Christian Lopez Band @ State Theatre, Washington DC - Feb 19 2016.
This is the second time I have seen Mr. Lopez and his band and he is still not old enough to drink. The West Virginia native is not only swiftly becoming a favorite around these parts, but is busy spreading his music throughout the country by opening for tonight's headliner, Steve Forbert, and others. He and his band are more than ready for it as the rootsy songs easily connect with a variety of audiences.
He has a crack rhythm section and a banjoist, who adds female vocals to Lopez' guitar and lead vocals. It is a strong resilient sound that never quite gets overly country, but touches on bluegrass, folk rock, and rock'n'roll. He even straps on an electric guitar and cuts a tasty solo during a couple of songs later in the set. The banjo gets a focus at times, which excites the crowd and offers a further diversity during the set.
The vocal work is top notch and the professionalism is quite advanced. I particularly liked how the band extended the opening passage to almost drone lengths while Lopez calmly waited until they got his monitor turned on. The crowd enjoyed the set and this band looked like they could play all night, but more was to come.
(1) Christian Lopez Band (unknown/website).