The Del Ray Sounds Of Summer

Local favorite FeelFree returns to the Del Ray Music Festival.

By Debby Critchley

ALEXANDRIA,VA–A cold beer, margarita, and food from Alexandria’s best restaurants! Add a free outdoor concert featuring some of the region’s best local music and you have the formula for a perfect summer night in Del Ray, Alexandria.

Local bands will perform on two stages at the 12th Annual Del Ray Music Festival on Saturday, July 13 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Pat Miller Neighborhood Square, located at the intersection of Mount Vernon Avenue and Oxford Avenue in the heart of Del Ray. Mount Vernon Avenue will be closed to traffic for the three blocks adjacent to the stage, and Del Ray’s top restaurants will host pop-up beer gardens.

From jazz and funk to reggae and classic rock, the lineup reflects the diversity of the region’s music scene.

“This year’s lineup features some new groups from Alexandria as well as some returning local favorites that have a growing fan base that stretches beyond local, namely Feel Free and Jack Kilby and the Front Line,” said Del Ray Music Festival Chair John Patrick, the founder of Rock of Ages Music. “RDGLDGRN will close the Festival with an energy and excitement that will undoubtedly win them new fans, We cannot wait for this festival!”

The 2019 Lineup:

RDGLDGRN — Based in Reston, RDGLDGRN has made a mark on the national music scene. Their debut album, “RDGLDGRN,” features Dave Grohl on drums, and was recorded at Sound City Studios — the same studio where Grohl recorded “Nevermind” with Nirvana. Their distinctive go-go beat also drew notice from Pharrell Williams, who co-wrote and co-produced “Doing The Most.” NPR writes, “Listen and you’ll hear a striking mix of rock, hip-hop, funk, go-go and international sounds, fused with energy and humor.” In addition to going viral on YouTube with their video, “I Love Lamp,” RDGLDGRN has performed across the United States and Europe, playing the Irving Plaza in NYC, El Rey Theater in Los Angeles, Merriweather Post Pavilion in Maryland, Alexandra Palace in London, and Berlin Arena in Germany, as well as selling out U-Street Music Hall in front of their hometown DC crowd.

FeelFree — This “genre-bending” band, together since their days at George Washington Middle School, returns home to Del Ray. Northern Virginia Magazine describes their blend of reggae, rock, funk, and jazz influences as “the sound of summer.” Their latest album, “Define The Free,” won Best Reggae Album at Washington D.C.’s Wammie Awards.

Jack Kilby & The Front Line — Jack Kilby is a drummer, bandleader, and recording engineer from Alexandria. His sextet, Jack Kilby and the Front Line, recently released their two-volume debut album, “Love Is A Song Anyone Can Sing,” which won Washington D.C.’s Wammie Award for Best Jazz Album. Lemonwire writes, “‘Love Is a Song Anyone Can Sing’ invites listeners to the party that celebrates how jazz intersects with other genres. It sounds like a celebration of the human spirit, which never goes out of style.”

Hanoi Ragmen — This Alexandria-based band takes cues from soul, alternative, hip hop, and blues; the band describes their sound as “music that doesn’t necessarily fit in a specific genre, but at its core is something you can dance to.”

Smile and Nod — A homegrown Rock of Ages Music band and ROAMfest favorite, Smile and Nod makes their Del Ray Music Festival debut in 2019.

● Betamax — A project of Steve Hansgen (of punk bands Minor Threat, Youth Brigade, and Government Issue) and Mike Barrett (Rockwell Jones, Inevitable Backlash, and Photolab), paired up with Tyler DeCourt, and Mike Falcon, Betamax is creating buzz with DC music insiders with their stylistic blend of high energy rock and post punk originals.

● Lacklustre — The self-described “Northern Virginia’s most okayest band” and Del Ray favorite plays Rock and Roll, Garage Country and Americana covers and originals.

Most Savage Gentleman — This combination of four multi-instrumental musicians performs a variety of musical stylings and backgrounds, and both cover music and original writing. Together, they create a harmonious blend of Rock, Funk, Soul, Hip Hop, R&B, Folk, Go Go and Country. With four-part harmony and the incorporation of a wide variety of different instruments and sounds, MSG is able to bring a unique flare to their music whether its covers or originals.

Rok Tati — This rock/soul/blues band based in Alexandria describes themselves as “six experienced musicians ready to take Dad Rock to another level.”

Held each summer, the Del Ray Music Festival celebrates the local talent in the Washington, DC area music scene. The event is free and open to all. For more information, including a full schedule, visit www.delraymusicfestival.com.