A couple of years back, my band opened for a Baltimore-based group called Community Center at the Tin Pan, and I have such happy memories of that evening. One thing that stands out to this day as I look back is how warm and kind the Community Center folks were, and I can confirm after interviewing guitarist and vocalist Brian Loeper for the latest issue of River City Magazine that their commitment to inclusion runs even deeper than I realized, down to the bedrock of how they approach writing and performing.
I had such a nice conversation with Loeper, and I can’t recommend highly enough heading to Cary Street Café on Thursday, August 3rd to see them live. Click here to check out the article online, or here to find a print copy.
Community Center — “Baby Grand” [Spotify/Bandcamp]
On Friday night, I was spinning Aqualung on my turntable. On Saturday morning, I was speaking over the phone with Martin Barre, Jethro Tull’s legendary guitarist. (He’s performing at The Tin Pan on Saturday night.) It was a great, truly candid conversation, and I compiled the best bits for a Richmond Navigator interview that went online yesterday. I hope you’ll take a took and grab a ticket for Saturday, if you haven’t already.
If you’re curious about his solo work, here’s a track that provides a nice bridge between his past and present — a rearrangement of the Jethro Tull song “Slow Marching Band” that Barre included on his 2016 Back to Steel album.
Martin Barre — “Slow Marching Band” [Spotify/iTunes]
So happy to see my interview with Perpetual Groove hit the interweb. This was a pleasure to work on, in part because it’s such an exciting moment for the band. They’re picking up steam after taking some time off — new EP, on tour now, and they’ll be stopping in Richmond at the National this Saturday night. Should be a special show — keyboardist Matt McDonald said some really nice things about the National in our interview. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to learn more about their journey and their history of environmental activism in this River City Magazine article.
Perpetual Groove — “Best Of Anything” [Spotify/iTunes]
Call it creative vision. Call it a sense of purpose. Clarity. Self-awareness. However you want to describe it, talking to drummer/percussionist Jake Sellers convinced me: The Hot Seats have it.
I walked away from our recent interview with a stomach full of delicious Pho Tay Do food and a huge amount of respect for the group, which has won fans on both sides of the Atlantic. They strike me as protectors of something vital — something funny and fearless and closer to the actual “root” of the roots music that’s experienced a recent resurgence.
This quote from the article might say it better than any other:
“I think we very much as a band like [what’s] scratchy, looser … I don’t want to say dangerous, but less safe. Take a chance. We’re certainly willing to fall on our faces trying a song we’ve never played before in front of an audience because that’s where the excitement is.”
I love that, and I want to thank Jake for taking the time to meet and explore what he and the band are doing. Click here to read the whole River City Magazine article, or pick up a hard copy at one of these locations.
The Hot Seats — “I Ain’t No Better Now” [Spotify/iTunes]
So excited to have finally gotten my hands on a copy of the September/October issue of River City Magazine. Hopefully y’all already snagged a copy and saw the article I did with bassist Brian Cruse. If not, you can check it out here (UPDATED LINK). I really hope you will, because I can honestly say that the conversation that led to this article is among my favorite interview experiences.
Tonight, y’all. Lots going down. Too much to fit into one post.
First, a heads up about Jonathan Edwards. I wrote a thing for Richmond Navigator about how the writer of “Sunshine (Go Away Today)” and other hits will be stopping at the Tin Pan tonight. Click here to read it — it’s half preview and half review of his new album, Tomorrow’s Child. I really like Tomorrow’s Child, and one thing I’ll mention here that I didn’t sufficiently explore in that piece is how gracefully honest the lyrics are.