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NEWS: RARE ESSENCE: First Go Go Band to Perform at SXSW in DC Official Showcase

March 2, 2015 – Presented by the Washington, DC Economic Partnership (, Rare Essence will be featured guests on the first SXSW Official DC Music Showcase representing the heartbeat of the DC music culture. They will also have special guest, DJ Kool with them. The showcase will be on March 17, 2015 at the Bungalow located at 92 Rainey Street starting at 11:40p-12:20a.

With a performance team totaling 17 musicians and crew, Rare Essence’s journey to Austin is being undertaken by the band to ensure the DC-founded Go Go tradition is presented to a national audience.  “SXSW is one of the largest music festivals in the world. With more than 82 countries and close to 72,000 expected to be in attendance, we know this will be a truly historical moment for DC’s indigenous music and a national opportunity to honor the legacy of the “Godfather of Go Go” Chuck Brown,” said Andre “Whiteboy” Johnson.

Rare Essence, Washington’s premier Go Go band for more than three decades has built a devoted fan base that spans multiple generations.

Originated in the mid-1970’s by the late Godfather of Go Go, Chuck Brown, Go Go links songs together over percussion breakdowns—a raw, non-stop party groove fueled by congas, cowbells and timbales, with call and response interactions that obliterated divisions between a band that doesn’t stop playing and audience that won’t stop dancing.    Go Go music has received a lot of recent attention with a significant feature in the Washington DC episode of the HBO Series “Sonic Highways” created by Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters.

Dubbed “The Wickedest Band Alive” by rap pioneer Doug E Fresh, who has collaborated with Rare Essence, one of many artists to incorporate Go Go’s percolating percussion, and some of its key players, into their own recordings.

The Rare Essence catalog on their own Rare One Records label, includes dozens of titles, many of them live recordings (their P.A. tapes and CDs easily top 100), and their shows continue to feature such fan-favorite radio staples as “Lock It”, ” “Back up Against the Wall” and “Overnight Scenario.” Like any long-lived style of music, Go Go has undergone changes over the decades but Rare Essence maintains and sustains its original sound and spirit. One of their album titles puts it best: “We Go On and On.”

Rare Essence remains the most enduring and consistently combustible live bands honed through countless performances in the Washington region, working the local and regional concert circuit full-throttle, performing nearly 150 shows in 2014.  Go Go thrives live and that’s where reputations, and legacies, are cemented. As the Washington Post noted in a review, “….this band has performed more than 5,000 times. Like so many Rare Essence concerts, it’s easy to believe you’re seeing the best one.”



RE From The New School To The Old School –

Rock This Party-Live From Tradewinds –

RE Pays Tribute To Chuck Brown –

Capital Center Live –

RE Soul Picnic –

RE Live at the Inaguration Ball –

RE Herman from Reunion: Live at the Hyatt Regency 9-11-2010 release –

DJ Kool – Let Me Clear My Throat –

Category: Articles

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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  1. JustLikeThat says:

    Great article and congrats to RE (the wickedest band alive)!!

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