Welcome to 2018, and welcome to our new concert picks! To aid in your advance planning, we’ll be coming at you weekly with a roundup of shows not to miss for the next seven days — hence, The Week Ahead. This week, indie folksinger Shannen Moser kicks off the Lame-O Records residency at Boot & Saddle, while string-laden new music ensemble Stratus Quartet plays World Cafe Live, bluesman Greg Sover hits The Twisted Tail, plus six other shows. Dig in below. Continue reading →
Philly rocker Greg Soverwill be tearing it up at World Cafe Live tonight, where he’ll debut a new song called “My City.” Serving as a tribute to our wonderful dwelling of brotherly love, the song features a variety of Philly artists as well as vocal talent from children at the North Light Community Center. All proceeds from the event will benefit North Light, so the night just got even better. Find info on tickets at the XPN Concert Calendar, and listen to his cover of “Ain’t No Sunshine” below. Continue reading →
Although the Philadelphia Folk Fest is a couple months away, they’ve still got some artists to announce. Thankfully, our good friend Helen Leicht is in on the action, announcing her XPNLocal showcase for August 19th from noon to 2 p.m. The showcase (hosted by Leicht) features some of the best up-and-coming locals in the scene, including blues rocker Greg Sover, smooth singer-songwriter Jesse Hale Moore, and electro-rock trio Vita and The Woolf.
Every year, I round up a group of my favorite Philadelphia-area musicians and go to East Norriton’s Morning Star Studios to record the XPN Local Home for the Holidays special. This year’s show was the 8th annual edition, and was broadcast on XPN this past Tuesday, December 20th. Continue reading →
From poppy blues to cerebral rap, classic country to experimental Americana, Philadelphians and those just passing through, we once again bring you a variety of live music to see in the 215 this week — 15 concerts in the next seven days. Continue reading →
Music, art, creativity and community — this is the stuff that’s in the air at the annual Philadelphia Folk Festival, from the mainstage headliners to the sidestage workshops to the famed Dulcimer Grove and the bustling campground scene. This year, the festival was packed with sounds and songs from big names Graham Nash, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Taj Mahal; local favorites Black Horse Motel, Ladybird, No Good Sister, and The End of America; and Helen Leicht’s annual XPN Local Showcase featuring Jesse Hale Moore, Greg Sover Band, and Vita and the Woolf.
And then, of course, there are the pick-up players at colorfully constructed campsites, the folks strumming acoustic guitars while lounging in hammocks, the budding artists making sketchbook illustrations and watercolors of the action. Philly photographer Lisa Schaffer has been a Folk Fest fixture for as long as we’ve known her, and this year she presents us with the sights she saw; 56 images for the 56th Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival. Continue reading →
Singer/songwriter Joy Ike will play World Cafe Live at the Queen tonight. Last month, she performed an intimate set at Burlap and Bean, and now, she’ll support Angela Burns at her CD release show. Check out a live performance of “Nomad” from last year’s Escape To The Lake Festival below. Then, head over to XPN’s Concert Calendar for tickets and more information on the show. Continue reading →
Here at The Key, we spend a lot of time digging through every new release from Philadelphia that shows up on Bandcamp. Periodically, we’ll check in to present you with the most interesting, most unusual and overall best of the bunch: this is Items Tagged Philadelphia.
Looking back, I totally would have done a few things differently. I would not have set an arbitrary “weekly” benchmark to report back to you on the weird, wild and wonderfully ear-catching Philly artists I find in my Bandcamp digging. My weeks are unpredictable at WXPN HQ; the only constant is an already high volume of listening, reading, writing, recording and editing, before this project even comes into play. I also would have made a more valiant effort to keep up with these artists I uncovered throughout the year; some were easy to follow (shoutouts Sea-Offs, MHYSA, S-21, Erica Gibson) and some I haven’t checked in on since initially spotlighting them.
I might have tried to be more discerning, choosing fewer releases each week so I’d have space and time to reflect and write more about the ones I was highlighting. I would have found better things to say to introduce each column; I should have STFU about the weather, which seems to be a de facto entry point to many of them. Get it together, man.
But for something that started as a New Years’ Resolution whim twelve months ago — ie. give a listen to every single release posted to Bandcamp with a Philadelphia tag in 2017, report back on the good stuff — I’m decently pleased with how it played out. Continue reading →