Marty Stuart performs at The Birchmere on Feb. 27, 2020. (Photo by Rashad Polk)
If you have even the slightest interest in country music, you owe it to yourself to see Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives. The Fabulous Superlatives — “Cousin” Kenny Vaughan on guitar, “Professor” Chris Scruggs laying down the bass, and “Handsome” Harry Stinson keeping the beat on the drums — are an all-star team of Americana players. Marty is a former child prodigy who was already playing professionally with bluegrass legend Lester Flatt as a teenager.
Sarah Harmer (Photo by Vanessa Heins)
Sarah Harmer thanked The Birchmere “for having faith after 10 years that I can still sing.” The critically acclaimed Canadian singer-songwriter recently released her first album in as long, Are You Gone. Over the last decade, she stepped away from music and was engaged in environmental activism. In 2005, Sarah found PERL, Protecting Escarpment Rural Land, to campaign to protect the Niagara Escarpment against a gravel development.
Drew Holcomb (Photo by Ashtin Paige)
Drew and Ellie Holcomb’s recent show at The Birchmere began with a pleasant surprise. The show had been billed as “An Evening with Drew and Ellie Holcomb,” leading me to expect a duo performance. When they took the stage, they were accompanied by Drew’s band, The Neighbors.
Cowboy Junkies (Photo by Heather Pollock)
Following their game plan from their previous visit to The Birchmere in July 2018, the Cowboy Junkies went with a proven format for their recent show there. They’d play two sets. The first, slightly shorter set, would mostly consist of songs from their latest album, All That Reckoning, while the second set would comb their extensive catalog from more than 30 years together.
Richard Thompson (center) participates in A Winding Road: A Ramble with Richard Thompson on May 11, 2019, in Montclair, New Jersey. (Photo by Neil Grabowsky)
“So,” I asked after sitting down at The Birchmere recently, “how long have you been in the cult?”
Without asking what I meant, one of the men sitting across the table from me responded, “I was getting Richard and Linda Thompson import records from England in the 70s.”
“I came to it later,” said the other.
Eric Brace, Thomm Jutz, and Peter Cooper (Photo by John Partipilo)
Last Train Home came together in DC in the late ‘90s, led by Eric Brace, who was then a reporter at the Washington Post. When the band took off, Eric left the Post to become a full-time musician.
After a hiatus, Last Train Home came home to The Birchmere recently.
Hank Williams’ star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (Photo by allison_dc)
The end of the year brings the annual Hank Williams tribute show to The Birchmere. In the 23rd annual occurrence of the show recently, many performers returned from last year: Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer, Pete and Maura Kennedy, bassist Mark Schatz, and fiddler Patrick McAvinue.