Best of Year: Top 12 Musical Moments of 2020 by David

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Grace Potter performs at The Anthem (Photo by David LaMason)

What can be said for a year that began with so much promise but ends, well, like we are all feeling stuck in an alternate dimension.  Looking back on my calendar which went so off the rails after two and a half months in, it really does look like a glimpse into a world that should have been but one that’s now alternate history. 

But even in this bizarro world of COVID-19 there was some great music created at homes, online, socially distanced, and even on the streets!  There is nothing that can beat the feel of a crowded show, the thrill of being there, and the joyous exhaustion that follows, but this past year we saw people pulling together – giving what they could – to keep live music alive despite every roadblock tossed in its way.

Since these lists are often limited by “best of” or Top 10, I want to include, well, all of those performances I caught this past year.  There weren’t many, but each one I relive when I hear a song from a brilliant artist I’ve seen or go through photos from the past year. Here are my Top 12 Musical Moments of 2020 in chronological order.

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Live Review: J. Roddy Walston and Palm Palm @ Ottobar — 1/19/20

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J. Roddy Walston and Palm Palm rock a sold-out Ottobar on Jan. 19, 2020. (Photo by David LaMason)

In October of last year, J. Roddy Walston and the Business, posted through social media that “after 14 years, four albums and 889 shows of being creatively betrothed solely to each other, now feels like the time to explore other possibilities…” After sold-out sets in Baltimore and Richmond, J. Roddy Walston and the Business and their raucous brand of Southern rock and Stones-inspired music was on an indefinite hiatus.

But the story doesn’t end there.

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Preview: J. Roddy Walston @ Ottobar, 1/19/20

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J. Roddy Walston (Photo courtesy Eventbrite)

For nearly two decades he’s been the “J. Roddy Walston” of the “and the Business.” Now he’s just J. Roddy, and a whole rack of songs… and a moving truck full of synths, pianos, tape machines, and sequencers. Catch him in a solo live show at Ottobar on Sunday, Jan 19!

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