The Birchmere Blues by Bluesman

Posted on 1/29/2010 by Virginiabluesman

(Washington D.C.) I'm sitting in my Man Cave (basement), trying to get some inspiration to write this weeks article . I go to You Tube and play some smooth Michael Burks videos, and the inspiration comes quickly. There is nothing like the Blues to get me in the right frame of mind.

Where are the good Blues shows this Winter/Spring? There's the obvious websites to check out ... Blues Alley, 9:30 Club, Madam's Organ . Well, to ME, those clubs standout as the obvious first looks when I'm looking for a good Blues show. As the music soothes my mind, a special show comes to mind; Joe Bonamassa and Susan Teseschi at The Birchmere in Alexandria, Virginia. A quick Google search for The Birchmere, and I was pleasantly surprised to read the Calendar of future shows.

February 4th, legendary Bluesman Bobby "Blue" Bland will play a show to celebrate his 80th birthday. I have heard mixed reviews of his shows of late, but he IS Bobby "Blue" Bland, and always worth the price of admission to his shows. Showtime is 7:30PM and the admission that night is $29.50.

Three days after Mr Bland's show, Sonny Landreth will take the stage at The Birchmere. Sonny recorded a CD in 2000 with John Hiatt, Bonnie Raitt, and The White Trash Horns, titled Levee Town Expanded Edition. Making a special appearance with Sonny will be Tom Principato, a good show on his own merits. Showtime is February 5th at 7:30PM and the admission is $25.00.

A personal favorite of mine, Dr John, will be taking the stage February 10th at 7:30PM. I first heard Dr John when he recorded Wrong Place, Right Time in the 70's. He is well known for his unusual vocal style, and while he isn't for everybody, his is definitely a great show to catch. Showtime is 7:30PM and the admission is $39.50.

Friday, February 16th, true Blues legend John Mayall and The Bluesbreakers will be making a concert apearance . I have seen John Mayall perform Live, and I would count this as a "can't miss" show. Mayall's guitarist is Rocky Athas, a guitarist who "Queen" guitarist Brian May says was an influence on his guitar style. Showtime is February 16th at 7:30PM and admission for this show is $35.00. I will be there !

Non-Blues shows at The Birchmere are also quite impressive. Some of the entertainers are The Neville Brothers February 9th, The Association February 13th, Arlo Guthrie February 19th, and the great Leon Redbone March 5th.

The Birchmere is one of the premiere venues in the Washington D.C. area to catch a show. There is a Vegas style showroom where many of the top shows are held , and there is a bar atomosphere section as well , seperate from the "Vegas room." Both areas are a great place to listen to some great live music, and the dress code is casual. The Birchmere serves food, the prices are reasonable, and there are no minimums for food and drinks! Seating is all GENERAL ADMISSION, so the earlier you get there, the better the seats you get.

I will be looking into where the Blues Festivals are this Spring/Summer, and readers of this site will be let in on all the details such as venues, lineups, admission, etc as soon as I get the information. There are many good Blues Festivals in the area, and in my opinion, you can't beat the great outdoors for good music, however, it is coooold outside right now so I am sticking with the great indoors.
For more info on The Birchmere, go to

The Birchmere
3701 Mt Vernon Ave
Alexandria, Virginia 22305
703 549-7500

NEXT WEEK : Anthony Gomes interview ... A great Blues guitarist who is now playing a great brand of Southern Rock with his new band, The New Soul Cowboys.

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