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Folkadelphia Session: Dar Williams (ft. Jill Sobule)

Photo courtesy of the artist.
Photo courtesy of the artist.

Dar Williams is something of a legend. She lives in this special reserved space in my music mind, occupied by few, whose names are said with inherent pride, whose music is deeply coveted, and whose work is held up as an example for all. Histrionics? A little, but not far off the mark. In my case, this mostly plays out on regular basis that when I hear “Dar Williams, such and such,” I think, “Man, Dar Williams is great,” or, if I see news or a link to her music, I’m very inclined to click. Small, but significant gestures in an ordinary life. I think many people out there are right with me in my Dar Williams’ feeling.
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Folkadelphia Session: Charlie Parr

Photo by Peter Lee
Photo by Peter Lee

I need you to listen to Charlie Parr. In some ways, it feels like my mission in radio is to convince every single person cruising the FM dial, surfing the web, or visiting the Folkadelphia website or archive to dig and to dig extra deep into Charlie’s music. If you love roots and acoustic music, Charlie’s your guy. If you love history and the rich tradition of American folk music, I’m pointing you to Parr. If you jive with Folkadelphia’s mission to help bridge that gap between old and new, I can’t raise up a better example than Mr. Charlie Parr. What more can I say?
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Folkadelphia Session: Olivia Chaney

Photo courtesy of the artist.
Photo courtesy of the artist.

Olivia Chaney’s music can be described as removed from time. The English songwriter and balladeer distills the essence – the blood, sweat, and tears, the love, life, and death from the songs she performs. Continue reading →

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Folkadelphia Session: Mischief Brew

Photo courtesy of the band.
Photo courtesy of the band.

I will bet you that the first time I heard Mischief Brew, I was sitting on a dilapidated couch in the basement level of 3210 Chestnut Street, deep within the confines of Drexel University’s non-commercial, free-format, student-run radio station WKDU. That’s where I, and so many open-minded, forward-thinking weirdos cut our teeth, got lost in the vinyl stacks, and figured out for ourselves what was good music. I thank my lucky stars for being in the right place at the right time.
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Folkadelphia Session: Brian Carpenter and the Confessions

Photo by Heather Byington.
Photo by Heather Byington.

I think it is telling that upon listening to Brian Carpenter and the Confessions, my audio engineer, Clark Conner and I starting naming a slew of diverse musicians and artists that the band reminded us of. We through out names like Willy Nelson, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Nick Cave, David Lynch, Johnny Cash, and beyond. If you could take those names, those vibes, and imagine an audio landscape built by their hands, I believe you’d fall upon what the Confessions channel. It’s dusty, dark, sparse, but lovely and thoughtful – the pessimistic side of Americana, staring at the half empty beer bottle in front of you.
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Folkadelphia Session: Circuit Des Yeux

Photo by Julia Dratel, courtesy of the musician.
Photo by Julia Dratel, courtesy of the musician.

Circuit Des Yeux‘s Haley Fohr worships at the altar of sound. I personally became a convert around Overdue, her release from 2013, but her whole body of work treats sound, all sound – the beautiful, the ugly, the harsh, the serene – as transcendent and worthy of consideration and use. She has faith in what is coaxed out of her instruments, circuitry, and voice, and she leads the audience to keep faith as well, to be led to extraordinary sonic locations.
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Folkadelphia Session: Nora Jane Struthers

Photo by Jim McGuire, courtesy of the band.
Photo by Jim McGuire, courtesy of the band.

Nora Jane Struthers and her group the Party Line give me what I always want from a band: kick-ass music that straddles the boundaries between typical genres, enthralling performances, and the best damn attitude. Bonus points given for being some of the nicest people around. These are folks here for the love of the game – all about creating and sharing, and when you’ve got that, you just know good music is apt to follow.
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Folkadelphia Session: Mandolin Orange

Mandolin Orange, photo by Alex Loops
Photo by Alex Loops

We welcome back our friends Emily Frantz and Andrew Marlin, the duo Mandolin Orange, to Folkadelphia for an encore in-studio session almost a year after their first. As much things have changed in that time, so much has stayed the same. Working somewhere within their Americana, folk, and roots framework, Mandolin Orange continues to create music with an undeniable chemistry and intimacy. Continue reading →

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Folkadelphia Session: Glenn Jones (with Laura Baird)


Guitarist Glenn Jones is a master of his craft. From his days in the post-rock outfit Cul de Sac to his more recent meditative solo albums, Jones has solidified his place in the pantheon of American Primitivism greats. Jones’ longtime label Thrill Jockey Records concisely defines American Primitive Guitar as “a style invented in the late 1950s by John Fahey, whose traditional fingerpicking techniques and wide-ranging influences were used to create modern original compositions.” Continue reading →

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Folkadelphia Session: Margaret Glaspy


Without a doubt, Margaret Glaspy is a name you’re gong to start to hear a lot of from now on. A new signing to the illustrious ATO Records, the world will feel the impact of Glaspy’s debut album this summer. She has spent recent years cutting her teeth touring with Rachel Yamagata, Aoife O’Donovan, Jayme Stone’s Lomax Project, and even Ricky Skaggs and Tim O’Brien. It would right on to say that her musical sensibilities fit snugly with any of these acts – however, there is something intrinsically different and unique about Glaspy. Let’s call it the “Glaspy Factor,” some extra energy, some “umph,” some kinda creative maelstrom that the artist and the listener get sucked up into. A taste of that can be heard on Glaspy’s EP, a lead-in to her full length.
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