Goodman’s Good Music – Concert Picks of the Week – May 21st

Week Of:  May 21-27, 2018

Summary: Who'll Stop the Rain

It been feeling a lot like that old Ray Bradbury story, "All Summer In A Day," around these parts. But finally we can substitute the soak for the good old humidity and hot we have grown so accustomed to in the DMV. A pleasant day in the 70s, who needs it?

If this week is any indication of what's to come this summer, it's going to be HOT. Here's a breakout of some mammoth artists (hellooooo Annie Clark) and legends (Willie Nelson!!!) and festivals (finally DelFest) and jams and rock and songstresses and indie goodness and local amazingness to help you plan out your let's-get-sweaty week ahead. 

Legends and Mammoth Things:

  • May 23 - St. Vincent at The National - Annie Clark of St. Vincent is a modern day heroine both on the stage and off and puts on an impeccable show. She is a madhouse of talent and savvy and guitar prowess and is one of the best live shows I've seen. Do not miss the opportunity to see her on her "I Am A Lot Like You" tour.
  • May 24-27 - DelFest at Allegany County Fairgrounds, Cumberland MD - What is DelFest? It's a festival that takes place in Cumberland, MD that, "originated from the desire to create a family-friendly music festival celebrating the rich legacy of McCoury Music while creating a forum for world-class musical collaborations and to showcase fresh new talent with a down-home feeling." Featured artists this year include: The Del McCoury Band, The Travelin' McCourys, Old Crow Medicine Show, Greensky Bluegrass, Billy Strings, Birds of Chicago, Fruition, David Grisman, Rising Appalachia (also playing at 9:30 Club this week, see below!), Sierra Hull, and many more. Several DCMR staff will be headed to Cumberland to experience the festival and share highlights with you on our site!
  • May 27 - 10,000 Maniacs at The Birchmere - The Maniacs still have it, never didn't have it. This group, their fearless leader Natalie Merchant, their message, stands the test of time. 

Rock/Bluegrass/Funky Jams:

  • May 23 - Jerry Tripsters at Gypsy Sally's - They just played so hard at the Ottobar last week. Catch them back in DC at the beloved Gypsy Sally's and read more about their journey here!)
  • May 25 - Rising Appalachia at the 9:30 Club - Multi-instrumentalist sisters Leah and Chloe Smith describe their new album, Alive, as, "a magical mixing of free-folk, sister-soul, banjo-bass, and acoustic dance-beat throwdown between the beloved members of Rising Appalachia. Featuring the peppered layers and instrumentation of special guests Arouna Diarra and Ayla Nereo, this album is a compilation of our favorite musical arrangements throughout the years." They will be gracing us with their incredible songs and musicality at the the 9:30 Club before hitting DelFest this weekend. 
  • May 25 - Mousey Thompson's James Brown Experience at Blues Alley - Led by former James Brown drummer Robert "Mousey" Thompson, The James Brown Experience is an, "all-star ensemble that faithfully performs the most popular songs by one of the greatest music legends of our time." This is one of the best shows in town and the ultimate throwback to the real deal.
  • May 26 - On the Bus (Dead Tribute) with Skaii at Gypsy Sally's - See local favorite Dead tribute band on the main stage for a real good time and then go check out Annette Wasilik at Vinyl Lounge who is described as such: "...if John Prine and Natalie Merchant had a daughter, you’d have an idea of DC-born Annette Wasilik’s sound." Solid.
  • May 26 - Stone Driver with Black Dog Prowl & Fellowcraft at Union Stage - Stone Driver, voted DC's 2018 Best Original Band in DC City Paper, "harnesses grunge, blues rock, progressive, and psychedelic influences to create powerful and soulful music." Along with Black Dog Prowl (hard hitting rock) and Fellowcraft (original grunge-blues), Stone Driver will be playing songs of their newly released album, Chasing Demons and donating 100% of their revenue from this show to Rolling Thunder approved charities. I've heard only great things about this band, check them out for a good cause.

Indie/Pop/Jazz and Vocal Sweetness:

  • May 21 - Matt Costa with Elizabeth and the Catapult at Jammin' Java - I've been waiting to see the spirited, smart, smile-on-my-face making Elizabeth and the Catapult for a long time since I like to think that we may be distant cousins. (I would be so lucky.) I did some research on Matt Costa and he writes and delivers some seriously incredible songs. Put these two together for a show and I have to think some kind of magic is going to happen. 
  • May 23 - Strathmore Artist in Residence: Cecily - I met this amazingly talented woman while she was supporting other Strathmore Artists-In-Residence friends; she has a voice that takes you in warmly and doesn't let you go. Plus, she is as vibrant, gracious, and present face-to-face as she is on a stage. In the words of legendary singer Patti Austin, “[Cecily is] a brilliant, beautiful, and talented young lady—look out!” She is described as a, "powerhouse vocalist and sensitive songwriter with a passion for soul, jazz, and ’90s R&B," and is not to be missed. 
  • May 23 - Baltimore Swing Drop at Bossa - My lovely, musical-sister E. swears by this show but I can never make it up to Baltimore to catch them. This time, there's no excuse not to go check out these hot swing vibes and good times.
  • May 27 - Laura Veirs at Union Stage - NPR's Stephen Thompson's review of Laura Veirs latest album, The Lookout, describes her songs as having the ability to, "shimmer softly without sacrificing directness or power." DCMR staff have been excited for this intimate show at Union Stage. Her music is on repeat for me from now until Sunday so I can take it all in before what my colleagues are promising will be a breathtaking show. 
  • May 27 - Akua Allrich + The Tribe, "A Tribute to Mother" at Blues Alley - We've written about DC-native Akua Allrich's dynamic vocals and vibrant soul here before. She has, "with finesse and charisma... successfully etched out a place for her unique musical expression, electrifying audiences in and around the nation’s capital with sold-out performances." Do yourself a favor and go see this incredible artist in the perfect setting of Blues Alley, you won't regret it.

Local Scene Goodness:

These are but some of the talented local (and visiting from nearby) musicians making waves this week.  Every time I see a show at one of these venues, it feels raw and real. I've checked out each of these upcoming artists, just wish I had to see bandwidth to see them all:

Here are our recommendations for shows throughout the DMV.

All Featured Events


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About the author
Nina Goodman

Nina Goodman

Nina Goodman is a music lover, dancer, artist, keyboardist, and an avid ukulele player. You may even see her up on stage performing with local DC bands. Above all, Nina is a fierce supporter of the Washington DC local music scene. Nina's talents are mostly behind the scenes where she maintains and curates our event calendar and conducts interviews with local artists. If there is music playing in the DMV, you can expect to see her attending or at least making sure that our audience knows about it.