Labor Day will soon come and go, but even when it does, autumn brings great live music to Annapolis. We broke down the best live music in September!
Annapolis Maritime Museum:
The Annapolis Maritime Museum in Eastport presents Tides & Tunes Concert Series, a summertime staple, with live music every Thursday evening on the lawn supported by a cash bar and food trucks. The series is so popular that they extend it into fall, moving venues to Ellen O. Moyer Park and changing the name to the September sunset concert series. Things kick off Sept. 5 with Pressing Strings, followed by SwampCandy on Sept 12, Johnny Monet Band on Sept. 19, and high-spirited (whiskey pun intentional) Irish roots band Dublin 5 on Sept 26.
Sept. 14 | Coral Reefer Band
Another fall staple is the Boatyard Beach Bash, an annual party that raises money for the Annapolis Maritime Museum’s educational programming. The star attraction is the Coral Reefer Band—aka Jimmy Buffet’s house band—who are longtime supporters of the event. The $85 admission gets you a night of music (the Coral Reefers and also Scott Kirby, The John Frinzi Band, and Aaron Scherz), plus a buffet dinner and signature cocktails (two with your entry fee, and the rest on a cash basis). It sells out so if you don’t have tickets yet, get them soon.
If you’re ready to head indoors, here are some shows to look out for.
Image courtesy of Coral Reefer Band
Annapolis Smokehouse & Tavern
Sept. 13 | The Corsicans
Friday the 13th is a great night to stay in, right? Wrong! Stow your superstitions and head down to Smokehouse, where The Corsicans bring their groove-infected music to scare the bad mojo away. Expect anything from funk to reggae to modern rock, all played with the aim of getting you on the dance floor. Bandleader Carl Corse is calling this their Camp Crystal Lake tour, in honor of the anti-holiday’s biggest celebrity Jason Voorhees. Hopefully, the masked madman won’t make an appearance.
Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts:
Aug. 30, Chuck Brown Band
Washington D.C. legend Chuck Brown invented Go-Go in the late 1970s, blending funk, soul and African rhythms into a totally unique sound. Over the next 30 years, he and his band toured the world, earning Grammy nominations and a #1 song “Busting Loose” along the process. The Godfather of Go-Go passed in 2012 but his bandmates and a new generation of musicians keep the sound alive, keeping people moving and sweating in venues from supper clubs to the Kennedy Center. You can’t listen to Go-Go without shaking your assets, so Maryland Hall is taking out the chairs to create a dance floor near the front of the stage.
Image courtesy of Chuck Brown Band
Sept. 21 | Rick Wakeman
From the 1970s through early 2000, the band YES was at the vanguard of the prog-rock movement, alongside bands including Pink Floyd and Rush. Founding member/keyboardist Rick Wakeman has had a prolific career as a solo artist and new-age/ambient composer as well. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer returns to the U.S. for the first time in 2006 with his Grumpy Old Rock Star Tour, which promises music from YES, David Bowie (he played on “Space Oddity”) and some favorite covers as well.
Sept. 8 | Richie Ramone
The last official Ramone, drummer Richie (nee Richard Reinhardt) joined the band in 1983, touring the world for four years and appearing on the albums Animal Boy, Too Tough to Die and Halfway to Sanity before quitting in a fight over merch royalties. In the years since he played on and off—including his own take on West Side Story with the Pasadena Pops—before getting back to rock under the name Richie Ramone. For this tour, which also brings his new autobiography, I Know Better Now—My Life Before, During and After the Ramones, expect some Ramones songs, some Richie originals, and a whole lotta rock. He’ll be joined by tourmates Tender Beats, plus Baltimore’s Subtastics and Naptown’s own The Alements. Bring earplugs.
Rams Head On Stage:
Sept. 7 | Swampcandy
Hometown duo Swampcandy brings energy, precision and a deep appreciation of roots music to their energetic shows. This is their first show at home after a summer tour in the UK, bringing their unique brand of “pig drinkin’, whiskey-eatin’, foot-clappin’,hand-stompin’ music” across the pond. The opener is bluesman Dean Rosenthal, who has been making music with shifting cadre of players since 1975. They head to Rams Head to bring some local music to the joint in early September.
Sept. 17 | Jake Shimabukuro
You’ve never heard ukulele played like it is by virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro, who turns this simple instrument into a vehicle for jazz, rock, flamenco and more. The Honolulu native has been picking since age 14 and was well known in Hawaii and Japan when a YouTube video of him playing While My Guitar Gently Weeps went viral, changing his life. He’s appeared everywhere from the Hollywood Bowl to Sydney Opera House, backed the likes of Jimmy Buffet and Yo-Yo Ma among others, and recorded 14 albums of originals and covers. Want to know more? Check out the doc Jake Shimbukuro: Life in Four Strings, which has aired on PBS and Amazon Prime.
Image courtesy of Jake Shimabukuro
Sept. 27 | Bob Mould
A paragon of the alt-rock pantheon, Bob Mould led groundbreaking band Husker Du in the 1980s before starting power pop band Sugar, who put out some of the best records of the 1990s. His solo work is equally intriguing, combining catchy hooks with introspective lyrics and deep intensity. This acoustic show will be supporting his incisive new album Sunshine Rock, but he typically digs out some older material is well.
Image courtesy of Bob Mould
As you can see, there's no shortage of live music in September. Whether you're looking for big acts or a more intimate venue, there's something for everyone in Annapolis!