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Ben Howard shows a new side of himself on his new album Noondays Dream after a four year hiatus

Ben Howard
Ben Howard | photo courtesy of the artist

Following his 2014 record, I Forget Where We Were, English folk / rock singer-songwriter Ben Howard released his third full-length album titled Noonday Dream via Island Records. It’s been four years, and the self-produced album was well worth the wait. Of course, nothing could ever beat his past work like his double platinum 2011 record Every Kingdom. However, that is not his intent for Noonday Dream. The album is not meant to mimic that nostalgic sound that got fans hook, but rather to take a step in a new direction. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Peter Gabriel at Wells Fargo Center, Ben Howard at Union Transfer, Jill Sobule at Kennett Flash, Deb Callahan at Steel City

Genesis frontman Peter Gabriel continues his Back to Front tour tonight at the Wells Fargo Center. In celebration of its 25th anniversary, he’s be playing the album So in its entirety. Make sure to see the legend who skyrocketed singles such as “In Your Eyes” and “Solsbury Hill.” The show begins at 8 p.m., tickets and information are available here.

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The Roots, Pharrell, Dave Matthews Band, Brittany Howard and more will play a free concert to benefit Charlottesville

The Roots and Pharrell at The Roots Picnic | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Philadelphia hip-hop heroes The Roots are on the eclectic lineup of A Concert for Charlottesville: An Evening of Music and Unity, a free event set to happen on September 24th at UVA Scott Stadium to raise money for first responders, victims, and their families affected by the violence that took place in the Virginia college town on August 11th and 12th of this year. Continue reading →

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Watch Ben Kessler’s stripped down set for In The Library

Ben Kessler
Ben Kessler | photo by Howard Pitkow | via https://www.facebook.com/benkesslermusic

Philly singer-songwriter Ben Kessler recently recorded two songs for acoustic performance series In The Library. The first of the two songs is a delicate cover of Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love.” The second song he recorded for the series is an original called “From Me.” Ben shows off his guitar prowess and incredible vocal range in these songs. His style combines early John Mayer influences and John Butler-esque chord progressions. The most impressive thing about Ben’s talent is the fact that he is only seventeen years old, and he has won numerous awards and songwriting competitions, such as winning the 2014 Philadelphia Songwriters Project and the 2014 YoungArts Foundation Award. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Melody Gardot at The Merriam Theater, Marco Benevento at Underground Arts and Goddamnit at The Fire

Melody Gardot | Photo courtesy of the artist
Melody Gardot | Photo courtesy of the artist

Melody Gardot has built an impressive resume for someone just now hitting their third decade. The Philadelphia-based jazz and blues singer has been nominated for a Grammy and has been compare to legendary singers like Nina Simone and Judy Garland. Tonight she will take those talents to The Merriam Theater starting at 8 p.m. For more information on the show tonight click here. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Ben Kessler at Tin Angel, Shannen Moser at Ortlieb’s, Active Child at World Cafe Live and more…

Ben Kessler
Ben Kessler | photo by Howard Pitkow | via https://www.facebook.com/benkesslermusic

Local singer-songwriter Ben Kessler performs at Tin Angel tonight. Though he’s still in high school, Kessler has already released a handful of EPs, sold out a show in Chicago and won the Philadelphia Songwriters Project competition last year. He’ll be performing some new, unreleased songs tonight in addition to fan favorites from last year’s So It Goes. Listen to “These Days” below and pick up tickets to the show here.

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Meet Sean Bennett and Franco Yugga, the Philly buskers Glen Hansard brought onstage at NonCOMM

Sean Bennett, left, and Franco Yugga, right, with Glen Hansard backstage at NonCOMM | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com
Sean Bennett, left, and Franco Yugga, right, with Glen Hansard backstage at NonCOMM | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com

Sean Bennett is glad that it’s getting to be summer – it’s a much better time of year to be a street musician. People are outdoors more often, they’re less rushed and more willing to listen, and it opens the door to better money and more opportunities for he and his best friend Franco Yugga.

You may have seen the two classically-trained violinists performing in Suburban Station on your commute to and from work; their playing reverberates beautifully across the cement walls by the 17th Street staircase. It wasn’t too far from there yesterday afternoon that Bennett, 19, and Yugga, 18, were performing their rendition of Mozart’s Symphony No. 25 when renowned Dublin singer-songwriter Glen Hansard happened to be within earshot. Continue reading →

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Ron Howard, Brian Grazer making a film about Made in America Festival next month

Jay-Z and Mayor Michel Nutter at the Made in America press conference earlier this year | Billboard.biz
The crowd at next month’s Made in America Festival might wind up competing for sight-lines with camera crews along the Ben Franklin Parkway. The upshot: they’ll be extras in a movie. The New York Post is reporting that moviemaking team Ron Howard and Brian Grazer (Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, etc.) will be filming the two-day festival on Sept. 1 and 2 – which features performances from Skrillex, Pearl Jam, Dirty Projectors and Jay-Z himself – for a feature-length picture that will follow the festival onstage and behind the scenes. Read more here.