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Christian Lopez w / Luke James Shaffer, Chris Cassaday - 1.3.20Friday, January 03 2020 6pm Doors / 8pm Start
- Bar Stool
- Front Premier
Christian Lopez w / Luke James Shaffer, Chris Cassaday - 1.3.20
at City Winery Washington DC
- Bar Stool
- Front Premier
“Christian Lopez is not merely riding the wave of Americana Music, the West Virginia native, is bending it to its knees. With the will of his voice and the stomp of a steady beat, Christian Lopez and his band are pioneering their own brand of Alt. Folk Country Rock. Like a young Whitman, Lopez translates the iconic America before him into rousing romps and searing serenades employing crisp and thoughtful imagery and storytelling. Lopez is turning traditional songwriting on its head. Lopez takes listeners on a heartfelt rampage through emotion, energy and excitement caring less about the hook then hooking them in with the range and passion in his voice. One moment the music traverses the depths of one’s interior life and the next it rips the listener into a frenzy - a call to stomp, romp and roll..”
Christian Lopez (born 1995) is an American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Martinsburg, West Virginia. His mother, an opera singer & music teacher, started him in out at an early age, learning the piano at age 5 and guitar at age 9. He began songwriting in his early teenage years, and was touring before the age of 16. In 2013, Lopez signed a record deal with Blaster Records. Shortly thereafter, he recorded his first release, the five song EP Pilot, which was released in October 2014, followed by his first full length album “Onward” released in May 2015, produced by Grammy Winning producer, Dave Cobb. (Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson)
Lopez and his band went on to headline shows of his own throughout the US, but has still stepped out to perform alongside fellow acts like, Miranda Lambert, The Black Lillies, Brothers Osborne, Marty Stuart, and even earned a spot on The Vans Warped Tour. Lopez also won the Belk Modern Musician Showcase talent search and invited to join Belk’s 2015 “Modern Southern Music” tour landing them bills with Zac Brown Band, Dave Matthews Band, Blake Shelton, and more.
In September, 2017, Lopez released his sophomore album entitled, Red Arrow, this time alongside producer Marshall Altman. The. album features included some of Lopez’s favorites, Vince Gill’, The Milk Carton Kids’ Kenneth Pattengale, and studio legends like Stuart Duncan and Jerry Row. Rolling Stone said that Red Arrow "flies straight through multiple eras of rock, pop and country. Organic sounds are favored over electronics, while Lopez's versatile guitar playing provides a millennial take on everything from Eighties rock to timeless folk. Sly, generation-bridging vocals are the common thread, and as interest in Americana rises, Lopez could connect the dots for many young listeners." In the days leading up to its release, Rolling Stone named Lopez "One of the 10 New Country Artists You Need To Know" as well as “One Of The Best Things We Saw” at Americanafest Nashville for the 2nd year in a row.
"Red Arrow" became a milestone for this emerging artist. On “Don’t Wanna Say Goodnight,” Lopez kicks into high gear, riding by the rockabilly rhythm as if hearing it for the first time. A different innocence informs “Swim The River,” through lyrics that conjure the thrill of young love. On the other hand, “1972” is a disarmingly affectionate tribute to his International Harvester Scout — and the romantic adventures it has witnessed. Writing with Mindy Smith and Josh Williams, Lopez came up with “Still On Its Feet,” an eloquent analogy equating beloved old piece of furniture with one who has weathered hard times; Vince Gill’s guitar accompanies Lopez’s intimate vocal. And for more classic harmony singing, look no further than “Caramel,” where Lopez and Kenneth Pattengale of Milk Carton Kids blend their voices and acoustic guitars with a synchronicity the Everly Brothers might have admired.
There’s much more as well, but pay special attention to “Steel On The Water.” Lopez wrote this one alone, on his last night aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis en route from Pearl Harbor to San Diego. Brought onboard to entertain 5,000 sailors on their way home, he ended up at least as moved by their stories as they were by his music.
“This is maybe the most personal song I’ve written yet,” Lopez says. “When you come from the outside and join a bunch of people who’ve been living on that ship for years at a time, they gravitate toward you. They want to talk with you. They tell you everything. You’re almost like a refuge to them. It’s overwhelming, especially coming from kids your age.”
Lopez was struck especially with the parallel he sensed between their lives and his as he embarks ever further and for longer hauls away from his West Virginia home. But he understood the differences in their missions too. “The first lines talk about how ‘some go for school; some go for tradition and some go for a last resort.’ I had conversations with people on that ship who had done those things. I was so emotional when it was time to leave them.”
On these songs and the album’s six other offerings, Red Arrow does us a service. For many, it will introduce an artist whose singing radiates youthful infatuation with life through songs rooted in a reverence for American tradition. To those who have already had the pleasure of discovering him, it documents the next stage of a journey toward wisdom, insight, perhaps heartbreak and a fruitful crop of great new songs to come. For Lopez, maybe it’s a ticket on that trip that will lead to faraway places yet end back home in West Virginia. Through his music we travel with him, beginning here.
Luke James Shaffer
Singer-songwriter Luke James Shaffer’s musicality traverses alternative, folk-pop and soul. His vocals have garnered him comparisons to Adam Levine, The Lumineers, Vance Joy & Mumford &Sons.
In July 2018 Luke released his first EP, "Luke James Shaffer, Vol. 1" in a partnership with DC’s House Studios. It reached number 7 on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter charts. Luke’s song 'Siren' recently received runner-up in the AAA/Alternative in the International Acoustic Music Awards.
As a philanthropist Luke was able to team up with the Global Mental Health Alliance on his song, “We're All a Little Crazy,” A portion of the proceeds for this track go directly to the foundation. In March, Luke released his indie rock single "Thieves" followed closely in May by the single "Blood in the Water" on which he joined forced with Sydney Franklin & Jake Vicious, "telling the tale of a heart mislead by love."
Growing up in Great Falls, Virginia, music was always a prominent part of Chris Cassaday's life. Whether singing in the back seat of his mom's car, or watching his dad play the drums, Chris was hooked on music at an early age. And after receiving his first guitar at age 14, hebegaquest to be a performer. Chris slowly honed his songwriting skills over the next few years, playing in various bands and as a solo act throughout high school and college.
After graduating from James Madison University in 2014, Chris independently released his first professionally recorded album "The Savannah Sessions" on all digital music outlets on May 25th, 2015. The album received widespread support and great reviews on all digital outlets from people who had never heard of Chris before, and Chris's original song "My Oh My" off of the album was sought out by Sirius XM radio and is now being played regularly on Sirius XM's the Coffee House channel. The album was mixed and produced by Ted Bowne, one of Chris's greatest influences and the lead singer of the award winning rock-reggae band Passafire.
Shortly after the release of "The Savannah Sessions" Chris performed a 5-song live session for Sirius XM in September 2015 that was aired around the world, and "My Oh My" was also given an honorable mention at the 27th Rocky Mountain Folk Festival in Lyons, Colorado. With all of the buzz around his debut album, Chris began to play out and perform regularly.
After two years of extensive live performances all over the country and even abroad, Chris headed back in to the studio and independently released his next studio effort "Stranger Places" on April 10th, 2017. The sophomore album was also produced and mixed by Ted Bowne from Passafire, and the response was extremely positive, exposing Chris to a larger, more diverse musical audience. And on March 15th, 2019, Chris released a 3-song EP entitled "Hear, Listen" to rave reviews. The hype surrounding the new EP led to Pandora Internet Radio creating "Chris Cassaday Radio" featuring his entire discography.
Chris has become a regular headlining act in his hometown of Washington, DC, having performed at all of the best and most prominent music venues that the area has to offer, including Gypsy Sally's, Rock & Roll Hotel, Hill Country Live, Union Stage, Songbyrd Cafe, Jammin' Java, The Bullpen at National's Park, and even had two sold out stints at Pearl Street Warehouse. In the past year alone Chris has played upwards of 100 shows.
Chris's unique blend of blues, rock, folk and funk, his crafty songwriting style, his incredible live performances, and his thunderous, distinctive voice have gathered him a significant following around the DC area and other parts of the country. The sky is the limit for this Washington DC-based songwriter.