Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with The Hooligans on a special Leicht Lunch at Noon on 3/17

The Hooligans | photo courtesy of the artist
The Hooligans | photo courtesy of the artist
Every year new traditions begin and that’s why I’ve invited The Hooligans back
in to join me this coming Monday, March 17th for my St. Patrick’s Day Leicht Lunch at Noon.  I’ll be previewing their appearance on the show by playing their song “The Ferryman” as my Philly Local Pick today in the 1pm hour.
I asked the band how long they’ve been together and who’s in the band?
The Hooligans first began performing in 1994.  The Hooligans are Peter McCoubrey on bass, Ed “O’Kay” on drums and percussion, Luke Jardel on vocals and acoustic guitar, Mark Malone on fiddle, whistles, and electronic pipes, and Joe Kirschen on electric guitar and mandolin.
Over the past several years, The Hooligans have taken their live performances from the smokey, beer-stained local pubs of Philadelphia to the festival stage and beyond. The band has played tours in Ireland and appears each year at major Celtic music festivals, establishing themselves as instant crowd favorites.
The group released its fourth full-length CD, The Ferryman, in 2013, to critical acclaim, again showcasing its Irish roots-meets-Americana influences in an eclectic mix of traditional tunes and instrumentals. Previous releases include Sheep Up or Ship Out, Houses of the Hooley and Another Fine Mess.
The true impact of this band is best experienced through their live performances. Backed by a solid group of musicians, frontman Luke Jardel is an explosive personality whose energy is second to none. Add that to the band’s mix of upbeat, rootsy, rocking Celtic sounds, and you’ve got a mix of music that appeals to all ages and backgrounds.
You can catch them in action at the following tour dates:
3/14 at The Sands Casino, Bethlehem
3/15 at Finningan’s Wake, Phila., 3-7
3/17 at Finnigan’s Wake, Phila., 3-9

Get ready to do some dancing!  Check out a video of The Hooligans performing “Skip Jigs” below.  Listen live on 88.5 XPN or stream world wide online.



Helen Leicht’s Local Pick Of The Day: Lelia Broussard’s “Spiderwebs”

Leila Broussard

One of the things we love about indie songstress Lelia Broussard—well, in addition to her sultry voice and the fact that she cut her teeth in the Philly open-mic scene—is her way with words. Her official bio, which is listed in bullet points (because “bios are boring”), includes priceless tidbits such as “I was an egg, then I was fertilized, then I was born,” “I once had 15 cats. Creepy right?,” and “Waited tables, got fired for yelling at my boss (he was a special kind of douche).” Personally, we’re big fans of any musician who skips past the cut-and-dry press-release B.S. and lets their personality shine through—especially when it’s someone with a playful sense of wit.

Lelia (pronounced “Lil-yah”—which just happens to also be the title of the album she released in 2005)—has since moved to Los Angeles (after a stint in New York), but that doesn’t make us any less excited about her new album, Masquerade, which was released yesterday and produced by Dan Romer (Ingrid Michaelson). Lelia will head out on tour in support of the album later this month; the tour includes a performance at Milkboy Coffee in Ardmore on Friday, December 3rd.


Helen Leicht’s Local Pick Of The Day: John Francis’ “Johnny Cash On The Radio”

John Francis

With John Francis‘ major-label debut, The Better Angels, ready to drop on November 9th, it’s safe to say that we’re looking forward to seeing the rest of the country heap the same praise on the Philly-based musician as WXPN has in recent years. It’s not just that Francis is a rural-Pennsylvania-raised local whose foot-stomping country-rock and commanding stage presence set him apart from every other would-be good-old-boy with an acoustic guitar. It’s that Francis also brings some considerable cred to the table: He’s the son of Christian ministers, and spent his youth listening to gospel and folk music while singing in the church choir; the record, meanwhile, was recorded at Cash Cabin Studio (which was originally built Johnny Cash in 1978) by John Carter Cash and will be released by the Nashville-based label Dualtone Music Group. (That kind of cred goes a long way when you’re trying to sell your dusty soundtrack to the American Dream gone wrong to the cowboy-boot-and-hat-wearing contingent.) And, with all of Francis’ obvious connections to Cash, it’s no wonder the refrain to the lead single off his upcoming album is, “Just let that country station play / that Johnny Cash on the radio.” John Francis’ record-release show for The Better Angels is at 10:30 p.m. on Friday, December 3rd, at Tin Angel Friday; tickets to the 21+ show are $10.


Helen Leicht’s Local Pick Of The Day: Liz Longley’s “Free”

Liz Longley

What is the responsibility, emotional duress, or physical affliction that Liz Longley sings about being so free from in the closing track of this year’s Hot Loose Wire? Well, we like to think that, specifically, she’s no longer burdened with the tiresome task of polishing the many awards she’s won in the last year or so—including the 2010 Grand Prize Winner of the International Acoustic Music Awards, the 2010 Winner of the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest, and the 2009 Grand Prize Winner of the Rocky Mountain Folks Songwriters Showcase. But, more likely, she’s just singing about a general sense of freedom, one that keeps her “freer than a bird in flight” and “the Fourth of July.” (Wait, we thought freedom wasn’t free?) Either way, it’s an excellent closer to the all-acoustic album, the latest from the Downingtown-born, New-York-stationed singer-songwriter. Liz Longley’s next area appearance is at Sellersville Theater on Thursday, November 11th.


Helen Leicht’s Local Pick Of The Day: Matt Santry’s “A Box That’s Always Empty”

Matt Santry

Matt Santry‘s “A Box That’s Always Empty” has a little bit of everything for fans of contemporary singer-songwriter pop-rock: ringing acoustic guitar chords, a piano counter-melody, shimmering synthesizers, a rhythm section that’s content with filling in the gaps, a triumphant, distorted-electric-guitar-filled bridge, and a bunch of “dah-dah dah-dah”‘s to kick off the vocals. But, perhaps most importantly, it’s got some seriously time-tested lyrical subject matter: a lonely human being who’s just looking for a little love—mostly to distract them from taking a much-needed, introspective examination of their otherwise empty existence. So, when Santry belts out “Sheeeee wiiiiill faaaaaaaaaall iiiiin loooooooooove,” near the end of the track, it might not actually be the best course of action for the song’s sad-sack protagonist. Especially if, as Santry sings earlier, she’s the kind of person who “gives her heart away with ease” and thinks “[love]’s the answer to every question she thinks of.” Hey lady, love isn’t going to help you, say, get your taxes done in a few months, you know? Matt Santry performs at 9 p.m. Friday, October 22nd, at Bucknell University’s 7th Street Cafe.


Jim Boggia live on The Leicht Lunch At Noon

Jim BoggiaFresh off his September 25th performance with The Fab Faux at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, local singer-songwriter Jim Boggia will be stopping by the WXPN studio to perform two live songs during The Leicht Lunch At Noon. This Saturday, October 9th, Boggia will perform with The Fab Faux at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, PA, in celebration of what would have been John Lennon’s 70th birthday. (As Jim mentioned on his website, he’ll be playing congas and drums as well as guitar and keyboard; unfortunately, he also notes “I do not expect to be taking any gigs away from conga legend Tommy Lopez any time soon.”) Helen will be taking requests, so either tune in or listen online to hear Jim perform live.