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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 →

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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.

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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.

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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.

Continue reading →

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Delta Rae return to Philly in October; watch a video of them at XPo Fest

After their stunning performance at XPoNential Fest last month, WXPN welcomes Delta Rae back to Philly with a performance at World Cafe Live on October 18th. Tickets for the show are not yet on sale, but you can check back here for updates.

Below check out a video of Delta Rae performing “Bottom Of The River” before their performance at XPoNential Fest this year.

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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”

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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.

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XPoNential Fest: Rockin’ beats with Delta Rae (photos, setlist)

The six-piece group from North Carolina, Delta Rae joined us today on the Marina Stage with an excellent performance. Their debut LP, Carry The Fire was released a few months ago and we were lucky enough to snag them during the end of their tour. The band has only been around for a couple of years but they have developed a prominent hold on their unique sound; folk rock with a twist of gospel and heavy jams. The frontwomen, Brittany and Liz sang together in harmony rockin’ in their Steve Madden six inch heels while Ian, Eric, Mike, and Grant were killing it as well. The best surprise was Delta Rae’s cover of “The Chain” by one of their favorite bands, Fleetwood Mac. Check out a photo gallery above, and the setlist below. Continue reading →

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Get to know Delta Rae (playing XPoNential Festival this month)

Delta Rae began in 2009 as a four-piece group made up of three siblings (Ian, Eric, and Brittany Hölljes) and their childhood friend, Elizabeth Hopkins. Soon after they began playing music together, the four became six with the addition of bassist Grant Emerson and drummer Mike McKee. The name “Delta Rae” reigns from a fictional character the siblings mother told them stories about; she was a majestic woman who had the power to summon Greek Gods to the Earth. The six-piece Americana folk group embodies this name into their music by telling tales of their own. After releasing their self-titled EP and becoming well known for their impressive live performances, they came out with their official debut full-length, Carry The Fire, just last month. The album has a little bit of everything: from folk to bluegrass to pop; they incorporate dynamic harmonies and rich melodies full of raw and soulful emotion. Some songs on the album may be deep and dark such as the track, “Is Anyone Out There?” referring to Ian’s lonesomeness when he worked at a desk job 40 hours a week. But their spirit is in full throttle throughout the 12-track album, especially their hit single, “Bottom of the River”; a haunting, gospel tune with a spark of southern roots. You can watch the official video for it below. Delta Rae plays the XPoNential Festival on Saturday, July 21st at Wiggins Park.

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Watch the new video for “Bottom Of The River” from Delta Rae (playing XPoNential Music Festival in July)

Delta Rae is one of the many bands performing this July at WXPN’s XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru. The six-piece band hails from Durham, NC, and is joined on the bill by The Hold Steady, Kathleen Edwards, Good Old War, War On Drugs, Diego Garcia, John Welsey Harding’s Cabinet of Wonders, The Lumineers, JD Souther, Ozomatli and many others the weekend of July 20-22 at Wiggins Park on the Camden, New Jersey waterfront. Three Day passes to the festival are available now here with your membership pledge to WXPN. Your pledge also includes two festival t-shirts and free lawn seat admission to see Wilco, The Avett Brothers and Dr. Dog on July 2st and the Counting Crows on Sunday July 22 at the Susquehanna Bank Center. Below, watch the debut video from Delta Rae’s for their song, “Bottom Of The River.” The band’s debut album, Carry The Fire, is out on June 19th.

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