Anymore, it’s hard to get excited about anything — especially things that happen after 8 p.m. on a weeknight. Call it old age. Call it perpetual sadness. Call it chronic laziness. Whatever it is, I’ve become more insular than ever as the years pass.
But two Thursdays ago, I stumbled across something that’s stuck with me ever since. The setting was the Mecklenburg Inn in Shepherdstown. The occasion was jazz night. The crowd was thin but attentive. And the band? The band was hot. As in, on fire. As in, smoking. As in, electrically mesmerizing.
As in H-O-T.
It also featured members of local funk/fusion act Ginada Piñata, who are set to appear at The Blue Side at 8 p.m. Saturday night. Now, I welcomed two of the band’s members, Ken Bussey and Jesse Shultzaberger, onto the Frederick Playlist podcast a couple years ago, and as Shultzaberger said to me on that episode, the former Bentz Street Raw Bar is always a place his band looks forward to playing whenever they come to Frederick.
“The Blue Side has always been really good to us,” he said. “Frederick’s sheer size is in its favor, so there are lots of venues and they are spread around town nicely. You can have something going on at The Blue Side and it’s doing well, and then have something downtown that’s doing equally as well.”
And while I’m about to get to those other things happening downtown, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say this: Carve out some time to see what The Piñata has going on Saturday night. If it’s anything like what I saw in Shepherdstown, you’ll be leaving inspired, happy and excited about local music.
Another compelling option for Saturday? How about the Doom Fest organizers putting on one hell of a face-slaughtering show at Cafe 611. The four-act concert will feature Ape Shifter, Spiral Grave, Almost Honest and 10Drilz all for the very reasonable price of $15. The fun will begin at 7 p.m. and it’s open to all ages.
Yet that’s not all for the all ages gatherings. In fact, there’s one at the Weinberg that I picked all the way back in August as one of the can’t-miss events of this year’s Weinberg slate: The Steep Canyon Rangers. Steve Martin’s finger-pickin’ friends will grace Frederick’s most esteemed music space on Friday, and as I wrote some three months ago, “these guys have carved out an immense and intense following since forming at the University of North Carolina in 2000. Since then, they became one of the best kept secrets of the bluegrass world.”
Because, you know. If there’s one thing columnists like to do, it’s quote themselves.
Anyway, another all-ages party set for this weekend comes in the form of the second First Saturday hip-hop series at the Eagles Club. In addition to J Berd, who lit the place on fire last month, Che Rock, Ak-Ill and Downtown Dawson will all be on the mic for the 7 p.m. start. I can tell you with 100 percent confidence that if it’s anything like it was in October, you’re going to have to get there early to gain an ideal crowd spot.
Why? Because Frederick loves its hip-hop. That’s why.
Now, as I always ask, did I miss anything? Of course I did. So, if you’d like to be included in next week’s roundup, email firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, celebrate November, celebrate First Saturday and celebrate autumn as it winds itself down through the next 30 days.
Be safe and be well.
Follow Colin McGuire on Twitter: @colinpadraic.