Snapshots: Marcus King and Neal Francis @ MGM National Harbor — 9/10/22


Marcus King performs at the theater at MGM National Harbor on Sept. 10, 2022. (Photo by Casey Vock)

It’s not every day you see musicians and comedians team up on stage, but when it happens, it can offer a refreshed approach for both types of entertainers to connect with their audiences.

Longtime friends, ascending guitar god Marcus King and comedian Dean Delray, well known on the national comedy circuit, had said to one another for years that they would one day tour together.

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Live Review: Susto @ The Hamilton Live — 2/26/22

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Justin Osborne leads Susto in a performance at The Hamilton Live on Feb. 26, 2022. (Photo by Casey Vock)

When a musician has lived through real heartache and reconciled their missteps, or at the very least tried, it gives their words a resolve and a credibility that can immediately resonate with listeners hunting songs of substance.

Justin Osborne, the lead songwriter and singer of the band Susto, owns a voice with an undeniable capacity that convinces the listener to truly hear what he’s saying and how he’s saying he, to let it absolutely gut them and leave them with an exhausted heart. Susto’s songs amount to raw and painfully honest descriptions of love and hardship and that perspective is no doubt driven by Osborne’s own eventful personal journey. Susto explored that journey in their recent appearance at The Hamilton Live in DC.

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Preview: SUSTO @ The Hamilton Live, 2/26/22

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SUSTO (Photo by Sully Sullivan)

Last year, Americana septet SUSTO returned with Time in the Sun, the band’s latest record, via New West Records. The 11-song set was produced and engineered by Wolfgang Zimmerman (Band of Horses) in the band’s hometown of Charleston, South Carolina.

SUSTO perform their new songs and more at The Hamilton Live in DC on Saturday, Feb. 26!

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Live Review: Shovels & Rope @ Rams Head on Stage — 11/3/21

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Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent perform as Shovels & Rope at Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis on Nov. 3, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)

So much of the best music has been the result of human relationships gone wrong, gone right or our infinite quest to understand our own needs and desires.

Still, it’s rare to actually behold a successfully intimate relationship through music, one put on display for the sake of the songs and emotions that it can yield.

But at a recent stop in Annapolis at Rams Head on Stage, Shovels & Rope showed that it is indeed that kind of outfit, the result of a man — Michael Trent — and a woman — Cary Ann Hearst — who met almost 20 years ago and ignited a flame for one another and for making music together.

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Preview: Shovels & Rope @ Rams Head on Stage — 11/3/21

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Shovels & Rope (Photo by Leslie Ryan McKellar)

Americana duo Shovels & Rope have a new album, titled Manticore, coming our way next year. Meanwhile, they perform at Rams Head on Stage in Annapolis, Maryland, on Wednesday, Nov. 3, on their Bare Bones Tour. Snap up one of the few remaining tickets!

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Livestream Preview: SUSTO @ StageIt, 6/10/20

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SUSTO (Photo by Sully Sullivan)

SUSTO recently released Ever Since I Lost my Mind, the project’s latest studio album, out now on Rounder Records. SUSTO, fronted by Justin Osborne, has been performing a series of five quarantine shows, and Justin presents the fourth in the series as a “Greatest Hits Happy Hour” via StageIt on Wednesday, June 10.

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Live Review: Shovels & Rope @ Wolf Trap — 7/17/19

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Shovels & Rope perform at Wolf Trap on July 17, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

Charleston, South Carolina folk-and-country-rock duo Shovels & Rope opened the annual Wheels of Soul tour recently. Married couple Carrie Ann Hearst and Michael Trent were the first of three heads of the beast that invades Wolf Trap every July. Curated by Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks (of the Tedeschi Trucks Band, who headline), the concert put a spotlight on the best of instrumental excellence and progressive, forward-thinking songwriting in Southern rock. It was a night of righteous jams and long-haired country boys.

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Live Review: Rob Thomas @ The Anthem — 7/12/19

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Rob Thomas performs at The Anthem during his Chip Tooth Tour, July 12, 2019 (Photo by Ari Strauss/ aristrauss.com)

When Rob Thomas and his Chip Tooth Tour rolled into DC for a performance at The Anthem on a recent evening, perhaps no one in the building was more excited than Rob himself.

“I’m so excited to be here at The Anthem,” he told the audience, “This place is owned by the same people as the 9:30 Club [hello, IMP!], and there is a special place in my heart for the 9:30 Club. Every morning I wake up on my tour bus, I drink coffee from my prized 9:30 mug.”

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