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Wynonna Judd and the Big Noise, Patty Griffin, Valerie June, Shovels and Rope top Philadelphia Folk Fest’s 2018 lineup

Wynonna Judd and the Big Noise at NonCOMM 2018 | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

The annual Philadelphia Folk Festival returns for its 57th year this August, and just announced its initial lineup, led by famed country singer-songwriter Wynonna Judd and her current band The Big Noise.

After appearing at the 2015 NonCOMM-vention, Judd and the band released their self-titled debut, Wynonna and the Big Noise, in 2016; the album featured collaborations with Derek Trucks, Sudan Tedeschi, Rapheal Saadiq and more.

Also high up in the festival billing are veteran Austin singer-songwriter Patty Griffin, emerging Memphis artist Valerie June, and the high-energy Charleston duo Shovels and Rope. Festival regulars David Bromberg QuintetChris SmitherJohn GorkaBeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet also perform. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Strand of Oaks at Union Transfer, Valerie June at The Trocadero, Creepoid at Underground Arts, and more

strand of oaks
Strand of Oaks | photo by Joe del Tufo | www.moonloopphoto.com

After taking over our airwaves for our Free at Noon concert, Strand of Oaks heads to Union Transfer for a headliner with Twin Limb. These Philly rockers just released their full-length banger Hard Love, so head out for some manic, high energy tunes. The show is all ages, and more information can be found on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Valerie June shares The Order Of Time early via NPR First Listen

Valerie June | photo by Danny Clinch | via NPR
Valerie June | photo by Danny Clinch | via NPR

Memphis singer/songwriter Valerie June has a new album out next week. It’s called The Order Of Time, and because of that titular phenomena, you would normally have to wait for the music to be released to hear it. Luckily, NPR has traveled into the future and brought the record back with them. You can stream it now via First Listen. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Valerie June delivers a saucily sweet set

Valerie June | photo by Tiana Timmerberg for WXPN
Valerie June | photo by Tiana Timmerberg for WXPN

I think Valerie June may be my new inspiration in life. During her Free at Noon performance, June exuded an infectious presence that was at once completely commanding and saucy, yet still undeniably sweet and quirky.  Naturally connecting with the packed crowd, June possesses a quality that somehow makes each individual feel like they’re her best friend. Continue reading →

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Valerie June’s “Two Hearts” fill the space of a vast summer night sky

Valerie June | courtesy of the artist
Valerie June | courtesy of the artist

Valerie June‘s atmospheric soul is portrayed through her newest single “Two Hearts”, off of her soon-to-be-released record The Order of Time. Stepping into a summer night of reflection, June soulfully proclaims a broken connection between two lovers perfectly complemented by a vibe that recalls a Beach House baby with the state of Georgia.

Continue reading →

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Valerie June returns with the fierce rocker “Shakedown”

Valerie June | via facebook.com/ValerieJune

Valerie June did a lot of performing in quiet settings for her 2013 LP Pushin’ Against a Stone but do not — repeat, do NOT — pigeonhole this Memphis-based artist as a quiet folkie with a ukulele. June is getting ready to release her latest outing, The Order of Time, on March 10 via Concord Music Group, its first single made its way into the world today…and the name of the song couldn’t be more appropriate.

“Shakedown” flat-out rocks; it’s a boostomp barnstormer, revved up with fierce percussion and June taking a slick juke joint electric lead while singing an invigorating hook. It makes you want to dance, and we suggest you just let the groove work its magic. Hit play on “Shakedown” below, and while you’re moving around the room, preorder the album via iTunes here. Continue reading →

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Little Comets and Valerie June played a double header Free At Noon at World Cafe Live (photos, audio, set lists)

Little Comets and Valerie June shared the stage at World Cafe Live for a double header Free At Noon. June played an acoustic solo set, while Little Comets performed a set of their jangly, angular worldly rock and roll.

Listen to the Little Comets’ set here.

Set list:
1. W-O-E
2. A Little Opus
3. Violence Out Tonight
4. Bayonne
5. Worry
6. Jennifer

Listen to Valerie June’s set here

Set List:
1. Workin’ Woman Blues
2. Somebody to Love
3. Rollin’ & Tumblin’
4. Twined & Twisted
5. Raindance
6. You Can’t Be Told

All photos by Elizabeth Mazenko.

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My Morning Download: “Workin’ Woman Blues” by XPN Artist To Watch Valerie June

valerie june Valerie June is WXPN’s Artist To Watch for the month of July. Her debut album, Pushin’ Against A Stone is out on August 13; she performs at the Tin Angel on Thursday, August 15. Combining blues, gospel, folk, R&B, bluegrass and Southern soul, June makes the most of the niches, highlighted by her confident voice. Like the Alabama Shakes and Laura Mvula, Valerie draws on the past to create something new, fresh and exciting. Below, download “Workin’ Woman Blues” from Valerie’s forthcoming album via NPR Music’s Heavy Rotation: 10 Songs Public Radio Can’t Stop Playing.

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Valerie June playing Tin Angel August 15

valerie-june-borrowers Write this name down: Valerie June. The Tennessee born singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist is releasing Pushin’ Against A Stone on August 13 on Concord Records. Recorded mostly at The Black Keys’ Easy Eye Studio in Nashville and produced by Dan Auerbach and Kevin Augunas, June exhibits some very impressive musical versatility on her debut album. She calls what she does “Organic Moonshine Roots Music,” but that somehow connotes on old-timey sensibility that doesn’t accurately describe the breadth of her influences nor how she incorporates them. The old-time roots influences are in her music, yet there’s a very modern feel to what she does. June has released several albums and also recorded an album with The Wandering, with Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi All-Stars), Amy LaVere, Shannon McNally, and Sharde Thomas. June is quite adept at fusing folk, R&B, blues, gospel, and country into a unique sound. June is playing the Tin Angel on August 15. This is one show you don’t want to miss.

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Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “You Can’t Be Told” by Valerie June

valerie-june-borrowers Born in Jackson, and raised in Humboldt Tennessee, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Valerie June is an exciting new addition to the roots music scene. June is releasing Pushin’ Against A Stone on August 13. The album was mostly recorded at The Black Key’s Easy Eye studio in Nashville and was produced by Dan Auerbach and Kevin Augunas (Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Florence & The Machine).

June exhibits some very impressive musical versatility on her debut album. She calls what she does “Organic Moonshine Roots Music,” but that somehow connotes on old-timey sensibility that doesn’t accurately describe the breadth of her influences nor how she incorporates them. The old-time roots influences are in her music, yet there’s a very modern feel to what she does. June has released several albums and also recorded an album with The Wandering, with Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi All-Stars), Amy LaVere, Shannon McNally, and Sharde Thomas. June is quite adept at fusing folk, R&B, blues, gospel, and country into a unique sound

Stream “You Can’t Be Told” here.