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Get all the latest music news and reviews in the Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Richmond, VA areas.Visit us daily and stay up-to-date on your favorite local and national acts.

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Rachel Levitin Once Played at DC Open Mics, Now She Hosts Them

Ever since she was little, Rachel Levitin has been making songs. She composed them with her father when she was small, and hasn’t stopped. One of her favorite experiences remains seeing Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young near where she grew up in Chicago. Learn more about Rachel’s journey with contributing writer Eric Althoff, including her long-time partnership with Tony Lucca and the story behind Rachel’s song that she says is her best work to date.

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Nessa Dove Wants You to ‘Stay Strong,’ No Matter the Obstacles

If there is any doubt music can bring people together, DMV native Nessa Dove has a story for you. The Montgomery County singer has found her voice, in more ways than one. She relates one particular evening busking in the New York subway when a homeless man, whom many on the subway platform felt was dangerous, began to groove to her music. Before long, this man whom people had all but stepped over was enjoying the music together with other bystanders. Learn more about Nessa’s music and movement with contributing writer Eric Althoff.

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Camille Lauren Will Change the Industry

It can be difficult to find someone so young with such passion, confidence, drive, and talent. About to turn 19 this month, Camille Lauren, born and raised in the DMV in places such as Prince George and Leesburg, exhibits all that and more. Full of multiple talents such as percussion, guitar, writing, vocals, and more, there is just no telling what great things she will accomplish. Contributing writer Maura Marcellino had the honor of talking with this brilliant musical prodigy that is sure to take over the industry.

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Emma G Has ‘Faith In You’ That What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger

New Zealand-born, D.C.-based activist, youth empowerment coach, author and award-winning musician Emma G is an extraordinary survivor who serves as living proof that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Her messages of courage and empowerment, undergirded by her lived experiences, carry a powerful message of hope and healing, reminding audiences everywhere that they can make it despite the odds stacked against them.

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Geoff Downes: “The Drama Of Yes & The Heat Of The Moment”

Very few musicians have a CV as long and impressive as keyboardist Geoff Downes. Contributing writer Keith Valcourt catches up with Downes from his rain-soaked home in Wales to discuss his musical journey in legendary rock bands ASIA and YES and his favorite gear for this exclusive Alchemical Records interview.

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Matt Tarka’s “Good Morning, Sympathy” Born from Moving Encounter with a Stranger

Just before lockdown last year, Matt Tarka had finished tracking a few songs he’d planned on releasing throughout 2020. The shutdown proved to be a blessing in disguise for Tarka, who was able to continue fine-tuning his compositions. Among Tarka’s new songs is “Good Morning, Sympathy,” a poppy and upbeat tune absolutely baked with a certain sense of much-needed optimism.

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This NOVA Music Maker Started Writing as a Helicopter Pilot

The Northern Virginia artist who goes by the handle Music Giff has spared no influences on his most recent album, “Bad Love.” The touches of gospel, blues, R&B, funk, and even country are sprinkled liberally on a compelling new album from this unique musical talent.

It’s been a long, strange trip for Music Giff, who in a former life was an Army helicopter pilot. Even while serving the nation, he knew he someday wanted to be a songwriter.

“It started in flight school as a stress relief. I didn’t play the guitar at the time, so it was all lyrics and belting out melody into a Casio mini recorder. Yes, a mini cassette recorder,” Music Giff said. “Honestly, I surprised myself.”

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SAGA’s Jim Crichton: “Wound Up, Worlds Apart in Perfect Symmetry”

Since 1978, Canada’s second favorite prog rock sons SAGA have been rocking nonstop. Over their four decades in existence, they have sold over 10 million albums around the globe. In America, they are best known for their hits “On The Loose” and “Wind Him Up” from the 1981 album “Worlds Apart.” To celebrate the release of their compilation album, Keith Valcourt caught up with SAGA’s founding member (and longest running player) Jim Crichton from his home in the great white north to discuss SAGA’s long career, the effects of having a hit record, and why their U.S. label wanted a “Hot Chick” on the cover and not “an old guy with a map.”

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Data Recovery Project: “Shake It When You Hear It”

Like New Order? Depeche Mode or their less popular cousin band
Camouflage? How about early Nine Inch Nails without all the screaming?
Of course you do. That is why you need to know about the Washington, DC based musical collective known as Data Recovery Project or DRP for short. Led by synth head C.P. Kush (Keyboards and Vocals) and featuring Daniel
Hill (of Yellow Tie Guy fame) on additional vocals, keys and guitar, the duo play danceable retro pop through a series of programmed beats and keyboard riffs. Lyrically they are affected and reflective about the world around them. Providing a dark danceable soundtrack for these dystopian times. I caught up with CP at home in D.C. to input some data into the machine and discuss influences, vibing and a made-up character called “Safety Bear.”

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Juliana Hatfield: “Boston (Cambridge Actually) In Her Blood”

It’s funny how an artist can often be linked to a city or regional area. For Juliana Hatfield that area is Boston, Massachusetts or more specifically the neighboring Cambridge, Mass. It seems appropriate that the woman who started her career in the “College Rock” band The Blake Babies would be identified with a town known for two of the world’s most well-known institutes of higher learning Harvard and M.I.T. After going solo Juliana released a slew of cool records. She also spent time as a part time member of Boston’s favorite sons: The Lemonheads playing bass and singing backup on their breakthrough album, “It’s a Shame About Ray.”

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Jamie Darken Breathes New Life Into Solo EP, Burial.

When Jamie Darken first began writing the songs that would appear on his debut solo EP, Burial, he imagined he was crafting demos for Cherry Ames, a local Washington DC area indie-rock band that Darken performs as vocalist, guitarist, and bassist. With Cherry Ames on hiatus amidst the global shutdown and performing in venues unavailable as an option, Darken’s drive to make progress with the ideas on his own eventually brought the tracks to the place where it simply felt right to release as his own project. The result is five songs written, produced, and performed by Darken, with the exception of leading single “This Could Be Your Home” co-written with fellow DC area musician Christopher Mathews-Larsen.

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Get to Know The Frontier!

In 2015, Jake Mimikos formed the Frontier and he hasn’t looked back. He has been featured on NPR, Netflix, The CW, MTV and more! The frontier is a one-man indie/acoustic project emerging from the D.C. area that combines a number of different genres including indie rock and acoustic. The band currently works with producer Austin Bello and has been creating some really interesting music! We got the opportunity to interview him, and wanted to share what we learned.

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DC Music Summit Provides Empowerment With Local Industry Leaders

The 2021 DC Music Summit is going virtual! While I’ll miss the in-person opportunity to network, the DCMS team, headed by founder Dior Ashley Brown, is working hard to recreate the networking experience, live music performance, and educational workshops that attendees have come to expect from this Wammie Award winning annual event.

Organizations and events like DC Music Summit help put a spotlight on local music industry leaders and highlight the diverse and inclusive creative culture and community that has continued to thrive within the DMV music scene. I’m excited to be presenting one of the many educational workshops with topics ranging from music publishing to personal health and wellness taking place at the event happening May 21 & 22

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If You Haven’t Heard Kid Travis Yet, You’re Missing Out!

If you haven’t heard of Kid Travis yet, you are missing out. He’s also a neighboring member of the DMV as he hails from Bristol, PA, which is a bit North of Philadelphia. He started out making music in 2013, and has had some serious growth in the past few years. He has become somewhat of a YouTube sensation by making covers of famous artists tracks, and even got Post Malone to call him a “Gangster”. Lately he’s been focusing on creating his own original tracks, that have been gaining even more traction. We got the opportunity to interview him, which you can check out below while listening to one of his newest tracks, “WON’T LET ME GO”. (theirs a special treat at the end as well)

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DC Funk Parade Will Funk U Up

U Street knows how to party. When World War II formally ended in 1945, residents of Northwest took to the street, cheering and celebrating the Allied victory. The neighborhood had also erupted in joy in 1937 when Joe Louis became boxing’s heavyweight champion.

The 21st century has seen U Street continue its merry tradition of revelry, thanks to the Funk Parade, which began in 2013 thanks to an enterprising entrepreneur named Justin Rood. He had a dream of a “low rumble” coming down U Street that was soon accompanied by a marching band and his neighbors all cheering—almost as if New Orleans had come to the capital city.

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