- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 8, 2004

A new beginning

Michael Tait is known for fronting the popular Christian music act DC Talk, but now he has a new band, Tait, and a harder sound. Mr. Tait will show off both at Shoutfest 04, a traveling one-day music and sports festival featuring 10 Christian acts including headliners Tait, Rachel Lampa and Zoegirl. It’s at the Prince William County Fairgrounds on Sunday. Gates open at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 to $25. 8800 Sudley Road, Manassas. 800/965-9324.

Almost the real thing

Cover bands usually are cheap knockoffs of the real thing, but the Soft Parade is not the average cover band. Proclaimed as a “tribute to the Doors,” the band’s performance and look is so close to that group that some of the original Doors have played with the Soft Parade. The band plays Jammin’ Java for two nights beginning tomorrow. Both shows begin at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $12. 227 Maple Ave., Vienna. 703/255-1566.

Sibling rivalry not

Most siblings in their late teens want to get away from one another. Not Chauntelle, Sherri, Stacy, and Weston DuPree, who learned music from their parents in Tyler, Texas, and grew up playing together. With their friend Jon Wilson, they now make up Eisley, one of the major indie surprises of the past year, largely thanks to their touring with Coldplay. The youngsters play the 9:30 Club tomorrow. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15. 815 V. St., NW. 703/218-6500.

Country’s big man

Tim McGraw, one of country music’s biggest stars, is back with a new album, “Live Like You Were Dying.” He appears Sunday at the 1st Mariner Arena to premiere the new music. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $39.50 to $65. 201 W. Baltimore St., Baltimore. 410/481-SEAT.

Arts in Alexandria

Old Town Alexandria will take on the air of an outdoor art gallery this weekend as it again hosts the Alexandria Festival of the Arts. Featured is the work of 200 nationally known and local artists in several media. Local visual artists will be spotlighted at the foot of King Street, and Northern Virginia performers will entertain on the waterfront behind the Torpedo Factory. See it all free from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday on King Street between Washington and Union streets. For information, call 888/738-2764 or see www.funside.com.

Celts on the road

Celebrated Scottish singer-songwriter Andy M. Stewart, of Silly Wizard fame, and Ireland’s Gerry O’Beirne, a master of the six- and 12-string guitar, started their fall 2004 U.S. tour in August. They’ll be joined on fiddle by Baltimore’s own Rosie Shipley when they perform for the Institute of Musical Traditions on Monday. The show starts at 8 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Silver Spring, 10309 New Hampshire Ave. Tickets are $14 in advance and $17 at the door. Call the institute at 301/754-3611, or see www.imtfolk.org.

Family ties

Family reunions are a time to plumb the roots of kinship and make sure the tree grows strong. That’s exactly the point of the Black Family Reunion, the National Council of Negro Women’s yearly celebration of moral strength in the black community. With workshops, health screenings, entertainment, exhibits and more, the 19th annual reunion meets this weekend on the Mall at Constitution Avenue between Seventh and 14th streets NW. Saturday’s program runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., with an R&B concert from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday’s begins at noon and wraps up with a gospel concert from 6 to 8 p.m. It’s free and open to all. To volunteer, call 202/383-9100. For information, see www.ncnw.org.

Open house at Ken Cen

It’s the Kennedy Center’s 33rd year, and it’s celebrating Sunday with an open-house arts festival. With performances by the National Symphony Orchestra, the Washington Opera, a swing band, a couple of dance troupes, pop singers, comedians, puppeteers and the ever-popular NSO instrument “petting zoo,” it promises a high time for the whole family. All events are free, though some may require free tickets. Noon to 6 p.m. at F Street and New Hampshire Avenue Northwest. See www.kennedy-center.org/programs/specialevents/openhouse or call 202/467-4600 for information and tickets.

Thomas Walter and Cathryn Donohoe

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