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XPNFest Recap: Kopecky makes triumphant return to the Marina Stage

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Kopecky | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com

After rocking the Marina Stage so hard back in 2013 that they were moved up for a surprise set at the River Stage, Kopecky returned to the Marina for XPoNential 2015, this time with a whole new crop of songs to show off.

Coming off May’s Drug for the Modern Age, Kopecky started off with standout “My Love” from the new album. After hitting on a few tracks from their debut full length Kids Raising Kids, Gabe Simon and co. jumped into album single “Quarterback”, which was naturally preceeded by an Eagles chant. Continue reading →

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XPNFest recap: Israel Nash delivers an earthquake of alt-country

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Israel Nash | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com

Alt-country rocker Israel Nash turned up the volume to 11 on the Marina Stage this afternoon. Nash and his band came all the way from Dripping Springs, Texas to jam in front of the XPN Fest day three crowd.

Nash is no stranger to songwriting. His debut solo album, New York Town, was released in 2009. It wasn’t until his second album that he decided to include the backing band that joined him today: Joey McClellan on lead guitar, Aaron McClellan on bass guitar, Josh Fleischmann on drums, and Eric Swanson on pedal steel.

His most recent album, Rain Plans, quickly became an NPR favorite and spread to other radio stations such as KEXP and our very own WXPN. In January 2015, Israel Nash was featured in a World Cafe session. Continue reading →

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XPNFest recap: Cheerleader fills the Marina Stage with lustrous indie pop

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Cheerleader | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com

The sweet indie pop of Philadelphia’s own Cheerleader helped kick off day three of XPN Fest. The five-piece band complimented the sunny afternoon perfectly, with shimmering guitars and catchy keyboard melodies.

Their debut record, Sunshine of Your Youth, helped them gain momentum quickly this year and carried them to places far from Philly. They’ve been featured at numerous festivals, including CMJ, The Great Escape, and SXSW. Their album release was supported by a nationwide tour with The Wombats. Continue reading →

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XPNFest Recap: Gina Chavez closes the Marina Stage with award-winning Latin music

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Gina Chavez | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordophotography.com

Austin musician Gina Chavez closed the Marina Stage tonight, bringing some southwest heat to the XPoNential Music Festival and representing the “Latin Roots” project of World Cafe.

Chavez has been getting a lot of attention this year after releasing her sophomore LP Up.Rooted in 2014. She was named Austin’s 2015 Musician of the Year and earned Best Song, Best Album and Best Latin Band accolades from the city’s music awards.

Joined by a band that included a trumpet player, the set was a mix of American and Latin styles. Continue reading →

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XPNFest Recap: Fly Golden Eagle keep things breezy on the Marina Stage

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Fly Golden Eagle | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordophotography.com

There were many audience members on their feet and swaying to the grooves of Nashville’s Fly Golden Eagle as they hit the Marina Stage. The band released its sophomore LP Quartz Bijou last fall, so of course plenty of those tracks made it into the set, along with older favorites like “Violet Crown”. Continue reading →

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XPNFest Recap: Field Report delivers ambiance to the early crowd

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Field Report | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordophotography.com

Chris Porterfield is no stranger to new territories. His Milwalkee-based project Field Report (a anagram of his own name) hails from the Midwest, but the band’s sound found a spot right at home here at Wiggins Park for XPNFest. Just the third act of the day, the band brought a blend of rootsy folk with some of the most intriguing percussion seen yet at XPNFest. Continue reading →

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XPNFest Recap: Lost Bayou Ramblers bring a taste of Louisiana with a twist

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Lost Bayou Ramblers | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com

Louisiana band Lost Bayou Ramblers stormed the stage this evening with their unique folk rock. They offer an eclectic mix of modern sounds and rhythms with ancient Cajun melodies and lyrics. Forget guitar, drums, and bass – throw some fiddle, accordion, and some lap steel, and you’ve got one heck of a band. 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 →