Best Kept Secret: Annapolis Grooves with Live Music Renaissance

From the early 1920’s to the ’70s days of Carr’s Beach when touring national artists including Ray Charles, Louis Armstrong and James Brown would enjoy a Sunday layover through to the ‘80s glory days of Charlie’s Westside-owned by Charlie Hiltabildle, who nurtured hometown music-Annapolis has enjoyed a rich musical heritage.

Since that time, we’ve had an ebb and flow of watering holes. When there were fewer venues, we enjoyed less live music. Now that there are more places hosting live entertainment, music in the greater Annapolis area is flourishing. The city now boasts a dynamic, eclectic and world-class music community, and it’s a “best-kept secret” that locals enjoy practically every night.

But Annapolis needn’t be a “locals only” outlet for live music lovers. To quote a friend, “Music is medicine,” or therapy even. It’s a great way to unwind, de-stress and feed that part of the brain or soul that gets neglected from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. It’s a great excuse to take a “personal day” from work, park the kids with Grandma, and pack a light bag to hit the road with your best buddy. Tell friends and family a respectable fib-that you’ve taken a renewed interest in archaeological projects, just south of town-really. If you sleep-in the next morning, I won’t tell. There are plenty of spots around town where you can catch a great, late breakfast and tall coffee or latte, so come to town and join me.

In the upcoming year, it will be my pleasure to introduce you to some of the amazing folks who make this scene go: the old-school, touring and young blood musicians; the supporting players, including graphic artists, photographers, videographers and writers; instrument builders; bookers; teachers; and of course, a boatload of dedicated, diehard fans.

And, in turn, please tell me: Who are your favorite groups? What do you like best about live music in the greater Annapolis area? Going door to door and sampling? Intimate rooms and conversations? Sharing a late night snack with friends and discovering an up-and-coming groove?

Take a minute to check out some of the names that I mention on YouTube, Pandora, Twitter (#naptownmusic) and Reverbnation. I promise you’ll be glad you did. Finally, please share the word and tell your friends. This is your page, your voice, our conversation and generous community. I welcome your participation and comments.

New CDs & Projects to watch for:

Spring 2013: CDs by Michael McHenry & Tribe (Funk/Soul/Rock); Skribe (Rock/Garage/Folk); Shawn Owen Band (a.k.a. the SOBs)

by Jeni Paris Brady

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