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Folkadelphia Session: Alice Boman

Photo by Johanna Attesson
Photo by Johanna Attesson

One of my absolute favorite aspects of the live in-studio format (and if we’re being biased, our own Folkadelphia Sessions) is their ability to contrast a performance from the album version of a song. You get something raw and spontaneous, unique to this one space and time. It allows listeners to hear an artist in a different light, adding complexity and layers to the total package they bring to their songwriting or playing. These in-studio sessions also give the artist a chance to mess with the formula – to flesh out arrangements, to strip songs down to bare essentials, or to manipulate any aspect of their performance in a safe environment. What we commit to tape is often unbelievable. Continue reading →

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Folkadelphia Session: Jennifer Castle

Photo by Jeremy Jensen
Photo by Jeremy Jensen

Even after falling for her records, especially last year’s Pink City, and recording an in-studio session, Jennifer Castle remains just as mysterious to me. Suddenly you’re swept up by Castle’s songs, each full of magic, rich in color, timbre, and imagination. Then when it’s all over, you’re left, buzzing and tingling, remnants of songwriting stardust around, looking to start the journey anew. Continue reading →

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Folkadelphia Session: The cast of Lonesome Traveler


Creativity tends to manifest in multidisciplinary ways. The musicians that Folkadelphia has in for our in-studio sessions are usually not just musicians – they’re artists. They paint, draw, sculpt, curate, write, photograph. Music is not a box that bounds and satisfies their imagination, but serves as one medium of expression. There are many more.

We’ve seen and heard about many “beyond music” projects, but we’ve yet to hear from the musical theater and acting realms. That changed this March when we invited the cast of Lonesome Traveler to travel from New York City to Philly to record songs that are featured in the production.
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Folkadelphia Session: Cross Record

Courtesy of artist's site.
Courtesy of artist’s site.

Emily Cross is Cross Record. The only way to experience Cross Record is to listen. It’s hard to describe the sounds you’ll hear. The sonic landscape shifts and morphs from piece-to-piece, from second-to-second. The listener, at first will be lost in this wilderness of acoustics and electronics, sudden sound giving way to sudden silence, but the constant changing becomes comforting. Cross is a truly adept songwriter, but it might not be the type of songs you expect. Let’s call them sound collages. There are bright flashes of percussion, colorful static, and Cross’s effect-laden voice beckoning you forward, now to the left, right into a barrage of distorted electric guitars, but beyond there, a swell of droney acoustic instruments. Her album Be Good is an adventure record – just click play and see where it takes you.

Here Cross Record’s Folkadelphia Session below:

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Folkadelphia Session: Jess Williamson


Texas multidisciplinary artist Jess Williamson is our first Folkadelphia Session back after working on and airing our Unsung Episode on Jason Molina and Songs: Ohia, which you can listen to here. Perhaps my mind is just very stuck on Molina’s particular style and tone, but I can’t help making certain comparisons between the two artists, especially with Williamson’s most recent collection of songs, last year’s Native State.

As with Molina, Williamson has a knack for making music that seems so personal and introspective that it suddenly starts turning to become embracing to all of the listeners. Continue reading →

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Folkadelphia Session: Rose Windows

Photo by Lauren Rodriguez
Photo by Lauren Rodriguez

In 2015, Rose Windows, the Seattle-based, hard-to-pin-down-exactly-what-they-do, psychedelic rock band on Sub Pop Records, will release their highly anticipated second full length album. This follows their debut The Sun Dogs released a couple of years ago which made quite an impact on most all who heard it. What initially drew us to Rose Windows was their sonic connection (perceived by us) to our favorite era of experimental British folk-rock, updated for the modern era. We thought they carried that torch well. We stuck around because of their intensity, their multi-layered sound that becomes apparent with repeated listens, and, perhaps most importantly, their powerful and mesmerizing live show. If you take anything away from this session, it’s that Rose Windows is a band you need to see in action.
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Folkadelphia Session: Melaena Cadiz

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Whenever I end up writing these little introductions to Folkadelphia Sessions, I look back at how the session came about, how I initially communicated with the featured artist, and I try (and often fail) to remember the first time I heard their music. This week, I wrack my brain trying to recall the first time I became acquainted with the beautiful and tender songs of Melaena Cadiz.
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Folkadelphia Session: Diane Cluck (performing at Eris Temple Arts on Mon. 2/16)


Homegrown, homespun, and completely organic, Diane Cluck‘s songs and art appeal to the very core of my “music fandom.” You find that she strips away the excess of stature, bravado, career trajectory, critical bias, and other non-musical artifacts that make their way into others’ music that you think about when you listen to them or see them perform live. Cluck’s art is like the fresh tomato ripe off the vine that you gingerly pick from the garden that you planted. A lot of other music, well, it’s like the sketchy, bizarrely uniform, overly green and shiny apple you drop into your cart at the supermarket, trying to push out “GMO” and “pesticides” from your mind. For Cluck, I’ve only ever thought about her songs, the words and music, and tiny worlds and narratives she creates within. Nothing else entered this serene space.
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Folkadelphia Session: Wharfer

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The ability to write moving, intelligent, and passionate songs seems like such a simple talent, yet it eludes many. Especially in this day and age, when uploading an album is as simple as paying your Comcast “high speed” internet bill, it becomes hard work for the listener to slog through all the noise and hype to find actual true blue good stuff. In the case of Wharfer, the project of Brooklyn-via-Scranton musician Kyle Wall, I was lucky enough that a few trusted blogs pointed to him at the same time he reached out to me.
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Folkadelphia Session: Ryley Walker

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Throughout the year, you’ll be inundated by bloggers, curators, and personalities telling you that “so-and-so” musician is going to have a big 2015, keep your eyes and ears opened. Hype slingers. What separates Folkadelphia from them? Well, maybe conviction, maybe nothing. But check this out – I want to tell you about a guy, I want to tell you about Ryley Walker. Maybe my conviction, but definitely his music, can convince you.
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