Best of the Year: Top 10 Musical Moments of 2021 by Mark C.

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The Allman Betts Band performs at The Birchmere in June. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

2021 saw a gradual return to live music as venues and musicians did their best to return to “normalcy” and keep everybody safe. Things didn’t always go according to plan: People still got sick, tours were canceled or postponed, and attendance to indoor shows still sometimes lagged.

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Live Review: The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band @ The Hamilton Live — 11/17/21

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The Reverend Peyton fronts his Big Damn Band at The Hamilton Live on Nov. 17, 2021. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band recently played The Hamilton in DC, and the church of the electric country blues was in session. This was gritty, authentic music with, as the good Reverend declared, “human hands playing real instruments.” It was American roots music at its finest, steeped in traditions brought forward with a modern sensibility, performed with skill and passion.

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Preview: The Quebe Sisters @ The Hamilton Live — 11/21/21

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The Quebe Sisters (Photo courtesy Michael J. Media)

Trailblazing Trio The Quebe Sisters Serve as Modern-Day Beacons for Country and Western Swing
By Mario Tarradell

Three women – modern, creative, and talented – are stretching the boundaries of old-time country and western swing music. The best part? They are doing it steadfastly, free of frivolous fanfare. We’re talking about neo-traditionalist western swing trio the Quebe Sisters – siblings Grace, Sophia, and Hulda.

The Quebe Sisters are hardly newcomers, though. Their modern musical sensibilities coalesced as seasoned performers. Dallas-based Grace, Sophia, and Hulda Quebe spent the last 15 years merging three-part harmony and triple fiddles to put a youthful, jubilant spin on Bob Wills’ classic genre. They have recorded four studio albums and toured North America, Europe, and Russia.

The Quebe Sisters are ready to perform western swing classics as well as inspired originals in concert Nov. 21 at 8 pm at The Hamilton Live, 600 14th St. NW,  DC. Tickets are $25-$50 per person; all ages are welcome. To purchase tickets, click here.

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Snapshots: No BS! Brass Band @ The Hamilton Live — 10/24/21

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No BS! Brass Band performs at The Hamilton Live on Oct. 24, 2021. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

Mix a little bit of New Orleans with a generous helping of funk and pop and you have the deliciousness that is No BS! Brass Band, the 11-piece that partied down at DC’s The Hamilton Live one recent evening.

Hailing from Richmond, Virginia (RVA all the way!), No BS! Brass Band was founded by Reggie Pace (trombone) and Lance Koehler (drums) who were students together at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Both were in separate bands and didn’t like some of the “stuff” that was going on, so they got together to form their own band and cut out “the stuff;” hence the name, No BS! Brass Band.

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Live Review: Town Mountain @ The Hamilton Live — 10/23/21

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North Carolina’s Town Mountain wraps up its 2021 touring schedule with a show at DC’s The Hamilton Live, Oct. 23, 2021. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

Check out the Twitter page for Town Mountain and your find a pithy bio that reads, “Bluegrass with swagger from Asheville North Carolina!” That swagger was on display when the band wrapped up its last run of touring in 2021 with a two-hour set at DC’s The Hamilton Live recently.

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Preview: Town Mountain @ The Hamilton Live, 10/23/21

Town Mountain (Photo courtesy IVPR)

Asheville-based group Town Mountain will perform in DC at The Hamilton Live on Oct. 23. Since their inception over a decade ago, Town Mountain has built a reputation for their rowdy, energetic performances, a testament to each member’s refined musicianship. They’ve continued to make waves in both the studio and the live music circuit; from holding spots on the Billboard Bluegrass and Americana Radio charts for weeks to appearing on the legendary Grand Ole Opry stage multiple times.

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Live Review: Midnight North @ The Hamilton Live – 10/7/21

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The Midnight North perform at The Hamilton Live on Oct. 7, 2021. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

After a two-year absence, Midnight North recently made a much-anticipated return to the DC area, even briefly renaming The Hamilton on the strength of the two “Graham(e)” bandmembers. The show featured an appearance by Phil Lesh, beloved Grateful Dead bassist and father of Midnight North guitarist and founder, Grahame Lesh. For two-plus hours, the “Gramilton” felt like an extended family reunion with fans from differing generations and bands reuniting after a too-long pandemic hiatus.

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Snapshots: Red Wanting Blue @ The Hamilton Live — 9/17/21

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Red Wanting Blue frontman Scott Terry performing at The Hamilton Live, Sept. 17, 2021. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

Red Wanting Blue, the heartland rock band from Columbus, OH, kicked off its “25 and Still Alive,” tour on September 17th with a stop at DC’s Hamilton Live. Parklife DC’s Ari Strauss had an opportunity to interview RWB lead singer, Scott Terry prior to the tour opener.

Read Ari’s interview with Red Wanting Blue lead singer, Scott Terry HERE.

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