Live Review: The Church @ The Birchmere — 4/18/19

TheChurch-5_DSC07672 Steve Kilbey fronts The Church at The Birchmere on April 18, 2019. (Photos by Jason Nicholson; Words by Mickey McCarter)

Steve Kilbey paused and invited the audience to imagine flipping over a record. Of course, he told The Birchmere, you would have to walk over to it, gently lift it from the turntable, wipe the static away, turn the record over, wipe that pesky static some more, and carefully place your vinyl just so.

In this case, the reward is “Spark,” the first song on Side 2 of Starfish, the hit album by The Church, which Steve has fronted for nearly 40 years. And so, Steve, guitarist Peter Koppes, and the rest of The Church performed Starfish in its entirety for an appreciative sold-out room at The Birchmere recently.

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Interview: Martin Barre (@ The Birchmere, 4/22/19)

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Martin Barre performs at Jammin’ Java on Oct. 14, 2018. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

“I just want to be a good musician, I want to be a good songwriter, I want to get better.”

Refreshing words coming from a musician who’s been at the top of his game for over 50 years. Martin Barre is well-known as the long-time lead guitarist (1969-2012) for Jethro Tull. I spoke with Martin in anticipation of his “Martin Barre Celebrates 50 Years of Jethro Tull Tour,” which will come to the DC Metro area for two shows on April 22 at The Birchmere and April 23 at Rams Head on Stage. (This interview has been edited for clarity and flow.)

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Live Review: Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives @ The Birchmere — 4/4/19

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Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives (Photo by Alysse Gafkjen)

In 2017, Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives won the Americana Music Association Award for Group of the Year. It was easy to see why at an appropriately fabulous show at The Birchmere recently.

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Snapshots: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy @ The Birchmere — 3/28/19

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Big Bad Voodoo Daddy performs at The Birchmere on March 28, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

The Birchmere transformed into a swing lounge one evening recently when Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, the OGs of contemporary swing revival, made their 15th appearance at the iconic music venue. The band offered a 90-minute performance that featured past and present hits from their vast catalog, along with a few numbers in tribute to the New Orleans music scene from which Scotty Morris, the band’s leader, draws deep influence.

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Preview: Don McLean @ The Birchmere, 4/5/19

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Don McLean (Photo courtesy 2911 Enterprises)

On Feb. 3, 1959, tragedy struck at the heart of American music. A chartered aircraft crashed in Mason City, Iowa just minutes after takeoff, claiming the lives of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, JP Richardson – “The Big Bopper” – and the pilot, Roger Peterson.

That fateful day inspired singer-songwriter Don McLean to write the song “American Pie,” capturing a loss of innocence, in 1971. The tireless Mr. McLean brings his best-known song and the rest of his catalog to The Birchmere on Friday, April 5.

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