When Joan Shelley sings, the world starts to disappear. Her gentle, near whisper of a voice draws you in and the power of her words locks you in place. Add in mantric rhythms and even in a coffee shop in Vienna, Va., it’ll feel like it’s just you, Shelley, and sung prayers and pleas in the room. Hailing from Kentucky, Shelley builds on traditional folk forms. Bluegrass runs live next to Celtic chords and country’s bent pitches. A poet as well, Shelley’s lyrics—even simple, direct statements like “Here on the mountain I’m thinking of you”—are beautifully constructed and laced with emotion. Read more >>> Joan Shelley performs with Elephant Micah and Adam Torres at 7:30 p.m. at Jammin Java, 227 Maple Ave East, Vienna. $15. (703) 255-1566. jamminjava.com. (Justin Weber)
Bartenders and bands from D.C. and Baltimore will come together at this month’s Secret Monkey Social Club, an event series featuring performances and punch. Beginning at 7 p.m. at Lab 1270 near Union Market, find drinks from Lukas Smith (of forthcoming rum distillery Cotton & Reed) and friends, cabaret from Shayna Blass and The Shay Band, plus more music from D.C.-based new wave soul band MUNDY and five-piece Baltimore band Yo No Say. Sloppy Mama’s BBQ, Mason Dixie Biscuit Co., and Fluffed Up Marshmallow Desserts will provide food. No cover charge. More info here. Secret Monkey Social Club at Lab 1270, 1270 5th St. NE, secretmonkeysocialclub.tumblr.com. (Jessica Sidman)
OH AND ALSO
Gregory Porter regularly gets referred to as a jazz singer, but the California-born musician is extremely conversant in gospel, soul, and the deep house genre of electronic dance music. The minister’s son grew up singing along to Nat King Cole records, but his cadence on his latest album, Take Me to the Alley, has the earthy warmth of a later influence, R&B singer Bill Withers. Read more >>> Gregory Porter performs with DJ Lance Reynolds at 8 p.m. at the Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW. $42.50–$95. (202) 803-2899. thehowardtheatre.com. (Steve Kiviat)
Waxahatchee, the indie rock alias of Katie Crutchfield, headlines a show at Black Cat with opening act Allison Crutchfield, her twin sister and former bandmate in The Ackleys. 7:30 p.m. at 1811 14th St. NW. $15.
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