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My Morning Download: “Up, Up and Away” by Joe D’Amico (playing World Cafe Live Friday March 22nd)

JoeDamico Recently, singer-songwriter Joe D’Amico released his second solo album, A Short Time’s A Long Time Ago. Recorded at various locations including Milboy Philly. D’Amico is an excellent story teller and musician and is also a member of the band Mason Porter. D’Amico’s music falls on a broad continuum of rootsy styles including folk, bluegrass and traditional singer-songwriter material and shows his strength as a flexible artist working in various acoustic based genres. The Joe D’Amico Band performs tomorrow evening, Friday, March 22nd, at World Cafe Live. Go here for tickets and more information about the show. Below, download “Up, Up And Away.”

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Turning Violet Violet at Kung Fu Necktie, Bleeding Rainbow at Johnny Brenda’s, Mary Lattimore at Kung Fu Necktie, Philebrity Valentine’s Day special with Juston Stens at Underground Arts, plus more

Local indie group Turning Violet Violet play Kung Fu Necktie tonight.  The Key Studio Session alums carve out chamber alt-rock songs on the fringe of art-rock that seem bathed in a purple glow, though that might just be residual effects of their band name.  Either way, the songs on Turning Violet Violet’s debut full-length Double Cure are swathe-y, sweeping compositions that strike all the right feelings chords.   Tickets and information for tonight’s 21+ show with TeamMate and Donora can be found here.  Revisit Turning Violet Violet’s Key Session here and watch their video for “Cold Bread” below.

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With Love, From WXPN Philly Local: Download Joe D’Amico’s “Where Does The Time Go?”

It’s the season of love, and in this week leading up to Valentine’s Day, Helen Leicht of the XPN Philly Local show brings you love songs written and performed by Philadelphia artists each weekday. Today, we have a track from Joe D’Amico, who was recently featured in our Unlocked series with his new LP A Short Time’s a Long Time. The singer-songwriter (and founding member of Mason Porter) actually has a show on Valentine’s Day; he’ll be at The Fire in Northern Liberties. Download “Where Does the Time Go?” below, and check out the entire compilation here.

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The Week’s Best MP3 Downloads, incl. Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Gretchen Lohse, Wooden Wand

Country legends Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell have teamed up for an upcoming album called Old Yellow Moon, out through Nonesuch Records on February 26th.  “Hanging Up My Heart” was chosen by WXPN as its contribution to NPR’s new 5 Songs Public Radio Can’t Stop Playing feature.  XPN welcomes Harris and Crowell to the Academy of Music on Tuesday, March 26th with the Richard Thompson Electric Trio; tickets and information can be found here.

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Unlocked: A night out with Joe D’Amico at Kung Fu Necktie

Last night Philly singer-songwriter Joe D’Amico celebrated the release of his very guitar-rock oriented solo album, A Short Time’s A Long Time, at Kung Fu Necktie. We spent all week with the album on Unlocked, The Key’s regular spotlight on new and significant releases from Philadelphia-area artists, and explored it as both a record that’s surprisingly non-folky coming from a Mason Porter founding member, to a stirring meditation on mortality and the frightening uncertainty that comes with adulthood. Spending a night out with D’Amico and his band last night was a great way to cap the week – from Brad Hinton’s spacey guitar textures swapping space with D’Amico’s ripping guitar solos, Bethany Brooks’ snappy jazzy piano work, and the tight and energetic rhythm section of bassist Phil D’Augustino and drummer Kevin Killen. There were moments that were very Wilco, moments that were very Black Keys, and moments that were just pure Joe. Check out a photo recap of the night in the gallery above, see Joe again at The Fire on Valentine’s Day and at Kennett Flash on February 15th.

A Short Time’s A Long Time is the featured album in this edition of Unlocked; hear the spotlighted song “Where Does The Time Go” in Monday’s post, read Tuesday’s album review; see a video for “Where Does The Time Go” in Wednesday’s post and read yesterday’s interview. And stay tuned to The Key for future album spotlights on Unlocked.

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Unlocked: Joe D’Amico on moving from the coffeehouse to the rock club

Tonight, Philadelphia singer-songwriter Joe D’Amico will take the stage at Kung Fu Necktie to celebrate his latest solo record, A Short Time’s A Long Time. This is sort of like stepping into a new world for him – five years ago, it would have been unheard-of for the folk scene mainstay and mandolinist of Mason Porter to play scrappy rock clubs. But that’s the vibe of his new album, which we’ve been exploring all week on Unlocked, The Key’s regular spotlight on new and significant releases from Philadelphia-area artists. We caught up with D’Amico on the phone this week to chat about the progressive direction of the new record, how he might develop his sound even further, and the trials of making louder songwriting translate onstage.

The Key: I like the way your solo albums are so different from your work with Mason Porter, the way you explore different musical territories. Is that why the solo records came to be – because you wanted to do things beyond bluegrass?

Joe D’Amico: Oh yeah, absolutely. Everything does come from “folk” in my mind, even when it translates to more psychedelic or more rock and roll kind of stuff. But Mason Porter, there’s a certain sound there that we kind of created and retained. And I just want to explore more things, and continue to do other things. There’s a such a wide range of music that I listen to – I just want to keep creating, or it gets boring.

TK: Who is the group of people you perform with when you play live? Are they the same group that made the record with you?

JD: Yes. The band is Brad Hinton (guitar), Phil D’Augustino (bass), Bethany Brooks (keys) and Kevin Killen (drums). The last record, I recorded more of it on my own, and put the band as it is now together when it came time to release that record. I kept the same band since, and I think a lot of the direction of this record came from having them. Continue reading →

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The Week So Far: 12 must-read stories on The Key (incl. Roots Picnic, ONUINU and #LetBonnerShoot)

Photo by Pete Troshak | flickr.com/photos/petryfrompa/sets | twitter.com/shak74

The lineup for the 6th Annual Roots Picnic includes Gary Clark Jr., Lushlife and more [link]

Dave Hartley‘s Top of the Key returns to tell you why the NBA should #LetBonnerShoot [link]

Folk-inspired Philly songwriter Gretchen Lohse records a stunning Key Studio Session [link]

The latest album from Joe D’Amico gets the Unlocked treatment [link]

Portland dance-rock artist ONUINU chats about his upcoming show at Kung Fu Necktie [link]

Get your vote on in The Deli and Tri-State Indie‘s year-in-review polls [link]

Pitchfork gave Bleeding Rainbow‘s new LP a bad review, then premiered it anyway [link]

UK pop singer Jessie Ware played Union Transfer, reminisced about World Cafe [link]

Listen to Simian Mobie Disco recorded live on Making Time RADio [link]

Elder grunge statesmen Soundgarden brought their reunion tour to The Tower Theater [link]

Listen to Yo La Tengo cover The Spinners’ classic “I’ll Be There” from Free at Noon [link]

Ohio singer-songwriter Dolfish is spotlighted in this week’s Folkadelphia session [link]