Lucinda Williams (Photo by Danny Clinch)
Editor’s Note: Parklife DC asked its contributors to write essays about their favorite bands. These essays appear in an occasional series, My Favorite Artist, and provide our readers with insights into our bloggers, their motivations, and their approach to covering concerts.
In 1994, Lucinda Williams won her first Grammy Award for Best Country Song for “Passionate Kisses,” a track from her self-titled 1988 turn to Americana. Mary Chapin Carpenter’s cover of the song also won for Best Country Vocal Performance.
While Mary may have taken away the hardware for her performance of the song, Lucinda’s hardcore fans — like me — will always prefer her performance of the song.
Ken Stingfellow performs at the Bright Box Theater on March 7, 2020. (Photo by Marc Shea)
The Bright Box Theater is a little gem tucked away on the Pedestrian Mall in Old Town Winchester, Virginia. In addition to the main theater, there is a small area on the second floor called Out of the Box that hosts intimate events. Out of the Box recently featured Ken Stringfellow. Ken not only founded the alternative rock band The Posies, but has also played for many years with REM and Big Star, in addition to releasing several solo albums.
Sarah Harmer (Photo by Vanessa Heins)
Sarah Harmer thanked The Birchmere “for having faith after 10 years that I can still sing.” The critically acclaimed Canadian singer-songwriter recently released her first album in as long, Are You Gone. Over the last decade, she stepped away from music and was engaged in environmental activism. In 2005, Sarah found PERL, Protecting Escarpment Rural Land, to campaign to protect the Niagara Escarpment against a gravel development.
Nora Jane Struthers performs at Jammin’ Java on Feb. 21, 2020. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
A fair number of people who came out to Jammin’ Java on Friday night were already familiar with Nora Jane Struthers. She introduced herself as “hailing from the great country and bluegrass state of…” and the audience chimed in “New Jersey.”
Sierra Hull (Photo by Gina Binkley)
In her second appearance at the Strathmore Music Center, mandolin virtuoso Sierra Hull and her ultra-talented band recently opened for ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro. The former child prodigy, who recorded her first album at the age of 11, packed a lot of variety into her set, with vocal and instrumental numbers, as well as solo pieces where she accompanied herself on the acoustic guitar.
Josh Rouse (Photo by Manolo Millan)
Rootsy singer-songwriter Josh Rouse recently released The Holiday Sounds of Josh Rouse, although he never thought he would release a Christmas album! And he’s going one step further to play Christmas songs at Jammin’ Java on Thursday, Dec. 12.
Chris Knight (Photo courtesy Thirty Tigers)
Slaughters, Kentucky native Chris Knight makes gritty, powerful country music. Eschewing the country pop of the Nashville machine, he records sparsely produced albums that draw the listener’s attention to his compelling lyrics. Live, he performs solo and acoustic, delivering the lyrics with fittingly gruff vocals, as he did at City Winery DC recently.