See photos of Gene Shay’s 80th birthday tribute at the First Unitarian Church starring Tom Paxton, Janis Ian and more

Photo by Jayne Toohey |
Photo by Jayne Toohey |

Despite the snow and sleet falling from the sky on Sunday, a packed house of folk music enthusiasts, performers and friends of Gene Shay filled the sanctuary of the First Unitarian Church to celebrate the legendary folk DJ’s 80th birthday. The concert, which featured big names like Tom Paxton, Janis Ian, Tony Trischka and David Bromberg, was a benefit show for Sing Out! Magazine.

Shay retired from the XPN airwaves in early February – see photos from his final show here – in order to focus on other projects and organizations he’s been involved with over the years. As a long time board member of Sing Out!, this benefit fell into that category, and he showed up to the even decked out in a Willie Wonka-esque purple top had and scarf, jovial as ever. Below, check out a gallery of photos from the event shot by folk scene photographer Jayne Toohey Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Res at World Cafe Live, Fursaxa at Highwire Gallery, Great American Canyon Band at Ortliebs and more

Res |  Photo via
Res | Photo via

Singer and songwriter Res is celebrating the release of her new EP, Refried Mac, (a collection of Fleetwood Mac covers) tonight at World Cafe Live. The Philadelphia native first achieved mainstream success with her 2001 LP How I Do on which she captured listeners with her mix of indie pop, soul, and rock. Get tickets to the show here.

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David Bromberg announces new album, Only Slightly Mad, out 9/23


One of our favorite local musical legends David Bromberg, is releasing a new album, Only Slightly Mad, on September 24th on Appleseed Recordings. Fresh off his appearance at the Philly Folk Festival, Bromberg has announced the new album with a preview of the first single, “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” that you can listen to at Rolling Stone. Recorded at Levon Helm’s studio in Woodstock, the album is produced by three-time Grammy-winning producer and guitarist Larry Campbell and includes special guests John Sebastian and John McEuen. About the song, David told Rolling Stone:

“I’ve heard this song sung in churches in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Queens as well as in other parts of the country,” Bromberg says. “I think you can probably find it anywhere in the U.S. I love this song, and recorded a version of it on a Fantasy album in the late Seventies. The band and I started to perform it again recently without referencing the Seventies version, and it became my favorite tune to perform. Brian Mitchell plays beautifully on this. This version is rawer and sincere. The song speaks to me and for me.”

Bromberg has two local shows on his upcoming tour. He plays Musikfest Café at the Artsquest Center at SteelStacks in Bethlehem on Friday, October 25th and at Appalachian Brewing Company in Harrisburg on Sunday, November 17th.

Update: Just announced – The David Bromberg Quintet are playing World Cafe Live at the Queen in Wilmington, Delaware on New Year’s Eve, Tuesday, December 31st. Go here for tickets and more information about the show.

David recently joined XPN Blues Show host Jonny Meister in the XPN World Cafe studio for a special in-studio session for the Mississippi Blues Project. You can listen to the session here. Below, watch a video of David performing “Kind-Hearted Woman” from the session.


Watch a trailer for the new David Bromberg documentary Unsung Treasures

An iconic musician who has collaborated with Bob Dylan, members of The Beatles and The Grateful Dead, David Bromberg is the subject of Unsung Treasures, a new documentary being released this fall. New Jersey-based director Beth Toni Kruvant looks at Bromberg’s life and times, and chats with fellow musicians that Bromberg has worked with or inspired – from Dr. John to Keb’Mo’. Watch a trailer for Unsung Treasures below. Continue reading →


Video: Danny’s Guitar Shop with David Bromberg

Welcome to Danny’s Guitar Shop, a new cable television series hosted by songwriter and musician Danny Gold, who also is the owner of Danny’s Guitar Shop in Narberth. The concept for Danny’s Guitar Shop began as a radio series that was broadcast on the WXPN morning show during the summer of 2008. Gold presented the idea to me to run on XPN; working with WXPN’s Bob Bumbera and myself, Gold hosted and co-produced the audio series that you can listen to here. Gold and his colleagues Larry Freedman and Ron Stanford are bringing a video version of Danny’s Guitar Shop to television. The show will go on the air on October 1st and will be available weekly throughout the Philadelphia metro area on all cable and satellite systems via WMCN. Below, check out the episode of Danny’s Guitar Shop featuring David Bromberg.


Philadelphia Folk Festival adds Levon Helm, Trombone Shorty and more bands to the lineup

The Philadelphia Folk Festival announced additions to the lineup for their 50th anniversary festival on August 18-21. Among the additions are The Levon Helm Band, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, The David Wax Museum, Jim Boggia, Suzie Brown and Jessica Lea Mayfield. They join a lineup that includes Jorma Kaukonen, Arlo Guthrie, the David Bromberg Big Band, Justin Townes Earle and many more. The complete lineup, ticket information and set times can be found here. On Thursday evening August 18th, World Cafe host David Dye will be hosting a special recording of sets by Amanda Shire, Terrance Simien and the Joel Plaskett Emergency. Below, a video of Trombone Shorty from a live broadcast he did on WXPN on June 4th, 2010.


David Bromberg to release star-studded new album on July 12th

Philly-born David Bromberg (who has been a Wilmington, DE, resident since 2002) is releasing a new album, Use Me, on July 12th on Appleseed Recordings. It’s a star-studded musical collaboration that includes appearances by Linda Ronstadt, Levon Helm, Dr. John, Widespread Panic, and Keb’ Mo’. Bromberg also worked with the Butcher Brothers (Phil and Joe Nicolo) who produced the album’s title song, a cover of the Bill Withers song, “Use Me.” Other contributions come from John Hiatt (who wrote a song for the album), Vince Gill, and Tim O’Brien. Below, a video of “Sharon” from a 1989 show Bromberg and his band performed in Cambridge, MA, followed by the song “Johnny Ryall” by The Beastie Boys (which sampled “Sharon”).