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Tonight’s Concert Picks: New Sweden at World Cafe Live at the Queen, Natalie Merchant at Keswick Theatre, Northern Arms at Johnny Brenda’s and more

New Sweden photo by Joe del Tufo
New Sweden photo by Joe del Tufo

Americana indie-folk band New Sweden will be at World Cafe Live tonight at The Queen. The five-piece band, which just played the Firefly Music Festival in its home state of Delaware, has a robust, scratchy sound that makes it a folk powerhouse. New Sweden is set to release its latest album, Fabric Room, in four days, but is available for streaming now. Check out the song, “Burdened Days” off the new album and go to the XPN Concert Calendar for more information and tickets.

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New Sweden have a new EP out next week and a busy weekend ahead

Courtesy of Joe del Tufo
Courtesy of Joe del Tufo

Wilmington folk-rock favorites, New Sweden are playing the the World Cafe this Friday, July 11th, and at Tellus 360 in Lancaster on Saturday, July 12th as part of their Fabric Room EP release party, out July 15th.

After forming in 2009, the band has won the Tri-State Indie Awards three years running and played at impressive venues, including a set at Firefly this summer. In early 2012, they recorded a Key Studio Session with songs from their 2011 full length the Mountain. Since then, New Sweden has become a five piece with the addition of an electric guitar and keys. Last month, XPN premiered Fabric Room. Hailed by Paste as a “countrified Bright Eyes with a twinge of punk,” New Sweden’s latest EP strikes the right balance between indie and folk.

Get more details about the shows at the XPN Concert Calender.

Listen to “Eighty Seven” below.

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Firefly Music Festival Day Three: Beck, Imagine Dragons, Outkast, Cage the Elephant and more

Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/ Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/[/caption]
Day three of the Firefly Music Festival brought out more big names like Imagine Dragons, Outkast, and Beck, who returns to town on July 2th for the XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru. Below, check out the highlights from yesterday’s performances.

Outkast | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
Outkast | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
Beck | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
Beck | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
Imagine Dragons | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
Imagine Dragons | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
Photo by John Vettese
Photo by John Vettese
Third Eye Blind | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
Third Eye Blind | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/

Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
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PREMIERE: Listen to Fabric Room, the latest from resident Wilmington folk-rock five-piece New Sweden

New Sweden photo by Joe del Tufo
New Sweden photo by Joe del Tufo

Wilmington band New Sweden is back with its latest EP, Fabric Room. With its unruly, foot-stomping sound, New Sweden is a folk powerhouse, but its not just folk that can be heard in the new EP — there’s a little bit of everything that lands the band in limbo between genres. There is an essence of Dr. Dog to it, some of The Avett Brothers and maybe a little Dawes, as well, but even with these influences in toe, the band definitely doesn’t have problem finding its own voice. The sound is robust and rugged — distinct in its own way.

“It was certain that things had to change after going from a six piece to a five piece (we parted ways with our violinist),” frontman Will Dobies said. “Because of this, we were able to introduce new lead instruments: the electric guitar and keys seemed to do the trick. We are a rowdy bunch with a soft side.”

Fabric Room is set to be released July 15, but is available one week early here through the band’s pre-sale store. Each EP purchase comes with a free download of the new single, “Eighty Seven” and every purchase from the pre-sale will automatically enter you into a drawing for a free pair of Firefly Music Festival day passes for Saturday, June 21 when New Sweden will be playing at the festival. See New Sweden in Philly on June 26 at Johnny Brenda’s and listen to our premiere of Fabric Room below.

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The Key’s Week of Folk: Ursula Rucker, and four other artists you didn’t realize are playing #PFF2013

RuckerThe Key’s Week of Folk is our series of interviews, reviews, artist spotlights, playlistings and general ephemera to get you ready for the 52nd Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival, happening August 16th to August 18th at Old Pool Farm in Schwenksville. This installment highlights a handful of artists we didn’t even were realize were playing – so it’s possible you didn’t know either.

On Monday we talked about what a daunting task navigating a festival lineup can be. Between sheer volume of names, late lineup additions and lag time between initial announcements and the actual show, I find myself at festivals – any festival – saying at least once “oh, woah, they’re playing!” (Confession: it even happens at our own XPoNential Music Festival.)

For this installment of The Key’s Week of Folk, we’ll highlight a handful of don’t-miss you-almost-missed-thems, beginning with the one and only Ursula Rucker. Her’s is a name that Roots aficionados should know well; the Philadelphia poet first came to prominence closing the group’s first several albums with spoken word pieces (and appearing throughout the mix on 2003′s Phrenology). Sometimes tender, sometimes shocking, but always marked by beauty and eloquence, Rucker’s collaborations with The Roots – as well as with Bahamadia and King Britt – ultimately paved the way for a solo career that notably includes 2001′s Super Sista, 2006′s Ma’at Mama and most recently, 2011′s She Said. Along with writing, Rucker is an educator and activist, and recently has been combining her words with the stylish guitar of fellow Philadelphian Tim Motzer. The two will perform together at the Cultural Tent on August 16th at 7 p.m. Below, watch a video of Rucker and Motzer on the 1k Sessions, and listen to Rucker’s contribution to The Roots’ Things Fall Apart, “Return to Innocence Lost.”

Tim Motzer & Ursula Rucker – 1k Sessions, Episode 11 Preview from Dejha Ti on Vimeo.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: XPN Welcomes ALO to The Blockley, Denison Witmer at Johnny Brenda’s, New Sweden at Steel City Coffeehouse, The Hooters with Good Old War at The Electric Factory

ALO photographed in Oakland, CA October 11, 2009©Jay Blakesberg/Retna LTD.

XPN welcomes California band Animal Liberation Orchestra (ALO) to The Blockley tonight.  SIgned to Jack Johnson’s Brushfire Records, ALO create a laidback, jammy brand of surf rock / pop that has bound them to other Johnson-fan favorites Donavon Frankenreiter, Matt Costa and G. Love.  In 2012 ALO released their seventh studio album Sounds Like This.  Tickets and information for tonight’s 18+ show with Ryan Montbleau Band can be found here.  Watch an acoustic performance of “Storms & Hurricanes” from the new album below.

Denison Witmer celebrates his album release at Johnny Brenda’s tonight.  The self-titled record is Witmer’s ninth and most personal effort since the start of his career fifteen years ago.  Recorded at his Brooklyn studio The Honey Jar (co-run by Philly native Devin Greenwood), the Lancaster-born musician called in friends Sufjan Stevens and Greenwood for creative collaboration, though the stories told on the album’s ten tracks are purely Witmer’s.  Tickets and information for tonight’s 21+ show with Soporus can be found here.  Below, stream and download “Asa,” a song named for Witmer’s young son.

 

New Sweden head down to Phoenixville for a show at Steel City Coffeehouse.  The Wilmington five-piece enthralled a Saturday morning audience at the 2011 Noncommvention with their rootsy, robust folk rock and they’ve been climbing the proverbial ladder ever since.  With two Tri-State Indie awards on the shelf and a buzzy appearance at SXSW earlier this year, the local band hasn’t slowed down one bit after the release of their debut LP The Mountain.  Tickets and information for tonight’s show with The Turnips can be found here.  Watch New Sweden perform “Frying Pan” below.

The Hooters and Good Old War play a hometown show at The Electric Factory tonight.  An institution in the Philadelphia musical cannon, The Hooters got their start in the 80s with hits like “All You Zombies” and “And We Danced.”  In recent years, members of the band have sparked their own projects, with drummer David Uosikkinen’s In the Pocket and vocalist / keyboardist Rob Hyman’s Elm Street Studios in Conshohocken.  Good Old War, a trio that is becoming a local institution in their own right, returns to the stage in support of 2012′s Come Back As Rain while working on material for a new album.  Tickets and information for the all-ages show can be found here.  Below, watch The Hooters’ video for “And We Danced” followed by Good Old War’s “Amazing Eyes.”

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Friday Nights Under The Stars at the Brandywine Polo Grounds in Kennett Square announces summer lineup and schedule

New Sweden photo by Joe Del Tufo
New Sweden photo by Joe Del Tufo

Friday Nights Under The Stars is a weekly Friday night summer concert series that runs from June through September at the Brandywine Polo Grounds in Kennett Square. This season’s musicians include Ryan Tennis, New Sweden, The Griz Band, Beaucoup Blue, 61 North and others. You can get the complete schedule and ticket information here. Below, watch New Sweden perfom “Way Up North (Texas).”

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