So tonight, finding myself home alone without a good grocery supply in the house and knowing that Hard Times has a special on Chili Mac this week, I decided to walk down to Clarendon to grab a bite and watch people for a while. It turned out to be a much better evening than I expected.

I went to Hard Times for the vegetarian chili mac 3-way with tomatoes and jalapeƱos. It was stellar, as expected. Then I decided to roam the neighborhood a bit and grab a coffee. On my way to Boccato gelato, I passed Iota. Outside Iota, there was a woman standing around in a Halloween costume playing the fiddle. Naturally, I had to stop and listen, then ask why she was there.

It turns out she was the banjo player for a Junior League Band, that was about to play Iota. A rock band with a banjo and a violin sounded right down my alley, so I decided I’d stop back by iota after my coffee. Wow. Good thing I did. The opening band (Resurrectionists, out of Boston) was good. The main act, called Junior League Band and based out of DC was just fantastic. They were every bit as good as you’d expect a roots band with a banjo and fiddle to be. Think somewhere between Jump Little Children and Rusted Root, with Regina Spektor fronting, and you will probably imagine the right sound. Or just go look them up on iTunes and listen to a few songs. It’s just good, fun music. Along with the original stuff on the album I linked, they did a nice cover of Thriller for Halloween. There were no horns at the live show, but are on the album. At the end of the night, that’s easily the best $12 I’ve spent to see a band in recent memory, and I definitely plan to look out for them again in the new year. I don’t know if the violin is a regular feature for them, but it definitely should be!