Category Archives: Music

Alejandro Escovedo and a Touch of Italy

“Are you ready for some romantic Italian music?” guitarist Antonio Gramentieri calls out to the audience. Well, honestly, no. The crowd at City Winery was actually there for the more Tex-Mex flavored ballads and rockers from longtime songwriter Alejandro Escovedo, who has toured with all kinds of configurations over the years, from bands to duos [...]

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‘Hitmaker’ Jon Spencer at the Black Cat

When Jon Spencer took the stage arranging his amps before his latest band started playing Saturday night at the Black Cat in D.C., nobody much responded. Maybe they didn’t recognize him with glasses. But when he doffed the glasses, Clark Kent-like, suddenly he was the mercurial rocker, with an Elvis Presley voice, a rock ’n’ [...]

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Practically New NRBQ Carries Its Mantle

Those who haven’t seen the long-running NRBQ for a decade or two (or five) might have been surprised at the pre-New Year’s show at the Hamilton in D.C. to find that it is almost entirely a different band. And while it may be unsettling for fans of Joey and Johnny Spampinato, the late Tommy Ardolino [...]

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Margo Price Carries New Year’s Baby

To start her short tour leading up to New Year’s Eve, Margo Price rewrote the old Loretta Lynn tune “One’s On the Way.” Fitting, since she’s showing off her own pregnancy – five months along – with husband and band member, Jeremy Ivey. But she’s also topical enough to adapt that old country hit (written [...]

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Possibly Cat Power at the 9:30 Club

The music starts up minutes before Cat Power strides on stage. Her backing trio is conjuring up a kind of soundscape of pointillist notes, more structured than tuning up, but not entirely melodic either. They are providing an atmosphere in which Chan Marshall can immerse. In her beguiling show at the 930 Club Sunday, Marshall [...]

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Riding Rev. Horton Heat’s Holiday Hayride

The Rev. Horton Heat issued his Christmas album 13 years ago, but only for the last few years has he loaded up a big holiday revue that includes a few other acts equally worthy of headline status — Junior Brown and The Blasters. They all packed into the Black Cat in D.C. Saturday, playing a [...]

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Rufus Wainwright Looks Back

Rufus Wainwright is an accomplished enough figure in music, having just opened his second opera, that he needn’t resort to nostalgia. Lucky for his longtime fans that he is, marking his 20th anniversary in show business with a tour that showcases his first two albums, which made for an elegant and stirring evening Saturday at [...]

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Celebrating ‘Sweetheart of the Rodeo’

“One hundred years from this day,” Gram Parsons once wrote. “Will the people still feel this way?” Alas, he wouldn’t live to find out. Twenty-two when he wrote it, he was dead at 26. But half a century since it was recorded for a game-changing Byrds album, maybe the people do feel different. A flop [...]

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Another Final Show of ‘Pet Sounds’

It’s been two years since Brian Wilson’s 50th anniversary tour of the Beach Boys “Pet Sounds” started doing their “final performances” across the states and around the world. But the masterpiece of rock expression has never worn out its welcome. Another one of the so-called “final performances” came Monday at the Kennedy Center, this one [...]

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Elvis Costello Does DAR Constitution Hall

Normally super-prolific, Elvis Costello went five years between new albums recently, going so far as to tour an old album, “Imperial Bedroom” last year rather than release a new set of songs. But a memoir, a health scare and that tour with the Imposters reminded how much he liked performing with the snap of Pete [...]

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