with The Young Birds and Augustus James

Songbyrd Presents
Downstairs, All Ages

DOORS: 7:00 PM // SHOW: 8:00 PM

$10 / $12



Songbyrd Presents

Thursday August 8, 2019


Washington DC-based singer-songwriter, Calista Garcia brings mix of complexity and sophistication to her confessional folk and rock musings that carry a hint of pop and blues. Her style harkens back to ’70s classic acts such as Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles, Paul Simon and Joni Mitchell, but with a fresh modern twist.

Her debut extended play (EP) collection “Wild Woman” was released in April 2019 and has attracted attention from the start. Two of the songs were finalists in the International Acoustic Music Awards (IAMA) (“Muddy River” for Best Folk/Americana/Roots and “Stuck in Your Head” for Best Female Artist) and “Stuck in Your Head” was a finalist in the International Songwriting Competition (ISC) in the Teen category.

A prolific songwriter who plays guitar, piano, ukulele, bass, mandolin and harmonica, Calista also writes for the stage, having completed her second classic-rock inspired musical, Crystal Skies, which premiered in April 2018. A soundtrack for Crystal Skies is in progress.

A member of ASCAP and the Dramatists Guild, Calista is a 2019 Strathmore Artist in Residence, a 2018 & 2019 National Young Arts Winner, 2017 & 2018 Berklee Performance Showcase Winner, the 2017 Bernard Ebbs Young Songwriter of the Year and a two-time Grammy Foundation Young Songwriter Program Artist.


Augustus James is the musical project of singer/songwriter Nathan James Kastner. Formerly of Saint James and the Whiskey Fires, Kastner has spent the past five years navigating the New York City and D.C. music communities, establishing his unique blend of Americana, folk, country, and rock & roll. His songwriting is inspired by the complementary and contradictory elements of American music that have characterized his upbringing: storytelling from the Texas country where his family lives; intimacy and introspection from the folk music of his mother’s generation; grit and energy from New York rock & roll. Augustus James' debut EP, "Nora", was released in April of 2018.


The Young Birds hatched in the winter of 2014, when the lead singers of two DC-based bands, MJ McLaughlin (Hello Dharma) and Andy Valenti (Oh He Dead), migrated into the same flock. United by a love for bands like Wilco, Neil Young, Dr. Dog, Fleet Foxes, and 90's alt-rock, the two quickly realized they were birds-of-a-feather. They spent countless late nights writing songs together, and their friendship became more like a brotherhood.

The Young Birds chase a sound that nests somewhere between emo-tinged indie alt-rock and singer-songwriter folk, driven by luscious harmonies, stimulating lyrics, catchy hooks, and huge guitar riffs. In the summer of 2018, the two collected a band of DC friends (John Daise, Adam Asforth, Alex Salser, and Andrew McCue) and recorded their first EP, "Everybody is a Decoy," at Ivakota Recording Studio in Southeast DC. Showcasing the alternating leads of McLaughlin and Valenti, the debut EP will be available on May 24th.