It can be good to get out of town every once in a while. You could join the herd and head to Rehoboth or you could hop over to Annapolis. And why not? The Maryland state capital can be a reliably appealing jaunt this time of year for a variety of reasons or activities — even if you have no interest, say, in aquatics, politics, the Navy, or history of any kind.
One such destination can be found in the centrally located historic downtown, a spot especially enticing to live music enthusiasts. In fact, some Free State boosters have been known to go way overboard with claims that Rams Head On Stage is, “The top music club under 500 seats in the world!”
Certainly, this particular Rams Head venue, part of The Rams Head Group of clubs, is of a perfectly good size and location and also has a perfectly good reputation in terms of both the caliber of musicians and performers who play there and the patrons who frequent it.
Even more perfectly good and appealing: The fact that the venue functions as a cabaret-style dinner theater (similar to The Birchmere in Virginia, but smaller), with a wait staff taking orders and serving guests tableside before and during each show.
Looking to the August lineup, a handful of highlights pop out, starting with An Evening with JD Souther, a solo acoustic show featuring the songwriting legend known for his hits for The Eagles (“Best of My Love”), Linda Ronstadt (“Faithless Love”), James Taylor (“Her Town Too”), and countless others. (8/2)
She may be the only original member left in the iconic quintet The 5th Dimension, but nearly 60 years later, Florence LaRue is still kicking and captivating audiences with signature hits “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” and “Up, Up and Away.” (8/6)
Girl Named Tom, the only group ever to win NBC’s The Voice, is a sibling folk trio from Ohio offering distinctive harmonies and heartfelt performances (8/12), while the Grammy-winning Ladysmith Black Mambazo, “South Africa’s cultural ambassadors to the world,” return with more uplifting vocal harmonies, signature dance moves, and charming onstage banter. (8/18)
Kathy Mattea, the first major country star to speak out about AIDS thirty years ago when she was a presenter at the Country Music Awards (where she also defied organizers’ ban at the time on wearing red ribbons), appears mid-month. Her hits include “Goin’ Gone,” “Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses,” and the haunting “Where Have You Been?” (8/19)
Gavin DeGraw, the sunny contemporary pop artist known for hits “I Don’t Want to Be” — the theme song to the CW’s One Tree Hill — and “Not Over You,” closes out the month. (8/23-24).
Ram’s Head On Stage is at 33 West St., Annapolis. Visit www.ramsheadonstage.com or call 410-268-4545.
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