Local Baltimore Music Scene
Baltimore shares a lot of local culture and history with its neighbor, Washington, DC. In recent decades the area has transformed from an industrial manufacturing center to a service-oriented economy. The downtown area was revitalized in the late seventies. The history of the Baltimore music scene includes Tori Amos, David Byrne of Talking Heads, Dru Hill, Adam Duritz of the Counting Crows, Greg Kihn, Ric Ocasek, Tupac Shakur and Frank Zappa. Major campuses include Loyola University, John Hopkins University and Morgan State University. The local music scene is covered by Baltimore.org.
All Time Low * Arlonzo * Austin Ellis * B.B. Horz * Ballyhoo * Bangbeat * Bianka * Birth of Happiness * Claudette Monet * Collab Lab * Corey Mitchell * David Glaser * Drew Davidsen * Dru Hill * Emily Zea * Effusive Art * Freedom Enterprise * George Janouris Band * Hitz * Ily Amiy * Janice Riston * Jeff Pailer * John Ware * Kia Calloway * Lea * Leira Love * Make Love and War * Mambo Sauce * Marcus Johnson * Mark Sylvester * MisterNelson * Mysery Index * Nine Mile Roots * Perfects * Phoenix Rising * Rachel Elise * Resist Agony * Richard Walton * Ron Kemp * Russ Haire * Shadina * Shante Lenise * Shieila Ford * Smash Gordon * Steve Benden * Tears of Mars * Voodoo Pharmacology * Waithaka Ent * Wordsmith * Yo From the Moon * Zo! *
Baltimore Local Music Scene History
The Baltimore music scene was named "best in the country" by Rolling Stone in 2008. Ten years later Baltimore Magazine reflected on the claim publishing a list of 50 local artists. The list includes Future Islands, which made an appearance on Late Night with David Letterman in 2014.
The very first Windjammer Festival, a benefit for Living Classrooms Foundation and Kenny Liner's Believe in Music program, was sold out at Pier Six Pavilion on Saturday, August 29, 2015. The line-up at the outdoor event featured local acts Dan Deacon, Beach House and Future Islands. The original idea behind the show was to raise consciousness about race and class inequalities, following the controversial death in April of Freddie Gray, who suffered injuries while in custody of local police. The incident triggered riots in Baltimore, which made national headlines.
Local artists such as Caleb Stine, Jana Hunter, Katrina Ford and others collaborated with Believe in Music student for the recording of "Believe in Baltimore." The when Deacon and Beach House got involved the scene members decided to create an awareness with the Windjammer Festival that mixed music and commentary about race and class.
Alternative weekly publication Baltimore City Paper released its Big Music issue 7/31/2013, exploring the local scene. The inssue put the spotlight on rock band J. Roddy Walston and the Business, rapper A$AP Ant, country artist Caleb Stine and electronic artist Murder Mark, among other local talent. Part of the feature was a playlist of 100 songs reflecting the local scene.
Al Shipley has been writing a local music scene blog for Baltimore City Paper called Government Names for about a decade. He's also working on a book about a form of dance music driven by R&B and TV themes called Baltimore club. Shipley was interviewed about his work in this NPR article 7/31/2013 in OPB.org.
One of the places to hear the local music of Baltimore is on Towson University listener supported FM staton 89.7 WTMD. The station airs a lcoal show called "Baltimore Unsigned" on Tuesday nights at 9pm, hosted by Sam Sessa, who has been doing the show for five years. Sessa plays a wide variety of music that includes pop, rock, hip hop, bluegrass and music that falls outside of conventional genres. He has interviewed hundreds of Baltimore artists on the show.