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The Pocket

9/26/17 - Special Guest: Dan Wolff of The Muddy Crows

Thanks Dan Wolff of The Muddy Crows for coming by the studio this week!

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  1. The Lost Ones, by Mystery Friends (Indie, Dance Rock)
  2. Jezebel, by Dan Wolff & The Muddy Crows (Rock, Americana)
  3. Oceanside (Rooftop in Kingston), by The Pocket (Reggae/Rock)
  4. Royalty (feat. Goldface Richy), by Milk$ (Hip Hop, Indie)
  5. Honestly, by Caleb Hacker (Indie, Pop Soul)
  6. When I Get Low I Get High, by The Bumper Jacksons (Country, Americana)

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202Creates Month of September - Closing Night Celebration - Fri Sept 29
“Come join us as we wind down the month of September with Mayor Muriel Bowser's 202Creates month. This event brings together sports, arts, music, media and tech!”


Area-301 - Product of Hip Hop (Single)
G.U.M.P. - Flight Song (Single)
Jen Miller ft Eros - Fine (Single)
Thunderball - Bulletproof: B-Sides & Rarities (16 Song Album)
Derek Evry - Pop Perspective (8 Song Album)

Teething Veils - Webbed

Soldiers of Suburbia - Rollercoasters

Stone Driver - Baggage Claim

Jen Miller - Fine (ft Eros)


Fri Sep 29
Black Masala @ Jambrew in Herndon, VA
Vim & Vigor @ Silver New American Brasserie in NW DC

Sat Sep 30
Alex The Red Robert Parez Album Release Show with Two Ton Twig @ Iota Club & Cafe in Arlington VA
Memphis Gold @ Holy Trinity Church in Mclean, VA
Bencoolen @ Tropicalia on U St in NW DC
Throwing Plates @ JamBrew OktoBrewFest in Herndon, VA
Turtle Recall @ Fado in Chinatown in NW DC

Sun Oct 1
Wylder @ Jammin Java in Vienna, VA

Tues Oct 3
Rachel Levitin @ Jammin Java in Vienna, VA

Wed Oct 4
Matt Tarka @ Gypsy Sally’s in Georgetown in NW DC

Thurs Oct 5
Albino Rhino @ Gypsy Sally’s in Georgetown in NW DC
Would you support us?  We'd love to grow and do more!  We're giving away shirts, cohost spots on the show, 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!

Dan Wolff & The Muddy Crows



The Muddy Crows

Hailing from Washington DC, Dan Wolff & The Muddy Crows are an exciting up-and-coming Americana/Roots-Rock group. Specializing in original music they also maintain an extensive repertoire of covers in a variety of genres. Twice, The Washington City Paper Readers Poll declared TMC the ‘Best Original Local Band’ for the Washington, DC area!

Official Website:



The Muddy Crows Fillmore.jpg


Brian:     On DC Music Rocks, we're shining a spotlight on the great songs artists and incredible people behind the DC region's local music scene. And hailing from Washington DC, Dan Wolff and the Muddy Crows are an exciting up and coming Americana roots rock group specializing in original music, they also maintain an extensive repertoire of covers in a variety of genres and twice the Washington City Paper reader's poll has declared the Muddy Crows as the best original local band for the Washington DC area.

     So, it is such an honor to have the winner right here. I mean my God, I first heard about them because of last year's win of the, of course I'm doing the show, and I'm going, "The best original local band? Who are these guys?" Dan's awesome and got back to me and now he's here on the show. So, Dan, thanks for being here, man.

Dan Wolff:     Thank you for having me. Yeah, we've been emailing a while.

Brian:     Yeah, this is true.

Dan Wolff:     Glad the schedules have finally aligned.

Brian:     Now, so talk to us about the Muddy Crows and how did all of it come about?

Dan Wolff:     I moved down here in 2009, I guess and I started recording some solo stuff with Ambience Recording Studios, Josh in Sail out of Germantown, which is actually how I came to know a lot of the artists. Your show is like a "Who's Who?" Of the DC music scene, which is what you're going for so that makes sense.

     I met a number of them through him and I started recording a solo album. As part of doing that solo album I had needed that played instruments that I didn't play or didn't play well enough. I started looking around, the truth is Craigslist was a life saver-

Brian:     Get out of here. It's a Craigslist thing, too? I love it. There are so many horror stories that come from that but it's amazing that we get to hear the success stories on the show. If you're listening, there's so many that talk about Craigslist but we should clarify that there's so many bad stories. I love the fact that we share the good stories, they do happen.

Dan Wolff:     They do. We had to replace a few people throughout the years DC's an interview train, it's a city and people move and take different career opportunities elsewhere. I think Craigslist has usually come through and got us replacements on short notice. We've had great success. I would agree, it used to be fairy tales and horror stories started with, "Once upon a time," now they start with, "I was on Craigslist,"

Brian:     Now, talk about the difference. You've got Dan Wolff and you've got the Muddy Crows. What's the relationship there? How does that work?

Dan Wolff:     Sure, the Muddy Crows is sort of formed out of trying to get the people together to record the solo album. Obviously, when we started performing live we needed a name so we can maybe go back to how we named the band. But over time the Muddy Crows became popular and often times there was need to build myself as a solo artist or as a trio and people seemed to think I didn't exist as a musician outside of the band-

Brian:     Also, the Muddy Crows are nothing so we had to clarify Dan Wolff is his own artist on occasion-

Dan Wolff:     Yeah, so for a while I referred to it as the Muddy Trio to kind of separate what the trio was. We had a few opportunities for duets and I thought that the Muddy Deuce no longer served its purpose as a good name for a band.

Brian:     That is really not, that is really not a good name for a band. I'm glad you didn't do that.

Dan Wolff:     Duo sounded better at the end.

Brian:     Speaking of names, how did the Muddy Crows come around? You teased us with that, what's that story?

Dan Wolff:     I think it would have been easier, as some of your other guests said that a name generator would have been its, it's tough to find a band name. Something that everyone can agree on, something that represents what you think you are as artists and something that when you Google brings up your name. That's-

Brian:     That's an important thing, absolutely.

Dan Wolff:     We went through a lot of iterations of different names and I would say, that we decided that we liked the idea of having a distinctive "the" so we thought about "The Dirty Birds" which is obviously already taken so we thought we'd make it dirtier and a bit birdier, we went to Muddy Crows.

Brian:     It's the dirtier, birdier version of the Dirty Birds is the Muddy Crows. Oh my God, it's amazing. It's another tshirt, that's two tshirt ideas on today's show, man. You are on fire, I love it. The dirtier, birdier band.

Dan Wolff:     I think on Twitter or some social media does say, "Dirtier than dirt, birdier than birds were the Muddy Crows." I don't know. The true story is we actually, that's an interesting story it's maybe not wholly true. There's a road out in Virginia, I guess people can Google it just to see where it is. I used to drive through a lot of some wealthy looking houses on the way to some training courses I was taking and I saw this, I think it's called Crooked Crow Lane.

     I like the idea of Crooked Crow and while we were trying to come up with a band I was trying to write a song called a Crooked Crow, which it never got finished because instead it went to a band name. We like the idea of the Crooked Crows, the distinctive "the" and the adjective, noun. The Crooked Crows, but there was already a Crooked Crow band that does, I think they're heavy metal or something, in DC. So CCB was out, the Crooked Crow Band was out so we tried some other options. I don't know, crooked things and rusty things and we ended up stumbling onto the Muddy Crows and when we Googled it we got zero results from Google and we said, "Great. That's our name."

Brian:     Success, there it is. Oh my God, I love it. Talk about you on the personal side, what do you outside of the music stuff?

Dan Wolff:     There's life outside of music?

Brian:     Yes. You are required to give me at least one. There's more than sleep and music, talk to me man. What's life like?

Dan Wolff:     I work a lot, I have a cyber security job in the DC area. I would say that's a high stress day job and then to relieve stress I play and sing music to people.

Brian:     Fantastic. How long has the music thing been going on?

Dan Wolff:     In the DC area I'd say since 2009 I really started taking it seriously. I think the band, despite the lack of name for a while, probably around 2012, 2013 is when we really started playing a lot more serious. It used to be we'd play short shows here and there and now in the last two years we've probably been doing over, in different configurations, about 100 shows a year.  When I say there's not much life outside of music; it's work, music and sleep.

Brian:     So wait a minute, are there TV shows? Do you go to the gym at all? There has to be something?

Dan Wolff:     I don't go to the gym but I do watch TV if I have to confess to things. It's what everyone would think; it's Game of Thrones, it's-

Brian:     Don't say that with shame, there's a lot of people who are listening who would love that.

Dan Wolff:     I feel like I should have an answer that everyone's like, "Whoa, that's a show? I never heard of that." No, it's the stuff that you have to keep up with otherwise people spoil it for you the next day in the office.

Brian:     Right. It's something that when you're talking to fans it shows. This is something other people are watching. It makes sense to me, I got it. How did music start for you? Were you a childhood prodigy in the music department? Did it start in school? Where did it go?

Dan Wolff:     Prodigy is a strong word, I think.

Brian:     I won't hold you to that one.

Dan Wolff:     My mom has cassette tapes, they used to make in the boom boxes and you'd press record and your kid would sing into them for all sorts of hours as you made them do embarrassing things. Those exist, they haven't seen the light of day in a long time and if that streak continues I think everyone's the better for it. My parents were very big into pushing all four of us into music. We had to take a band instrument in junior high, high school. I played trombone.

Brian:     Really?

Dan Wolff:     Yeah, people probably don't expect that and I have not found a way to work it into our act yet.

Brian:     There's a lot of awesome brass bands around so if you ever want to pull that out. There might be an opportunity. It's a trend right now.

Dan Wolff:     I played trombone for a number of years and it wasn't that I got into college that I really started playing guitar.

Brian:     Wow, man. You just knew it was going to be guitar or did you dabble and try out some other ones too? Some people go back and forth; bass, guitar, not sure or was it definitely guitar?

Dan Wolff:     I remember as a kid my dad always played banjo. There's be cookouts and things and everyone always thought it was awesome, he was kind of like the showman. I think I was a freshman in high school when he tried to teach me banjo and I realized pretty quickly at the time, 3 Doors Down was big, those kind of things, right? If, you wanted to play songs that people knew-

Brian:     You needed to play guitar-

Dan Wolff:     Not that I really wanted to play 3 Doors Down necessarily but just the songs you heard on the radio did not feature banjo. If only Mumford & Sons had come out sooner maybe I would have stuck with it but it seemed at the time that there wasn't a big market for a banjo player. I gave it up and didn't play anything again for another four years until I really picked up guitar in college.

Brian:     Wow. All right, that's cool. My favorite question to ask on this show is; if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Dan Wolff:     I would say, Google your band name and make sure it doesn't bring up anything embarrassing.

Brian:     Yes, search engine optimization results. That is a reality for the bands out there.

Dan Wolff:     Also, right off the bat, I've seen this with other bands and it always bothers me. We got lucky, you want to get on every social media you want to have the same band name. For me, go to Dan Wolff music Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or go to the Muddy Crows on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram social media flavor of the week and not to have different URLs for everything because it makes it hard for people to find you. I think that marketing sometimes hurts bands because even I'm trying to find them online at a show and I can't find them. Sometimes it makes it easier.

Brian:     When my team does this every week and we're tagging everybody. It's really easy if you get on the roll and you do the Facebook post and you know what it is and then you get the Instagram and it's like, "Oh, now what is it?" And then you got to open another window and you got to Google. Oh man, truly appreciate that. Good idea, same name, which by the way, DC Music Rocks. Same one in all the platforms, I truly appreciate it. It's one of those things.

     Now, one more time for those folks who are interested in finding more about following you and finding out more about what you and the Muddy Crows are doing, where do they go?

Dan Wolff:     Sure, you can go to that's Dan with two "Fs", W-O-L-F-F. or Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, all your social media flavors of the month, week, day, whatever. At danwolffmusic.

Brian:     Got it, and the Muddy Crows are same thing?

Dan Wolff:     Muddy Crows are all the same URLs, all the same usernames; @TheMuddyCrows.

Brian:     There it is. And the difference between the two really is the Muddy Crows is going to be more of the full band music and Dan Wolff means it's going to be more about you, personally? We connect with you personally?

Dan Wolff:     Yeah, circling back to that. Yes, I would say DanWolffmusic will have all the full band shows listed as well but will also include trios and solo shows. If you're looking for a really wild party and you want to make sure who you're going to see when you show up, you should go to, look at the schedule, it's on the front page.

Brian:     Go to the Muddy Crows for the wild party. I like it. The dirtier, birdier party. Oh my God, I'm telling you man. Please make a shirt, I would totally wear that shirt. That's amazing.

September 27, 2016 - Special Guest: JR MacDonald

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  1. Exnations - Found You (Pop/Alternative)
  2. The Pocket - Lila Rose (Reggae/Rock)
  3. Fellowcraft - Glass House (Hard Rock/Blues)
  4. Clutch - D.C. Sound Attack! (Hard Rock)
  5. Hundredth Nomad - Dosed (Hard Rock/Grunge Rock)
  6. Laura Tsaggaris - Dig (Rock/Americana)
  7. The Duskwhales - Lavander Ladies (Indie/Pop)
  8. Intro/Outro music by Fellowcraft (Hard Rock/Blues)

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JR Macdonald

Video - Bio - Photos - Transcript


JR MacDonald is the Guitarist and Frontman for Fellowcraft, an original Rock and Roll band from Washington DC. He started playing guitar at age 17, and wrote his first song in a matter of months. He's a veteran of the US Air Force, and spent 13 months overseas while enlisted. He has been an active fixture in the DC Music Community for over two years. JR has been featured as part of Fellowcraft on numerous worldwide podcasts, Television, and Radio. He has never put milk in his coffee; he favors simplicity. 


JR Macdonald Live on DC Music Rocks

Interview Transcript

Interviewer:  Tell us about J.R.? Then tell us about J.R. and Fellowcraft?

J.R.:  Well, J.R. is short for Jon Ryan, I have been a musician since I was about 17 years old. My mother was a singer/songwriter and a worship director, she used to do worship music. Still does. She has been playing guitar as long as I can remember. She taught me how to play at a very young age when my brother was taking lessons and decided he wanted to move over to the bass guitar, so I picked up his acoustic, I still own it, and I started playing. My mother taught me a couple of riffs, and she's like, "I'm not going to teach you if you're not going to learn," and I said, "All right, I'm in this, I'm learning." That riff that I learned became a song, that song kind of followed me and that's how it all started. It started by learning a few chords and then picking up from other people what they would teach me.

Interviewer:  Wow, so you brought that and so now J.R. is the front-man for Fellowcraft. What are your roles in the band, how does that part work?

 J.R.:  Being a front-man for band really is just another way of saying lead singer, or at least just the connection to the audience. I think you mentioned earlier, I really do enjoy jumping around and getting wild and crazy on stage because it's really where I draw my energy from. The songs themselves, the band members, like you and Brandon, and then the connection through the music to the crowd itself. You know we've played so many shows, I mean I jump around for the sound-man, you know, so if it's just me and the sound-man-

Interviewer:  This is true, and listeners, he keeps referring to talking about may as well because I am the drummer in Fellowcraft, which is the same band that J.R. is in, so I have my band-mate on today, and that's why we're going to talk about some things sounds like we're talking to each other because we're in the same band because we are. I have seen him jump around for the sound man.

J.R.:  Yeah.

 Interviewer:  You know what? He still does it just for the sound-man. It doesn't change, it's kind of incredible to watch him do his thing. It doesn't matter whether it's for two people or a sold out show at the Black Cat, he's the same crazy performer and it's amazing. J.R., speaking of like jumping around at the Black Cat and stuff what's proudest and or coolest moments that come to mind from your music career so far?

 J.R.:  Two of them specifically, one was our Black Cat show. We played the Black Cat in the summer and we were opening up for an incredibly talented band called Rainbow Kitten Surprise, and I love their music I was really looking forward to opening for them. When we loaded in the back I was bringing all my gear into what I call hallowed ground, the Black Cat is holy ground to a musician in this area. I saw Johnny Graves' sticker right there on the dumpster and I just thought to myself, "Like, I'm walking in the shadow of my heroes," I've looked up to Johnny from the moment I met him. That was really cool. Being backstage and feeling the energy, like Dave Grohl was here, you know.

 The other thing that comes to mind is playing at Rock and Roll Hotel specifically, like as y favorite show I've had but I think one thing stuck out, it was recording at Inner Ear Studios and not just at Inner Ear, but with Don Zientara. I mean, he did Fugazi, he did the Bad Brains, he did the Slicky Boys, I mean this guy is a DC institution, and there we were as a band. Not only in his presence, but under his tutelage in his studio. It was an amazing experience. I walk in the shadow of the heroes I grew up looking up to.

Interviewer:  Really, and it truly was an incredible experience working with Don, I could say. I was definitely an institution ad listeners if you've got questions or thoughts for J.R. you can send them over on Twitter, just tag at DC music rocks. I will get them over to him while he's here on the show. With that I want to hear about, so talk about the biggest lesson that you've learned?

J.R.:  You got to respect the hustle. I mean, as a musician its a hustle. It's hard. It's half business, it's half songwriting. Its a relationship. Every band that I know of, every single one of them, the band-mates are like boyfriends and girlfriends, or boyfriends and boyfriends, or girlfriends and girlfriends. It's wild to see it happen. It's a hustle and it's hard. There's people's feelings, there's people's opinions, and then on top of that you've got all of this marketing that you have to do, image coordination, and let's not forget, your main reason you got into this was because you wanted to make music. In my case like, I wanted to write music, and play music, and perform, so that's one little sliver of it. I would tell any musician that's getting in the game, "Respect the hustle. Be good to those people around you, be polite, be professional, but respect how much work this really is."

Interviewer:  There is certainly a lot that goes into it, and becomes a team effort, that's for sure. The better the team the better it is. Absolutely. Share with you us, how do you find your music? How does that come to you?

J.R.:  Typically I find my music through shoes that I go to, or friends that are into a band and tell me about it. I don't have one place that I go. I'm not a Spotify guy, I'm not a Bandcamp dude. I'll go anywhere if you have an album out, I can find it. I just Google you. You know? As an artist you get to control the direction and medium of where your music goes. If you don't want to put anything on the internet and you just want to sell CD's out of the back of your car, if I've heard your music and like it I'm going to buy a CD out of the back of your car.

 Interviewer:  Right.

 J.R.:  Most of the time, it's shows. Like I go to a show, one of songs that's on listed was a band that I saw at the 9:30 Club, and I'm like, check this band out, going to get their stuff. That's as simple as it is for me. If I like your stuff, I will ask you where I can find it and I'll go get it. I hope other people do the same.

Interviewer:  Definitely. It's a blessing, well fans like you are certainly a blessing because it's just not ... sometimes everybody has their different approaches and I love that about you, man. You do go out, I've seen you go out and get the CD's. With bands that we're playing with, too. I've seen it. All right. One piece of advice? I love to end with this question because I think it appeals to everybody and I love hearing the responses that I get from guests, so for you, what's one piece of advice you have for DC musicians, and one piece of advice you'd offer for DC music fans?

J.R.:  For DC musicians my advice is simple as possible and that is just support the scene. Help bands out. Go to shows that aren't on your bill. Help a band out when they need a guitar, if one breaks. I had a musician who [inaudible 00:06:36] who was on a bill with me at Rock and Roll Hotel and I blew out two strings during a solo and it was going to take me a hot minute to fix it up, we can a plan for it, but he just walked over and just handed it to me. "Here is a guitar, J.R.," I think that's the kind of thing that makes this scene so amazing to me. Support the scene. Go to their shows, help them out when they need it, get on bills when you can, be as professional and polite as possible, but support them.

To fans it's really simple, go see bands play live. It's that easy. I mean, I relish every bit of support I can get. I am so thankful to anyone if you've liked my video online, if you've followed us on Spotify, anything. Anything you do, thank you so much. I won't ask you to do anything beyond that, but if you really want to make a different just pay the cover charge and get in the venue. You can buy merch, you can buy drinks to support the businesses, but that's it, just go to shows.

Interviewer:  I think that's a, going to shows is an interesting thing if you go to shows, please by all means introduce yourself to the band, to the bands and to the musicians because for me, and I know for J.R., it is truly a treat when people after the show, we love to stick around and talk to folks. If you enjoyed the show, or if there's a part of it that you enjoyed, same thing with your comments on the videos. That personal connection is a powerful thing, but go on to that shows, in person.

J.R.:  I would say the same thing to the artists. Be good to your fans, they're the reason that we get do this. You and I don't get to play music in DC for any other reason other than people come out and watch us do it so I want to make sure that every single on of them is taken care of and has a great experience.

Interviewer:  Absolutely. Thank you J.R. for the words of wisdom and for sharing a little bit about you. It's a treat to get to know the man behind the music which is why I love this part of the show in the interviews, it's truly a treat. Then the next part of the show, has to do with bringing great music. One of the things that I challenge all my guest to do is to bring us great music and J.R. has delivered ten-fold on that on. First up for today, J.R. what do you have for us?

J.R.:  This is a song by one of my favorite bands of all time, this is Clutch, with DC Sound Attack.

Interviewer:  Sweet. Thanks guys, you're awesome.