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.
Danny Barnes (Photo by Sarah Cass)
Ace banjo picker Danny Barnes has worn a lot of hats in his career, and his music draws wildly from disparate sources. He’s been a band leader and a sideman, and he’s played everything from bluegrass to (acoustic) punk. As one of his fellow players noted, he may be the only person to have released both a traditional banjo record and an ambient guitar record.
Amanda Shires performs at Sixth & I, Feb. 16, 2020. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
Amanda Shires’ Atmostphereless Tour rolled through DC recently for a sold-out show at Sixth & I in Chinatown. The self-described “singing, songwriting, fiddle-playing Texan” performed songs from her catalog of seven solo LPs and from The Highwomen, the all-female country supergroup she formed in 2019 with Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby, and Maren Morris.
The Reverend Horton Heat performs at Black Cat on Dec. 15, 2019. (Photo by Rashad Polk)
As the year winds down, we enter a period of mandatory social gatherings. There’s the ugly sweater parties, the holiday party at the office, Chanukah with the in-laws, Christmas dinner at a tableful of third and fourth cousins… but the one holiday event that should truly be mandatory went down recently at the Black Cat. The Reverend Horton Heat came through town for the 2019 edition of Horton’s Holiday Hayride.
Sunny Sweeney (Photo courtesy True Grit Management)
Sunny Sweeney brought her Dysfunctional Family Christmas show to DC recently, with frequent partner Brennen Leigh joining her at City Winery. Accompanied by Sunny’s guitarist Harley, the pair traded off songs and stories, making for a highly entertaining evening.
Reverend Horton Heat (Photo by Thom Jackson)
The Reverend Horton Heat brings the party to Black Cat on Sunday, Dec. 15, for Horton’s Holiday Hayride with holiday hijinks and some special guests!
Robert Earl Keen performs at the Lincoln Theatre on Dec. 6, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
“If you want Christmas music,” Robert Earl Keen told the Lincoln Theater recently, “go to the mall.” REK’s Countdown to Christmas Tour steered clear of holiday music until the encore, when he played the fan-favorite “Merry Christmas from the Family,” an ode to the dysfunction and craziness of the holidays.