Category Archives: Music

Clubs Eye Pandemic Reopenings

As phase two kicks in (even as coronavirus cases spike), clubs are tip-toeing toward reopening, but not without as many regulations as an airplane ride – or perhaps more so. The venerable Birchmere Music Club in Alexandria, Va., announced plans to reopen July 10 with the Billy Price Charm City Rhythm Band – not one […]

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Remembering Little Richard, 1932-2020

There was no doubting that excitable voice on the phone 25 years ago. He was coming around for a club gig in in New Haven, but it was much more than gig. “Knocking it loose like a goose gone to roost!” shouted the pioneering rock ’n’ roller Little Richard, who died Saturday at 87.  “Knocking […]

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Virus Takes Adam Schlesinger, 52

It’s clear COVID-19 will mow us all down, spiritually if not literally, decimating every aspect of life. The music world is already being cut down from every genre. I just saw Joe Diffie playing some agreeable country at my first visit to the Grand Old Opry in October; he’s dead of it at 61. Jazz […]

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Remembering Kenny Rogers, 1938-2020

I feel kind of bad now that I pressed Kenny Rogers a few years back on whether a tour he was calling “The Gambler’s Last Deal: Final World Tour” would actually be his last. Similar ventures by, say, Kiss, Cher and the Who over the past few years had not resulted in actual farewells. When […]

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The Touring ‘Simon & Garfunkel Story’

There is certainly a dramatic story to be told behind the highly successful 60s duo Simon & Garfunkel from a brief high school success that got them on “American Bandstand” to their later 1960s stardom, love/hate relationship and mutual artistic dependence. All of that is barely mentioned, though, in the nationally touring “The Simon & […]

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A New Year’s Eve Tribute to Aretha Franklin

Some of Aretha Franklin’s greatest performances happened at the Kennedy Center — chief of which may have been a 2015 performance of “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” at the Kennedy Center Honors that made Barack Obama shed a tear in the Presidential box. Clips of some of Franklin’s performances in the fabled […]

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Remembering Sleepy LaBeef, 1935-2019

Sleepy LaBeef, the rockabilly figure who played and toured for more than 60 years, died the day after Christmas. He was 84 and had played his last concert in September. One of the last rockabilly artists to be signed by Sun Records, LaBeef had an encyclopedic knowledge of American roots music, professing at one point […]

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She & Him Throw a Christmas Party

The first time Zooey Deschanel sang a Christmas song for huge audiences was 16 years ago in the movie “Elf,” crooning “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” in the shower, eventually dueting with an unwelcome Will Ferrell. It was that moment that showed M. Ward that the actress could actually sing, and they eventually got together to form […]

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A Soulful ‘Motown Christmas’ at Signature

Because Christmas is mandatory on entertainment stages all month, it’s no surprise that a cabaret at Signature Theatre is again devoted to the Yuletide songbook. But in a clever and very welcome variation, they’ve approached the holiday through the classic interpretations of one of America’s favorite labels. “A Motown Christmas” brings together enduring holiday originals […]

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Marshall Crenshaw’s Timeless Tunefulness

Marshall Crenshaw tours these days take different forms. Sometimes he goes solo, other times he shares the stage with the Bottle Rockets. He was the lead voice for a Smithereens tribute tour earlier this year as well. But Saturday for a show at City Winery in Washington D.C., he fronted a trio that gave both […]

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