On a Saturday evening in early October, Fishtown institution Johnny Brenda‘s is bustling with hungry and thirsty customers, out for a fun night. Patrons are enjoying drinks and conversation, challenging friends and strangers to numerous games of pool. While everyone is chatting away downstairs, Emily “Birdie” Busch spends the afternoon and evening transforming the upstairs venue space in preparation for her big show later that night.
This was year number five for Busch’s Philly Opry show, and each year attendees show up for a fun night of great reflective rootsy music and carefree dancing. This year all the performers were Northeast regionals: Philly’s Charlie and April kicked the night off, The Brother Brothers of New York followed, and Birdie Busch and her band finished things off in the headlining spot.
We tagged along, following the Opry from beginning to end.