In the midst of all of the chaos going on in the world, we turn to music to soothe our minds. Luckily, three of those soothing voices play in a band together. The Wild Reeds are made up of Mackenzie Howe, Kinsey Lee, and Sharon Silva. Aided by a widely-shared Tiny Desk Concert in 2013, the trio (backed up by a drummer and bassist) have broken out since their 2014 debut, thanks in part to a widely-shared 2015 NPR Tiny Desk Concert with almost 700,000 views and counting. With their latest album, The World We Built, they continue to put out confident songs for our uncertain world to hear and sing their hearts out to, including at their recent show at Rock & Roll Hotel.
With Lee taking up the higher range and Howe and Silva filling up the mid-to-low range, their vocal performance relaxed the most stressed-out souls. All three are amazing musicians in their own right, but you can also count on Howe, Silva, and Lee to bring something different to the table. Silva’s guitar solos possessed her with otherworldly energy when she performs. Lee’s powerhouse vocal range as she alternated between acoustic guitar and harmonium had the crowd in awe. And Howe’s harmonica at the start of “Where I’m Going” received such a boisterous response from the crowd that she seemed to be on the verge of tears of joy as she played. In fact, all three seemed to be taken aback with huge smiles on their face as the crowd began to sing along. Not that the crowd needed much more of a reason to smile throughout the night: the band’s on-stage chemistry - the high-fives, the leaning in to one another, and the occasional headbanging - was a perfect reminder that you make the best music when you’re with the best of friends.
Opening for The Wild Reeds was Blank Range, an Americana rock band from Nashville. Their music brought the best of the Music City to DC, from the witty banter, laid-back guitar melodies, and many a flailing guitar solo, all complete in quintessentially-Nashville outfits. They also brought The Wild Reeds on stage for a sing-along for the last song of their set. Their latest release is the EP Vista Bent and is available on Bandcamp.