Since discovering The Millennium Stage earlier this year, an intimate space that brings in such a diverse mix of artists to perform within the walls of the prestigious Kennedy Center in Washington DC, this has very quickly become one of our favorite venues for live music. This past weekend, we made our first visit of the fall season back to the nation’s capital, and enjoyed our fifth Millennium Stage event of the year – this time an evening with Toronto-based Americana-rock-blues artist Jeremie Albino.
We recall receiving some very strong suggestions to catch a show by Jeremie back in 2018, and found ourselves in the right place at the right time back then to witness this highly touted emerging artist during his residency at the historic Dakota Tavern in Toronto. Performing a solo gig with just his acoustic guitar and a handful of music pals rotating in and out on various tracks, it was impossible to not see the raw talent and charisma that Jeremie brought to the stage. We departed the building that night knowing that this was an artist that would not stay under the radar for too long.
Having traveled across the US in support roles for established acts, Jeremie has generated quite a buzz outside of his home – and continues to earn plenty of radio airplay down in these parts also, thanks to SXM. Embarking on his first headlining tour up and down the US east coast this month to promote his recent “Tears You Hide” album, we could not believe our luck when seeing a tour stop on a Saturday night at The Millennium Stage, with Jeremie (vocals/guitar/harmonica) being accompanied by The Rosehall Band too: Sam Cash (guitar/vocals), Derek Monson (bass/vocals), and Mike Laing (drums/vocals).
A recurring statement made by many of the artists we’ve seen perform on this stage relates to the venue being something that they are not quite accustomed to, with Jeremie keeping this trend active. “How are you all doing,” he asked at the offset. “I’ve played [DC] a couple of times and this is probably the nicest spot I’ve played.” The band would noodle a little on their instruments to commence the show, perhaps seeking to convince us that the opening track would be something slow and unknown, at least until Jeremie laid down some licks on his guitar to signal the arrival of “Last Night,” the first of two consecutive tunes found on his 2019 debut “Hard Time” album. And with minimal time for applause, the band transitioned immediately into “Klondike Man,” albeit with a much more upbeat sound and tempo as found on the studio version.
Performing 16 original songs across the one-hour time slot (these shows are live-streamed) meant that Jeremie had little time to converse with the audience, but following a rousing version of a no-good dirty rotten “Angeline,” the band paused briefly to allow at least one tale from the road. “This is a song I wrote after being on tour for a bit,” Jeremie offered. “A lot of the times we’re on the road [and] stay in motels, or on friends’ couches or floors, and this one time I was … staying in this old motel out in Arizona. I was going up to my room when I saw this big fight out in the parking lot; this man running out to his car and this very pregnant woman going after him, just cursing at each other. Next day, early in the morning, I was sitting out on the front balcony and that guy had come back, his car was just parked there. I saw the pregnant woman go out with all her bags. I think she was just sneaking away.” He would add that these related events inspired him to write “Early Morn.”
Notable moments included the band leaving their instruments behind to join Jeremie front and center around an old ribbon mic, and together shared some stunning four-part harmonies during a performance of “The Cabin.” The band would exit the stage following this tune, allowing Jeremie the opportunity for a brief solo segment, with which he dug deep into his songwriting past and shared “Shipwreck” (one of those songs we heard at that Dakota Tavern show five years ago). With the band back in full swing, the second half of the show had plenty of energy, performing the title track from the new album, along with recent radio hits “Tears You Hide,” “Hold Me Down,” and “Across The Hall.” It was nice to see the inclusion of “Acre Of Land,” the only tune representing Jeremie’s 2022 “Past Dawn” EP, and a return back to the original album for an unbelievable slow and bluesy performance of “Amelia,” complete with some extra sauce care of Sam’s guitar.
With time for one final number, it would be Sam’s ringing guitar riffs to once again set the tone, joined shortly after by Jeremie’s harmonica and slide guitar combination to signal the arrival of “Trouble.” “I’ve been drinking / Sure do fight / I’ve been gambling / All the night / Well, that trouble won’t leave me alone / Well, I’ll be leaving / Won’t see this face no more.” We were in awe of their companions too, Derek rocking the bass while engaging in some head-banging, and witnessing some meaty percussion duties and cymbal smashes from Mike. This not only proved to be quite the finale for Jeremie Albino & the Rosehall Band, but rubber stamped the statement that unlike five years ago, this artist is no longer hovering beneath the radar. Jeremie is packing halls, bars, and venues across North America – get out and see him now in these smaller rooms, before the stadiums and arenas come calling. See him now, and own bragging rights over your friends when Jeremie hits the big time, and you can say ‘I told you so…’
- Last Night
- Hard Time
- Klondike Man
- Early Morn
- The Cabin
- Shipwreck (solo)
- All These Days
- You I’m Waiting On
- Hold Me Down
- Acre Of Land
- Tears You Hide
- Across The Hall