Live Review: Midnight North @ The Hamilton Live – 10/7/21

MN17
The Midnight North perform at The Hamilton Live on Oct. 7, 2021. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

After a two-year absence, Midnight North recently made a much-anticipated return to the DC area, even briefly renaming The Hamilton on the strength of the two “Graham(e)” bandmembers. The show featured an appearance by Phil Lesh, beloved Grateful Dead bassist and father of Midnight North guitarist and founder, Grahame Lesh. For two-plus hours, the “Gramilton” felt like an extended family reunion with fans from differing generations and bands reuniting after a too-long pandemic hiatus.

Continue Reading

Live Review: Dead & Company @ Jiffy Lube Live — 8/18/21

Dead and Company - Jiffy Lube Live - 08.18.21 CVock 10
Dead & Company performs at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Virginia, on Aug. 18, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)

What’s not to be appreciated about a musical act — more so a community and now essentially a culture — that has stood the test of more than 55 years? Nearly six decades after a band calling itself The Warlocks randomly switched its name to Grateful Dead, the most current amalgamation of some of the group’s original members and carefully chosen friends can still draw thousands of people together for a kaleidoscopic celebration of music.

Dead & Company rolled into Bristow, Virginia, last week for a show at Jiffy Lube Live, their second stop of the current tour, and created two robust sets of songs that not only paid tribute to the large family of musicians and songwriters that is the Grateful Dead, but gave many of the band’s songs a refreshing new twist that brought out the best in the group gathered on stage.

Continue Reading

Interview: Joe Louis Walker (New Album: Blues Comin’ On)

1714-Joe-Louis-Walker
Blues Comin’ On, the latest offering from blues guitar legend Joe Louis Walker, was released on June 5, 2020, from Cleopatra Records.)

Blues artist Joe Louis Walker has been making music with his voice and guitar for over a half century. A 2013 Blues Hall of Fame inductee and a four-time Blues Music Award winner, Joe has learned from, been a mentor to, or simply played alongside just about everyone in the business.

His new album, Blues Comin’ On, which was released on June 5 by Cleopatra Records, features guest performances by fellow blues icons Keb’ Mo’, Eric Gales, and Albert Lee, Detroit soul singer Mitch Ryder, harmonica virtuoso Lee Oskar, Hot Tuna’s Jorma Kaukonen, punk rock vocalist Charlie Harper, and legendary session player Waddy Wachtel among others.

Parklife DC’s Ari Strauss had the opportunity recently to speak with Joe by phone to discuss the new album, his career, and the many wonderful artists he’s played with over the years.

Continue Reading

Live Review: Dead Kennedys @ 9:30 Club — 3/11/20

Dead Kennedys @ 9:30 Club, Washington DC, 03/11/2020
Dead Kennedys frontman Skip Greer impressed with flair and deadpan comedy at 9:30 Club on March 11, 2020. (Photo by Paivi Salonen)

Coronavirus couldn’t stop our District’s vulnerable punk population from coming out in droves to support one of the scene’s most iconic bands, Dead Kennedys. Despite increasingly dire news around the global pandemic, and a declaration of emergency from DC Mayor Muriel Bowser mere hours before doors opened, 9:30 Club was packed to near capacity with diehard DK fans eager to see these living legends in the flesh.

Continue Reading

Preview: Dead Kennedys @ 9:30 Club, 3/11/20

DeadKennedys2
Dead Kennedys (Art courtesy Eventbrite)

The Dead Kennedys, one of the most infamous punk bands of all time, celebrated their 40th anniversary last year with the release of a limited edition box set last year, published via Manifesto Records.

To further celebrate 40 years, the punk legends perform at 9:30 Club on Wednesday, March 11.

Continue Reading

Live Review: Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker @ 9:30 Club — 1/18/20

CamperVan4 David Lowery fronts Camper Van Beethoven at 9:30 Club on Jan. 18, 2020 (Photo by David LaMason)

As I was listening to Camper Van Beethoven at the 9:30 Club recently, I was reminded of the title of a Spotify playlist of ’80s alternative rock: Left of the Dial. To the crowd’s delight, the band opened with their delightfully odd cult hit “Take the Skinheads Bowling,” from their 1985 debut LP, Telephone Free Landslide Victory.

Continue Reading

Preview: Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven @ 9:30 Club, 1/18/20

Cracker1
Cracker’s David Lowery and Johnny Hickman (Photo by Bradford Jones)

Why front one band when you can front two? That’s surely the philosophy of David Lowery — guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, and mathematician — who heads both Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven. As is David’s habit in the past several years, he’s bringing both bands to 9:30 Club for a double bill on Saturday, Jan. 18.

Continue Reading