Artists To Watch 2022

Again this year my music buying was mostly online from Bandcamp, high quality audio from Qobuz & 7digital and preordering mp3s and CDs from Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

Here’s a playlist of everything on Spotify.

Here’s a playlist of everything on YouTube.

Here’s a playlist of everything available on SoundCloud.

Band Song Why them
01. Paula Cole Shenandoah Kinda need this version after the last two years.
02. Butch Walker F*ck It (I Don’t Like Love) I’ve tried to leave profanity off these mixes, but this song just slaps.
03. Christone “Kingfish” Ingram 662 Tasty blues.
04. Adam Melchor Moon In The Morning Dream pop.
05. Wet Leg Chaise Longue What if The Strokes were fronted by a woman?
06. Billy Strings Fire Line Blurring the lines between jam band and bluegrass.
07. Arlo Parks Hurt Smooth groove.
08. Heartless Bastards How Low More groove.
09. Snail Mail Valentine Like that 90’s dynamic.
10. Black Pumas Colors You’ve probably heard it, but it’s still a great song.
11. Bachelor Stay In The Car Nice noisy chorus.
12. Steve Almaas Goodbye Nicolina (feat. Gary Louris) Gary Louris – duh.
13. Valerie June Smile She’s got a fantastic new album – my favorite track.
14. Anthony da Costa Away From My Heart (ft. Anna Vogelzang) He’s back to making his own music after excelling as a sideman.
15. Wendi Dunlap Season of Loss New pop artist.
16. The Fox Run Five $20 Bill (For George Floyd) Falcon Ridge favorites gather, and member Tom Prasada-Rao brings his moving song.
17. Sarah Jarosz Across The Canyon I’m With Her member.
18. Sara Watkins Night Singing Another I’m With Her member – if only Aoife’s album was coming out this year…
19. Soft Skies (Chuck Andrada & Scott Brotemarkle) Slowburn Chuck & Scott from Fairfax’s Smartbomb get back together.
20. Allison Russell Persephone Birds of Chicago singer goes solo.
21. The War on Drugs I Don’t Live Here Anymore (featuring Lucius) Gives me a Tears for Fears vibe.


The 1st and 2nd Nina was off due to student holidays (the 2nd was Election Day). Jill took off to take care of Nina, who ended up wanting to go to SACC on the 1st. So Tuesday was the get stuff done day, including a passport appointment for all of us because Nina’s passport expired that day and a dentist appointment for Jill and Nina (mine was the next Tuesday). Later I wondered how did I not hear this mashup before now? This is legendary!


Wednesday we celebrated as vaccinations for ages 5-11 in Fairfax County were live. Friday we got takeout from Pista House. Jill and Nina went on Saturday to Tysons Corner Center. Jill said “Covid shots at the mall meant wandering around for a bit, checking out the massage chair after mom found a random dollar in her purse, then sporting a new fashion headband to create art. Here’s to a fully vaccinated household for the holiday season!”


Nina had a 2 hour early release on the 11th for Veterans Day, but I didn’t pick her up as her Girl Scout troop picked her up and took her to a troop campfire. Friday Jill was out to dinner with coworkers and it was Nina’s turn to choose takeout, so we went to Ariake, ordered, then sat in my car watching Saturday Night Live videos on YouTube until the order was ready. Saturday Nina didn’t get much exercise during the day, as she asked to go outside after dinner and ended up climbing trees.


Tuesday the 16th we had a ramp installed. A couple months earlier, I’d invited my mom and her husband David to join us for Thanksgiving, and she’d agreed but told me that he was having trouble walking. I’d tried a number of local places that rent medical equipment, but had no luck until I reached out to Freedom Mobility in Maryland. They needed to install it earlier than we needed it and their minimum rental time was a month, but it was just what we needed.

Jill Nina

Thursday Nina had been having some asthma running around in cold weather, so I got her early so we could have a teleconference with her pulmonologist (she wasn’t happy about leaving early and missing art). Saturday was an Open mic at Jammin’ Java for the music students. Nina was scheduled to perform, but when she realized it was on a stage in front of a bunch of people this time, got some stage fright. We still watched the talented Jammin’ Java school house band for concert #18. Her teacher brought her up later so she could see what it was like. That night the neighbor girls came over to help decorate the tree while I went out to see Joan Osborne at The Barns at Wolf Trap for concert #19. She had a nice mix of her recent album, her Dylan covers album before that, and the hits from Relish. Sunday Nina had Girl Scouts.


Tuesday the 23rd my mom came by. We thought she was coming for dinner but she was just dropping off the pies as she and David were staying at Lynn House. Nina was off Wednesday but they had plans with friends, so we just did our own thing. Thursday we were up early to cook while Mom and David went to church, then came over. We had made a little nook near the kitchen fireplace they could sit at, then we had the classic meal, and later 4 pies (Mom and Jill both made apple plus Mom made a pecan and picked up a pumpkin on her way down). I realized while making turkey broth later that that day was the 400th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving and we had three generations of descendants of one of the attendees here thanks to my mom joining us. They joined us again Friday, I made Eggs Benedict and artichokes for brunch as Nina and my mom both love artichokes, then we ordered takeout from Mama Chang (Mom had read about it in the Post) and had more pie (Nina surprised us with a love for pumpkin for the first time). Only Jill went shopping on Black Friday for yarn and provisions at Red Apron, although I LOL’d at this.

Kerry Jill Nina

Saturday the 28th Mom and David headed home in the morning. Later I got my booster and Nina got her 2nd shot, then we shopped at Dulles Town Center. Today I had some fever and fatigue, but the 3.5 hour nap seemed to take care of it. But if I had to do it all over again, I’d skip the mall. Nina had a Spanish project to create a community and label it with the Spanish words. Saturday she tried CAD and LegoCAD programs and wasn’t a big fan, so Sunday she worked all day on a Lego version (with just a little help from us).

Kerry Nina Jill

On the 30th we got takeout from Pupatella to benefit Nina’s school. Jill said “My friend Patty posted this on her Facebook page and it speaks very loud and clear to me, especially what is going on in our crafting community. We cannot be silent when others are being exploited and harmed. I personally was never a fan but I know what it means to struggle with the ugly truth and bring in out into the light. We can hold grace for each other but grace is not a pass for accountability and inward reflection and growth. Let’s shine a light into the dark places.”


The 1st was a Friday and we went to watch Raya and the Last Dragon sponsored by Terraset’s PTO. We got food from the food trucks and watched the movie for the first time. We were glad we brought blankets and sleeping bags as it was chilly and damp by the end. Saturday we brought Nina to Terraset so she could figure out how to climb on top of the monkey bars, but decided she wasn’t ready. That night was concert #15: Damien Jurado & Okkervil River (solo) at The Barns at Wolf Trap. I came for Okkervil River, but Damien Jurado wasn’t bad either. Sunday Nina had Girl Scouts and Monday was off for 2 days but Jill took off and took her to her pulmonologist.

Nina Kerry

Friday the 8th we got takeout from Tea Break Pho & Boba. Tuesday I had to take Nina to her pediatrician as we hadn’t paid attention to her running out of a medicine. Friday I took Nina and a friend to the the homecoming parade and walked with them. Jill met us at the end. Saturday Nina and Jill made gluten free cookies while I went to concert #16: girl in red, Lauv, St. Vincent, Charli XCX & Haim at Merriweather Post Pavilion for the All Things Go Music Festival. Very well run, despite the rain, and I love all the infrastructure improvements to Merriweather. Too bad the only thing I could eat was a sad looking cheeseburger. Sunday Nina and Jill went up to Frederick as Nina’s voice teacher owns a wig shop there, then Nina went to Girl Scouts.


Jill said about their trip: “We made a trip to visit Nina’s voice teacher at her new amazing business, the Frederick Wig Company! Rachel is a bespoke wig maker on top of all her other talents and has just opened this storefront in Downtown Frederick. N had so much fun trying on wigs and came home with a mermaid wig and fairy hair tied into her real hair. We had a great time; thanks for the wonderful visit! For those who are local, Rachel has appointments available for you to shop safely and get a consultation for a wig or topper for any cosmetic or medical reason -she’s a gem.”
“In honor of Rhinebeck Weekend, N and I visited a yarn shop in Frederick; the Knot House. I’m glad I got a chance to poke around; so many lovely things! I visited magpie fibers last time I was there so now I feel complete. With this purchase I decided to halt further yarn or fiber purchases until next year’s Rhinebeck weekend with a couple of planned exceptions. I’m just getting my crafting mojo back and my stash has gotten overwhelming. I have carefully curated it but it’s time to start using it in earnest.”


Monday the 18th I was disappointed that my favorite new show had been canceled. They had definitely changed some of the storylines, but I enjoyed making the protagonist’s mother President instead of Congressperson. Thursday I said “Huh” after reading this:
“The 13% of Americans who are anti-vax are equal to the percentage who don’t own a smartphone. It’s barely half the number who believe Bigfoot is real (26%) and nearly 50% smaller than the number who don’t believe in God (19%). It’s less common than brushing your teeth in the shower (17%) or not putting a top sheet on your bed at all (16%).
If you subtract the people who have legitimate health reasons for not getting vaccinated, the number of conscientious anti-vaxxers dips below the percentage of Americans who don’t wear deodorant (11%). ”


Friday was my birthday. After Jill informed me parking was slim, I walked over to the shopping center where we got to see Nina graduate to her second-from-last belt in Tae Kwon Do, then we had a late dinner outside at Founding Farmers followed by homemade carrot cake and gifts. Finally, I watched the excellent adaption of Dune (I loved the 4 hour version of Lynch’s Dune, but I can’t wait for part 2 of this). I said “Tomorrow night is emmet swimming in Leesburg and I just can’t imagine a better weekend.”

Nina Kerry

And concert #17 was great: emmet swimming, with short opening sets from Hana Eid, Erik Wenberg, Smartbomb & Quitter UK at Tally Ho Theater. That may have been Quitter UK’s first shows since 2006. Sunday Nina had Girl Scouts. Jill said: “My new favorite baby gift; buy an outfit and make a sweater to match! This is kiddy vertebrae and I was supposed to drop it off this morning to the recipient but it turns out she went into labor last night! So it’ll keep for a little longer…”
Friday the 29th we got takeout from Makers Union, then Sunday was Halloween and Nina got invited to a neighborhood party with a friend (she dressed up as Coraline), so Jill and I handed out candy and ate dinner by ourselves.



On the 1st was concert #8: Eagles at Capital One Arena. My first masked and vaxxed show (and now the only way I’ll go). The crowd was mostly compliant, so I double masked. The show was great (and long), started off with the entire Hotel California album played with a string orchestra (Sorry to Jay, who I was going to see the show with in L.A. pre-pandemic). The next day was Nina’s birthday, and she got ice cream on her waffle for breakfast. She had requested Indian food, and Jill wanted to try a place in Ashburn as she was working late, so we met up at Celebration. Unfortunately their “outside seating” was 2 tiny tables, plus they couldn’t serve alcohol there, but we made the most of it, plus their food was pretty tasty. We went to the nearby Brusters for dessert where Nina got an enormous sundae. Jill said “To my girl on her 10th birthday: you are amazing. You are the bright spot of each of my days since we met. I love your fierce tenacity, your kindness, and your independence. I look forward to continue watching you as you blossom, because you are the type of person that blooms where planted. Love always, your proud mama.”


We hired a new cleaning lady who Jill knew from work, and she came Saturday morning at 9am to clean, not leaving until 7pm. Sue and Dave came to stay with us that day, luckily it was nice to hang out on the deck for hours. We also got a giant ice cream cake Nina got to share with her neighborhood friends. Sunday Nina went to the pool with friends, then played ping pong with 2 friends in a neighborhood tournament. Later I took Dave out on the boat and he did some fishing (and sunburning).


On Labor Day we went out to visit my dad when my sister and her family were staying with him. They weren’t vaccinated, so we stopped in Old Town Alexandria on the way back and ate at Virtue Feed & Grain. Jill took Thursday and Friday off to hang out with Sue and Dave. Thursday I joined them for lunch at Jacques’ Brasserie at L’Auberge Chez Francois and that night we got takeout from Mazadar. Friday I enjoyed this comic.


Saturday the 11th Sue, Nina and Jill went apple picking then got delayed because Jill went to help a worker who fainted. So I met them at Olney Park for concert #9: Stephen Kellogg at his Family BBQ. Then later was concert #10: Close Enough on the lake, and the first time we tied up to another boat – the girls couldn’t get enough of walking between boats. Monday I saw the best Bell Biv DeVoe parody about the news I’ve seen that day.

Stephen Kellogg Kerry Nina

Tuesday the 14th was concert #11: Kennedy Center 50th Anniversary Celebration Concert with Dr. Jill Biden, Audra McDonald, Tony Yazbeck, Renée Fleming, Darren Criss, Ben Folds, Mo Willems, Gaby Moreno, Barlow and Bear, Kelli O’Hara, Dianne Reeves, Punch Brothers, Keb’ Mo’, Christian McBride, Rachael Price, Randall Goosby, Zhu Wang, Bettye LaVette, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Joshua Henry, D Smoke, DJ Jahi Sundance, Robert Glasper, Kelly Marie Tran & the cast of Soft Power, Common & the National Symphony Orchestra. Quite a show showcasing the last 50 years and trying to project the next 50. The highlights aired on PBS were pretty good, although I was surprised they left out Renée Fleming & Kelli O’Hara singing “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”.

Rachael Price/Punch Brothers

Friday we got takeout from Taco Zocalo. Sunday Nina & Jill knitted together. Later Jill said “Couldn’t be prouder of Nina’s elementary school and all the fantastic educators. This Time article recognizes her librarian, Mrs. Dueno, who personally delivered books to many houses (including ours!) during the school year so kids could keep reading.”

Nina Jill

Wednesday Jill and I were heading to Wolf Trap, but Nina had been congested and spiked a fever, so we cancelled the babysitter and Jill stayed home, trying to get a Covid test while I went to concert #12: Ani DiFranco & Indigo Girls. Emily’s voice was a little off, but they had Lucy Wainwright Roche join them for the full set so that made up for that. Plus everyone played during the encore. The next morning I took Nina to get her swab since Jill hadn’t gotten in the previous night, and it was negative so with the fever gone she was back to school on Friday, when we got this lovely school aged Shantytowne picture.


Saturday was concert #13: The Avett Brothers at the Wolf Trap Gala. I was curious if after 2 sold out shows they’d slow it down for a smaller crowd, but apparently they only know one speed. Plus they gained a new fan in Jill. This cover didn’t hurt matters at all. The speeches were meh, but Governor North was funny. After we got home, Nina had an asthma attack thanks to lingering congestion, so she went back on the nebulizer for the next couple of days.

Kerry Jill Nina

Wednesday the 29th was concert #14: Primus with The Sword at MECU Pavilion (aka Pier Six). Mostly there for Primus covering all of Rush’s “A Farewell to Kings” in their second set. Amazing job, double necked guitars, Rickenbackers and Gibsons. First time hearing live versions of “A Farewell To Kings”, “Cinderella Man” & “Madrigal”. I hate going to Baltimore on a weeknight, but that was worth it. I cam home to everyone sleeping in our bed.

Nina Jill


Sunday the 1st we had just started our vacation the day before. For the first time since Nina was born, we were taking off 2 weeks in a row. The first week we rented a house in Stowe with the Cannons. We drove up in the afternoon and stopped in Northhampton at River Valley Co-op (where our friend Nate does IT) and at Sandy’s Drive-In for fish and chips and burgers. We got the keys to the house and got to the house and waited for the Cannons. After they got there Chris, V and I went down to the big Shaws near the highway to get groceries. After I found Lucerne milk and O Organics raisins I realized they were a sister store to Safeway, and shopping got a lot easier. Meanwhile Jess and Jill had figured out the Wi-Fi and ordered dinner for everyone from Piecasso. The pizza was very good, and it wasn’t a secret, as the only day their parking lot wasn’t full to the brim was the day they were closed.


Monday Jill went over the mountain to buy an air purifier as Nina was coughing some the night before and her room was musty. That afternoon we walked along the trail and stopped for Red Barn ice cream (Ben & Jerry’s factory tour was closed for construction and they just had the scoop shop open). That night we grilled burgers and were able to use the refilled hot tub (the house had some issues, including water seeping up through one of the master bathrooms).

Nina Penny

Tuesday we drove into Burlington, where I had to ask what could be a better post Falcon Ridge lunch than The Skinny Pancake? Others got bagels, and we shopped before meeting Jill’s childhood friend Erica and her daughter Mira at the Burlington Bay Café for creamies (soft serve ice cream) and we wandered down to the Science Center. I stopped at the Smugglers’ Notch Distillery before we left to pick up a sampler, and the adults had a taste test after we made pasta for dinner (the winner was the whiskey brewed with maple syrup for me).

Penny C Nina

Wednesday I made waffles with the remaining yeast (after I made a loaf of low sodium bread for myself) and bacon, then we took the gondola up to the top of Stowe Resort. That evening we had Piecasso again as Jill’s cousins Greg & Cathy came over and asked for pizza.

Jill Nina Kerry

Thursday I lazed around and read comics as Jill wanted to take the kids to All Things Bright and Beautiful, which her mother had taken her & her sisters to when she was young. Some had lunch at The Mad Taco, and they considered going to Ben & Jerry’s but the line for the scoop shop was 40 minutes long, so they bought pints for everyone. The girls got their energy out with a giant blow up spray unicorn. Jill didn’t want a pint, so we went into Stowe and stopped at Stowe Sweets for cones, and I picked up a bottle of Barr Hill Gin (made with honey) at a market. Jill, C and I hiked behind the house to see if it was possible to get to the next day’s trail before we were greeted with a steep drop, then we made fajitas for dinner.

Penny Nina C

Friday we drove to entrance of the Mill Trail and hiked past Bingham Falls. We later learned most people come in the other side and go down slippery stairs to a wide pool at the end, but we found a very cold part of the stream before the falls and everyone went in as long as they could take it. For lunch we had made reservations at the Trapp Family Lodge and good thing as they were booked solid. There was a funny incident when we were waiting for the host and a lady why she couldn’t sit at an empty table. He told her that he didn’t have enough servers for those tables then told her if she’d fill out a job application he’d hire her on the spot. I doubt we’d have noticed other than that, the service and food was great. We stopped at the bakery afterwards and had leftovers for dinner.

Nina Jill

Saturday some folks went shopping in Stowe, then we took the kids to the corn maze they’d been begging to do – after 15 minutes in the hot sun, they were begging to leave, but we got out in about 40 minutes and went to Red Barn again. That night we had the older kids babysit the younger ones and we made pasta for them, then the adults went to Lost Nation for burgers, brisket & beer (they handled staffing shortages by having everyone bus there table into a container at the end of the table). We also finished the deadly jigsaw puzzle of just Lego minifig heads.


Sunday we had more waffles then packed up and left. I decided I wanted to stop by Mt. Holly where my family had owned a cottage when I was growing up. It was redone but still there, along with 2 new houses on the land we’d owned. Jill and I had come to an informal agreement to retire to Vermont since we’d both spent parts of our summers there when young, and we checked out the houses on Amherst Lake, Echo Lake and Lake Rescue as we passed on the way to The Vermont Country Store in Rockingham. Jill found candy, I found jam, and Nina’s favorite purchase of the trip was a mood ring. We thought we’d stop at The Marina in Brattleboro for a late lunch, but they had closed their kitchen because they were shortstaffed. We went into downtown Brattleboro figuring that a pizza place would be open, but Echo was closed for several days due to staffing. But I saw they had a Turn It Up! and I went in there while Jill and Nina went in Boomerang for some vintage clothes. And good idea, as they recommended nearby Whetstone. They had addressed their staffing by having you order and pay from the app, then they delivered the food and we bussed when we were done. But the food was fantastic and they literally sat on the edge of the Vermont/New Hampshire state line with a great view of the Connecticut River. Nina and I also got to see the Amtrak train stop in town and tie up traffic. It turned out to be an early dinner, which was fine as when we arrived Jill’s sister Robin wasn’t going to be up much longer.


Monday the 9th I had cereal in the morning, while Nina had ramen, toast & raspberries (she saw the ramen when we packed up the Vermont house and demanded it pretty much every day of the week). We went out to take a walk in Robinson Park, vacant of people because the riverside was closed, and only lasted 5 minutes as the mosquitoes literally chased us out. Nina was happy as they had installed a pool since our last visit, and we had to pull her out before we went over to the Bradys for pasta (and I got to hear about Ava’s brush with bald faced hornets).

Nina Finn

Tuesday Nina and I had bacon & cereal for breakfast then we all went to Northampton. Jill went to Webs while Nina and I walked down to Turn It Up! She wasn’t in love with it, but crossing the street to Newbury Comics was a big hit – between the Avatar merch, Harry Potter merch and squishies (she got Nana to buy her a big squishy). We went to Osaka where we had Japanese food for lunch, then Robin’s husband Mike and son Finn got home for their trip to Maine and we got takeout from Golden Peacock and soft serve from Northside Creamery.


Wednesday I hadn’t slept well, plus I had a headache and my blood pressure was up (and it had already been up since my doctor had changed my meds), so I stayed in bed during the day. Nina had cereal & ramen to eat, then Jill and Robin’s dad and his wife came over and we got pizza.

Finn Nina Bob

Thursday I got up late and had a BLT. Jill and Nina were out and I stayed home with Mike and Finn. Finn can memorize numbers, and I thought it would be fun to call our home number since it had has a fun message. At least until he called it for the 30th time (and left a message I had to delete each time). After that I took a nap, then we had burgers & corn for dinner. A storm blew in and Mike and I had to run out to stop the patio tent from tearing itself apart with wind (the nearby airport measured gusts of 68 mph). Later I posted in things I never thought I’d say: “I really appreciate the former Skid Row frontman’s take on current events”.

Finn Jill Nina

Friday I had bacon & a donut, then Mike, Finn, Nina and I went to the Holyoke Children’s Museum. For dinner we got takeout from the Maple Leaf Pub and went out to Northside Creamery for dessert.


Saturday we headed out after packing. We made it more of a Falcon Ridge trip by taking 84 past the usual exit, then 87 into New Jersey. We’d been talking for years about stopping in Red Bank, and we finally did it this trip. We had to stop at the iconic Quick Stop (no sign of Kevin Smith, who was in town filming Clerks 3), then went to Jay & Silent Bob’s Secret Stash, and on Free Comic Book Day. We stopped in Oceanport at The Marina for a nice waterfront lunch. When we finally got home, Jill found I’d left the freezer door in the downstairs fridge open a crack, so everything was spoiled. That was fun to clean up.

Kerry Nina

Thursday the 19th was concert #6: Vertical Horizon and Train at Wolf Trap, nice to be in the pit with Linda. Full capacity and sold out – and so humid the first time I’ve only worn my mask for 2 hours and it came home damp. Friday we got takeout from Ozzies. Saturday we had tickets to go to Awesome Con, but it was inside and unsafe, no vaccination required and masks “encouraged”, so we took the loss and stayed home.


Monday was Nina’s first day of school. I was pleased later that day when Wolf Trap joined most of the other local venues in requiring vaccination to attend shows. The next day I shared an image of “No shoes, no shirt, no mask, no vax, no service” and said “Now it’s time. I want to see this sign everywhere I go.” Friday I had Southern Electrical Service over to fix the post light, which turned out to be a burned out darkness sensor, later we ate takeout from BGR.


Saturday the 28th was concert #7: Eddie From Ohio at Arrowbrook Park. Back for a third try after canceling in past years due to weather and Covid – got 40 minutes in before the skies opened up. But good to see Bob, Susan, Lorna & David beforehand. Nina was just happy there was a playground and an ice cream truck (and when did cones hit $6?). Sunday was Nina’s birthday party at The Water Mine. Unlike the last 2 pool based parties, the weather cooperated and Nina and her friends had a great time. I spent most of the time getting pizza and 14 sundaes (Baskin Robbins was selling dolphin themed cups, which was the party theme). She got to have some of her friends over to the house as they had an hour to kill before their Girl Scouts meeting.

Nina & friends

Monday was Labor Day. Nina played the ping pong matches for a tournament a neighbor had created (I’d played the previous month). I gave money to The Mutual Aid Response Network (a group of Louisiana residents, led by Imagine Water Works, that activates during floods, storms, and other natural and manmade disasters) after Hurricane Ida.

Nina Jack

My music collection listening continued this month – highlight was an entire week of Tori Amos.


Thursday the 1st it was Jill’s birthday and her mom, older sister Melissa and nephew Tiernan came to visit. We had Chinese food for dinner and Jill got a cake and gifts. Nina was still in skateboarding camp and went to a skate park during the day Friday, then we ate at Amphora that night (in an empty dining room since outdoor seating was in the sun). Saturday Melissa, Tiernan, Nina & I went to Dave & Busters in Fairfax, then we all had a late lunch at Ford’s Fish Shack in South Riding. The outside seating was nice and the crab legs delicious – I just needed to walk over to the nearby grocery store to pick up some unsalted butter before the food arrived. Later Jill, Sue and I went to concert #2: Dar Williams at the Strathmore Patio Stage (they put a tent over the patio behind the concert hall). A very Falcon Ridge show as it rained heavily right before the show and some during, a cool breeze blew and kids fell asleep on their parents’ laps.

second from right, with two of her besties

Sunday was the 4th of July and everyone else went to the Baltimore Aquarium. I’d planned my day by starting yard work, but got a rude surprise as I got stung as I started on the Magnolia bush by what turned out to be a bald faced hornet. I did some first aid on the sting, then did the rest of the yard. I didn’t feel too bad after a shower, but the sting site was red and inflamed for a week. That night I grilled and everyone but Sue went out on the boat to watch the fireworks extravaganza. Monday was my holiday and Jill, Sue, Tiernan and I went to the Spy Museum in DC (Nina started art camp). Everyone but Sue went home Thursday.


Friday I had Veteran Pest come and remove the giant hornet nest (the guy calmly dressed in a beekeeper suit, went out and sprayed and scraped). He said they should be gone in a day. After work, Jill and I left for the weekend as Sue had offered to watch Nina. We hadn’t made dinner plans, and stopped at Parrando’s in Ashburn for Mexican. It wasn’t bad, but I wasn’t expecting my tacos to be so salty. We headed west and realized we would have no access to alcohol at the remote place we were staying in, so found Tri-State Liquors not too far away in Brunswick. It was a hidden gem, with dusty bottles up to the ceiling in every nook and cranny – I had to stop myself after a while. We kept going and were soon at the Inn at Stone Manor.

Jill Nina

Since we were near Catoctin Creek, Saturday we planned on going to the Catoctin Creek Distillery. Then when we mapped it, saw it was in Purcellville VA (and a closer drive to home). But we had bought tix for a tasting tour, so hit the road (and it was a nice drive). We drove through Hillsboro and it was a bit weird to see the short stretch of redone roads until I read this article. Purcelville was nice and we had burgers from Market Burger Fries & Shakes before the distillery. I had the cocktail sampler and bought some more liquor to add to the stash. We stopped by Re-Love It then headed back to the inn.


Jill had thought about taking Lyft to and from Frederick, but I told her I wasn’t going to drink much. We drove to Frederick and I went to The Rock and Roll Graveyard and Record Exchange while Jill went to Magpie Fibers. Then I joined her at Brewers Alley for a pint before our reservation at Thacher & Rye. When we’d eaten there before, it was called Volt, but it was still run by Bryan Volltagio. We both had a delicious three course meal (the pork chop was outstanding). We decided to walk down to South Mountain Creamery to get ice cream, which was a little disappointing for coming from a creamery.

Kerry Jill

Sunday we checked out and drove to Middletown to have breakfast at The Main Cup, then went to Frederick to explore the treasures at Wonder Book & Video. Nina had sniffles on Friday that developed into a cold, but Sue took care of her, even going to Glory Days for a favorite meal. She had to get a Covid test just in case, but it was negative.


Monday the 12th Nina started Camp Goodtimes on The Road with the Grunspans. She got to go to Paddle Boating, Bowling/Cavalier Family Skating, the Science Museum of Virginia & Splashdown Waterpark. The only problem was their bus broke down on Wednesday and they were 2 hours late getting back. Friday we got takeout from Santinis. Saturday Jill took Nina over to Bards Alley where she met author Megan Wagner Lloyd. Sunday morning I got up at sunrise. I had found more bald faced hornets in a small nest in our bush, and I’d bought spray after the last nest. I dressed in ski clothes and a fish net over my hat (and looked ridiculous, Jill was bummed I didn’t take a picture) but when I went outside I didn’t have a clean shot without cutting branches, so went back to bed and called Veteran Pest the next day. Also my massive summer playlist served up “Hungry Heart” followed by “Hungry Eyes”. Randomized, my ass.

Nina Megan Wagner Lloyd

Wednesday the 21st Veteran Pest returned – the same guy in fact. He took one look, muttered that he should have come back an hour later the first time, and put on the suit, sprayed and scraped again (this time they did not come back). Nina had Aquatics Camp that week and got sunburned on her face before we started sending her with a sun hat, then Friday she had a picnic dinner with her friends in our backyard. Saturday was concert #3: Chris Thile at Wolf Trap, with a lovely dinner buffet (the volunteers served us each type of food like a cafeteria) on the Associates deck before. Lovely night for a concert, and so glad to be back at Wolf Trap. We had 2 tickets for Encore Circle that night, and Nina and Jill spent about half the show there and I didn’t have to leave early. Nina had her friend Bailey over on Sunday.


Wednesday the 28th was concert #4: Aoife O’Donovan at Wolf Trap by myself. It was a warm night with a slight breeze, makes it really feel like Falcon Ridge season. Having The Knights for her new “America, Come” song cycle and special guest Yasmin Williams made up for her show being my first Covid cancellation back in March 2020. Saturday we were up early to start vacation. They cancelled in 2020, but the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival was back for a one day event at the Goshen Fairgrounds and we got there to see Susan Werner, Vance Gilbert & The Slambovian Circus of Dreams for concert #5. We also saw Andrea, Jim & Chris from Shantytowne, then got takeout from Grey Area Tavern and ate at Andrea & Jim’s house. It was nice to catch up, but a wasp outside made Nina want to go inside, and with the 5 cats that live there, it wasn’t long until she had her first asthma attack in quite a while (also March 2020). Then we spent the night at Jill’s mom’s house.

Nina Kerry

During work, since I’d stopped listening to live shows, I had just been listening to random music, but in July decided to listen to my whole collection in order from the start. This month’s music collection note: I have all the AC/DC hits (mostly from Who Made Who and the Iron Man 2 soundtrack), but at some point I acquired 1983’s Flick Of The Switch and 1988’s Blow Up Your Video. They were entirely unnecessary (besides the hits).


Tuesday the 1st our CSA from Potomac Vegetable Farms started – got lots of leafy greens and garlic scapes. Friday we got takeout from Mehak Indian. Saturday Jill had her fiber friends over to watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail since they were working on a project related to the movie, and Nina and Celina got to watch. Apparently too much time has passed, as we’d forgotten portions of that movie are very much NSFW. Parents of the year, us.


Friday the 11th was Nina’s last day of school. Sunday Nina and I invented a new game called plushieball, then Jill said “When your pool date with your kiddo gets canceled you settle down with a nice cuppa and Izzy’s Koala World on Netflix. My mug is a favorite from AlexCreates.” Monday Nina was back in Day Camp after it was cancelled last year – first time she’d been out of the house 5 days in a row since the pandemic started (and it was weird to eat lunch by myself all week).

Nina Jill

Friday the 18th I took the day off to run errands – finally found a good place I could get a good haircut (since my hairstylist of 16 years retired last year) at Roosters. Nina came home from camp that day with sunburn so bad on her shoulders they blistered. Jill wrote a blistering email to the camp director and they were better at reminding the campers to reapply after that. Nina had her Tae Kwon Do graduation to brown belt that night, and got through it without a single complaint.


Saturday I had to go back to work again – the day before I’d gotten my PC, but missed the fact that the video output was DisplayPort and I didn’t have an adapter for my monitor, so I got my monitors. Meanwhile, Jill took Nina to a coworker’s party, where there were kids and a playground and I didn’t see them for hours. We celebrated Juneteenth that night with sausages and chow-chow, green beans, corn & red velvet cupcakes.


Sunday we went to my dad’s house for Father’s Day and brought Bojangles for us, him and Patricia. Jill said “Happy Father’s Day to the man that takes care of our family in the best possible way! We love you, Kerry Frey!”


Friday the 25th we got takeout from Saao Thai. Later I had to LOL at this. Saturday Nina and I had a photo hashtag war and went shopping for Jill’s birthday (she budgeted her money and got some toys for herself too).


Monday the 28th Nina started Camp on Wheels (skateboarding) and of course got a bad scrape on her knee the first day. Tuesday I said Wait, what!?! about this. Wednesday we had the maids in as we were about to have visitors.



Saturday the 1st was concert #1: the first time we’ve gotten in a car to see a show since last February, to see Chyrsalis, featuring Jody Marshall and Jim Queen (Iona) at an outside, socially distanced show at Walker Nature Center. They even had a dancer! Monday Nina had her 1st in person SOL assessments in 2 years with the reading one.

Kerry Nina

Friday I heard about a kids book based on GnR lyrics and thought they can make maybe 3 more before they run out if G rated ones. We had Tonys pizza for dinner – that weekend was taxes. Tuesday the 11th I posted that you can hear the full song from the episode of The Simpsons that ripped Moz a new one (and had me laughing more than any episode in recent years).


Friday the 14th Jill’s mom, older sister, and her brother in law came down for her niece’s commencement, but we had to cancel our plans to meet up for dinner on Saturday after the neighbor who is mom of 2 of Nina’s close friends came down with Covid. She was fully vaccinated, but the whole family got it, so we had to isolate for a week. Sunday we got to get tested and all of us were negative – Jill took Nina out to get Cold Stone that afternoon.


Since the diagnosis was negative, Jill’s mom Sue stayed with us the next week, taking Nina to her 4th grade Math SOL assessments and her orthodontics appointment on Monday and other appointments the rest of the week and really helping us out. Friday I’ve been on a Great Big Sea kick that week, and this was the topper.


Saturday the 22nd Nina went with her Girl Scout troop and earned her Junior Horsemanship badge and apparently awakened the standard girl love of horses. That night Sue watched Nina overnight (with dinner at Glory Days, natch) while Jill and I stayed in Mosaic at Hyatt House. We had dinner at B Side (pork chop was amazing), whiskey tasting at MacMillan Whisky Room and some Wizards Unite action until they closed down Strawberry Park. Jill said “1st kid free overnight trip in, well, quite a while. It’s not far but we enjoyed every minute.”

Jill Kerry

In the morning we had brunch at Ted’s Bulletin before Sue and Nina swung by and got Jill where they went to church and participated in a new Bible ceremony (and I hit CD Cellar). Later they all got pedicures before Nina’s friend Bailey came over and they created their submission for the Terraset Virtual Talent Show, followed by us on the boat with Celina.


Friday the 28th we got takeout from True Food Kitchen. I saw The Weeknd do an excellent duet with Ariana Grande of “Save Your Tears” at the iHeartRadio Awards, but this version from the Billboard Music Awards the week before is the best socially distant video ever.


Sunday it wasn’t great weather, so Nina and I finally opened the bonus box from Lego Brick Fest Live we’d ordered together (she convinced me to split the cost). Monday was Memorial Day and nice. Nina made a cicada friend (funny because she’s not a fan of any other bug species), then she went swimming off the boat with Celina & Carly. I grilled hot dogs (found one kind that’s only 15% RDA of sodium and made my own buns) while Jill made us a strawberry rhubarb crisp for dessert.


Nina’s new expression of the month was “Yeet!” – with the same meaning as “Yeesh!”

April concert flashbacks

  • 4/5 Concert flashback #219: Heather Nova at Jammin’ Java in 2016.
  • 4/6 Concert flashback #220: Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Sheryl Crow, Donovan, Eddie Vedder, Moby, Ben Harper, Paul Horn, Angelo Badalamenti, Betty LaVette, Jim James & Jerry Seinfeld for Change Begins Within at Radio City Music Hall in 2009.
  • 4/7 Concert flashback #221: Dave Matthews Band at MCI Center in 2002. Jill’s first DMB show.
  • 4/8 Concert flashback #222: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young at MCI Center in 2000.
  • 4/9 Concert flashback #223: A double shot of short sets by the Pat McGee Band – Tower Records [Vienna] in 2000 & the Z104 Lounge in 2004 (thanks to my friend Linda).
  • 4/12 Concert flashback #224: Joan Baez, Tupac Shakur tribute, Electric Light Orchestra, Pearl Jam, Journey and Yes (plus guests including 2/3s of Rush) for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2017.
  • 4/13 Concert flashback #225: The first time I saw Foo Fighters in Baltimore in 1996. 25 years ago! Amps & that dog. opened.
  • 4/14 Concert flashback #226: David Gilmour in Toronto in 2006. Only the next night is online.
  • 4/15 Concert flashback #227: Tanya Donelly at the Black Cat in 2002.
  • 4/16 Concert flashback #228: The Dead at Verizon Center in 2009.
  • 4/19 Concert flashback #229: Rush at Quicken Loans Arena in 2011 for my only appearance on an official Rush album.
  • 4/20 Concert flashback #230: Great Big Sea at Warner Theatre in 2013. Their last tour, now 10 years ago.
  • 4/21 Concert flashback #231: Rush, Heart, Albert King tribute, Randy Newman, Public Enemy and Donna Summer tribute (plus guests) for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2013.
  • 4/22 Concert flashback #232: Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets at Constitution Hall in 2019. After I saw Pink Floyd’s final tour in 1994, I saw Roger 6 times, David 3 times (once with Richard) and finally Nick again.
  • 4/23 Concert flashback #233: The final one. Yes, it’s been a year since I started listening to a concert I’d been to a day from this week in the past, every weekday. I chose my favorites, and I’m going out with a good one: Melissa Etheridge, George Michael, Pet Shop Boys, Garth Brooks, k.d. lang, Michael Feinstein, Chaka Khan, Rufus Wainwright and Albita for Equality Rocks at RFK Stadium in 2000. First and last time seeing George Michael, and he did a duet with Garth Brooks.


Thursday the 1st we were still on spring break at Disney World. Another early morning as this day we headed to Animal Kingdom. We got some pictures and headed over to Pandora to ride the Na’vi River Journey, then off to DinoLand U.S.A. where Ava rode Expedition Everest, then joined me and Sue on Dinosaur while Nina rode TriceraTop Spin and she and Jill played carnival games. Next we had lunch at Restaurantosaurus before we walked to the Wildlife Express Train and took the train to Conservation Station, where Ava, Nina and I did The Animation Experience. After the train back, we waited in line (and got drinks), then rode Kilimanjaro Safaris.


The wait was down somewhat, so it was time to ride Avatar Flight of Passage, Nina’s favorite ride from our previous visit. Jill had stopped to get coffee, and barely made it back into line before we were in the part of line that went inside. Inexplicably, right before we were about to ride, Nina said she didn’t want to do it – first time that happened (she had misgivings at Tower of Terror, but still went on). But she was old enough to wait outside, so she did. We got some pictures and shopping done afterwards, then left.

Jill Nina Kerry Sue

We dropped Jill and Sue at Disney Springs to shop (at Goofy’s Cando Co and The Spice & Tea Exchange) while the rest of us went to the hotel. I picked them up later and we drove south with a quick stop at Wawa for my meal as we were meeting Aunt Kelley and her paramour at their house and they were getting Subway and Popeye’s for dinner. We stayed on their porch as we didn’t realize they had 2 cats, but Nina did well.

Kerry Jill Kelley Jake Nina

Friday we returned to Hollywood Studios. Jill and I had gotten up early again and both got on a boarding group on Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. We didn’t want to take any chance, so we headed back to the park. We got guest services to make sure both parties were merged into the same group, then walked over and soon were in line. Once again Nina decided once we got to the ride itself she didn’t want to go on, but this time we went through the first part after a cast member convinced her it was tame (it was). She didn’t want to do the 2nd part, so Jill and her mom waited with her while Ava and I rode, then we waited outside with her while they rode. It’s a shame, because that was an outstanding ride and experience. Next we waited in line for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. Once again, Nina wanted out at ride time, and Jill went with her. We decided that was a wise decision as Jill was getting weary of the violent motion simulators.

Nina Kerry Jill Sue

We took some pictures next to the Falcon, Nina and I wandering around Star Wars Land (aka Black Spire Outpost) while the others rode the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. When Nina and I wanted a break, I got her popcorn mixed with candy, then we went over to BaseLine Tap House where I got a beer flight and Nina had a strawberry lemonade. We went back to Star Wars Land for a bit, then met with Sue and rode Toy Story Mania! while Jill took Ava back to the hotel so she could catch up schoolwork.

Jill Ava Sue

Jill brought us McDonald’s for lunch, then she, Nina and her mom went to ride Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway and watch Muppets 4-D while I got to explore Star Wars Land by myself in person and virtually (you can interact with characters through the Play Disney app). I bought a Porg which Nina immediately confiscated. Later we had reservations at Oga’s Cantina and we all got funky drinks: I got a Bespin Fizz and Nina got Oga’s Obsession, then Nina and I had an appointment at Droid Depot and built droids: she choose an R2 unit and I got a BB one. Meanwhile Sue rode Slinky Dog Dash.


Jill choose takeout from Kobé Japanese Steakhouse without realizing it was in Orlando, so we drove up to get it (it was delicious). The next morning was Saturday and we checked out and going. Not too quickly as we’d already decided to take our time and split the trip back into 2 parts. We stopped at the new Buc-ees north of and stopped for lunch at a Sonic in Savannah. We ran into a lot of traffic, getting to our planned takeout at Pier 41 Seafood just minutes before they closed at 9PM, then it was still 30 minutes before we got to the Hampton Inn Fayetteville Fort Bragg. The drive was shorter on Sunday and we did run into some traffic (including seeing an accident in progress just before Fredericksburg), but were home by early afternoon. We had an Easter dinner and all the girls (Maddie had come over too) played games while I cleaned up.

Nina Maddie Sue Ava Jill

Jill took the next 2 days off. The relatives left Tuesday morning, then we got back to our schedule, with one change that week: the second dose of my vaccine. This time it was at the Government Center, and with long lines that wound around and made me think I was back at Disney World. It was still fairly quick though.


Not too much went on the rest of the month. Nina had her regular routine of in person Tae Kwon Do Monday and Thursday, plus virtual voice lessons on Wednesday. We had takeout on Fridays (Maggianos, Flower Child, Sweet Frog & Pista House) and family night on Saturday. Nina had a belt graduation on Friday the 23rd and finished her Saturday morning virtual drama class on the 24th. Sunday the 25th we went to visit my dad to celebrate his birthday belatedly. Jill said “An almost normal busy weekend. N made it to Level 3 in TaeKwonDo and got a trophy in addition to her new belt for her achievement. We made a trip to MD to visit K’s dad and his SO since we (adults anyway) are all fully vaccinated. I’m so profoundly grateful that so far, we’ve made it through.”

Patricia Bryce Nina Kerry

Friday the 30th I’d signed Nina up for the virtual Lego Brick Fest Live. A package of Legos had arrived beforehand so she could build during the show. She liked it – too bad Jill got home from work after it started so we had a late dinner.