Free at Noon Flashback: The War and Treaty warm up the World Cafe Live crowd

The War and Treaty | photo by Taylor Johnson for WXPN

XPN’s August Artist to Watch, The War and Treaty, returned to World Cafe Live this afternoon for a special Free at Noon performance in between two local shows opening for the Indigo Girls. The Michigan-based duo of Michael Trotter and Tanya Blount Trotter have become a rising act in the soul/Americana world this year, and recently released their debut album, Healing Tide.

The singers started off today’s set with the album’s opening track, “Love Like There’s No Tomorrow,” and although they perform it a cappella, it’s anything but sparse. Both members of The War and Treaty have powerhouse voices that they use to their fullest potential in the band’s evocative songs, which genre-wise run the gamut from gospel to R&B to blues to folk. A third musician joined The War and Treaty onstage for the rest of their set, playing guitar and upright bass, but most of the focus stayed on the husband-and-wife Trotter duo, who share vocal duties while Michael plays keys and Tanya adds occasional tambourine. Continue reading →


XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Healing Tide” by The War and Treaty

The War and Treaty | Photo courtesy of the artist and label.

After an exhilarating live performance at the Americana Music Association’s music festival last September in Nashville at Cannery Ballroom, husband and wife musical duo The War and Treaty – Michael Trotter Jr. and Tanya Blount-Trotter – became one of the most talked about sets at the festival by a whole lot of people. Had I not been there to experience it for myself, I would have doubted the hyperbole. Continue reading →


Announcing Live at the World Cafe Volume 45, featuring Hozier, John Prine, Neko Case and more

Attention World Cafe fans — there will soon be another compilation CD to add to your collection. Live At the World Cafe Volume 45 will be available to XPN members this winter, and it features performances from some of our favorite artists.

Chances are a lot of the songs on the CD are ones you haven’t been able to stop listening to over the last year, from Neko Case‘s infectious “Bad Luck” to The War & Treaty‘s rousing “Healing Tide.” The compilation features trusty favorites like Dawes and Amos Lee, newer voices like Rayland Baxter and Rainbow Kitten Surprise, plus a few artists who made comebacks recently, like John Prine and Belly. All tracks on the compilation were recorded live right here in Philly for NPR’s World Cafe. Continue reading →


Listen to Brandi Carlile’s full Newport Folk Fest set via NPR Music

Brandi Carlile at Newport Folk Fest | photo by Adam Kissick for NPR

While we gathered on the banks of the Delaware just two weekends ago for the 25th XPoNential Music Festival, countless other music festivals took place at the same time. From Mo Pop in Detroit to Panorama in NYC, and the regarded Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island, the last weekend in July is historically a great weekend for outdoor live music. It was up in Newport where XPN-fave Brandi Carlile delivered a stunning set on Sunday afternoon, and thanks to NPR Music we can now listen back to the set. Continue reading →


The Week Ahead: Field Report, Caroline Rose, Cub Sport, Ja Rule and more

Cub Sport | photo by by Sean Pyke | via

Okay, so you slept on tickets for Hop Along at Johnny Brenda’s, and Yo La Tengo at Union Transfer, and Khruangbin at Underground Arts, and now all those shows are sold out. It’s tough, we feel that. But thankfully there are no shortage of gigs this week, starting tonight with Supercunk and Swearin’ art Union Transfer and Mirah at JBs and going all the way through the road-trip-worthy Broken Social Scene show Sunday at Montclair, NJ’s Wellmont Theater. Read on for our picks of 19 concerts to see in and around Philly this week. Continue reading →


Five reasons to see Hedwig and the Angry Inch at The Forrest Theater this week

Hedwig | via

Waiting in the queue in front of Walnut Street’s Forrest Theater last night, it was a foregone conclusion that I was going to like the performance inside. Hedwig and the Angry Inch is, after all, my favorite piece of modern musical theater. John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask’s glam-tinged songs are energized and anthemic, while the story — about the misadventures of a transgender rocker from East Berlin trying to find her place in the world — is funny, heartbreaking, poignant and endlessly compelling.

But even adjusting my reaction for bias and predisposition, I walked away from opening night last night seriously bowled away. This show was capital-W wow seriously really good. Continue reading →


XPN Weekend Arts Crawl…Penn Relays, Philadelphia Science Festival, ACANemy Awards, jazz, orchids and art books are all on tap this weekend!

25penn_CA0-articleLargeThe Penn Relays is now the longest uninterrupted collegiate track meet in the country.  When it started at Penn in 1895 it drew an unexpected 5,000 spectators, and it’s now the most attended meet in the nation. This year’s  attendance is likely to top 110,000 for the third year in a row to watch more than 22,000 entries, about half high schoolers.  If you can’t attend you can watch the action live at   And if you’re coming anywhere near Franklin Field in University City, be aware that traffic and parking are congested.  Through Saturday. Continue reading →