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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Jesse Hale Moore at Boot & Saddle, The Whips at Ortlieb’s, Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear at World Cafe Live

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Jesse Hale Moore | Photo courtesy of the artist.

Weathervane Music‘s residency at Boot & Saddle begins tonight with Jesse Hale Moore. The local musician has lent his talent to several bands in recent years (including Nightlands and Auctioneer) but release his own solo debut last month. Dave Hartley of Nightlands and War on Drugs produced “Every Time,” a sparkling, slow R&B gem that bridges Rhye and Sam Smith. Check it out below and pick up tickets for tonight’s 21+ show with Acres of Diamonds here.

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Lyle Lovett to Lovers League: 54 scenes from the 54th Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival

Two friends enjoying the main stage of the Philadelphia Folk Festival | Photo by Hope Helmuth | hopehelmuth.com
Two friends enjoying the main stage of the Philadelphia Folk Festival | Photo by Hope Helmuth | hopehelmuth.com

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 →

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XPNFest Recap: All in the family with Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear

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Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com

Things were mellow and cheery with Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear on the Jersey Arts Marina Stage. They began by rejoicing over the mild temperatures, having last played a show in Birmingham, Alabama, then went right into their set. Both seated with acoustic guitars in hand, Madisen and Mama kept things simple but energized. Some highlights included Madisen braving a bee sting mid-song (“I’ll get stung for music, for you guys…,” he quipped), a crowd-pleasing cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams”, and a closing performance of their hit “Yellow Taxi” that had everyone on their feet. Continue reading →

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Download a live version of “Live By The Water” by Madisen Ward and The Mama Bear

Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com
Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com

Three days and counting! This weekend is the XPoNential Music Festival at Wiggins Park in Camden, NJ. The festival starts this Friday, July 24th and features The Word, JD McPherson, Madisen Ward & The Mama Bear, Dawes and more. Altogether there are 32 bands performing over the weekend including First Aid Kit, My Morning Jacket, George Ezra, Delta Rae, Indigo Girls, Calexico, Hop Along, St. Vincent, Field Report, The Word, Dawes, and many more. Continue reading →

Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company
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The Tallest Man On Earth takes to the Tower stage with confidence

Tallest Man On Earth / Photos by Elizabeth Mazenko
Tallest Man On Earth / Photos by Elizabeth Mazenko

“I don’t want to take this for granted,” Kristian Matsson of The Tallest Man On Earth says just before slipping into “Dark Bird is Home,” the title track to his new record. Instead of it just being a small token of appreciation to Saturday’s adoring crowd at Tower Theater, the statement seemed to ground all the light feelings emitting from the stage; almost as if Matsson suddenly realized that the moment was fleeting and he might not have another chance to show his genuine gratitude. Fitting for a performance of his most recent release. Continue reading →

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The seven best bands I saw at SXSW

Madisen Ward and The Mama Bear | Photo by John Vettese
Madisen Ward and The Mama Bear | Photo by John Vettese

Thousands of bands convened in Austin, Texas last week for SXSW. Of the 20 or so bands I set out to see during my three days at the conference, I managed to see about half of them. While many attendees go with a list of bands they most want to see; there’s an aimless serendipity that happens at SXSW, when you’re heading down the street to see one band, it’s often that you wind up at a completely different venue seeing another. One is redirected by texts from friends on their way to see a hotly buzzed band, or a quick swing into a coffee shop will lead you to running into folks who tell you about a not-to-be-missed acoustic performance at a hotel ballroom, or a potential surprise guest appearance by a superstar (like Miley Cyrus at the Fader Fort), that you’ll wait an hour in line for at a venue to see. My hit list this year was driven not by serendipity (save for the disastrous, yet awesome Miley appearance), and more by focus to see the handful of bands that I wanted to see in my limited time at SXSW. Here were my favorites: Continue reading →

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Listen to Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear’s set at the Public Radio Rocks SXSW showcase, watch “Daisy Jane”

Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear | Photo by John Vettese
Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear | Photo by John Vettese

Easily the biggest surprise of the Public Radio Rocks showcase at SXSW was Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear. The mother-son duo based in Kansas City writes acoustic folk songs with a classic sound, infused with touches of blues and gospel. Their voices blend effortlessly, and their warmth is clear and genuine.

The Wards opened with “Silent Movies,” the first single from their new LP Skeleton Crew, due out later this year via Glassnote Records, and played a punchy five-song set. Though many watching the showcase had not heard of them before, they left converted fans. Continue reading →