Philly songwriter Joey Sweeney and his band The Neon Grease lead the lineup at Jojo’s Holiday Variety Show tonight at the Maas Building. The pay-what-you-will event benefits Rock to the Future and is also a release party for Sweeney’s new holiday EP, Smilin’ Through. The event will also feature some other musical acts, including Beat Jams, Hi Soft, Settled Arrows and the Birdsall Band, plus comedy from Doogie Horner and Jaime Fountaine. Listen to Sweeney original song “Don’t Kill Yourself This Christmas,” off the new EP, below and find more information on tonight’s show here. Continue reading →
Jake Ewald’s side project Slaughter Beach, Dog has been churning out a ton of material lately. From the Motorcycle.jpg EP to a new single off his upcoming record, to his recent rocking off of socks at this week’s The Key Studio Sessions — there’s a ton of music gold to delve into. Seriously, please feast your ears upon the drawn-out, jam-fest of a performance of “104 Degrees.” It’s just too gosh dang good. And if you’re as taken with these tunes as I am, go see them live tonight at Johnny Brenda’s as well as sets from Shannen Moser and No Thank You. Continue reading →
Philly roots scene favorites Hoots and Hellmouth emerged from a stretch of semi-hibernation earlier this fall with In The Trees Where I Can See The Forest. It’s the band’s fourth, and finest album — a true evolution of its sound into something spacious and spectral, atmospheric and engaging. The acoustic bootstomp folk rock that they built their name around has given way to sensitive electric jams, with the stunning “Diction” acting as a centerpiece. On the one hand, it’s the same Hoots and Hellmouth you’ve always known, but on the other hand, they’re more grown up than ever.
The band — which features Sean Hoots on guitar and vocals, Rob Berliner on mandolin and vocals, Todd Erk on bass and Mike Reilly on drums –went on a U.S. tour this fall. It was their first run in a few years, and wasn’t without its challenges: a van break-in after a St. Louis gig left them with gear and personal items stolen, while shows in markets they never played before were on the underwhelming side.
When I caught up with Hoots via phone this week, he admitted that it took the band a minute to find their footing on this run, but it had its transcendant moments as well (including a performance for the OpenAir sessions at Colorado Public Radio), and he remains optimistic about the next leg of the journey. Tonight, Hoots and Hellmouth brings it home at Ardmore Music Hall; get tickets and more information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar, and read my interview with Hoots below. Continue reading →
The first thing you’ll notice about Hoots and Hellmouth’s new album In the Trees is the drums. This isn’t to say the band hasn’t incorporated a kit in the past, but it’s certainly never been this up-front and muscular, and that change is a welcome one. With this newfound emphasis on the rhythm section and the guiding hand of engineer Nathan Sabatino, the band is sounding bigger and better than ever before on their new album, which is out today. Continue reading →
Love Is In The Air: Boot and Saddle is presenting “I Want To Know What Love Is,” a Valentine’s showcase featuring art from Jacqui Powell, Jordan Stiff, and Lauren McFadden and performances from many bands such as Clique and Woven In. For more info, go here.Continue reading →
It’s been a couple years since we’ve heard new music from regional folk faves Hoots and Hellmouth, but we’re happy to hear they haven’t gone totally silent. The band emerges tonight for a headlining gig at Ardmore Music Hall with singer-songwriter George Stanford in support. Tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar; listen to H&H’s most recent single, “Repeat Myself,” below. Continue reading →
The annual Philadelphia Folk Festival is, on one level, about the music – and this year the music came in all scales. A headlining Saturday night set from Americana titan Lyle Lovett. Sets by buzzworthy up-and-comers Shakey Graves and Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear. And the music of the Philadelphia region was represented in force, from Band of Rivals and Lovers League performing in the campground to PhillyBloco taking the main stage and Hoots and Hellmouth helping close the festival out on Sunday night.
But in addition to being a great festival for hearing music, it’s a great festival for seeing a music community. Philly Folk is easily among the most photogenic music gatherings in our region, and to mark its 54th year, we’ve gathered together 54 photos from last weekend’s festival, shot by photographer Hope Helmuth. Continue reading →
Philly based jazz ensemble Fresh Cut Orchestra formed in fall of 2012 when the Painted Bride Arts Center commissioned a performance by trumpeter Josh Lawrence, bassist Jason Fraticelli and drummer Anwar Marshall. The orchestra recently released their debut album, From the Vine, while the core trio hosts a monthly concert series at the Painted Bride, featuring other guest artists and educational workshops. In December 2013, the orchestra was awarded the Kimmel Jazz Residency, through which they played a work-in-progress performance and hosted two educational workshops at the SEI Innovation Studio. They will play a finished performance on June 21st. Join FOC at Underground Arts along with the Dan Monaghan Quartet and Ensemble Novo for a night of jazz innovation; get tickets and more information at the XPN Concert Calendar.
Tonight, underground rap sensation Pharoahe Monch will bring his talents to the Milkboy stage as he celebrates his new album P.T.S.D. (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). The new disc, which features guest appearances by Black Thought, Talib Kweli, and more, is a continuation of the story he tells on his previous record W.A.R. (We Are Renegades) of his place in the industry as an artist and in America as a black male. Listen to lead single “Bad MF” below and get tickets here.
Wednesday nights in May will get a bit more folksy as Hoots and Hellmouth prepare for their upcoming residency at Boot and Saddle. It’s a first for both the band, who will use the opportunity to unveil and test out new material, and the venue, who have never hosted a residency before. Both parties sound pretty amped as the shows approach. From the band’s email announcement:
“We’re really looking forward to our first time in this room, and to be doing it under the auspices of a new material workshop/residency makes it all the more special. A fresh room for fresh experiments. We’re inspired. The Hoots & Hellmouth ‘sound’ has always been a bit restless by nature, not unlike our touring schedule…We started with a much folkier sound, incorporating primarily acoustic instruments and stomp boards to propel our songs forward. In the years since, we’ve added all kinds of things to the mix from drums to keys to electric guitars.”
Boot and Saddle is also proud to have the band be the first to do a residency since the venue’s reopening late last year. In the announcement, R5 Productions owner Sean Agnew comments:
“We are excited to host our very first residency at the Boot & Saddle with a band that’s become an institution around Philly. It’ll be fun to watch these shows develop and to watch who comes out over each week.”