Black Alley
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Black Alley

Washington, Washington, D.C., United States | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | SELF

Washington, Washington, D.C., United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2008
Band Rock R&B

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Feb
28
Black Alley @ Alliance Française d'Accra

Accra, Greater Accra, Ghana

Accra, Greater Accra, Ghana

Dec
07
Black Alley @ Big Chief

Washington, Washington, D.C., United States

Washington, Washington, D.C., United States

Nov
21
Black Alley @ City Winery DC

Washington, Washington, D.C., United States

Washington, Washington, D.C., United States

Nov
02
Black Alley @ Big Chief

Washington, Washington, D.C., United States

Washington, Washington, D.C., United States

Jul
28
Black Alley @ Väsen Brewing Company

Richmond, Virginia, United States

Richmond, Virginia, United States

Jun
29
Black Alley @ The Oaks Theater

Oakmont, Pennsylvania, United States

Oakmont, Pennsylvania, United States

May
31
Black Alley @ Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African American History and Culture

Washington, Maryland, United States

Washington, Maryland, United States

May
27
Black Alley @ The Fillmore

Silver Spring, Maryland, United States

Silver Spring, Maryland, United States

Apr
27
Black Alley @ Milkboy Philly

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Aug
26
Black Alley @ Paisley Park

Chanhassen, Minnesota, United States

Chanhassen, Minnesota, United States

Oct
13
Black Alley @ The White House

Washington, Washington, D.C., United States

Washington, Washington, D.C., United States

Dec
03
Black Alley @ Verizon Center

Washington, Maryland, United States

Washington, Maryland, United States

Mar
18
Black Alley @ SXSW

Austin, Texas, United States

Austin, Texas, United States

Music

Press


"The Scene Report: Black Alley - Dirty Laundry"

Black Alley, Dirty Laundry
Black Alley Cooperative Association

Black Alley have long billed their music as “hood rock” and “soul garage” and on their latest album, the genre-fusion checks out: a number of tracks mix power chords and funky rhythms. Singer Kacey Williams' powerful, gospel choir-formed voice is front and center, especially on the track “Don’t Belong,” where she offers tear-stained R&B crooning. On the track “Complicated,” the band mixes pop and go-go. Williams and the band go for melodramatic pop/R&B on “Be Me,” while adding a pop sheen to the funk of “Vamp’n.”

RIYL: Paisley Park Battle of the Band Contest winners who want to be stars. - Washington City Paper


"Black Alley: D.C. Band Battles to Victory at Prince’s Paisley Park"

D.C.’s bands and singers rarely receive their just due for their skills, swagger and unique style of musicianship — often overshadowed by those from cities like Los Angeles and Atlanta.

But with the victory of the Southeast-based band Black Alley who took top honors in the recent “Musicology — Battle of the Bands” competition, held at Prince’s enigmatic Paisley Park, the tide appears to be changing — a change that many would deem to be “long overdue.”

And so, with a platform for greater national attention and all that comes with it, this unexpected chance will not be taken for granted, according to two members of the band, particularly after years of surviving the “ups and downs,” while always remaining focused on realizing their collective professional goals and personal dreams.

The band’s bass player, JoshOnBass, and drummer, ANIMAL, shared their perspectives on how their recent victory has both catapulted their career and given them a boost of encouragement. Their two other musicians, as well as lead vocalist, Kacey Williams, could not join us for the interview but given their stellar performance in Minneapolis, it’s clear that they stand as integral pieces within the ensemble’s seven-year long journey. - Washington Informer


"Celebrating Black Music Month w/ Black Alley"

TV One REPRESENTS music with THE PLAYLIST, featuring the up and coming, DC-based band, Black Alley. - TV One


"NPR: Tiny Desk w/ Nick Grant & Black Alley"

He's a sly reminder that, contrary to popular opinion, the South still has a mouthful to say — and it doesn't always have to be yelled, gurgled or Auto-Tuned to death. Sometimes it can be conveyed coolly, from a seated position, while backed by Washington D.C.'s hood rock band Black Alley, and still cut through all the noise. - NPR


"NPR: Tiny Desk w/ Smif-N-Wessun & Black Alley"

Brooklyn-bred hip-hop duo Smif-N-Wessun – consisting of partners in rhyme, Steele and Tek – illuminated the Tiny Desk with their signature, 80-proof poetry: straight, no chaser. Their music, inspired by their gritty and pre-gentrified Bedford-Stuyvesant and Brownsville neighborhoods, offers the vocabulary of veterans who survived the grimy streets. These original members of the Duck Down Records group Boot Camp Clik represent quintessential '90s true-school hip-hop from the bedrock, when Timberland boots were standard issue. Backing Steele and Tek for the first time is D.C.'s own Black Alley band. - NPR


"They Made It: D.C. Band Black Alley Brings ‘Hood Rock’ To Verizon Center"

On the heels of a successful show at this year’s South by Southwest festival in Texas, self-styled “hood-rock” band Black Alley is preparing to play its biggest D.C. gig yet: a slot at the Verizon Center.

Tonight, the D.C. band opens the Radio One Holiday Jam with Grammy-winning vocalist Jill Scott, R&B group New Edition and songwriter/producer Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds. It’s the latest step in the band’s progression from small neighborhood venues to big stages.

Black Alley has steadily played local spots like Bar 7 and the shuttered Indulj, moving up to larger venues including Merriweather Post Pavilion and now, the nearly 20,000-capacity sports complex in downtown D.C. - WAMU


"1 Girl, 4 Looks: A Soul-Garage Singer & Her Modern-Diva Style"

Being really awesome in more ways than one is something we admire. A talented songstress who has killer style and an amazing personality? Sounds too good to be true, but our new style BFF is all that and more. Allow us to introduce you to Kacey Williams — a DMV native with a successful and inspiring career as the lead vocalist for local soul-garage band Black Alley. The stunning rocker has an infectious energy and style for days. Translation? She makes us want to seriously up our game. She can make parachute pants with four-inch wedges and a bomber jacket look amazing, and effortlessly rock a cat-eared equestrian hat with a cape. - Refinery29.com


"Black Alley – “Virgin Suicide” [Extended Version Video]"

We last heard from the young guns in Black Alley when they covered Big K.R.I.T — since then, they’ve been hard at work creating videos for their debut album, Soul. Swagger. Rock. Sneakers. The group put together a pretty dope montage for “Virgin Suicide,” which was filmed in their studio as a part of their ‘The Art of Crank’ series. The narrative track is a metaphor about Black Alley in their most vulnerable state; sharing new music with their audience. Completely packaged with Kacey‘s soulful vocals, raw spoken words and jazzy instrumentals, all 11 minutes is worth it. Watch the video below and check out their album on bandcamp. - okayplayer


"Black Alley - "Virgin Suicide" [Video]"

Though they're still sending newbie reverberations throughout the musical world, in many ways Black Alley has been around for a better part of 50 years. Hailing from D.C., the 7-piece Soul Garage outfit not only conjure the spirits of 60s and 70s greats Roberta Flack, Jimi Hendrix, Chuck Brown and city mates the Bad Brains, but they do it through the very D.C. elements of full-member bands and live music. - EarMilk


"Interview: Black Alley, Talks About The New Age Of Soul Garage"

"Bringing a new wave of Soul Garage to a new generation, Black Alley has been in the game for about 5 years. They are based out of D.C. and represent the region's "band-like" and "go-go" tendencies. Their diverse backgrounds and rhythmic intuitions help to develop their unbarred sound." - GuestofAGuest.com NY


"Black Alley – Artists’ Prayer (Push Play) feat. Nicholas Ryan Gant"

"I found out about DC area band Black Alley after receiving an email about their cover of Big Krit’s 'Dreamin’. Totally enamored, I did more research and found their 16 track album, SOUL.SWAGGER.ROCK.SNEAKERS. which features appearances by Raheem Devaughn and Nicholas Ryan Gant. Soulful at times and rockin throughout, this is the perfect album to break the monotony of your mp3 playlist because no one else is rockin like this!" - BamaLoveSoul.com


"Video: Black Alley x Big K.R.I.T – “Dreamin” [Live Cover]"

"The wonderful Black Alley chose their favorite Big K.R.I.T song to cover this past Monday and shot their own live garage footage for it — in less than 24 hours. They do justice to the highly rated “Dreamin” from K.R.I.T’s Return of 4eva mixtape, even getting dap-ognition from the musician himself on twitter. Lead vocalist Kacey sings K.R.I.T’s inspirational verses loud and clear; the cover is catchy and will get stuck in your head within a few minutes of listening. " - okayplayer.com


"Reviewed: Black Alley’s Soul Swagger Rock Sneakers"

Posted by Marcus J. Moore
You shouldn't label Black Alley a "go-go" band. It's limiting, if not wholly inaccurate. While the D.C. septet incorporates the genre's congas, cowbells, and cymbal-heavy drum breaks, its sound is rooted in alt-rock and neo-soul, with dashes of hip-hop and funk for good measure.

That blend has worked well for them so far. The band has amassed a following performing weekly at hotspots Indulj and Bar 7. Last year, after a competition at the 9:30 Club, it opened the HFStival at Merriweather Post Pavilion. The annual throwback festival mostly contained indie-rock and pop-punk, while Black Alley's aesthetic is brazenly Afro-centric, from the urban gear the members wear to the R&B classics they cover. Unlike plenty of go-go groups, Black Alley doesn't rely strictly on covers to get the party jumping. Instead, this group opts for its own self-described concoction of "soul garage."

On its self-proclaimed "street album," Soul Swagger Rock Sneakers, Black Alley breezes an array of sounds with abandon, paying tribute to deceased musicians Jimi Hendrix, Amy Winehouse, Janis Joplin, and Kurt Cobain along the way. Elsewhere, the band proves it can bolster a go-go groove on the edgy "Heavy Hitters," ignite a dance floor on the bouncy "Shake.Stop," and simulate a West Coast vibe on the hazy instrumental "Smoke Break."


From there, the pace slows considerably, allowing vocalist Kacey Williams to rise above an otherwise raucous soundtrack to contemplate the less glamorous aspects of relationships: dealing with a no-good man, the tug-of-war between love and lust. The results are impressive: "So Much..." makes great use of a Love Jones movie clip, hovering keys, and snapping percussion, over which Williams gets downright raw. "We fuck so much, and love so little," she sings at the onset. That honesty continues on the sultry "Virgin Suicide," with its sexual opening poem: "If I let you see me naked, will you still know how to look in my eyes/Will you still find the way to my heart, and see that as the ultimate prize."

So Rock Sneakers is certainly ambitious. Sonically, Black Alley successfully executes the genre-hopping indulgence of its dynamic live show, with plenty of heart-pumping guitar riffs and pace changes to boot. But it has missteps. The reflective "Club 27" is well-intentioned, but its placement between the stampeding "Shake.Stop" and "Used" interrupts the album's energetic flow. The interludes become tedious after a while, and the Nicki Minaj cover, "Did It On 'Em," feels a bit excessive. While the song works for the band's live set, it doesn't translate well to the album. Still, those faux pas don't tarnish the album's overall luster; Black Alley marks its territory as one of D.C.'s best bands of any sort. Talk about swagger. - Washington City Paper


"Black Alley Band at Rock & Roll Hotel"

Black Alley Band at Rock & Roll Hotel
Sunday, March 18
By Marcus J. Moore • March 16, 2012

In a city where go-go reigns supreme, it’s almost impossible to classify Black Alley’s self-described fusion of funk, soul, and garage. While the local septet is widely considered a go-go band, its sound is much more inclusive. Sometimes the group morphs into a full-on rock band with abrasive guitar riffs and crashing drum cymbals; elsewhere, they explore subdued R&B melodies, with lead vocalist Kacey Williams tackling the all-familiar topic of romance. That multifaceted mixture has served the band well so far: Black Alley has performed with Chuck Brown and opened the HFStival at Merriweather Post Pavilion. So tonight’s show at the Rock & Roll Hotel is a celebration of sorts, as Black Alley performs songs from Soul.Swagger.Rock.Sneakers, its long-awaited debut album.

Black Alley Band performs with Funk Mnkyz at 7 p.m. at Rock & Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. NE. $25 in advance, $30 at the door. rockandrollhoteldc.com. (202) 388-ROCK. - Washington City Paper


"Nightlife Agenda: ...Black Alley CD album release show"

We don’t encourage copying, but we wouldn’t be mad if other bands followed Black Alley’s lead. In a town that’s been known for producing amazing live musical groups across eras, there should definitely be more killer live hip-hop/R&B bands rocking the urban sounds of the moment. The go-go band tradition is still alive among the younger set, but what makes Black Alley solid is that it covers all bases. After a long period of residencies around town to build its rep, the band has a new full-length album in the can. To celebrate the release of “Soul. Swagger. Rock. Sneakers,” Black Alley will be joined at the Rock & Roll Hotel by comedian Eddie Bryant and DJ Jerome Baker III. - Washington Post


"Brightest Young Things: “Upcoming Shows You Should Blow Your $$$ On”"

You work hard for your money so we're workin' hard for you to know where and when to spend it. Every Thursday we'll put together a Spotify playlist of recommended shows that are going on sale this week to blow all your disposable income on. Consider this your bible for all things concert related for the rest of your LIFE...

Mar-18: BLACK ALLEY @ Rock & Roll Hotel Bonus! Each ticket will include a complimentary CD to be given on day of show - Brightest Young Things


"Black Alley: Purveyors of funk, jazz, rock, and a shot of go-go"

Black Alley: Purveyors of funk, jazz, rock, and a shot of go-go
By Jeannine Hunter

Black Alley. (Tony Mobley)If you looked at the members of Black Alley, you might assume they only play go-go due to the band members’ ages and fashions.

And you’d be wrong.

Members call it “soul garage.” But don’t get caught up in the labels because these musicians confidently straddle various genres, revel in being outside of the box and appreciate a loyal and growing fan base they’ve carved out on the local music scene.

“They’re younger and are willing to be different, to experiment musically,” said local radio personality Salih “Bootsy Vegas” Williams, while sitting in House Studio D.C., as the group rehearsed one night last month.


Black Alley performs. (Tony Mobley) “We call it soul garage music, which is a fusion of different styles and definitely go-go is a part of that. We’re from D.C. and not ashamed of that, but it’s not our only sound,” said founder/manager Omar Kashif.

The group has been nominated for a 2012 WAMMIE in the urban contemporary duo/group category. The Washington Area Music Association presents the awards to honor the best local musicians and this year’s celebration will be held Feb. 19.

In September, Black Alley won the Hfstival Big Break, a competition that kicks off a music festival held each year in either D.C., Northern Virginia or Baltimore. The event has attracted Eminem, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and legendary crooner Tony Bennett.

Lead vocalist Kacey Williams sang the national anthem at the Wizard games against the Bulls at the Verizon Center on January 30.

The up and coming group has played with or on the same stage with such artists as Raheem Devaughn, Dionne Farris, Angie Stone and Kindred the Family Soul. In mid-January, the group opened for Grammy Award-winning songstress Chrisette Michele at Howard University’s Cramton Auditorium.

The band consists of lead guitarist Eric Champaloux; percussionist Walter “Bo Beedy” Clark; bass guitarist Josh “Josh on Bass” Hartzog; drummer Danny “Animal” Henderson; keyboardists Hope Udobi and Mack Tyson; and Williams.


Black Alley performs at Cramton Auditorium in January, opening for Grammy Award-winning R&B singer Chrisette Michelle. Above, Black Alley’s Kacey Williams struts on the stage. (LaVan E. Anderson) Their musical influences span generations and styles, ranging from singers Tina Turner and Janis Joplin, bands such as N.E.R.D., Blink 182 and Earth Wind and Fire as well as artists such as Carlos Santana, jazz percussionist/composer Max Roach, rock star Eric Clapton and composer/pianist and big band leader Duke Ellington.

“I try to infuse everybody’s influences, their background and taste throughout the set,” Animal said, who doubles as the group’s musical director.

What makes them different, Animal said, is a willingness to try different beats such as Latin or soca versus riding a “solid pocket beat.”

“To me, it’s like in a garage— you have a mixture of old crates and boxes and instruments, different stuff,” said Josh on Bass, a member for two years. “A garage isn’t fancy. You can be yourself and express your feelings. What we try to share through our music is a bunch of feelings in one garage. “We try to play what may be in our hearts and hope the crowd will feed off that.”

Kashif, a Southeast D.C. native who attended Morgan State University, established the band eight years ago. The music and size of the group fluctuated until four years ago when Kacey Williams joined. Kashif, once a case manager for a nonprofit, said his vision was “to hear whatever I wanted to hear from one band.”

The name is a representation of “D.C. on the national music scene,” Kashif said. “We are this unknown entity that hasn’t got its just due.”

In the last few months, fans who flocked to Black Alley’s performances throughout the DMV tried to help expand the group’s reach.

They tweeted, sent texts and uploaded original videos to help their favorite local band rank among the top trending bands and regional finalists in a recent Grammy-related online contest.

“Between ‘Heavy Hitters’ and ‘Used’...there is nobody that can mess with #blackalley #stopsleepin,” tweeted VizMadScientist about some of the group’s popular songs, echoing the sentiment of other fans who voted repeatedly online to help the band garner the big-time gig.

Hundreds of fans of the D.C.-based group voted in the “From Your Garage to GRAMMY Live” contest sponsored by CBS. Almost Kings, of Marietta, Ga., won the contest and will perform during an online streaming event leading up to the 54th annual Grammy Awards Sunday on CBS.

“D.C. is home for many great musicians and a population used to listening to live music since they were teenagers,” said radio personality Salih “Bootsy Vegas” Williams, who appeared regularly on the now-defunct Donnie Simpson morning show on WPGC, and now hosts a radio show for GoGoradio.com. “It’s a place where you can - The Root DC/ Washington Post


"Black Alley in the Running for “Garage to GRAMMYS Live” Spot"

Back in October, we spoke to Kacey of Black Alley about her band's pursuit of greater notoriety. Now, through the "Garage To Grammys Live" program, they have a chance to really grab the music industry's attention while representing the DMV.

Black Alley is currently competing against numerous acts from around the country and Canada for the opportunity to take the stage as part of the Grammy festivities next month, a performance that could be critical in getting more people familiar with the band.

And this is where Black Alley hopes you can be of assistance.

The winning act will be determined by a fan vote. Partisans can vote up to ten times in a day for a band. As of Wednesday, Black Alley was trending in the top 30 but according to band representative Lachelle Story, "We would like to keep the momentum going."

Through Tuesday, January 24 people can vote for BA here. So if you really want to help a local band get recognition and see some D.C. representation at the Grammys, vote and let your opinion be registered. - DCIst.com


"First Heard: Black Alley (VIDEO)"

NBC 4 (Washington, DC) - First Heard: Black Alley Band
You cannot limit this band to just one genre. Black Alley Band was born and raised in the Washington area, and now it's pushing its own movement: soul garage. The group beat 40 other bands in a local competition to perform in front of thousands of people in September 2011.
Click link to watch the feature. - NBC 4 Washington, DC


"DCist: Interview w/ Kacey of Black Alley"

DCist Interview: Kacey of Black Alley
When you're a music writer, there's a tendency to use the most readily available adjective to describe a band's sonic orientation. "Rock," "funk" and "alternative" come to mind. If you're in D.C., though, "go-go" has to be in the descriptive soup, too.... CLICK REVIEW LINK FOR FULL STORY
- DCist.com


"Interview: Black Alley on Pushing DC to its Rhythmic Limits"

Washington, DC has yet to join the ranks of other major metropolitan cities that have been able to maintain national and international musical prominence. Despite its large (yet ever-declining) African American population, the nation's capital has produced very few mainstream cultural icons. Many have argued that the overwhelming popularity of go-go music in DC has minimized the growth of other genres. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why Black Alley band matters so much; they are "pushing the DC music scene to its rhythmic limits."

For over four years now, the group has been synthesizing funk, jazz, soul, rock, and go-go, birthing a one-of-a-kind sound they call "soul garage." They describe their music as "a place where Bad Brains might chill with Chuck Brown; where Erykah Badu might slide through with Jimi Hendrix and remix a Nina Simone classic. Emotionally, Black Alley strives to connect the bitter and the sweet, the poetry and the pain, the simple and the profound." Performing at nightclubs throughout the city on a weekly basis, the group has become a sought-after city staple with a loyal following. They have shared the stage with the likes of Raheem DeVaughn, Eric Roberson, Yahzarah, Ledisi, Bilal, Sy Smith, Emily King, Y’anna Crawley, Jaguar Wright, Dionne Farris, Levi Stephens, Maimouna Youseff, Mint Condition, and Angie Stone.

There's something rejuvenating about a group of musicians bringing your favorite songs to life in ways previously unimagined that makes Black Alley an Urban Cusp favorite. If you've ever had the pleasure of hearing them perform live, then you know that "the sometimes sweet, sometimes soulful, always energetic voice of Black Alley’s leading lady" will remain with you well after the party has ended. It was a pleasure to hear from her and the group's manager in response to these questions about their musical identity, sources of inspiration, DC-bred style, and challenges faced.


Kacey Williams – Lead Vocals
Danny “The Animal” Henderson – Drums
Josh Hartzog – Bass
Hope Udobi – Keys
Mack Tyson – Keys
Eric Champaleux – Rock Guitar
Walter “Bo” Beedy – Percussion


Kacey Williams and Walter 'Bo' Beedy


Black Alley's debut album Soul.Swagger.Rock.Sneakers


Black Alley Performing

Urban Cusp: What inspired the name Black Alley?

Omar Kashif (founder/manager of Black Alley): The name comes from two places. The “Alley” part came first - I grew up in an apartment in SE Washington, DC. My bedroom was on the bottom level right next to an alley and I definitely heard and saw some interesting things there! The “Black” part came last - its the color that describes DC's reputation on the national music scene. It's like DC is a Black Alley while other spots like ATL, NYC, and Philly became hot spots. We are just as talented here but still haven't really gotten our shot. We want to be the band that does what few others from here have been able to do. Black Alley represents where we come from but we are gonna bring it to the light....

UC: What sets Black Alley and its music apart from other bands in DC and nationally?

Kacey (Lead Singer): Black Alley's fusion of musical genres is what gives us our edge. In fact, we couldn't define our sound by industry standards, so we gave it our own name...Soul Garage.

UC: Has your sound and artistry changed at all over time or is it a lot like it was when you all first started performing?

Kacey: Like any creative effort, you learn more and get better and better. I wouldn't say that it has changed; I would say that it has grown.

UC: In what ways has DC’s unique music and fashion culture shaped the band’s identity?

Kacey: DC's mix of culture and diversity has enabled the band to pull inspiration from many different sources. DC is blessed in that we are a city where all types of music can thrive - from Go-Go to Hip-Hop to Rock to Jazz to R&B. Black Alley is lucky to be able to be inspired by the music that DC has to offer. In regards to fashion - DC has never been a city where people are afraid to try or set trends. DC's people are daring and bold. That's how we would want Black Alley's music to come across.

UC: What genres and artists influence your sound and style the most?

Kacey: I would say without hesitation there is no ONE genre or artist. We can pull inspiration from anyone.

UC: As the lead singer, how do you balance rock star status with your day job/home life?

Kacey: I'm hardly on rock star status but it can be difficult. Some have said that I have multiple personalities [laughs] and I think in a sense that's something I have to have for the time being. Until I'm in a place where I can pursue music full time, I have to have an on/off switch. Kacey of Black Alley would probably not be welcomed in the office [smiles].

UC: What is the ultimate measure of success for Black Alley?

Kacey: I think our success will be determined by our ability to say that we had an effect on music, that we made - UrbanCusp.com


"Black Alley's Perfect Noise"

by Marcus J. Moore

It's Monday night in Southeast D.C., and you can hear the music halfway down the block. It's a raucous yet cohesive sound—a mixture of rock-n-roll and R&B, dashed with a little hip-hop and funk.

Step inside the single-family home, and the source of the noise becomes clear: Black Alley is in the midst of a two-hour rehearsal, finalizing the songs they will perform live in the NBC Washington studios this week: "Artist's Prayer" and "Bad Girl."

The practice space is artistic enough—a pile of CDs sit on a dusty flat surface, and the brown-paneled walls celebrate musical pioneers: Aretha Franklin, Eddie Kendricks, and Quincy Jones, among others. A white dry-erase board outlines the band's immediate plans. There's the setlist for an upcoming gig and the working tracklist for the group's upcoming album, Soul Swagger Rock Sneakers, which doesn't have a release date (Kacey Williams, the band's vocalist, says the album is definitely in its finishing stages).

In tall green letters, that same erase board brings to light what is arguably Black Alley's biggest gig ever: "MERRIWEATHER POST PAVILION!!!"

This Saturday, the seven-piece band will open this year's HFStival at the pavilion, a daylong concert featuring 20 acts, including Diane Birch, Gin Blossoms, and Minus the Bear. Black Alley earned the opportunity to perform this weekend after winning the California Tortilla Battle to Break Out competition at the 9:30 Club last month. (Just for perspective, Good Charlotte once won the Break Out competition.)


During this week's rehearsal, the band runs through a series of high-energy tracks. "Virgin Suicide," with a seductive poem at the song's onset, is methodical until it builds into a full-scale rock track. The aforementioned "Bad Girl" is hard and aggressive, a seemingly perfect song for this weekend's performance. Then there's "Used," a song for anyone who's been cheated on and lied to, Kacey says.

Still, when Black Alley opens the festival, they are likely to see a different crowd than they are used to playing. They recently performed for Chuck Brown's 75th birthday and work every Friday as the in-house band at the Indulj jazz club. With the HFStival, however, the other bands vacillate between breezy alt-rock and punk, and Black Alley's music is rooted in soul.

"We're different from what the festival is used to," Kacey says. "But we don't fit into any type of box. It will be something new and I think people will be blown away."

The band plans to end Saturday's show with a rendition of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Look out for Animal's drum solo. And the possible encore. Word to Nicki Minaj. - Washington City Paper


"Washington Post's take on Black Alley (part of Nightlife Agenda: Enjoy outdoor concerts and bars while you can)"

"...Black Alley is a hard-working party band that can rock out, cover the newest rap, pop and R&B hits and also crank a go-go socket." - Washington Post


Discography

BLACK ALLEY's music catalog contains five critically acclaimed independent releases. 

- "Soul. Swagger. Rock. Sneakers" feat. Raheem DeVaughn, Phil Ade and Nicholas Ryan Gant (2012) 
- "Black Alley: Live from the RNR Hotel" (2013) 
- Recycle Bin Mixtape: Vol. One (2013) 
- Recycle Bin Mixtape: Vol. Two (2017)
- Dirty Laundry (2018)

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

BLACK ALLEY has been pushing the art of music to its rhythmic limits for some time now. Determined to create a unique musical elixir, Black Alley has taken the finest ingredients of rock, hip-hop and go-go to create their own genre-bending sound called “Hood Rock”. The band is one, each musician surrendering to the union of sounds, each delivering music from their soul, while in dialogue with one another through their instruments. Each member of this collective is essential to the workability and funkability of the unit, which is Black Alley.

With endorsements from national recording artists such as Raheem DeVaughn and Jill Scott; hip-hop standouts Common, Big KRIT & Wale; producers Tone P and Chuck Thompson; super engineer Young Guru; and legendary musicians Doug E. Fresh and Sheila E, Black Alley is always striving to rock harder and advance the culture. 

In September 2017, BLACK ALLEY won Musicology's first-ever Paisley Park Battle of the Bands in Minneapolis, MN. The contest, held at the late great estate of Prince, was judged by some of Prince's former band members who worked closely with the legend. Even before the national recognition that came along with winning the Battle at Paisley Park, Black Alley was, and continues to be, one of the most followed, trend-setting and sought-after music groups hailing from the nation's capital. 

Black Alley was also hand-selected to perform at the inaugural South By South Lawn Festival (SXSL) held at the White House and spearheaded by former President Barack Obama. 


-- Music Projects, Press and Highlights -- 
BLACK ALLEY has been featured on various media outlets including NPR (Tiny Desk Concerts), TV One, BET Soul, MTV.comEssence.com, Okayplayer, DJBooth, TimeOut NYC, Creative Loafing, Washington City Paper, and the Washington Post. 

BLACK ALLEY's music catalog contains five critically acclaimed independent releases. 

- "Soul. Swagger. Rock. Sneakers" feat. Raheem DeVaughn, Phil Ade and Nicholas Ryan Gant (2012) 
- "Black Alley: Live from the RNR Hotel" (2013) 
- Recycle Bin Mixtape: Vol. One (2013) 
- Recycle Bin Mixtape: Vol. Two (2017)
- Dirty Laundry (2018)

All projects are available on most digital/streaming platforms. 

BLACK ALLEY has been honored to share the stage with renowned artists like Common, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Hiatus Kaiyote, Talib Kweli, MC Lyte, Doug E Fresh, Ro James, Estelle, Marsha Ambrosius, New Edition, Raheem DeVaughn, Wale, Bilal, Busta Rhymes, and Scarface to name a few.