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Celebrate the sound of a neighborhood with For the Love of Germantown album release

Bethlehem and Sad Patrick | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Bethlehem and Sad Patrick | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

On Sunday, October 30th, Germantown will be the center of attention thanks to a new collaborative album recorded in its honor. For the last year, the Philadelphia Jazz Project and Germantown United Community Development Corporation have been working with local musicians to create a sort of musical love letter to their neighborhood called For the Love of Germantown, featuring a collection of original songs and standards performed by over a dozen artists.

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The Key Studio Sessions: Bethlehem and Sad Patrick

If you’re in search of evidence that the Philly open mic scene is very much thriving, look no further than Bethlehem and Sad Patrick.

The local duo blends the focused minimalism and poetic lyrics of folk tradition with simmering, freewheeling jazz and blues — slick guitars, soaring vocals, nuanced melodies. And it all came together by chance.

A few years back, Patrick Arkins was running an open mic at what is now Malelani Cafe in Germantown, when Bethlehem Roberson stopped by one night to sing with her family. Arkins was blown away, and when he saw her returning to the series on the regular to perform, he approached her with the idea of singing one of his songs.

This led to her singing more of his songs, which led to Bethlehem and Sad Patrick’s first home-recorded EP release in 2012. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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2nd Annual Heartwood Music Festival begins this Sunday

Ben Arnold
Photo by Breanna Keohane

Following the success of its inaugural year, Heartwood Music Festival is returning this Sunday, June 12th with a sweet selection of local talents and serene surroundings. Taking place at the Awbury Arboretum from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., the single day fest features the perfect natural backdrop for a day filled with live music, food, crafts and more.

This year’s lineup includes local musician Ben Arnold, who notably did a Free at Noon performance at World Cafe Live with us back in February, as well as a Key Studio Session – he’ll be on the XPoNential Music Festival lineup as well. Also on the bill, you’ll find Bethlehem and Sad PatrickDe Tierra CalienteDriftwood SoldierJoe Crookston and Meghan Cary: Sing Louder.  Continue reading →

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Philadelphia is blowing up NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert Contest and it’s amazing

Levee Drivers' Tiny Desk submission | photo by Bob Sweeney
Levee Drivers’ Tiny Desk submission | photo by Bob Sweeney

For those of you who don’t know about NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts, you may want to head over to their site and root through their enormous and equally impressive archive. Their 15-minute videos feature live performances from artists of all genres held in the quaint offices of NPR at All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen’s desk.

Ranging from big names like Adele and Alt-J to up-and-coming artists such as Angel Olsen and Rubblebucket, viewers are able to watch the artists perform in the intimate setting, giving the performances a stripped-down, no B.S. vibe. While these videos are ultra fun to watch (perhaps continuously, one after another…), NPR kept things interesting this winter by kicking off a contest to feature a new artist in their series.

Based entirely off of video submissions from all over the United States, an artist will be chosen to perform a Tiny Desk Concert at NPR headquarters in Washington D.C. as well as snag a slot in the big Lagunitas Couchtrippin’ showcase in Austin, Texas. Philadelphia, brimming with the amazing musical talent that it is, seems to have jumped at this opportunity. Continue reading →