Sierra Ferrell performs at the Red Wing Roots Music Festival VIII last weekend. (Photo by Chester Simpson)
The Red Wing Roots Music Festival was held over three days, on July 9, 10, and 11, beneath the towering 500-million-year-old rock formations of Natural Chimneys Park and Campground located in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
It was a breath of fresh air, to voyage out of our confined space for the first time to a music festival that’s near and dear to our hearts. COVID canceled all gatherings of this type last year, but gave us a new appreacation for what everyone had missed … sweet love of music.
Institution. If there’s any word to describe The Nighthawks, it’s one that connotes longevity, durability, strength, maturity, and endurance. And of all Washington DC’s institutions, none has the grace, consistency and joy that The Nighthawks delivered on a recent Friday night at Jammin’ Java in Vienna, Virginia.
Originally planned as a free outdoor show, the threat of rain moved the performance indoors. With the easing of pandemic-related restrictions, for many of us the concert became an impromptu, and welcome, return to indoor live music.
One thing you can say about The Wood Brothers, they sure know how to put on a show. And it was a celebration that seemed to signal good things to come.
It goes, really, without saying, but it’s been a tough year. For many in attendance at the Frederick Fairgrounds Sunday evening, this was the first time seeing a live performance since the winter of 2020 — a long thaw indeed! But as Oliver (guitar/vocals) and Chris Wood (bass/harmonica/vocals) and multi-instrumentalist Jano Rix hit the stage things started heating up. That’s both figurative and literal as the summer heat kept drive-in attendees going back for some much needed refreshments from their cars.
Acclaimed singer, songwriter, musician, and producer David Shaw recently released his first-ever solo singles from his forthcoming studio album due out in 2021 on Yokoko Records/C3 Records. A brand-new video for “Shaken” accompanies the release.
LAW Records, in conjunction with The Nowell Family Foundation, are due to release a very special compilation, The House That Bradley Built, on Sept. 4. The new compilation features never-before-released acoustic covers from the catalogue of Bradley Nowell’s band Sublime performed by 20+ bands.
From that compilation, today’s Song of the Day is Rockville roots rockers OAR’s cover of “Badfish,” which hails from Sublime’s first album, 40oz. to Freedom (1992).
DC Americana and blues artist Lauren Calve releases Wildfire, her new EP, on June 23. She recently released the first single from the album — a song called “Better Angels.” As Lauren has said, she took inspiration for the song from Abraham Lincoln’s inaugural address, which prompted her to reflect on the courage of people today dealing with modern challenges like COVID-19.
And, of course, as everyone has been in a pandemic lockdown, Lauren has been a regular performer in livestream concerts, spreading the word about her new music and finding creative outlets where she can. Parklife DC’s Mickey McCarter recently caught up with Lauren to ask her about getting music out during the lockdown, her approach to unique arrangements in her music, and her spiritual connections to the places that gave birth to roots and Americana.
Eric Hall (left) and Scott Terry (right) of Red Wanting Blue perform on stage at Gypsy Sally’s, May 4, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
Back in December of 2017, Eric Hall and Scott Terry from Red Wanting Blue went out on a two-week experimental tour with close friends, Tim Warren and Eric Donnelly from The Alternate Routes. They called the combined group ARWB and played small venues, crafting the show town to town, singing each other’s songs and sharing stories from their many years of friendship and travel.
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.