Free At Noon Flashback: Jeffrey Gaines brings his new album Alright to the midday crowd

Jeffrey Gaines | photo by Dylan Eddinger for WXPN |

Harrisburg singer-songwriter Jeffrey Gaines is fresh off the success of his latest self-released LP, Alright, and his set was bright and soulful and even reminded me a little bit of Bruce Springsteen. The cool thing about Gaines is that his music, and the order in which he plays his songs, feels a lot like a conversation with the crowd. He’s able to easily transition from big movement-like songs, to slow, crooning lullabies to really keep the audience on their toes. As he said several times, he typically plays to the individual, and he values crowd connection and the human experience. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Iron Maiden, Japandroids, Jeffrey Gaines, Umphrey’s McGee/G Love, and Vintage Kicks

Tonight, two legendary acts come together for one performance; Iron Maiden is playing with Alice Cooper at the Susquehanna Bank Center. Expect lots of head banging and moshing at this performance. You can purchase tickets here.

Also playing tonight:

R5 Productions presents Japandroids, who recently released their sophomore album Celebration Rockplay at Johnny Brenda’s with rapper Cadence Weapon opening. The 21+ show begins at 9 PM, this show is SOLD OUT!

Jeffrey Gaines CD Release Party at the Tin Angel. Gaines will be celebrating his recent album Live in Europe, from his 2010 tour with Joe Jackson. Tickets to the 21+ show are $22, the show begins at 10 PM.

Umphrey’s McGee plays with G. Love for a special outdoors performance at the Electric Factory at 8 PM. You can purchase tickets to the all ages show here.

Vintage Kicks play Upstairs at World Cafe Live. We just did a Key Studio session with them that you can check out here. Show at 8 PM; tickets are $7 plus processing fees.


New venue The Locks will bring singer-songwriters to Manayunk this fall

The team behind The Locks | photo by Michael Bryant for

The folks who brought us live music at the Tin Angel for over 20 years are about to make their return with a new venue, and they’ve already begun to fill up their calendar of shows through the end of the year. Set to open in September, The Locks is situated on Manayunk’s vibrant Main Street over the Irish pub Sona, The Inquirer reports.

The four men behind the new venue are familiar faces in the Philly music scene: former Tin Angel owner Donal McCoy and booker Larry Goldfarb, plus Richard Kardon and Jesse Lundy of Point Entertainment. Thanks to its location and the niche brand of live music experience it will offer, The Locks seeks to set itself apart from other city and suburban music venues. Continue reading →


The Week Ahead: The Posies, Strand of Oaks, King Britt, Inara George and more

XPoNential Music Festival | photo by Joe Del Tufo |

Let’s send out January in a big way, friends. The weather is unseasonably warm and we’ve got 24 concerts over the next week for you to choose between, centered in Philadelphia with a couple day trips to locales like Bethlehem and Ardmore. Dig in below, and happy concertgoing. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Joy Ike at World Cafe Live at the Queen, Shots Called at The Fire, Ben Arnold at World Cafe Live, and more…

Joy Ike performs at World Cafe Live for NPR Music's Tiny Desk Road Show | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN |
Joy Ike performs at World Cafe Live for NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Road Show | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN |

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 →


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

Ben Kessler
Ben Kessler | photo by Howard Pitkow | via

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 →


Today on the Leicht Lunch: David Uosikkinen’s In the Pocket goes undercover with “Beat Up Guitar”


In the Pocket | photo by Dallyn Pavey
In the Pocket | photo by Dallyn Pavey

Every weekday in the 11:00 a.m. hour I play an Undercover Song.  Today I will be playing “Beat Up Guitar,” another song from David Uosikkinen’s In the Pocket: Essential Songs of Philadelphia project, this time covering The Hooters.  That’s Jim Boggia on vocals and Uosikkinen on drums, joined by an all-star Philadelphia cast of Eric Bazilian, Steve Butler, Rob Hyman, William Wittman, Matthew Cappy, Ben Arnold and Jeffrey Gaines.  Tune in at 88.5 XPN or online at to hear the song on the air, and watch the recording session below.


The Key’s Week Of Folk: Listen to our playlist of virtually every artist on #PFF2013 (and a few who aren’t)

Spirit Family Reunion | Photo by Michael D. Spencer

The Key’s Week of Folk is our series of interviews, reviews, artist spotlights, playlistings and general ephemera to get you ready for the 52nd Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival, happening August 16th to August 18th at Old Pool Farm in Schwenksville. In this installment, we give you a crash course in the festival lineup.

If you’re a first-time Philadelphia Folk Festival-goer – or if this is your first festival in general – you might feel a little overwhelmed. So many artists, so much music that’s new to you, so little time to sort out what’s what and who you’ll see. Which is where Week of Folk comes in: we’ll be exploring the festival landscape from different angles all week long, bringing you artist picks from some of our trusted sources and digging into under-explored corners of the festival, and folk-music in general.

But sometimes it’s best to begin by laying it all out in front of you. Below, you’ll find our Philadelphia Folk Festival 2013 playlist, featuring a track apiece from the majority of the festival lineup, arranged in the order they’ll appear. You’ll see some names that might be new to you, like Luella & The Sun, Brooklyn combo Spirit Family Reunion and fiddler Frank Fairfield. You’ll notice old favorites, like Richard Thompson, Jeffrey Gaines and Todd Rundgren. You’ll visit with some neighbors, such as The Lawsuits, Toy Soldiers and Ginger Coyle. You’ll get to the track from The Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band and maybe remember how they smashed a flaming washboard at last year’s festival. Most of all, you’ll be able to head into this weekend well-listened and sonically prepared.