Category Archives: Review

Not Really ‘Live From Here’

After having soured over the years on “Prairie Home Companion” and its tropes, I was still only mildly interested in its renamed replacement “Live from Here” when it emerged on Saturday afternoon public radio. But having had a chance to attend a performance Friday I’ve changed my mind about the whole thing. First of all, [...]

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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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On Stage: Dickens with an Irish Twist

Humbug’s my usual reaction when there’s yet another variation of “A Christmas Carol” on local stages this time of year. Can’t someone come up with an original idea for a Christmas play? No such complaints at The Keegan Theatre, where their response is a sublime one, written so deftly it hits the touchstones of the [...]

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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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