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Ben Hughes dives into darker times on his March project

Ben Hughes | Photo via benhughes.bandcamp.com
Ben Hughes | Photo via benhughes.bandcamp.com

“It was the summer of 2009. With school, my childhood home, and my faith in religion quickly fading into the past, I felt myself plunging into the reality of ‘real life,'” singer-songwriter Ben Hughes writes on his Bandcamp of his March album release.

Earlier this year, the New Jersey-based musician (and member of of A Little Affair and Night Windows) began a project in which he will release a new album every month in 2015. The tracks are comprised of old demos written between 2005 to 2012 and are a collection of experiences throughout Hughes’ past life. His March release, American Dream or Mediocre Man, was written during the “darkest period of my life,” Hughes says. Continue reading →

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Premiere: Doylestown’s Heat Thunder returns with “Solo World”

heat thunder

It’s been a year since Doylestown locals Heat Thunder covened from the ranks of their various bands (Commonwealth Choir, Former Belle and Our Griffins) and released their debut EP/film, Melody, Love & Soul.  They’re celebrating with a brand new single called “Solo World.”  Their first EP was a set of hazy and wandering folk: beautiful, but barely rising above a murmur.  For the new song – recorded, mixed and mastered by Matthew Phillips, the band’s bassist – their sound has become clearer, crisper, louder and more electric.  All of a sudden, singer Joe Montone’s message becomes audible among the trembling electric guitar and the country twang of the acoustic.  Snares and symbols become more prominent on the drums to replace the echoing bass drums of past releases.  It’s a new and improved Heat Thunder and it can only get better from here.  In celebration of the new song, the band will play at MOM’s in Doylestown on August 3rd.  In the meantime, check out their new song below as well as the film for their previous EP.

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The Folky Stylings of West Chester’s Mason Porter

Mason Porter
Photo by Lisa Schaffer

In their own folky/bluegrassy kind of way Mason Porter really rocked the house at this year’s Philly Folk Festival. The band were a part of the XPN Philly Local showcase hosted and curated by Helen Leicht. “They really rallied everyone at the Folk Fest around with their old timey folk feel – but with a real indie spirit,” Leicht said of their performance.

From West Chester, Mason Porter includes Tim Celfo on upright bass, Joe D’Amico on mandolin, and guitarist Paul Wilkinson. The trio is supported by a talented cast of local backup players including Brad Hinton, violinist Kiley Ryan, Pat Hughes on drums, Isaac Stanford on pedal steel and Bob Beach on harmonica. The band formed in 2006 and last year released their debut full length album Thunder In The Valley, a wonderful collection of folk jams that are well sung (dig the harmonies) and excellently played. Take a moment to read this interview they did with the Philly Weekly’s Make Major Moves blog.

Here’s a song from the album. Let us know if Mason Porter’s folk music rocks your world.