is an unusual nickname for Dayton, Ohio. Perhaps, it’s a nod to a time when the city churned out the who’s who of funk. Artists like Zapp, Roger Troutman, Heatwave, and Slave, to name a few. This past Memorial Day Weekend, The Birchmere in Alexandria, Virginia, welcomed Dayton’s crown jewel of funk and R&B — the Ohio Players.
Joshua Radin came to music late, not picking up a guitar until he was 30. But he was a natural, easily composing songs soon after he started playing. His music was found quickly by Zach Braff, who used it in the TV sitcom Scrubs, boosting Radin’s profile, which he since maintained.
I spoke to Radin a few weeks ago, and he emphasized how much he enjoys connecting with audiences. These past two years, he’s really missed being on stage in front of a crowd, and it was clear, during his performance at The Birchmere recently, that this was where he belonged.
Joshua Radin is a singer-songwriter, originally from Shaker Heights, Ohio, who has been writing songs, performing, and recording music for the last 17 years. He’s appearing at The Birchmere on Friday, March 18. Josh and talked to Parklife DC’s Mark Engleson about their shared Ohio roots, finding your creative heart, and life on the road.
Red Wanting Blue frontman, Scott Terry performs at Tally Ho Theater in Leesburg, VA, Jan. 28, 2022. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
Red Wanting Blue’s “Hey 22!” tour rolled through Leesburg, Virginia, recently for a performance at Tally Ho Theater. Remarkably, for the band who recently celebrated its 25th anniversary and regularly plays over 200 shows a year, it was their first ever visit to Leesburg and the Tally Ho.
Dwight Yoakam has a distinctive take on country music. He started building his career in Los Angeles, during the height of the urban cowboy craze in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Though everyone wanted to book country acts, his version, which he calls “hard country,” wasn’t always welcome. An acolyte of Bakersfield, California artists like Merle Haggard and even moreso Buck Owens, Dwight is an old-school honky-tonker with a modern perspective.
On his podcast Cocaine & Rhinestones, Tyler Mahan Coe has suggested that there’s no dividing line between honky-tonk and rock ‘n roll. Dwight Yoakam’s career is the proof of this idea. When he didn’t fit in with the urban cowboy scene, he created his own place in Los Angeles’s burgeoning punk and roots rock community, often playing with acts like X, The Blasters, and Los Lobos. He even toured with hardcore punks Husker Du.