Where to Hear Live Music

Here are four local bands to check out this summer. Plus, a list of restaurants, clubs and other venues for lives tunes.


Tom Principato

The sound: Roots music—a combination of blues, rock ’n’ roll, jazz and Latin influences

Local connection: Grew up in the east Bel Air/Westlawn section of Falls Church and graduated from Falls Church High School in 1970. Now lives in the same Falls Church house where he grew up.

Favorite area venues: The Hamilton, Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club, JV’s Restaurant and The Birchmere

Upcoming gigs: Cherry Hill Park in Falls Church (Aug. 6) and Mason District Park Amphitheater in Annandale (Aug. 30)

Musical influences: B.B. King, Albert King, Les Paul, Chet Atkins, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Danny Gatton, Roy Buchanan, Santana

Career highlight: Headlining the outdoor stage at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland in 2011

Dream collaboration: “The late B.B. King—he was my lifelong inspiration and hero.”

Music philosophy: “To play from the heart and to follow my heart.”

Fun fact: “I have always wanted to be a Major League Baseball player.”

More infowww.tomprincipato.com



Courtesy Photo


The sound: “Somewhere between alt-rock and pop-country…anthemic tunes with strong lyrics.”

Local connection: Brad Rhodes (guitar, vocals) lived in Falls Church for many years, and now lives in Fairfax. Sammy Duis (keyboards, bass) and Tyler Duis (drums) live in Leesburg. Jon Wiley (guitars, background vocals) lives in Fredericksburg. The CD release party for the band’s most recent album was held at the State Theatre in November.

Favorite area venues: Jammin' Java, State Theatre, 9:30 Club, Iota Club & Café

Upcoming Gigs: Rock This Town at Jammin' Java in Vienna (June 27)

Musical influences: Led Zeppelin, the Police, the Doors, Billy Joel, the Beatles, Elton John, Zac Brown, John Mayer

Dream collaboration: “A sappy duet with Adele could be cool. She can do no wrong. Giving us a No. 1 single on iTunes would not be wrong.”

Music philosophy: “We write songs that heal us. These stories are formed from disappointment, personal failures and broken relationships, but they always find their way back to the light with elements of hope, redemption and renewal.”

Fun fact: “All profits from our latest album, Where the Sinners and the Saints Collide, fund a project we’ve started to provide musical instruments and instruction for disadvantaged children.” (Learn more at nowiplayalongtoo.org.)

More info: www.melodime.com


Courtesy Photo

The Walkaways

The sound: “A mix of alt-country and Americana. Our songs are often about finding hope in a sometimes hopeless world.”

Local connection: All of the band’s members—Todd Daniel (lead vocals, guitar, mandolin, harmonica), Mark Bower (keyboards, mandolin, accordion, guitar, vocals), John Cunningham (drums and percussion), Ed Jackson (bass), Bobby Birdsong (pedal steel guitar)—have lived in or near Arlington for years. “Many of our songs draw from the experience of living in the area, whether it be references to the country’s political epicenter, or the rural sprawl west of the Beltway.”

Favorite area venues: Evening Star Café, Iota Club & Café, Gypsy Sally’s

Upcoming gigs: Volta Park Concert Series in Georgetown (July 12), Woo Live! in Vienna (July 16); Westover Beer Garden (Aug. 28)

Musical influences: Wilco, Ryan Adams, Bruce Springsteen, Van Morrison

Dream collaboration: “Jeff Buckley was an artist taken from us far too soon. It would be interesting to see how our styles would mesh.”

Music philosophy: “Take nothing for granted. Live each day, and play each song like it’s your last chance at greatness.”

Fun fact:  By day, Daniel is a construction project manager; Cunningham is a criminal defense attorney; Bower is a retired Air Force colonel; Jackson is a studio engineer and music producer; and Birdsong is a piano tuner.

More info: www.thewalkaways.com


Photo by Bryn Barber/Virginia Soul Records

Eddie From Ohio

The sound: “Too energetic to be labeled folk, and not angry enough to be pegged alternative.”

Local connection: Mike Clem (bass, harp, guitar, vocals) and Robbie Schaefer (guitar, lead vocals) attended McLean High School. Eddie Hartness (drums, hand percussion, vocals) is a Washington-Lee grad who now lives in Falls Church. Julie Murphy Wells (lead vocals, tambourine, shaker) grew up in Vienna, graduated from Marshall High School and now lives in Arlington.

Favorite area venue: “The Birchmere. We’ve recorded two albums there and have played there every winter, over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend or Presidents Day weekend, for the past nine years.”

Upcoming gig: Music at Arrowbrook Centre Park in Herndon (July 11)

Musical influences: James Taylor (Schaefer); Rush (Hartness); the Beatles (Clem); Judy Garland, Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra (Wells). “The four of us are truly an eclectic mix of musical souls.”

Fun fact: “We submitted an original song entitled ‘Old Dominion’ in Virginia’s 1998 competition to select a new state song. Somehow the state never ended the competition, so technically our state song is still ‘Carry Me Back to Old Virginia’—not a very inspiring tune.”

More info: eddiefromohio.com



Check out our 2015 Summer Music Guide for details about upcoming summer concerts and music festivals in Arlington, Falls Church and McLean.


Busboys and Poets

Cassatt’s Café and Gallery

Clarendon Grill

Cowboy Café

Fire Works American Pizzeria & Bar

Galaxy Hut

IOTA Club & Café

Ireland’s Four Courts

O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub

P. Brennan’s Irish Pub & Restaurant


Republic Kitchen and Bar

Rhodeside Grill

The Salsa Room

Samuel Beckett’s Irish Gastro Pub

Westover Beer Garden & Haus

Whitlow’s on Wilson

William Jeffrey’s Tavern



Clare and Don’s Beach Shack

Dogfish Head Alehouse

Dogwood Tavern

Irelands Four Provinces

JV’s Restaurant

State Theatre



The Birchmere

Evening Star Café




Jammin’ Java

Wolf Trap


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