West Philly’s Bobby Szafranski and Owen Lyman-Schmidt have delivered their stripped-down, Tom Waits-y style of folk for the past several years under the Driftwood Soldier banner, and this week appeared on the WXPN Folk Show to share word of their latest endeavors.
Utilizing mandolin, bass and Lyman-Schmidt’s gruff vocal delivery, the duo performed three songs — “Rosalee,” “John Henry” and “Sunny Side” — and chatted with Folk Show host Ian Zolitor for about a half hour. They discussed the origins of their self-styled “gutter folk” identity, their new slow-release B-Sides EP, as well as West Philly Porchfest, the annual community event the bandmates sit on the organizing committee of. Continue reading →
Sofia Verbilla is at the songwriting helm of Harmony Woods, a relatively new installment to Philly’s rock scene. They just released their first record, Nothing Special, which, contrary to what its title might suggest, is quite lovely. Verbilla has put together a very genuine, sophisticated set of sometimes folky, sometimes punky songs. In the studio, she is joined by Brendan Lukens on lead guitar, Sophy Kelsall on bass and Jeremy Berkin on drums; the live lineup varies from gig to gig. The current Harmony Woods configuration is wrapping up its summer tour, and plays a homecoming gig at Everybody Hits tonight. Listen to “Renovations” and check out details on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →
Philadelphia gutter folk duo Driftwood Soldier joins Dan Drago on his latest episode of the 25 O’Clock Podcast. In addition to their latest EP, Blessings and Blasphemy, bandmates Owen Lyman-Schmidt and Bobby Szafranski are co-organizers of West Philly Porchfest, and they discuss both things over the course of an hour and 20 minutes. Continue reading →
The self-styled gutter folk duo Driftwood Soldier is back with its second studio album, a seven track EP called Blessings & Blasphemy that navigates the split perspectives of religion and atheism. The record’s Friday, March 24th release will be accompanied by a special one-off collaborative show (details after the jump), but today we’re premiering album cut “Wake Up Sinners” a few days early.
The Key premiered a new video from locals Driftwood Soldier, ahead of the duo’s show at Bond Villain on September 17th. “Found” points to Nick Cave and Tom Waits for inspiration, and comes from the band’s debut Scavenger’s Joy LP. Check out the video here and download the song for free below.
Philly indie-folk duo Driftwood Solder – Owen Lyman-Schmidt and Bobby Szafranski – started in 2013 when Owen met Bobby and they decided to start a band together. Lyman-Schmidt plays mandolin and Szafranski accompanies him on bass and percussion, and together on their debut full length, Scavenger’s Joy, they create gutbucket styled, blues informed songs. Continue reading →
The annual NPR Music #TinyDeskContest revealed its 2018 winner last month: Naia Izumi, a Georgia-born, Los Angeles-based busker who excels at swift guitar licks, live looping and fervent rock and soul vocals. While we’re certain to hear more from Izumi and team Tiny Desk in the coming weeks and months, let’s not get too far from this year’s competition without celebrating the plethora of impressive Philadelphia-based entries. Continue reading →
Porchfest is exactly what it sounds like: a music festival that uses porches instead of stages. It’s a simple concept, but revolutionary in a way — can you think of a better way to spend a summer afternoon than wandering porch to porch while listening to musicians share their tunes? Get your calendars ready, because the third annual installment of West Philly Porchfest is happening Saturday, June 2. Continue reading →
Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2017 incredible. Today, Key photographer Koof Ibi Umoren (who plays trumpet with West Philadelphia Orchestra, Little Strike and a host of others) shares Philly’s best non-traditional venues to perform at in 2017.
Traditional music venues need musicians and beer in order to successful. This year has proven that musicians need beer, but not necessarily the traditional music venues. A musician can spend a lot of time performing in Philadelphia without setting foot on a traditional stage. If you’re smart and you chose an acoustic instrument in elementary school, and didn’t give it up for a cooler electronic instrument in college, then the world is literally your stage This year I’ve had the pleasure of playing and attending shows at some very interesting Philadelphia “venues,” and here’s a recap of some of my favorites. Continue reading →