Greg Sover, Jesse Hale Moore, and Vita and The Woolf will play the XPN Local stage at Philly Folk Fest

Greg Sover | photo via

Although the Philadelphia Folk Fest is a couple months away, they’ve still got some artists to announce. Thankfully, our good friend Helen Leicht is in on the action, announcing her XPN Local showcase for August 19th from noon to 2 p.m. The showcase (hosted by Leicht) features some of the best up-and-coming locals in the scene, including blues rocker Greg Sover, smooth singer-songwriter Jesse Hale Moore, and electro-rock trio Vita and The Woolf.

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Watch Live Connections’ tribute video to Helen Leicht for her 40th anniversary in Philly radio

Helen Leicht | Credit: Conrad Erb Photography, courtesy of LiveConnections.
Helen Leicht | Credit: Conrad Erb Photography, courtesy of LiveConnections.

Last Thursday, October 6th, WXPN Mid-day host Helen Leicht was honored by LiveConnections for her 40 years in radio broadcasting in Philadelphia at World Cafe Live. Leicht created the Breakfast With The Beatles show at WIOQ in the 1970s, and worked there (and at WMMR) before becoming mid-day host at WXPN and host of XPN Local. Continue reading →


Helen Leicht will be honored for 40 years on Philly radio this fall

WXPN's Helen Leicht
Helen Leicht | photo from the XPN archives

WXPN midday host Helen Leicht has been on the airwaves in Philadelphia since 1976, and this October she’ll be honored for her 40 years of championing music and community.

On October 6th, Leicht will receive The Connector Award from LiveConnections – a local music education nonprofit where she serves as a board member. The award will be presented at LiveConnections’ annual fundraising event The Big Hurrah, held at World Cafe Live. The event will also include performances from jazz singer Joanna Pascale, percussionist Alex Shaw of Alo Brasil, and more. Tickets for the benefit event are $100 in advance, $125 at the door and can be found here. Continue reading →


Listen to a Philly Local session with Summer Fiction’s Bill Ricchini and WXPN’s Helen Leicht


Summer Fiction‘s new album Himalaya is was just released. I invited Summer Fiction a.k.a. Bill Ricchini to bring in an acoustic guitar, sing a few songs and talk about the new music. The new album was recorded at Manchester’s (UK) Eve Studios and they worked with B.C. Camplight. Recorded for Philly Local, Bill recorded an acoustic performance of “Perfume Paper”, “By My Side” and a Morrissey cover! WXPN Welcomes Summer Fiction Saturday night, June 20th to Boot & Saddle for their record release party. Continue reading →


Listen to the Philly Local Home for the Holidays special ft. Vita and the Woolf, Cole Redding, Samantha Gongol of Marian Hill and more

The 6th Annual Philly Local Home for the Holidays show was recorded at Morning Star Studios in Montgomery County PA. It was a return visit to this studio and once again Glenn Barratt recorded the session. It’s always a wonderful day of music. A time for getting together with friends and making new friendships in the music community. I love hearing the artists warming up and working on arrangements. Continue reading →


Watch The Districts show off their acoustic chops on WXPN’s Leicht Lunch

Central Pennsylvania-bred rockers The Districts are in the middle of a pretty awesome week. On Tuesday, their self-titled EP came out on Fat Possum Records, and they played a pizza-fueled release party at A.K.A. Music in Old City Philadelphia. Tonight, they play their biggest Philly show to date, opening for Dr. Dog at the Electric Factory.

(Read More – The Districts celebrate their new EP with an energized set at A.K.A. Music)

They also appeared live on the WXPN airwaves this week, performing two songs acoustic on the Leicht Lunch and chatting with host Helen Leicht about their plans now that their music is out in the world in a bigger way than ever before. Watch a video of the guys playing “Rocking Chair” in the XPN studios below, and listen to the entire interview in the Soundcloud player below. And get more information on the show tonight at the WXPN concert calendar.


Unlocked: Watch Our Griffins perform “Come and Wake Me Up” acoustic and on the air with WXPN’s Helen Leicht

DJYesterday, Easton art pop five-piece Our Griffins released its debut LP Michael Boyd, which we’re featuring all week on the Unlocked series (download the song “Blood on My Sleeves” here). Last night, singer D.J. Brown and lead guitarist Travis Hobbie appeared live on the air on WXPN’s Philly Local Show with Helen Leicht for an interview and short acoustic set. From their on-air appearance, watch a video performance of “Come and Wake Me Up” from the album. See the official music video for the song here, and get more information on the album release show at The Fire tomorrow night at the XPN Concert Calendar. And check back tomorrow for our review of Michael Boyd.

Our Griffins performs “Come and Wake Me Up” live on the air on the XPN Philly Local Show from WXPN FM on Vimeo.


Listen back to Paul McCartney’s interview with WXPN’s Helen Leicht

WXPN Host, Helen Leicht (left) Paul McCartney (right)
WXPN Host, Helen Leicht (left) Paul McCartney (right)

With the announcement of his brand new song called “New” and a forthcoming album of the same name, Sir Paul McCartney called WXPN today for an interview with mid-day show host Helen Leicht; you can listen to an archive of the entire interview below.

Their conversation began by talking about New, which will see a U.S. release on Concord Records on Tuesday, October 15th.

McCartney recorded the new album with a team of heavy-hitting producers: Paul Epworth (known for his work with pop sensation Adele), Ethan Johns (he’s recorded Ryan Adams, Ray LaMontagne and Kings of Leon), Mark Ronson (popular for his work with Amy Winehouse as well as his solo albums) and Giles Martin (who staged The BeatlesLove show). As McCartney explained in the interview:

“The idea was to go do one track for each one  and decide who would be the best for the album. I ended up falling for them all. We had such a good time in different ways. Ethan would be a little more acoustically leaning, Mark would be a little more R&B. They each had a different approach, so I ended up working with them all.”

Conversation turned to songwriting in general, and what keeps him at it. McCartney called it “an eternal fascination.”

“It really is just down to the fact that I love it. … If you said to me now that, okay, this afternoon, you’re just going to sit down and write a song. That wouldn’t depress me or frighten me, that would really excite me. I’d go ‘Oh, yeah, great great great.’And then taking it into a recording studio…and eventually you take it out on the road, and you play it for real people. That is the ultimate excitement. If you look at that whole line of stuff, it’s pretty cool.”

On revisiting his Beatles-era music when performing live, McCartney likened it to being somebody else reviewing a young man’s work. “I’m listening to myself as a 24 year old. As I’m singing the songs, I’m reviewing the lyrics and thinking ‘This kid wasn’t bad!'” Some moments, like “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite,” are downright challenging (“It’s contrapuntal, man!”). When Leicht pointed out that today is the anniversary of The Beatles’ final show in San Francisco’s Candlestick Park, McCartney began to reminisce, but with a footing in the present.

“It is great to look at the old newsreels. You go, oh my God, is that really me? Obviously it was another time, and yes, we were younger. It was very exciting in its own way. The 60s were very exciting times, and I meet a lot of younger people who say ‘Wow, I wish I’d been there.’ I say ‘Well, no, don’t wish that, just be here now and enjoy this one, because there’s plenty of cool stuff going on now.'”

Listen to Leicht’s interview with Paul McCartney in its entirety in the player below. To hear his new single “New,” go here.