Photo: Joy Asico
Photo: Joy Asico

Buckeye + Bear: The Buzz Behind Dupont’s Newest Live Music Venue

If you’re on the hunt for a place to watch the Olympics this month, Dupont Circle’s newest live music venue and sports bar has you covered. Buckeye + Bear, a casual neighborhood hangout on M Street, opened in June with a wide slate of offerings. But if sports aren’t quite your bag, fear not – the venue has something for everyone.

The two-room entertainment space is the latest from partners Ryan Seelbach and Eric Lund, who opened The Huxley in the same spot in 2012. Earlier this year, the duo opened TAKODA Restaurant, Beer Garden & Whiskey Bar in Shaw, an experience that paved the way for the similarly community-focused Buckeye + Bear, a name drawn from their home states of Ohio and Alaska.

“We pride ourselves on being very warm and inviting. To do that successfully, we have to have programming that reflects different tastes.”

“We really enjoy running a neighborhood-friendly venue,” says Seelbach, who got his start in the industry working in Las Vegas. He and Lund saw a need for a smaller, laid-back space that had a lot to offer – a local stop with something for everyone.

To do that, Lund and Seelbach put together a roster of regular performances spanning genres from Latin to country, and featuring regular comedy nights and live band karaoke. That’s in addition to showing all major DC sports games and others from around the country.

“If someone comes in and has a game they want to see, we will do that for them,” Seelbach says, emphasizing that the venue is designed to meet the needs of guests.

From the bookings to the beer selection, there’s a strong local focus at Buckeye + Bear. The bar has DC Brau and 3 Stars on draught along with other staples (available half-price during their nightly happy hour), and the BBQ menu includes the DC half-smoke alongside nachos and sandwiches. The lineup for live performances is also largely drawn from the DC scene, including sets from Underground Comedy on Tuesdays, District Cabaret on Saturdays, and Kostume Karaoke and Trio Caliente on alternating Wednesdays.

“I would say 75 percent of our performers are local,” Seelbach says.

The other 25 percent are acts passing through town, and reflect the overall vibe Buckeye + Bear is going for – that everyone is welcome.

“We pride ourselves on being very warm and inviting. To do that successfully, we have to have programming that reflects different tastes.”

So far, it seems Buckeye + Bear has found its place among other local venues, due in part to the variety they offer.

“Whether it’s showing comedy acts, Latin trios, country music or live band karaoke, the reception has been extremely positive.”

Catch “live power hour” band Lunch Money Bandits on August 18, and checkwww.buckeyebear.com regularly for details about other upcoming shows. There you’ll also find information about birthday specials (including free drinks with advance notice), tickets to special events and game schedules.

Buckeye + Bear: 1730 M St. NW, DC; 202-670-1730;  www.buckeyebear.com

Photo: Joy Asico
Photo: Courtesy of Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
Photo: Courtesy of Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

Nathaniel Rateliff’s Music Is Helping America Get Through the Night Sweats

Take your pick of any number of articles about Nathaniel Rateliff over the past few months, and they’ll all tell you some version of how he’s hit his stride in the retro music renaissance, and how he hasn’t stopped going up, up, up since he and his band The Night Sweats made their The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon debut this month last year. Both of those things are true – Rateliff’s music is foot-stomping and soulful, and his is a classic “toiling musician makes it overnight” story. But what doesn’t necessarily come across in these pieces is why he is suddenly America’s sweetheart.

“You’re always kind of humbled and blown away by the audiences surrounding you,” he says. “But I guess at some point, we have to start to realize that this is what we’re doing, you know? People are going to come and [we can’t] be so shocked all the time.”

It’s not just the popular “retro look” that draws the crowds – though the denim, plaid, leather boot and fedora-clad ensemble certainly has that – people are connecting to Rateliff and his crew because they sound like…America. Like home. Musically, it’s country mixed with James Brown; it’s bluegrass with The Rolling Stones and Elvis’s “Suspicious Minds.” Lyrically, it’s the expression of genuine experiences wrapped up in classic themes that makes the songs so appealing.

“Howling at Nothing,” from the band’s 2015 self-titled breakout album, is a perfect example. It’s about holding tight and living through the sadness, and even the anger.

“So, let me in or let me down/Let me lay here so slow/Baby just keep holding got to move our feet/Cause you know it ain’t end,” croons the singer-songwriter and guitarist. It’s the kind of tune that would be playing on a car stereo in the background of a scene in a Quentin Tarantino movie.

And Rateliff himself seems genuine, like the real deal, despite doing the industry dance and living life on the road for the past year. He’s audibly exhausted over the phone, but still manages to smile across the line. He says “after years of struggling to get people to pay attention,” having a Billboard No. 1 with “S.O.B.” and playing some of the biggest venues around the world certainly caused some whiplash, but the new reality is taking over.

“You’re always kind of humbled and blown away by the audiences surrounding you,” he says. “But I guess at some point, we have to start to realize that this is what we’re doing, you know? People are going to come and [we can’t] be so shocked all the time.”

Clearly, Rateliff’s music nostalgically recalls the “America” that a lot of people are missing right now, but it doesn’t lack some sick, hard riffs that also say, “Hey, wake up, it’s 2016.”

Born and raised in Missouri, 37-year-old Rateliff originally learned to play and sing in his church, and has worked a variety of blue-collar jobs over the years. So while he’s understandably excited to be able to do things like invest in a restaurant with friends in the Denver music scene, and to be playing a sold-out show at Red Rocks, he’s still grounded in the issues affecting us as a nation. During an emotional moment at Wolf Trap this past spring, Rateliff got choked up about the potential he saw for working Americans with Bernie Sanders as a presidential candidate.

“That was the first time I ever donated money to a campaign. And, I don’t know, I was just really hoping that somebody was gonna come along and really care about the working people, not just in the United States, but in the world and you know, be an American leader.”

Rateliff and his band will return to Northern Virginia in September to play at Farm Aid, a benefit concert first organized by Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp in 1985, at Jiffy Lube Live. Farm Aid raises awareness about the loss of family farms and the funds to keep them running – another cause close to Rateliff’s heart. Though he grew up in the Midwest where Future Farmers of America is huge, the musician says he didn’t always comprehend the full impact of the organization.

“But [now I understand] it’s important, and we want to be a part of it to remind people of the community that family farms are the most important part of where our food comes from. It’s kind of nice to have this movement, the farm-to-table thing, but on a larger scale I think just even farming practices need to change. We need to take that out of the hands of corporations and put it back into the hands of families.”

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats will be at the Farm Aid music festival on September 17 in Bristow, Va. Tickets run $49.50-$189.50, and the lineup includes Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews, Alabama Shakes and Sturgill Simpson.

Farm Aid at Jiffy Lube Live: 7800 Cellar Door Dr. Bristow, VA; 703-754-6400;www.farmaid.org

Photo: Michael Comte
Photo: Michael Comte

Talking Style and Songs with LP

LP is fun to talk to.

Before hopping on our call, I didn’t have the slightest idea of what to expect from the androgynous-dressing, soulful-singing pop diva, besides my desire to touch on her unisex fashion sense.

LP – don’t call her Laura Pergolizzi – is a fixture in the pop genre, as her music largely consists of heartfelt personal tales packaged with easily digestible sounds. She’s known to play a ukulele on stage, and has remained a notable songwriter over the last two decades, penning songs for Rihanna and Christina Aguilera, to name a few.

Now the 38-year-old is touring the country, on the back of her latest EP, Death Valley. On Tap caught up with the singer-songwriter just in time for her three upcoming shows in the District, opening for Roxy Music’s Bryan Ferry at Lincoln Theatre tonight and Monday, July 25, and headlining U Street Music Hall on Tuesday, July 26.

On Tap: Laura Pergolizzi is a cool name. Why go by LP?
LP:
You know, I just resonate with LP. I don’t mind my last name, but my name isn’t Laura to me. It’s just one of those things. When everybody started calling me LP, it just felt right. I might actually get my name changed with the government at some point.

OT: You definitely carved a niche for yourself as a songwriter. Is it hard to pen stuff for someone else? Do you ever think, “Damn, I should be singing this?”
LP:
I have a publisher. Getting songs places is a lot more difficult than people would think. They go through a lot of channels people don’t realize. There are publishers, managers and luck involved. I’ve never been upset that I gave a song. There’s one song I wish I gave out, but didn’t, called “Night Like This.” I should have given it to Shakira.

OT: How come?
LP:
There’s an inherent girliness to the song. I heard a woman do it once, as a fan, and it was sexier. I can’t really describe it. There was more depth to the song when she sang it. When another person sings a song, it can sound different.

OT: Is Death Valley part of a bigger release?
LP:
It’s part of a bigger release. I just wanted to get something out there.

OT: Will it carry the same theme?
LP:
Yeah, always. It’s definitely more of the same regarding difficult shit that I went through in 2014 and 2015, in both my personal and professional life. I love when records take you on a journey. I definitely feel like the EP does. The last song was one of those where I was already out of those bad times. The timing was perfect for that song. It was that place, where you’re still kind of hurt, but you go ahead and do what you need to do. Songwriting is the conveying of emotional depth, and you don’t want to go in there with a sledgehammer. You go in there with a scalpel.

OT: I feel like it can be monotonous to ask every musician about their influences regarding music, so I want to know your style influences.
LP:
The guy I’m opening up for right now is one of my fashion icons – Bryan Ferry. David Bowie was for sure, especially [in] a lot of his slim suits. Bob Dylan was as well. Back in the day, 60s Bob Dylan was my jam. I love the old-style Beatles suit days – that kind of shit. I try to carve out my own path. I would say the main inspiration for me, for style, is a brand of androgyny. It’s really interesting with all the people that have died recently, like David Bowie and Prince, who had amazing brands of androgyny. I feel like we, as a race of people, are hopefully getting more tolerant and more understanding of gender neutrality and things like that. I’m not interested in genders disappearing, but I’m interested in reversals and exaggerations, and combinations coming out in any way they want. That’s what drives me fashion-wise. I want to look on the outside how I feel on the inside.

Don’t miss LP’s performance tonight at Lincoln Theatre. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and tickets start at $55. She’ll also perform on Monday, July 25 at Lincoln and Tuesday, July 26 at U Street Music Hall. Learn more about her here: http://iamlp.com/.

Lincoln Theatre: 1215 U St NW, DC; 202-888-0050; www.thelincolndc.com

U Street Music Hall: 1115 U St. NW, DC; 202-588-1889; www.ustreetmusichall.com

Photo: Michael Comte

Photo: Courtesy of Terry McDermott's Facebook page
Photo: Courtesy of Terry McDermott's Facebook page

‘The Voice’ Alum Terry McDermott Plays Songbyrd in Adams Morgan

Terry McDermott isn’t just a runner-up from NBC’s The Voice. The famed reality program was a fairly large part of his life, but his stint on the show doesn’t fully represent all that he is. McDermott is an innovative musician who plays classic rock with a hint of country influence, creating a sound that has continued to evolve throughout his musical journey.

“I think I’ve always tried to be progressive, I guess as a musician, or certainly as a member of a band,” McDermott says. “I think one of the biggest things for me was every time I’ve gone through a band, an incarnation has been representative of where I’ve been in my music career.”

Prior to his arrival on American soil, the Scottish-born McDermott lent his vocals to UK-based band Driveblind. His time in the band led him to venture overseas and play shows in the States. But after releasing their debut self-titled album in 2006, followed by an EP in 2008, the band eventually parted ways.

“When Driveblind disbanded, I used it as a great opportunity to try and write and approach songwriting differently,” he explains. “That was the first time I ever consciously got to do that because I had always been in Driveblind.”

Since stepping away from Driveblind, McDermott assembled two additional bands – Lotus Crush and Terry McDermott & The Bonfires – and carved out time to cultivate a solo act, allowing him to refresh his musical palette.

“I’m taking it back to my roots, most definitely,” he says. “The new single I’m releasing, which I’m going to play at Songbyrd, I’ve heard people describe it as a cross between something by The Allman Brothers Band and The Beatles, and I think that’s actually very fair when I listen to it with that in mind.”

In 2012, the musician veered into new territory when he auditioned for the third season of The Voice.

“I don’t think I quite understood – and really I still don’t – what I was in for,” he says. “The idea of going and doing that was very alien and very different. It was kind of a great life lesson.”

During his blind audition, McDermott nailed his rendition of The Who’s “Baba O’Riley.” His reasoning behind choosing the popular rock song? He believed that “it was an example of real, true rock ‘n’ roll.”

Ultimately, his noteworthy audition won over three of the four judges – Blake Shelton, CeeLo Green and Adam Levine – as they fought to have McDermott on their team. In the end, he decided to join Team Blake, which proved to be a rewarding experience for him.

“Blake is an absolute gentleman and an absolute joy to work with,” he says. “I got this expensive guitar that Blake gave [me] as a gift. He didn’t want the cameras to see any of this or make a big deal of it.”

Throughout his journey on The Voice and his time within various bands, McDermott continues to grow as a musician and perform in various capacities. And he’s looking forward to being back in the District for tonight’s show.

Don’t miss his performance this evening at Songbyrd Music House and Record Cafe in Adams Morgan. Doors will open at 7:30 p.m. and the show will begin at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $10 and are available at www.ticketfly.com.

Songbyrd Music House and Record Cafe: 2477 18th St. NW, DC; 202-450-2917;www.songbyrddc.com

Photo: Courtesy of Terry McDermott’s Facebook page

Photo of Willy Porter and Carmen Nickerson – Matthew Busey
Photo of Willy Porter and Carmen Nickerson – Matthew Busey

Finger-Picking Guitarist Willy Porter Comes to The Hamilton

At 11 years old, Wisconsin-based musician Willy Porter had learned to play his first song on the guitar – “The House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals. For those familiar with the 60s tune, it isn’t your typical lighthearted song that the average pre-teen would be interested in playing. Hence, his mother was shocked by his song of choice. And that was only the start of Porter’s interest in an eclectic range of music.

As a largely self-taught musician, Porter has managed to make a successful career for himself with his unique fingerstyle guitar technique. He describes his early beginnings in music as “very fortunate and pretty aggressive.” However, he’s enjoyed the ride, as he continues to share his love of music by blending blues and acoustic rock to cultivate his signature sound. In time, his work with Guild Guitars – a U.S.-based guitar manufacturer – resulted in the creation of a “Willy Porter Signature” acoustic-electric guitar.

“I just love music,” Porter says. “All of that filters into what I do.”

To date, Porter has released over 10 albums, with work stretching back to the late 80s. On his most recent release, 2015’s Human Kindness, he returned to his original sound, tying together a collection of acoustic-electric tunes. As a result, fans of his music will be able to see his progression as a well-rounded musician.

Throughout his career, he has had the opportunity to meet some of his personal heroes on tour, including Sting and Paul Simon. Although he has grown accustomed to performing live amongst music industry heavyweights, he admits that he still gets nervous before a performance from time to time.

“I get worried if I don’t get nervous,” he says. “If you’re not nervous a little bit, then you don’t have enough respect for it.”

Currently, Porter is touring with fellow Wisconsin native and singer-songwriter Carmen Nickerson. This partnership birthed the album Cheeseburgers and Gasoline in 2013.

“What we are doing is fresh,” he says. “Without sounding arrogant, we’ve written some killer music.”

As an added bonus, the duo’s vocals perfectly complement each other, making it all the better. Earlier this year, their stellar performance skills were noted as they were showcased on NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion.

After 35 years of playing, he isn’t ready to pull in the reins just yet. Porter is still inspired to create fresh and innovative music by one thing in particular: the human condition.

“Everything from love and loss to trying to build a better mouse trap,” he says. “Everything that human beings go through while they’re here, and everything they dream about that might exist when they leave. All of those things inspire me.”

Catch Porter and Nickerson on tour at The Hamilton tonight. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the show begins at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $15, and are available atwww.ticketfly.com.

The Hamilton: 600 14th St. NW, DC; 202-787-1000; www.thehamiltondc.com

Photo of Willy Porter and Carmen Nickerson – Matthew Busey

pentagon row

Rock the Row at Pentagon Row 2016

Hot bands and cold beer return to Pentagon Row for the annual Rock the Row series. Each week, a different band takes the stage and a different craft brewery is featured in the VIP lounge. The VIP lounge will host Virginia craft brewers, plus a rotating restaurant partner. 7-9 p.m. Admission to the concerts is free, admission to the VIP lounge is $10 and all proceeds are donated to Stop Child Abuse Now of Northern Virginia. Pentagon Row: 1101 S Joyce St. Arlington, VA; www.pentagonrow.com

Summer 2016 Lineup
In the VIP Lounge
**Admission $10

THURSDAY, JULY 21
Gonzo’s Nose, Union Craft Brewing
Tickets

THURSDAY, JULY 28
The Rockets, Devils Backbone
Tickets

SATURDAY, JULY 30
Special Saturday Night Performance
257th Army Band

THURSDAY, AUGUST 4
Reagan Years, Mad Fox Brewing Company
Tickets

THURSDAY, AUGUST 11
3AM Tokyo, Coastal Brewing Co.
Tickets

THURSDAY, AUGUST 18
White Ford Bronco, South Street Brewing Co.
Tickets

THURSDAY, AUGUST 25
Crazy In Stereo, O’ Connor Brewing Co.
Tickets

Nats Friday Night Sept 30  (77)

Budweiser Music Series at Nats Park 2016

Every Friday home game, the best place to pre-game is at the Budweiser Terrace inside the ballpark.  Enjoy cold Bud and Bud Light and hot tunes from the city’s best cover bands.  This week enjoy live music by Hand Painted Swinger. Music starts at 4:30 p.m. Nationals Park: 1500 S Capitol St. SE, DC

Summer Lineup 2016
** Tickets

FRIDAY, JULY 22
Hand Painted Swinger
Tickets

FRIDAY, AUGUST 5
The Reflex
Tickets

FRIDAY, AUGUST 12
Jeff From Accounting
Tickets

FRIDAY, AUGUST 26
Sly 45
Tickets

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 9
Lovely Rita
Tickets

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30
White Ford Bronco
Tickets

Photo: Shervin Lainez
Photo: Shervin Lainez

“Scary” Talented Artist Emily King Hits DC

It’s been a year since the release of Emily King’s latest album, The Switch, and apparently the record was so dope, she’s running it back. A deluxe re-release is set to hit both physical and digital music shops today, featuring three new tracks and a few demos of existing songs.

Growing up in New York City, King draws inspiration from the faces of various individuals traversing the concrete jungle of the Northeast metropolis. Her music reflects these drastically different walks of life, as songs bounce from rapidly cheery to methodical and dramatic while spanning the entire scope of the R&B genre. All of these climactic turns are heavily prevalent in her second studio release.

Fans in the DMV have a chance to celebrate the release, as King is set to serenade the 9:30 Club on Saturday night. Before her descent into the nation’s capital, On Tap was able to speak with the Grammy-nominated artist about lost tracks, synth and horror flicks.

On Tap: You didn’t record a full-length album for nine years, from 2006 to 2015. How many unheard songs do you have scribbled in various notebooks?
Emily King:
I would say upwards of 100. It’s endless with the voice memos, because it’s so easy to record ideas. I often fall in love with demos, because it’s the first impression of the song. [With The Switch] ones in particular, I felt I enjoyed [them] start to finish so much that I thought, “Why not release them?”

OT: Will we ever hear those unheard tracks?
EK:
Unless I put them in my will, it’s probably not possible. I prefer people only hear what I think is good enough. There are certainly a lot of bad ideas you have to sift through before you get to the good ones.

OT: With that being said, are you working on new material now?
EK:
I’m actually really excited to work on a new album, and I’ve been working on demo after demo and am planning to record it differently. Usually I sculpt songs at home and send them to my producer, but this time I’d like to do it in a secluded studio or out in the woods somewhere before I flesh it out in a different place.

OT: So like a Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago sort of thing?
EK:
Yeah, I think it’s helpful to be isolated. I think artists pull a lot from nature and silence. The energy is different there. I grew up in New York and I know what it’s like to have to have people on top of you. It’s a total shift of energy when you go somewhere like the woods. It’s a shift of focus, plus I like camping and hiking.

OT: Do you often use your surroundings as inspiration?
EK:
I think the Village in New York City [sticks out] – being surrounded by so many walks of life and all the growing pains I’ve experienced walking around the streets of New York. Inspiration-wise, my parents are some of my biggest influences. I totally mimic everything they do, and I’ve learned how to tell a story while singing a song, rather than just singing. Michael Jackson is also a big influence.

OT: Since Prince’s passing, I’ve been listening to a ton of his music. Some of your quicker songs remind me of him as well.
EK:
Thanks for noticing. Growing up, I was more into Michael Jackson, but over the past few years I’ve become more aware of Prince. I’ve always known he was one of the greatest artist of our time, but to be honest, some of the synth sounds weren’t really my thing. I didn’t really like the sound palette of the 80s.

OT: If you could make a concept album, what would you do?
EK:
I just love scary movies. I love haunted houses. I love being scared in that way. Not all types of scared – more ghostly, grave types of scared, so it would probably be something along those lines. With vampires. There is something about a great groove that’s kind of scary, too.

OT: What horror movie have you been geeking out on lately?
EK:
I’ve been watching some recently. It Follows sticks out to me.

OT: Doesn’t that movie have a ton of synth music?
EK:
I’ve synthed myself to the point that I started liking it. When something is liked by everyone else, then I force myself to understand it.

OT: So, basically, fans can expect an all-synth album from you in the future?
EK:
Exactly. Look out Daft Punk, I’m comin’ for you. Or I’ll start directing horror films.

Catch Emily King’s performance on Saturday, July 9. Doors open at 7 p.m., and tickets are $25.

9:30 Club: 815 V St. NW DC; 202-265-0930; www.930.com

Photo: Shervin Lainez

Photo: Courtesy of Wolf Trap
Photo: Courtesy of Wolf Trap

Bob Dylan Captures That Old Feeling at Wolf Trap

How do you keep moving forward? It is a question that plagues every artist, no matter what stage they’re at in their respective careers. If you’re Bob Dylan, the most celebrated songwriter of the rock era and an international icon, the answer is an interesting one. You move backwards, and in Dylan’s case, that involves going all the way back.

Back to what? The golden age of American songwriting – the time when countless song peddlers of Tin Pan Alley alongside figures like the Gershwins, Cole Porter and Irving Berlin enraptured pre-Cold War cities with stories of romance, nostalgia and the finer things in life. Their works fill The Great American Songbook, and Bob Dylan drew from this canon for his last two studio albums, and for his performances at Wolf Trap’s Filene Center this week.

On this stop of the “Never Ending Tour,” vocal standards made famous by singers like Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole were peppered into a set that spanned Dylan’s career, yet focused on his last three albums: Fallen Angels, Shadows in the Night and Tempest. Songs that were originally composed for the Broadway stage or a New York nightclub might seem out of place amongst Dylan’s reflective, acerbic poeticism, yet fit quite snuggly with them.

Where more traditional arrangements of standards like “All or Nothing at All” or “That Old Feeling” usually reflect the songwriter’s cosmopolitan aspirations, Dylan and his band filtered the 1940s songs into a sound that meets somewhere between downtown and the Dust Bowl in the vast American musical landscape. In fact, there’s a certain jazz quality that underlined many of the songs Dylan and his band performed on Tuesday night. Steamboat swing shone through in “Duquesne Whistle,” swamp blues simmered in “Early Roman Kings,” and Donnie Herron’s pedal and lap steel guitars added a kind of classic yet refined 1940s sound to the 2016 arrangements of both originals and standards.

Like Rod Stewart’s The Great American Songbook Collection albums showed, the gravelly voice of an elder rock statesman lends itself surprisingly well to songs usually recorded by virile, romantic young singers like Frank Sinatra or Bing Crosby. In Dylan’s case, his gravel and disposition truly carried the nostalgia of these songs like few other performers could. When he croaked, “There’ll be no new romance for me, it’s foolish to start” from “That Old Feeling,” the words came with a weight and wisdom that conjured all the ache and pain that the song has meant to thousands of lovers – old and young – over the decades.

Those who go seeking the Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan at his more recent shows will be disappointed – but they’d also have been disappointed by his live performances for the last 50 some years. Dylan hung up his “voice of the counterculture” hat as soon as the hipsters of the Village thrust it on his head. In fact, the only “original era” song he played was a steady rolling version of “Blowing in The Wind” in the encore. Surely in this age of ultimate political and social unrest, the great Bob Dylan would be moved to speak?

Well, that’s missing the point of Dylan today. He stands less for counterculture and more for ultimate culture: for craft, quality and excellence. Even though watching him perform is a bit like watching Shakespeare – it takes a few minutes to begin to understand his aged warble – his performance at Wolf Trap represented the power of persistence: the persistence of Bob Dylan, rock’s poet laureate, his own songs and the captivating power of The Great American Songbook. Dylan has spent the last five plus decades writing his own great American songbook – he deserves to sit down and enjoy another one from time to time.

Photo: Courtesy of Wolf Trap

MusicPicks

This Month in Music: July 2016

TUESDAY, JULY 5 – WEDNESDAY, JULY 6
Bob Dylan
Widely held as one of the greatest songwriters of all time, and one of the most influential, Bob Dylan just keeps going, so much so that his shows are referred to as the “Never Ending Tour.” Despite longevity, Dylan’s best days aren’t behind him, as his new music remains critically-acclaimed. A copy of his latest album, Fallen Angels, is included with a ticket. With Mavis Staples. 7:30 p.m. show. $45-$100. Wolf Trap Filene Center: 1551 Trap Rd. Vienna, VA; www.wolftrap.org

WEDNESDAY, JULY 6
Greyhounds
Austin duo Greyhounds describes their sound as “Hall and Oates meet ZZ Top.” It’s an apt description of the group’s first three albums for Memphis-based Ardent records. Comprised only of guitarist Andrew Trube and singer-keyboardist Anthony Farrell, Greyhounds’ sound is much bigger than the sum of its parts. Texas blues rock hero Gary Clark Jr. – also of Austin – recently tweeted “Greyhounds are crushing it – as usual” during one of their live performances in Los Angeles. With Bobby Thompson. 8 p.m. show. $10-$12. Gypsy Sally’s: 3401 K St. NW, DC; www.gypsysallys.com

Zella Day
Zella Day hails from a small town in the beautiful high-desert mountains north of Phoenix, Ariz., where her parents owned the only coffeehouse in town. Day’s pretty, ethereal songs certainly reflect her organic upbringing. Since, she’s moved to Los Angeles and added modern, electric beats and instrumentation to her folk songs, creating an intriguing hybrid of styles. The fetching chanteuse made a splash at this year’s Coachella festival and her single “Jameson,” about a lover’s fight with alcoholism, generated colossal critical buzz. 7 p.m. show. $20. U Street Music Hall: 1115 U St. NW, DC; www.ustreetmusichall.com

THURSDAY, JULY 7
Guided by Voices
Playing for more than 30 years, Guided by Voices has held one constant – frontman and songwriter Robert Pollard. The Dayton, Ohio indie rock band has released 24 albums, from lo-fi independent releases to major label ones. Now, Pollard is back with a new lineup and album. With Nap Eyes. 7 p.m. doors. $35. 9:30 Club: 815 V St. NW, DC; www.930.com

SATURDAY, JULY 9
Budweiser’s Bud & Burgers Music Party
Sitting around a record player with family members, you often hear arguments from the different generations about whose music was truly the most wonderful. Mom and Dad relish the big hair and bouncy tunes from the 80s, while you cling to your flannels and faded Nirvana T-shirts and hum 90s jams. With Budweiser’s Bud & Burgers party, music from the 80s, 90s and 2000s will battle it out for attendees. Musical acts include acts The Reflex, As If, Lloyd Dobler Effect, White Ford Bronco, DJ Chris Styles and DJ Pat Premier. Gates open at 11:30 a.m., show from 12-5 p.m. $20-$25. Nationals Park:1500 S. Capitol St. SE, DC; www.nationals.com/budmusic  

David Bazan
David Bazan is best known as the frontman and creative force behind acclaimed indie rockers Pedro the Lion. Bazan set that long-running project aside nearly a decade ago but, as a solo artist, the Seattle native continues to craft deep, dark and often beautiful rock songs that ponder some of life’s big questions through deeply introspective lyrics and swirling sounds. Bazan’s stage show is razor sharp from relentless touring, which promises a dynamic performance at the Black Cat this month. With Laura Gibson, Dave Hill and Church Night. 8 p.m. doors. $20. The Black Cat: 1811 14th St. NW, DC;www.blackcatdc.com

Emily King
Born and raised in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Emily King’s music often features soft vocals coupled with peaceful strums of a guitar. Whether you’re able to scurry down to 9:30 and see this soulful vocalist live, or if you’re in need of a gentle tune on the Metro during your commute, you could do far worse than listening to this upcoming NYC native. She even has pop star Sam Smith’s approval: “Unreal talent. In complete awe of this girl.” With PJ Morton. 7 p.m. doors. $25. 9:30 Club: 815 V St. NW, DC;www.930.com

Shenandoah Run
Shenandoah Run, a nine-piece folk band, often provides twangy tributes to traditional and contemporary folk music with a jolt, but this concert features a hearty dose of sentimental value. A portion of the proceeds go to Montgomery County Partners for Animal Wellness, a partner of the Montgomery County Animal Services & Adoption Center, and the goal is to benefit the animals residing in the shelter. So when you’re out on the floor two-stepping to these banjos, enjoy the added good feels of doing so for a cause. 8 p.m. show. $30-$40. AMP by Strathmore: 11810 Grand Park Ave. North Bethesda, MD; www.ampbystrathmore.com

TUESDAY, JULY 12
Steely Dan
Known for their groundbreaking 1970s albums, Steely Dan took a hiatus from 1981 to 1993. Since then, they’ve been touring and recording, and now they come to our area on their “The Dan Who Knew Too Much Tour 2016.” Also appearing is legendary soul/pop musician Steve Winwood. 7 p.m. show. Tickets start at $32. Jiffy Lube Live:7800 Cellar Door Dr. Bristow, VA; www.bristowamphitheater.com

THURSDAY, JULY 14
Wesley Stace
Wesley Stace has used the stage name John Wesley Harding on his previous albums. He took the name from the Bob Dylan album of the same name, which was named after an outlaw named John Wesley Hardin (Dylan added the “g” by accident). Confusing? Yes, but all you need to know is you should go check out this British-born folk/pop singer-songwriter. With Luke Mitchem. 7:30 p.m. show. $20. Jammin’ Java:227 Maple Ave. E. Vienna, VA; www.jamminjava.com

FRIDAY, JULY 15
Ray Wylie Hubbard
As one of the original purveyors of the “outlaw” movement that defined Texas country singer-songwriters in the 1970s, Ray Wylie Hubbard is perhaps best known for writing “Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother” – a song made famous by Jerry Jeff Walker. More than 40 years later, Hubbard remains a potent musical force. His 2015 release,The Ruffian’s Misfortune, delivered some gritty, hard-rocking country and blues numbers, punctuated by odes to muscle cars and female rockers like Joan Jett and Chrissie Hynde. The album also made several critics’ year-end lists of best releases of 2015. 9:30 p.m. $22-$35. Hill Country BBQ: 410 7th St. NW, DC;www.hillcountrywdc.com  

SATURDAY, JULY 16
Vans Warped Tour
The longest-running music festival in America – billed as “punk rock summer camp on wheels” –stops at Merriweather Post Pavilion this month to showcase dozens of energetic young rock bands, as well as the occasional hip-hop artist. Among the big draws this year are Falling in Reverse, Four Year Strong, Less Than Jake, New Found Glory, Reel Big Fish, Set It Off, Sum 41, We the Kings and Yellowcard. It’s hard to believe it’s been 19 years since this perennial summer tour first launched, and it’s always fun to see which of the young up-and-comers will use the festival as a springboard to greater national recognition. 11 a.m. doors. $41.50-$51.50. Merriweather Post Pavilion: 10475 Little Patuxent Pkwy. Columbia, MD; www.merriweathermusic.com

SUNDAY, JULY 17
Curtis McMurtry
Curtis McMurtry’s father, James, is one of America’s finest songwriters, and it seems the younger McMurtry paid close attention growing up. His debut solo album,Respectable Enemy, chronicles the lives of unapologetically bitter people still haunted by the ghosts of lovers and former friends. From the doomed narrator of “Foxhole” to the resigned nostalgia of “Eleanor’s House,” McMurtry’s songs aim to break your heart. The young singer-songwriter earned a degree in ethnomusicology from Sarah Lawrence College, and the classical training shows in his uncommon craftsmanship. 8 p.m. show. $12. IOTA Club & Cafe: 2832 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA;www.iotaclubandcafe.com

Sunday Funday with Honor by August and Air Traffic Controller
In recent years, the term “Sunday Funday” has become part of the vernacular among Americans who prefer to keep their weekend party going until the end. Local musical favorites Honor by August and Boston’s Air Traffic Controller will provide the soundtrack to the good times on the third Sunday of this month. Michael Pearsall, Honor by August’s lead vocalist and guitarist, knows how to work the stage. Plus, the band has packed the 9:30 Club and shared stages with Bon Jovi and Third Eye Blind. Air Traffic Controller’s eclectic song catalog and category-defying organic, electronic sound earned them a spot on NPR’s “hotlist” at last year’s SXSW in Austin. 6:30 p.m. show. $20-$30. Jammin’ Java: 227 Maple Ave. E. Vienna, VA; www.jamminjava.com

TUESDAY, JULY 19
Azealia Banks
Twitter’s queen of confrontation is about to set the Black Cat stage ablaze with furious rhymes and beautiful melodies. Regardless of your opinion on her social media presence, Banks’ penchant for creating dope music is undeniable, with award nominations from BET, Billboard and BBC. Even though she hasn’t produced an album since 2014’s Broke with Expensive Taste, the Manhattan native has tallied up a number of singles and features since. If her live shows are half as explosive as her Twitter feed, then this is a must-see. 7:30 p.m. doors. $30. The Black Cat: 1811 14th St. NW, DC;www.blackcatdc.com

THURSDAY, JULY 21
EmiSunshine
EmiSunshine (born Emilie Sunshine Hamilton) is a country singer from Tennessee whose videos have gone viral, and she’s only 11 years old. Whether singing her “old time music” on NBC’s Today show, at the Grand Ole Opry or taking the stage at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium, she is fearless, confident and firm in her musical direction. 7:30 p.m. show. $15. Jammin’ Java: 227 Maple Ave. E. Vienna, VA;www.jamminjava.com

FRIDAY, JULY 22
The Bacon Brothers
You know one of the brothers, at least. Kevin Bacon of film, TV and the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” game. But you may not know that he’s a musician too, and has been playing with his brother Michael as The Bacon Brothers since 1995. Their blend of folk, rock, soul and country continues to impress and make people realize Kevin isn’t just a movie star. Also appearing Saturday and Sunday; tickets are currently available for Friday and Sunday. 7:30 p.m. show. $45. The Birchmere: 3701 Mt. Vernon Ave. Alexandria, VA; www.birchmere.com

Lera Lynn
Americana singer Lera Lynn got a jump start on her career when she was tapped to be involved in the second season of HBO’s hit show True Detective. She appeared as a barroom singer and contributed original songs to the show’s soundtrack, which she wrote with T Bone Burnett and Rosanne Cash. Her newest album is this year’s Resistor. With Andrew Combs. 8 p.m. $15-$35. The Hamilton: 600 14th St. NW, DC;http://live.thehamiltondc.com

Trixie Whitley
The late postmodern bluesman Chris Whitley was a genre-bending troubadour, and his daughter, Trixie, has apparently inherited the knack. A former house music DJ, Whitley’s musical stylings vary, reflecting electronica, R&B, folk and the chaos of punk rock. Flaunting a strong and emotional alto singing voice, Whitley has worked with iconic producer Daniel Lanois and shared stages with Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Emmylou Harris. If you like the sound of Grace Potter, Susan Tedeschi or even Adele, check out Whitley’s set this month at Rock & Roll Hotel. 8 p.m. show. $15. Rock & Roll Hotel: 1353 H St. NE, DC; www.rockandrollhoteldc.com  

Sufjan Stevens
Getting praise from Pitchfork is sometimes a difficult task for an upcoming artist, but for Sufjan Stevens, it was par for the course as he continues to stack up accolades on his proverbial mantle. With soothing vocals and an almost timid pace, Stevens produces thoughtful lyrics on subjects like love, family and death. With heavy subject matter, it’s paramount that his music maintain an ounce of joy, and this indie artist straddles this line as well as any. With Thao & The Get Down Stay Down. 8 p.m. show. $35-$65. Wolf Trap Filene Center: 1551 Trap Rd. Vienna, VA; www.wolftrap.org

SATURDAY, JULY 23
B.J. the Chicago Kid
A slew of high-profile hip-hop collaborators – Big K.R.I.T., Chance the Rapper and Grammy Award winner Kendrick Lamar among them – helped put B.J. the Chicago Kid on the musical map. But the young artist is a soul singer at heart. He released his major label debut – the modern yet deeply soulful In My Mind – on Motown earlier this year, and in May he contributed to the label’s new Marvin Gaye tribute album. B.J. the Chicago Kid comes from a long line of soul singers who honed their craft in a church choir, but his hip-hop sensibility gives the music a streetwise swagger. With Elhae and Tish Hyman. 7 p.m. show. $20. U Street Music Hall: 1115 U St. NW, DC;www.ustreetmusichall.com

Brandi Carlile & Old Crow Medicine Show with Dawes
This triple bill at Wolf Trap might just be the Americana show of the summer. Carlile is a singer-songwriter of the first order who can shift from emotive and plaintive to exuberant and hard-rocking in the space of a single song. Old Crow Medicine Show’s most famous tune is the undeniably catchy “Wagon Wheel,” but they have a deep catalogue of inspired, organic roots music. Dawes has emerged as a worthy successor to the Laurel Canyon-inspired sound created by Jackson Browne, Graham Parsons, Townes Van Zandt and others in 1970s-era Southern California. 6:30 p.m. show. $45-$75. Merriweather Post Pavilion: 10475 Little Patuxent Pkwy. Columbia, MD;www.merriweathermusic.com

Joseph Arthur
Hailing from Akron, Ohio, Joseph Arthur has released more than 13 albums and EPs – and also works as an artist and designer. Arthur is praised by fans and fellow musicians alike, having been discovered by Peter Gabriel in the mid-90s and signed to his Real World label. He also has side projects Fistful of Mercy with Dhani Harrison and Ben Harper, and RNDM with Pearl Jam’s Jeff Ament. Check out brand new songs from his most recent album, The Family, at Jammin’ Java. 6:30 p.m. show. $18. Jammin’ Java:227 Maple Ave. E. Vienna, VA; www.jamminjava.com

TUESDAY, JULY 26
Huey Lewis & The News
Huey Lewis started out as an engineering student at Cornell University, and if he had stayed, things would’ve turned out very differently. Cornell’s loss became our gain, as Lewis churned out the hits in the 80s. Songs like “I Want a New Drug” and “If This Is It” were MTV and radio staples, and Lewis refuses to stop. With Jamie Kent. 8 p.m. show. $25-$50. Wolf Trap Filene Center: 1551 Trap Rd. Vienna, VA; www.wolftrap.org

THURSDAY, JULY 28
Case/Lang/Veirs
With an album just released, this one-of-a-kind tour is not one to miss. A supergroup featuring Neko Case (known for her solo albums and also her work with New Pornographers), k.d. lang (four-time Grammy winner) and Laura Veirs (indie folk star), this project began with a simple email from lang to the others saying “I think we should make a record together.” With Andy Shauf. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. doors. $59-$79. The Lincoln Theatre: 1215 U St. NW, DC; www.thelincolndc.com

Quilt
Brooklyn-based Quilt released their third album, Plaza, last year and the band’s neo-psychedelic sound continues to gain major acclaim in the national press. It’s sometimes difficult to tell whether the band is intentionally retro or simply churning out creative new interpretations of classic sounds that evoke The Doors, The Mamas & the Papas and Jefferson Airplane. The instrumentation is tight and lead singer Anna Fox Rochinski’s smooth, sultry voice – complimented by sometimes soaring harmonies from her bandmates – commands your attention. With Big Thief. $15. 8 p.m. show.Rock & Roll Hotel: 1353 H St. NE, DC; www.rockandrollhoteldc.com

Swans
Swans is an experimental rock band that came out of New York City’s “no wave” movement in the early 1980s and lasted until 1997, when they disbanded. In 2010, the underground legends reunited and continue to make their unique brand of noisy, avant-garde music. Led by singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Michael Gira, Swans are known for experimental instrumentation and repetitive song structures. The group counts The Stooges, Brian Eno and early Pink Floyd as influences. Gira has described the band’s name as synonymous with its music:  “Swans are majestic, beautiful looking creatures…with really ugly temperaments.” With Okkyung Lee. 7 p.m. doors. $35. 9:30 Club: 815 V St. NW, DC; www.930.com

FRIDAY, JULY 29
Bloodkin
It’s rare for a band to go nearly 30 years and still fly under the commercial radar. Bloodkin has not only survived, but thrived in their adopted hometown – the musical mecca of Athens, Ga. Southern rock infuses Bloodkin’s sound, but their ragged, guitar-driven tunes also owe a debt to blues and, occasionally, even punk rock. With Koa. 9 p.m. show. $12-$14. Gypsy Sally’s: 3401 K St. NW, DC; www.gypsysallys.com  

Femi Kuti & The Positive Force
The son of legendary Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, Femi Kuti carries on his great father’s legacy. Starting at the age of 15 in his father’s band, Femi has been carving his own path ever since. He’s toured with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jane’s Addiction, and even opened his own club called The Shrine in his native Lagos, Nigeria. With DJ Dlaspora. 8 p.m. doors. $35. 9:30 Club: 815 V St. NW, DC; www.930.com

SATURDAY, JULY 30
Rich Robinson
Since the seemingly permanent breakup of The Black Crowes, guitarist Rich Robinson has emerged as an accomplished solo artist with four studio records to his name. The iconic, muscular style that Robinson displayed with the Crowes still shows up from time-to-time, but his solo work is often quieter, with more of a folk and even gospel feel. Rich Robinson can’t match the vocal prowess of his brother, Chris, who established himself as one of the greatest rock vocalists of all time during his tenure with the Crowes. But, he’s a competent singer-songwriter whose instrumental prowess more than makes up for his workmanlike singing. With Bonnie Bishop. 8 p.m. show. $18-$28. The Hamilton: 600 14th St. NW, DC; http://live.thehamiltondc.com