Free at Noon Flashback: Mt. Joy brings a dose of folk rock charm to World Cafe Live

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Mt. Joy performs live at World Cafe Live for WXPN’s Free At Noon Concert | Photo by Rich McKie / WXPN

Mt. Joy has quickly become a favorite among the XPN universe this year — after being featured as January’s Artist to Watch, the band released their debut album and soon returned to play NonComm and this year’s XPoNential festival. Tonight they’re back in town for a proper headlining gig, and this afternoon they treated us to a preview in the form of an energy-filled Free at Noon performance.

But if you think the up-and-coming band is getting sick of Philly by now, that’s not the case. Every visit back to the city is a homecoming for the band, whose members are originally from the area. (They draw the name Mt. Joy not from the Lancaster Co. borough, but from the mountain in Valley Forge.) And Philly’s certainly not getting sick of them, if today’s enthusiastic audience was any indication. Also, they have a song about painting a school bus green and tailgating at Eagles games, so if that doesn’t earn them Philadelphians’ love and admiration I’m not sure what would.

Mt. Joy’s eight-song set today was a pared down version of what you’ll hear tonight, but they managed to make time for all of the hits. From “Jenny Jenkins” to “Silver Lining,” audience members cheered as the Americana-rooted rockers powered through their catalogue with hardly a pause, though when introducing the politically charged “Sheep,” frontman Matt Quinn took a moment to remind us of the importance of voting, especially with an election on the horizon: “Whatever you do, just vote. Don’t not vote.”

The band rounded out their set with a few more songs off the new album, which is tied together by their folk-tinged, laid-back sound that’s a refreshing blend of catchy and classic. Their breakout jam “Astrovan” fit nicely amid the soaring, twangy tunes, and Quinn traded in his guitar for a ukulele for “Dirty Love.” After closing with a fan-favorite single “Silver Lining,” Mt. Joy disappeared briefly before returning for a quick off-the-air encore which included “Julia” and their “Ain’t No Sunshine” cover.

Mt. Joy’s self-titled debut album is out now on Dualtone Records. They play a show at Union Transfer tonight, and a few tickets still remain — find more information on the XPN Concert Calendar.

Setlist:

I’m Your Wreck
Bigfoot
Cardinal
Jenny Jenkins
Astrovan
Dirty Love
Sheep
Silver Lining

Encore: Julia / Ain’t No Sunshine

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