Do you know D.C.?
Get our free newsletter to stay in the know about local D.C.
Of all the acts associated with the so-called Folk Revival of the late ’50s and early ’60s, the New Lost City Ramblers were both most worthy of the term and least justifiably lumped in with cheesy genre standard-bearers such as the Limeliters and the Kingston Trio. If the Trio had as much in common with Appalachian singer Frank Proffitt as the Firehouse Five Plus Two did with King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band, that was only to be expected in an era that liked its revivalists prim and prettified. The Ramblers deliberately bucked the trend, thinking that the only thing old-time music lacked was a new generation of listeners. For more than 40 years, original Rambler Mike Seeger has carried the flame of traditional American music with reverence, skill, and zeal. He may not always be the most convincing singer—there’s only so much keepin’ it real for a guy raised in the Maryland suburbs—and in his weaker moments he sounds suspiciously like South Park’s Mr. Mackey. But he is an exceptionally versatile instrumentalist, switching effortlessly between guitar, banjo, fiddle, dulcimer, autoharp, jew’s-harp, and several things I’ve certainly forgotten. Tonight’s show, “Music From True Vine,” takes its name from Seeger’s 1972 Mercury LP, and if that release is any model, expect original but faithful solo arrangements of a variety of public-domain stalwarts. His recent repertoire has included Anglo-American ballads and fiddle tunes, blues (Delta, ragtime, and otherwise), Cajun dance numbers, work songs, topical songs, and cowboy songs. And, yes, he yodels. Learn why Mike’s my favorite performing Seeger at 8 p.m. Friday, May 10, at the McLean Community Center’s Alden Theatre, 1234 Ingleside Ave., McLean. $10. (202) 432-7328. (Glenn Dixon)