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XPNFest Recap: Ginger Coyle gives a sultry start to the Marina Stage

Ginger Coyle | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com
Ginger Coyle | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com

Ginger Coyle is one of those wildcard performers who continually exceeds expectations.  Opening day three at the XPoNential Music Festival, the New Jersey native was all smiles and put on a stellar show of uplifting, contemporary pop songs from her recent Homeward Bound LP and an upcoming release.  Joined by a band that included a saxophone / flute player, Coyle’s songs about love, happiness and overcoming obstacles were simultaneously powerful and easygoing.

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XPNFest Recap: Ryan Adams, Jenny Lewis and Dawes capped an exuberant second day at SBC

Ryan Adams | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Ryan Adams | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

If that image of Ryan Adams in Rock God stance doesn’t give you an indication, the closing trifecta of XPoNential Music Festival day two was high-energy and memorable. A sizable crowd filled out the theater and lawn of the Susquehanna Bank Center to watch as Adams was joined by Jenny Lewis and Dawes to jam out into the breezy Saturday night. Continue reading →

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XPNFest Recap: Dave Hause closed out the Marina Stage with a rocking set

Dave Hause | photo by Michelle Montgomery | www.michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Dave Hause | photo by Michelle Montgomery | www.michellemontgomeryphotography.com

Hometown hero Dave Hause continues to own a solo career after successful punk rock ventures with bands like The Loved Ones, and he brought his old school rock ‘n’ roll to the Marina Stage tonight.  He played to a relaxed but content crowd, though the longtime Hause fans made themselves known by singing along to songs from both Resolutions (2010) and Devour (2013)

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XPNFest Recap: C.J. Chenier & The Red Hot Louisiana Band Exploded on the River Stage

C.J. Chenier & The Red Hot Louisiana Band | photo by Michelle Montgomery | www.michellemontgomeryphotography.com
C.J. Chenier & The Red Hot Louisiana Band | photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com

C.J. Chenier & The Red Hot Louisiana Band delivered a funky, zydeco set to close out the Wiggins Park portion of night two at the XPoNential Music Festival, getting the crowd on their feet and rocking out to some authentic Creole jams.  The performance helped kick-off a new year long project from WXPN called Zydeco Crossroads, bringing the music, food and culture of Creole Louisiana to Philadelphia beginning in October.   Continue reading →

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XPNFest Recap: Ingrid Michaelson dazzled the River Stage

Ingrid Michaelson | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com
Ingrid Michaelson | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com

Two truths about singer-songwriter and XPN favorite Ingrid Michaelson: she writes ridiculously catchy, heartfelt songs. And she knows how to work an crowd. During her set before a packed, captive audience at the River Stage of the XPoNential Festival on Saturday, Michaelson exhibited both of these strengths, delivering sharp performances of songs from across her catalog – the rousing new “Home” and “Time Machine,” older numbers like “Breakable” and “Way I Am” – and having lively banter with the audience between songs.

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XPNFest Recap: Jeremy Messersmith played some love songs on the Marina Stage

Jeremy Messersmith | photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Jeremy Messersmith | photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

Minneapolis singer-songwriter Jeremy Messersmith continued the music on the Marina Stage, performing songs from his recent Heart Murmurs LP.  He played a packed set of heartwarming and heartbreaking tunes that were perfectly matched to the relaxing marina backdrop.

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XPNFest Recap: Strand of Oaks plays an emotional set at the River Stage

Strand of Oaks | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com
Strand of Oaks | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com
Heading into this year’s XPoNential Music Festival, Philadelphia’s Strand of Oaks was one of the most anticipated performers, and the band more than delivered during their Saturday afternoon set. Fronted by singer and songwriter Tim Showalter, the band worked through an emotional set drawing from its critically acclaimed 2014 release HEAL.

Drummer Mike Sneerenger kept a propulsive rhythm driving the set onward, while keyboardist / vocalist Eliza Hardy-Jones added graceful harmonies and bassist Deven Craige contributed a driving, rumbling energy. Continue reading →

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XPNFest Recap: Marah showed off some serious skills on the Marina Stage

Marah | photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Marah | photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

Where do you even start with a band like Marah.  The re-invented band’s set had a few XPoNential firsts, to begin with.  First bagpipe on stage (probably), youngest band-member (young fiddle prodigy Gus Tritsch) and the first time I saw a line of fans line up at the back of the stage to autographs.  From the name of their most recent record, Mountain Minstrelsy of Pennsylvania, you might expect a quaint back porch folk group but that is no where near what we got this afternoon on the Marina Stage.

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XPNFest Recap: Hurray For the Riff Raff energized the River Stage

Hurray for the Riff Raff | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com
Hurray for the Riff Raff | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com

New Orleans favorites Hurray for the Riff Raff blanketed the XPoNential Music Festival in a stirring set of soulful folk-blues on Saturday afternoon. Led by the charismatic Alynda Lee Segarra, the five piece band’s blend of rootsy fiddle leads intermingling with gospel organ accents and a punchy upright bass energized the crowd at the River stage. Continue reading →

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XPNFest Recap: Caitlin Rose made a charming appearance on the Marina Stage

Caitlin Rose | photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Caitlin Rose | photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

With raindrops beginning to drizzle down, Nashville’s Caitlin Rose brought us a strong dose of imaginative country rock ‘n’ roll on the Marina Stage.  Backed by Los Colognes from her hometown, Rose played songs from her 2014 LP The Stand-In, along with a pair of covers and old favorite.

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