Don’t Miss: The Blasters @ Hill Country Live, 8/18/18

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The Blasters (Photo courtesy Ticketfly)

Known for their bend of rockabilly, punk, R&B, and blues, The Blasters took their place in musical history with their first four albums from 1980-85. Led by vocalist Phil Alvin, the gents returned in 2012 for a new album, Fun on Saturday Night. They are touring still as original members Bill Bateman (drums) and John Bazz (bass), as well as longtime bandmate Keith Wyatt (guitar), join Phil for a show at Hill Country Live on Saturday, Aug. 18.

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Don’t Miss: Kelly Willis and Chris Knight @ The Birchmere, 6/8/18

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Chris Knight (Photo courtesy Michael J. Media)

Kelly Willis has a new rockabilly-flavored album, Back Being Blue, released in May via Premium Records/Thirty Tigers. Chris Knight last released Little Victories via Drifter’s Church in 2012. The two team up for a double-blast of Americana at The Birchmere on Friday, June. 8.

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Music Park: The Claudettes @ Hill Country Live — 5/17/18

Claudettes Berit Ulseth fronts The Claudettes at Hill Country Live on May 17, 2018. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

The energetic performance of The Claudettes at Hill Country Live on Thursday defied the heavy hearts of its members as drummer Danny Yost lay home in Chicago, recuperating after suffering a stroke one week prior. Stepping into Danny’s seat behind the drums was Michael Caskey, who co-founded The Claudettes in 2011 with pianist Johnny Iguana but departed in 2016 due to other commitments.

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Don’t Miss: The Claudettes @ Hill Country Live, 5/17/18

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The Claudettes (Photo by Donna Drapeau)

The Claudettes released Dance Scandal at the Gymnasium!, the band’s third full-length for Yellow Dog Records and first to feature their touring lineup of piano, drums, bass guitar, and three singers, on March 23. The Claudettes visit Hill Country Live for a *free* record release show on Thursday, May 17!

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Snapshots: Sleepy Creek SpringDig @ Sleepy Creek on the Potomac (Berkeley Springs, WV) — 5/4-5/6/18

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Black Masala lead a parade at Sleepy Creek SpringDig 2018. (Photo by Chester Simpson)

Sleepy Creek SpringDig returned May 4-6, 2018 for its fifth year to the region’s favorite family-friendly venue, Sleepy Creek on the Potomac in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. The annual camp-out offers a stellar line-up of local roots music and national superstars, with added attractions such as playgrounds and parades. Chester Simpson took some photos of this year’s Sleepy Creek SpringDig, and folk musician Sally Mae Foster wrote some words to accompany them!

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Music Park: Reverend Horton Heat @ 9:30 Club — 12/3/17

ReverendHortonHeat08 Reverend Horton Heat performs at 9:30 Club on Dec. 3, 2017. (Photo by Neal Keller)

I don’t consider myself to be a Christmas Curmudgeon; I’m not a hipster Grinch. While I often rise to a level of pretentiousness that rejects many forms of sentimentality, I do embrace the spirit of the holiday season.

Having said that, I will go out of my way to avoid most Christmas music. I’ve got a few faves, but most of it inspires in me the same negative reaction that I feel toward showtunes. But the Reverend Horton Heat very much changed my attitude toward Christmas music at 9:30 Club on Sunday.

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Music Park: Morrissey @ The Anthem — 11/30/17

Morrissey-3_revisedMorrisey performs live. (Photo courtesy Shore Fire Media)

The audience swelled into a crowded concert hall at The Anthem to welcome their hero, Steven Patrick Morrissey, who greeted them with humble smiles and vigorous handshakes from the stage. In town to promote Low in High School, his 11th studio album released last month via BMG, Morrissey was in very good spirits, which made his 22-song set rather quite enjoyable.

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