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Folkadelphia Session: Altan

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Altan | Photo by Leila Grossman | courtesy of the artist

Over the last nearly two decades and over ten albums, Altan has established themselves as one, if not the foremost forces in traditional Irish music. Altan has continued to entertain and educate the masses about Celtic music, enlisting artists like Bonnie Raitt, Alison Krauss, Dolly Parton and others to participate. Continue reading →

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Folkadelphia Session: Jenny Owen Youngs (Encore)


Jenny Owen Youngs, the Brooklyn-based songwriter and previous Folkadelphia Session performer, offers you the chance as a listener for a truly positive and inclusive musical experience. With Youngs, we’re meant to laugh together, cry together, feel hurt, prideful, angry, and strong together. That’s the innate power of her music; whether you’re alone and listening through headphones or you’re watching her at a theater with a thousand other people, Youngs has a way of making it personal and face-to-face. Continue reading →

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Folkadelphia Session: Lac La Belle

Lac La Belle | photo by Joel Williams | courtesy of the artist
Lac La Belle | photo by Joel Williams | courtesy of the artist

Second to the music, which draws and binds us together, is our shared history with the musicians, which seems to deepen with time. It’s an amazing privilege with Folkadelphia to queue up tracks for a radio show, scroll down the playlist, and think to myself “it was great helping so-and-so out with their last two shows in Philly” and “oh man, I can’t wait for us to premiere such-and-such’s in-studio session that we recorded three months ago, what a blast!” In this folksy music world of ours, when we’re drawn together, we tend to stick together. Then, as albums are released, music is shared, tour dates are booked, on the Folkadelphia side of things, we feel such tremendous pride in hearing and seeing artists evolve and that we possibly lent the smallest little help along the way here in Philadelphia.
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Folkadelphia Session: John Reilly and Friends


Welcome to 2016 and to your first brand new Folkadelphia Session for the year. If you’re just tuning in to what we do, each week on Folkadelphia Radio (that’s Wednesday nights 10-11 PM), we premiere a recorded performance, tracked live at the WXPN Performance Studio, with artists that fit under that big old umbrella that we call Folk Music. To get a quick primer on what we have to offer you, check out the totally free and totally awesome (if I do say so myself) Best of 2015 compilation, available right here. Continue reading →

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Folkadelphia Session: Quiet Life


We are heavily representing Northwest Pacific based Americana rockers Quiet Life here on Folkadelphia. Not only did we have an immediate connection because of our mutual love for certain music, but we discovered that the Central New Jersey region played into our upbringings (what up, Asbury Park). From Wild Pack, the band’s most recent album to last year’s EP Housebroken Man, the first audible thing is how much fun these guys are having. Listen, Quiet Life isn’t reinventing the wheel here, but they are just so good at what they do. The twangy emotional moments pull at the heartstrings, the rocky moments really roll, the honky tonk moments get you moving. Quiet Life should definitely be the bar band at every single bar because I guarantee we’d be having a blast each night. Continue reading →

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Folkadelphia Session: Eliot Bronson

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Elliot Bronson performs for Folkadelphia | Photo by Fred Knittel

Eliot Bronson is a songwriting machine and his eponymous album, released in 2014, does everything to prove that to the listener. Bronson worked with Dave Cobb on the album (whom you know from his collaborations with Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell, et al.). The producer sets up an unencumbered and energetic space for Bronson’s songs to really pop and grab hold. From start to finish, you can find whatever it is you want from these songs, from bangers, to tearjerkers, from the vibey to the sentimental. Continue reading →

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Folkadelphia Session: The Apache Relay

Photo courtesy of the artist.
Photo courtesy of the artist.

Nashville’s Apache Relay caught Folkadelphia‘s attention for breaking out of that oppressive “folk rolk” generalization, incorporating an impressive soulfulness, depth of character, and a flair for classic pop textures that really set them apart. Even in the XPN Studio, the band showed off a resourcefulness and musical range. When after loading in, they realized that their time constraints were tighter than they originally planned, they scrapped a full band set-up, and treated us to a stripped down acoustic performance. Continue reading →

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Folkadelphia Session: Chuck Ragan


Chuck Ragan‘s voice has been in my head for years, probably at least a decade at this point. For others, it has been even longer. Ragan, who over the last handful of years, has released some excellent Americana-flavored solo albums, like 2014’s Till Midnight, is also the singer for stalwart Gainesville, FL punks Hot Water Music. It’s funny to think that someone you don’t know and that you might never meet has been a significant part of your life. Perhaps that’s why we’re drawn to live appearances, meet-and-greets, and other opportunities to connect with artists; these people have affected us tremendously, so there is this gravity pulling us towards them. All accounts I’ve ever heard about Chuck Ragan is that he’s the most down-to-earth guy, a total sweetheart, and a gracious, enthusiastic performer. When we had Chuck in to the WXPN Studio to perform for Folkadelphia, we found that these accounts were 100% true.
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Folkadelphia Session: Manchester Orchestra


Over four to five albums, Manchester Orchestra, led by Andy Hull, has continued to hone their sound and vision, existing somewhere between indie rock experimentation, arena rock magnitude, and the catharsis-laden chorus chanting of alternative rock. I hate to boil any artistic group’s output into such easy genre boxes, but it does help us as a reference point for the band’s latest two albums Cope and Hope, both released in 2014. I wrote over “four to five albums” because Cope and Hope are essentially two takes at the same set of songs, albeit coming at them from different directions. Cope is a “turn the knob to 11” type deal – anxious verses leading to big payoff choruses, unrelenting power, and lots of muted guitar strumming. Hope amplifies the emotion and moodiness at the cost of overall loudness and force. Hope is the twilight to Cope‘s daylight – dark, transient, and elusive. Hope is not quite a “stripped down” album, an afterthought appendix to Cope; Hope can stand on its own and it certainly showcases the range that Manchester Orchestra is capable of achieving. Listening back-to-back, it’s a real trip to hear what the band was thinking of bringing out to the forefront in the reinterpreted version. It’s great to hear that even at the larger rock-and-roll scale that Manchester Orchestra is at these days, they are still enthusiastic about experimenting with their own sound.
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Folkadelphia Session: Mark Rogers & Mary Byrne

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Mark Rogers and Mary Byrne

As the season aims towards the autumnal, the temperature begins dropping, and perhaps an extra layer or two is added to the outfit repertoire, Folkadelphia is proud to present our latest in-studio session featuring duo Mark Rogers & Mary Byrne, partners beyond just music-making. Nearly a year ago, Mark and Mary were kind enough to visit us at WXPN where, with their music and easy-going attitude, they brought a renewed sense of warmth, intimacy, and kindness. As we finally make available their songs, we call upon these qualities again as this year begins its twilight period. Continue reading →