Folkadelphia Session: Field Report

If you haven’t been listening to Milwaukee’s Field Report by now, here’s your chance to make it up with no hard feelings from me (but do it quick). There are only a handful of musicians and bands that I nebulously define as having “that Folkadelphia sound,” meaning that our radio show was created to support and share music exactly like this, like Field Report is making. These “Folkadelphia sounding” bands bridge the gaps not only between various folk music traditions, past and present, but also between other genres, technologies, and artistic disciplines. The end result is an inventive amalagamation of ideas that push at the boundaries of what we think of as being a songwriter and being a folk musician.

I first met Christopher Porterfield, Field Report’s singer and writer, about two years ago when his previous musical outfit, Conrad Plymouth, was visiting Philadelphia. Even in their stripped down band configuration and playing a different repertoire of songs, it was apparent that Porterfield was on a path to becoming a singular songwriter. In Field Report’s debut eponymous album, intricate and striking narratives, full of rich characterization, literary allusions, and philosophical musings are balanced by a fairly hook-laden approach to keep the listeners’ attention without getting too heavy-handed. Painted over with a nostalgic brush, Porterfield’s singing and the band’s music hit all of the right emotional points- seething loneliness, uncertain introspection, all which often builds to an impassioned head. Listening to the band, you get the sense that you’re living through Porterfield and his characters’ memories, faded at the edges by the passage of time, imbued with imagination’s coloring. Porterfield tells the stories as he remembers them, not how they really happened.

Since our session with Porterfield’s previous band, we have seen the advent of Field Report, the release of their debut record, and a handful of stops in the city for live shows (including last year’s XPoNential Music Festival). Here for our latest Folkadelphia Session, we welcomed Field Report, who were playing as a trio (with Ben Lester on steel guitar, Shane Leonard on drums, banjo, and vocals, and Porterfield) to the XPN Performance Studio before their concert on March 29th at the Tin Angel with Sara Watkins (who will be featured as our next week’s Folkadelphia Session). The session consists of two tracks from the band’s debut and two new tracks – a taste of what’s to come from them.


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Stornoway with Field Report at Kung Fu Necktie, A Benefit Concert for Lentil with Tommy Conwell and more at The Blockley, West Philadelphia Orchestra at Underground Arts


Oxfordian Oxonian folk / pop group Stornoway headline Kung Fu Necktie tonight.  Following up their 2010 debut Beachcomber’s Windowsill, the academically-minded quartet (led by an ornithologist) released Tales from Terra Firma earlier this month.  Field Report continue to tour in support of last year’s self-titled debut.  Tickets and information for tonight’s 21+ show can be found here.  Watch Stornoway’s video for “Knock Me On the Head” below.

Several local musicians come together at The Blockley tonight for a concert benefiting Lentil Fest.  Tommy Conwell, Pete Donnelly, Ben Arnold and Travel Lanes will perform sets in support of Lentil the French bulldog, who was born with a cleft palate.  All proceeds will be donated to a variety of charities including the French Bulldog Rescue Network and the Children’s Craniofacial Association.  Tickets and information can be found here.  Below, watch Pete Donnelly’s video for “Can’t Talk At All.”

West Philadelphia Orchestra brings their monthly Balkan dance party back to Underground Arts tonight.  As a collective of Philadelphia musicians, WPO blends traditional Eastern European influences withe modern jazz and classical sensibilities.  Tickets and more information for tonight’s 21+ show with Johnny Showcase and the Lefty Lucy Cabaret can be found here or on the Facebook event page here.  Watch West Philadelphia Orchestra perform “Burkan Cocek” below.



Listen to a new song from Field Report called “40/40″ (playing Kung Fu Necktie this Thursday)

field report

Field Report stopped by Dollhouse Studios in Savannah, Georgia recently while at the Savannah Stopover Music Festival.   The Wisconsin folk group recorded alternate versions of album favorites “I Am Not Waiting Anymore” and “Fergus Falls” in addition to previewing a new song called “40/40.”  Field Report will open for Stornoway at Kung Fu Necktie this Thursday, May 2nd.  Tickets and information for the 21+ can be found here.  Stream “40/40″ below and listen to the full session here.


Field Report added to Stornoway show at Kung Fu Necktie on 5/2


Wisconsin’s Field Report have been added as support to Stornoway‘s Kung Fu Necktie show, bringing the folk project of Chris Porterfield back to Philadelphia in support of their 2012 debut album.  Tickets and information for the 21+ show on Thursday, May 2nd are available here.  Listen back to Field Report’s appearance on World Cafe here and watch their Out Of Town Films video for “Fergus Falls” below, recorded during last year’s XPoNential Music Festival.


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Murchant at Puck, Les Professionnels with Telequanta at MilkBoy, Lockets with Turning Violet Violet at Safety Meeting, Sara Watkins with Field Report at the New Hope Winery, Chill Moody at Hard Rock Cafe

MurchantAnnachristie Sadler brings her new project Murchant to Puck Live in Doylestown tonight.  Formerly one third of local folk collaborators Sisters 3, Sadler’s musical history includes backing up Hoots & Hellmouth and Hezekiah Jones, as well as recording a handful of full-lengths with her sibling bandmates.  With Murchant, though, Sadler takes a turn from the three-part indie pop/folk harmonies of Sisters 3 and instead lends her soaring vocals to more mystical, acoustic arrangements.  Tickets and information for tonight’s 21+ show with Reverend TJ McGlinchey can be found here.  Watch Murchant perform in the NYC metro below.

Murchant – AnnaChristie Sadler from Luciana Botelho on Vimeo.

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Just Announced: Field Report playing The Tin Angel on March 29th

field-report-2Midwestern folk ensemble Field Report is still on tour in support of its acclaimed self-titled debut that came out last year, and we just got word from the folks at Partisan Records about a new string of dates that brings it to The Tin Angel on March 29th. They’re added to the Sara Watkins show, which is on sale here – a tremendous double bill to say the least. Below, check out Out of Town Films‘ video of Field Report performing “Fergus Falls” in the restroom of Susquehanna Bank Center when they played XPoNential Music Festival last summer.


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Low Cut Connie at Johnny Brenda’s, Field Report at World Cafe Live, Cold Specks at First Unitarian

Low Cut Connie will be performing tonight at Johnny Brenda’s promoting the September release of their sophomore album, Call Me Sylvia. The band’s rollicking party music is carried by poppy melodies and sharp lyrics that make any bar scene the best party in town. The 21+ show starts at 9:30; more information can be found on our concert calendar here. Check out the band’s new video for “Boozophilia” below.

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Chris Porterfield comes full circle with Field Report (playing World Cafe Live on 11/9)

Standing out among this year’s breakout acts is Field Report, the new folk project from Minnesota native Chris Porterfield. Formerly a member of the Eau Claire band DeYarmond Edison (which also featured Justin Vernon of Bon Iver and members of Megafaun), Porterfield relocated to Milwaukee where he rekindled his love for music . When its eponymous debut was released in September, critics hailed Field Report as an artist to watch for its rich, poetic lyrics and quiet-yet-powerful sound. Adam Duritz of Counting Crows, who Field Report supported on tour this summer, said “There’s such a perfection in the songs that I wonder how long Chris spent.” This week we caught up with Porterfield over the phone about his experience working with a new group of musicians, his surprise at the success of album, and the band’s resolve to remain true to their Wisconsin roots. Continue reading →