Huffamoose to reunite for a benefit at Ardmore Music Hall

Huffamoose | Photo courtesy of the band
Huffamoose | Photo courtesy of the band

On Sunday, November 23rd at the Ardmore Music Hall, Huffamoose will reunite, with special guests Jim Boggia, Ben Arnold and The Fractals. 100% of all the ticket sales will benefit Dan’s Voice, a memorial fund for the treatment and research of head and neck cancer. A Chapter of the Board of Associates of Fox Chase Cancer Center, Dan’s Voice was founded in memory of Dan Rich, who lost his voice and his life to laryngeal/esophageal cancer.

Huffamoose – lead singer and guitarist Craig Elkins, guitarist and singer Kevin Hanson, bassist Jim Stager and drummer Erik Johnson – formed in 1992, and were signed to Interscope Records in 1994. The band debuted in 1993 with their self-titled independent release, and had several songs, including “James” and “I Want To Buy You A Ring,” that got a lot of airplay on WXPN. After signing with Interscope, they released their major label debut, We’ve Been Had Again, in June 1997. The band, known for their mix of rock with jazz influences, had rocky times on the label. After relocating to Los Angeles to work with producer Joe Chiccarelli, unhappy with the results, they convinced their A&R representative to let them re-record the album in Ardmore at the now defunct Chill Factor studios. While the making of the record more aptly fit the band’s musical vision, it strained relations with the label even further.

In a June 1997 article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Craig Elkins told writer Tom Moon:

“We definitely came to appreciate the uphill battle for an unknown band,” Elkins says. “At any point along the way we could have gone along with some advice we didn’t feel comfortable with. We listened to all the options, but most of the time we ended up sticking to our guns, for better or worse. Having to fight for what you believe in, that helps you grow.”

Members of the band are still active in music. After moving to California, Elkins has enjoyed a solo career. Kevin Hanson formed The Fractals in 2010, teaches guitar at the University of the Arts, and, as an in demand session player, has played on records by The Roots, Jill Scott, Usher, Trey Songz and Jay Z. Johnson and Stager also perform with Hanson in The Fractals.

Below, watch a video of the band perform “Wait,” from an appearance on Late Night with Conan O’Brien.


US Rails performs live for On The Hill Session at Kettle Pot Tracks

US Rails @ SalaSon (Cangas do Morrazo)
Photo by Áitor Nova

Beloved local Americana supergroup US Rails, led by multi-instrumentalist Ben Arnold, performed live for the On The Hill Series at Kettle Pot Tracks on site at Steel City Coffee in Phoenixville, Pa.

The folk/rock band – comprised of Arnold, Joseph Parsons, Scott Bricklin, Tom Gilliam, and Matt Muir – play a trio of tracks in a simple and intimate basement venue for the On the Hill series; an appropriate setting for their low-down grass-roots sound. Acoustically driven, the session is a personal look into this seasoned group of players in the local roots scene.

Catch everything from the session here. US Rail’s latest album Heartbreak Superstar is available now via Blue Rose Records. Watch two videos from the On The Hill Session below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Up The Chain at Ardmore Music Hall, Weird Hot at Johnny Brenda’s, August Burns Red at Union Transfer, and more…

UPTHECHAIN-roof-792x528Philly acoustic folk soul project Up The Chain is celebrating the release of their anticipated new album Seeds & Thorns with a party at Ardmore Music Hall tonight. Produced by Bill Moriarty (who has recently worked with The Lawsuits and Toy Soldiers) and inspired by some of front man’s Reed Kendall’s musical heroes, such as Neil Young, Paul Simon, and Amos Lee, the sophomore release is expected to be simply intimate with an energized Americana swing. Check out the details and tickets for tonight’s show here. Get ready for the show by listening to what the whole band has to say about the new release below.

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That’s So Philly launches “Sing With A Philly Teen” featuring Ben Arnold and Arin Edelstein

Photo by Patrick Snook
Photo by Patrick Snook

That’s So Philly, a web site that showcases the musical talents of teens, has launched a new project called “Sing With A Philly Teen,” where musicians and musical adults are paired with teens to sing a cover, an original, or play a musical instrument. The first Sing With A Teen segment features long time local favorite, singer-songwriter Ben Arnold, with singer-songwriter and guitarist Arin Edelstein. According to the That’s So Philly Facebook page:

Arin Edelstein is a sophomore in high school where she performs with the Touring Ensemble (show choir), Up the Octave (girls’ a cappella group), and Select Choir. She has been playing piano since age 5, and guitar since age 8. She plays guitar and sings with the all-girl band Melrose Q. She also enjoys acting, and she currently performs with the Anne Frank Theater Project at The Holocaust Awareness Museum, where she plays Anne Frank. She is planning a career in music and the arts.

Below, listen to Arin and Ben’s original song, “Lonesome Song.”

If you are a musician or teen interested in being matched, please contact
Ben performs at the Tin Angel on Friday, November 1st. Go here for tickets and more information.


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Stornoway with Field Report at Kung Fu Necktie, A Benefit Concert for Lentil with Tommy Conwell and more at The Blockley, West Philadelphia Orchestra at Underground Arts


Oxfordian Oxonian folk / pop group Stornoway headline Kung Fu Necktie tonight.  Following up their 2010 debut Beachcomber’s Windowsill, the academically-minded quartet (led by an ornithologist) released Tales from Terra Firma earlier this month.  Field Report continue to tour in support of last year’s self-titled debut.  Tickets and information for tonight’s 21+ show can be found here.  Watch Stornoway’s video for “Knock Me On the Head” below.

Several local musicians come together at The Blockley tonight for a concert benefiting Lentil Fest.  Tommy Conwell, Pete Donnelly, Ben Arnold and Travel Lanes will perform sets in support of Lentil the French bulldog, who was born with a cleft palate.  All proceeds will be donated to a variety of charities including the French Bulldog Rescue Network and the Children’s Craniofacial Association.  Tickets and information can be found here.  Below, watch Pete Donnelly’s video for “Can’t Talk At All.”

West Philadelphia Orchestra brings their monthly Balkan dance party back to Underground Arts tonight.  As a collective of Philadelphia musicians, WPO blends traditional Eastern European influences withe modern jazz and classical sensibilities.  Tickets and more information for tonight’s 21+ show with Johnny Showcase and the Lefty Lucy Cabaret can be found here or on the Facebook event page here.  Watch West Philadelphia Orchestra perform “Burkan Cocek” below.



Tonight’s Concert Picks: Divers at Kung Fu Necktie, Chipocrite at PhilaMOCA for Tuesday Tune-Out, XPN Welcomes Northern Liberties Music Fest’s Van Morrison Tribute Night at The Fire

Divers open for Auctioneer at Kung Fu Necktie tonight.  The brainchild of local musicians Emily Ann Zeitlyn and Ross Bellenoit, Divers are a new quartet filled out by Tom Bendel (Buried Beds) and Todd Erk (The Weeds).  Alternating between wailing, dynamic flourishes and upbeat rock-outs, the Philly band’s still-growing discography of three tracks is an enticing preview of what’s to come.  Tickets and information for tonight’s 21+ show with Auctioneer and Anna Vogelzang can be found at the WXPN Concert Calendar.  Stream “Wild Things” below and right-click here to download it for free.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Hoots & Hellmouth at The Sellersville Theater, TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb with Supersuckers at the North Star Bar, Ben Arnold at World Cafe Live

XPN Welcomes Philly-area roots band Hoots & Hellmouth to the Sellersville Theater tonight.  The Philadelphia-based folk quartet released their latest album Salt in April and with it displayed a knack for blending sweeping sonic landscapes with their signature stomping and swinging.  Folk singer-songwriter Mason Porter opens the all-ages concert.  Tickets are $19.50 for the 8:00 p.m. show; for more information, go here.  Below, check out Hoots & Hellmouth’s video for “Why Would You Not Want to Go There.”

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Today’s Concert Picks: Work Drugs, City Rain, and Cold Fronts at Johnny Brenda’s, Kite Party at Goldilocks Gallery, and Johnny Miles at FDR Park

Photo by Sarah Fry |

It’s Friday and what better way to kick off the weekend than with some good old-fashioned live music. First off, local bands Work Drugs, City Rain, and Cold Fronts are sharing a bill at Johnny Brenda’s for a night of indie vibes. The doors for the 21+ show open at 8 p.m. and the bands start at 9:15 p.m. Tickets are available for $10 in advance here. Listen to Work Drugs’ song “Pluto” in the player below.

Philly alt rock band Kite Party is playing an all ages show at Goldilocks Gallery tonight with punk band Captain We’re Sinking! and support by Luther and Cayetano. The show starts at 9 p.m. and admission is $5. Visit the event page here. Below, listen to Kite Party’s album “Baseball Season.”

Finally, if you’re looking for some free outdoor music, check out Johnny Miles and Ben Arnold playing at FDR Park tonight. The show is part of the FDR Park Summer Concert Series and also features performances by hosts Dani Mari and Reverend T.J. McGlinchey. Check out an interview the Key did with Dani Mari and Reverend T.J. McGlinchey about the FDR Park Summer Concert Series here.


Meet the hosts of the FDR Park Summer Concert Series, Dani Mari and Reverend TJ McGlinchey

UPDATE: The show has been postponed due to the potential rain, rescheduled date TBA.

Poster designed by Ryan Psota

Local singer-songwriters Dani Mari and Reverend TJ McGlinchey have teamed up to host a monthly concert series in a popular South Philly park this summer. The FDR Park Summer Series kicked off on June 8th with performances by Griz and Kevin Killen, as well as sets from the hosts. The next concert in the series is this Friday featuring Toy Soldiers and Thom McCarthy. I sat down with Dani Mari and Reverend TJ McGlinchey to chat about the FDR Park Summer Series, what they’ve been up to, their new band, Lovers League, and the pair recorded a couple of acoustic songs for us.

McGlinchey and Mari first met about seven years ago through the local open mic scene and  reconnected in 2010 when Mari was the featured artist for Hezekiah Jones‘ open mic at JD Mc Gillicuddy’s in Ardmore. Since then, the pair have collaborated on recordings and performances: McGlinchey had Mari open for his CD release show at World Cafe Live in January. Now, in addition to hosting the FDR Park Summer Series, they are getting ready to record an album for their band, Lovers League.

Mari explains how the FDR Park Summer Series came about when she met Greg Jacovini, a member of the FDR Park Board. “He mentioned that they’re looking to have more live music there. I told him I had hosted a couple of festivals on the roof of Whole Foods a couple years ago. We were talking about it back and forth and finally decided to move forward and try to put something together for the summer.” They decided to put on a show once a month in the park. Mari contacted McGlinchey to co-host the concert series with her and he brought in his connections.

“Both my brothers are audio engineers,” he explained. “So it was easy to get sound. My little brother is doing the sound for it and bringing the PA. And just hanging out in the Philly scene I got to know some of the better musicians and had some connections to use there to get some good headliners.”

When asked about the vibe they were going for, McGlinchey laughed and responded, “Not heavy metal.” Continue reading →