Live Review: Adia Victoria w/ Lizzie No @ The Miracle Theater — 4/21/22

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Adia Victoria (Photo courtesy Grandstand Media)

 “When I fell in love with the blues,” Adia Victoria told the audience at The Miracle Theatre during her recent performance there, “I was a 22-year-old high school dropout, living in Atlanta, working as a telemarketer.” The blues has been a source of salvation for her, as she has lived through tough times and worked hard jobs. 

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Live Review: Bedouine @ The Miracle Theater — 4/3/22

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Bedouine performs with Gus Seyffert at The Miracle Theatre in DC on April 3, 2022. (Photo by Casey Vock)

When I seriously got into music criticism about five years ago, I went about it in a predictably autistic way: I went to Metacritic, pulled up their list of all-time high scores, and started working my down. That was around the time the folk artist Bedouine released her self-titled debut album, and man, did she ever knock it out of the park on her first try. It’s one of the best debut albums released last decade, and it’s one of my favorites. As impressive as it was, the follow-up effort, 2019’s Birds of a Killjoy, is an even better album. Last year’s Waysides, a collection of older material, is pretty damn impressive too.

Bedouine was every bit as impressive in a recent appearance at The Miracle Theatre, the small Barracks Row venue booked by Union Stage, in DC.

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Live Review: Rachael & Vilray @ The Miracle Theatre — 1/23/22

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Rachael & Vilray perform at The Miracle Theatre in DC on Jan. 23, 2022. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

The human voice is, indeed, miraculous. It can be used to convey love and hatred, compassion and anger. It can be soft, barely a whisper or a shout, like a foghorn. But in the hands (to mix a metaphor) of a master, the voice is a tool, a device, an instrument to create melody subtle and pleasing — a way to elicit a range of emotions that transforms both listener and artist in ways neither could have anticipated. Above all, it can even suspend the moment, crystallizing what music is meant to do: inviting one to live in the moment, completely and absolutely.

On a recent (and chilly) Sunday evening, Rachael and Vilray (pronounced VILL-ree) sang songs of myriad emotions and created a warm and intimate evening for a packed Miracle Theatre. Their music recalls the days of Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, and Johnny Mercer while simultaneously showcasing Vilray’s witty and charming modern-day compositions that, undoubtedly, will also one day easily reside in the American Songbook.

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Preview: Rachael & Vilray @ The Miracle Theatre, 1/23/22

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Rachael & Vilray (Photo by Jonno Rattman)

Rachael & Vilray — the debut album by Lake Street Dive singer-songwriter Rachael Price and composer, singer, and guitarist Vilray — features 10 original songs by Vilray, plus two covers from the era that inspired him: Cuban composer Pedro Junco Jr.’s 1943 “Nosotros” and Drake/Atler’s “I Love the Way You’re Breaking My Heart,” first popularized by Peggy Lee.

Catch Rachael & Vilray live at The Miracle Theatre in DC on Sunday, Jan. 23!

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Live Review: Puma Blue @ The Miracle Theater — 11/20/21

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Jacob Allen leads Puma Blue in a performance at the Miracle Theater in DC on Nov. 20, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)

Musicians have such an arsenal of effective ways to reach potential supporters these days that genres and categorization become afterthoughts. And today’s resources are empowering a tremendous wave of artists who set out with no intention of adhering to any sort of conventions in the pursuit of their own organic sound.

London-bred singer songwriter Jacob Allen found his through making recordings in his bedroom, and he didn’t even need to leave the comfortable space to create a following. Since cutting and sharing a track called “Only Trying 2 Tell U” on SoundCloud back in 2014, he’s been able to steadily build that fanbase via his musical vehicle known as Puma Blue.

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Live Review: Courtney Marie Andrews w/ The Brother Brothers @ The Miracle Theater — 10/8/21

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Courtney Marie Andrews performs at The Miracle Theatre in DC on Oct. 8, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)

The Miracle Theatre hosted a night of intimate, classic folk and Americana on Friday evening with singer-songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews and duo The Brother Brothers. Andrews’s songwriting and vocals are clearly influenced most strongly by Joni Mitchell, but you can also hear elements of Emmylou Harris, Joan Baez, and Carole King. The Brother Brothers’ style have been compared to Simon & Garfunkel, both for their close harmonies and their gentle, soothing melodies. 

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Preview: Punk the Capital @ The Miracle Theatre, 6/10/21

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HR of Bad Brains: Then and Now (Photo courtesy Punk the Capital)

When punk rock erupted in Washington, DC, it was a mighty convergence of powerful music, friendships, and clear minds. Punk the Capital, a documentary film about DC punk from 1976-83, explores the incredible challenges that this subculture faced when it took root in the Nation’s Capital in the late 1970s.

Catch a screening of Punk the Capital at The Miracle Theatre in DC on Thursday, June 10, at 7pm!

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Live Review: Damien Jurado and Nick Thune @ The Miracle Theatre — 1/16/20

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Damien Jurado and Nick Thune perform at The Miracle Theatre on Jan. 16, 2020. (Photo by Casey Vock)

Critically-acclaimed singer-songwriter Damien Jurado recently took part in a somewhat unusual performance at The Miracle Theater recently. He split the bill with comedian Nick Thune in an evening titled “Sad Music/Sad Comedy.”

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Live Review: Rachael & Vilray @ The Miracle Theatre — 2/22/19

Rachael-Vilray Rachael & Vilray perform at The Miracle Theatre in DC on Feb. 22, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

One word constantly sifted through my mind recently while attending a Rachael & Vilray performance at The Miracle Theatre on Capitol Hill recently: vintage. The music, the gear from which it resonated, and the venue itself all exuded vintage qualities.

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