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Scenes from the 57th Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival

Philadelphia Folk Festival | photo by Lisa Schaffer | SkylerBug.com

The Philadelphia Folk Festival is about more than just the music. Even with a lineup that included everyone from legends like Patty Griffin and David Bromberg to newer names like Valerie June to Philly locals like Kuf Knotz and Matt Santry — and a long list of others — the essence of the festival cannot be summed up by the artists that were there or the songs that were sung, but rather by the sense of community and excitement that has been filling the rural setting of Upper Salford Township, Pennsylvania each August for 57 years. Continue reading →

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Reconnecting with the past and looking to the future, Philadelphia Folksong Society casts a wide net year-round

Philadelphia Folk Festival | photo by Lisa Schaffer | SkylerBug.com
Philadelphia Folk Festival | photo by Lisa Schaffer | SkylerBug.com

Most organizations would sell their souls at the crossroads for even half the success the Philadelphia Folksong Society has achieved in the more than six decades since they were first founded. Not only is the Philadelphia Folk Festival the country’s longest continuously held outdoor music festival, but the Folksong Society is deeply ingrained in the cultural framework of the city. The organization’s archives, which have been continuously updated over the years, were recently found to house a fifth of all of Philadelphia’s musical history, an astonishing amount.

​So you might think that after all this that they might be resting on their proverbial laurels. But like so much of the music performed at the many concerts they host, the Folksong Society has remained dynamic and continued to grow. This is even more true since the organization moved into their new home on Ridge Avenue in Roxborough earlier this year. Continue reading →

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Greg Sover, Jesse Hale Moore, and Vita and The Woolf will play the XPN Local stage at Philly Folk Fest

Greg Sover | photo via facebook.com/gregsover

Although the Philadelphia Folk Fest is a couple months away, they’ve still got some artists to announce. Thankfully, our good friend Helen Leicht is in on the action, announcing her XPN Local showcase for August 19th from noon to 2 p.m. The showcase (hosted by Leicht) features some of the best up-and-coming locals in the scene, including blues rocker Greg Sover, smooth singer-songwriter Jesse Hale Moore, and electro-rock trio Vita and The Woolf.

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Graham Nash, Old Crow Medicine Show, Taj Mahal, Keb Mo and more will play Philadelphia Folk Festival 2017

Graham Nash | Photo by Kate McCann for WXPN | katemccannphotography.com

Veteran singer-songwriter Graham Nash and well-traveled bluegrass ensemble Old Crow Medicine Show lead off the lineup of artists performing at the 56th Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival this summer.

Set for August 17th through the 20th at Old Pool Farm in Upper Salford Township, the initial lineup also includes Taj Mo: a new collaboration between blues favorites Taj Mahal and Keb Mo’, and their respective bands. Also bringing the blues is Kansas City guitarist and songwriter Samantha Fish, while bluegrass mandolinist Sierra Hull makes her festival debut. Continue reading →

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Philadelphia Folk Festival announces initial lineup with Los Lobos, Buffy Sainte-Marie and more

Buffy Sainte-Marie | Photo by Cameron Pollack | http://cameronpollack.500px.com/
Buffy Sainte-Marie | Photo by Cameron Pollack | http://cameronpollack.500px.com/

This morning brings the initial line-up of the 55th annual Philadelphia Folk Festival, happening August 18-21 at Old Pool Farm in Schwensville, PA. Among the two-dozen names are LA outfit Los Lobos and folk musician Buffy Saint-Marie, both of whom added to their deep catalogs with new albums last year.

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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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Meet ten of the local artists just added to this year’s Philadelphia Folk Festival

Photo by Rachel Del Sordo
Cynthia G. Mason | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo

The 54th annual Philadelphia Folk Festival, taking place August 13th to the 16th at Old Pool Farm, will feature close to 40 Philadelphia-area artists – some 36 of them just added this week in conjunction with the Folksong Society’s Philadelphia music co-op. While we’re looking forward to all of their performances, we’ve decided to give you a taste of what’s in store. Full list below. Continue reading →