By

The Key Studio Sessions: Deb Callahan Band

Philly vocalist Deb Callahan has been singing the blues for 20 years, and plans to do a lot of celebrating to mark the milestone. The festivities kicked off back in March with a headlining anniversary showcase back in March; from there, Callahan and her three bandmates — bassist Garry Lee, guitarist Allen James and drummer Tom Walling — have a calendar of shows plotted out through June, showcasing their recent fifth album Sweet Soul and digging back through their back catalog.

We got to see some of what they can do in this week’s Key Studio Session, and for a four-piece without much in the way of fanfare or instrumental excess, their sound is remarkably full. James’ guitar emulates a Rhodes keyboard tone on the swinging “Seven States Away,” a Florida-to-Pennsylvania travelogue Callahan wrote about wanting to return home and see her son; on “Carry Me,” his playing resonates its way down a dusky delta swamp, while the set-closing “I Keep Things Running” has a jagged rock edge. Lee’s bass is warm and enveloping, filling in sonic nooks and crannies in subtle but important ways, and Walling’s drums are precision-tight, with loud accents aplenty but just as much studious simplicity.

The glue holding it all together, the reason we’re here in the first place, is Callahan’s voice, an instrument in itself that is dynamic in range and full of emotion, from determination to frustration to humor and more. Continue reading →

By

Still need New Year’s Eve plans? Here are eight more concerts to see.

The Lawsuits | Photo by Caitlin McCann
The Lawsuits | Photo by Caitlin McCann

It’s crunch time, procrastinators. New Year’s Eve is tonight, and you need plans. Thankfully, there are a lot of options in the world of live music. Tickets are still available for almost everything on our initial roundup of gigs – only the Nothing show at Boot and Saddle is sold out. And hey, a solid handful of concerts have been announced over the past month too! If you want to make music part of your celebration, but want to dig a little deeper than the cover band / tribute band universe, read on. Continue reading →

By

Tonight’s Concert Picks: Northern Arms at Johnny Brenda’s, Halfro at The Fire, Deb Callahan Band at Steel City Coffeehouse

Northern Arms
Northern Arms | photo via facebook.com/thenorthernarms

Northern Arms join their friends in BUSSES at Johnny Brenda’s for the latter’s record release show tonight. The former is currently working on a follow-up to last year’s self-titled debut at Miner Street Recording. The local ten-piece have mastered the art of darkly cinematic songs, taking the best bits of Arcade Fire’s dramatism and pairing it with Angelo Badalementi’s suspense. Tickets and information for tonight’s 21+ with Tinmouth can be found here. Watch “What You’ve Got On” below.

Continue reading →

By

Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Warhawks at Bourbon and Branch, Deb Callahan Band at Steel City, Aspiga at Studio Luloo

Photo via facebook.com/thewarhawks
Photo via facebook.com/thewarhawks

Gloucester City rockers The Warhawks return to play Bourbon and Branch tonight. Two years ago, the band did an interview with the Key’s John Vettese where they discussed their recording process, their inspiration and their experience at SXSW. Last month, the band released their latest EP Exodus. The newest music is slightly more aggressive than their previous work. Along the same lines, the video for their single “Just Let Me” shows a very punk rock recording session. Listen to “Just Let Me” below. Get more information at the XPN Concert Calendar.

Continue reading →