Single-tracking, sequestration, Syria: There’s plenty to be blue about here in the nation’s capital. Check out these acts at the D.C. Blues Festival on Saturday in Rock Creek Park and at least you won’t be cryin’ alone.
1. If you like George ‘Buddy’ Guy, go see Albert Castiglia.
Though salsa-tinged beats occasionally sneak into the mix, Cuban-American axman Albert Castiglia generally sticks to what he does best: straight-ahead electric blues with vocals that are sometimes tortured, sometimes arch.
Sample lyric: “The road to riches is playing guitar / That’s why I’m living inside my car.”(From 2012’s “Living the Dream”)
2. If you like Muddy Waters, go see Walkin’ Cane.
Tales of woe sound all the more so when sung in the raspy, booming tenor of Cleveland slide-guitarist Austin “Walkin’ Cane” Charanghat.
Sample lyric: “Go on down to Nashville / Or Charlotte, my girl / That lady’s a tramp / And that’s the best thing about her.” (From 2008’s “High Rent Lemon Girl, Aren’t Ya?”)
3. If you like Bobby Brown, go see Big G.
You’ll dig Big G’s saxophone-laced grooves, as well as his tendency to provide mid-song commentary on his own lyrics. In addition to tunes about love and marriage, he also sings about the baby carriage — or rather, child support.
Sample lyric: “This is the last paycheck she’s going to get from me / From now on, this is how it’s going to be / Don’t you call my house, don’t you ring my cell phone / I’ve been right by you for 18 years, now go the hell on.” (From 2012’s “Last Pay Check”)
4. If you like Taylor Swift, go see The UnXpected (not pictured).
These squeaky-clean tweens from Williamsburg, Va., sing the blues about, well, mostly about being kids who love playing the blues. Though the band’s lyrics may lack pathos, guitarist Logan Layman’s howling guitar solos pick up the slack.
Sample lyric: “I couldn’t sit still in the classroom today / I had to write down this song, so I took a vacay / Daddy doesn’t know, I think it’s time to pray.” (From 2013’s “Daughter of Blues”)