Swamp Candy is an internationally touring, primitive blues influenced Americana duo. Ruben Dobbs’ aggressive finger-picking and rhythmic style (which often adds up to sounding like more than one guitar) combined with Joey Mitchell’s bass playing, pounding kick drum and percussive bass throttling (representing the presence of a full drum kit) easily fill up the sonic space normally created by a trio or even a four-piece. Dobbs’ soulful, passionate vocals are the glue that holds it all together and makes the band tick.
Adam Trice and his band, Red Sammy, play simple, down-to-earth Americana folk rock music. Songs about work, hard work, love & loss are all entwined in the songs. “If you like your singing gritty, your tunes roughly hewn from country blues and your poetry sharp and to the point, this is just waiting for you.” ~ Americana UK
“Red Sammy’s Adam Trice crafts shambling roots rock on a foundation of hushed melancholia. Although his gravely voice suggests a Dylan influence, his slow-burn delivery points to something more measured.” ~Baltimore Magazine
“The Hazards are bringing a new excitement to an old style of music… they somehow seem to channel the spirit and drive of the great early bluegrass bands, while adding a bit of their own unique personalities to the musical brew”.
The group began as a duo, featuring Matt Geiger on guitar and Eric Knowles on banjo, playing and singing the music they loved: traditional bluegrass and mountain music from the Appalachians. They soon attracted not only an enthusiastic following of fans, but also other like-minded and very talented musicians: Gregg Bowers came in on mandolin and vocals, followed shortly by Dave Repass on bass, and lastly, Mark Baker on dobro and vocals. Some of it was fate, but each new member possessed the same rare rhythmic “feel” and drive. The magic was astonishing to experience… an irresistable force that appeals to your heart and soul!
The little girl grows up and buys her first record albums. Janis Joplin is a favorite. Later she sees Stevie Nicks in concert and is mesmerized by her sultry vocal delivery. These are the sounds that inspire a teenager’s passion for blues and R&B – music with grit and soul.
Mary Shaver has been singing all her life. She is first and foremost a blues artist influenced by the likes of Slim Harpo and Big Mama Thornton. She labels her own style as “Texas, Louisiana and Chicago Blues meets Memphis Soul,” and local critics and musicians have likened her powerful voice to all her idols. But her path as an artist has not been a particularly straight or smooth one.
ilyAIMY leaves it to the fans to decide what they sound like to them. They say it sounds like some combination of Rusted Root, Buckingham/Nicks, Jethro Tull, acoustic Tool, Ani Difranco, Keller Williams, “Nickel Creek on crack”, Alice in Chains, the Indigo Girls, Metallica, and Cry Cry Cry – it’s no wonder ilyAIMY has shared events comfortably with folk acts (We’re About 9, Ellis Paul, Dar Williams and Pat Wictor), anti-folk acts (Hammell on Trial, Ember Swift) and pop-rock acts (the Blue Oyster Cult, Jeffrey Gaines, The Lloyd Dobler Effect, Gym Class Heroes) as well as death metal bands, reggae groups and hip-hop acts.
An ilyAIMY audience consists of fans that listen quietly while nodding their heads thoughtfully, a couple of guys headbanding, occassional ball-room waltzers, and that woman over there doing that weird raver thing with her hands…
Across two decades in the performing arts, The Grandsons have embraced the music of America as their inspiration, and the Nation’s capital as their home. This year, the city has returned the gesture. The Washington Area Music Association named The Grandsons Artist of the Year and dubbed their latest recording Live at the Barns: The Legendary Wolf Trap Recordings, Volume Two roots rock Album of the Year. As their energy and notoriety increases, the band’s geographic reach extends further than ever. Recent years have found them in France and Germany representing America in cultural exchanges with the historic cities of Reims and Aachen.
A fan aptly described The Grandsons’ exuberant sound as “American music in a blender with the lid off.” This bunch finds inspiration in New Orleans street parades, high-haired rockabillies, low down blues shouters, uptown swing, downtown jazz and outskirts-of-town honky tonk country. On this foundation The Grandsons build their sometimes poignant, often hilarious songs about hitch hiking and heartbreak, mob bosses’ daughters, finding happiness on a tight budget, overly aggressive young ladies, civil engineering and supermarket tabloids.
“Pulling from rock, pop, folk, jazz, and funk influences Chris’ sound is definitely his own. A ‘fan of the fan’ Chris loves to engage the audience making a show more like a group of friends in their living room than strangers in a venue.”
Singer, song-writer and harmonica player Flat Foot Sam (Sam Peightal) performs a unique blend of Swing, Jump, Chicago and Down in the Basement ‘Gut Bucket’ Blues. In addition to being a dynamic front man, Sam is a strong and soulful singer. Whether he’s shoutin’ jump blues or crooning a ballad, he delivers with intensity and passion.
Jason Ager is a dedicated father, a passionate college professor, and a hyper-literate original songwriter. Balancing a PhD in German Literature with a few days a week as a stay-at-home dad, Jason still plays more than 100 shows a year in the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond. On his third album, Porchlight, Ager’s talent as a storyteller shines as he weaves together the academic and the arcane into clever lyrics that reward the careful listener. Nestled comfortably atop classic soul, R&B, and rock influences, songs like “Overload” and “Everybody Needs Love” epitomize Jason’s ability to rouse hearts and minds in the same breath.
The Crop Dusters are a brand new bluegrass band based in Frederick, MD. We feature some of the area’s top pickers along with dynamic original material.
The Crop Dusters feature some of the top bluegrass musicians in the Washington, DC area: Jason Hannan and Howard Parker of Michelle Hannan & One Blue Night, Patuxent Records recording artist Rob Benzing, Ron Webb, formerly of Circa Blue, and Matthew Geiger of The Hazards.
The band was formed as a joint venture by Jason and Howard, who wanted to get back to their bluegrass roots, and Rob Benzing, one of the DMV’s most prominent young banjo players. Ron Webb and Matthew Geiger round out the band’s dynamic sound.
The Crop Dusters feature a rare combination of high and tight trio harmonies and some of the best instrumental work around. The band plays both high energy covers of traditional and contemporary songs, as well as originals written by the band’s members.
Vocalist and Guitarist Ray Eaton has been playing music for over fifteen years and is passionate about bringing music to others. Early on, music from the 80’s and 90’s had a large influence on his playing. While this has continued to be a part of who he is as a musician, Ray grew to love many other styles of music and incorporates them into his live sets. While new to the scene in Baltimore and Frederick, Ray has been playing music with bands and on his own for years and brings all of this experience with him.
Once in a while a group of musicians gets together to play music, and something special happens. Zydeco Jed is one of those situations where rock and roll meets jazz, cajun, zydeco, country and some good old fashioned Grateful Dead. The band loves all kinds of music, and most of the members have played with a Grateful Dead tribute band… in fact, many of the band mates played together in local bands such as the Next Step and On the Bus, the top Grateful Dead tribute bands in the region going back 20 years. Everyone in Zydeco Jed traces their early musical experiences to roots rock and roll, and each has a connection with much of the same music that inspired Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh and the family of the Grateful Dead. But over the years, each was exposed to jazz, cajun, country, and other styles that influences their playing. It’s this current blend of musical influences that is inspiring the band to write original material and pay tribute to so many styles of music, with a decided nod to the Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, the Meters, Elvis Presley, and so many other great musicians. Zydeco Jed… Tom Ericsson, Mike Lessin, Chris Marsh. Michael Murphy, Nick Newlin and Lloyd Yavener… we wish you good health and happiness.