GUEST COLUMN: Touring For The First Time

Hello, my name is Tyler and I’m the vocalist of a hardcore band from Washington DC known as Over & Out. I’m originally from a little town in Pennsylvania called Landenberg, and the best way to describe where I’m from is to say I’m outside of Philly when in reality I’m closer to Delaware, and it takes about a 20 minute drive to into town.

Music has always been a huge part of my life, and the catalyst of which was the film That Thing You Do!. I started drumming at a really young age because I wanted be Guy Patterson from the film, and after running that VHS into the ground I continued to learn about music from my older brother. New Found Glory, Green Day, Sum 41 were my gospel, and growing up in an age where videos were easily accessible via what we call the internet I became completely enthralled by the idea of the live show. Shows, concerts, gigs, whatever you want to call them, I needed that experience in my life. At first, I thought that thirst could be quenched by going to concerts and shows with my friends. I’ll always remember the first time my brother push me into the pit at a Linkin Park show. From this point out I was addicted to punk and shows, addicted to the chaos, addicted to one of the only places that really made sense in my life. It was only a natural progression that I wanted to be in a band, and while it never really germinated in high school, I knew that I needed to at least give it a shot. Music had given so much to me, and I needed to at least try to give something back as well. (more…)

Chuck Brown, The Godfather Of Go-Go, Dead At 75

Photo: Darrow Montgomery

Chuck Brown, one of Washington DC’s most prominent musicians and a mainstay of the Go-go music scene, passed away on May 16th at the age of 75. Brown had been hospitalized since April for pneumonia.

Brown was credited as the “Godfather of Go-go,” a subgenre of funk and R&B that enjoyed popularity in Washington DC from the late 60s to the early 80s. While go-go music never found a large audience outside of the DC metropolitan area, Brown did experience chart success during his decades-long career. Brown and his group The Soul Searchers had their biggest hit in 1979 when their song “Bustin’ Loose” topped the R&B charts for four weeks. “Bustin’ Loose” was also notably sampled in Nelly’s smash hit “Hot in Herre” in 2002.

Brown came from extremely humble origins, working odd jobs at a young age. In his teens, Brown became caught up in a some criminal activities. Originally incarcerated for aggravated assault, Brown was eventually charged with murder after the man he attacked died in hospital care. While in prison, Brown reportedly traded a few cartons of cigarettes for his first guitar.

While popular success would prove fleeting for Brown and Go-go music at large, he continued to have a vital career. Brown scored his first GRAMMY award nomination in 2011 for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals with Jill Scott and Marcus Miller for the song “Love.”

Listen to Chuck Brown’s “Bustin’ Loose” below.

April Rock-N-BowlA Winners Announced!

OurStage and Rock-N-BowlA launched the Rock-N-BowlA Competition in April to give three artists in eleven regional competitions a chance to perform on the national Rock-N-BowlA tour and one grand prize winner an all-expenses-paid trip to Turks & Caicos to perform at GOBeachfest! It’s for a fantastic cause too as the Rock-N-BowlA tour is raising money for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. By judging in the “Rock-N-BowlA” Competition, fans have a chance to win two VIP tickets to a Rock-N-BowlA event hosted at their local Lucky Strike bowling alley!

The first phase of regional competitions just wrapped and three winners were chosen from the Denver, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Bellevue, WA regions. One band from each city will perform an opening slot on the Rock-N-BowlA tour stop nearest them. In July, the Grand Prize winner will be the artist that gets the most fans to join their official OurStage Fan Club.

But it’s May and with a new month comes a new round of regions where artists can win!  Check out the first batch of regional winners below and head back over to the Rock-N-BowlA Competition judging page to help pick the next winners for Washington DC, Miami, Chicago and Houston!


Bellevue, WA – May 18, 2011

Tamara Power Drutis

Blue Helix



Los Angeles, CA – May 25, 2011

Rachel McGoye

Jesse Thomas



Phoenix, AZ – June 1, 2011


Mike Goodrick

Replacing Jenny


Denver, CO – June 8, 2011

Elise Lieberth

Branden Sipes

Lila Bloom



Rock, Roll, And Raise Money For A Great Cause

We’re willing to bet you’d like to have a shot at performing at an über-trendy Lucky Strike Lanes near you. We also think you’re probably down to win an all-expenses-paid trip to the beautiful islands of Turks & Caicos to perform for Olympian volleyball players and hundreds of guests at GOBeachfest, 2011. And what if you could get the full rock star treatment, all while supporting a noble cause? Sounds pretty great, huh?

Well, thanks to our friends at Rock-N-BowlA, we’re giving you a shot to do all of the above. This May, artists in the Houston, Miami, DC and Chicago regions have a chance to win by entering their best rock, soft rock, alternative, southern rock, modern rock, indie rock, singer-songwriter (male), singer-songwriter (female), pop or indie pop song. The Top 3 ranked artists in each of these channels will perform at their local Lucky Strike Lanes and gain exposure to fans and critics alike thanks to their rocking tunes and philanthropic mindset. Plus, the band who boasts the highest number of fans in their official OurStage Fan Club when the Rock-N-BowlA summer tour closes out this June will win the trip to Turks & Caicos to perform at GOBeachfest, 2011! It doesn’t get much better than that.

Fans, you’re covered too! All you have to do is judge for a chance to nab two free VIP passes to the Rock-N-BowlA event near you. Just lend us your opinions by May 31, 2011 and you’ll be automatically entered to win.

Ready to rock and bowl? We thought so! You can check out all the contest information on the official rules page.

Scene & Heard: Washington DC

The first thing most people think of when they hear Washington, DC isn’t usually music. Think stone monuments, war memorials and politics. No one would expect anything else from our nation’s capital. Of course, sometimes people forget that DC is a major metropolitan area. And, with a large population and a urban environment comes a vibrant music scene.

In the case of Washington, DC,  its music history is almost as old and diverse as its politics. Fittingly, one of the first famous musicians hailing from DC was John Phillip Sousa. He founded the Marine Corps band and even wrote some of the most famous military/patriotic marches of all time. The scene has impressive roots in the jazz/blues department thanks to artists like Duke Ellington, Jelly Roll Morton and Bo Diddley. DC also puts itself on the map in the soul genre with famous artists like Marvin Gaye and Roberta Flack. Hardcore punk legends Minor Threat also hail from DC. But DC’s most recent claim to fame is go-go music, which is a characteristic brand of dance/hip hop music.

Naturally, it’s important to mention a scene’s classical roots. DC contains three of the most famous US orchestras: The Washington Symphony Orchestra, the Washington National Opera and the National Symphony Orchestra. The symphonies play at the historic Kennedy Center where they feature standard repertoire and new works every weekend. The Kennedy Center also features many multi-purpose spaces for pop/rock acts in addition to the more classical/modern performances.  Over the summer, you can catch the NSO performing at Wolf Trap for their thematic concert series.

Mambo Sauce at State Theatre

Moving on to nightlife, DC has a handful of notable rock clubs. My two recommendations for a nightly stop are The Red & The Black Bar and Rock & Roll Hotel. These places offer nightly entertainment from typical bar fair (like trivia and cover bands), to all-out weekend productions with some of DC’s finest new original rock acts.

Of course, DC has much more to offer than just standard rock clubs. I caught up with OurStage hip hop/funk band Mambo Sauce to see what they thought about the vibe of DC. The band combines full instrumentation, gritty distorted guitars, impeccable emcee flow and powerful female R&B vocals all in one versatile package. Their sound, landing somewhere between The Roots and Black Eyed Peas, is aptly accompanied by the name Mambo Sauce”a clear reference to the complex flavor of the fried chicken dipping sauce made famous in the DC area.  The band told me, “The music scene is really picking up compared to the years of the past¦[It] used to be dominated by go-go music but as of late, the cit has really been embracing variety. This embracement, however hasn’t changed the fact that DC can be a tough scene to break into, as is the case with many of the major markets we’ve looked at. Mambo Sauce refers to the audiences’ tendency to be critical of live acts as them being stuck in the cool zone. However, much like any major city though, if you bring your best, the crowd will respond.

Mambo Sauce frequents many DC venues including the State Theatre, 930 Club and The Santa Fe Café. They recommend any of these venues to a touring band or an eager visitor of the DC area. With such an impressive list of accolades, the band is certainly a DC music authority. They’re song Welcome to DC has had a plethora of placements including being in the rotation for MTV, VH1 and BET, being used for Washington Wizards Commercials, Comcast Redskin’s highlight reels and BET 2009 Hip Hop Honors awards.

It’s only fitting that on July 18th, Mambo Sauce played a show with Quest Love of the Roots at the famous Kennedy Center in DC. Check out their OS profile to hear their music and get the true Mambo Sauce, DC flavor.

Meet The Finalists Of The Andre Harrell Superstar Soul Search

The judges have made their decisions and finalists have been chosen for the “Andre Harrell Superstar Soul Search” competition. The competition took place in 6 regions (Atlanta, Charlotte, Detroit, Houston, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.), in addition to a national contest. There was so much talent that some cities had multiple finalists! Ten artists are about to get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to strut their stuff in front of music mogul Andre Harrell, the man responsible for discovering such acts as Sean “Diddy” Combs and Mary J. Blige. The competition was fierce for contestants at every step of the way and each finalist rose from a pool of some of the nation’s best undiscovered talent. All 10 artists will compete this Saturday in Atlanta for a shot at becoming the next soul superstar. The grand prize winner will receive a digital single deal with Andre Harrell Records/Atlantic Records, online promotion from Interactive One, and a $10,000 check! You can check out all 10 finalists and their music below.

National Winner
Dyshon Warren
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Charlotte Winner
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“The auditions went really well; it was a really good experience and there was a lot of talent.”

Charlotte Winner
Atlanta Winner
Tamar Davis
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“I was raised in a house of soul music so I stuck to that for my audition. I think this gave me a big advantage.”

Atlanta Winner
Mr. Ayers
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“The auditions were really cool; everyone was on pins and needles and you really got to see people adapt.”

Detroit Winner
L’Renee Musique
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“The audition was nothing less than exhilarating! I remember the nervousness building up as time drew closer to show time.”

Detroit Winner
Jusz Wright
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“The competition was really fierce. I performed several cover songs and one original.”

Houston Winner
Nicoya Polar
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Houston Winner
Anzeo David
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Houston Winner
Alycia Miles
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Philadelphia Winner
Fah Lyric
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Washington D.C. Winner
Frank Sirius
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“My experience in this contest has been great; I truly appreciate the opportunity to expose my talent to the world. To be a participant in the soul search has been an educational and mind-opening experience.”