Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Nighthawks parts, Cosmic Charlie, Cross Canadian Ragweed

Hey there! Hope you've all been having fun playing with David Lee Roth.

This is a good weekend if you are a Nighthawks fan. For those that don't know, the Nighthawks are a great blues and roots rock bar band (and I don't say that perjoratively because a good bar band is hard to find. Just ask Phil about the band he saw at Poe's last weekend.) that's been around for 30 years and have achieved a cult following in the mid-Atlantic. While the Nighthawks themselves aren't playing in the area, pieces of them are.

Drummer Pete Ragusa will be playing with the January Allstars at Shenanigan's Pub in the Northside. The show starts at 8:30 and the January Allstars are made up of Catfish Hodge, Tom Principato, Tommy Lepson, Pete Ragusa & Steve Wolf. Then on Sunday night, Nighthawks vocalist and harp player Mark Wenner plays with local Richmond bluesman Terry Garland and his trio at Lulu's in Shockoe Bottom. That is according to the Nighthawks web site. I can't get confirmation on the Lulu's web site so call Lulu's in advance to confirm.

If you have made a fiscal decision to pass on The Dead due to their high ticket prices but still need your Grateful Dead music fix, Cosmic Charlie will be at The Canal Club on Friday night. The show starts at 9:30 and you'll get two sets of music for the low, low price of $10.

Cross Canadian Ragweed will be playing at Toad's Place on Sunday night. Doors open at 7 PM, tix are $18 and this is an all ages show. Local Americana band The Atkinsons will be opening so be sure to get there early. You'll dig Cross Canadian Ragweed if you like Drive-By Truckers, Alejandro Escovedo, or other alt-country acts. Here is a video for their song "Carneyman":

Virginia Coalition will be at the Capital Ale House Music Hall on Saturday night. Doors open at 9 and tix are $15. I saw them a few years ago at Friday Cheers and thought they were OK. I'd heard they were better when they were a four piece band. But its been a few years so they may be worth another try. Their latest album, Home This Year, got a great review (4.5 stars out of 5) on the AllMusic web site.
Here's what they Ale House site says about them:
"Virginia Coalition's live show is a larger-than-life party that has helped the band garner a rabid fan base who affectionately call them “VACO.” It was also Virginia Coalition's extraordinary live show that got them signed to New York City based label bluhammock music. Based on a tip from a friend, the founders of the label came to a show to check them out. "Then they came back a second time, then they kept coming back until we got signed. That's pretty much how everything has happened for us. " Ottinger said. "All the success VACO has is due to people passing the word around and saying good things." Word of mouth is how they sold 60,000 records and it's how they won the 2003 Washington Post Reader's Choice Award for Best Local Band in 2003."

And if you feel like freezing in DC Sunday (starting at 2 PM) or perhaps just watching it on HBO (7 - 9 PM), the Inaugaral Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial will feature a few folks you may have heard of: Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Bono, Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow, Josh Groban, Herbie Hancock, John Legend, John Mellencamp, Usher Raymond IV, Shakira, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor,, and Stevie Wonder. Among those reading historical passages will be Jamie Foxx, Martin Luther King III, Queen Latifah and Denzel Washington.

Have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan