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Don’t miss the 1st Annual Philadelphia Country Music festival at Bob & Barbara’s Lounge in August

Hurricane Hoss and her pals, Alec Meltzer, Kyle "Bolo Boi" Perella, "Rodeo Ross" Bellenoit, "Big Tall Paul" Wilkinson. | Photo by Lisa Schaffer | https://www.facebook.com/LisaSchafferPhotography
Hurricane Hoss and her pals, Alec Meltzer, Kyle “Bolo Boi” Perella, “Rodeo Ross” Bellenoit, “Big Tall Paul” Wilkinson. | Photo by Lisa Schaffer | https://www.facebook.com/LisaSchafferPhotography

Is country music the new drag? The long beloved drinking, drag show, karaoke, and all round awesome neighborhood go-to spot – Bob & Barbara’s Lounge (at 15th and South Streets) – will be the setting for the 1st Annual Philadelphia Country Music Festival hosted by The Wallace Brothers on Saturday, August 22nd. Continue reading →

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The Porch at 30th Street Station announces the XPN Philly Local Wednesdays schedule for October with Kevin Killen, Chris Kasper, Hezekiah Jones and more

Hezekiah Jones photo by Lisa Schaffer Photography
Hezekiah Jones photo by Lisa Schaffer Photography

The XPN Philly Local Wednesdays at The Porch at 30th Street Station continues every Wednesday from Noon-1PM in October. The stripped down busking series has been a lunchtime/midday event not to miss. Check out the schedule below. Listen to XPN Philly Local tonight and every Tuesday night from 8PM-10PM with Helen Leicht and John Vettese.

10/2 Kevin Killen

10/9 Chris Kasper
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Samantha Crain brings depth and soul to The Fire (photos, review)

Samantha Crain | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com
Samantha Crain | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

All photos by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

Rumbling through songs of identity and place mostly from her brilliant 2013 record Kid Face, Samantha Crain had no trouble fitting in at The Fire on Friday night. Brandishing a brand-new guitar after her previous one was stolen two nights before (marking the second time in less than a year guitars have been stolen from her) and her uniquely rich, textured vocals, Crain took the audience’s minds off of the heat with her master class in folk rock. Adding further depth and soul to the proceedings were Kyle Reid’s memorable hand made cigar box guitars and the keys and string work of multifaceted John Calvin. Crain assuredly sang during one of the night’s highlights, the title track to Kid Face, “I found, I found the way.” And with the praise heaped on by the likes of Rolling Stone this year and the rapturous applause heaped on by Philadelphia’s crowd, she has and hopefully even larger venues and grander futures are in store for her. See pictures of Crain and openers Bombadil and Kevin Killen in the gallery below.

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Folkadelphia Session: Kevin Killen (playing with Samantha Crain on 7/19)

IMG_20130324_120719_342Throughout this week, we’ve be presenting new sessions from three exciting songwriters instead of our usual single release. It just so happens that we were lucky enough to record stripped-down sets from Amanda Jo Williams, Christian Lee Hutson, and Kevin Killen all on the same afternoon of Saturday, March 23rd. We’ve adored each of these musicians for a while now – playing them on radio show, seeing them in concert, following them online – so it was a bit of a coup to record them in one shot. Each approach the art of songwriting with a unique voice, perspective, and flair, but in the end and especially in this bare bones format, they all exemplify that vague “Folkadelphia” sound. Honest songs from honest folk.

We heard from Amanda Jo Williams and Christian Lee Hutson, now let’s listen to local boy Kevin Killen.

I’m not exactly sure when I first heard of him, but as I am a guy that is interested and active in Philadelphia’s folk and singer-songwriter scene, the likelihood of me encountering Kevin Killen was pretty certain. Killen’s presence in our brotherly city runs deep, it seems as if he has his hands in everything; if he’s not playing in various bands, producing and recording albums (currently, he’s working with local rootsies Tin Bird Choir), then he’s out performing his own music in the area and the country. He’s a busy guy.

Thanks to Kevin for swinging by the studio to track a few acoustic takes. I would recommend catching him at the Fire on Friday, July 19th when he supports Oklahoma swoon-inducing songwriter Samantha Crain.

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Folkadelphia Session: Christian Lee Hutson

IMG_20130324_113620_589

Throughout the week, we’ll be presenting new sessions from three exciting songwriter instead of our usual single release. It just so happens that we were lucky enough to record stripped-down sets from Amanda Jo Williams, Christian Lee Hutson, and Kevin Killen all on the same afternoon of Saturday, March 23rd. We’ve adored each of these musicians for a while now – playing them on radio show, seeing them in concert, following them online – so it was a bit of a coup to record them in one shot. Each approach the art of songwriting with a unique voice, perspective, and flair, but in the end and especially in this bare bones format, they all exemplify that vague “Folkadelphia” sound. Honest songs from honest folk.

We started off with Amanda Jo Williams this past Sunday and now we’ll hear from Christian Lee Hutson.

Christian Lee Hutson will never break up. At least that’s what the button he gave me says (also it’s the name of one of his EPs), but it feels true. He’s a faithful guy. He’s preaching from the pulpit at the end of the bar. The songs that make up his latest full length The Hell With It have the feel of having been scrawled on whiskey-stained napkins while the house country band plays us into the lonesome night. A mass for the brokenhearted. Hutson himself is not a somber fellow – in fact, he’s rather jovial and appreciative, which tinges the songs he sings with a kind of hopefulness, like things are about to turn around. I have faith they will.

Christian cut a few of his songs down to the core for our Folkadelphia Session – simply moving vocals and guitar playing. You might pour yourself something strong before streaming.

Check back on Friday for Kevin Killen’s Folkadelphia Session.

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Folkadelphia Session: Amanda Jo Williams

Photo by Mark Escribano
Photo by Mark Escribano

For the latest Folkadelphia Session edition, we’re going to try something a little different. Throughout the week, we’ll be presenting new sessions from three exciting songwriter instead of our usual single release. It just so happens that we were lucky enough to record stripped-down sets from Amanda Jo Williams, Christian Lee Hutson, and Kevin Killen all on the same afternoon of Saturday, March 23rd. We’ve adored each of these musicians for a while now – playing them on radio show, seeing them in concert, following them online – so it was a bit of a coup to record them in one shot. Each approach the art of songwriting with a unique voice, perspective, and flair, but in the end and especially in this bare bones format, they all exemplify that vague “Folkadelphia” sound. Honest songs from honest folk.

The first session we’ll hear comes from Amanda Jo Williams, the Philadelphia-via-Los Angeles musician who, at the end of May, released her fourth full-length record You’re The Father Of My Songs. With You’re The Father, AJW has succeeded in biting her thumb at all would-be musical comparisons and instead has created a group of songs that live on their own idiosyncratic plane of existence. We experience an auditory watercolor where the southern-country paintbrush has been dragged through the musical color palette and swirled all over the place. It’s prismatic, speckled with novel twists and turns, and unencumbered by genre baggage of convention. Here for our session, Amanda performs her songs, which includes an unreleased track “Dead Words,” assisted by Christian Lee Hutson on guitar.

Check back on Wednesday for Christian Lee Hutson’s Folkadelphia Session.

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Today’s Concert Picks: Chris Harford, Oh! Pears, Toy Soldiers at JB’s; Kevin Killen at North Star; Gemini Wolf at Silk City

Local orchestral rock favorites Oh! Pears will play their last hometown show before frontman Corey Duncan ships on out to the west coast. His band — along with soul rockers Toy Soldiers — will open for Princeton-based singer, songwriter and visual artist Chris Harford and his Band of Changes (which features members of Ween and Dr. Dog). Doors at Johnny Brenda’s open at 8 and the show starts at 9; tickets to the 21+ event are available for $10 here. Below, stream “The Sounding of the Earth” from Oh! Pears European Tour release.

Philly americana artist Kevin Killen will serenade the night away with a free show at the North Star Bar Victorian Dining Room. He’ll be opening for Elkins Park artist Christopher Michael, who has played for a number of Philly area hard-indie bands but has recently taken the folky road himself. The 21+ show is free and starts at 8pm (more information is available on the Facebook event page). Below, stream Christopher Michael’s “Home.”

Finally, glitchy Philly psych-pop duo Gemini Wolf will rock Silk City tonight with local psych-rock team A Study In Terror. Get your fill of psyched-out vibes presented by BITBY, who are also hosting DJs to round out the set. Admission to the 21+ event is $7; show starts at 9. Below, stream Gemini Wolf’s “Thirst” from their album Infinite Sand Dunes.

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Meet the hosts of the FDR Park Summer Concert Series, Dani Mari and Reverend TJ McGlinchey

UPDATE: The show has been postponed due to the potential rain, rescheduled date TBA.

Poster designed by Ryan Psota

Local singer-songwriters Dani Mari and Reverend TJ McGlinchey have teamed up to host a monthly concert series in a popular South Philly park this summer. The FDR Park Summer Series kicked off on June 8th with performances by Griz and Kevin Killen, as well as sets from the hosts. The next concert in the series is this Friday featuring Toy Soldiers and Thom McCarthy. I sat down with Dani Mari and Reverend TJ McGlinchey to chat about the FDR Park Summer Series, what they’ve been up to, their new band, Lovers League, and the pair recorded a couple of acoustic songs for us.

McGlinchey and Mari first met about seven years ago through the local open mic scene and  reconnected in 2010 when Mari was the featured artist for Hezekiah Jones‘ open mic at JD Mc Gillicuddy’s in Ardmore. Since then, the pair have collaborated on recordings and performances: McGlinchey had Mari open for his CD release show at World Cafe Live in January. Now, in addition to hosting the FDR Park Summer Series, they are getting ready to record an album for their band, Lovers League.

Mari explains how the FDR Park Summer Series came about when she met Greg Jacovini, a member of the FDR Park Board. “He mentioned that they’re looking to have more live music there. I told him I had hosted a couple of festivals on the roof of Whole Foods a couple years ago. We were talking about it back and forth and finally decided to move forward and try to put something together for the summer.” They decided to put on a show once a month in the park. Mari contacted McGlinchey to co-host the concert series with her and he brought in his connections.

“Both my brothers are audio engineers,” he explained. “So it was easy to get sound. My little brother is doing the sound for it and bringing the PA. And just hanging out in the Philly scene I got to know some of the better musicians and had some connections to use there to get some good headliners.”

When asked about the vibe they were going for, McGlinchey laughed and responded, “Not heavy metal.” Continue reading →