Emotional highs and glorious lows with Delta Rae, ZZ Ward and Martin Harley (review, photos)

The “Fire and Shine” tour arrived at on Wednesday night to a packed house at the TLA on South Street. Opener Martin Harley dazzled with his lap slide prowess in a short entertaining set. The highlight was a performance of his song “Winter Coat” that was prefaced with a story about how it once made two tough biker guys at a show get all mushy.

Co-headliner and Abington, PA native ZZ Ward hit the stage next, leading led her tight band through an exciting hour of her smooth mash-up of Blues, Hip Hop and R and B. Highlights were a touching acoustic “Last Love Song” and set closer “Move Like U Stole It” that had the crowd grooving along.

North Carolina’s Delta Rae closed out the night. They made the full house sweat on a cold wintery night with a powerful performance full of roller coaster emotional highs and lows and glorious harmonies. Early in the set songs “Morning Comes” and “Holding Onto Good” were high points but they saved the best for last. For their encore they headed out into the crowd for an exuberant, sweaty acoustic sing-along version of “Hey Hey Hey” that featured back-up vocals from everyone in the crowd.


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Stars at The Trocadero, Delta Rae with ZZ Ward at The TLA, Drums Like Machine Guns at Kung Fu Necktie

StarsFollowing up on their their well-recieved 2012 LP The North, Montreal synth pop outfit Stars bring their live show to Philly tonight for a date at The Trocadero with Milo Greene. With a brighter and more positive sound and outlook than their brooding 2010 release The Five Ghosts, the new songs should work well towards warming the crowd on a chilly Wednesday night. Los Angeles indie group Milo Greene opens, tickets and information can be found at the WXPN Concert Calendar. Below, watch the band perform “The North” live at Tornto radio station The Edge.

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Watch ZZ Ward perform “Put The Gun Down” on Conan (playing The TLA with Delta Rae on 3/6)

Last night, eclectic pop singer ZZ Ward appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, kicking out a spunky rendition of her single “Put The Gun Down” with her four-piece backing band. Ward released her debut LP Til The Casket Drops back in October, and is currently on tour with XPN favorites Delta Rae. The tour stops at The TLA on March 6, tickets and more information can be found here. Below, watch a video of Ward’s Conan appearance.


The Key’s Year-End Mania: Michaela Majoun’s five most sonically addictive songs of 2012

For The Key’s year-in-review, we asked our trusted sources – our writers and photographers, XPN’s on-air staff, fellow bloggers in the Philly scene and even a few musicians – to send us their Top Five Whatevers. Could be the traditional music route – albums, songs, concerts of the year – or it could be only loosely connected. We’ll be sharing these recaps every day through to the end of the year. Today, XPN Morning Show host Michaela Majoun shares her five most sonically addictive songs of 2012.

By which I mean songs you just can’t get out of your head, not necessarily because of lyrical content or musical depth, but because of a sound that hooks you.  I suspect it has something to do with repetition and viscerally-felt clapping or drum noise and the other things noted below. There are studies about why music is addictive – read more here and here. Continue reading →


Just Announced: ZZ Ward, Delta Rae playing The TLA in March

Photo by John Vettese
After playing a smokin’ set at World Cafe Live upstairs on Election Night, bluesy singer ZZ Ward is returning to Philadelphia on March 6 with WXPN favorites Delta Rae – who were also in town recently, recording a special producer’s session for World Cafe and appearing on the air with Helen Leicht. Tickets are on sale this Friday, November 30, at noon via Live Nation. Below, watch ZZ Ward performing a slick acoustic take on “Charlie Ain’t Home” at World Cafe Live earlier this month, and listen to Delta Rae’s World Cafe session here.


Photos: Delta Rae’s afternoon at XPN

North Carolina gospel rock six-piece Delta Rae is in town tonight for a headlining show at World Cafe Live. The band spent the afternoon here at WXPN, recording a Special Producer’s Session for World Cafe with David Dye and before that, appearing on the air with Helen Leicht. Check out some photos from the band’s day at the station in the gallery above; tickets are still available for tonight’s show, and you can get more information at the venue’s website.


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Delta Rae at World Cafe Live, Into It. Over It. and Restorations at First Unitarian, Forest Fools and Tweeds at Pi Lam, Richie Sambora at Electric Factory (UPDATE: canceled)

XPN Welcomes North Carolina sextet Delta Rae to World Cafe Live tonight. The band is currently on tour promoting their debut album, Carry The Fire, which was released in June. The show tonight begins at 8 and tickets are available here. Below, watch the video for “Morning Comes” from Carry The Fire.

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In Case You Missed It: Watch Out of Town Films’ XPoFest coverage

During the past week, the guys at Out of Town Films released three videos they shot at this year’s XPoNential Music Festival – a performance just outside the festival grounds by Delta Rae, a song sung on the empty Susquehanna Bank Center lawn by The Bailey Hounds, and restroom session from Field Report. In case you missed them, check out all three videos below.

Delta Rae “Bottom of the River”

The Bailey Hounds “Oh My Demons, How They Wander”

Field Report “Fergus Falls”


Watch Delta Rae perform “Bottom of the River” for Out of Town Films at XPoNential Festival

North Carolina six-piece Delta Rae was a hit at the Saturday afternoon Marina Stage during this year’s XPoNential Music Festival. While they were warming up for their set, the guys at Out of Town Films filmed them performing for a small crowd just outside the festival grounds. From their website:

A large crowd of people gathered a couple hundred feet away from WXPN’s XPoNential Festival, looking onward as Delta Rae rehearsed some vocal harmonies in preparation of their ensuing performance. The crowd looked on in anticipation, wondering possibly who they were, who we were with the cameras, and what exactly was about to happen.

Much to the crowd’s surprise, I invited them to come closer to sit in the mix of the band. Although a bit hesitant to make the first move, they happily joined the band along the riverside stairs. The band asked the crowd if they’d like drumsticks, to help participate in the song that required some extensive rhythm.

Again a bit hesitant, however, the band mentioned they had more than enough drumsticks for everyone. With that, about fifteen pairs of drumsticks were passed out, and the following performance of “Bottom Of The River” occurred. Enjoy.

Watch the video below, and check out photos from their Marina Stage set here.