Dave Mallen of Innovation Station Music: ‘I Didn’t Get Into This Line of Work to Just Set Up Mics and Hit Record’
Three-time WAMMIE Award winning producer Dave Mallen has contributed to some of the best music of the DMV, as evidenced by the 200 plus artists whose careers Innovation Station Music, his one-stop-shop studio, has advanced. Join contributing writer Cynthia Gross as she connects with Mallen to discuss his early starts, the circumstances that led him to transition from a full-time career in IT consulting to music production, how being a Highly Sensitive Person allows him to provide a one-of-a-kind experience for clients, and what Mallen considers his “why” beyond the music. Take us back to the beginning. Where did you get your starts in music?
DAVE: From age 2, I’m told I was always running to the piano at my grandmother’s house. My grandmother was a trained opera singer and pianist and was probably my first inspiration for becoming a musician. She would always tell me to “play with feeling”, and to this day, I try to inject as much emotion into the music I play and produce.
If there’s one person who can blend the sounds of Southern soul with Texas blues, it’s Marcia Ball. Ball will be co-headlining two area shows of acoustic songs alongside Tinsley Ellis, first at Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis March 28 and then the Pearl Street Warehouse in D.C. March 29. Each artist will perform a set and then jam together for the finale. Ball says the artists will share stories about the songs’ gestation, making the evening not just a concert but a conversation. Join contributing writer Eric Althoff, as he connects with Marcia Ball to learn more about what audiences can expect from her upcoming shows.
Suzette Dorsey doesn’t care for the term “tribute act.” Rather, her show “Forever T I N A” is a “salute” to the music and persona of the legendary Tina Turner. Dorsey grew up in a musical family in New Jersey. While in college at Pennsylvania’s Shippensburg University, she would frequently head down to the capital region to visit her brother, who was studying at the University of Maryland. One of those fateful weekends, the siblings went to see Turner perform at the Warner Theatre, an event that changed Dorsey’s life. Learn more about Dorsey’s upcoming show at the Birchmere on Feb. 23 with contributing writer Eric Althoff.
Jeff Draco Goes from Intern to Co-Headliner in One Year, Shares the 9:30 Club Stage with Crystal Casino Feb. 9
Barely a year ago, D.C.-based artist Jeff Draco was interning at the 9:30 Club. But on Feb. 9, he is sharing the bill with the Crystal Casino Band. He will have a much different view of the venue from its stage, and the musician can’t stop pinching himself. “To be coming back playing is quite special. I’m beyond excited,” Draco said. You can have all the talent in the world, but without a network—and more than a little bit of luck—this gig might not have come his way. Learn more with contributing writer Eric Althoff, including details on Draco’s forthcoming single, “Letters,” which he cites as his most vulnerable to date.
History’s Silk Road was a loose network of trade routes between Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe. Traveling such distances required not only understanding different cultures and languages, but also learning about those peoples’ music along the way. The Silkroad Ensemble, the brainchild of Yo-Yo Ma, brings together musical styles from around the world. The Grammy-winning group will perform “Uplifted Voices” at George Mason University Jan. 29. Join contributing writer Eric Althoff as he sits down with violinist Mazz Swift who shares details on the show, comprised entirely of women and nonbinary artists, as well as their own journey.
As someone who makes his musical living impersonating Paul McCartney, Jed Duvall is keenly aware that, while he isn’t the true article, what he can deliver to those who attend his shows is perhaps more important: memories. “The way the Beatles and Wings and Paul McCartney kind of built into people’s childhood and the way they grew up, I hope to touch the audience with some of that,” said Duvall. “I hope the audience says, ‘Wow, I haven’t heard this song in a long time.’” Learn more about Duvall’s journey from Elvis to McCartney, as well as details on his Jan. 24 show, The McCartney Experience, with contributing writer Eric Althoff.
February 9, 2023
Considering the rocky road she has traveled, award-winning D.C. blues artist Jenny Langer is remarkably upbeat in conversation. She laughs often and is extremely frank, even when relating the routine health checkup that likely saved her life. Langer’s cancer scare lit a fire under her and pushed her to make some necessary changes in her life, including dedicating herself fully to music, no longer content to wait to be discovered. Join contributing writer Eric Althoff as he learns more about Langer’s journey, including her roots and work as a solo artist, and as a member of Honey Larks and the Boneshakers.
Sunday, October 9, 2022
2:30 PM EDT
October 7 – 9, 2022