Tonight’s Concert Picks: Nickel Creek at Tower Theater, Matt Pond PA at Underground Arts, Nels Cline at Johnny Brenda’s

Photo by Brantley Gutierrez

Acoustic folk trio Nickel Creek are riding high on the success of their new album A Dotted Line, which arrived last month and coincided with their 25th anniversary as a band. Tonight they bring the excitement to the Tower Theater stage. Mostly folk but at times leaning toward bluegrass, their music, which rests on the band’s intricate musicianship and harmonies, has a raw quality that’s soulful at heart. Watch them perform “Rest Of My Life” live on Soundcheck below and get tickets here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Mount Moriah at Johnny Brenda’s, Auctioneer and Heyward Howkins at PhilaMOCA, Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell at the Academy of Music

mount_moriah_stairwell_bgThere’s a whole bunch of blissed-out folk to be heard at Johnny Brenda’s tonight as Mount Moriah (from North Carolina) and Blessed Feathers (from Wisconsin) play one of the last shows of their tour together. The two acts are an appropriate pairing; Mount Moriah plays stripped down, rootsy country/gospel that focuses on highlighting Heather McEntire’s pop croons, while Blessed Feathers play a more updated kind of indie-folk, full of ambient two-part harmonies and driving melodies. The two sounds complement each other very well, and opening act Edison is definitely in the same realm, offering ambient space rock with hints of violin. The 21+ show begins at 8 p.m., tickets and information can be found at the venue’s website. Watch Mount Moriah’s video for “Plane” below.

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SXSW Recap: Watch Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell perform “Chase the Feeling” at the Public Radio Rocks showcase, and listen to their entire set

Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell | Photo by Laura Fedele |  WFUV
Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell | Photo by Laura Fedele | WFUV
American music icons Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell are longtime friends, first-time collaborators on their new album Old Yellow Moon, and they performed together in the Public Radio Rocks showcase at South by Southwest, put on by WXPN, The Current, WFUV, KUTX and KXT. Below, watch video shot by WFUV of Harris and Crowell performing “Chase The Feeling”, and listen to their set in its entirety here (via the WXPN media player).

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SXSW Dispatch: Public Radio Rocks! showcase with Charles Bradley, Pickwick, Vampire Weekend and more

Yesterday a stacked, eclectic lineup took the Austin Convention Radio Day Stage for an afternoon-long show thrown by Triple-A public radio stations WFUV in New York, The Current in Minneapolis / St. Paul, KXT in Dallas, KUTX in Austin and WXPN.

The Public Radio Rocks! showcase kicked off with gritty rockers Divine Fits; went into introspective mode in a collaborative set by Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, and a solo performance by Iron & Wine‘s Sam Beam; spotlighted classic soul showmanship care of Daptone Records all-star Charles Bradley; introduced the crowd to new soul-rock outfit Pickwick, from Seattle; brought perennial favorites Dawes out to regale the room with tunes from their new record; and wrapped up with Vampire Weekend playing to a massively packed house.

Check out scenes from the day in the photo gallery above, and watch videos of Vampire Weekend playing “A Punk” and Iron & Wine playing “Woman King” below.

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XPN broadcasting Public Radio Rocks SXSW showcase, featuring Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Dawes, Vampire Weekend and more

TP Vampire Weekend 09  On March 15th in Austin, TX, XPN will will co-present the South by Southwest Public Radio Rocks Day Stage, broadcasting live performances from Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Charles Bradley, Dawes, Divine Fits, Iron & Wine, Pickwick and Vampire Weekend. From XPN’s Bruce Warren:

WXPN has participated in past years on the SXSW Radio Day Stage with some fantastic bands like The Lumineers, Father John Misty and Caitlin Rose. This year, working with my colleagues, we’re taking it to the next level: great radio stations banding together to present great music. And we’re doing it in a way that’s unique for public radio audiences.

XPN has teamed up with NPR affiliates across the country for the day-long event including KUTX in Austin, KXT in Dallas, WFUV in New York and The Current in Minneapolis. The broadcast / webcast will begin at 1:00 p.m. EST on March 15th.  More information can be found here.  Below, watch a video of The Lumineers performing at last year’s XPN Showcase, filmed by Bands in the Backyard.

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The Week’s Best MP3 Downloads, incl. Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Gretchen Lohse, Wooden Wand

Country legends Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell have teamed up for an upcoming album called Old Yellow Moon, out through Nonesuch Records on February 26th.  “Hanging Up My Heart” was chosen by WXPN as its contribution to NPR’s new 5 Songs Public Radio Can’t Stop Playing feature.  XPN welcomes Harris and Crowell to the Academy of Music on Tuesday, March 26th with the Richard Thompson Electric Trio; tickets and information can be found here.

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My Morning Download: “Hanging Up My Heart” by Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell (XPN Welcomes to the Academy of Music in March)

5 Songs Public Radio Can’t Stop Playing is a new feature at NPR Music. Each month, various public radio stations pick a new song that they are playing, share it, and make it available as a free download. This month, we’ve chosen “Hanging Up My Heart” by Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell from their forthcoming new album of duets called Old Yellow Moon. The album is out on February 26th on Nonesuch Records. Other songs included in this month’s feature are from indie-rockets Parquet Courts, gospel singer Bishop Richard “Mr. Clean” White, Project Trio and singer-songwriter Amy Cook.

Harris and Crowell are both legends in the world of country and folk music. The singer-songwriters have released seminal solo records over the years, but they began their working relationship way back when Crowell became a member of Harris’ Hot Band in the mid-’70s. Their new album of duets, Old Yellow Moon, sounds classic in every sense of musical accomplishment: from their gorgeous singing and inspiring studio performances to their excellent choice of material, including covers of songs by Roger Miller and Kris Kristofferson and originals by Crowell. It hearkens back to classic recordings like Harris’ Elite Hotel and Crowell’s Diamonds and Dirt, and brings the best out of the two veterans. WXPN Welcomes Emmylou and Rodney to the Academy of Music on Tuesday, March 26th with the Richard Thompson Electric Trio. Go here for tickets and more information about the show.

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Just Announced: Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell playing The Academy of Music in March with Richard Thompson Electric Trio

This winter, country music icon Emmylou Harris and singer-songwriter Rodney Crowell are embarking on their first official collaboration since 1975. On February 26, they will release the album Old Yellow Moon, and will tour in support of it with the Richard Thompson Electric Trio, who also has a new EP titled Electric. The tour comes to Philadelphia on Tuesday, March 26 at the Academy of Music – onsale information will be announced shortly. Below, watch archival video Emmylou and Rodney collaborating on “If I Could Only Win Your Love.”

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The Philadelphia Orchestra to play Beatles classics with Joan Osborne and Rodney Crowell at The Mann on June 30th

Down The Abbey Road, a “symphonic celebration of The Beatles’ masterwork commissioned by The Mann,” will take place on June 30th at the outdoor Fairmount Park venue. The show is an edition of PECO Pops, a concert series presented by the energy company. The evening will feature The Philadelphia Orchestra, as well as Joan Osborne, Rodney Crowell, and James Nash and the Nashvillains.

A “re-imagining of The Beatles,” the Thursday night show will highlight the talents from multiple generations. Performing a version of the final recording by the group who inevitably influenced the music they’ve created, contemporary artists such as 7-time Grammy nominee Joan Osborne and Grammy-award winner Rodney Crowell will be present on stage, as will Americana outfit James Nash and the Nashvillains. This is not to forget featured performers The Philadelphia Orchestra, who will be conducted by Lucas Richman.

Tickets for Down The Abbey Road are $19.50 (lawn seating), $34.50, and $49.50. When purchased online or by phone, a service charge of at least $7.50 per ticket applies. Tickets are available at,, or by calling (800) 745-3000. Doors to the concert open at 6pm, show time is 8pm, and it is all-ages. For all other information, visit the Mann Center’s page for the event. —Claire Fishkow

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