Do you know D.C.?
Get our free newsletter to stay in the know about local D.C.
It’s doubtful that any city has been abandoned by more talented musicians than D.C. But despite the area’s reputation for being inhospitable to committed players, Neville Street Groove’s members insist they relocated here from Pittsburgh in May 1994 strictly for the band’s sake. “We moved here for the music. Really,” laughs Marc Simoncelli, harmonica player/keyboardist for NSG. “Why not? A lot of people come to Washington for work. Our work is music.” The six-piece combo (whose handle comes from the address of an Iron City dwelling band members shared and has nothing to do with the New Orleans brothers) has just released its first recording since the migration, the self-produced Watching Pigeons in the Sun. Simoncelli’s frenetic harp commands the most notice during the free-form jams that fill most of the album. “We’re going for a H.O.R.D.E.-type thing, where we can have fun and get lost in our playing,” he says. That explains why live versions of NSG songs tend to last much longer than its seven-minute studio cuts. The band plays Whitey’s in Arlington on Sept. 19. Watching Pigeons costs $11.50 on CD and $6.50 on cassette, postpaid from Neville Street Groove, 7214 Arthur Dr., Falls Church, VA 22046.