Second String Band Plays Capitol Hill

Hey there, Washington!

DC’s The Second String Band is psyched to return home to play an evening of your favorite sing-along, bluegrassin’, old-timey, country tonkin’, honk ‘n hollerin’ string tunes. Get your dance shoes, get rid of your blues, ‘cause there’s no way to lose from 9pm to midnight on Saturday, January 25 at the 201 Bar.

Featuring former (IYP) vice-president Claire Blaustein of fellow DC natives By and By, the always bipartisan, rarely wearing cardigans Second Stringers have a bunch of new tunes and new looks for you. But we’ll play those old stompers, too.

See you there! We’re playing for tips, so show off for your date and bring some cash to show your appreciation for live and lively music.

20 January 2014 ·

Mini-tour coming up: Philly, NYC, DC

We’ve got a few shows coming up on the east coast. Come check us out:

3/15 Philadelphia - House Party

3/16 Brooklyn - Pete’s Candy Store

3/17 Brooklyn - The Jalopy

4/5 Bethesda, MD - The Strathmore

28 February 2013 ·

Second String Band Returns to 930 Club!

Hello, Second String fans!

We’ve played shows large and small this year, but this will be our biggest by far! We’re returning to the 9:30 Club to rock out with Scythian and Cutthroat Shamrock. Get yer tix here:

See you all there!


7 December 2012 ·

November 3rd @ The Dunes

Hi Second String fans! We’re strictly bipartisan. In fact, we only see purple. But we’re happy to help you exorcise your pre-election anxiety with a thunderous show at The Dunes Saturday, November 3rd! 

Go here for ticket information:

Bring your dancing shoes! We’ll also be debuting the latest addition to our Second String family. Get excited!

25 October 2012 ·

Second String @ 9:30 Club

We’re baaaacccckkkk! In December, the Second String Band will hit the stage of the 9:30 Club once more to open up for the wild and wicked Scythian. Get your tickets! We’ll have a few new tricks in our sleeves. Also, we’ll have a number of secret shows in DC, Philadelphia and New York, so sleep with one eye open to catch one of our sets!

20 September 2012 ·

We’re back at the 930 Club in December! Bring your main squeeze, and bring a tacky Xmas sweater, and let’s bring the house down!
Video from our last show coming soon!
We can’t wait to see you all again real soon.

We’re back at the 930 Club in December! Bring your main squeeze, and bring a tacky Xmas sweater, and let’s bring the house down!

Video from our last show coming soon!

We can’t wait to see you all again real soon.


21 November 2011 ·

Galway loves us! We love Galway back!

Galway loves us! We love Galway back!

19 August 2011 ·

Week 4: Germany and The Netherlands

Our arrival to Berlin marked a turning point in the tour as we were put to work to earn our keep. Our host Stefan lives in a ground floor apartment with a group of artists and musicians who are renovating the space one tile at a time. 

We’ve been on the road for four weeks and one question we often get from the crowd is How did you all meet? By interviewing band members, going through archives, and flying in an expert on the Second String Band, we’ve come up with the following story:

Sam and Sophia, who had met previously on the same ultimate frisbee team, were invited to a party by a mutual friend. They walked upstairs to the second floor apartment, into a dimly lit room. Standing in the corner was an incredibly tall man wailing away on a fiddle, a woman strumming a guitar, and a couple of people dancing to the music. Sam picked up an upright bass lying on the ground and Sophia unpacked her mandolin, and soon the four of them were jamming along. The woman eventually wandered off, and before long, with the giant with the fiddle, Sam thumping on bass, and Sophia singing high harmony, they found themselves alone. The fiddle player introduced himself as Jake, and as they started playing another song, in walked a man with bright blue eyes and a banjo strapped to his back. As the trio played he pulled out his banjo, and without a word he started plucking along. “I’m Phil,” he said as we packed up for the evening. “Can we do this again sometime?” Even in the magic of that first night, none of them had any idea that, two years later, they would be tuning up for the first of two house concerts in Berlin. 

The first house concert in Berlin, hosted by Stefan and Abbas, was a reminder of that first night in the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood of Washington, DC. It was a regular hootenanny: band members standing on chairs, audience members whirling each other around; even a cat got into the action! We also spontaneously debuted a three song medley that left our fingers bruised. But we couldn’t help smiling at how that unplanned musical adventure has mirrored our trip so far. 


In between bucket showers and bratwurst we busked the streets, competing with sirens and a slow, unwieldy parade of pro-hemp activists. 

Through a contact at one of our last house concerts in DC, we were introduced to Kristian and Sam who organize the Sofa Salon house concert series in Berlin. In the bedroom of Kristian’s apartment, we were moved by our audience’s participation. Not only were we playing for new faces who had only heard of us hours before the show, but we were honored by the number of people who returned for a second helping after the previous night’s concert. Sam learned the Lindy Hop and Sophia received her first post-performance bouquet of flowers. 

Amsterdam. How do we begin? Row after row after row of bicycles, canals lined by beautiful house boats, pear juice in delightfully small bottles; with only two days, you were too short an affair. 

After an incredible house concert at our delightful hosts Anna and Robert’s apartment (more Lindy Hopping!?! Yes, please!), we biked to the old town to get back to some busking. Harangued by rain, we played four sets scattered throughout the city. We splurged on a hot meal, and then went right back to the streets to play a quiet nighttime set. 

With less than 24 hours to spare, we met up with Chris, a friend of Jake’s from college, in Rotterdam. He organized a show for us at a spiritual center just outside the city, and boy did we feel the spirit! 

As we close our post, a big thanks to Chris and Julie as well as all of our other house concert hosts. We expected that wandering through these European cities would be the most exciting. However, the true blessing has been the ability to connect with so many different communities on our tour. 

13 August 2011 ·

Jake and our gracious (and talented) host, Stefan. Berlin.

Jake and our gracious (and talented) host, Stefan. Berlin.

5 August 2011 ·

"Oh Madeline" live at La Coccio in Milano

4 August 2011 ·

Upcoming Shows

Get on our email list!