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John McCutcheon Returns to the Barns at Wolf Trap Again: Though Touring Behind His 43rd Album, the Prolific Songwriter Has More Tunes in the Works

John McCutcheon - Press Photo - Eric Petersen

Singer-songwriter John McCutcheon returns to the Barns at the Wolf Trap on April 20. “I have played at the Barns more than any other venue in the world,” said McCutcheon. “The first time I played there was 1981, which I believe was when they just opened up.” And excluding the pandemic, he has played the venue annually. Fans can expect tracks from McCutcheon’s latest album, “Leap!”, his 43rd record—equating to about one per year – as well as long-time favorites. Learn more with contributing writer Eric Althoff.

Her Body of Work Is a Wonderland: Carolyn Wonderland Will Bring her Texas Blues to Rams Head On Stage

Carolyn Wonderland - Press Photo - Marilyn Stringer

When asked by her friend and collaborator Cindy Cashdollar who would top her dream list of producers for her first album on Alligator Records, only one name came to Carolyn Wonderland’s mind: Dave Alvin. “She called him up, and he said sure,” Wonderland said in a recent interview about such fortunate happenstance. “He would refer to himself as the ‘mad rearranger.’” That album, “Tempting Fate,” is the 11th record of Wonderland’s career. Her songwriting weaves the sounds of blues, gospel, and even some country into its sonic landscape. Learn more with contributing writer Eric Althoff.

Peter Case Is Bringing His Latest Compositions to Jammin’ Java

Peter Case - Photo courtesy of the artist

Recent Articles If the name Peter Case doesn’t ring a bell, how about the Plimsouls? You might well remember their amazing song “A Million Miles Away,” featured ever so prominently in 1983’s “Valley Girl,” starring a rather young (and not yet quite so crazy but nonetheless a bit batty) Nicolas Cage. Despite the runaway success […]

Crusin’ for Some Bluesin’: California’s Tommy Castro Set to Return to Annapolis—and the High Seas—with You!

Tommy Castro & The Painkillers - Kathleen Harrison

Tommy Castro believes that what is considered “blues” music has shifted over the decades. Thus, what you might hear played on B.B. King’s Bluesville on SiriusXM falls under a rather broad catchall of various influences. Tommy Castro & the Painkillers will bring their swinging’ West Coast sound to the Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis April 2. It’ll be a rocking and rolling return for the ensemble that is not to be missed. Learn more with contributing writer Eric Althoff, including details on a special offer available to fans who purchase a ticket to the show.

Texas Royalty Marcia Ball Brings Acoustic Tour to the DMV on Double Bill with Tinsley Ellis

Marcia Ball - Press Photo by Mary Bruton

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.

The Smithereens Are Due to Retake the Birchmere Post-Covid

The Smithereens - Press Photo - Neil Seiffer

If you smell something rather unusual at the Birchmere on March 17, there’s at least a chance that the Smithereens’ fans have brought them…crabs. That actually happened once at the venue back in the day when the Jersey boys played the famous Alexandria stage. “One of our fans, a longtime fan, brought me a dozen crabs,” recalls guitarist Jim Babjak. “I had them [wrapped] in newspapers, and I stunk up the back! But the band tolerates me because they know I love Maryland crabs.” The Smithereens share memories of playing the Birchmere—and their hopes for a joyful present – with contributing writer Eric Althoff.

Tina Turner ‘Salute’ Act Is Set to Rock the Birchmere with New Jersey-Based Suzette Dorsey

Suzette Dorsey as Tina Turner - Photo Courtesy of the Artist

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

Jeff Draco - Letters - Press Photo

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.

Violinist Mazz Swift Will Join the Multicultural Silkroad Ensemble at George Mason

Mazz Swift - Cropped Feature Image

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.

Becoming Paul: This Baltimore Musician Will Give You the McCartney Show You Always Wanted to See

The McCartney Experience - L-R: Danny Lough, Kevin Driscoll, Jed Duvall “Paul,” Mark St. Pierre, Charlie Hamilton

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.