My Morning Download: “Tourist Traps” by Seamus Browning (ft. Matt Duke) playing The Grape Room on Friday, August 24th

Philly’s Seamus Browning went on hiatus in 2005 and have reformed with some new music and a show on Friday, August 24th at the The Grape Room in Manayunk with Stargazer Lily. The band includes Matt Duke on vocals and guitar, Seán Ferry on bass and Brendan Lafferty on drums and percussion. They recently recorded some new material recorded and engineered by Andrew Lipke at The Record Lounge. Stream the collection below, and download a new song “Tourist Trap” compliments of the band.


Helen Leicht’s Top Five Local Albums of 2011

This week, we’ll be taking a look at several WXPN/XPN2 staff members’ Best Of 2011 lists. Today, XPN’s Helen Leicht—host of Middays and XPN Local—tells us her five favorite local albums of the year.

1. Amos Lee, Mission Bell (Blue Note Records)


2. Matt Duke, One Day Die (Rykodisc) Listen to Matt Duke’s Key Studio Session


3. Hoots And Hellmouth, Salt (self-released)


4. Andrew Lipke, The Plague (self-released) Listen to Andrew Lipke’s Key Studio Session


5. Dana Alexandra, Wash Your Mouth Out (self-released)


Watch Matt Duke’s live interview and performance during today’s “Leicht Lunch”

Matt Duke performing at the 2011 XPoNential Music Festival

Today, during the noon hour, Helen Leicht will have local singer-songwriter Matt Duke in the studio for a live interview and performance. Click here to watch online.

You can listen Duke’s performance at this year’s XPoNential Festival here. Earlier this year, he came into the WXPN studio to record a Key Studio Session, which you can find here; he also appears on our new Key Studio Sessions 2011 XPoNential Music Festival Sampler (which also features exclusive tracks by Johnny Miles And The Waywards, Nicos Gun, Kuf Knotz, and Andrew Lipke).


Download the new Key Studio Sessions Compilation Volume 2 for free

The Key Studio Sessions Compilation Volume 2—which you can download for free here —features one exclusive track recorded at the WXPN studios by 17 local acts, including Arc In Round, Dutch, The National Rifle, Denison Witmer, Hop Along, Matt Duke, Catnaps, Penrose, Arches, Lantern, Nicos Gun, Restorations, Ages, Sisters 3, The War On Drugs, Sonni Shine And The Underwater Sounds, and Work Drugs.

Want to hear more? Click here to listen to the full sessions by all 17 local acts. You can also download the previous edition The Key Studio Sessions Compilation, Volume 1, in its entirety as a .zip file here.


2011 XPoNential Music Festival Local Spotlight: Matt Duke

The second artist on the Marina stage this year, Matt Duke brought his cool mix of rock, jazz, and folk to hardy XPoNential attendees. Raised in Philly and first signed to the local Drexel label, Duke has been building a large following after signing to major label Rykodisc and releasing some highly acclaimed LPs and EPs. Today, he’s playing from his latest, pulling out some great melodies on his acoustic guitar. Not a bad way to beat the heat–Matt Duke has some awfully cool tunes here at XPO. —Bekah Larsen

You can listen to the audio of the full performance here; videos will be available soon. Last month, Matt Duke came into the WXPN studio to record a Key Studio Session, which you can find here. Matt also appears on our new Key Studio Sessions 2011 XPoNential Music Festival Sampler (which also features exclusive tracks by Johnny Miles And The Waywards, Nicos Gun, Kuf Knotz, and Andrew Lipke).

Set List
Dead Meat
Atrophy On The Brain
Sex and Reruns
Love You Anymore
Needle and Thread
Kangaroo Court

Visit Matt Duke’s band page at the XPoNential Music Festival website for complete coverage.


Download The Key Studio Sessions 2011 XPoNential Music Festival Sampler

Today at 5:30PM the WXPN XPoNential Music Festival starts with performances from two local bands, Johnny Miles and the Waywards and Nicos Gun (whose 2 part interview you can read here. There are 13 local bands (our of 31 bands all together) on the bill this weekend. Both of tonight’s opening bands along with Andrew Lipke, Matt Duke and Kuf Knotz (also performing this weekend) have each done Key Studio Sessions and we’ve picked two tracks from each of their sessions to put on a Key Studio Sessions 2011 XPoNential Music Festival Sampler. Download the sampler here.


The Key Studio Sessions: Matt Duke

For better or worse, South Jersey’s Matt Duke is a guy who sings and plays guitar, often acoustically. This makes his songs very direct, and his performances portable—he can work a traveling musician schedule like a five-piece band might not be able to. But this also means he’s got perceptions to fight; that of being yet another earnest guy who sings and plays acoustic guitar. His third LP, the new One Day Die, goes a long way toward breaking down that wall, exploring the range and potential that lies within his music. “Kangaroo Court,” which Helen Leicht recently opened our Songs In The Key of Philly stream with, tore up the room at Duke’s Key Studio Session, recorded on a Sunday afternoon in early May before a live studio audience (shoutout to Philly Local intern Nick Bookbinder for his production assistance).  The song has a blaring guitar line and an urgent tempo that’s the antithesis of “open mic.” Another high point was the dense “M.L.T.,” which takes a Cheever-esque perspective on Mount Laurel Township, Duke’s home. He has a tremendous vocal instrument and an acrobatic range I’ve admired since seeing him tackle Jeff Buckley’s “So Real” at Philadelphia Folk Fest a few years back; his backing players, Nathan Barnett on drums and Sean Ferry on bass, build his sound out with skill and nuance. (Listen to their chilling rendition of “Love You Anymore.”) It’s a simple enough song when played by Matt Duke the individual, but when tackled by the Matt Duke Trio, it cuts hard and stays with you. Look for them to bring this vibe to Wiggins Park this summer when they take the stage at the XPoNential Music Festival.