Live Review: The Districts @ 9:30 Club — 3/10/20

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The Districts perform at 9:30 Club on March 10, 2020. (Photo by Casey Vock.)

Sometimes an album comes to life when a band needs it most, and the tour to support it is how the group actually reaps the spiritual, and financial, benefits of their work.

The Districts’ latest release — You Know I’m Not Going Anywhere — is said to have almost never happened: the band had nearly exhausted itself after an intense few years on the road and seemed to be searching for direction when founder and head singer Rob Grote isolated himself and put pen to pad to nurture the words that would comprise the newest LP.

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Live Review: Slaughter Beach, Dog @ Baltimore Soundstage — 2/8/20

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Slaughter Beach, Dog performs at Baltimore Soundstage on Feb. 8, 2020. (Photo by Casey Vock)

Musicians naturally morph over the course of their careers — their tastes evolve, they’re shaped by their experiences, influences can come and go.

That change tends to be gradual and isn’t easily identified or documented. You can dissect only what the artist offers up for public consumption.

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Snapshots: G. Love & Special Sauce @ The Hamilton Live — 1/30/20

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G. Love and Special Sauce perform at The Hamilton Live, Jan. 30, 2020. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

Eclectic blues/hip-hop artist G. Love was in DC recently with his band, Special Sauce, to play two shows at The Hamilton Live. The performances were part of a winter tour in support of his new album The Juice, which was released Jan. 17 via Philadelphonic/ Thirty Tigers.

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Live Review: Son Little @ Rock and Roll Hotel — 11/30/19

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Son Little performs at Rock and Roll Hotel on Nov. 30, 2019. (Photo by David LaMason)

Philadelphia artist Son Little (the alias of Aaron Livingston), a sometime collaborator with The Roots and alternative hip-hop artist Rjd2, combines blues, soul, and hip-hop in his unique singer-songwriter style. Playing solo on acoustic and electric guitar, Son Little entertained a post-Thanksgiving crowd of music lovers at the Rock and Roll Hotel on Saturday.

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Live Review: David Bromberg @ Sixth & I — 10/26/19

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David Bromberg (Photo by Joe del Tufo)

Noted roots artist David Bromberg appeared in a big band format at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue recently. His band included a horn section—trumpet, trombone, and sax — and strings — fiddle and banjo. But David honored his roots in the blues — he’s a protégé of the Rev. Gary Davis — growling and howling through numbers like his opener, which I think, was Robert Johnson’s “Walkin’ Blues.”

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Live Review: The Ocean Blue @ Union Stage — 10/4/19

TheOceanBlue26 David Schelzel fronts The Ocean Blue at Union Stage on Oct. 4, 2019. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Here’s how I like to imagine it happened: Teenaged David Schelzel stood on an overlook above Hershey Park in Pennsylvania and pondered the decade that was coming to a close. “I’m going to take the very best of the ’80s and synthesize it into one band,” he said, reaching deep into England, where the very best new wave and psychedelia had emerged, and scooping all of those sounds into one impossibly sweet band.

And so was born The Ocean Blue, which published its first self-titled album in 1989, and captured the zeitgeist of cool alternative music in one quartet (or so we say!). Quite active in recent years, The Ocean Blue again reminded us just how cool they are in a sold-out show at Union Stage last week.

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Snapshots: Breaking Benjamin @ Jiffy Lube Live — 8/22/19

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Benjamin Burnley fronts Breaking Benjamin at Jiffy Lube Live on Aug. 22, 2019. (Photo by Jules McNamara)

Multi-platinum rock band Breaking Benjamin announced a 2019 headline tour across North America back in February, and they made that announcement a local reality at Jiffy Lube Live in a sizzling summer show recently. Jules McNamara was there to shoot the show.

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