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I’m not gonna lie: The first time I was introduced to Shakey Graves, I was more than a bit skeptical. A fellow music nerd showed me a video of Graves jangling away on his arch-top guitar, stomping like mad on a suitcase-turned-kick-drum, yowling away about God knows what, and I instantly reacted with the obligatory “UGH. Yet another Mumford-esque, insipid, nu-folkster poseur.”
In the interstitial year or so, I’ve come around to Graves. And after seeing him perform live at a very sold-out World Café on Wednesday night, I must say: If it is all just an act, then it’s a pretty damn good one. Graves—the stage name of one Alejandro Rose-Garcia—brought his deeply rooted brand of stomp-folk to Philly in support of his brilliant, just-released album, And The War Came. Continue reading →
Esmé Patterson cut her teeth playing with the sprawling indie folk-pop 7-piece Paper Bird. She’s currently prepping the release of Woman to Woman, a brand new solo EP that takes the point of view of many titular women characters in classic love songs like Townes Van Zandt’s “Loretta,” the Beach Boys’ “Caroline No,” and Elvis Costello’s “Alison.” By turning the perspective around, Patterson sheds new light on songs we’ve heard a million times and probably never truly absorbed their meaning. For deeper investigation, read Jon Solomon’s interview with Patterson. Look for the release of this great set of songs in mid-April.
Watch a video for “Swimmer,” a song from her 2012 release:
On this episode of Folkadelphia, we invite you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the intimate songs of Philadelphia’s Denison Witmer, performing as a duo with local guitarhand Ross Bellenoit, and sharing a number of songs from his latest eponymous album, released last year via Sufjan Steven’s Asthmatic Kitty label. On a personal note, Denison has been one of my favorite songwriters for a decade and it has long been a dream to host him for a session. In October of 2013, we made it happen.
Watch a live video of Witmer performing “Hold On”
In the latest edition of NPR Music’s Heavy Rotation: 5 Songs Public Radio Can’t Stop Playing, the wonderful Denver singer-songwriter Esme Patterson is featured. Patterson, who is a member of the band Paperbird steps out on her own with her debut album, All Princes, I. Patterson’s solo work draws on Paperbird’s folk and roots musical sound yet on her own, her songs take on more broader influences. In a recent article in American Songwriter Patterson cites Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks and Metals by Feist as having impact on her work. Below, download “My Young Man” (featuring Nathaniel Rateliff) from Patterson’s album and stream her album. Listen to the session she did at Daytrotter here. You can purchase All Princes, I here.