Live Review: Caitlin Canty @ Jammin’ Java — 1/11/19

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Caitlin Canty performs at Jammin’ Java on Jan. 11, 2019. (Photo by Matt Ruppert)

As a musical descriptor, “Americana” has lost its meaning, its context, slowly bastardized by the easy metamorphosis of a sound into something bigger, like a mouse birthing all other mammals over time.

The same is true of the descriptor “roots”, which is a catchall for anything predisposed towards a folky sound with tones inspired by the more-distant past. Without context, they are nearly meaningless terms. These genres were giving their proper context in a powerful show by Caitlin Canty at Jammin’ Java on Friday.

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Live Review: David Wax Museum @ Union Stage — 12/30/18

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David Wax Museum performs at Union Stage on 12.30.2018 (Photo by Matt Ruppert)

David Wax Museum brought the band’s border-crossing, world-spiced Mexo-Americana party to the Union Stage in DC with barely 24 hours left in the year. The core (and married) duo of David Wax and Suz Slezak took to the stage with percussionist/ trumpeter Danilo Henriquez and bassist Ben Kogan, warming the audience on this December night, smiles beaming like spring flowers around the whole club, stage to bar.

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Live Review: Los Lobos @ City Winery — 12/21/18

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Los Lobos performs at City Winery on Dec. 21, 2018. (Photo by Ben Eisendrath/Instagram+Twitter: Insomnigraphic/GrillworksBen)

Initially formed by singer and guitarist David Hidalgo and guitarist/percussionist Louie Perez in 1973, the lineup of East Los Angeles band Los Lobos hasn’t changed in more than three decades. They know each other’s playing really, really well. And even though they scored a #1 hit with their cover of Ritchie Valens’s arrangement of the traditional song “La Bamba” on the soundtrack to the 1987 film of the same name, Los Lobos have never stopped being a blue-collar band in the very best sense: hardworking and professional about their performances — including one such performance at DC’s City Winery recently.

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Snapshots: OAR @ The Anthem — 12/15/18

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OAR performs at The Anthem on Dec. 15, 2018. (Photo by Shantel M. Breen) 

OAR lead singer Marc Roberge shouted, “It’s not going to rain on our parade,” changing up the lyrics a bit when performing their second song for the evening, “About Mr. Brown.” And so, while it may have been pouring outside, the mood inside The Anthem was bright as a summer’s day last weekend.  The band’s tour, Just Like Paradise, included 12 shows, ending with this show at The Anthem.

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