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The Key’s Week Of Folk: Folkadelphia’s Fred Knittel on bridging the old-time, new-time, and all-time at #PFF2013

frank-fairfield-recordThe Key’s Week of Folk is our series of interviews, reviews, artist spotlights, playlistings and general ephemera to get you ready for the 52nd Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival, happening August 16th to August 18th at Old Pool Farm in Schwenksville. For this installment, we turned to one of our in-house folk music authorities for tips.

Folk music festivals, especially the Philadelphia Folk Festival, have always interested me in the way they bring together history and modernity. More so than other large music events, they really go ahead and just smash the two worlds together. And that’s what folk music is all about, drawing from the past, introducing (or re-introducing) in the present, and looking forward to what the future holds.

I spend a lot of time with my Singer-Songwriter (on XPN2) radio show Folkadelphia preaching about the malleability of the term “folk music” and what it means today; how it’s use to describe an artist doesn’t necessarily signal a particular sound.

This year at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, there are a number of acts and exhibitions that bridge the gap between the new and the old, and the traditional and the contemporary. Let these events shake up your preconceptions:

Frank Fairfield (Sat. at 1p Lobby Stage)
Fairfield looks and sounds like he just stepped out of a timewarp to the late 19th century. His music is steeped in tradition, yet I can’t help but notice a certain brash energy and playing that feels fresh.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Sweetback Sisters at PSALM Salon, Ani Di Franco at the Keswick Theatre, Aspiga at The Balcony at the Troc, Frank Fairfield at Johnny Brenda’s, Lisa Marie Presley at Chameleon Club

Brooklyn rockabilly group The Sweetback Sisters are performing tonight at the PSALM Salon. The group’s 2011 album Looking For A Fight has a classic throwback sound to country legends like Carl Perkins with retro harmonies and lively melodies. Tickets for their all-ages show tonight can be found here. Below, watch the video for their single “Be Back Home Tonight.”

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