Viewing entries tagged
Sol Roots

12/31/18 - The Best Songs Brian Obsessed About in 2018

In creating the shows in 2018 we shared more than 300 songs, and listened to hundreds more. So what were the best of the best? We’re happy to share! These are Brian’s top 13 which he listened to on repeat in 2018, and a playlist of the top 57 in case you like what you heard and want to dig deeper. We hope you find some new tunes you love! Just a brief intro and then it’s all music for you to enjoy!


Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherTuneInPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice



  1. Greens, by be steadwell (Pop/Soul)

  2. Stronger, by Juxt (Hard Rock)

  3. Cups to the Floor, by Rare Essence (GoGo/Hip Hop)

  4. Bartenders and Bourbon, by Fellowcraft (Rock/Blues)

  5. Petrified (Live), by Chris Cassaday (Folk/Folk Rock)

  6. Vapor, by Black Dog Prowl (Hard Rock/Grunge)

  7. The Imagineers, by Crys Matthews (Folk/Americana)

  8. Forgiveness, by Sol Roots (Blues/Funk)

  9. Long Way Back to Shonto, by Eli Lev (Indie/Indie Rock)

  10. Snow Day, by Tony Craddock, Jr. (Jazz/Gospel)

  11. Private Room (feat. JusPaul), by Footwerk (Hip Hop/Alternative Hip Hop)

  12. Crank It Up (Long Live Rock n’ Roll), by Lindsey Buckingham Palace (Hard Rock/Classic Rock)

  13. Come and Get It, by Pebble To Pearl (R&B/Funk)

->’This Week’s Dose Of DC Music’ Spotify Playlist<-

->’DC Music Rocks Show’ MEGA Spotify Playlist<-

Email Signup Link
For those who don't already conveniently get all this via email!



Do you like what we're doing?  Would you support us?  We'd love to grow and do more!  We're giving away shirts, access to our private facebook group, and more!  We also intend to set aside 10% to contribute directly in the DC Local Music Scene through charities, sponsorships, events, etc.  We want to continue to pay it forward!

HUGE shoutout to our current Patrons! 
**Daniel Warren Hill**    **David Mohl**    **Eli Lev**
**Sarah Byrne**   ** Chad Lesch** ** M4TR (Music 4 The Revolution)**


We're looking for local businesses to sponsor us!  Know One?  Would you introduce us to them?

DC Music Rocks All Music Episode Jan 01 2019

9/4/18 - Blues Day ft Special Guests: Jazs, Linwood, and Willie from Blues Festivals around DC

This week on DC Music Rocks, Jazs, Linwood Taylor, and Willie Leeble from various blues festivals and organizations around DC, stop by for a chat with host Brian Nelson-Palmer.  The episode also features great tracks by Jonny Grave, Memphis Gold, Sol Roots, Lori Williams, and Patty Reese.

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Jazs and Linwood

Jazs and Linwood

Jazs, Linwood, and Willie Bio/Links:


The DC Blues Society is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization Celebrating the Blues since 1987 in the Nation's Capital - MD, DC, VA through outreach and education.
Become a DCBS Member at

Jazs, a member of the DC Blues Society (DCBS) and promoter of the Blues since 2004.  Co-Founder of the Silver Spring Blues Festival celebrating its 10th year. Representing the Greenbelt Free Blues Festival held September 22 and the November 10 College Park Free Blues Festival, an IBC Fundraiser to send the DCBS Battle of the Band winners to the ‘American Idol of the Blues’ in Memphis, TN.  Visit the DC Blues Society Booth at both events.

Washington, DC, Bluesman Linwood Lee Taylor has led his own band for more than a decade. Winner of 3 WAMMIES for “Best Blues Band”, the band appeals to a broad audience and has opened for Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Diva Etta James, and the Legendary Johnny Winter.  Linwood has traveled around the world with Joe Louis Walker and can be seen jamming the Blues at Winchester Church Blues Mondays and around the DMV and at GBF on 9/22/18.

Willie Leeble represents Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation, oversees AEBF Weekly Jams and has produced and MCd the Silver Spring Blues Festival Acoustic Stage  and College Park Blues Festival 10th Anniversary events. AEBF is sponsoring the Greenbelt Blues Festival Ukelelee / Harmonica / Guitar Workshops and is getting ready to celebrate the 20th Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation Anniversary!  The Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation was created to preserve Archie Edwards memory and to carry on the work he began at his barbershop in Northeast Washington, DC, to teach people about Piedmont blues and keep the tradition alive.


Linwood Taylor

Linwood Taylor

Jazs and Willie

Jazs and Willie

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For those who don't already conveniently get all this via email!



  • Black Alley - Dirty Laundry
     (11 Song Full Hip Hop/Rock Album - RIYL Arctic Monkeys x Paramore x Erykah Badu)

  • Melodime - Roll-1
     (4 Song Rock/Country EP - RIYL Zac Brown Band, NEEDTOBREATHE, Tom Petty)

  • Den-Mate - Charlotte
     (Indie Single - RIYL Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Portishead


Black Alley - Be Me



Here’s just a few highlights for the coming week, be sure to check out the calendar for the full list of all the upcoming shows!

Sep 7 - Fri
Distant Creatures @ DC9 Nightclub in Washington, DC
  (Indie - These guys don't play out too much, so cool opportunity, opening for a touring act)
Throwing PlatesHayley Fahey Music, & Rorie @ Jammin Java in Vienna, VA
  (Indie/Folk/Pop - Show we're most excited about this week, all these guys are heavy hitters, Rorie was last week's guest)

Sep 8 - Sat
Black Alley @ City Winery in Washington, DC
  (Hood Rock - New Album out, these guys can jam!  New-ish and different venue too!)

Sep 9 - Sun
Owen Danoff @ Jammin Java in Vienna, VA
  (Rock - Past Competitor on The Voice, Cool Vibe)

Sep 11 - Tue
Makeup Girl @ Songbyrd Music House in Washington, DC
  (Psych/Pop Rock - Fun band, cool venue)

Sep 12 - Wed
Be Steadwell @ Busboys and Poets in Washington, DC
  (Pop - Great artist, well known in the LGBTQ community, we're big fans, this will be a fun venue and likely intimate show)

Sep 13 - Thu
Odetta Hartman @ U Street Music Hall in Washington, DC
  (Indie/Folk - She's been out touring hard after her new release, finally back for a local show!) 


Do you like what we're doing?  Would you support us?  We'd love to grow and do more!  We're giving away shirts, access to our private facebook group, and more!  We also intend to set aside 10% to contribute directly in the DC Local Music Scene through charities, sponsorships, events, etc.  We want to continue to pay it forward!

HUGE shoutout to our current Patrons! 
**Daniel Warren Hill**    **David Mohl**    **Eli Lev**
**Sarah Byrne**   **M4TR**

We're Looking For Advertisers/Sponsors

We're looking for local businesses to spread the word about with our more than 12,000 followers.  Know One?  Would you introduce us to them?

4/17/18 - Special Guest: Chip Py of Locally Grown DC

Thanks to Chip Py, creator of video series and official photographer for Chuck Brown, for hanging out with us in the studio this week!

^^Episode Audio/Post Is Live - Click Above (might need to buffer/load, refresh page if you have any issues)^^

Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher, TuneInPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice




  1. ***This Time, by Zen Warship (Funk, Funk Rock)

  2. Cups to the Floor, by Rare Essence (R&B, GoGo)

  3. Forgiveness, by Sol Roots (Blues, Funk)

  4. ***Falling, by Kia Bennett (R&B, Soul)

  5. Come and Get It, by Pebble To Pearl (R&B, Funk)

***The first time we've played this artist for you on the show, & a new artist profile added to our DC Artist Database!  There's new artists every week!

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


Do you listen to Top 40 music?  Here’s 54 songs by 54 different DC artists we think you’ll love. This is just a taste of the incredible selection of Pop music we have in the DC Artist Database on our website.  We hope you’ll follow the playlist, and start following the artists you like! Listening local is good for the soul!  
Direct Link:
All Our Playlists:

--Congrats to the winners from the Washington City Paper’s “Best Of” reader’s poll, here’s some of the local music scene highlights:

  • Best Go-go band: Rare Essence

  • Best Jazz/Blues Venue: Blues Alley

  • Best Arts & Culture Festival: Funk Parade

  • Best Local Original Band: Stone Driver,

    • Runner’s Up: Batala Washington, Aztec Sun Band

  • Best Music Festival: Kingman Island Bluegrass & Folk Festival

  • Best Music Venue: 9:30 Club

  • Best Place To Experience Local Music: Black Cat

  • Best Recording Studio: Blue Room Productions

--Thanks to District Karaoke for allowing me the honor of being a #judge of the #citywide championships this week!  Caught Night Train 357 there and so many local artists we cover on this show have come through #DK. My bassist in Fellowcraft, Brandon Williams, and so many other people I love have spent time with this group.  I had a blast!


Our 2018 New Releases by DC Artists’ Spotify Playlist:


Here’s just a few highlights for the coming week, be sure to check out the calendar for the full list of all the upcoming shows!

Fri Apr 20
--Albino Rhino & Surprise Attack @ Jammin Java in Vienna (Funk, RIYL Phish)
--FeelFree @ Union Stage (Reggae, RIYL SOJA)
--Staycation @ 9:30 Club (Funk, RIYL Red Hot Chili Peppers)

Sat Apr 21
--Soundproof Genie & QOK Music @ Savor Bowie (MD) Music Festival (Pop/R&B, RIYL The Fugees, No Doubt)
--Jonny Grave @ DC9 (Blues, RIYL Burnside)
--See-I @ National Cannabis Festival at RFK Stadium (Reggae, RIYL Thievery Corporation)
--Skribe @ Takoma Park Earth Day (Folk, RIYL Pearl Jam)

Sun Apr 22
--Laura Tsaggaris @ Pearl Street Warehouse (Rock, RIYL Aimee Mann)

Mon Apr 23
--Mystery Friends @ DC9 Nightclub (Indie, RIYL LCD Soundsystem)

Tues Apr 24
--Thaylobleu @ Black Cat (Hard Rock, RIYL Bad Brains)

Wed Apr 25
--Broke Royals & Eli Lev @ Rock N Roll Hotel (Rock, RIYL Bastille, The Lumineers)

Thu Apr 26
--Veronneau @ Blues Alley Brazil Week (Jazz/World, RIYL Pink Martini)


Do you like what we're doing?  Would you support us?  We'd love to grow and do more!  We're giving away shirts, access to our private facebook group, and more!  We also intend to set aside 10% to contribute directly in the DC Local Music Scene through charities, sponsorships, events, etc.  We want to continue to pay it forward!

HUGE shoutout to our current Patrons! 
**Daniel Warren Hill**    **David Mohl**    **Eli Lev**
**Sarah Byrne**   **Music 4 The Revolution (Abu Jibran)**

We're Looking For Sponsors

We're looking for local businesses to sponsor us!  Know One?  Would you introduce us to them?

Chip Py

Video - Bio - Links - Transcript

Chip Py DC Music Rocks

Chip Py is a local DC Photographer who has been photo documenting the DC Music Scene for the 15 years. He has worked in a wide genre of music scenes including Punk, Roots Rock, Rockabilly and Go-Go.

He is best known for his work in Go-Go as one of Chuck Brown's Official Photographers and his work with Chuck Brown can be seen on Chuck's final album cover and at The Chuck Brown Park.

Four the last three years Chip Py has been producing a Video Podcast from his overgrown 100% organic back yard garden, which he calls The Yarden.  Each week in the late Spring and early Summer Chip invites a different local musical act over to Grill and Groove in The Yarden.

Which he records into a 30 minute video program that includes musician interview and live performance. Often guests from different genres are brought together for the show. 

In the last three "Seasons" he has produced 27 episodes and had 71 musicians perform in The Yarden.

The shows past and present can be seen here

Funk Parade attire Chip Py


Brian:   I appreciate Go-Go because a lot of bands are like, "Oh, you can dance to this", or, "Let me see some dancing." They're like, "No, let's just make a song and tell you what to do. Everybody with a cup to the floor right now." I really appreciate that, it's so good. I love it.  Chip, congratulations on your win and thanks for coming and being a guest as a result of all that car dancing man.

Chip Py:   All right, I'm excited to be here.

Brian:   This is such a treat. Now, let me give you a proper introduction here. On DC Music Rocks, we're shining a spotlight on the great songs, artists, and incredible people behind the DC region's music scene.

     Chip Py is a local DC photographer who has been photo documenting the DC music scene for 15 years across a wide genre of music scenes including punk, roots rock, rockabilly, and Go-Go. He's best known for his work in Go-Go as one of Chuck Brown's official photographers. His work with Chuck Brown can be seen on Chuck's final album cover and the Chuck Brown Park.

      For the last three years, Chip has been producing a video podcast from his overgrown 100% organic backyard garden, which he calls the Yarden. Each week in the late spring and early summer, Chip invites different local musical acts from all over to grill and groove in The Yarden, which he records into 30 minute video programs that includes interviews and the live performance.

     Often the guests from different genres are brought together for the shows. In the last three seasons he's produced 27 episodes and has 71 musicians that have now performed in The Yarden.

     That video of course, I'm not going to hold it out on you. I'm going to have the link to his winning car dance video, will be included with this episode so you can check him out doing his thing in his car too.

Chip Py:   It's one of my finest moments.

Brian:   Chip, I appreciate you. I've heard about you for so long in the scene now with the different things you're doing and being involved in the different genres, and what you do in it. Basically for me, it's an honor to have you here. Thanks for being here.

Chip Py:   Thank you.

Brian:   What is it do you feel that makes the Locally Grown DC thing that you're doing, what makes it special?

Chip Py:   What does make it special? I don't know that there's anything else like it. I'm certain there's other little, people have music shows and stuff like that, but nobody has the backdrop of The Yarden.

      I'm not really a videographer, I'm a photographer. I'm also a gardener, everything except for the tree in the corner in that garden, in that Yarden, was planted by me. What I actually enjoy doing about it creatively photographic wise is working the bands and the artists into the growth that I have in the garden in The Yarden.

     Each morning before the show, "Hey, I put the chicken on", because I do feed them and then walk around The Yarden and figure out how I'm going to compose each band and get the angles and the shots going so that it has a different kind of look every year.

    Some people have walked in and gone, "Oh, I didn't know it was so small." It's just an average sized yard in Silver Spring, but they've seen multi different angles from it. That's what I as a photographer bring.

     As a DC music person, I have relationships with many bands that I've worked with so that I can feel comfortable asking them to come perform in The Yarden. Getting this things off the ground was a crazy idea, and I'm fortunate that the first five people said, "Yeah, that's a great idea."

Brian:   Absolutely, getting them in there. Talk a little bit too about the photography stuff. You were mentioning at one point about the multiple genres, we brought up the different genres. Talk about photography and multiple genres.

Chip Py:   First of all, my video skills are nil compared to a lot of videographers out there. Most of my shows I've shot with just simply a one camera mic. I'm adding a second camera this year, so that's going to be fun. That'll increase my video skills.

    I tell people I'm a photographer, I'm a still photographer. That's what I enjoy and I'm a huge music fan. If I can catch your groove, I can capture your groove. If I can catch your groove, I can capture your groove in almost any lighting situation.

    Most of the bands that I shoot, when I walk into the venue, when any photographer walks in there, we'll walk in and go, "I can't shoot in this venue, there's no lights." There's nothing coming in. One of the places I've been shooting rockabilly is Hank Dietle's Tavern, which recently burnt down. Hank Dietle's Tavern has been there for 100 years.

Brian:   Oh no. What part of the city is that?

Chip Py:   Rockville, Maryland. Right across from White Flint Mall, where White Flint Mall used to be is where Hank Dietle's used to be. There is a movement to save Hank Dietle's. We have raised money and Hank Dietle's will rise again.

    The only light in there is the lights off the pinball machines, pinball machines and a Miller Light sign. They've pushed the pool table out of the way, so that's the light that I have to work with in there.

    I don't throw a strobe on and simply let it simply blast the whole light. When I do use a strobe, and I often use a strobe, I'm bouncing it off of something and using it as a fill flash. If you're a photographer and understand it, you have to utilize part of the light in the room, it's just a little bit of what you give it.

    When I was photographing Go-Go, because most of the Go-Gos were played in venues where there were absolutely no stage lighting. I was able to bounce light off using fill flash, I actually used pieces of plastic from a milk carton that I strapped to the top of my strobe. Meter the light in the room, back off, close the aperture a bit, bring it down for a little bit of light in there.

Brian:   Now there's different genres too. What made you jump from the different genres? How'd that come about?

Chip Py:   I had been shooting a lot of the roots rock and the punk rock bands in DC because that was the music scene that I was into.

Brian:   When was that?

Chip Py:   I went digital '03. In college I was shooting, I remember I was shooting the [inaudible 00:06:36] bands that came around East Carolina University where I was. The Bad Checks, and I'll remember the name in a minute.

Brian:   That's all right.

Chip Py:   What I started doing probably about seven or eight years ago, I started wondering why I was doing this. I came to the conclusion that I was creating a collection of what the DC music scene is, what it is at the time in which I'm shooting.

    I knew that of the whole DC scene, there was this thing called Go-Go. As a white guy from DC, I didn't know anything about Go-Go other than Chuck Brown. In order to have my collection complete, I wanted to have some pictures of Chuck Brown.


    What I didn't know was how lively, because Rare Essence is not the only band, there are hundreds of people who play Go-Go in this city. They're not in front of you, you can't go and open the city paper and see where to go see them. It's an underground scene, which the fact that people who know Go-Go know where Go-Go is.

     It's not played at music venues, oftentimes it's played in restaurants and bars where the promoters come in and rent the place out for the evening.

Brian:   If it's your first time going to a Go-Go show, you've got any tips or advice on somebody who's never been to a Go-Go show?

Chip Py:   Yeah, my advice is go.

Brian:   That was so profound. While they're at it, when they go, dancing? Is it feel welcome, is it a welcoming environment? What makes people stay away?

Chip Py:   I had friends tell me that as a white guy I shouldn't go to Go-Gos. Literally, I just walked into the La Fontaine Bleue on night with my camera and said I was there because the Bela Dona band was playing.

     I knew that Sweet Cherie was Chuck Brown's keyboard player. In order to get to Chuck Brown I had to show him something. Showing him pictures of the Nighthawks and the Slickee Boys wasn't going to mean anything, so I had to develop some Go-Go cred.

     I went and shot the bands that Chuck Brown band members had, so that I could bring something relevant to Chuck and his manager Tom Goldfogle. I did that and within several months I was one of Chuck's official photographers and photographed the last year of his life.

     Tom Goldfogle, when I've told that story before, has told me that they weren't looking at my photographic skills. I was like, "Oh, you weren't?" He told me they were trying to figure out if I was cool enough to hang out with them. At first I was disappointed, but then I thought, "Is that a better compliment?" It's a compliment nonetheless, but I like to think that it was my photo skills. Now I also like to think that it was cool.

    One of the things about the Chuck Brown scene, the people around Chuck Brown, is that everybody's cool. It's a very family scene back there. Chuck, when he was alive, there was a large number of people on the guest list. Those folks are the Go-Go family.

Brian:   Got it, that family vibe. You've talked a lot about photography and some of the stuff you're doing, what do you do in your personal time outside of Locally Grown, and the music stuff, and the job thing? Do you have other hobbies too?

Chip Py:   Yeah. I'm a fisherman, I'm a picker.

Brian:   A picker, what does that mean?

Chip Py:   Ever see the show American Pickers?

Brian:   If I haven't, what does that mean?

Chip Py:   It's a show on History Channel where two guys drive around in a truck through the countryside buying antiques out of barns and sell them and flip them for cash.

Brian:   Okay, I'm following you.

Chip Py:   My father was a picker. Part of the way in which I make my living is I do work for Harmony Rocket Estate Sales where we, when somebody passes away, we go in the house and sell dead's peoples stuff real quick for cheap.

     I have a dog. I love my dog, go to the dog park. Thrift store, I go to the thrift store, I love thrifting.

Brian:   What's your dog's name? What kind of dog is it?

Chip Py:   My dog's name is Bebop.

Brian:   Awesome. Imagine that, you're a music guy and you named your dog Bebop.

Chip Py:   When I first found out that the definition of bebop was when people started soloing when they wanted to, how they wanted to, and all the time. I said, "I have to have a dog named Bebop."

     When I went to the pound after my dog Pepper had died and saw Bebop, which is the dog that has every different type of breed inside that dog depending on how you look at it.

Brian:   A good mutt, huh?

Chip Py:   That is Bebop.

Brian:   That is Bebop, that's amazing. One favorite question that I love to ask; if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Chip Py:   One piece of advice for photographers?

Brian:   In general, you only get time for one.

Chip Py:   I'll tell you what I've got. What I like about my show is that it crosses genres. If you're a rockabilly guy, go to a Go-Go show. If you're a Go-Go person, go to a punk show. We have so many different music scenes in DC and nobody seems to cross through the genres.

    What I like about where my camera and where my show takes me is that every time I get to go find out about something new that we have right here in DC, right inside the Beltway, there's so much here and there's so much to explore.

    A lot of the people stay right within their genres and have their five, six, seven, maybe ten bands that they listen to. Jump out of your genre, that's what I say.

Brian:   I love it, and it's so true. On DC Music Rocks we've got the local music calendar, which is all the genres. On the show we cover a swath of all across the genres, so I hope you do check out. We've tried to put it in one place so you can find it, but I hope you check out more genres. That's such a good point.

Chip Py:   You want to see some genres that are outside of your genre, go to

Brian:   There it is. You lead me right into my final question, you're brilliant sir. If they want to find out more about you and the cool stuff you're doing,

Chip Py:

Brian:   Anywhere else that you tend to do a lot? Are you social media or other things?

Chip Py:   Do we have time to talk about, inside Locally Grown I did an episode called Funk Up the Grass. Can we talk about that now or should we?

Brian:   If we've got a minute, we got to jump back into some music here. Talk quickly about it if you can.

Chip Py:   One of the episodes I did, I put together an episode called Funk Up The Grass where I brought in four bluegrass musicians and three funk musicians. They arrived at my house and had to create five bluegrass songs with a funky beat to them. Not only did they have to create them, then we had to perform them in The Yarden.

     The city paper did an article about it. It's interesting because everybody thinks they're different, but you put people in the room with music involved and it really brings people together. It's how you can really celebrate your differences and create something unique.

Brian:   That's it. That's Look at the episodes and the name of the episode again is?

Chip Py:   Funk Up The Grass.

Brian:   Funk Up The Grass.

Chip Py:   I also had an alt-country band, Ty Braddock's alt-country band and I brought in the Go-Go singer Mz Laydee. They hit some old country songs with a soulful flavor to it.

May 02, 2017 - Special Guest: Vintage#18

Big thank you to Bill and Robbin of Vintage#18 for stopping by!

^^Episode Audio/Post Is Live - Click Above (might take time to buffer/load, refresh page if you have any issues)^^

Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice



  1. Fuss by Monday Mistress (Hard Rock/Alternative Rock)
  2. Love Hangover by Vintage#18 (Blues/Soul)
  3. Spirit Down by Sol Roots (Rock/Funk)
  4. Be Your Baby by Katie Hargrove (Pop/R&B)
  5. Better Not Get Me Started by Randy Thompson Band (Country)
  6. Open A Window, Let In The Sun by Patty Reese (Blues/Indie)






Fri May 5

Near Northeast @ St Stephen & the Incarnation in DC
Katie Hargrove @ Ellipse Rooftop Bar in DC
Edjacated Phools @ Fillmore in Silver Spring, MD

Sat May 6

FUNK PARADE on U St in DC, from 12noon to 10pm, SO MANY GOOD SHOWS!  GO!

Sun May 7

Surprise Attack @ Courthaus Social in Arlington, VA

Mon May 8

Heather Mae @ Mansion on O St in DC

Tues May 9

Wylder @ Rock and Roll Hotel in DC

Wed May 10

AZTEC SUN @ Villain & Saint in Bethesda, MD

Thurs May 11

Jason Masi @ Sonoma Cellar in Alexandria, VA


->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-




D.C.-based Soul-Blues band Vintage#18 debuts with their album titled GRIT

The album reflects the band’s love of classic 60’s Soul and Blues, featuring a mix of originals as well as two covers (ZZ Top and Bob Dylan) and a whole lot of elbow grease. Grit, you might say. 

Vintage#18 chose to self-produce GRIT, and a framework was in place before most of the album was written. One of the goals when they first started rehearsing was to make sure that the sound didn’t fit solely into a single genre. Blues, Soul and other familiar elements appear but should mix in a way that brings unexpected experiences for listeners and dancers too. This idea worked well in live settings, so the album was approached the same way. If you do it, stay true to it—but you can always do “it” in new ways.


Performing together since 2013, the band started in the clubs near their home in Northern Virginia. Residencies in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia are the backbone of a circuit that extends across the Eastern Seaboard. In 2016, they represented the Central Virginia Blues Society at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee and continue to appear in the city. They have been fortunate to share stages with several great performers, among them The Nighthawks, Billy Price, Lil’ Ed and the Blues Imperials and Albert Cummings.

They’ve always shared the same thoughts about music and in particular their live shows, “we’re here to move you, one way or another.” The sound reflects their love of traditional blues and soul but also the desire to bring it current for new audiences. Vintage #18 brings a high-energy show with hard-driving blues rhythms and soul grooves that will move you. Built on a framework of uniquely talented and dedicated musicians, the album features the unique sound of Bill Holter on guitar (a.k.a. #18), while the groove is laid down by Alex Kuldell on drums and Mark Chandler on bass. Soulful vocals are delivered by newcomer and bandleader Robbin Kapsalis, and the collective Good-Mojo-Getdown is provided by all.

There’s a lot to say about making music in general but sometimes words don’t cover it. When you write, rehearse, play and record music then you’ve said a lot already. So really the only thing left to do is hear it. Vintage #18 hopes that you do, but you might want to move some furniture first. No sense getting hurt when you’re movin’ and groovin’, y’all.


Official Website URL:

Facebook URL:

iTunes Link:

Spotify Link:

Other Links:

URL for one Youtube video:

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Brian:     On DC Music Rocks we're shining a spotlight on the great songs and incredible people behind the DC regions music scene. Let's get to know some of those incredible people here. Performing together since 2013, Vintage#18 started in the clubs near their home in Northern Virginia. Residencies at clubs in Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia are the back bone of a circuit that the band continues to build. There sounds reflect their love of traditional blues and soul, but also the desire to bring a current for new audiences. Vintage#18 brings a high energy show with hard driving blues, rhythms, and soul grooves that will move you as you've heard from that right there. They hope when you listen, you move some furniture aside first because there's no sense in getting hurt while you're moving and grooving to their tracks. I first stumbled across these guys a couple weeks ago when their release came out and it sounded awesome, so listeners it's with great pleasure that I introduce formally Bill and Robbin from Vintage#18.

Robbin:     Well hey there, thanks for having us.

Bill:     Indeed.

Brian:     Now, can we start out ... Can you tell us the story behind the name? Where does vintage number 18 come from?

Robbin:     I'm going to let ... That's Bill's story.

Bill:     I'm a vintage guitar dealer and I got a chance to demo a pedal from a company from Nashville and they sent me number 18.

Brian:     Excellent.

Bill:     Whenever I communicated with the company I just said, "Tell them it's number 18."

Brian:     When was this? How long ago was this?

Bill:     This was 2012 probably.

Robbin:     Yeah.

Brian:     Got it.

Robbin:     Well he shared that story with me and when we first started we were the Robbin Kapsalis band. I wanted something different. I wanted something to stand out. Our base player, Mark Chandler, he's extremely picky about band names and so-

Bill:     He doesn't like any band name.

Robbin:     No.

Brian:     Mark, that's okay, we love you anyway man. That's great.

Robbin:     I came to rehearsal one evening and after thinking about it awhile and I said, "Hey guys, what do you think of Vintage number 18?" Everybody looked at Mark and we all looked at one another and we said, okay. The guys said they liked it and I was so shocked. I said okay wow. It stuck, so we-

Brian:     When was that? This is 2013?

Robbin:     Yes. Yes.

Brian:     Awesome.

Robbin:     Later in 2013.

Brian:     How did you guys come together? How do you know each other?

Bill:     Well it all started when, for me at least, when I went up to the Sully's jam after another band fell apart and I said, let's see who's hanging out, out here. What kind of trouble can I get into? I walked in and Robbin was singing Million Miles which is on our debut CD. It's a Bob Dylan song.

Brian:     Oh cool.

Bill:     I went, wait a minute. I should be playing guitar for her.

Brian:     The band started out of jealousy?

Bill:     No.

Robbin:     No.

Brian:     I'm just teasing.

Bill:     [inaudible 00:03:28] a typical guitar player thing.

Brian:     Right.

Robbin:     That's what that was.

Bill:     [inaudible 00:03:33].

Robbin:     It was really interesting. I mean Bill and I sit in on multiple sets throughout the blues jams, I would say for several months and we got to know one another and we just started talking about a band, putting a band together. I know it's something that I wanted to do. I'd been on the scene basically bouncing from one open mic, one blues jam to another, two or three a week for over a year, just shining it up, getting ready to do what ... This is what I wanted to do. I know sometimes I would meet up with Bill on a Sunday and we would be at Sully's blues jam and it was so loud we'd have to duck into the supply closet to get our thoughts out. Let's do this.

Bill:     It was the only place where you could talk.

Robbin:     We're not getting any younger, so let's do this. This is what Bill said.

Brian:     Yes, okay. I love it. Now, where did the ... Oh man I just had it. It's one of those lost my frame of thought moments. You guys, the band formed and then you came together and when did it become a, okay we're going to record and album and we're going to put this out now.

Robbin:     This wasn't until, I would say two years after we had gotten together and started making our rounds, you know our rounds within the DMV. We had already traveled out to Nashville for an ... We performed at an amp show which was very exciting.

Bill:     We did that twice.

Robbin:     Yes and we ... I've been writing for years, however I was really shy to share my lyrics and I don't play an instrument but I know music I know what I like and what I wanted for the songs and so I took that leap of faith and brought in some lyrics. The first lyrics I brought in were for circles and love hangover. Between the guys, they came up, they basically built on what I had, that the lyrics, and the little melody that I brought it. Let's do this oh no no no. I'm just counting it out.

Brian:     Yeah, I gotcha.

Robbin:     That's the way I write my songs. It worked, it worked.

Brian:     Where did music come in to ... How did music enter your lives? Where did it start for you guys?

Bill:     Probably the ventures in the early surf stuff growing up and then the British invasion, of course Jimmy Hendrix, Crane, bands that I saw. My first concert was-

Brian:     Got it. When did you start playing?

Bill:     I started playing probably ‘63.

Brian:     Got it. You've been at this for a lot of years then?

Bill:     Yeah, but I'm still a young man.

Brian:     This is your first album that's been released though?

Bill:     I've been on a lot of other peoples' projects, but this is the first time I've put an album out. It's something that had a long time coming.

Brian:     That's right high five right there.  Yeah.

Bill:     I kept looking for the right group of people and by golly I think I've found them.

Brian:     You found them!  Now Robbin what is your story with music? How did that start for you?

Robbin:     Oh goodness. I've been listening to music since I was a child. My family, we love music. We are yeah. My Aunt Annabelle, she used to play all the old soul and blues, the Muddy Waters, the Ada James, the soul music, Clean Up Woman with Betty Wright. I'm dancing around in my socks in the living room with her. I've always wanted to perform, I just didn't have opportunity growing up and I was also very shy believe it or not.

Brian:     Were you singing growing up in out places?

Robbin:     Church choir.

Brian:     Church okay.

Robbin:     Church choir.

Brian:     Okay I got it, it's a church thing right, gotcha.

Robbin:     Fast forward, young adult, still wanting to perform not able to, life happens, you get married you have children, those become the priority. I did not make music a priority. Now I'm an empty nester. My kids are grown.

Brian:     Oh man.

Robbin:     Yes.

Brian:     All right you're a free woman now. You got a little bit of time to do some stuff like this.

Robbin:     I relocated from Atlanta about six years ago with the company I'm currently working with and I found all this extra time I had on my hands and I said, okay I need to get out and get some music under my belt. That's what I started doing.

Brian:     That's cool. Now what about-

Robbin:     From one thing to another.

Brian:     What about outside, now outside of the music then, in your personal time, do you have any hobbies? What do you guys do outside of the music?

Bill:     Well I have the constant task of looking around for old guitars and musical instruments because that's what I've been doing-

Brian:     Collector.

Bill:     -since 1989, professionally.

Brian:     Oh. Say more about that, what do you mean?

Bill:     Well, I started out with just amplifiers, would refurbish them and I did my first guitar show in 1990 in Dallas, Texas. These guys came around and looked at me booth full of amps and went, this is a guitar show what are you doing with all these amps? I said, look you guys are going to need to have amplifiers for those guitars that you're selling, so here I am.

Brian:     That's cool.

Bill:     I look for old guitars and musical instruments of all stripes.

Brian:     Do you sell them?

Bill:     Yes.

Brian:     Or coll ... I got it. What's the name of ... Is it a business?

Bill:     Yes it's called vintage sound.

Brian:     Vintage sound, so if they google vintage sound they will find what you're doing.

Bill:     Yes.

Brian:     Got it, that's cool and Robbin what about you? Outside of the music thing.

Robbin:     More music.

Brian:     What does that mean? Listening to music?

Robbin:     Listening.

Brian:     Or go to live shows? say more.

Robbin:     Yes, I attend live shows. I listen. One of my favorite groups are the Gypsy Kings. One of my favorite groups outside of the soul blue genres I enjoy other genres as well, to include the likes of Bette Middler, Barbara Streisand. I listen to it all, jazz and that's what I enjoy. I enjoy spending time with family and friends but believe it or not this past year I've been all consumed with the album, with the band, with, yeah.

Brian:     I feel you. All right now last question I love to ask in these interviews is, if you could offer one piece of advice what would it be?

Robbin:     As a band?

Brian:     However you want to answer that, that one's open ended.

Robbin:     I would say because we are a newly formed band together now, for a little over four years, I think that even though it's captain obvious to say communication is key, I can't stress that enough and I think it's easy to say oh no we're good, we're buds, we communicate. No. You need to have a point person within the band to make things run smoothly and I think that's, as far as having a band, that's what I would offer, and please don't give up. I am-

Brian:     Don't give up, I love it.

Robbin:     Don't give up because it's ... Here I am. I'm a grandmother. I'm a new grandmother.

Brian:     Congratulations.

Robbin:     Thank you.

Brian:     [inaudible 00:11:37]

Robbin:     I wanted to do this. My son, he told me, he says, "It's like you just woke up one day and decided oh I think I'll have a band."

Brian:     Fantastic.

Robbin:     I said, "No, sweetie it wasn't like that."

Brian:     It's been a lot of years in the running, you just didn't know. For those listeners, now for listeners who want to find out more about you guys, where do they go to find out more about Vintage number 18?


Brian:, so that's the website. Now you guys, is there a certain social media that you love more than the others?

Robbin:     Facebook, yes.

Brian:     Facebook.

Robbin:     Instagram, yes. Hit us up. Twitter absolutely.

Brian:     Reach out.