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The Key Studio Sessions: New Sweden’s appearance on Folkadelphia

Wilmington-based new folk combo New Sweden has an instantly likeable blend: a little bit of Bright Eyes, a little bit of The Avett Brothers, a little bit of The Clash. It sounds great on their 2011 record The Mountain, but is even better when you have the group in a room, playing it for you in person. That’s what XPN2‘s Fred Knittel did just about a month ago, when New Sweden made a full-band, live-on-the-air appearance on Folkadelphia. Singer/guitarist Billy Dobies serenaded the studio with “View From the Mountain,” then the band tore the room down with “Highest Road.” You can get a taste of the scene in tracks below, as well as the video shot by Wilmington photographer Noah Gabriel Merenda. After wrapping the session up, the band hopped across the hall to World Cafe Live and won the award for Best Delaware Indie Band at the Tri-State Indie Awards – another bit of distinction to add to their resume, since New Sweden were finalists in last year’s Beta Hi-Fi competition as well. Wasting no time, it has a full slate of shows this spring – including dates this weekend at the AC Beer and Music Festival (which last week’s Key Studio Sessions artist, Griz, is also playing) and on April 14 at Phoenixville’s Steel City Coffee House.

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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The Key Studio Sessions: Griz

You might call it the mark of a good songwriter – every song is different, but they somehow all sound like they were written by the same person. In this case, the person is Chris Grunwald, whose eclectic Americana ensemble Griz recorded a Key Studio Session just about a month ago that dabbled impressively in shuffling rock ‘n roll (“Plant Life”), psychedelic folk (“The Secret in the Garden”), pulsing reggae (“Only Dreadlock”) and twangy country (“Take Me On the Road”). Griz has been an understated fixture in Philly in recent years: Grunwald doesn’t loudly call attention to himself, but simply does what he does – plays shows, makes albums (most recently last year’s breezy The Secret in the Garden) and has steadily built a following around the Delaware Valley. You can download band’s Key Studio Session below. If you dig what you hear, you have two chances to catch Griz live in the next couple weeks: at the AC Beer and Music Festival on Saturday March 31, and at MilkBoy on Thursday April 5.

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head