Last Thursday was one of my favorite hometown events, the Frederick Music Showcase! [Honesty Note: It may be too early to call it my “favorite event”? Frederick has so many fun small town events that happen year round and have been traditions for years that it may be a little unfair to call this newbie my “favorite”.] However, even though this is only the second year the showcase has been held, to me it is an instant classic. My dad and I went to the showcase last year and fell in love with the bands. We’re Old Indian junkies thanks to last years show. The event is held in The Weinberg Center, which is a utterly gorgeous theater downtown, and hosted by Frederick Playlist.
(art deco decor and live music – a perfect night.)
I love finding new bands in general but finding ones that are from Frederick peppers the whole experience with little flecks of glowing hometown pride and familiarity (plus I love having the knowledge that these band will inevitably be playing shows near me that I can attend without major planning. *Score*). Four acts played that night, Retro/Ricole Barnes, Katie Powderly and The Unconditional Lovers, Silent Old Mtns, and The Freddie Long Band.
All the performances were great and I’m continually impressed with these artists now as I listen to their BandCamp pages and watch YouTube videos. While I love the music of all the artists I was in awe of Retro/Ricole Barnes performance, not only as a rapper but as an entertainer. He had 20-30 minutes for his set but made a fantastic production of the limited time with featured artists, lighting ques, and dancers. You could tell that he put a lot of thought into his time and making that time on stage count and he didn’t waste a thing. It was powerful.
I came across this video of one of the songs Katie Powderly and the Unconditional Lovers played that night, Beneath Blue Light. I can’t remember if it was this song or another that she prefaced with a story about being inspired while “feelings some things on the corner of 2nd and Market” but it is a feeling that hooked me. Katie’s set was so . . . open. She has a wonderful nature that invites you into the gravel and roses setting of her music and experience the pain and excitement right along with her. She has an honesty that is intoxicating. As prodigious as her songs are acoustically, they are even more so with the addition of keys, bass, electric guitar and drums – provided by her backing band, The Unconditional Lovers. The composition of the songs is robust and emotional, I was instantly captivated.
Watch Katie’s Frederick News Post performance below.