Four albums deep into his career, Philly singer-songwriter Chris Kasper is hitting his stride. Though, to step back, it might be short-selling it a bit to note only his four albums. Kasper has been a player in the Philadelphia scene for over a dozen years; before he was a solo artist, he was a member of The Lowlands. He’s collaborated with fellow folk-infused singer-songwriters (The Spinning Leaves) as readily as rappers (Kuf Knotz) and we hear he plays drums in some sort of secret band as well. Also of note are his appearances into the wee hours at Philadelphia Folk Festival’s campfire jam; they are completely winning – or caught my ear at any rate.
The new record Bagabones is breezy and easygoing on the surface, but has an undercurrent of unusual twists and turns, stirring storytelling (the truck driver rumination of “Belly”), unexpected found sounds and backwards-masked samples (check the introduction to “Don’t Want to Lose Your Way”). And most importantly, it’s got a knockout group of players making the music happen. The Chris Kasper Band that recorded for this week’s Key Studio Session features Phil D’Agostino on upright bass (he just released his own album), Kiley Ryan on fiddle, Jerry Bernhardt of Juston Stens’ Get Real Gang on guitar and Daniel “Scrappy” Bower on drums. The band hits the road with Amos Lee for a run of dates in the spring, and if this week’s performance is any indication, they’ll win over a whole new set of ears in the process. Listen and download below.
Chris Kasper, The Key Studio Sessions