Tonight’s Concert Picks: Kwesi K at Boot and Saddle, Minas at World Cafe Live, J Roddy Walston and the Business at the TLA

Kwesi K |
Kwesi K |

Acoustic pop folk artist Kwesi K plays Boot and Saddle tonight. The Ohio-to-Philly transplant has become an artist to watch over the past few years as he continues to produce soft, easy-listening folk for the masses. Most recently, his Lovely EP was released back in the spring spring. Now he will be wrapping up his tour in Philadelphia with plenty of assurance that he will be playing his popular tracks “Great Goodbye” and “Pronouns”. You can watch the music video for it below. For more information on tonight’s concert, click here. Continue reading →


XPNFest Recap: J. Roddy Walston and the Business kick things into high gear on the River Stage

J. Roddy Walston and the Business | Photo by Michelle Montgomery |
J. Roddy Walston and the Business | Photo by Michelle Montgomery |

That, my friends, is a rock and roll show. Hailing from Baltimore and sounding like a 4th of July fireworks show on speed, J. Roddy Walston and the business cranked the volume at the XPoNential Music Festival river stage on Sunday. Pulling largely from their recent LP Essential Tremors, the band was loud and lively and frontman Walston alternated delivered gravely lead vocals while alternating between piano, guitar and rocking the mic solo. Continue reading →


Get baptized with #xpnfest artist J. Roddy Walston & The Business in their “Same Day” video

Photo courtesy of the artist
Photo courtesy of the artist

J. Roddy Walston & The Business – just announced as being part of the lineup for WXPN’s XPoNential Music Festival – have a new video for “Same Day” that you can watch below. The song is from their recent album, Essential Tremors. The video which features a baptism, a butcher chopping meet, a fisherman dropping a presumably dead body in a river, scantily dressed women dancing around in masks and smashing things in a bedroom, and a family of three eating dinner speaks to the often strange moments of daily living. Go here for tickets and more information about this summer’s XPoNential Music Festival.


Rodrigo y Gabriela, Hurray for the Riff Raff, The Hold Steady and more top the XPoNential Music Festival lineup

Rodrigo y Gabriela | photo via
Rodrigo y Gabriela | photo via

Dueling acoustic duo Rodrigo y Gabriela, eclectic New Orleans folk-blues combo Hurray for the Riff Raff, and stalwart rock n’ rollers The Hold Steady are just some of the 25 artists announced today in the full lineup of this year’s edition of the XPoNential Music Festival.

These acts will play the two stages in Wiggins Park from July 25th to July 27th of this year, alongside the festival’s headlining concerts at Susquehanna Bank Center featuring Ryan Adams, Jenny Lewis and Dawes (July 26th) and Beck, Band of Horses and The Districts (July 27th).

Hurray for the Riff Raff | Photo by Kate McCann |
Photo by Kate McCann |

The Wiggins Park bill is filled with WXPN favorites, like alt-country heroes Old 97s, Jersey singer-songwriter Nicole Atkins and Diego Garcia, all of whom are return-XPNFest-ers.

There is also an assortment of up-and-coming names like countrified Nashville singer-songwriter Caitlin Rose (featured on World Cafe’s Sense of Place: Nashville series); Bear’s Den, a UK rock trio with a flair for drama (they made a splash at the March Edition of the Communion Club Night at Underground Arts), the jazzy / folky vocal combo Lake Street Dive and the art-pop powerhouse Lucius, (who knocked our socks off at Free at Noon late last year.)

Man Man | Photo by Rachel Barrish |
Man Man | Photo by Rachel Barrish |

The greater Philadelphia scene is nicely represented as well. Bigger names like avant-garde rockers Man Man (who leaked their appearance last week), punk rock troubadour Dave Hause and reinvented folklorists Marah will mix with emerging artists Commonwealth Choir, Our Griffins, Marian Hill, The Lawsuits, Ginger Coyle and Viv and the Revival.

And adding an even more eclectic scope to the lineup is a taste of zydeco from C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band and some Mississippi blues care of harmonica master James Cotton.

Three days passes for new and renewing WXPN members are available now here. Tickets for the general public go on sale on May 1st; as with previous years, three-day passes will include lawn admission to the Susquehanna Bank Center shows (seated tickets to those are on sale separately, here and here).

Below, listen to a Spotify playlist of the Wiggins Park lineup, and read the complete list of artists after the jump.

Wiggins Park
Rodrigo y Gabriela
Trigger Hippy (featuring Joan Osborne, Jackie Greene & Steve Gorman)
Lake Street Dive
Old 97’s
The Hold Steady
Hurray for the Riff Raff
C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band
Man Man
Nicole Atkins
Diego Garcia
James Cotton
J. Roddy Walston & The Business
Dave Hause
Jeremy Messersmith
Caitlin Rose
Bear’s Den
The Lawsuits
Marian Hill
Ginger Coyle
Our Griffins
Viv and the Revival
Commonwealth Choir

Susquehanna Bank Center
Ryan Adams
Jenny Lewis
Band of Horses
The Districts


The Week’s Best Free MP3s, incl. John the Couqueror, Ginger Coyle, Bird Watcher and more

Photo of John The Conqueror by John Vettese
Photo of John The Conqueror by John Vettese

This week’s best free mp3 downloads include a variety of different sounds. From birds to bears, there was something for everyone. Philly blues band John the Conqueror released its newest single through Rolling Stone this week. Before the band heads out on its European tour, download “Waking Up To You” off of The Good Life below.

Just before Christmas, Philadelphia singer-songwriter Gretchen Lohse performed her own rendition of “Walking in the Air” from the 1982 film, “The Snowman” at Johnny Brenda’s. For those who weren’t there to see the performance themselves, Lohse has released it for download on her Bandcamp.

Continue reading →


Watch J. Roddy Walston & The Business cover Little Richard’s “Lucille” (playing the TLA on November 6)

J Roddy Baltimore rockers J. Roddy Walston & The Business played The Mercury Lounge in New York City in June and covered Little Richard’ss rock and roll classic “Lucille.” You can A/B J. Roddy’s version and the original below. The Business may not dance as good as Little Richard’s band, but they sure can rock a song that was meant to be rocked hard. J. Roddy Walston & The Business are back in town on Wednesday, November 6th at the TLA. Go here for tickets and information about the show.

Continue reading →


J. Roddy Walston and The Business are playing an extra show at The TLA in November

J Roddy
The four piece that is J. Roddy Walston and The Business know how to rock.  Hailing from Baltimore via Cleveland, Tennessee, the group takes elements of soul and country and combine them into pure rock n’ roll that you rarely hear these days (think early Kings of Leon or Spoon).  This summer, the group is going on a tour in support of their upcoming album, Essential Terrors (out September 10th).  Though the tour official ends after September, the group are playing an extra show in Philly on November 6th, cause we’re cool like that.  Tickets will go on sale this Friday on Live Nation, but in the meantime you can check out their incredible new song, “Heavy Bells” below.