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The Week Ahead: Ariana Grade, Gary Clark Jr., RFA, Noura Mint Seymali, and more

Gary Clark Jr. at Made In America | Photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN
Gary Clark Jr. at Made In America | Photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN

At the top of the week, it’s Ariana Grande and a set of music to raise your spirits; at the tail end, its Stephen Brodsky of metalcore titans Cave-In with music to haunt your dreams. In between, a massive spectrum of shows that includes acclaimed guitarist Gary Clark Jr., Philly rockers RFA, Mauritanian singer-songwriter Noura Mint Seymali, and much more. Here are 15 concerts to see in the next 7 days all around Philadelphia.
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Watch Gary Clark Jr. play “Pearl Cadillac” and “This Land” on SNL

Gary Clark Jr. on SNL | still from video

Saturday Night Live has had a fairly strong roster of musical guests this season — this past weekend, we got to see XPN favorite Gary Clark Jr. make his debut on the stage of Studio 8H. The Texas blues rocker appeared on the Don Cheadle-hosted episode to perform two songs off his forthcoming album This Land, starting off with the falsetto-heavy “Pearl Cadillac” followed by the powerful title track. It’s always surreal to see a familiar artist on the iconic stage, and at four and a half minutes each, Clark’s performances got quite a bit of screen time. Continue reading →

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Gary Clark Jr. takes on racism in middle America on his powerful “This Land” video

Gary Clark Jr. at Made In America | Photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN
Gary Clark Jr. at Made In America | Photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN

Blues rocker Gary Clark Jr. has announced that his forthcoming album This Land on will be released on March 1, and ahead of the release he’s shared a powerful video for the title track. Lyrically, Clark uses “This Land” to illustrate how inextricably tied the personal and political can be, using autobiographical details of his rural Texas upbringing, a place he describes as “right in the middle of Trump country.” Continue reading →

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Hang Loose: Alabama Shakes, Gary Clark Jr. burn down BB&T for XPN Fest night two

Alabama Shakes | photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN
Alabama Shakes | photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN

We might have been various degrees of soaking wet. But Alabama Shakes made it easy enough to forget.

“Here’s how it’s gonna work,” frontwoman Brittany Howard told the crowd. “I’m gonna give you a bit, and you’re gonna give it back.

And so it went: the band tore across a blistering 90-minute set that worked in most of the songs at the band’s disposal – including a thundering “Always Alright” from the Silver Linings Playbook soundtrack, the contemplative “Joe” (a live cut from an Austin City Limits comp), and a heaping handful from 2012’s Boys and Girls and last year’s Sound and Colour.   Continue reading →

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WXPN’s XPoNential Music Festival initial lineup announced

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WXPN’s XPoNential Music Festival is happening July 22nd, 23rd, and 24th at the Camden Waterfront with shows at Wiggins Park and the BB&T Pavilion.

Tickets go on sale Friday at Noon, however you can reserve tickets by becoming a new or renewing WXPN member at $25 a month. You will receive a pair of 3-Day Go Everywhere Passes that includes LAWN ADMISSION to Ryan Adams/Kurt Vile on Friday, July 22, Alabama Shakes/Gary Clark Jr on Saturday, July 23, and Brandi Carlile/Old Crow Medicine Show on Sunday, July 24. Continue reading →

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Listen to the new Gary Clark, Jr. album, The Story Of Sonny Boy Slim

Gary Clark Jr. | Photo by Frank Maddocks | Via NPR Music
Gary Clark Jr. | Photo by Frank Maddocks | Via NPR Music

Gary Clark, Jr. just released his new album, The Story of Sonny Boy Slim. Over the last several years, the extraordinary blues and rock guitarist has shared the stages with many guitar playing legends including Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and Keith Richards – all of whom have sung Clark’s praises. Continue reading →

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Listen to a new Gary Clark Jr. song, “The Healing” and see him at The Fillmore Philly in November

Gary Clark Jr. | Credit: Henry Strauss Photography
Gary Clark Jr. | Credit: Henry Strauss Photography

The Story of Sonny Boy Slim is the name of the highly anticipated new album by blues rocker Gary Clark Jr.. It’s the followup to his debut major label album, Blak and Blu, released in 2012. Clark wrote, produced, arranged the album, and played most of the instruments himself on the record which also includes his sisters, Shawn and Savannah Clark on backing vocals. Continue reading →