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March 21, 2017 - Special Guest: Rachel Levitin

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  1. Rabbit Hole by the Woodshedders (Indie/Americano)
  2. Lucky Penny Blues by Rachel Levitin (Pop/Rock)
  3. Tell Everyone by Derek Evry (Rock/Pop)
  4. Turn Away by Paul Santori's Random Opponent (Rock)
  5. As You See It by Taylor Carson (Indie/Pop)
  6. Lighter bones and eyes that see for miles by Ms. Fridrich (Rock/Indie-Pop)
  7. Art Acord by Zia Hassan (Folk)


  • Arlington's IOTA Club and Cafe is at risk of being redeveloped. The developer, Regency Centers, is holding public meetings to present their plans.  Join the facebook group to stay up to date and find out how you can support this local music icon.
  • Moral Hangover's 2nd Annual Latin Rock Tribute at Tropicalia
    2nd Annual Latin Rock show on Friday, March 31st, featuring local band Moral Hangover, Indigo, and Latin Velvet @ Tropicalia. 100% of the money we collect will be used to help fund a Startup in South America that will help get out-of-school children back to formal education, by teaching them math through music.
  • has been updated so now one full page is dedicated to the DC Artists Database.  The incredible music and video playlists are broken out on their own page now.  Continuing to make DC's Music easier than ever to find and follow.
  • It's Rachel Levitin's Birthday!  Her Birthday party is Thursday 3/23 at Tortoise and Hare in Arlington, VA.  
    Ladies Night on Stage Presents: Rachel's Birthday Show

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Rachel Levitin

Video - Bio - Links - Transcript


"Rachel Levitin embodies passion," or so its been said of her. 

Levitin's performance career started in middle school with chorus and expanded with school plays, school music festivals, and talent shows before picking up guitar and trumpet at the age of nine. 

A few years later, while home alone on a Saturday with her just her dog by her side, Rachel took her first stab at a original songwriting after finding inspiration while watching a Backstreet Boys special on ABC Family Channel at age twelve.

Solo performances of her original music started at age fourteen and she hasn't looked back since.

Known for her high-energy performances, thoughtful lyrics, and positive storytelling, Levitin released her debut EP "Nearly Broken" with great support. The five-song EP even reached number one on Amazon Music's Adult Alternative New Releases Charts in October 2015.

Levitin's most recent release -- "Get Back Up" -- made its world premiere on WERA 96.7 FM's DC Music Rocks and is the song that kicks off her next chain of events. Her hope is to have a new EP of motivational, feel-good songs ready for a release around this time next year.


Brian:     Rachel Levitin's performance career started in middle school with chorus. Solo performances of her original music started at age 14, and she hasn't looked back since. She's known for her high-energy performances, her thoughtful lyrics, and positive storytelling, which I can vouch for personally because I have seen her on stage many times. She released her debut EP Nearly Broken, which reached number one on Amazon's music adult alternative new releases chart in October of 2015. Then her most recent release, "Get Back Up," we actually did the world premiere here on DC Music Rocks. My favorite memory about that is that Rachel was, you were in an Uber-

Rachel:   I was.

Brian:     And she took video or Instagram Live or whatever it was.

Rachel:   Whatever it was.

Brian:     She did video. I got to see video of her sitting in the car with her Uber driver listening to her world premiere on the show, which was, as a host, that was one of my favorite memories that I have so far is seeing that. That was amazing. Thank you for sharing that and for letting me do the world premiere because that song, check out "Get Back Up" by Rachel Levitin because it's awesome. Now I've talked too much. Listeners, it's with great pleasure that I introduce Rachel Levitin.

Rachel:   Yes.

Brian:     Thank you for being here.

Rachel:   My pleasure.

Brian:     Tell us about now, the music started, there's trumpet and guitar, we talked about that. But I just said that it started with chorus.

Rachel:   Yes.

Brian:     How did the revolution happen to where you are now from then.

Rachel:   Basically, I was lucky I went to a bunch of good schools growing up. When I was in middle school, I went to the Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School in Chicago, Illinois. It wasn't the biggest school, but they had a really good supportive community of teachers. I was into the arts, and in fourth grade, that was the year that you could sign up and start doing chorus or band, so I decided to join both, although band was my preferred choice just because I really enjoyed playing trumpet. What happened was, you know how when you're in school, you get to pick your instruments?

Brian:     Yeah.

Rachel:   I was trying out things. I tried the flute, couldn't get a peep out of it. Then I was trying to decide "Do I want to play drums or trumpet?" Looking back on it now, either one was going to be equally loud. Either one.

Brian:     It's so true. In different ways, yes.

Rachel:   In my mind, I decided "Oh, no, trumpet would be the better choice." So I tried that one, and I could play it right away. That, plus the other afterschool activities was the guitar class, and I just started within a few weeks of each other, and I've just been playing them ever since. I was nine then.

Brian:     Now do you still play trumpet often?

Rachel:   I do.

Brian:     Or guitar more frequently now?

Rachel:   Yes, guitar much more frequently. But from ages nine to eighteen, trumpet was really more my primary ... I started songwriting at 12, so high school was kind of like peak songwriting time, I guess. But trumpet was my big thing for middle school, high school, and did some in college at AU, American University, but really, my trumpeting days were more of a high school thing. I loved it, and now I get to ... You'll hear some trumpeting on a track we'll play later on in the show.

Brian:     Yeah, we got a sneak peek coming. You get to hear Rachel play trumpet on another artist's song, which is really cool. Tell us about you outside of the music then. Are you a homebody? Do you hang out a lot? What's life like for you out there?

Rachel:   I'm a definite extrovert, but I need time to sleep and recharge those batteries. I think it was a couple weeks ago I was either playing a show, going to a show, or helping with a show every single day in one week. I've learned that I can't do that. I got very tired, but I made it out okay. Extroverted definitely. Outside of music, I would say I'm a music fan, so I go to a lot of shows. You can find me at Jammin Java, or IOTA, or 9:30 Club, or DC9, or wherever more often than not.

Brian:     Which is, I can say, I have seen ... One of the great things about the DC music community is you start going to shows, and then you start seeing people you know. There's so many times where I've gone to shows, and I didn't know Rachel was going to be there, and there she is, and now I got another friend who's at the show. I love it. She is definitely a music connoisseur and an awesome support artist. By the way, she kills it on the trambo ... Tramboline, that's a trampoline and a tambourine together if you didn't know, it's called a tramboline.

Rachel:   Very fun.

Brian:     She actually played the tambourine, although you know we should have you play the tramboline.

Rachel:   Tramboline.

Brian:     Bring a trampoline on stage, that would be-

Rachel:   Let's do it.

Brian:     Anyway, I've spent enough time on that. All right. Tell us about a funniest moment that comes to mind from your performing memories that you've got.

Rachel:   Funniest moment. Well, this is pretty funny. In April a few years back, I forget what year, it's kind of irrelevant to the story, I saw a post on Facebook. One of my friends posted that her friend was organizing a pop-up chorus to sing with Damien Rice at the Lincoln Theatre as part of his sold out show.

Brian:     Whoa.

Rachel:   And we were the surprise to end the concert, to do his, what's it called, the encore. He surprised everyone with this chorus at the end of that specific tour. So me and my friend Jason Mendelson of the MetroSongs-

Brian:     Yes, he's been a guest on here, too. He's awesome, yup.

Rachel:   Yes, yes, yes. We ended up in that chorus together, but a day before I was supposed to do that, I was transported to the ER because I had a kidney stone.

Brian:     Oh my gosh.

Rachel:   I'm pretty young, so-

Brian:     Right.

Rachel:   Stress, it happens, folks. Hydrate. It's the most important thing you can do for yourself. When you're stressed and drink coffee like I do. Drink water. Don't Gilmore Girls it. Drink water.

Brian:     Public service announcement by Rachel Levitin.

Rachel:   Yes.

Brian:     Drink water. Okay, got it.

Rachel:   I drank a lot of water after that, but I did sing on stage with Damien Rice with a kidney stone in my body at a sold out show on a Friday night at D.C.'s historic Lincoln Theatre.

Brian:     That is amazing and hysterical at the same time. Wow.

Rachel:   And painful.

Brian:     There you go. Yeah, I can only imagine. I drink a lot of water, so I'm hoping-

Rachel:   Good man.

Brian:     I can't ever relate to that story actually, but we'll see what happens. All right. Tell us about what's something in your music collection that might surprise us.

Rachel:   Oh, I'm a big dixieland and big band jazz fan.

Brian:     Really?

Rachel:   Yes.

Brian:     Like what?

Rachel:   Benny Goodman, all that old school, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, anything that you would hear on the street in New Orleans with those marching bands for the weddings, that kind of stuff. The first reason I fell in love with trumpet was Louis Armstrong.

Brian:     Well, there we go. Yeah, and boy, he's got ... That's, wow, cool stuff. All right. So she's kind of a pop indie amazing performer herself, and yet, there's big band, dixieland jazz. I love it. All right. Your earliest memory with music, what comes to mind?

Rachel:   Oh, that's easy. My dad was a singer-songwriter and guitar player, although I don't think I ever heard any of his songs, so I don't know if he actually did that when we was an adult, but when he was younger. When I was a little kid, we had this tiny, mini red guitar that my grandma got me. I thought it was a real guitar. I thought I was playing it when I really wasn't. My dad would play guitar, and then we would write songs about like farm animals or something. I remember one was called Pink Flamingo. I don't remember how it went, but I remember that it happened. So I have that memory. So it goes back as far as my memory actually takes me.

Brian:     Wow. The Pink Flamingo memory with your dad. That is cool. I love it. All right. What about the first memory performing? What comes to mind?

Rachel:   Oh boy. Well, the first time I performed an original song, I don't remember where it was because there's a few different examples I can think of, but I know that my legs ... I'm pretty confident. Now, you would never know that I would ever be nervous. Every once in a while, I get a little stage excitement, I wouldn't call it stage fright, but excitement like-

Brian:     Stage excitement. I love it.

Rachel:   You're a little bit buzzed, all naturally and everything. But my legs used to shake underneath me. Mentally, I was good to go, but my body was saying "no, no, no." They would start tremble beneath me, and I had to learn how to push through that. The first few times, I definitely almost like fell to the ground because my legs were not going to hold out underneath me.

Brian:     Wow. Do you have like a tactic or something that you use to work through it? Or you just learned over time to work through it?

Rachel:   I just learned that I have nothing to worry about.

Brian:     Got it. That is pretty cool. Wow. What about a funniest moment on stage? What comes to mind?

Rachel:   Oh boy. I should've thought about it. I should've done my homework on this one. Funniest moment on stage? That's tough. I think recently, well, I don't know if it was funny, but my band and I have a good time. We only just formed this July, and every time we end up taking on-the-stage selfies or things like that. It's not exactly funny, so that's kind of not an A-game story, but we have a good time. We're a bunch of jokesters.

Brian:     Taking selfies on stage.

Rachel:   It's fun.

Brian:     I love it. Yeah.

Rachel:   I don't have a selfie stick or anything like that, but you know what, we like to goof off.

Brian:     There's still a chance. You can still make that happen, you know.

Rachel:   Well, I called them a bunch of goofs because you should see the Facebook message group that we have. It's basically just a bunch of emojis that we keep sending back and forth to each other. Shout out to Graham, Kendall, and Alex. You guys are hilarious.

Brian:     Oh my god. Have you stepped into the GIF game yet?

Rachel:   I feel like I need to, but we haven't gone that far. We've added some bitmoji to our game.

Brian:     I'm going to tell you a secret. If it's a Facebook group, there's a button that says GIF.

Rachel:   Oh, there is?

Brian:     Go in there. Try it.

Rachel:   I've just never pressed it. Oh boy.

Brian:     Your group will just one-up on the GIF situation.

Rachel:   Oh, they're going to love it.

Brian:     It's going to be amazing.

Rachel:   Get ready, fellas.

Brian:     Tell us about a time you tried and failed?

Rachel:   Tried and failed. Well, let's see. Good question. I feel like I'm using dead air. Tried and failed. I remember I really wanted to be a first chair trumpet at the jazz band. I went to Interlochen for two summers in Traverse City, Michigan to study jazz. Looking back on it now, yeah, did I want to want first chair or whatever? Yeah, I did, but I wasn't like the rest of the kids there. I was, but I wasn't. Whereas they all planned on being professional instrumentalists when they grew up, which I'm not opposed to it, I just at that point in my life wasn't so sure about my route in life. And being there as a trumpet major instead of a songwriting major, it kind of changed the game for me. But I love jazz. I auditioned, and I ended up, I think, getting fourth chair. At first, I was disappointed, but then I realized "You're not practicing. That's your fault. If you want to be a higher chair, you should probably practice."

Brian:     Yes, this is good.

Rachel:   So here I am at a world-renowned camp for instrumentalists, and I wasn't practicing. So, yeah, of course I would get fourth chair. Then I started practicing. That was just the ... I went back for two summers, so that was just the start of the first summer. Then I practiced it, and I think I got up to third chair, and maybe even sat in on some second at that point. But you have to remember, these are kids from all over the country, all over the world who-

Brian:     Right, in a really competitive thing.

Rachel:   This is what they want to do.

Brian:     [crosstalk 00:11:37] you're a fairly gifted trumpet player, too. We hear you on guitar on stage a lot, but you with a trumpet is also a really good thing it sounds like.

Rachel:   Yeah, I got to get my chops back, but I have a few concertos in my bedroom that I can probably still play if I practiced.

Brian:     I feel like that's a "That's what she said" thing. I don't know.

Rachel:   Right, work it in.

Brian:     Anyway. Concertos in the bedroom. I love it. Anyway.

Rachel:   Ba-dum-bum.

Brian:     All right. One of my favorite last questions to ask is what's one piece of advice that you would offer?

Rachel:   Just don't compromise yourself, and don't be afraid.

Brian:     Say more on that. Don't compromise yourself.

Rachel:   Know what you're capable of, and don't sell yourself short. Confidence is hard to come by. I know a lot of people who struggle with it, but I know a lot of people who don't, and I really just comes down to knowing that ... When I sing, I know that I'm supposed to be doing that, and it feels good to me. So if you're doing something that feels good to you, do it, and don't let anyone inside your head and make you think that you shouldn't be doing it or you're not good at it. Just do it.

Brian:     If folks want to follow or find out more about you or follow you, where are the best places for them to go?

Rachel:   Best place to go is I love Instagram the most just because I'm a, I would like to say, a novice photographer or something of that nature.

Brian:     Nice.

Rachel:   I do like to take photos of animals and concerts. So if you like cute animals or music, follow my Instagram. It's R-H-L-E-V-I-T-I-N. I'm also on Twitter, and I have a Facebook page for my music, and then just

Brian:, that's the magic spot. You had mentioned earlier, and I want you to share with the listeners about Tony Lucca and the story that you were saying.

Rachel:   Oh, Tony Lucca. Yes.

Brian:     Yeah, talk about that real quick.

Rachel:   Tony Lucca. We go way back now. I became a fan of Tony Lucca in 1999 when the Disney Channel was airing a Mickey Mouse Club marathon because that was peak NSYNC years. Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Keri Russell, Ryan Gosling, they were all on the show, but so was Tony Lucca, who was also on The Voice season two. I've been a big fan of his music for a long time. I first saw him open for NSYNC back in, I think it was 2001. We met back then. I have an autograph and picture from then. Fast forward to 2010, got to interview him for a website I was writing for at the time called We Love DC. Fast forward a few years, there was a chunk of time I think I saw him more throughout a year than I saw my own family just because he would come here for concerts, and I wouldn't go home that much. We just go way back, and he became a good influence on me.

                  This past weekend, I flew home to Chicago to celebrate my birthday, a milestone birthday, with my immediate family. We had Tony come, and we played a little house concert for everyone, then went out to dinner. For the first time, I got to play two original songs with someone who had a really big influence on me. I'll never forget it, and I'm really grateful. Tony's back here on April 9th, I believe, yes.

Brian:     Well, Tony, shout out to you. I love that story. That's amazing.

November 8, 2016 - Special Guest: Jason Masi



  • Election Day!  Happy Voting!


  1. Neon Rays - The Internal Frontier (Rock/Acoustic)
  2. Uh Oh! - Flo Anito (Pop/Jazz)
  3. Love's Lips - Jason Masi - (Rock/Acoustic)
  4. Dirty Lies and Whiskey - Throwing Plates (Rock/Pop)
  5. Hey Baby - Taylor Carson (Indie/Pop)
  6. Oh, Legs! - Cynthia Marie (Pop/Jazz)
  7. Rolling Hills - Teddy Chipouras (Folk/Americana)
  8. Intro/Outro music by Fellowcraft (Hard Rock/Blues)

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Jason Masi DC Music Rocks

Jason Masi is an American/DC based singer-songwriter.  He got his start with Richmond, VA based group, Jubeus, opening for acts like Blind Melon, Everclear, and SOJA and releasing two well received albums, "Two Tone Circles" 2004 and "Natural Mood" 2007, respectively.  The latter was named as a top DIY (Do-It-Yourself) release by Performing Songwriter Magazine (Issue 107 - January/February 2008).  

He stepped out as a solo artist in 2010, trading in the band's roots-jam driven rock for a more acoustic soul/r&b songwriter approach.  He has since released three solo albums, "Balance & Pull", 2010, "Life Is Wonderful", 2012 and "Power of a Woman", 2014. His transition has led him to supporting slots for hit songwriters like Bleu and Darryl Worley, and has kept him busy on the road performing over 250 shows per year.  

Masi's freshman solo record was released to noteworthy reviews, as well as significant radio airplay, charting in the top 200 college radio charts and being included on radio host, George Graham's, Best Albums of the Year list.  His follow up solo effort, "Life Is Wonderful", gained additional support and was licensed for use on a number of TV networks (Discovery, MTV, Oxygen) and placed in online commercials, tutorials, E-books and game apps.  

Influences in Masi's sound can be drawn between soul artists like Marvin Gaye and Bill Withers, folk and blues icons like Van Morrison and James Taylor as well as modern songwriters in the vein of Mat Kearney, Damien Rice and James Morrison. His songs are often reflective and thought provoking, yet maintain a free spirited and light hearted tone. Masi’s songwriting explores the complexity of love and compromise from a unique, but relatable perspective. 

He approaches his music in much the same way he does life. His laid back and easy going personality translates into the lyrics and tone of his music yet his performances are energetic and portray him as the hardworking musician he is.   It's a contrast that suits Masi well, as he goes from hobnobbing with his new fans like they are old pals, and catching up with longtime fans before he takes the stage for an energetic and passionate set. 

Masi's newest record, "Power Of A Woman", released in October 2014, is smart, sexy, charming and reflective.  The approach revisits much of the soulful pop sensibility of prior releases, but brings a fresh clarity and edginess to his next collection of heartfelt tunes.  The tone and style of the album explores various genres, but maintains the honesty and focus that defines Masi's sound.   

Masi is currently in the studio working with producer, Mark Williams, for a released slated for 2017.

Jason Masi DC Music Rocks
Jason Masi DC Music Rocks
Jason Masi After Image DC Music Rocks


Brian:    Jason Masi is a DC based singer-songwriter. He got his start in with the Richmond, Virginia based group Jubeus. He stepped out as a solo artist in 2010, trading in the band's root jam driven rock for a more acoustic soul, R&B, songwriter approach. He has since released three solo albums, Balance and Pull in 2010, Life is Wonderful in 2012, and Power of a Woman in 2014. If you've been listening to the show, we've had Power of a Woman on here and if you check his profile on line on you can see the music video for that track. It's awesome. His transition has kept him busy on the road performing for two hundred and fifty shows a year, which his schedule is also on the site and man, there's so many awesome shows. He's a very busy man but I love it. I love it.

The influences in Masi’s sound can be drawn between solo artists like Marvin Gay and Bill Withers, folk and blues icons like Van Morrison and James Taylor, as well as modern songwriters in the vein of Matt Keirney, Damien Rice, and James Morrison. His songs are often reflective and thought provoking, yet maintain our free spirited and lighthearted tone. His approach and he approaches his music in much the same way he does life, which is laid back and easy going personality which translates into the lyric and tone of his music, yet his performances are energetic and portray him as a hardworking musician that he is. With that, guys I was first introduced by a coworker to Jason's music, and ever since then I've been a fan. It is truly a privilege and an honor and I'm just excited to actually have him sitting with me in the studio. With that I'm excited to introduce to you Jason Massey. Say hi.

Jason:    Hi. Brian thanks so much for having me. It's a real honor to be here. Thank you.

Brian:    Thank you for being here. 

Jason:    You have such a wonderful speaking voice on the radio. You just told my whole story man. I don't even have to say anything else. 

Brian:    Oh you're making me blush. You're making me blush. Tell us about Love’s Lips. I'm sorry about the mispronunciation there.

Jason:    tough word. Lots of syllables.

Brian:    Love, man. Everybody gets nervous about that word love.

Jason:    That's true.

Brian:    Tell us about that track.

Jason:    I was writing a lot of bittersweet songs at the time. I spent a lot of time at the wineries as you may know from looking at my show schedule.

Brian:    Okay.

Jason:    I was observing couples especially during the day that were enjoying a glass of wine together. They were just having a good time. They were casting their worries aside. I started with a line, loves lips like wine. That observation. Then I built this song about of it. It turns out it's just a simple love song about being present with the woman you're with and enjoying the moment. Sometimes that's actually really difficult especially living in this DC area with so many distractions of politics. A lot of people use that get away out to the wine circuit to kind of get away from the whole DC hustle and bustle.

Brian:    It seems like it.

Jason:    I was very lucky to get out that way and be able to perform for people and make that my niche.

Brian:    I was going to say, say more about that niche because you mentioned that your schedule that indicates that a lot, but for folks that haven't seen the schedule, how does it work with you're a full time professional musician?

Jason:    I'm a full time, professional musician. Believe it or not, sometimes I pinch myself. I actually convince myself that it's true. The wine circuit is something I kind of fell into. I was playing with the band Jubious for a long time. I had a day job for much of my twenties. The band came out with a couple records but the band was kind of fizzling because we had some personnel issues.

Brian:    Got it.

Jason:    Okay. Then I moved to this area and had my one connection which was Amber Trees Foster and she helped me get some gigs around this area and then I met a couple winery owners and they let me out to play. That's where it kind of spiraled out of control. I didn't realize there was such a growing scene out there, not just for wineries but also the music at the wineries. That's kind of the start of it and now I spend a lot of time out there.

Brian:    When you say a lot of time, what does that actually translate into?

Jason:    Probably more than I should. There's generally free wine at the shows.

Brian:    Oh that's a plus.

Jason:    As a form of payment. My wife always says, stop bringing bottles of wine home. Bring us more money. 

Brian:    I could see that being a thing okay.

Jason:    I spend a lot of time out there. I'd say out of the two hundred fifty plus, I play maybe sixty percent at wineries and then I do a lot of private events too for people. I meet a lot of those people through the wineries. I do clubs. Clubs are less and less these days.

Brian:    Right.

Jason:    It's more about a niche man.

Brian:    Well you found this new little niche man.

Jason:    I don't know.

Brian:    Four or five days a week? How often?

Jason:    I play shows. Yeah it can be that. I'd say the busy season is March through October. 

Brian:    Okay.

Jason:    I don't think I should even admit this but sometimes I'll play eight shows in a week. I'll get a double Saturday. I'll do like a Saturday at a winery and then I'll do a private party in the evening. I'll host a mic every Monday night. I'll play sometimes, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. The cool thing about being a full time musician and playing around this area in DC Metro is I can come home, spend time with my wife and actually sometimes get home early enough to even watch a Netflix show with her or something, and have some dinner.

Brian:    That's cool. Yeah. I guess wineries aren't a late night club kind of thing either. They got to have a benefit too.

Jason:    Their bedtimes are like nine pm so, they want to get out of there.

Brian:    Depending on how much wine they drank.

Jason:    Yes, that's right.

Brian:    Oh man. When you're not being a musician, tell us more about you. What do you do?

Jason:    Sure. I'm actually kind of an introvert when it comes to not being on all the time. I have to spend a lot of time with people, so when I'm on my own, I like to just cocoon and have some time to myself. I started yoga. I like to read books and just relax and have my own time, quiet time. Sometimes my wife is wanting to talk to me a lot and I'll start to daze off. It's not because I don't want to listen to her, it's just I need that time.

Brian:    Is it like recovering or recuperating?

Jason:    Yeah.

Brian:    You put it all out there when you're performing and so time to.

Jason:    To reboot.

Brian:    Okay I got it. I totally understand it. It's kind of wild to hear that too because you do spend so much time out there performing and stuff I guess you might automatically assume people are extroverts when actually maybe that might be kind of taxing and you come back, when you come home the recharge is not.

Jason:    Not to take any [inaudible 00:06:57], I love meeting everyone at my shows. I love talking to everybody and I love performing but the reboot process is something that, especially lately, since my schedule has been so busy, started to take seriously. My wife has started to take my cell phone away from me.

Brian:    You've got quiet hours.

Jason:    Quiet hours.

Brian:    What's one thing about the DC music scene that you love?

Jason:    There's so many things actually. When I moved here I had no idea what it was all about but one of the cool connections I've had is Justin Trawick. I knew him in college. We went to Lawland together.

Brian:    Oh wow.

Jason:    He has been a help in a sense of connecting a lot of musicians together. I did the non-songwriter series. I started that with him. I started playing that with him when he first got it off the ground.

Brian:    Okay.

Jason:    2009 and now I've met so many DC and touring artists from that and just the well of talent that I find in DC, constantly amazes me. Every time I do a show with somebody else, or do a songwriter showcase with somebody else, other musicians. I'm just kind of overwhelming. It a little humbling too. Dang, I need to go home and practice. These guys are good. I thought I was pretty good, but man.

Brian:    For folks who don't know what the songwriter series you were just talking about, say more.

Jason:    Justin Trawick puts on this songwriters series. It's kind of like a stories in the round but you have more singer songwriters so each artist will get two songs upfront and they can talk a little bit about each song. Then they do another round of one song. Then, lately he's been allowing the artists to collaborate with each other. You have somebody that plays saxophone, or somebody that plays banjo, or does backing vocals they can jump in with each other and it's all on the spot too.

Brian:    This is a live show.

Jason:    It's a live show. Yeah.

Brian:    Wow that's cool.

Jason:    He also does a podcast. The circus life. Its a really cool thing and getting some [inaudible 00:09:03] on it as well.

Brian:    Yeah definitely. We know Justin. We're fans of Justin on DC Music Rocks, that's for sure. 

Jason:    Cool.

Brian:    Play good stuff too. He's wonderful. So Justin shout out. Thanks for doing what you do and supporting the scene like we do here. Truly appreciate you man. Tell us the story about your best show. What comes to mind?

Jason:    I don't have any ah-ha moments where after the show I was just like, man that was it. That was my best show. That never happened to me.

Brian:    Okay.

Jason:    I play a lot of shows and you get this euphoria sometimes after it and it's awesome because music is therapeutic but I will say I was playing for the Walter Reid Society this whole last year from February up until a month ago. I'm on a break right now. The reason I do it is because sometimes you play music for people that actually need the music more than you do. That was definitely the case at Walter Reid. I would say the last time I played a show, just because this is a recent memory, I had somebody come up to me. It was an older woman. She said, "I'm going through chemo treatments right now. Just being able to sit here and listen to your music in the lobby, really made my day." I don't really need much, but I mean when somebody says that to you, you're like okay. I'm doing something that I should be doing. That to me is the ultimate reward.

Brian:    For the listeners that don't. You're playing music at Walter Reid?

Jason:    Yeah Walter Reid.

Brian:    You just show up and play? How does that work?

Jason:    It's the Walter Reid society. He's been actually bringing musicians in for the last couple years. I just started this last year. You go and they have this carpeted area in the lobby. You get a lot of foot traffic there but it's people that are being treated that were in the military and their families. You're performing for a couple hours and they have performers throughout the week. People waiting for their appointments or what have you and they get to sit down on a couches there while they're waiting in the lobby and just listen.

Brian:    It's you and your guitar for those?

Jason:    Just me and my guitar.

Brian:    Wow. That's awesome.

Jason:    A lot of times people come up and sing songs with me and sometimes that's good. Sometimes it's bad. It's always good to have a true professional and I see that Sarah Murphy, she came up and sang Hallelujah with me at a friend's birthday party. That was a very special moment.

Brian:    That is awesome. Very cool Jason. What about, so tell us a story about a time that you tried and failed.

Jason:    Okay. Well, I try and fail just about every day.

Brian:    Just one.

Jason:    Let me count the times. One I can laugh about, I guess this is kind of a funny story. A few years ago, when I was playing with Jubious, we continue to play up until, we haven't played in like a year together, but we kind of do little get together and so. We played Sine. We were kind of like the house band at that place for a while in Richmond.

Jason:    We had a packed house and one of the things that I always have to figure out the balance of is like how much I get into the music that I'm pulling because I'm not a good dancer.

Brian:    Oh?

Jason:    I wish I were. I put the guitar down and sometimes do this, and we were doing a cove of the song Brickhouse.

Brian:    Oh nice okay.

Jason:    You know the song?

Brian:    I know the song. 

Jason:    Okay. Shake it down, shake it down, shake it down now section. I was like getting my audience to like shake it down, get lower to the ground. 

Jason:    On the way down something ripped in my inner thigh and it was like this excruciating pain. I fell to the ground. In the middle of the song.

Brian:    Wow.

Jason:    That was embarrassing. You can fit three hundred people in there. It was capacity so.

Jason:    It was in front of everybody and I got back up, and I continued the song. I took a break. That was just one of those moments, I think it was just had the right amount of humility and just a reminder of not to do things that are beyond my capabilities. I'm not Chris Brown man.

Brian:    You can't get low?

Jason:    In my defense I wasn't doing many stretches at the time I was running a lot and not to carry my body around. Maybe if I tried again.

Brian:    That yoga man. If you had been doing yoga back then.

Jason:    If I had been, yeah. I probably would have bounced right back up.

Brian:    That's wild. What a story. Good gracious. 

Jason:    Take care of yourself. Lesson learned.

Jason:    Know your limitations.

Brian:    Don't get down unless you can in fact get down. 

Jason:    Get down.

Brian:    What about, what's in your music collection that might surprise us?

Jason:    Let's see. I'm not sure if it'll surprise you. It surprised me how much I listen to this artist on Pandora radio, but [inaudible 00:13:55]. Pandora send you reports of how much you listen to stuff. It was like eighty percent [inaudible 00:14:01] radio on the Pandora station.

Brian:    Really that's impressive. Which is soothing and you talked about your bringing it down.

Jason:    Soothing, sensual.

Brian:    Okay.

Jason:    Maybe that reveals too much about me right there but that's the kind of mood that I'm in. 

Brian:    All right. I see. Note to self guys, bring [inaudible 00:14:21] with you if you want to get Jason in the mood. Got it. Okay. What about do you have any rules as a performer? Are there any rules that you have and are there any that you always break?

Jason:    I do have rules. I try to make the rule not to play certain cliché songs.

Brian:    Like what? 

Jason:    Like Wagon Wheel, Brown Eyed Girl. I feel bad saying that because I have actually some things that really, really like those songs. I try to avoid it but I am so eager to please people. This is the truth man. Put a smile on somebody's face by playing a song. I'm sure you know this as a band member.

Brian:    Absolutely.

Jason:    You see the way people ...

Brian:    The joy they get from the music.

Jason:    The joy they get from these songs that maybe you've heard a gazillion times, maybe a gazillion times too many. They just eat it up. I'm just going to go and say it. I break that rule sometimes.

Brian:    Break that rule. Okay so Brown Eyed Girl might happen and inside as an artist you die a little bit.

Jason:    It's the same on the radio.

Brian:    We appreciate you sharing. Okay. Come up with a more creative request next time you see Jason, other than Brown Eyed Girl.

Jason:    No it's okay. It's alright.

Brian:    If you love that one, ask him for it anyway. The last question I love to ask is what's one piece of advice that you would offer?

Jason:    I would say it's easy to go through the motions sometimes, especially if you have a lot of shows, like I have a lot of shows. I think always bring one hundred and ten percent and always try to bring a good vibe to your performances.

Brian:    To say more, how do you bring a good vibe? What does that mean? 

Jason:    It does seem like a simple thing but say you're in a bad mood. You show up at the venue and you kind of go through the motions of your show. I've seen people do this. It's a human nature, you can do this. It's really contagious to your audience and then your audience to your venue. Sometimes I think just kind of escaping into the music is maybe the answer to that. Allow yourself to kind of get lost in it.

Brian:    One hundred and ten percent.

Jason:    Bring it, show up every time if you can. I'm guilty of not doing it every single time too. I try.

Brian:    You notice I. If you learn to recognize it, you can also fix it half way through too. You could realize, oh god I'm not doing it. I got to bring it. After that break, you can come back and bring some more.

Jason:    Bring it.

Brian:    That's awesome. Now, folks want to find out more about you. Where's the best place for them to find you?

Jason:    Say visit the website, if you can. Last name spelled M-A-S-I. That's kind of the hub where you can get the links to everything else, the Facebook, the Twitter, the Instagram. That's where I would say to start if you're just a Facebook person, and you want to skip the website, I try to stay up to date with my friend page. You can friend me.

Jason:    I put my regular shows, weekly on there where I'll be. Then I do my special events, I'll put it on my fan page. I'll invite people from the fan page.