Free at Noon Flashback: Bones Owens rocks World Cafe Live with new single

Bones Owens XPN Free At Noon Concert | photo by Emily De Hart for WXPN |

“I think we killed all of these amplifiers already,” said Bones Owens at today’s Free at Noon concert. Owens was only two songs in when he checked on two massive amplifiers behind him. The genre-crossing guitarist shrugged and kept on playing. Blown out amps are a small price to pay for rock and roll.

Owens released his album, Make Me No King, in 2017 and his latest single, “Bout Time”, has already been featured on WXPN several times. He is currently on tour with Whiskey Myers and was fresh off a sold out night at Theater of Living Arts when he took the World Cafe Live stage this afternoon. If you’re a fan of Jack White, Kurt Cobain, or any rock icon with sweaty hair, sleeve tats, and amps turned all the way up, you’ll love Bones Owens. Despite mid-day set time, Owens stayed at full volume and completed his late-night show aesthetic with a smoke machine and lighting effects. Continue reading →


Free at Noon Flashback: Citizen Cope celebrates record release day with WXPN

Citizen Cope | photo by Emily De Hart for WXPN |

Citizen Cope‘s record release day is off to a good start. The soulful rocker was met by an extremely enthusiastic sold-out crowd at today’s Free at Noon; folks were clearly ready to escape from the snowy morning and celebrate with Cope as he shares his new record Heroin and Helicopters with the worldAnd the day’s still young — Citizen Cope will head across town to play a headlining show at Franklin Music Hall tonight. Continue reading →


Free at Noon Flashback: Lily & Madeleine bring new album and lots of feeling to World Cafe Live

Lily & Madeleine | photo by Gabriela Barbieri for WXPN

Sister singer-songwriter duo Lily & Madeleine celebrated the release of their new album, Canterbury Girls, at today’s Free at Noon concert. The duo have released music together since 2013 and each of their albums since then sparkles with deeply personal lyrics, lush harmonies, and meditations on who they are in an ever-changing world. The album title refers to Canterbury Park in the sisters’ hometown of Bloomington, Indiana. However, the young songwriters — ages 21 and 23– have burst out of their hometown bubble this past year. They moved to Brooklyn and recorded their new album in Nashville in collaboration with Tashian and Fitchuk, the co-producers behind Kacey Musgraves’ Grammy-award winning album, Golden Hour. Their new album explores this experience of leaving home, loving and losing, and searching for who you are along the way. Continue reading →


Free at Noon Flashback: The Cactus Blossoms flaunt a fuller folk-rock sound at World Cafe Live

Cactus Blossoms | photo by Gabriela Barbieri for WXPN

If you were looking for a folk fix this fine Friday afternoon, World Cafe Live was the place to be. Minneapolis crooners The Cactus Blossoms made a brief stop in town to serenade a packed house at today’s Free at Noon, and brought a taste of their new album Easy Way, which is out March 1, with them.

Brothers Page Burkum and Jack Torrey fill their songs with the kind of harmonies only siblings have — whether it’s genetic or just the product of a lifetime of practice, it’s earned them countless Everly Brothers comparisons, awestruck audiences, and even an appearance in the Twin Peaks reboot. Supported today by a dynamic backing band, The Cactus Blossoms brought plenty of the lilting country songs they’ve become known for, but also showed a fuller, more rock-influenced side to their sound which it seems like we’ll be hearing more of on the new album, which according to Rolling Stone is a reflection on “love, joy and the need to connect.” Continue reading →


Free at Noon Flashback: Amy Helm brings love and rock to World Cafe Live

Amy Helm | photo by Gabriela Barbieri for WXPN

Singer-songwriter Amy Helm is on tour with her new album, This Too Shall Light, an vibrant tribute to love, family, and the power of the human soul. Helm is the daughter of beloved drummer Levon Helm from The Band, and the legacy of father-daughter songwriting comes through in this album. With Helm on voice and mandolin, Mark Marshall on guitar, Adam Minkoff on piano and bass, and Tony Mason on drums, the quartet embraced their space at the Free at Noon concert and maximized their folk rock sound. Continue reading →


Free at Noon Flashback: Haerts trades flashy synths for stripped-back simplicity

Haerts | photo by Gabriela Barbieri for WXPN

New York-via-Germany indie pop duo Haerts made their way down to Philadelphia today with none of their trademark synths in tow. Instead, they treated today’s Free at Noon crowd to what they described as a “very stripped down” performance, trading flashier sounds for simple acoustic guitar and piano. It was both a look back at the band’s roots as a singer-songwriter duo, and a heartfelt exploration at the emotions at the center of their new album. Continue reading →


Free at Noon Flashback: Phosphorescent lives up to their name at World Cafe Live

Phosphorescent at WXPN’s Free At Noon Concert | photo by Taylor Johnson for WXPN

Merriam Webster dictionary defines phosphorescence as “luminescence that is caused by the absorption of radiations (such as light or electrons) and continues for a noticeable time after these radiations have stopped.” Minus the more science-y parts of that, one can only assume that Phosphorescent is going for a similar vibe with their music. Though the hazy glow that envelops the band during their live set is technically thanks to the lighting crew, their soft and airy songs are lush and drawn-out, winding on and on in a way that breathes life into their mouthful of a name. Continue reading →


Free At Noon Flashback: Shy Boys introduce Kansas City indie pop to World Cafe Live

Shy Boys performing at World Cafe Live for WXPN’s Free At Noon Concert | photo by Rich McKie

Shy Boys may be from out of town — Kansas City, Missouri, to be exact — but their two-day stint in Philadelphia has had them feeling right at home. After the band’s show at PhilaMOCA last night, they were gearing up for today’s Free at Noon performance with a hearty breakfast when frontman Collin Rausch noticed that the restaurant was playing XPN over the speakers. It got even more surreal for the band when they heard a promo for own show today, making them feel like they weren’t too far away from home after all. Continue reading →