The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

4 concerts to catch in the D.C. area over the next several days

Musician Junior Marvin of Junior Marvin and the Legendary Wailers. (Junior Marvin)

Junior Marvin and the Legendary Wailers

Since Bob Marley’s 1981 death, few have done more to keep his music alive than Junior Marvin. Marvin wasn’t an original Wailer — he didn’t join until more than a decade after the group’s founding — and didn’t even grow up in Jamaica. (He’s also not “Police and Thieves” singer Junior Murvin, who died in 2013.) But the Kingston-born Londoner did become a Wailer in 1977, turning down a slot with Stevie Wonder’s band to play lead guitar on Marley and company’s “Exodus” and subsequent albums. With the Legendary Wailers, he’s lead vocalist as well, authoritatively singing “Stir It Up,” “I Shot the Sheriff,” “No Woman, No Cry” and the rest of Marley’s best-known songs. Jan. 13 at 8 p.m. at the Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. $20-$30.

Eric Brace and Last Train Home

Americana singer-songwriter Eric Brace started with D.C. power-pop band B-Time and for a time wrote a nightlife column for The Post’s Weekend section. But his music began to trend toward Nashville, and two decades ago, he actually moved there. He and Last Train Home have developed a sound that’s sort of old-timey, but with lots of eclectic touches. The band’s 2022 album, “Everything Will Be,” features a jaunty, half-country instrumental and a mock cowboy lament, but also ventures into chamber pop and several varieties of jazz. The title song is driven by co-producer Jared Bartlett’s blues-rock electric guitar, only to have its swagger briefly interrupted by a mournful trumpet solo. Brace and his band probably can’t muster all the album’s instrumentation onstage, but they should be able to conjure all its moods, which range from wistful to exuberant. Jan. 14 at 7:30 p.m. at the Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. $29.50.

Vanessa Collier

In blues lore, great players come out of Nowheresville with skills so unexpected that it’s sometimes said they must have made a deal with the devil. Vanessa Collier’s background is less mythic: She grew up in Columbia, Md., and earned dual degrees at Boston’s Berklee College of Music. But there’s nothing academic about the singer and saxophonist’s rendition of blues, soul and funk. The young musician performs with as much grit and swagger as the musicians who inspired her — and whose songs she covers with joy and well-justified confidence. Her latest album, 2020’s “Heart on the Line,” includes a bold cover of James Brown’s “Super Bad” as well as solid originals. Collier’s voice has been compared to those of Bonnie Raitt and Maria Muldaur, but that’s just half of her appeal. Collier underscores her delivery with sax licks that are every bit as fluid and soulful as her singing. Jan. 14 at 8 p.m. at the Miracle Theatre, 535 Eighth St. SE. $25-$40.

One Step Closer

The difference between “pop-punk” and “melodic hardcore” is illustrated by One Step Closer, a barely post-teenage quintet often cited as an example of the latter genre. Frontman Ryan Savitski’s vocals are mostly delivered in a raw-throated shout, although he does sing almost sweetly on “Hereafter,” the midtempo change-of-pace number on the group’s only full album, 2021’s “This Place You Know.” Usually, the music’s more lyrical moments flow from Ross Thompson’s and Colman O’Brien’s guitars, a strategy that recalls the ’80s D.C. bands sometimes typed as “emo” progenitors. According to Savitski, though, his band’s major influences are the little-known Title Fight (who hailed from the same corner of northeastern Pennsylvania as One Step Closer) and the multiplatinum Green Day. The former’s style could be described as melodic hardcore; the latter’s is definitely pop-punk. Appearing with Soul Blind and Life’s Question. Jan. 19 at 8 p.m. at DC9, 1940 Ninth St. NW. $18-$20.


A previous version of this story incorrectly identified Eric Brace's power-pop band, B-Time. It has been corrected.