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Free at Noon Flashback: Emerging artist Barns Courtney plays World Cafe Live

Barns Courtney
Barns Courtney | Photo by Breanna Keohane for WXPN

Happy to see the large crowd from the stage of World Cafe Live, London singer-songwriter Barns Courtney said, “Talk about the ‘City of Brotherly and Sisterly love!”

The emerging artist is making a name for himself, touring the states and being featured of the soundtrack for Bradley Cooper and Harvey Weinstein’s movie Burnt.

Playing a solo acoustic set, Courtney showcased new music for World Cafe. He opened with “Hands,” creating his own percussion through the body of his guitar. Courtney possesses a raw, soulful rock and roll sound with a wide vocal range, from a mellow deep sound to belting out powerful notes. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: A fired-up Ben Harper debuts Call It What It Is for a sold out Queen

Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

It’s been eight years since Ben Harper teamed up with his long time backing band The Innocent Criminals, but this spring brings the release of the fired-up new LP Call It What It Is, out April 8th on Stax Records. This afternoon at Wilmington’s World Cafe Live at the Queen, Harper and the band – percussionist Leon Mobley, bassist Juan Nelson, drummer Oliver Charles, keyboardist Jason Yates, and guitarist Michael Ward – gave a sold-out crowd a taste of the new record with a Free at Noon performance broadcast live on WXPN and on VuHaus. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Ray LaMontagne packs in sold-out show at World Cafe Live

my morning jacket
Ray LaMontagne | Photo by Breanna Keohane for WXPN

World Cafe Live was packed in wall-to-wall for this week’s Free at Noon concert featuring Ray LaMontagne. Philly is just a stop along the way for LaMontagne before he kicks off his Ourobros Tour. He has teamed up with the members of My Morning Jacket for this tour, minus Jim James who helped produce LaMontagne’s newly released album, Ourobros. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Marah kicks off Lancaster Roots & Blues Festival

Marah
Marah | Photo by Breanna Keohane for WXPN

 

This week’s Free at Noon concert was a special one: Today is the start of Lancaster’s Roots & Blues Festival, and what better way to kick it off than rocking out with Marah. Local Montgomery County brothers David and Serge Bielanko fronted the six-piece band with high energy and ready to take over the day. Well-known for their intense stage performances, Marah did not disappoint.

The Philadelphia locals traveled out to Lancaster, packing in the downstairs back room of Tellus360. The room was crowded from the stage outwards to each wood-paneled wall. As excited fans danced and stomped their feet, the band brought a little bit of Philly to central PA and played their well-known folk rock tunes like “Point Breeze” and “Walt Whitman Bridge” off of their 2000 album Kids in Philly. Marah recently reissued the album and celebrated the 15th anniversary, making it available on vinyl for the first time ever. They kicked off the anniversary tour back in October 2015 which started out in their hometown at Underground Arts. Continue reading →

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Check out Ra Ra Riot’s new “Foreign Lovers” lyric video before their Free At Noon this Friday

Ra Ra Riot | photo by Shervin Lainez | courtesy of the artist
Ra Ra Riot | photo by Shervin Lainez | courtesy of the artist

Syracuse indie-pop band Ra Ra Riot have released a lyric video for their new single, “Foreign Lovers.”

“Foreign Lovers” is a quick two minute piece of synth pop from their up-coming 4th record, Need Your Light. The band seems to be continuing the electronic direction they took with their last LP, Beta Love, trading in their string instruments for synthesizers. Behind neon lights, Vocalist Wes Miles sings, “I got no idea what’s fair but I knew before,” an ode that speaks of both confusion and nostalgia. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Lissie brings the wild west to Philadelphia

Photo by Breanna Keohane
Photo by Breanna Keohane

With acoustic guitar in hand, Lissie walked out on World Cafe Live’s stage earlier today to show Philadelphia a little bit of her midwest roots with a raw folk rock sound.

Alongside electric guitarist Edward Stanton, Lissie kicked off the set with her new song “Hero,” her stripped-down performance showing off a natural vocal talent and intricate lyrics. Debuting another new song “Don’t You Give Up On Me,” Lissie showed the crowd her vulnerable side through a message that focuses on her sense of self and her surroundings. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: SIMO warms the crowd at World Cafe Live

SIMO | Photo by Breanna Keohane for WXPN
SIMO | Photo by Breanna Keohane for WXPN

Nashville-based SIMO braved Philadelphia’s cold weather and snowy forecast to perform XPN’s Free at Noon concert today. The blues rock trio filled World Cafe Live with an energetic crowd ready to hear their improvisational, soulful sound. SIMO has come into Philly just in time to prepare for their upcoming tour and soon-to-be-released album, Let Love Show The Way.

Continue reading →