Live Review: Fitz and The Tantrums @ Conrad Washington, DC — 11/8/19

FitzTantrums15 Michael Fitzpatrick fronts Fitz and The Tantrums at the Conrad Washington, DC, on Nov. 8, 2019. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Fitz and The Tantrums came to town for a private show recently, and the band got things cooking behind the scenes and on the stage for an exclusive party at the Conrad Hilton Hotel Washington, DC.

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Live Review: Cris Jacobs @ The Hamilton — 11/8/19

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Chris Jacobs performs at Levon Helm Studios on Nov. 10, 2019. (Photo by Andrew Gardecki)

Baltimore’s own Cris Jacobs kicked off his set at The Hamilton Live recently with “Rooster Coop,” and there was indeed “something funky in the barnyard.” “Rooster Coop” perfectly captures the Cris Jacobs Band experience: it’s vaguely Americana, but with deep, funky R&B grooves. Cris is not the only artist to delve into “Americana soul,” as he calls it — Chris Stapleton’s style could be similarly characterized — but Cris also brings a jam band sensibility to the affair.

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Live Review: Bettye LaVette @ Sixth & I — 10/26/19

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Bettye Lavette (Photo courtesy APA)

Five-time Grammy nominee Bettye LaVette got off to a rocky start when she opened for David Bromberg recently at the Historic Sixth & I Synagogue. After her first number, she pleaded for the tech to turn down the echo and reverb. With it its high ceilings — Bettye called the room a cavern — Sixth & I’s sanctuary provides its own echo. As Bettye remarked, with echo on her mic, it sounded a bit too much like “heaven,” and not in a good way.

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Snapshots: BJ the Chicago Kid @ Baltimore Soundstage — 10/20/19


BJ the Chicago Kid performs at Baltimore Soundstage on Oct. 20, 2019. (Photo by Chris Castillo)

BJ the Chicago Kid released 1123, his third studio album, via Motown in July. He brough his soulful hip hop sound to Baltimore Soundstage recenlty, and Chris Castillo got some pictures.

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Preview: November Morning @ Bear Chase Brewing, 11/9/19

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Montree and Lisa J of November Morning at The Wharf on Sept. 28, 2019. (Photos by Mark Caicedo)

I’m regularly reminded of the perseverance, determination, and drive that musicians possess — the hours on the road, the uncertainty of audience acceptance, and even when it may all seem pointless, the energy to keep going. It’s not just new, young artists hungry for success who may harbor doubts; that insecurity can afflict anyone at any time. And although talent is indispensable, hard work, a creative spark, and the urge to share are key to overcoming those doubts.

But it sure doesn’t show if local DC duo Lisa J and Montree, together known as November Morning, possess any hesitancy.

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Snapshots: EarthGang @ Milkboy Arthouse — 10/17/19


EarthGang performs at Milkboy Arthouse on Oct. 17, 2019. (Photo by Chris Castillo)

EarthGang released Mirrorland, the band’s third studio album, via Dreamville in September. The Southern hip hop duo embarked on a tour and visited Milkboy Arthouse in College Park recently. Chris Castillo was there to shoot the show!

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