Odds and Ends of August
Among all this musical bustle, clubs continued to host acts regularly. I've been a bit lax this month, overall, but here are some tidbits from some of what I've seen and heard in recent weeks:
Travis at the 9:30 Club (July 16)
Technically, this show was in July but I never got around to blogging about it (left to Spain the next day). Travis is a talented Scottish rock band who exploded on the scene in 1999 with their hit "Why Does it Always Rain on Me?" from their second album, The Man Who. They wavered a bit for a few years, then took their time with the newest album, The Boy with No Name, and it paid off; it's a gem.
Travis opened this show with lead singer Fran Healy entering from the back, walking through the crowd to the stage dressed as Rocky, while a recording of Eye of the Tiger played. After a short medley of recorded American music whipped the crowd into a frenzy, Travis played their long, inspired, and tight set. Healy's voice is truly an instrument in itself. The show was aired live on NPR and is archived, along with a set list, here: ttp://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=11910318
The Grateful Dread
While vacationing on Martha's Vineyard in August, I enjoyed the sounds of The Grateful Dread, a bunch of talented local musicians who come together to perform reggae covers of Grateful Dead songs. The songs lend themselves quite well to reggae arrangements and the result was a hip and hippie set at the one microbrewery on the island, Offshore Ale House.
Back on the mainland, back home in Virginia, a Martha's Vineyard based band came to play at Reston Town Center on August 18th (a summer series I've come to know quite well). Entrain, fronted by drummer extraordinaire Tom Major, plays a mix of island rhythms, ska, and worldbeat, with a heavy focus on percussion and horns. Live, the band performs numerous percussion jams utilizing djembe, congas, timbales and other percussion. Their new singer Jeff fit in quite nicely. They're continuing to write and record and tour. Watch for them.
Junior League at Rock n Roll Hotel, August 17
Got a late start and only caught the last band that night. Junior League, a local band, mix country and blues influences into their indie-rock sound with the help of a mandolin and harmonica and the result is fantastic. Singer Lissy Rosemont's sweet and soulful voice is a joy. Their studio tracks make heavy use of fiddle. This band should have a bright future. Definitely look out for them...
***Club D sends a special thanks to the dude from the North Carolina-based band The Old Ceremony who scored her a ride to the club that night from the bar Zaytinya. Was busy interviewing the club manager for a freelance piece on that bar and missed this band's set, unfortunately, but I do love their sound and will catch them next time around. Check out their song, "Papers in Order." Catchy stuff!