April 22nd was Earth Day and also the 50th birthday of the very talented Jim Boggia! Perfect reason to have Jim stop by my show on the Leicht Lunch to sing a song for Earth day!
Jim and Ali Wadsworth came in sang “Nature’s Way” by Spirit for Earth Day and an amazing cover of “Love Hurts” (the Graham Parsons and EmmyLou Harris version). Jim and Ali sang this song live at Steel City Coffeehouse on Saturday night and Jim was so excited he finally found the perfect person to sing this duet with him. Since it was his birthday he wanted to celebrate with XPN listeners. You can check out the song, and the entire performance on my show, below.
The video was recorded outdoors, with the band surrounded by brick walls and Christmas lights. Singer Dan Bruskewicz’s voice maintains the whiskey-soaked rasp that’s become characteristic of Kong, and the arrangements Only Band in Illyria add a tender edge to the song.
The video comes in anticipation of TJ Kong’s EP, Kong, due out this Friday April 18. Their EP release party is happening the same night at Johnny Brenda’s, and T.J. Kong will be joined by Ali Wadsworth and Pine Barons. Find tickets and info for the EP release show here. Watch the video from the Random Tea Sessions recording below.
This past Groundhog Day, a lineup of Philly musicians paid tribute to classic 90s records, capped by Ali Wadsworth and Satellite Hearts doing Pearl Jam’s Ten from front to back. The record just showed up on Bandcamp as a name-your-own-price download; listen below, and take it home with you here. Ali Wadsworth backed by Satellite Hearts will open for TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb’s album release show on April 18th; tickets and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.
Flannel shirts and ripped jeans are making a comeback tonight at Boot & Saddle’s 90s tribute with Philly folk artists Ali Wadsworth, Hezekiah Jones and Foxhound. Wadsworth, who released her soulful, twangy 10-piece self-debuted album in October, will tap into her inner-90s child to perform her renditions off of Pearl Jam’s Ten. Jones, who’s self-described as sounding like “post-apocalyptic White Album, as covered by Sufjan Stevens” will put his folky spin on Lemonhead’s It’s a Shame About Ray, while Foxhound will transition their usual Americana-folk sound into songs from Nirvana’s Unplugged, two days after Kurt Cobain’s birthday. Tonight’s homage starts at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased here; check out some vintage recordings of each of these artists performing locally in the 90s below.
Folk / roots outfit Spirit Family Reunion bring their energetic performance to Ardmore Music Hall tonight. With gospel, Americana and bluegrass influences coursing through their songs, the New York-based band kicks up the dust with expert fiddling and banjo playing, capped off by rousing foot stomping and hollering. Tickets and information for the show can be found here. Watch them perform “Green Green Rocky Road” below.
Members of the Philly folk scene will pay tribute to a few essential 90s records at Boot & Saddle on February 22nd. Ali Wadsworth, who just released her own debut LP in 2013, will put her spin on Pearl Jam’s 1992 debut Ten. Hezekiah Jones will take a crack at The Lemonheads’ seminole It’s a Shame About Ray, while Foxhound (Chris Kasper and Kiley Ryan) will perform Nirvana’s Unplugged. Tickets and information for the 21+ event can be found here. Check out songs from each album below.
Each musical genre in this city boasts its own community. It’s why creativity breeds, why collaboration is inevitable and how fans know which venues or bars to go to in order to see a show they’ll enjoy.
But there’s something a little more notable, a little more special, about the roots rock revival that’s going on in Philly, and the bands that are at the forefront. It’s bands like Toy Soldiers, The Districts and of course Dr. Dog that have reminded local fans about the advantages of good ol’ Americana — and how the genre can make hands clap and toes tap unlike anything else.
The rise of The Kalob Griffin Band is another key manifestation of this, as the band has made quite splash into the local scene since moving to Philly from State College, Pa. They cultivated a loyal local following, deemed “The KGB Family,” and hope to top last year’s 500-person turn out when they play their “4th annual Holiday Extravaganza” on Saturday at World Café Live with support from The McLovins and Dirty Dollhouse Special.
The show will undoubtedly feature one or all of the three new tracks The Kalob Griffin is poised to release some time in late January 2014. Recorded by Bill Moriarty (Dr. Dog, Man Man) and mastered by Greg Calbi of Sterling Sound (Bruce Springsteen, Gov’t Mule, Trey Anastasio, Alabama Shakes) the songs bring the tenacity and twang that live audiences have come to love from the band, but on a whole new level of songwriting and production quality.
“Full Love” is a fast-paced, hoedown-like groove that will be sure to get people dancing. “Bugle Boy Tobacco” starts with the sound of train tracks and the wailing of a harmonica before launching into an upbeat ballad about a boy who “didn’t have to look too hard, because trouble was after me,” and features a groovin’ instrumental breakdown.
But the standout track of the three would be “Fire and Time,” a love song featuring guest vocals from soulful, folksy songstress Ali Wadsworth, who recently released her own solo album. It’s a killer collaboration between long-time scene friends. Listen to two of the songs below, and click here to download a digital package with these two new KGB tracks.
The Kalob Griffin Band will play at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 21 at World Cafe Live. Tickets can be found here.