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New York City
Lizz Wright - CD Release Show @ The Howard Theatre
$39.50 / $45
Lizz Wright – Vocals Michael Aarons – Guitar Bobby Sparks – Keys Nicholas D’Amato – Bass Brannen Temple – Drums Something amazing and terrifying happened to me as I entered into my 30s. I realized that I had run far off the course of my scripted plans, my projections for who I'd be, what I'd be doing, and how it would feel at this point. Then, the realization the mapped trail couldn't be recovered. A hound without a hunt, I was captured by unfamiliar woods far from earshot of the original game and players. Untethered by marriage with a scrap pile of maternal designs that never took root, I found myself forced, thank goodness, to let go. The pageantry of over-identifying with past experiences and old ideals had ended. In review, I found that life's unfolding had exceeded my most elaborate visions while other hopes had slipped into ruin in the clasp of my determined hands. Meanwhile, a new meekness and curiosity made all of my experiences sacred and overwhelming, something akin to a reverent depression. Desire was quieted in my heart, and I was uneasy in the cool of my newness, wondering what I really wanted to do next. When the label suggested that I consider working with Larry Klein, my entire focus shifted with a warm shrug, "Why not? He's produced some of my favorite records." Within a few conversations I had found plenty of reasons to trust the voice on the other end of the line. I knew that I was respected for my potential and achievements, and he wasn't new to dealing with strong women. Another shrug, "Why not?" I had plenty to sing about now, a heart cracked open by disappointment, a will broken by the truth. I was ready for a new project, the kind of baby that I knew how to make. It was suggested to me initially that I make a record of covers. It was the very moment my hard head became bent on writing my way out of my valley, no matter how hard or long I'd have to work for it. I'd count my steps and tell stories until I met the ridge line without borrowing anyone else's view. This was not my hour to cover, but to uncover, and hopefully, the reveal would be worth something. I trembled in the wait for my own revelation. I scurried around the country (Nashville, New York and LA) to have collaborative conversations with old and new friends. I remembered how to just sit with people and talk, even though I was on a schedule and budget. We all spoke like we were on Grandma's porch, but the work got done. To my delighted surprise, much of this record was written with Larry himself. My average day of pre-production with him looked like: A sunrise run and swim at Santa Monica pier, showing up to his studio sandy, salty, and red faced, talking through beautiful rambles with him and David Batteau while high on espresso. Then we'd get snagged by a soulful riff from Larry's acoustic bass guitar as he noodled along (seemingly) aimlessly. Often a story would present a hook and we'd return the next day with responses. This felt like an old and dignified pace of work, but also kind of risky. However, I looked up after a few months of these weeklong neighborly sits and real songs were following us, a train getting longer, each car intact and connected as we rolled on. In the evenings I listened to demos of the budding songs on my phone as the sun set over the Pacific. I could see them, unmade movies. The tide of communion would pull back and the shining pieces left could be made into anything. This is when I knew that I had, in these mosaic sessions, stumbled upon a new page of my life. I remembered the feeling of being found. One of the most moving songs from it's inception was, "Somewhere Down the Mystic." Playing on the simple wonders of my rustic Appalachian life, we imagined a love lost to death and the feeling of it's lasting warmth, a nod to love's reach across life's threshold. Months later, on February 20th, I had a near death experience, sliding across 300 yards of ice- coated mountain curve. I softened my body and rested my hands in my lap. The heavy car floated silently towards a 75 foot ravine that ended with a wide band of frozen creek. "Ok" was the only thing I could get out in a sigh. I was stopped by a young bellwood tree that grew out of the bank like a hook. I slowed my breathing and meditated in suspension. About 20 minutes later, a young neighbor pulled the door open, reaching in with a strong arm to guide my climb out. Now when I sing the chorus, I see the gracious hole and the sweet sapling that grows over it. It threw me back, a fish returned to the river with a cut lip. The pink bells of the tree can be seen on my homepage, and I want to keep such simple things close from now on. Why not? They were strong enough to save me. In surrender I experience freedom. The gift of an end is a beginning. I greet the sun with the only reason I've ever needed, "why not?"
The Reunion of Toby Palmer & Chosen Generation @ The Howard Theatre
$20 / $30
The universal language of music has always had the ability to pierce the heart more quickly than any monologue or oratorical presentation ever could. Something magical happens when the right lyric is coupled with just the right melody at the right time. It’s as if the world is suspended in time. Nothing matters at the moment other than what your ears hear, and your heart feels. It’s even more captivating when you experience this magic in three part harmonies. The controlled brass of the sopranos, paired with the dark rich tones of the altos, along with the male richness of the tenor. Ummm it makes your soul shake on the inside!! Now it takes skill, and persistence to develop a sound that is both signature, yet memorable. This doesn’t just happen by chance. It’s deliberate and intentional. It takes the right chemistry of music, musicianship, along with masterful chorale direction to accomplish such a task. For Chicago it was the impeccable leadership of the late great Rev. Milton Brunson. He presented opportunity to rising producers, and song writers Percy Bady, & Darius Brooks. Together they created something that to date has been often imitated, but never duplicated. “The Thompson Community Singers”. (affectionately known as The Thomies) It was the robe, the song, and the lead vocals from the likes of Kim McFarland, Tina Watson, & Beatrice Gardner that left you waiting to hear more. From Detroit emerged the countries 1st Praise & Worship Leader. Thomas Whitfield & The Whitfield Company. Again, the formula.. music, musicianship, and masterful chorale direction. For
. arose a gentleman who was born in Atlanta, GA, but reared and educated right in our backyard. He was the son of a preacher, and had a mother who recognized his gift at a young age. He pioneered a sound all his own, and wrote songs that have been translated into multiple languages. From “Center of My Joy”, “Calvary”, “He’s Able”, “Psalms 8”, & “He Won’t Leave You”. Richard Smallwood raised the standard high. The signature voices of Dottie Jones, Jackie Ruffin, and vocal training of Wesley Boyd changed a generation. Yet again the formula… music, musicianship, and masterful chorale direction Our musical legacy continued with the foundering of a new generation of music, musicianship and masterful chorale direction. In the early 90’s Toby Palmer & Chosen Generation burst onto the DMV music seen. They introduced a new energy, live musical presentation, style & signature sound all their own. Toby Palmer & Chosen Generation has shared platforms with the likes of Yolanda Adams, Pastor Donnie McClurkin, Ron Winans, & Bishop Hezekiah Walker. Toby Palmer & Chosen Generation become a favorite of gospel legend Karen Clark Sheard. This resulted in Chosen Generation being featured with Sheard often during appearances in the DC Metroplex. This gained them national notoriety immediately enabling them to secure of a national recording/distribution deal (CGI/Vectron) as well as acceptance amongst choir aficionado’s. After a thirteen year absence from the gospel music community, and multiple request. Toby Palmer & Chosen Generation have consented to assemble one last time. This will be an evening of nostalgia, high praise supporting a charitable cause. This is an evening you don’t want to miss. It’s Toby & Chosen Generation… “The Reunion Experience”.
John Scofield & Jon Cleary Duo @ The Howard Theatre
$30 / $35
John Scofield Aside from being one of the principal innovators of modern jazz guitar, JOHN SCOFIELD is a creative artist of an even rarer sort: a stylistic chameleon who has forged a consistent, rock-solid aesthetic identity. An artist with fan bases in many camps and forty albums to his credit, he has expressed himself in the vernacular of bebop, blues, jazz-funk, organ jazz, acoustic chamber jazz, electronically tinged groove music and orchestral ensembles with ease and enthusiasm. His versatility and technical mastery won him early sideman gigs with Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker and Cobham/Duke among many. Since that time he remains firmly in the foreground of jazz consciousness as a player and composer, prominently leading his own groups in the international Jazz scene, his own albums (many already classics) including collaborations with many contemporary favorites like Pat Metheny, Steve Swallow, Charlie Haden, Eddie Harris, Medeski, Martin & Wood, Bill Frisell, Brad Mehldau, Mavis Staples, Government Mule, Jack DeJohnette, Joe Lovano and Phil Lesh. He’s played and recorded with Tony Williams, Jim Hall, Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson, Dave Holland, among many jazz legends. Regardless of the stylistic setting, his distinct guitar sound and compositions are unmistakably Scofieldesque, always coupled with an improvisational excellence and dedicated to the finest in jazz tradition. Jon Cleary Jon Cleary is known for his salty-sweet voice, masterful piano skills, and a knack for coupling infectious grooves with melodic hooks and sharp lyrics. Born in Kent, England in 1964, Cleary steeped in the sounds of American roots music as a child via New Orleans funk and R&B 45s. Venturing to the Crescent City at 17, he quickly earned the respect of local music community. He spent the '80s gigging as a sideman and bandleader with a rotating cast of New Orleans' best including members of funk forefathers the Meters and delta-bluesman John Mooney. He has balanced the last few years with an international fan base as a member of Bonnie Raitt's group and his own group (with album of the same name) Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen. Cleary has the self-made Moonburn (Virgin 1999), and his ode to Big Easy R&B - Alligator Lips and Dirty Rice (Ace 1994). All of Jon's talents are manifest on Pin Your Spin, Basin Street Records produced by John Porter. His latest Occapella was released in 2012.
Reverend Horton Heat & The Adicts Plus Special Guests The Creepshow @ The Howard Theatre
$25 / $30
Reverend Horton Heat Loaded guns, space heaters, and big skies. Welcome to the lethal littered landscape of Jim Heath’s imagination. True to his high evangelical calling, Jim is a Revelator, both revealing & reinterpreting the country-blues-rock roots of American music. He’s a time-travelling space-cowboy on a endless interstellar musical tour, and we are all the richer & “psychobillier” for getting to tag along. Seeing REVEREND HORTON HEAT live is a transformative experience. Flames come off the guitars. Heat singes your skin. There’s nothing like the primal tribal rock & roll transfiguration of a Reverend Horton Heat show. Jim becomes a slicked-back 1950′s rock & roll shaman channeling Screamin’ Jay Hawkins through Buddy Holly, while Jimbo incinerates the StandUp Bass. And then there are the “Heatettes”. Those foxy rockabilly chicks dressed in poodle-skirts and cowboy boots slamming the night away. It’s like being magically transported into a Teen Exploitation picture from the 1950′s that’s currently taking place in the future. Listening to the REVEREND HORTON HEAT is tantamount to injecting pure musical nitrous into the hot-rod engine of your heart. The Reverend’s commandants are simple. And no band on this, or any other, planet rocks harder, drives faster, or lives truer than the Reverend Horton Heat. These “itinerant preachers” actually practice what they preach. They live their lives by the Gospel of Rock & Roll. From the High-Octane Spaghetti-Western Wall of Sound in “Big Sky” — to the dark driving frenetic paranoia of “400 Bucks” – to the brain-melting Western Psychedelic Garage purity of “Psychobilly Freakout” — The Rev’s music is the perfect soundtrack to the Drive-In Movie of your life. Jim Heath & Jimbo Wallace have chewed up more road than the Google Maps drivers. For twentyfive Psychobilly years, they have blazed an indelible, unforgettable, and meteoric trail across the globe with their unique blend of musical virtuosity, legendary showmanship, and mythic imagery. “Okay it’s time for me to put this loaded gun down, jump in my FiveOh Ford, and nurture my pig on the outskirts of Houston. I’ll be bringing my love whip. See y’all later.” - Carty Talkington, Writer/Director Rev your engines and catch the sermon on the road as it’s preached by everybody’s favorite Reverend. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the 11th studio album from REVEREND HORTON HEAT, boldly titled Rev, due out January 21st. The Adicts The Adicts began life as the Afterbirth & The Pinz, in their hometown of Ipswich back in late 1975. They scored many Indie Chart hits in the Eighties, and are unbelievably still together, and still making great music, with the same line-up - Keith 'Monkey' Warren, vocals; Mel Ellis, bass; Pete Dee Davison, guitar; and Michael 'Kid Dee' Davison, drums - to this day. Newer members are John Scruff Ellis (Mel's brother) guitar & Dan Gratziani on violin. "I think we all started for different reasons," recalls Monkey, of their distant origins. "Pete and Kid moved to Ipswich from Sunderland were already playing on their own, using pillows for drums in the front room. Mel had just failed the audition for Nick Kershaw's band (too tall apparently) and I was a punk without a cause. Exactly what year that was may vary depending on who you talk to. Some say '75, some say '76. I think I have a flyer from March '76, but before that we had played our first show in a scout hut in Aldburgh, Suffolk - not exactly top of the list for all time top punk venues! We strung a rope across the room to keep the 'crowd' back and had a motor bike for a lighting rig. As far as our musical education goes, I think Pete took music at school, and Kid just liked to hit things. I don't know where Mel got his 'talent' from but it seems to run in the family. I still can't play anything." They soon changed their name to The Adicts and became known for their distinctive Clockwork Orange 'Droog' image, which, along with their urgent, uptempo music and light-hearted lyrics, helped set them very much apart from the rest of the genre. "We became The Adicts because The Pinz was such a shit name," deadpans Kid. "At the early gigs we just used to wear punk clothes, but never anything bought, like those posers who went down to Kings Road. After a while though, black came in and it all became boring, so we started to dress in white to be different, and 'Clockwork Orange' had been a major influence on us, though not for the violence, more the teenage angst..."
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