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XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “People Get Old” by Lori McKenna

Lori McKenna | photo by Becky Fluke | courtesy of the artist

Considering she’s spent her life in Stoughton, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston, for singer-songwriter Lori McKenna, Nashville has been very very good to her. As a songwriter, McKenna’s songwriting has become country music gold for musicians like Little Big Town, Tim McGraw, Reba McIntire, Hunter Hayes, Ashley Monroe, and others. On her own solo work, as a songwriter through the eleven albums she’s released since 2000, McKenna’s common exploration of themes of family, inner personal turmoil, and the emotional ties and relationships we have between each other, have continued to shine with each new release. On her new album, The Tree McKenna remains a powerful and prolific storyteller about the human condition. Continue reading →

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XPN’s Gotta Hear Song(s) of the Week: Richard Thompson’s “The Storm Won’t Come” and “Bones of Gilead”

Richard Thompson | Photo by Tom Bejgrowicz/Courtesy of the artist

Legendary singer-songwriter and guitarist Richard Thompson recently announced his 19th studio album, 13 Rivers.

Thompson, who co-founded the seminal British folk group Fairport Convention in 1967, last worked with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy on 2015’s Still. For 13 Rivers, Thompson self-produced the album in an old studio in Hollywood with his band including drummer Michael Jerome, bassist Taras Prodaniuk, and guitarist Bobby Eichorn. Continue reading →

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XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Keep A Little Soul” by Tom Petty

Tom Petty | photo by Noah Silvestry for WXPN | silvestography.com

The late great Tom Petty was nothing if not prolific, and his 50+ year career will be celebrated this fall with a 60-song box set called An American Treasure. Curated by his family and bandmates, it will be a set for hardcore fans that goes deep into Petty’s archives for unreleased songs, alternate versions familiar favorites, live performances and deep cuts.

One of those unreleased gems surfaced today; it’s called “Keep A Little Soul,” it dates to 1982 and Petty’s sessions for Long After Dark, and it is XPN’s Gotta Hear Song this week. Continue reading →

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XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Other Lover” by Mikaela Davis

Mikaela Davis | Photo Credit: Jacalyn Meyvis | Courtesy of Rounder Records

Mikaela Davis came out of of the Rochester, New York music scene. A classically trained harpist and singer-songwriter, Davis studied at the Crane School of Music at SUNY-Potsdam, was raised on the Salzedo method of harp playing and studied under Grace Wong, principal harpist of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra for nine years. Davis releases her debut for Rounder Records, Delivery, on July 13th. Continue reading →

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XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Healing Tide” by The War and Treaty

The War and Treaty | Photo courtesy of the artist and label.

After an exhilarating live performance at the Americana Music Association’s music festival last September in Nashville at Cannery Ballroom, husband and wife musical duo The War and Treaty – Michael Trotter Jr. and Tanya Blount-Trotter – became one of the most talked about sets at the festival by a whole lot of people. Had I not been there to experience it for myself, I would have doubted the hyperbole. Continue reading →

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XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Troublemaker” by Devon Gilfillian

Devon Gilfillian | Photo by Lindsey Patkos | Courtesy of the artist

Nashville-based R&B and rock singer-songwriter Devon Gilfillian is the latest Philly native to be signed to a major label, Capitol Records. Gilfillian, from Morton, PA, draws musical influences from Al Green, Ray Charles, and Jimi Hendrix. He released his debut EP in May, 2016, and is currently working on his debut full length. Continue reading →