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Folkadelphia Session: Lily & Madeleine

It’s certainly easy to stay focused on the musical accomplishments and inherent talent compared to the respective ages of Lily and Madeleine Jurkiewicz, the sisters that make up the duo Lily & Madeleine. The accomplishments are grand – an LP and EP in the bag, a fantastic sophomore album Fumes to be imminently released by Sufjan Steven’s Asthmatic Kitty Records, the talent runs deep and strong in these two, and their ages, well, let’s just say teenaged. Instead of framing it like “look what these girls have accomplished and they’re only BLAH BLAH BLAH years old,” how about we say that Lily and Madeleine have just commenced on their hopefully long and fruitful musical journey. Continue reading →

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Folkadelphia Session: The Bones of J.R. Jones

In our latest session, you’ll hear the Bones of J.R. Jones. The band is self-described as “dirty, grainy, blues-influenced” that navigates the divide between full-on sweaty face-in-the-dirt rock-and-roll and somber folk-balladeering. You’ll hear resounding drum hits, shimmering tambourines, thumping bass, beefy guitar licks, stomping boots, and some sweet harmonica playing. Continue reading →

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Folkadelphia Session: Sam Moss

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Back in February, I started emailing back and forth with Vermont songwriter Sam Moss about setting up a show in Philly. While the show didn’t pan out, a stellar Folkadelphia Session did come out of all of our efforts.

I first became aware of Moss’s music through the Tompkins Square label’s Imaginational Anthem series which feature new, up-and-coming guitarists, as well as legends and treasures of the American Primitivism movement. Continue reading →

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Folkadelphia Session: Leif Vollebekk

As with most Americans who have heard the guy, we were introduced to Montreal’s Leif Vollebekk through North Americana, his ode to his travels through the United States, released at the beginning of 2014. On the record which owes influence to mid-70s Bob Dylan and Jeff Buckley, Vollebekk creates a spacious and rich sonic landscape with “the best band in the world,” as he notes in his bio. While this type of songwriting doesn’t tread new ground per se, the singer-songwriter brings a poetry, grace, and soulfulness not often heard. And gosh darn if he ain’t a heck of a songwriter. Continue reading →

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Folkadelphia Session: Cuddle Magic


Back at the end of 2012, Folkadelphia recorded a stripped down set in the auxiliary broadcast room at WXPN with folk goddess Anais Mitchell. During this session, we met an excitable, highly passionate, and imaginative individual named Ben Davis who was playing in Mitchell’s band (alongside Rachel Reis). As they played, we were privy to just a glimpse of the insane brilliance that Davis brings with him everywhere he goes. He also told us about his own project Cuddle Magic. How could we not listen after all of what we witnessed? Continue reading →

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Folkadelphia Session: Chelsea Sue Allen

My discovery of singer-songwriter Chelsea Sue Allen is another wonderful case of Philly musicians doing right by their own. Just over a year ago, Folkadelphia was putting together a concert at the intimate Random Tea Room with our good friend and frequent collaborator Joshua Britton of Psalmships. He recommended that a take a listen to Allen’s Tiny Prizes debut album, as well as her On The Hill session. Of course, the rest is history. Continue reading →

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Folkadelphia Session: The Whiskey Gentry


Team Folkadelphia is very excited and proud to present our session with The Whiskey Gentry, recorded live back in March while the Georgians were in town. They’re a little bit country and a little bit rock-and-roll. They’re also a huge helping of bluegrass, a side dish of rustic folk, and just a smidgen of punk rock abandon.

Continue reading →

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Dig into Summertime (the song and the season), tonight on Folkadelphia Radio

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On the most recent episodes of Folkadelphia Radio, we’ve been featuring a segment where we dig a little deeper into the history, narrative, and impact of songs that we all, for the most part, collectively know and love. These are songs that are not only important to folk music, but to all styles of music. On the show, we’ve heard songs like “Pretty Polly,” “Yellow Rose of Texas,” “Katie Cruel,” and other songs that generally are not associated with a particular author. The exceptions during the segment have been Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” and Blind Lemon Jefferson’s “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean.” I personally think that these songs have had a very strong impact on folk music and beyond. This week we feature another penned song – “Summertime” composed by George Gershwin and lyrics by DuBose Heyward for the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess. Continue reading →

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Folkadelphia Session: Amy Ray (of the Indigo Girls)

Courtesy of the artist
Courtesy of the artist

Goodnight Tender, the new solo album from Amy Ray, is not a record to be taken lightly. It feels like a project that was mulled over, devised, and labored on for a long period of time. As such it demands our respect and undivided attention. It’s a brave and utterly successful musical step for Ray. Unquestionably different than her other solo albums, as well as her work with the Indigo Girls, it is very much a feat of pure Americana. Continue reading →

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The gullible Baffled Knight and a rocking country session from Indigo Girls’ Amy Ray, tonight on Folkadelphia Radio

John Byam Shaw - The Baffled Knight or Lady's Policy
John Byam Shaw – The Baffled Knight or Lady’s Policy

While many traditional ballads, stories, and songs made the trip across the Atlantic to be taken up, transformed, and adapted by the Americans, some of them were not particularly widely circulated despite popularity in Europe. Such is the case with the bawdy and humorous “The Baffled Knight” or “Blow Away The Morning Dew,” a pastourelle (an Old French lyric form concerning the romance of a shepherd/shepherdess) and Child Ballad (#112). Continue reading →