Best of the Year: Top 10 Photos of 2018 by Mark C.

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Sarah Shook fronts The Disarmers at Pearl Street Warehouse on Sept. 12, 2018. Mark Caicedo chose a picture from this show (but not this one) as one of his Top 10 of 2018. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

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.

Women have long been major influences in music history, going back to the jazz greats like Nina Simone Billie Holiday, and Ella Fitzgerald; through country legends Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, and Dolly; pop icons like Bette Midler, Madonna, and Cyndi Lauper; and the rock and blues greats Janis Joplin, Joan Jett, Deborah Harry and Chrissie Hynde.

Today, while female musicians like Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Pink, and Adele continue to break boundaries, local and regional bands feature women whose talent, drive and influence is just as powerful as the superstars.

My Top 10 concert photos of the year salute 2018 as the Year of Women.

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Live Review: Cheryl Wheeler and John Gorka @ The Birchmere — 12/9/18

Cheryl Wheeler by Cathleen Joyce
Cheryl Wheeler (Photo by Catherine Joyce)

Folk singers Cheryl Wheeler and John Gorka shared the stage at The Birchmere on Sunday evening, taking turns playing songs and telling stories. In two sets, they entertained the crowd with their heartfelt songs and their trademark humor.

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Live Review: Shawn Colvin @ The Birchmere — 11/29/18

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Shawn Colvin (Photo provided by Press Here)

For her show on Thursday at The Birchmere, Shawn Colvin appeared immaculately dressed. As she discusses in her 2012 memoir, Diamond in the Rough, she loves clothes. In the book, she says, it’s a lucky thing that her daughter does too, as they will constitute most of her daughter’s inheritance.

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Music Park: Melissa Etheridge @ The Birchmere — 11/27/18

Melissa Etheridge @ The Birchmere, Alexandria VA, 12/27/2018
Melissa Etheridge performs at The Birchmere on Nov. 27, 2018. (Photo by Paivi Salonen)

Watching Melissa Etheridge on Tuesday evening at the Birchmere, one becomes aware of her phenomenal level of talent. Her husky vocals, a Great Plains-inflected Janis Joplin, have lost nothing, and they are especially impressive in a live performance. Melissa is a triple threat, however: She’s a monster guitar who plays blazing solos, and she writes fantastic songs.

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Don’t Miss: Shawn Colvin @ The Birchmere, 11/29/18

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Shawn Colvin (Photo courtesy Paradigm Agency)

Shawn Colvin released The Starlighter, a new album of songs adapted from the children’s music book “Lullabies and Night Songs,” earlier this year via Amazon Music. Now, the folk siren heads to The Birchmere for a performance on Thursday, Nov. 29.

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Don’t Miss: Melissa Etheridge @ The Birchmere, 11/27/18

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Melissa Etheridge (Photo courtesy the artist)

Ten years ago, Melissa Etheridge released a Christmas album! In recent years, Melissa has taken Christmas on the road, performing The Holiday Show around the holidays with famous Christmas carols and her radio hits. On Tuesday, Nov. 27, Melissa brings her holiday show to The Birchmere.

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Music Park: Mary Chapin Carpenter @ The Birchmere — 10/29/18

Mary Chapin Carpenter performing at the Birchmere on Monday, Oct. 29, 2018

Mary Chapin Carpenter performs at The Birchmere on Oct. 29, 2018. (Photo by Chester Simpson)

“Passionate Kisses” awaited eager fans that packed The Birchmere for two sold-out nights recently to hear a hometown troubadour with a voice strong and true! Mary Chapin Carpenter had come home.

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