John Mayall (Photo by David Gomez)
The Hamilton introduced John Mayall on Thursday evening as “the godfather of British Blues.” In his sixth decade as a professional musician, the 85-year-old Mayall still appears pretty spry, and he remained on his feet for his entire performance. John is just as well-preserved mentally, and he filled the transitions between songs with informative context and droll British wit.
Amanda Shires performs at The Hamilton Live in DC on Aug. 17, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
A strong crowd turned out for Amanda Shires’s “music show,” as she put it, at The Hamilton recently. At the beginning of her set, the lights dimmed and Leonard Cohen’s “You Want It Darker” played as Amanda and her band took the stage. Amanda began with material from the critically acclaimed album she released last year, To the Sunset, slinging her electric guitar, appropriately enough, on “Break Out the Champagne.”
Teddy Scott (left) and Paul Gregg (right) of Bencoolen perform at The Hamilton Live, Aug. 10, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss/ aristrauss.com)
DC-based Bencoolen performed an opening set at The Hamilton Live recently, delivering an energized 45-minute set to warm the crowd for the jazz/funk sextet Naughty Professor from New Orleans.
Jim Lauderdale performs at MerleFest on April 27, 2019. (Photo by cp_thornton)
The Cosmic Honky Tonk Revue stopped at The Hamilton recently to showcase the talents of three major figures in alternative country and Americana music: Jason Ringenberg (Jason & The Scorchers), Chuck Mead (BR5-49), and Jim Lauderdale. “Cosmic Honky Tonk” was itself a play on legendary — and tragic — country-rocker Gram Parson’s “cosmic American music.”
The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band (photo courtesy the Big Damn Band)
The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band put on an authentic blues performance at The Hamilton Live recently. The good Reverend and his wife, who plays the washboard, and his drummer are “real people playing real instruments.” The Reverend derided the use of taped tracks, which, he said, even some blues bands have come to practice. Not only is it phoney, “it still sounds like shit,” he said.
Jimmie Vaughan performs at The Hamilton Live on July 20, 2019. (Photo by Chester Simpson)
“Worth the price of admission,” said the woman sitting next to Parklife DC photographer Chester Simpson after legendary Texas blues guitarist Jimmie Vaughan finished his solo on a piece by Slide Hampton.
Chuck Mead (Photo by Joshua Moon Wilkins)
In the ’90s through the mid ’00s, Chuck Mead led the (alt-)country band BR5-49, which placed several albums into the country charts, despite minimal radio airplay. Following the band’s hiatus, Chuck became the musical director for the Broadway show Million Dollar Quartet and its TV spin-off, Sun Records. Chuck has also released four solo records including, just this June, Close to Home.
This coming Tuesday, July 23, Chuck will appear in the Cosmic Honky Tonky Revue at The Hamilton Live with Jason Ringenberg and Jim Lauderdale. Mark Engleson of Parklife DC caught up with him before the show.