- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 11, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION

Several great bands are coming to the District this spring in support of some rockin’ new albums. Here are our picks for some shows you should check out and the discs you should hear from the live acts.

 

Shawn Mullins

“My Stupid Heart”

Sugar Hill Records

Atlanta’s own Shawn Mullins has delivered a solid disc of country tunes on “My Stupid Heart” for Sugar Hill. “The Great Unknown” is a lovely dirge at the album’s front, with “Ferguson” a mournful, angry meditation on the tragic events — and their aftermath — in Missouri. The titular track is a bright anti-love song (it’ll make sense when you hear it, I promise), followed immediately by the more hopeful “Roll on By.” “Go and Fall” is a damning extrapolation on the fear that speaking true feelings of love will cause consequences for an unreceptive party. “Never Gonna Let Her Go” puts a humorous spin on the game of love, and “Pre-Apocalypse Blues” is a suitably blue closer.

Mr. Mullins will come to the District’s Jammin’ Java April 7 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 to $25 by going to JamminJava.com.

 

Ra Ra Riot

“Need Your Light”

Barsuk

Somewhere between country, electronic and bluegrass is Ra Ra Riot. The electornic funksters rock out on new album “Need Your Light,” with highlights like “Absolutely” and a strangely Journey-esque tune called “Call Me Out” that would make even Steve Perry proud. “Bouncy Castle” is reminiscent of some of the ‘80s New Wave bands, with album-closer “Suckers” in a similar vein.

Ra Ra Riot will be appearing at the District’s iconic 9:30 Club March 6. Tickets are $22 by going to 930.com.

 

Jason Eady

“Daylight & Dark”

Old Guitar Records

If you’re hankering for music of another genre, Jason Eady of Granbury, Texas, is touring behind his recent album “Daylight & Dark.” The country crooner goes deep into the American sound on “The Other Side of Abilene,” the mournful “Temptation” and “One, Two…Many.” “Liars & Fools” deploys a weeping steel pedal to tell of being burned in the game of love, while the title track features a piercing duet. “Whiskey & You” and “Late Night Diner” are both lonely meditations on solitude — either self-enforced or otherwise — while “A Memory Now” is an upbeat closer that brings a smile to the lips.

Mr. Eady will appear at the District’s Hill Country DC on Feb. 18. Tickets are $10 to $15 by going to Ticketfly.com.

 

The Black Lillies

“Hard to Please”

Thirty Tigers

Knoxville, Tennessee-based band The Black Lillies have had a bit of a rough month. After all their touring gear was stolen after a recent Houston gig, but the country-rockers nonetheless are soldiering on in the best tradition of showbiz, including making their way to the District for a gig at The Hamilton on Feb. 26 to support their most recent album, “Hard to Please.”

Outstanding tracks include the rocking anthem “That’s the Way It Goes Down,” the mournful “Mercy,” “Bound to Roam” and the elegiac “Desire.” “Broken Shore” is an ethereal, metaphysical fable, with “Fade” a beautific closeout to the album.

The Black Lillies will play the District’s Hamilton on Feb. 26. Tickets are $20 to $25 by going to TheHamiltonDC.com.

 

The Cult

“Hidden City”

Cooking Vinyl/Downtown

Remember The Cult? We do too! And they’re back with more rocking tracks on their latest disc, “Hidden City,” produced by Bob Rock. “Dark Energy” gets the party started in jumpin’ style, while “No Lost Love” and “Blood,” with vocals from the great Ian Astbury, is reminiscent of some of Bowie’s heavier material. “Birds of a Paradise” is a dirge that is as far from heavenly thoughts as possible, while “Hinterland” will have you jumping out of your seat to fist-pump. “Deeply Ordered” even bears the touch of Dream Theatre.

The Cult will appear at The Fillmore Silver Spring April 10 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $39.50 by going to LiveNation.com.

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