Thursday, August 13, 2009

Justin Trawick's Acoustic Residency

We have been following local Washington D.C. artist, Justin Trawick, for a couple years now - not only because he's a fine musician, but also because he has mastered the art of social networking. He reminds us often that he has a regular engagement at IOTA Club called Justin Trawick's Acoustic Residency which is held the second Tuesday of every month. The idea is to have one or more national, regional, or local acts play a set, followed by Trawick - either solo or his acoustic team. For August 11th, we noticed that he had scheduled Jamie Mclean, who besides fronting the Jamie Mclean Band is best known as the guitarist for the The Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Nice coup. There was a large crowd that evening - I think equally split between both artists - as well as a few holdovers from happy hour. Mclean is an excellent guitarist and playing the acoustic guitar that evening provided a clean picking sound. The songs were mostly from his new CD, American Heartache, which features many special guests such as members of The Black Crowes, North Mississippi Allstars, Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Shannon McNally. I can't wait to get my hands on this one. The title track and Cherry Tree were two I really liked.

After Mclean's set, Trawick took over and you never know what you'll get with one of his performances. Sometimes Americana, sometimes something with a reggae flare - or even a little rap. To continue with the unexpected, they played a dance song - actually a waltz with drummer, whisking patrons onto the dance floor - me included. Besides being an accomplished guitarist, he is also a fine vocalist - perfectly displayed during the sound check. I could have listened to an A cappella set all evening. Trawick performs regularly throughout the Mid-Atlantic so there's no excuse not to fit one show into your schedule. Plus he plays with his full band two nights at the end of August at Iota - we'll see you there at least one night.

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