Preview: Aaron Shneyer @ Pearl Street Warehouse — 5/15/22

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DC musician Aaron Shneyer will host an album release event for “Love Rebellion,” at Pearl Street Warehouse, Sunday, May 15, 2022. (Photo courtesy of aaronshneyer.com)

DC-based soul/roots musician Aaron Shneyer recently released his new album Love Rebellion, which culminates a 12-year journey jumping worlds between Israelis and Palestinians, jumping to some other continents, meeting himself, and finding life’s partner. 

Aaron will hold his official album release concert at Pearl Street Warehouse in DC’s wharf neighborhood on Sunday, May 15.  He will be joined on stage by a powerhouse group of DC’s finest jazz, gospel, funk, world music and reggae musicians.

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Live Review: Oliver Wood & Friends @ Rams Head On Stage — 4/20/22

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Oliver Wood leads his trio in a performance at Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis on April 20, 2022. (Photo by Casey Vock)

Solo endeavors for some musicians might almost seem predestined, and in some cases the effort can elucidate just how much a certain individual has meant to the success of the outfits they’ve represented.

And while no one would ever want him to stop making music with his brother, Chris, it comes as no surprise to see Oliver Wood — one half of the siblings comprising The Wood Brothers — embarking on his own this spring in support of his debut album, Always Smilin’.

Performing with his trio as Oliver Wood & Friends at Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis recently, Wood proved himself to be every bit the diverting, charismatic lead vocalist and the spirited, organically talented guitar player who’s helped make The Wood Brothers a pillar of alternative folk and roots music for almost 18 years.

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Live Review: John Moreland w/ Will Johnson @ Union Stage — 2/20/22

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John Moreland performs at Union Stage on Feb. 20, 2022. (Photo by David LaMason)

 “Play a sad one!” someone called out to John Moreland during his recent set at Union Stage. The irony here is that they are almost all “sad ones.” The Oklahoma resident’s songbook is filled with electric guitar-driven, minor choir-filled melodies and tales of hardscrabble, working class folks in America’s heartland. Moreland’s voice is gruff but tender, and he’s not afraid to bare his heart. Through his narrators, he reveals scars and vulnerability.

Though he plays a mixture of roots rock and Americana, Moreland didn’t follow the most straightforward path to this point. The foundation was there, in that his father introduced to the music of Neil Young and Creedence Clearwater Revival. But as he learned to play guitar and entered his teens, he followed a different route, playing in punk and metalcore bands. It was only when he was in his 20s that he began to gravitate toward the musical style he now favors.

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Live Review: Hollis Brown @ Rams Head On Stage — 2/6/22

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Hollis Brown performs at Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis on Feb. 6, 2022. (Photo by Casey Vock)

Few musical acts can pull off a cover album, let alone two — but when your group makeup is so dynamic and its skills so refined, bringing a tribute recording to life can yield fresh and forward-thinking interpretations of long appreciated music.

Hollis Brown, a seasoned indie rock band proud to be from Queens, is so distinct in its composition and so genuine in approach as to make that kind of effort happen with stylish nonchalance. Make no mistake, though — this group is anything but a “cover band.” Hollis Brown has recorded a venerated catalogue of its own music to position itself as one of the most authentic and astonishing acts to call New York home these days.

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Live Review: Tedeschi Trucks Band @ Warner Theatre — 2/4/22

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Tedeschi Trucks Band performs the second of six shows in their 2022 residency at the Warner Theatre in DC, Feb. 4, 2022. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

Tedeschi Trucks Band, affectionately known to its fans as simply, “TTB,” is back in DC for its annual residency at Warner Theatre, with six concert dates. The 2022 tour dates are the band’s first at the historic DC venue since the days immediately preceding the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. This lucky correspondent was able to attend and cover the second of six performances.

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Live Review: The Wood Brothers @ 9:30 Club — 1/26/22

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Chris Wood performs at 9:30 Club on Jan. 26, 2022. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

At one point during The Wood Brother’s set at 9:30 Club recently, I pointed out bassist Oliver Woods’s unusual technique on the electric bass. Rather than the standard overhand overhand method of playing the instrument, he was using the hand positioning that is standard for the guitar. That wasn’t the only thing that was unusual about Chris’s playing: When he plays the upright bass, he typically uses a bow.

This versatility and use of unusual techniques in Chris playing comes from his background prior to the formation of The Wood Brothers, He studied jazz bass at the New England Conservatory of Music, after which he cofounded the jazz fusion group Medeski, Martin & Wood. 

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Live Review: David Shaw @ Union Stage — 12/18/21

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David Shaw brings the heat to the Union Stage on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021. (Photo by David LaMason)

In the nearly two years of no live music, the act of witnessing someone who has a mastery of the stage puts everything into perspective. The importance of live music and the strength of what an artist can make you feel in that moment which makes what could be lost all the more tangible. Watching David Shaw, singer for the band The Revivalists, performing the final show of his debut solo album release at the Union Stage Saturday night I couldn’t help but think how vital live music is to -– if anything -– the emotional strength of so many.

Produced by Jack Splash (Kendrick Lamar, Alicia Keys, Solange, Valerie June, St Paul and the Broken Bones), Shaw’s self-titled debut is filled with personal songs but ones that can make you move. And on a chilly Saturday night, David Shaw and his band did just that — got things moving — at Union Stage in DC.

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Preview: David Shaw (Of The Revivalists) @ Union Stage, 12/18/21

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David Shaw (Photo by Alysse Gafkjen)

The Revivalists frontman David Shaw stops at Union Stage on Saturday, Dec. 18, to perform songs from his new solo album!

Earlier this year, David released his debut self-titled solo album, available via his own imprint Yokoko Records in partnership with C3 Records, and it’s “full of songs that tell stories with a full heart and a dance-able beat,” said NPR World Café.

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