Live Review: Asleep at the Wheel @ The Birchmere — 7/8/21

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Asleep at the Wheel performs at The Birchmere on July 8, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)

For five decades, Austin’s Asleep at the Wheel has carried the torch for Western swing. Winners of 10 Grammys, they’ve collaborated with everyone from Willie Nelson to Jamey Johnson to Huey Lewis. to Old Crow Medicine Show.

Despite playing what is “hard-core country music,” the Wheel has long attracted fans who don’t normally feel drawn to country. Part of this is the great divide between country through the ’50s and the Nashville sound that succeeded it. As Tyler Mahan Coe has said on his podcast Cocaine & Rhinestones, there’s no real distinction between honky-tonk and early rock ‘n’ roll. Asleep at the Wheel may have fiddles, but they also have drums and sax, and they rock hard.

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Snapshots: Robert Earl Keen @ The Birchmere — 1/28/21

REK Robert Earl Keen performs at The Birchmere in Alexandria, Va., Jan. 28, 2021. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

Texas troubadour Robert Earl Keen recently put on two performances at legendary Alexandria, Virginia, music venue, The Birchmere, on Jan. 27 and 28. Traveling with a scaled down version of his usual road band, Robert performed as an acoustic trio which included himself on lead vocals and guitar, Kym Warner on mandolin and backing vocals, and Tom Van Schaik on drums and percussion.

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Song of the Day: “Harbor Me” by Ziemba

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Ziemba (Photo by Kathryn Vetter Miller)

Ziemba — project of songwriter René Kladzyk — releases a new single/video, “Harbor Me, from her forthcoming album, True Romantic, out Sept. 25 on Sister Polygon. Following lead singles “True Romantic” and “If I’m Being Honest,” synth-heavy “Harbor Me” was written and demoed while docked on the S.S. Vallejo, a haunted ferry in Sausalito, California. where, Timothy Leary, Alan Watts, and Allen Ginsberg used to host their “Houseboat Summit.”

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Livestream Preview: LeAnn Rimes @ StageIt, 9/6/20

Leann-RimesLeAnn Rimes (Photo courtesy the artist)

Last year, singer-songwriter LeAnn Rimes released her first-ever live album, Rimes: Live at Gruene Hall, which she recorded at the oldest continually run dance hall in Texas.

Now like all artists, LeAnn is unable to tour due to the pandemic, so she’s trading Gruene Hall for a home performance with her Sunday Service concert via StageIt on Sunday, Sept. 6.

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Livestream Preview: And You Will Know Us by the Trail of the Dead @ Livestream, 8/14/20

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And You Will Know Us by the Trail of the Dead (Photo courtesy the band)

Following a successful global livestream kickoff event on July 31 and another on Aug. 7, …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead now prepare for their next highly anticipated livestream event. The final show in this series of livestreams happens on Friday, Aug. 14.

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Song of the Day: “To Live” by Norah Jones

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Norah Jones (Photo by Dianne Russo)

Norah Jones has released her seventh solo studio album Pick Me Up Off The Floor, which is out on Blue Note Records. The album features collaborators including Jeff Tweedy and Brian Blade on a set of 11 new songs written or co-written by Norah that speak deeply to the moment.

Tune in to ABC Good Morning America on Tuesday, June 16, to hear Norah perform the uplifting “To Live,” and watch the song’s official video featuring drummer Nate Smith, bassist Jesse Murphy, trumpeter Dave Guy, and tenor saxophonist Leon Michels.

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