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Fourplay: Artists That Should Be On Your Radar, Calendar and iPod

February 1, 2013

By Michael Coleman, Marcus Dowling and Monica Boland

On Tap takes a look at four local and touring bands each month. If you are interested in being featured, please send your contact information, including your website, a list of upcoming shows, and at least two music tracks to


Skinny Lister
Album: Forge and Flagon
Show: Tuesday, February 5 at the Fillmore
Someone once described the British folk group Skinny Lister as “the Pogues but with better teeth.” These four lads – and one lass - certainly appear to have better dental plans than those legendary Irish punks, but Skinny Lister’s songs certainly wouldn’t be out of place in a jukebox rotation with the Pogues. Forge and Flagon, Skinny Lister’s debut album, is impressive from start to finish – tight, traditional, well-crafted, and boisterous without veering into absurdity. The album’s opener “If the Gaff Don’t Let Us Down” opens with a lilting violin before picking up tempo and morphing into a foot-stomping tribute to the band’s British homeland. “John Kanaka” is a vibrant sing-a-long – repetitive but also infectious. “Seventeen Summers,” is an idealized tribute to youth that features gorgeous, chiming guitars and more of those harmonious violins. Skinny Lister appears to be going places. Check them out this month at the Fillmore when they open for Flogging Molly.  -MC
The Fillmore: 8656 Colesville Rd. Silver Spring, MD; 301-960-9999;



Redline Addiction
Album: A and B
Show: Friday, February 8 at Rams Head Live
DC-area alt-rockers Redline Addiction’s third and latest album, A to B, is an audacious step for any musical act. A 24-track double album, it represents a band that is confident in both their skills and delivery; the record bridges everything from plaintive folk to hard edged sounds veering towards the most mainstream of rock. Showcasing as “jacks of all trades” and boldly attempting to master them all, it’s a record that keeps the listener engaged. From beginning to end, it’s the diversity that separates the sun-kissed, easy-going and Sublime-trending sounds of “Ordinary Fool” to the heavier jam band sounds of “Highway Robbery” that keeps you guessing, but it’s the work of the band in maintaining a cohesive sound through a plethora of styles that keeps you listening. Lead singers Chris McVey and Justin Ganderson are of particular note, their charismatic and inviting vocals wrap around ear-worming songwriting to create a solid release.  -MD
Rams Head Live: 20 Market Pl. Baltimore, MD; 410-244-1131;



Carrie Rodriguez
Album: Give Me All You Got
Show: Friday, February 8 at Artisphere  
From heartache to the joy of feeling alive, roots-rock musician Carrie Rodriguez captures the full spectrum of human emotion on her fifth solo album, Give Me All You Got. The singer-songwriter, fiddler and guitarist co-wrote five of the album’s 11 songs with frequent collaborator and country singer-songwriter Chip Taylor (who penned the 1966 hit “Wild Thing,” made famous by The Troggs), adding a rock-infused country vibe to tracks like the soulful rock ‘n’ roll ballad “I Cry for Love” and the fiddle-focused instrumental piece “Devil in Mind.” The Austin, Texas native described her new album as the first to capture the “passionate spirit of my live show.” Rodriguez has recorded with John Mayer and Los Lonely Boys and performed live with Lyle Lovett, John Prine and Bill Frisell. She also recently recorded a set on West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Mountain Stage, scheduled to begin airing nationwide on March 15.  -MB
Artisphere: 1101 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA; 703-875-1100;


Joy Ike
Album: All or Nothing
Show: Saturday, March 2 at Ebenezer’s Coffeehouse
Joy Ike’s bio merely reads that she loves people, hates shoes and makes music. The fact that such a paltry sum of words accompany such enormous talent feels like a massive inequality. Oftentimes great balladeers of the present are both overpowered by the productions upon which they sing and their inability to add definitive connectivity to the vocals which they are singing. Neither of these commonplace issues are present in the latest release by the Pittsburgh, PA native. There’s a unique color in the timbre of her voice that doesn’t so much jar the listener but creates an inquisitive ear. Her voice feels as though it’s swimming in and around the notes as they appear on the musical measure; thus, tracks like “Go” on the Kickstarter campaign-funded album are par for the course for the release: connective, moving, and pleasant.  -MD
Ebenezer’s Coffeehouse: 201 F St. NE, DC; 202-558-6900;