Sierra Ferrell leads her band in a performance at The 8×10 in Baltimore on April 19, 2022. (Photo by Casey Vock)
An extraordinary blend of voice and presentation can whisk a live audience to another place and day, but few musicians wield that kind of magic.
Sierra Ferrell, a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist hailing from West Virginia, has been sanctified with an uncommon, enrapturing old-time vocal ability and outstanding picking skills that are helping her blaze a trail within a unique realm that’s been aptly referred to as gypsy bluegrass.
At a recent stop at The 8×10 in Baltimore, Sierra showed herself to be an evolving and illustrious stage presence in leading an ageless set of music.
Cris Jacobs performs at The 8×10 in Baltimore on Dec. 20, 2021, the first of A Very Jerry Christmas, his annual series of holiday shows paying tribute to Jerry Garcia. (Photo by Casey Vock)
Admirable and arguably underappreciated is the local musician who’s become known across the country but is so multi-talented, enthusiastic and flexible as to wear a variety of hats to connect with hometown concertgoers in so many different ways.
Cris Jacobs emerged on the Baltimore circuit 20 years ago in the bluegrass group Smooth Kentucky — a squad that still performs locally — and he cut his teeth at a time the city was earning its reputation for having one of the nation’s very best music scenes. The leader of The Bridge, a beloved jam band blending a world of different sounds, Jacobs was right in the thick of it for a decade at the front of this colorful outfit, forging relationships near and far and all the while expanding his own influences.
Circles Around the Sun performs at The 8X10 in Baltimore on Feb. 27, 2020. (Photo by Casey Vock)
What’s the best way to pay respects to a friend who left too early? There’s probably no perfect answer to that question, but it’s an admirable deed to carry out the last known wishes of a beloved one you’ve lost.
That’s the density of the mission that recently brought Circles Around the Sun to Baltimore for a performance at The 8×10 to kick off the band’s first multi-state tour since the death of the group’s shepherd, Neal Casal.
The Seldom Scene performs at The 8×10 on Jan. 24, 2019. (Photo by Matt Ruppert)
The Seldom Scene is closer to their 50th anniversary (2021) of making music than they are to their 40th, and they maintain relevance in the scene that by many accounts they either buoyed or helped create. They certainly nodded to bluegrass traditions at The 8X10 in Baltimore recently. But like so many musicians that followed them, The Seldom Scene borrowed from other genres such as country, rock, and pop – with ease and a deep familiarity.
Marco Benevento shakes up The 8×10 on June 14, 2018. (Photo by Shantel M. Breen)
Editor’s Note: This year, we asked our bloggers to name their Top 10 shows of 2018 or choose their Top 10 photos of the year. We will run them over the course of mid-December as our Best of the Year posts.
This year has been a music filled year for me. I have managed to make it to over 80 shows in 2018 and some of these shows I had the pleasure of reviewing for Parklife DC. As I wrap up my concert calendar for this year, I started reflecting on my most memorable shows for 2018. I focused on shows that I felt were excited to photograph or the performance left an impression on me. In most cases, the shows in my Top 10 were the first time seeing the band perform and consequently, winning me over as a new fan. Listed in chronological order, my Top 10 will take you through 2018 and hopefully remind you of some great musical memories as well!
Tyler Childers performs at The 8×10 in Baltimore on Oct. 16, 2018. (Photo by Matt Ruppert)
Tyler Childers recently released his early recordings Live on Red Barn Radio I & II on vinyl and CD with a flashy new cover. Having been on tour for just a slice short of forever (Tyler sang a tune called “Ever Lovin’ Hand” about, well, I’ll call it monogamy and the loneliness of touring two-thirds of the year), this tour was not exactly for the new record, but a continuation of the heavy lifting he and the boys have been muscling through, as they did at The 8×10 in Baltimore on Oct. 16.
lespecial (Photo courtesy Hoplite Music)
After listening through lespecial’s latest album I was excited to see how the music translated to a live performance. Let me tell you, the performance did not disappoint. lespecial stopped by The 8×10 in Baltimore on Wednesday night and shared their music and abilities with the crowd.
lespecial (Photo courtesy the band)
Trio lespecial released cheen, their second studio album, last fall. The band are on tour with a stop at The 8×10 in Baltimore on Wednesday, Feb. 21.